Nations largest cross-laminated timber academic building is an icon of sustainability

May 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

The first and largest cross-laminated timber (CLT) academic building in the U.S. has opened at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst. Designed by Leers Weinzapfel Associates , the multidisciplinary Design Building brings together 500 students and 50 faculty across four departments into a light-filled 87,000-square-foot space. As a beacon of sustainability, the building features energy-saving elements, such as chilled beams and radiant flooring, and targets LEED Gold certification. Cross-laminated timber has long been praised for its durability, lightness, and speed of construction, however, has been slow to catch on in the U.S. relative to Europe and Canada. As the largest installation of wood-concrete composites in North America, the UMass Design Building paves the way in a growing trend of “mass timber” buildings. Cast-in-place concrete and CLT make up the Design Building’s floor slabs, while glue-laminated timber was used for the posts, beams, shear wall cores, and “zipper” trusses. To reference the colors and patterns of the nearby forests, the four-story building is wrapped in a durable envelope of copper-colored anodized aluminum panels punctuated with vertical windows. The glazing and skylights maximize daylight to the interior to reduce reliance on artificial lighting. Stormwater is managed onsite with bioswales and timber dams that filter and redirect runoff back to the Connecticut River. Related: Taiwan’s first CLT building paves way to greener alternatives to concrete and steel “To create a center space of collaboration, a coiling and rising band of studios, faculty offices and classrooms surrounds a skylit Commons for gathering and presentations,” write the architects. “The building also forms a green roof terrace, a contemplative space shared by the studios and faculty and a potential experimental space for the landscape department. The slope of the site creates a tall four-story façade on the west facing the mall, and the rising structure invites the community into the building and reveals the activities within.” + Leers Weinzapfel Associates Via Dezeen Images via Leers Weinzapfel Associates

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Nations largest cross-laminated timber academic building is an icon of sustainability

Architects cracked this concrete building to fill its interior with daylight

May 17, 2017 by  
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Usually, architects avoid creating a building full of cracks. But the beautiful concrete facade of this mixed-use building in Aarhus, Denmark was built with intentional imperfections. Copenhagen-based architecture studio Sleth designed the building with a facade of cracked concrete that provides a glimpse of the illuminated interior and references the industrial history of the city’s Sonnesgade district. The Sonnesgade building, realized by the architects as a design-build project, revitalizes an existing industrial construction and consists of three stacked layers of long office floors. It was designed to reflect its surroundings and the transformation of the old freight terminal area into a lively cultural district. It facilitates interaction between the floors, with open-plan areas and flexible office spaces . Related: Berlin’s Tchoban Foundation Museum shelters architectural history within an energy-saving, hand-drawn concrete facade Storage and parking areas are tucked away underneath the landscaping. A sloped asphalt terrain surrounding the building forms outdoor areas for terraces, bikes and gardens, which grounds the project in the existing urban context. Thanks to its role in the rejuvenation of the area and the building’s expressive design, the project was nominated for the Architecture Award Mies Van der Rohe 2017. + Sleth architects Via Fubiz Photos by Rasmus Hjortshøj / C O A S T

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Architects cracked this concrete building to fill its interior with daylight

HWKN unveils plans for a green-roofed business district in Munich

May 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

New York-based architecture firm Hollwich Kushner just released images of Die Macherei– their first European project– a mixed-use business district based in Munich, Germany. HWKN collaborated with German firms msm meyer schmitz-morkramer and OSA Ochs Schmidhuber Architekten to design the new financial hub that will bring together offices, retail and hospitality spaces. Art-Invest Real Estate and Accumulata Immobilien developed the new business district , which will total 64,000 square meters (15 acres) of rental space. Out of the six new buildings, HWKN designed the hotel and two adjacent office buildings located on the eastern quarter of the site. The hotel will feature an elevated bar with a series of outdoor terraces that offer views of the surrounding mountains. The office building will accommodate a two-story gym, while the third building will guide pedestrians toward the public plaza which will function as the heart of the development. Related: HWKN converts a paint factory into Upenn’s new state-of-the-art innovation hub “Designed not just as a series of buildings but as an exploration of the spaces between the buildings, Die Macherei is an innovative design for a new way of working and interacting, integrating social activity and behaviors to promote a sense of community,” said Matthias Hollwich. + Hollwich Kushner

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HWKN unveils plans for a green-roofed business district in Munich

Anyone can be a designer using this amazing modular system made from cardboard stools

May 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

This amazing “spaceship” playhouse can be assembled in an endless variety of combinations – and it’s made entirely from kid’s folded cardboard stools. Noa Haim of Collective Paper Aesthetics conceived the innovative project that allows everyone to become a designer – and he’s taken the concept on tour around the world. It’s coming the Design Pavilion at Times Square from May 18th and 22nd, so swing on by for a chance to experience the interactive installation and create your own designs. The design team, led by Noa Haim, conceived Spaceship Heart system as a blank canvas like for people to create their own architectural/urban models . They originally designed the project for the Shenzhen and Hong Kong bi-city biennale of urbanism architecture 2011 and then reconstructed for IX Semana de la Arquitectura in Madrid and he Victoria & Albert museum in London. Related: Tiny Helix Shelter made of laster-cut recycled cardboard is a temporary habitat for one During the five-day event in New York , visitors will have the opportunity to create their own structures. The project will be among several interactive projects that will bring design and innovation directly to Times Square’s newly renovated plazas. + Collective Paper Aesthetics

