Heatherwick Studio completes nature-filled EDEN apartments in Singapore

May 26, 2020 by  
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Greenery spills down the sides of EDEN, a nature-filled apartment building completed in late 2019 by British design and architecture firm Heatherwick Studio in the historic Newton district of Singapore. Inspired by Singapore founding father Lee Kuan Yew’s vision of a “city in a garden”, the architects departed from the typical glass-and-steel tower typology with an innovative luxury housing complex surrounded by tropical greenery on all sides. The building’s environmentally friendly features also earned it a Green Mark Award Platinum Rating by the Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority.  Commissioned by Swire Properties, EDEN represents a new and unique way of living in the city with its elevated base — the lowest floor is raised 23 meters above an intensely planted, ground-level, tropical garden to allow for city views from every apartment — natural materials and details and unconventional apartment layouts. Each apartment is centered on an airy, open-plan living space that connects to landscaped, shell-like balconies on three sides and three “wings”. There are two wings to the south with two bedrooms each and a northern wing that contains the kitchen and service areas. Related: Heatherwick Studio breaks ground on undulating plant-covered development in the heart of Tokyo Filled with light and views of greenery and the city skyline, the interiors are dressed in natural materials , including parquet timber floors and stone walls in the bathrooms that are fitted with Heatherwick Studio-designed sinks, vanities and baths. The balconies that are formed around the Y-shaped apartment floor plan feature over 20 species of flora to surround the living spaces with calming greenery and provide natural shading from the sun. The exposed undersides of the balconies were built of smooth, highly polished concrete made with a bespoke casting technique. “Over time, the building is designed to mature, as the lush planting grows, like a sapling that has taken root beneath the streets, pulling the landscape of Singapore up into the sky,” the architects explained. The exterior facade flanking the green balconies is built of concrete molded with an abstracted topographical map of Singapore’s terrain, creating a unique, three-dimensional texture. + Heatherwick Studio Photography by Hufton+Crow via Heatherwick Studio

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Heatherwick Studio completes nature-filled EDEN apartments in Singapore

LEED Gold-targeted office mimics High Line via lush greenery

February 18, 2020 by  
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New York City’s award-winning High Line has attracted yet another sculptural building to its side — 512 West 22nd Street, a contemporary Chelsea office building that takes cues from the elevated park with landscaped terraces on every floor. Designed by local architecture firm COOKFOX Architects , the new building is inspired by not only its proximity to the High Line, but also the neighborhood’s industrial history. The office is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification.  Located adjacent to the “Chelsea Thicket” portion of the High Line, 512 West 22nd Street visually extends the park’s greenery with large landscaped terraces cut into the building’s profile on every floor for a total of over 15,000 square feet of outdoor space for occupant use. Light-filled workspaces, engineered for comfort and high-performance, enjoy direct access and views of these landscaped areas, which are planted solely with native species. Partly shielded from view by dense tree growth on the High Line, the building’s lower landscaped terraces are used for events and outdoor circulation, while the terraces on the fourth floor and above provide direct views of the city and Hudson River beyond.  The integration of landscaped terraces gives the contemporary building a dynamic and sculptural appearance that opens up at the edges. The streamlined facade of anthracite terracotta , zinc and granite is divided by industrial sash-inspired windows that wrap around the curved edges of the exterior. Operable glass gives occupants control of access to outdoor air. Related: Studio Gang’s 40 Tenth Avenue “Solar Carve” tower tops out near NYC’s High Line In addition to the air purification benefits of the nearby park and landscaped terraces, building occupants can enjoy access to a state-of-the-art overhead air distribution system. The large and flexible office spaces can also be adapted to a wide range of users. “Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification and foster an office environment connected with the natural world, 512 West 22nd Street sets new standards of health and productivity in the modern workplace,” the project’s press release stated. + COOKFOX Architects Images by Bruce Damonte

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LEED Gold-targeted office mimics High Line via lush greenery

