Elevated glass-bottomed pool hovers over a second pool in the hip Wall House

September 15, 2017 by  
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An outdoor swimming pool with a glass bottom hovers above the second pool of this gorgeous residence in the Portuguese Riviera. Guedes Cruz Arquitectos designed the entire Wall House as a sprawling, open-plan house that embodies the principles of indoor-outdoor living, with so many gorgeous elements that it’s surreal. On one of its side, the residence features an expansive glass wall that can be opened to create a direct connection between the interior space, the garden and golf course. Wood slat coverings cover the concrete exterior walls and can be shut to provide complete privacy when needed. Related: Glass-bottomed sky pool will be suspended 115 feet in the air The most striking feature are the two outdoor swimming pools . The first is located on the ground level, while the second one hovers above the patio and has a glass bottom. The surreal visual effect of this bridge-like structure create unlikely visual connections between different levels of the house. + Guedes Cruz Arquitectos Via Dwell Photos by Ricardo Oliveira Alves

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Elevated glass-bottomed pool hovers over a second pool in the hip Wall House

Naturally-ventilated glass building looks like a shimmering urban mirage

August 31, 2017 by  
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This office building in Geneva features a complex glass facade that makes it look like a shimmering urban mirage. The new Headquarters of the Swiss Société Privée de Gérance (SPG), designed by Italian firm Giovanni Vaccarini Architetti , appears almost as an immaterial object that glimmers and vibrates in dialogue with the urban landscape around it. The building sits on Route de Chêne, at the gates of the historical center of Geneva. The existing building was converted and extended, starting with a naturally-ventilated glass façade that improves the acoustic and thermal insulation performance of the building. The glass facade also gives the project a dematerialized quality that constantly amplifies, reflects and refracts natural light. Related: South African office building was designed to keep its occupants healthy A triple layer of glass is covered with a ventilated chamber containing micro-perforated Venetian blinds to regulate the light. Brise-soleil screens made of screen-printed glass are anchored on the outside, giving the façade’s external surface a variable modular pattern in terms of both the panel dimensions and the design on their surface. The glass facade, lit by white LED lights at night, softens the perimeter of the building, creating a kind of “nebula” that pulsates and changes to adapt to its surroundings. + Giovanni Vaccarini Architetti Photos by Adrien Buchet

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Naturally-ventilated glass building looks like a shimmering urban mirage

Three glass arms and a sunken visitor center enhance this renovated Dutch park

August 22, 2017 by  
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Some people have a wonderful knack for devising new ways of seeing the world – including Studio Maks and Junya Ishigami + Associates, who designed this sublime park expansion in the Netherlands . The new triangular-shaped visitor center in Park Vijversburg acts as an extension of the adjacent historical villa, while ensuring minimal impact on the parkland. Three sweeping glass corridors extend from the center, providing visitors with a more immediate perspective of the surrounding landscape. The addition to the recently refurbished park aims to accommodate the increasing number of visitors by providing new exhibition and meeting spaces. Studio Maks’ Marieke Kums and Tokyo-based architect Junya Ishigami designed the center as a partially sunken single-floor structure that has minimal impact on the site. Related: New light-filled learning center celebrates the food history of one of Denmark’s oldest towns Its three curved arms are fully glazed and free of columns and other structural elements. This creates an uninterrupted flow and views of the parkland , while giving a floating appearance to the roof. “We wanted to make a most subtle intervention,” Kums said. “Although the pavilion is an architectural project, it was designed and imagined as part of the landscape.” Rotterdam studio LOLA Landscape, Utrecht-based Deltavormgroep, Hummelo-based Piet Oudolf and Frankfurt-based artist Tobias Rehberger designed an additional 15 hectares of new landscape. + Studio Maks + Junya Ishigami + Associates Via Dezeen Photos by Iwan Baan

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Three glass arms and a sunken visitor center enhance this renovated Dutch park