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Anyone can be a designer using this amazing modular system made from cardboard stools

Amazing plastic bottle architecture withstands earthquakes in Taipei

May 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Plastic bottle architecture is fantastic at turning a problem into an eco-friendly opportunity. The amazing EcoARK in Taipei , Taiwan is one such example. Built from 1.5 million recycled plastic bottles, this massive pavilion is surprisingly strong enough to withstand the forces of nature—including fires and earthquakes! Designed by architect Arthur Huang, the nine-story $3 million USD pavilion is powered by solar energy and was built to the mantra of “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.” Constructed for use as an exhibition hall during the 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo, the EcoARK pavilion continues to spread its message of sustainability for seven years strong. Though Taiwan is home to one of the world’s most respected recycling programs, the country consumes a whopping 4.5 million PET bottles a year. To spread awareness about plastic waste, the Far Eastern Group , one of the world’s largest producers of PET products, commissioned architect and Miniwiz founder Arthur Huang to design and build the eco-friendly EcoARK. As the world’s first building of its kind, EcoARK is an incredible architectural feat. The key to the EcoARK design lay with polli-bricks, a hollow building block made of recycled PET developed by Miniwiz. The polli-bricks were manufactured from over a million recycled plastic bottles melted down into PET pellets and re-engineered into a new bottle-like shape. The blow-molded polli-bricks feature interlocking grooves that fit tightly together like LEGOs and only require a small amount of silicon sealant. Once assembled into flat rectangular panels, the polli-bricks are coated with a fire- and water-resistant film. The EcoARK’s curved and transparent facade is made up of these modular panels screwed and mounted onto a structural steel frame. Although the EcoARK weighs half as much as conventional buildings, it’s resistant to earthquakes and typhoons, and can withstand sustained winds up of to 130 kilometers per hour. Related: Basurama transforms landfill trash into playgrounds in Taipei Use of recycled plastic bottles isn’t the only eco-friendly feature of the EcoARK. The pavilion was built with low-carbon building techniques to maintain a zero-carbon footprint during operation. The building stays cool without air conditioning thanks to natural ventilation. The air inside the polli-bricks also provides insulation from heat and rainwater is collected and reused to cool the building. The polli-bricks’ transparency allows natural light to illuminate the interior during the day. Solar – and wind-powered systems generate the electricity needed to power 40,000 LEDs that light the building up at night. + Miniwiz Images © Lucy Wang

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Amazing plastic bottle architecture withstands earthquakes in Taipei

Escape into the glass rivers and lakes of these beautiful wood tables

May 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

If getting lost in a coffee table sounds improbable, you may change your mind once you see these beautiful furnishings. Artist and designer Greg Klassen transforms reclaimed wood into mesmerizing works of art embedded with glass rivers and lakes. Klassen, who we’ve featured previously , handcrafts unique pieces that mimic topographic forms in the Pacific Northwest. Spotted by This is Colossal , Klassen’s newest works include a variety of coffee tables of different sizes and shapes, as well as wall hangings. “The collection is inspired by the exciting edges and vivid grains found in the trees sustainably taken from the banks of the Nooksack River that twists below my studio,” wrote Klassen. Related: Amazing Abyss Table Layers Glass and Wood to Mimic the Depths of the Ocean Blue Klassen uses a variety of reclaimed wood including maple, cottonwood, walnut, and sycamore. He uses the wood’s existing edges to inform the shape of waterways hand-cut from tempered blue glass. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and sells for thousands of U.S. dollars. + Greg Klassen Via This is Colossal Images via Greg Klassen

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Escape into the glass rivers and lakes of these beautiful wood tables

Milan’s striking wooden UniCredit building is powered by the sun

May 12, 2017 by  
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You wouldn’t expect it, but this radical solar-powered building in Milan is actually owned by a bank. aMDL Michele De Lucchi Studio designed the LEED-certified UniCredit building to house the bank’s general meetings, but also to enrich public life with multipurpose community spaces. Its open structure of curved laminated wood ribs gives it a sense of accessibility and protection. The pavilion has no foundations–it was constructed on a reinforced concrete podium above a parking facility. Inspired by the shape of a seed, the design of the building combines lamellar larch beams with glass. The open structure accentuates accessibility, strengthened by two large wings equipped with monitors for events open to the general public. Related: Floating timber pavilion transforms a Swiss lake into an exciting new public square A 700-seat, multipurpose auditorium situated on the ground floor adapts to different configurations and events, while the overhead walkways that runs along the outer edge of the building can function as a temporary exhibition space . The first floor houses a nursery for 50 toddlers, while the top level features a lounge used for corporate events. Thanks to its strong focus on environmental sustainability and environmental sustainability, the LEED Gold-certified project has won first prize at this year’s WT SmartCity Award competition. + aMDL Michele De Lucchi Studio Via WT SmartCity Award Photos by Tom Vack