Green-roofed brick home ‘disappears’ into the landscape

February 18, 2020 by  
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Antwerp-based studio Studio Okami Architects has unveiled a design that masterfully blends a home into its surrounding landscape. Built into a sloped hill, the brick-clad and aptly named Sloped Villa uses an expansive green roof to help the house “disappear” into its serene natural setting. Located in an idyllic area of Mont-de-l’Enclus in Belgium , the Sloped Villa came to be after the homeowners, who purchased an expansive, sloping plot of land, met with the architects and explained their vision of building an “invisible house” into the rolling terrain. “We love the view too much to be constricted by predefined window sizes,” the clients said. “We love the way nature shifts through the seasons on this plot. We love the tranquility … It would be mostly for the two of us enjoying the sunrise over the valley, but make sure our four adult kids can stay over anytime.” Related: Stunning green-roofed home in Poland is embedded into the idyllic landscape To bring the clients’ dream to fruition, the architects came up with the idea to partially embed a simple, one-story volume into the sloped landscape so that it would slightly jut out on one side. With a rooftop covered in greenery , the home “vanishes” from sight from one angle while providing unobstructed views over the valley from the other. The resulting 3,000-square-foot house features a wrap-around porch made out of locally sourced bricks . The walls boast floor-to-ceiling glass panels that create a seamless connection with the outdoors and let in plenty of natural light and the landscape vistas that the clients adore so much. Inside, an open-floor plan makes the most of the main living space, which features a minimalist design . Throughout the home, neutral tones and sparse furnishings keep the focus on the views. The bedrooms are “cave-like” yet still benefit from views and light, and a soaking tub next to a glass wall offers an additional space to relax and unwind. + Studio Okami Architects Via ArchDaily Photography by Filip Dujardin via Studio Okami Architects

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Green-roofed brick home ‘disappears’ into the landscape

Eco-friendly guesthouse in Brazil sports a green roof and rammed earth walls

January 2, 2019 by  
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In continuation of its work on the eco-conscious Camburi community center , Sao Paulo-based architecture firm CRU! architects recently completed the Guesthouse Paraty, a sustainable social building project that provided construction jobs and training to the local community. To minimize the environmental impact of the building, the architects used natural materials sourced locally, from red earth excavated on site to the tree trunks and bamboo cut from the surrounding forest. The guesthouse was also built to follow passive solar principles to keep naturally cool in Brazil’s tropical climate. Designed with flexible usage in mind, the nearly 37-square-meter Guesthouse Paraty can be used as short-term lodging, a workspace or a play space for children. The compact, single-story building includes three beds — the bedroom consists of a double bed and a lofted single bed, while a convertible futon sofa is located in the living area. The open-plan living space also includes a small cooking area and dining table. To keep the guesthouse from feeling cramped, the architects installed expansive walls of glass that usher in daylight and frame views of the outdoors; the glazed entrance on one end of the building also opens up to a sheltered outdoor living space. Because the project location is far from the town center, the architects wanted to use materials sourced from the site. As a result, the building was constructed with rammed earth walls and topped with a green roof finished with locally sourced black earth and plant matter. The formwork used for the rammed earth walls was recycled to build the roof structure. The columns supporting the weight of the roof were built from bamboo. Further tying the building in with the site is the inclusion of the existing massive granite rock that now forms part of the bedroom wall. Related: Bamboo community center empowers the local Brazilian community The overhanging roof eaves and the green roof mitigate unwanted solar heat gain. All windows are operable and strategically positioned to optimize cross-ventilation . Insect screens were installed to protect against mosquitoes. + CRU! architects Photography by Nelson Kon via CRU! architects

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Eco-friendly guesthouse in Brazil sports a green roof and rammed earth walls

