This foldable, solar-powered skyscraper provides instant shelter in disaster zones

May 1, 2018 by  
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Skyshelter.zip is a mobile skyscraper that can be folded and transported to natural disaster zones . Polish designers Damian Granosik, Jakub Kulisa and Piotr Pa?czyk envisioned the design as a compact multi-purpose shelter that provides food, energy, and water and can be deployed using minimal manpower in the shortest possible amount of time. The project won first place at this year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition . Its versatility and pragmatic design make it a great solution for crisis management in regions struck by earthquakes , floods or hurricanes. Damaged infrastructure can make it extremely difficult to respond efficiently to emergencies. The designers tried to address this issue by proposing a compact structure with a large floor surface that can quickly and easily be transported anywhere. Skyshelter.zip has a much smaller footprint compared to tents and containers, which are typically used during emergencies. This means that less site preparation is needed prior to setting up camp, which is extremely significant in densely populated areas. Related: This futuristic vertical factory feeds off a city’s waste to produce energy The skyscraper is designed to stand even on unstable soil. Light-weight 3D-printed slabs and structural steel wires function as load-bearers. Pieces of fabric attached to the main structure constitute the internal and external walls. The building envelope would be made with a nanomaterial based on ETFE foil and small, connected perovskite solar cells. This way, the building can produce clean energy even during times of disaster. The structure is also topped with a balloon that can collect and clean rainwater . The skyscraper can also provide first aid, temporary housing or storage, and it’s designed to host a vertical farm made from excavated soil. + eVolo

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This foldable, solar-powered skyscraper provides instant shelter in disaster zones

Russia just launched a 70 MW floating nuclear power plant to the Arctic Ocean

May 1, 2018 by  
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Russia recently launched a floating nuclear power station on the Baltic Sea. The 70-megawatt Akademik Lomonosov plant will journey north around Norway to the Arctic town Pevek, and it could ultimately provide power for around 100,000 people . However some fear its environmental impact — Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe nuclear expert Jan Haverkamp referred to the plant as a “nuclear Titanic”. “Nuclear reactors bobbing around the Arctic Ocean will pose a shockingly obvious threat to a fragile environment which is already under enormous pressure from climate change ,” Haverkamp said in a statement . State-owned company Rosatom built the Akademik Lomonosov, which has been in the works for years. The floating nuclear plant has two reactors and is towed by two boats. Akademik Lomonosov will replace the Bilibino nuclear power plant, constructed in 1974, and the 70-year-old Chaunskaya Thermal Power Plant. Ars Technica said Bilibino was once the world’s northernmost nuclear power station, and the Akademik Lomonosov will claim that title when it starts operating. Related: NASA just unveiled a tiny nuclear reactor for future Mars residents In Pevek, construction of onshore infrastructure is underway. The pier, hydraulic engineering structures and other buildings important for mooring will be ready to go when Akademik Lomonosov arrives. The plant will provide electricity for remote industrial plants, port cities and offshore oil and gas platforms. Rosatom said the nuclear processes at the floating plant “meet all requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency and do not pose any threat to the environment .” But environmental groups aren’t happy. Haverkamp said, “Contrary to claims regarding safety, the flat-bottomed hull and the floating nuclear power plant’s lack of self-propulsion makes it particularly vulnerable to tsunamis and cyclones .” This isn’t the world’s first floating nuclear power station. The United States had a floating nuclear plant between 1968 and 1975 in Panama that powered nearby communities and the military during the Vietnam War. + Rosatom + Greenpeace Via Ars Technica and Engadget Images © Nicolai Gontar/Greenpeace ( 1 , 2 )

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Russia just launched a 70 MW floating nuclear power plant to the Arctic Ocean

Daylit studio and courtyard breathe new life into a 1940s house in Seattle

April 30, 2018 by  
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A new studio and  courtyard inspired by ancient Chinese housing design maximize the potential of this 1940s residence in Seattle . Grasshopper Studio and Courtyard, designed by Wittman Estes Architecture + Landscape , encourages flexibility, and exhibits a beautiful outdoor space filled with greenery. The project sits on a rectangular lot with an existing house, which was built in the 1940s. The design includes a multi-functional studio space toward the back of the lot, and a sunken courtyard that provides privacy and a strong connection to nature. The architects wanted to redefine traditional single-family housing and create a space that offers an alternative to the boxy structures taking over the city. Related: Exquisite Japanese house wraps around a generations-old tree “Normative new housing demolishes existing small buildings and replaces them with Seattle Modern Boxes that maximize building size and density within zoning setbacks,” the firm said. “Grasshopper Studio and Courtyard offers an alternative density called courtyard urbanism.” The 360-square-foot  open-plan studio features a glass wall on the side facing the house. The façade that faces an alley is clad in corrugated metal sheets. An overhang extends beyond the south wall and forms a carport. The studio opens onto a sunken patio inspired by ancient Chinese courtyards. Here, the family can dine, relax and entertain guests. In the center of the courtyard, a silk tree provides shade during hot summers. + Wittman Estes Architecture + Landscape Via Dezeen Photos by Nic Lehoux

