Timber Woody office in France embraces Paris’ largest park

November 29, 2019 by  
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In a bid to reduce the carbon footprint of construction, French architecture firm Atelier du Pont has created an office for Santé publique France, the French public healthcare agency. The new office is built almost entirely from wood and is free of solvents and plastics . Nicknamed “Woody” after its timber build, the office is located on the eastern edge of Paris right next to the Bois de Vincennes, the largest public park in the city. The architecture responds to the neighboring landscape with its branching design that embraces the surroundings “like open, protective arms.” Inspired by the Bois de Vincennes, Woody features an all-natural material palette of timber, which is used for everything from the cross-laminated timber structural components and oak flooring to the shingled facades and wood furnishings. Large, furnished terraces jut out from the building to overlook beautiful views of the wooded park, while expansive walls of glass bring those views and natural light indoors. The connection to nature is also referenced in the shape of the building, which resembles a bundle of sticks placed on the ground. Related: Railway enclave in Paris is transformed into a solar-powered mixed-use eco-district “This design symbolizes the mission of this institution, which oversees the health of everyone who lives in France ,” the architects explained in a press release. “The aim is to be exemplary in terms of its impact on the environment and the health. The project has created a pleasant space that takes its users’ wellbeing fully into account.” To create a healthy work environment, the architects have emphasized natural daylighting and a connection to nature. The neutral color palette and unpainted timber lend a warm and tactile feel to the interior. In addition to the nearby park, occupants can enjoy the three gardens around the building, each organized around a theme of beneficial, healing or harmful plants. + Atelier du Pont Photography by Takuji Shimmura via Atelier du Pont

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Timber Woody office in France embraces Paris’ largest park

MADs ethereal Yiwu Grand Theater will float on Zhejiang waters

July 5, 2019 by  
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Beijing-based architectural firm MAD Architects has won a competition for Zhejiang’s Yiwu Grand Theater with a proposal that’s stunning, sculptural and site-specific. Inspired by the Chinese junks that once sailed on the city’s Dongyang River, the Yiwu Grand Theater mimics the form of a glass-walled boat floating on the river while its subtle curves echo the Jiangnan-style eaves found in the region’s ancient vernacular architecture. Its facade of layered glass sails will be semitransparent to reduce overall energy consumption through passive solar means. As the world’s largest wholesale commodities market, Yiwu has built its reputation on commerce, not culture. In a bid to elevate its soft power, the city hosted an international competition to design the Yiwu Grand Theater, a hub of arts and culture to be located on the south bank of the Dongyang River. The building will include a 1,600-seat grand theater, a 1,200-seat medium theater and a 2,000-person-capacity international conference center. The project will also offer new and easily accessible public green space with an amphitheater and large open plaza that extends into the water on its southern edge. “The ‘Yiwu Grand Theater’ has been designed as a monument for the city that will serve to connect inhabitants to the waterfront from a new perspective,” the architects explained. “In its completion, it will stand as a world-class venue that will attract visitors from around the globe, putting Yiwu on the map as a cultural destination. The transparency and lightness of the glass express the texture of thin, silky fabric, creating a dynamic rhythm that makes them appear as if they are blowing in the wind. They act as a protective canopy around the building, resonating with the river, elegantly floating above the water’s surface, setting a romantic atmosphere.” Related: MAD Architects unveils an “organic” skyscraper piercing Manhattan’s skyline In addition to giving the Yiwu Grand Theater a sense of lightness in spite of its size, the semi-transparent glass curtain wall also helps to reduce heating and cooling costs while letting in ample amounts of natural light. In winter, the glass creates a solar greenhouse effect but can be opened up in summer to promote natural ventilation . The Yiwu Grand Theater is expected to begin construction in 2020. + MAD Architects Images via MAD Architects

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MADs ethereal Yiwu Grand Theater will float on Zhejiang waters

Massive green-roofed home in Brazil features a series of ramps

August 29, 2018 by  
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São Paulo-based Una Arquitetos has completed a massive home in the municipality of Cotia that unites its various volumes beneath a lushly planted green roof. Named the House in Cotia, the modern home is set on a 2,600-square-meter property near the woods and takes advantage of its private setting with glass curtain walls throughout. The home is built predominately of concrete, metal and glass, yet the interiors are fitted with natural materials for a sense of warmth. Set on a challenging slope, the home covers an area of 730 square meters split into three volumes and four floors that are navigated with a series of stairs and ramps. Parts of the home are elevated on concrete pillars while others are embedded into the ground. Indoor-outdoor living is celebrated throughout the home. For starters, the 45-meter-long green roof is fully accessible. Moreover, the architects also designed several outdoor courtyards that enjoy seamless transitions to the interior with large sliding glass doors and wine-red floor tiles used in both the interior and exterior. “The construction, in section, accommodates smoothly to the geography of São Paulo’s sloped grounds. Four levels built from three parallel walls organize the landscape,” note the architects. “The development, in plan, allows an integration between interior and exterior spaces, which alternate and fold being complemented with water, fire and vegetation. In addition to the green roof and lush surroundings, the firm also added an outdoor fire pit and two main water features: a swimming pool and a river-like channel that snakes through the property. Related: This modern solar-powered retreat is topped with a massive green roof The home is entered from the lowest level in a shaded area beneath the elevated volume housing the bedrooms. That volume is accessible via a ramped corridor that connects to the open-plan living area, dining area and kitchen. The home also offers a music room and a lounge. + Una Arquitetos Via Dezeen Images by Nelson Kon

