Green-roofed wooden tower in Lagos maximizes daylight and natural ventilation

April 17, 2017 by  
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This green-roofed wooden tower planned for Lagos features a perforated envelope inspired by indigenous cultures of the area. Hermann Kamte & Associates designed the experimental structure as an alternative to the massive concrete buildings that dominate the city. By contrast, the wooden tower emphasizes passive design principles that marry indoor and outdoor living. The building was designed for the Plan B: City Above the City competition. Each floor provides a variety of residential units surrounded by a belt of lush greenery. Divided into 4 parts, the new building sits atop an existing housing estate, with sky gardens and other amenities separating the old and the new. A rooftop garden provides panoramic views of the city and functions as an informal gathering space and restaurant. Related: Shanty Megastructures envisions a colossal vertical slum in the heart of Lagos The wooden envelope incorporates traditional patterns from the Yoruba culture, and it provides protection from direct sun while giving the project a unique appearance. The entire structure is designed using LVL timber for both load-bearing and non-load bearing elements. + Hermann Kamte & Associates

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Green-roofed wooden tower in Lagos maximizes daylight and natural ventilation

Solar-powered drone Skystation sits atop Trump World Tower in New York

April 17, 2017 by  
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Kayak architects  wants to change the way we get around urban environments, so they’ve envisioned an innovative way to integrate air transport with existing urban environments. The project would turn skyscraper rooftops into solar-powered drone stations called Skystations. To illustrate how it would work, the designers put a drone skystation on Trump World Tower in New York City. The Skystation project aims to convert skyscraper rooftops into air transport hubs with a low ecological footprint . This futuristic transportation network should reduce pollution by eliminating rush-hour traffic and decreasing number of land vehicles, enabling us to turn unused roads into walkable, green spaces. Related: Dubai plans to launch autonomous flying drone taxis by mid-2017 Drone robots programmed or operated by humans would build these lightweight structures out of prefabricated and 3d-printed elements, using materials and components produced by local companies. A layer of sprayed Perovskite Solar Cells covers the outer shell, providing clean energy for the entire station. Related: Titan Aerospace Developing World’s First Solar-Powered Atmospheric Satellite Drones Arched roofs are meant to allow easier and more convenient landing for drones, simultaneously creating distinct architecture that dominates the city skyline. An existing art gallery, located underneath the drone platform, is transformed and integrated with the new lobby to give users the opportunity to experience art while waiting for the transport. This space can also function as a restaurant, entertainment area or lounge. Kayak Architects designed the project as a proposal for the Lafarge Holcim Competition. + kayak architects Images by ELEMENT

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Solar-powered drone Skystation sits atop Trump World Tower in New York

Swinging robot inspired by sloths could help future farmers

April 17, 2017 by  
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Over 7 billion people live on Earth, which means feeding our growing population will require us to produce food more efficiently than we are now. Could Robots could help us ramp up food production? Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) scientists believe so. They designed Tarzan, a robot inspired by swinging sloths, that could help future farmers more effectively monitor their crops . Take a look at the video below to see Tarzan in action. Tarzan is a two-armed robot that would hang suspended above a field on a wire, and move back and forth by swinging – like the mammal infamous for being lazy. But robot Tarzan is anything but lazy; it could snap images of plants and send them back to the farmer so either a human or an algorithm could analyze crop growth. Georgia Tech mechanical engineering assistant professor Jonathan Rogers said in a video, “What that’s going to allow people to do is essentially have an automated way to analyze how their crops are doing and what their crops need in real time, and maybe even providing that to their crops without them having to go walk the field themselves.” Related: World’s first robot-run farm to churn out 11 million heads of lettuce per year Georgia Tech researchers will take Tarzan to the field this summer at a four acre test field growing soybeans near Athens, Georgia . Plant geneticists from the University of Georgia used to have to walk the fields taking notes on crop growth there in the hot July sun, but Tarzan could help them analyze the crops more efficiently. According to the university, “With Georgia Tech robots dangling over the field, UGA researchers will be able to get more frequent measurements and to avoid some laborious field work. Someday, they may be able to stay at their laptops miles away, in the air conditioning, scanning a steady stream of images and data sent back from the robots.” As sloths are energy efficient , the team is working on making their robot sloth energy efficient and envision it powered by the sun one day. Via Georgia Tech and Wired Images via Georgia Tech and Eric Kilby on Flickr

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Swinging robot inspired by sloths could help future farmers