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Daylit studio and courtyard breathe new life into a 1940s house in Seattle

SOM unveils images of new undulating mixed-use tower in China

April 9, 2018 by  
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SOM recently just unveiled the first images of a spiraling mixed-use tower planned for China . The Hangzhou Wangchao Center features an undulating glass façade and eight mega-columns that slope outward at the corners. This design helps to minimize wind loads and optimize the center’s performance and efficiency. The Center will offer hotel, office and retail spaces in the heart of  Hangzhou . As a result of an integrated architectural and engineering strategy, the tower’s distinct silhouette minimizes wind loads and creates flexible floor plates. Related: SOM’s diagrid glass tower rises like a Chinese paper lantern in Beijing In addition to the large sloping corner columns, architects designed secondary perimeter columns that branch out to maintain equal column bays. A Vierendeel transfer truss above the lobby connects the secondary columns to the corner columns. This structure allows for the use of planar glass panels as cladding material. The tower is slated for completion in 2021. SOM said, “Located at the intersection of several major transportation networks, the tower is a beacon of performance-driven design and is emblematic of Hangzhou’s future as a new global destination.” + SOM Via ArchDaily Images by Brick Visual

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SOM unveils images of new undulating mixed-use tower in China

The affordable, carbon-positive CORE 9 house generates more energy than it uses

April 3, 2018 by  
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With its CORE 9 home, architecture firm Beaumont Concepts aims to redefine how affordable sustainable housing is designed and built. The compact, low-maintenance house can be adapted for energy ratings from 6 to 10-star, which allows it to accommodate a range of budgets. The architects collaborated with a team of building designers and thermal performance professionals in order to develop affordable homes that respond to Australia’s climate. The resulting design, named CORE, is a carbon-positive home that relies on renewable energy sources and feeds surplus energy back to the grid. Related: Passive Erpingham House in Australia is affordable, light-filled and easily replicable The team used a selection of recycled and sustainable materials with a low embodied energy . These materials themselves can be up-cycled or re-processed after use. Cross-ventilation and maximum use of northern light help to reduce heating and cooling loads. In order to keep costs as low as possible, the designers also incorporated an inverted roof truss, which allows more light into the building but doesn’t require any specialist construction methods or additional costs. + Beaumont Concepts Via Archdaily Photos by Warren Reed and Leo Edwards

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The affordable, carbon-positive CORE 9 house generates more energy than it uses

This plant-covered house in Indonesia has a "second skin" that helps keep the interior cool

April 2, 2018 by  
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Nestled in a densely populated residential area of West Jakarta, Indonesia , the Pedongkelan-YN house provides a quiet tropical oasis in the midst of the surrounding city. In order to shelter the occupants from strong direct sunlight, architecture firm HYJA designed the house with a protective layer covering its glass surfaces. This layer works in tandem with the building’s swimming pool to keep the interior shaded and cool. Because the house occupies a west-facing corner lot, it receives copious amounts of sunlight in the afternoon. The architects responded to this issue by placing easy-to-maintain wooden grilles over the majority of the building’s glass openings. Related: Incredible daylit house in Vietnam is filled with living trees A swimming pool  sits next to the residence, with the pool terrace occupying the middle of the room and dividing the interior space into two parts. Glass surfaces dominate this part of the house, visually connecting the outdoor and indoor areas and allowing cooled air to reach the furthest corners of the residence. The bedroom balcony floor features a hollow iron plate that facilitates continuous air flow. In addition, the wood, iron and stone walls combine with the surrounding green landscape to give the impression of a modern tropical house . + HYJA Via Archdaily Photos by Ernest Theofilus

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This plant-covered house in Indonesia has a "second skin" that helps keep the interior cool