Staggered volumes help make Portland’s Slate building an energy-efficient marvel

August 15, 2017 by  
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Portland, Oregon’s new mixed-use development , known as Slate, consists of a shifting stack of volumes that reflect the vibrancy and complexity of the neighborhood. The development, designed by Works Progress Architecture for co-developers Urban Development Partners and Beam Development , earned  LEED Gold certification as an energy-efficient complex that takes the curtain-wall system to the next level. The 10-story development has six floors of apartment units, up to four floors of co-working office spaces and around 7,800 square feet of retail space at street level. Its modular, rectangular shapes have a sculptural quality on the east and west elevations, while a flat, clean look dominates the north and south side of the building. Related: Oregon’s Largest Education Building Achieves LEED Platinum Certification The architects worked closely with the glazing contractor to create a unitized curtain-wall system. Dallas Glass installed Wausau Window and Wall Systems, which can be put in place in a fraction of the time needed to install field-glazed systems. Related: Cherokee Mixed-Use Lofts is a LEED Platinum Award Winning Design The facade was thermally improved to respond to the challenges of Portland ‘s climate. This thermal barrier is combined with solar-control, low-e, insulating glass to achieve a high performance for solar heat gain control, condensation resistance and high visible light transmittance. The system also facilitates optimal natural ventilation in order to reduce the reliance of HVAC systems. + Works Progress Architecture Photos by Joshua Jay Elliott , courtesy of Works Progress Architecture

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Staggered volumes help make Portland’s Slate building an energy-efficient marvel

Modular Cylinder House weaves its way through a forest in France

August 4, 2017 by  
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This remarkable Cylinder House designed for Lyon, France , takes modular architecture to the next level. Cyril Lancelin, French architect and founder of creative studio Town and Concrete , imagines the house as a large cluster of modular glass tubes. The building weaves in and out of existing trees, and it can be expanded without disrupting the wooded surroundings. The architects used a system of cylinder juxtaposition to allow future extensions of the house, but also meander around trees to preserve the existing state of the landscape. Cylinders were chosen for their malleability – they can be open, semi-open or closed, depending on the function and place within a larger configuration. Related: These wooden blocks can be stacked up to create cabins, treehouses, and wilderness shelters The interior spaces, delineated by differences in cylinder heights, are flexible and respond to the lifestyle of their occupants. It is an open plan , with the cylinder pieces acting as posts. There are no corridors or walls inside the structure, which makes it spatially economic and airy. Its undulating glass facade blurs the line between the inside and the outside, and offers beautiful views of the forest. + Town and Concrete Via Archdaily

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Modular Cylinder House weaves its way through a forest in France

Sustainable Konbit shelter replaces home destroyed by Haiti earthquake

August 4, 2017 by  
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Many Haitians are still trying to rebuild their lives seven years after a powerful earthquake devastated much of the country . Thankfully, organizations like Konbit Shelters are helping local communities build sustainable homes that are designed to be resilient against future natural disasters. The Konbit team has just finished work on House Louisana, a multi-family home built by locals with a variety of locally-sourced, sustainable materials . Located in the community of Cormiers, House Louisana was built in collaboration with the local community, along with Oficina Design and the Heliotrope Foundation . The home was built for Mama Louisana and her extended family, who lost everything in the deadly 2012 earthquake. The family has been living in a temporary shelter every since. Related: Konbit Super-Adobe Shelters are Helping a Rural Haitian Village Rebuild In order to rebuild a space secure enough for her and her extended family, the design team chose to go with locally-sourced materials with strong, resilient qualities. Local guadua bamboo was the main building material, and was used in the structure’s supports and roof. Earth and natural fibers were used to create the walls, implementing the local practice of “bahareque” or constructing with natural mud or earth . The design aesthetic was cultivated in accordance with the local Haitian vernacular, including a double-pitched roof, open-air front porch, and plenty of outdoor space surrounding the home for socializing. On the interior, a central patio is surrounded by the living room, bedrooms and a kitchen. Since there is no electricity, windows and open cutouts were placed around the home for optimal natural light and air circulation. The high, inverted ceiling also aids in air circulation. On the exterior, the roof’s eaves jut out over the home considerably in order to distribute rain away from the main living area and porch during tropical rain storms. The low-tech, but efficient features used in the project were taught to the crew of local builders who helped with the project so they can be implemented in future sustainable constructions in the area. The home was built in just four months and was funded by a Kickstarter campaign. + Konbit Shelters + Oficina Design Images via Oficina Design

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Sustainable Konbit shelter replaces home destroyed by Haiti earthquake

This Danish school is completely covered with over 12,000 sea green solar panels

August 4, 2017 by  
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The 25,000-square-meter school in Denmark is covered with a whopping 12,000 solar panels , which provide more than half of its electricity needs. Unlike most solar-powered buildings, the panels aren’t solely relegated to the school’s rooftop. In fact, more than 6,000 square meters of the facade is clad in sea-foam hued photovoltaics. The days of hiding unsightly solar arrays are fading into the past. C.F. Møller ‘s International School Nordhavn in Copenhagen uses solar panels to produce clean energy – and also as a part of the building’s aesthetic. Related: Solar-powered Colorado school houses a sun-soaked learning environment The solar panels were developed by Swiss research institute EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne). The panels are actually clear; the beautiful sea green color is a result of technology that adds fine particles to the glass surface, giving the appearance of color. The result is a reflective green hue that varies with the light, providing the school with an attractive exterior that is beautiful, functional, and green. + C.F. Møller Via Azure Magazine