A 17th-century Spanish hospital gets transformed into a cozy library

July 5, 2018 by  
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When Madrid-based design practice Murado & Elvira Architects won a competition to turn the ancient Sancti Spiritus Hospital into the Public Library and Historic Archive for the Spanish city of Baiona, they wanted the renovation to focus on the concept of hospitality. In contrast to the historic stone and plaster facade that was left in place, the architects transformed the interior with maple wood volumes to create a sense of coziness and comfort. Eight years in the making, the 1.5-million Euro adaptive reuse project was completed in March of this year. Located in the historic city center, the 17th-century Sancti Spiritus Hospital is protected under Bien de Interés Cultural status; however, the building suffered major alterations over the years, including the destruction of its interior in the 1970s. Instead of merely renovating the structure, Murado & Elvira Architects also worked to return parts of the building back to their historic roots. The interior, though, was given an entirely new identity organized around a thick stone wall that recalls the building’s original construction. All the rooms are wrapped in warm maple plywood, which was also used for the furnishing. “When we first visited the old building we felt the need for our project to create a new interior identity, connecting and giving continuity to the old structures,” say Clara Murado and Juan Elvira of the two-story renovation . “The building could be understood as a solid stone plinth and a wooden fitment on top of it. The library becomes a furniture to be inhabited. We always had in mind the studio of Saint Jerome in Antonello da Messina’s painting where the whole studio seems to be built around the book.” Related: An old London chapel is reborn into a modern home and artist studio The library’s interior layout was also informed by the historical sequence of rooms. The Historic Archive, the children’s library, and the service rooms dominate the ground floor. The children’s library also opens up to a courtyard space. Three stairs lead up to the upper floor where the main reading room, individual study alcoves, bathrooms, offices and bench reading rooms are located. + Murado & Elvira Architects Images via Imagen Subliminal

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A 17th-century Spanish hospital gets transformed into a cozy library

Ovide LaMontagne and the politics of a clean economy

October 27, 2012 by  
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New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Ovide LaMontagne on the potential for sustainable business and cleantech in the Granite State.

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Hurricane Irene Puts a Damper on Highly Anticipated MLK Memorial Dedication in D.C.

August 26, 2011 by  
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The much-anticipated Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial dedication ceremony that was expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to D.C. this Sunday has been cancelled due to Hurricane Irene. The very first memorial near the National Mall dedicated to a black man, the mammoth MLK statue would also be only the fourth to commemorate a non-President. Following the earthquake earlier this week, which cracked the Washington Memorial , 90mph winds are expected to wreak even further havoc on the capital, much to the disappointment of local business and residents who were preparing for the adoring throng of visitors that were expected to pay their respects to one of America’s most beloved icons. Read the rest of Hurricane Irene Puts a Damper on Highly Anticipated MLK Memorial Dedication in D.C. Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bill McKibben , china , D.C. , eco design , first black man , granite , green design , hurricane irene , Jr. , Keystone XL Pipeline , Martin Luther King , memorial , National Mall , sustainable design

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Hurricane Irene Puts a Damper on Highly Anticipated MLK Memorial Dedication in D.C.

Study Finds That Climate Change Causes Wars

August 26, 2011 by  
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Climate change might be on track to do more than reduce the Earth’s resources and jeopardize the health of mankind — it could cause us all to start fighting with each other. The Center for the Study of Civil War (CSCW) just published research in the journal Nature showing that global climate change has the ability to stoke hostile conditions in developing nations. The study looked at years that the El Niño weather patterns (which are pretty close indicators of what will happen in the future with  global climate change ) were in effect and found that in poorer nations that are prone to drought, the threat of civil war doubled. It looks like green design might be useful for more than saving Mother Nature – if widely instituted, our greener ways could stop us all from shooting each other. Read the rest of Study Finds That Climate Change Causes Wars Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: civil conflict , civil war , civil war conflict , climate change violence , el nino violence , global climate change , global conflict , global warming , violence in africa

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Steven Holl’s Horizontal Skyscraper Wins Coveted 2011 American Architecture Award!

August 26, 2011 by  
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Read the rest of Steven Holl’s Horizontal Skyscraper Wins Coveted 2011 American Architecture Award! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: American Architecture Award 2011 , china , green roof , greywater recycling , horizontal skyscraper , LEED platinum , photovoltaic panels , rainwater harvest , renewable materials , Shenzehn , Steven Holl Architects

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Steven Holl’s Horizontal Skyscraper Wins Coveted 2011 American Architecture Award!

How Did Granite Become The Kitchen Counter Standard?

August 8, 2011 by  
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Image credit Neolith Granite counters have been all the rage for a decade, but now it has come to this, an entire kitchen made of granite. I think it is incredibly ugly and probably ridiculously expensive, But seeing this image, and a recent discussion about counter choices for Graham Hill’s LifeEdited project, reminded me of some research I had done into countertops a while back. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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How Did Granite Become The Kitchen Counter Standard?

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