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Massive green-roofed home in Brazil features a series of ramps

BIG unveils designs for LEED-certified skyscraper in NYC

April 4, 2018 by  
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A new LEED -seeking glass skyscraper is set to rise in Midtown Manhattan, with designs courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group . New York YIMBY got the scoop on the first renderings, showing an immense office tower wrapped in glass curtain wall and landscaped terraces. Located on 3 West 29th Street, the building has been dubbed “29th and 5th” and will replace the old Bancroft Bank Building that was demolished a few years ago. As reported by New York YIMBY, the “29th and 5th” project will target LEED certification and offer generous amenities for office workers. Although the September 2017 Department of Buildings application for the project reportedly specified a 551-foot envelope with 34 stories, the renderings look nearly double that size. Related: BIG unveils designs for bow tie-shaped National Theater of Albania “The building will incorporate a LEED certified design and highly amenitized offering package promoting employee connectivity, communal workspaces, and fitness options that will pioneer a new frontier of wellness and sustainability within the workplace,” says a 29th and 5th project description. “The building is designed with smaller 13,400 square foot floorplates that will attract an underserved market while leaving ample lot area to design a vibrant park surrounding the building.” + Bjarke Ingels Group Via New York YIMBY Images via New York YIMBY , by Bjarke Ingels Group

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BIG unveils designs for LEED-certified skyscraper in NYC

Light-filled extension camouflages itself into a hillside

December 12, 2017 by  
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Ellena Mehl Architects skillfully disguised a modern new extension inside the terraced gardens of a traditional Provencal farmhouse in southeast France. Located in an old hamlet dating back to before the 19th century, the new addition, named SPE House, is undeniably contemporary yet complements the historic landscape with its use of stone, a nod to the nearby retaining walls. Wild grass covers the terraced roof and minimizes the building’s visual impact on the landscape. The 120-square-meter SPE House comprises two levels: a ground floor for the living areas and a basement, connected to the kitchen of the main house, that contains two cellars, a boiler, and solar heating room. Built of concrete, the extension features an asymmetric roof that follows the site’s topography. “The extension is set within the existing terraced planes, between the main house and the stone walls, redefining new intersection lines in the landscape,” wrote the architects. “The main level is connected at half level to the house using reshaped existing stairs.” Related: Breezy addition keeps cool in Melbourne’s summers with smart passive design The main level consists of a bedroom, dressing room, and bathroom. The bedroom, extruded into the landscape, is faced with a double glazed wall with a 10-millimeter-thick pane of toughened glass as the external wall and an inner curtain glass wall . Both glazed walls are operable. The double-glazing, along with a roller blind, help mitigate unwanted solar gain. + Ellena Mehl Architects Photo credit: Hervé ELLENA

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Light-filled extension camouflages itself into a hillside

Wild grasses grow atop an Icelandic homes folded roof

December 12, 2017 by  
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Wild grasses and heather temper the hard lines of this striking modern home in Iceland . Reykjavik-based Studio Granda designed B14, a villa partially built from the recycled remains of the clients’ former dwelling. The undulating landscaped roof appears to mimic the nearby Bláfjöll mountain ridge, while the roofline’s valleys and folds help collect rainwater that tricks down the walls in open copper channels. B14’s unusual fan-like roof takes inspiration from the site’s trapezoidal shape that widens on the south side. The 592-square-meter abode tucks the smaller rooms of the home, including the bedrooms, bathrooms, and laundry room, towards the north beneath sharply pitched roofs. The roof gently ripples out towards the south side where the spacious open-plan dining room, kitchen, and living area overlook the lava field through floor-to-ceiling windows. Related: Red Mountain Retreat captures the essence of the rugged Icelandic landscape In-situ concrete is the main material seen from the outside. In contrast, the interior predominately features rich kampala timber with exposed steel beams, and a host of other luxury surfaces like polished black granite and calacatta marble. A stairway built of sawn basalt and illuminated by a skylight leads down to a small basement workshop and storage space. + Studio Granda

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LEED Gold-seeking Santa Monica science facility uses architecture to teach students about sustainability

October 13, 2016 by  
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The 25,000-square-foot Science Education & Research Facility is the first new building to be constructed at the Crossroads’ main campus in nearly 20 years and serves as the primary science facility for Upper and Middle School students. FFP worked closely with the Crossroads community and students, who helped design parts of the building, such as the geological fossil lines and the engraved compass rose on the 12-sided Special Projects Pavilion that features two project classrooms and an outdoor living laboratory. A Ned Khan -designed kinetic sculpture activated by wind and gravity tops the pavilion. In addition to the pavilion that’s connected to the main building with bridges, the three-story facility comprises twelve open classrooms, faculty spaces, labs, and a rooftop teaching garden. Related: Gorgeous LEED Gold library was designed with the help of Facebook and Twitter Glass curtain walls bring in natural light to reduce dependence on artificial lighting. Additional sustainable features include photovoltaic panels embedded into the glass curtain wall, recycled denim insulation, LEDs , a stormwater filtration system, and energy-efficient mechanical, plumbing, and lighting systems. + Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects , © Jeremy Bittermann

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LEED Gold-seeking Santa Monica science facility uses architecture to teach students about sustainability

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