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This Danish school is completely covered with over 12,000 sea green solar panels

PAU’s inclusive Penn Station revamp is a sustainable alternative to the current plan

August 1, 2017 by  
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Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU)’s  revamped Pennsylvania Station plan represents a more inclusive alternative to the government’s current concept for a new Amtrak station in the Farley Complex. PAU decided to reuse the superstructure and foundations of Madison Square Garden and create a civic space that reflects the historical complexity of the site and enhances capacity, safety, and user experience for all of Penn’s users, regardless of income or social status. Passively heated and cooled, the transport hub  aims to create a grand commuter pavilion at minimal public cost and disruption, at the same time complementing the Amtrak station in the east end of the Farley Complex, entrances and concourses to the north and west, and the tracks and platforms planned to become part of the Gateway tunnel project. Related: Governor Cuomo reveals updated renovation plans for NYC’s Penn Station Inspired by Philip Johnson’s circular New York State World’s Fair pavilion and Pan Am’s “Worldport” building at JFK, the architects proposed to reclad the structure of the Madison Square Garden– which will find its new home 800 feet away in the west end of the Farley building– in a double-skin glass wall which allows natural light to penetrate into the interior, but regulates solar gain for maximum comfort. A sawtooth pattern in the glass picks up changes in light through the day, acting as a sundial for travelers as they ascend from the platforms. The entire concept has not only environmental control in mind, but safety as well. The suggested oculus at the center of the circular building quickly purges smoke in the event of a fire and all of the glass is blast-proof. + Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) Via Architizer

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PAU’s inclusive Penn Station revamp is a sustainable alternative to the current plan

Coming Total Solar Eclipse to be an ‘event of the century’, scientists say

August 1, 2017 by  
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In just three weeks, one of the “events of the century” will makes its way across the United States, inspiring awe, excitement and even fear. On August 21, there will be a total solar eclipse , and scientists are saying that it will be a once-in-a-lifetime event that is not to be missed. Educator at the American Museum of Natural History Joe Rao has been speaking to audiences about the coming eclipse. He told them a total eclipse is something you never forget and defies words. As the moon begins to block out the sun, the temperatures drops, the light changes and the birds begin to quiet. Related: Alaska Airlines is intentionally delaying a flight for the coolest reason Rao warned people not to look at the sun under any circumstances, even while it is covered by the moon. You can purchase eclipse glasses, though be sure to purchase them from a reputable company, since faulty eclipse glasses have been hitting the market. If you don’t have glasses, you can look at the trees, since leaves will show a crescent shadow.  You can also try one of the DIY methods . Viewers can check out NASA’s eclipse website for the 100-mile wide  path of totality , which will carve through South Carolina starting around 1:15 pm, up to Nebraska and will exit the US through Oregon at 9 am (local time). Hotel rooms in the path are already selling out and experts warn travelers to be aware that traffic will be difficult. Some airlines are selling tickets for eclipse-viewing flights. For those not lucky enough to be in the path, viewers will be able to see a partial eclipse as far away as South America and parts of Africa. Via Fox News Science Images via Deposit Photos and Pixabay

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Coming Total Solar Eclipse to be an ‘event of the century’, scientists say

This green-roofed cultural center in Sweden doubles as a vibrant public square

June 26, 2017 by  
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This green-roofed cultural center in Sweden blurs the line between the indoors and outdoors. Designed by Sweco Architects , the new Bergsjön Kulturhus grows out from the existing hill and blends with the square to form a unified environment. Sweco Architects won a competition to design a new culture house for Bergsjön, a district in eastern Gothenburg. The architects sought to weave storytelling, knowledge and recreation together like a “basket of possibilities”. An atrium serves as the core of the project, and surrounding spaces hold a library, a café, ateliers, exhibition space , meeting rooms, a studio, a small theater, a greenhouse and multi-use facilities. Related: Iceberg-inspired Greenland cultural center celebrates 20 years of resilience in the Arctic The building’s glass facade creates a visual connection between the interior and the green areas outside. Integrated into the surrounding urban fabric, the cultural center creates a welcoming atmosphere and functions as a social arena that fosters interaction. + Sweco Architects Images by Sofia Kourbetis, Linda Hansson

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This green-roofed cultural center in Sweden doubles as a vibrant public square

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