Lush gardens hang from dramatic student housing proposed for Birmingham

April 14, 2017 by  
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An oasis-like residence has been envisioned for Birmingham’s growing, multicultural student population. Tapped by Chinese private equity fund PGC-Capital, London practice Architects of Invention created Garden Hill, a stunning proposal for student housing that draws inspiration from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Sky gardens and landscaped terraces cover the two staggered 25-storey towers joined together into a dramatic crescent-shaped volume. Proposed for a 7,500-square-meter site in Digbeth, the mixed-use Garden Hill would comprise 500 residential units, measuring between 40 and 75 square meters, as well as large shared facilities for communal living, music recording studios, ground-floor retail, and commercial units available to rent by startups. The building’s terraced configuration would allow all residents to access greenery and gardens hung at every level as well as private and public landscaped terraces. Related: UC San Diego’s Charles David Keeling Apartments Set the Bar for Sustainable Student Housing The architects envision the complex to be built from cross-laminated timber and describe the project as an “exercise in highly sustainable construction.” To reduce Garden Hill’s carbon footprint, the architects propose using electric underfloor heating for space heating, installing solar hot water heaters , and purchasing 100 percent renewable electrical energy from the grid. + Architects of Invention Via ArchDaily Images via Architects of Invention

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Lush gardens hang from dramatic student housing proposed for Birmingham

These 3D-printed off-grid tiny houses can withstand hurricanes and earthquakes

April 13, 2017 by  
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These 3D-printed off-grid homes manufactured by Ukrainian startup PassivDom are not only 100% self-sufficient – they can also withstand hurricanes and earthquakes. The “gadget houses” are completely powered by the sun , and they’re available as fully furnished modules that can be controlled by a smartphone. PassivDom ‘s homes use solar power to satisfy all the needs of their occupants – including climate control (heating and cooling) and air quality. Each house features state-of-the-art engineering including an air recuperation system, a heat pump for heating and cooling with a remote-controlled thermostat hub, a HEPA system, a photovoltaic off-grid system powered by LiFePO2 batteries, a gray water filtration system with heat recovery , heat energy storage, and a boiler and water tank. Related: 7 charming off-grid homes for a rent-free life The homes’ impressive performance makes them versatile enough to suit any climate and topography. An industrial 3D-printing robot creates each house layer-by-layer using printing materials like carbon fiber , fiberglass , and polyurethane – all of which are easy to recycle. Because the structures don’t have foundations, they are easy to transport and assemble in any configuration. + PassivDom

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These 3D-printed off-grid tiny houses can withstand hurricanes and earthquakes

Zaha Hadid Architects unveil plans for spectacular Eco Park in England

April 7, 2017 by  
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Zaha Hadid Architects just unveiled plans for a state-of-the-art technology hub and slatted-timber footbridge at a new eco park in Gloucestershire, England. The architects previously won a competition to design the entire business park, including its Green Technology Hub, the new Forest Green Rovers football stadium and a footbridge linking the two main sides of the development. The 100-acre Eco Park, commissioned by renewable energy company Ecotricity, will offer state-of-the-arts sporting facilities and an additional 50 acres for a green technology business park expected to create up to 4,000 jobs. Aiming to become carbon neutral or negative by generating energy on-site, Eco Park is expected to enhance biodiversity and create a unique connection between sustainability, sports and technology. Related: Jared Kushner’s 666 tower by Zaha Hadid gets reimagined as the Eye of Sauron Eco Park’s glasshouse-like Green Technology Hub features distinctive timber slates that cover the buildings and match the material of the bowl-shaped stadium and the footbridge . “The Green Technology Hub proposals apply the latest sustainable design technologies with ecologically sound materials and construction methods to create an integrated community for world-leading research and development,” said Zaha Hadid Architects. Related: Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza focuses on environmental sustainability “The bridge design creates one single, fluid form by fusing together individual timber elements,” added the architects. “This important, unifying gesture builds connections for the community, conveying Eco Park as a facility for all.” + Zaha Hadid Architects Via Dezeen

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Zaha Hadid Architects unveil plans for spectacular Eco Park in England

Worlds newest mega-skyscraper opens in Seoul

April 6, 2017 by  
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The world’s newest super-tall building has opened in Seoul , Korea. Clocking in at fifth tallest in the world, the Lotte World Tower is a 554.5-meter (1,819 feet) tall skyscraper that knocks the 1WTC, the tallest U.S. building, out of the top five. Designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates , the solar-powered building will seek a LEED Gold accreditation and boasts additional record-breaking features including the world’s highest glass-bottomed observation deck, fastest elevator, and the highest swimming pool in a building. Set on the banks of the River Han in southern Seoul, the Lotte World Tower is a multibillion-dollar mixed-use tower that houses retail, offices, luxury residences, and a seven-star hotel. The sleek and tapered form of the 123-story building draws inspiration from the curves of Korean artistry and contrasts with Seoul’s craggy mountainous landscape. The building shape and interior combine a modern aesthetic with elements inspired by the Korean arts of ceramics, porcelain, and calligraphy. Related: World’s largest shipping container shopping mall pops up in Seoul The building’s top ten stories are allocated for public use and entertainment facilities. The glass-floor observation deck on the 118th floor allows visitors to experience a busy Seoul intersection from a bird’s eye view. The skyscraper also includes a massive 2,000-seat concert hall, aquarium, movie theater, and food hall. Designed for the LEED Gold , Lotte World Tower is equipped with solar panels, wind turbines, external shading devices, and water harvesting systems. + Kohn Pederson Fox Associates Via Bloomberg Images via Kohn Pederson Fox Associates