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Milan’s striking wooden UniCredit building is powered by the sun

Lose yourself in Arctic beauty at Finlands charming TreeHouse Hotel

May 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Santa’s home base in the Arctic Circle has a new, uniquely crafted hotel that’ll let you watch the Northern Lights from the comfort of a cozy room. Studio Puisto designed the recently opened Arctic TreeHouse Hotel that comprises a series of elevated, treehouse-like rooms in Rovaniemi, Finland. Designed to immerse visitors in nature and arctic mysticism, the shingle-covered units offer a nest-like space that blends into the surrounding landscape. The Arctic TreeHouse Hotel comprises 32 units elevated on black stilts to minimize site impact . Carefully sited to optimize views, the units are organized in pairs that function as combinable halves with one housing the bedroom and bathroom and the other containing a kitchenette and living room. Each unit features a glazed end wall positioned for the unobstructed views of nature. Environmental-friendly design played a large part in the design of the timber buildings, from its pine shingle-clad appearance to the use of natural materials . Green roofs top the units for stormwater management. Timber was predominately used for the facade and the interior. The units were prefabricated offsite to minimize material waste and site disturbance. Related: Snøhetta’s luxury cabin with Aurora Borealis views opens at Treehotel At night the units light up like softly glowing lanterns, however, outdoor light pollution is kept to a minimum to preserve the “true wilderness experience” and viewing opportunities for the Northern Lights . “The inspiration for the accommodation concept — set on a steep natural slope — came from Nordic nature and culture as well as the magical world of SantaPark,” write the architects. “A vision started to form: small individual accommodation buildings set in nature, their spirit highlighting characteristics of the area and creating an optimal setting for experiencing both nature and arctic mysticism.” + Studio Puisto Via ArchDaily Images via Studio Puisto , by Marc Goodwin

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Lose yourself in Arctic beauty at Finlands charming TreeHouse Hotel

Trees will grow on the balconies of Istanbuls honeycomb-like apartments

May 12, 2017 by  
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Istanbul is on track for a stunning new landmark that’ll bring rural living to the heart of the city. International architecture studio Eray Carbajo designed Urban Rural, a modular residential high-rise that aims to raise the bar for sustainable development in Turkey’s capital. The modular units will fit together into a honeycomb-like volume with a balcony filled with greenery. The design of the Urban Rural building began with an abstraction of the traditional gabled rural house and garden. The architects created a “hybrid model” that integrates those rural aspects into a hexagonal modular unit. The architects say that use of a hexagonal grid will maximize the building volume while minimizing the number of building elements needed. “One hexagon unit consists a polygonal area to inhabit and a triangular cavity to be used as an irrigable garden ,” write the architects. “When all modules combined, these triangle cavities act as a truss structure transferring the building’s loads to lower members. As a whole, Urban Rural creates interdependencies between building systems, structure, landscape and architecture. Integration of such complex systems are achieved through modular design that persevere flexibility.” Related: Spectacular green-roofed modular Tangier Bay Housing offers enviable views of the Atlantic The modular high-rise would be built of locally sourced materials . Its location in the heart of the city is walkable with access to public transit, thus reducing occupant need for cars. Social and recreational spaces on the lower floors will foster a sense of community in the building. Construction is slated for completion in 2019. + Eray Carbajo

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Trees will grow on the balconies of Istanbuls honeycomb-like apartments

This modern log home in Finland is heated by the earth

May 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

This may look like a traditional log home, but unlike other homes, it can withstand harsh winters and freezing temperatures down to -30°C (-22°F) without a huge impact on the environment. Finnish architecture firm Pluspuu Oy designed the Log Villa house in Finland as an energy efficient modern residence for cold climates that offers optimal living conditions thanks to a well-insulated envelope and the use of geothermal energy. The Log Villa sits near a beautiful lake in Central Finland and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Thick laminated timber logs constitute the envelope and features three-layer glued pine as the outer layer. This allows the structure to withstand extremely low temperatures. Although the design references traditional log buildings of the region, the villa’s envelope has no overlaps or visible cross corners. Related: Four-Cornered Villa is an Off-Grid Minimalist Retreat in Finland Geothermal energy is the main source of heat, which is pumped out of a well drilled in the ground. During the summer, when temperatures can go up to 30°C, cool air is pumped from the ground into the building. Triple-glazed thermal glass and blown-in wood fiber insulation make the envelope airtight and contributes to the ecological construction approach. + Pluspuu Oy Via Archdaily Photos by Samuli Miettinen

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This modern log home in Finland is heated by the earth

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