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Worlds newest mega-skyscraper opens in Seoul

Off-grid shipping container cabin has a warm wooden interior

March 31, 2017 by  
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Shipping container residences can be elaborate and complex, but sometimes bringing it back to basics is the key to good living. At the request of their client, San Francisco-based architects  YAMAMAR  created a simple, off-grid container cabin getaway out of two  repurposed shipping containers tucked into a pristine natural forest in North California’s Mount Lassen area. The container cabin is located on 1,000 acres of pristine wilderness. The idyllic location is next to an old creek bed with amazing sunset views of the surroundings. At the request of the property owner, who had been previously using an old Fleetwood trailer to sleep on site, the new structure had to fit into this natural area by operating completely off-grid . Working within the restrictions set by the local nature conservancy for permanent structures, the team began by customizing two shipping containers off site. This reduced the project’s overall footprint and production costs. Related: A glazed container cabin that reflects the Colorado sky Once fused together, the new cabin was built out with simple materials such as  reclaimed Douglas fir panels on the flooring and walls. To generate power, a solar array was installed on the roof, but the home uses propane for most of its lighting and heating needs. The adjacent creek is the home’s natural source for fresh water. In contrast to some luxury dwellings found in the world of shipping container design, this off-grid cabin was meant to offer the basics and keep the focus on the amazing setting. The compact interior is equipped with a small kitchen and one bedroom with a large window that offers incredible views. Two sliding doors on either side of the home roll open on castors and can be locked up tight when not in use. + YAMAMAR Design Via  Dwell Photography by Bruce Damonte

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Off-grid shipping container cabin has a warm wooden interior

Students collaborate with starchitect Daniel Libeskind to design university building

March 28, 2017 by  
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Dramatic interlocking volumes and sharp angles define the new green-roofed Central Building at Leuphana University in Germany. Studio Libeskind designed the project in collaboration with students at the university, where Libeskind works as a part-time professor. The result is a distinct zinc-clad building that will serve as an incubator for new ideas, innovation and research. The 139,930-square-foot building, located on the university’s main campus in the southern part of Lüneburg, integrates a Research Center, a Student Center, spaces for seminars and an auditorium into a single structure. Interlocking volumes facilitate cross-disciplinary interaction and collaborative learning. Related: Daniel Libeskind unveils spectacularly green physics center at Durham University Upon entering the building, visitors are greeted by a swooping triple-height atrium awash in natural light coming through a half dozen skylights . Stairs and bridges puncture the volume and communicate the complexity of the space. The cafeteria and workshops are located on the ground floor, labs and offices occupy the upper floors, and the three-story Seminar Center with a curved roof forms the main entry. Exposed concrete and canted walls are combined with smoked oak parquet throughout the building, and red-painted walls provide way-finding and orientation. Related: Daniel Libeskind unveils design for the new green-roofed Lithuanian Modern Art Center in Vilnius The building will operate at zero emissions thanks to its remarkably efficient design and the use of renewable energy sources. Sustainable design features include a green roof, a grey water system and an innovative Cobiax structural system. + Studio Libeskind + Leuphana University

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Students collaborate with starchitect Daniel Libeskind to design university building

Renovated Beijing factory gets new life with an elegantly-integrated Zen garden

March 27, 2017 by  
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After several renovations since the original construction of this Beijing factory, an extensive overhaul has breathed new life into the building – literally.  He Wei Studio / 3andwich Design renovated the building with a beautiful Zen garden gracefully integrated into the structure in order to convey the essence of the traditional Chinese private garden. Modern office workers can immerse themselves in a calming, natural environment, no matter how stressful the day gets. The original factory, built in 1970, went through several renovations before He Wei undertook the challenge of turning it into a modern office space that keeps the spirit of ancient building practices. The team restructured the circulation and created longer routes to allow people to calm down when entering the main space. Related: Former Panasonic factory building in China converted into a modern events space A zigzagging path leads visitors from the entrance on the west side through a long, narrow semi-outdoor corridor. This way people have to walk through the entire garden, called Zen Chamber. A folded stair, located between the long ramp and paralleled stairs, offer views of the inner courtyard and big tearoom through grating racks. The second floor, which serves as the main public space, is narrow and long and houses a music room, small tearooms, meditation room and a large tearoom. + He Wei Studio / 3andwich Design Via Sunshine PR Photos by Zou Bin

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