Intuits new green-roofed campus is an indoor/outdoor dream office

March 30, 2018 by  
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Intuit’s new Marine Way Building (MWB) in Mountain View , California, aims to become an antidote to the trend of building insular campuses across Silicon Valley. To achieve this goal,  WRNS Studio and Clive Wilkinson Architects joined forces and designed a human-centered, urban-minded workplace that connects to both nature and the public realm. The development comprises two new office buildings and two new parking structures as major additions to Intuit’s existing campus, originally developed in the 1980s as a suburban office park. It offers 185,400 square feet of office spaces distributed across four floors. The large floor plates, which accommodate a variety of places for people to collaborate, concentrate, socialize, and reflect, are organized into human-scaled neighborhoods and connected by clear circulation. The building also features a café, living rooms, bike facilities, showers, and terraces that spin off of the main atrium, which opens onto the campus’s main internal street. Offering expansive views of the bay and an indoor/outdoor workplace experience, large terraces also help knit the campus together. Related: Google and BIG unveil plans for green-roofed tech campus in Sunnyvale The project targets LEED Platinum , thanks to its design strategies that enhance resource efficiency, expand the natural habitat, ensure good indoor environmental quality, reduce water consumption and waste, and enable the expanded use of transit options. This is aided by the building’s  green roofs , themselves part of a comprehensive landscape plan that includes naturalized wetland bio-filtration areas and natural planted areas to help sustain local salt marsh and grassland biome species. + WRNS Studio + Clive Wilkinson Architects Photos by Jeremy Bittermann

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Intuits new green-roofed campus is an indoor/outdoor dream office

Oslo’s new airport city could power the entire surrounding community

March 26, 2018 by  
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Airports aren’t always known for their energy efficiency, but Norway is planning to change that. Norwegian architectural practices Haptic Architects and Nordic – Office of Architecture  have announced plans for a sustainable smart city , powered entirely by renewable energy, near Oslo Airport. The complex will be the world’s first energy-positive airport city and it will have the capacity to sell surplus energy to surrounding buildings and communities. Plans for the Oslo Airport City line up with the country’s shift from reliance on fossil fuels to renewable energy and its readiness to embrace green technologies . For example, the city will serve as a testing ground for technology-driven urban design, including the incorporation of self-driving electric cars, automatic street lighting, and smart technology for services such as mobility, waste and security. Related: China announces plans to build nearly 300 new eco-cities “This is a unique opportunity to design a new city from scratch,” said Tomas Stokke, director and co-founder of Haptic Architects. “Using robust city planning strategies such as walkability, appropriate densities, active frontages and a car-free city center, combined with the latest developments in technology, we will be able to create a green, sustainable city of the future. Capitalizing on the central location in northern Europe, a highly skilled workforce and proximity to an expansive and green airport , OAC has all the ingredients needed to make this a success,” he added. The city will be car-free , and it will provide many green spaces for the airport’s growing workforce, which is expected to increase from 22,000 to 40,000 people by 2050. The project received outline planning consent for development and is slated for completion in 2022. + Haptic Architects + Nordic – Office of Architecture Images by Forbes Massie

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Floating sky gardens and rooftop terraces join two halves of this tower in Taiwan

March 21, 2018 by  
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Aedas has unveiled plans for a soaring 656-foot tower that’s broken into two pieces held together by a series of ‘floating’ sky gardens and glass boxes. The architects drew inspiration from the Chinese character ‘?’ in the logo of the Taichung Commercial Bank. The 40-story high tower is a mixed-use development comprising the Taichung Commercial Bank Headquarters and an internationally-branded five-star hotel. Instead of stacking all the large functions such as the ballroom and swimming pool in a singular tower, the design creates two separate towers with a vertical void in the middle of the building. Related: Village-inspired office in Jakarta is topped with living trees and a green roof A series of transparent glass boxes house public exhibition space, sky gardens , a ballroom, a swimming pool, and conferencing facilities within the void. This plan enriches the building’s shape and creates a unique, iconic feature facing the main road. A terrace retreat at the rooftop features a restaurant and a VIP club long. Landscaped outdoor space and sweeping balconies provide magnificent city views for guests. Aedas’ design recently won the Tall Buildings category at MIPIM/The Architectural Review Future Project Awards 2018. + Aedas Via Archinect

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Floating sky gardens and rooftop terraces join two halves of this tower in Taiwan

Stunning temporary beach pavilion rises in Lebanon’s Tyre Coast Nature Reserve

March 20, 2018 by  
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Wood, metal ties and rope come together in this temporary space in Lebanon, forming a lightweight structure designed to raise awareness of the area’s rich marine biodiversity. The Tyre Nature Reserve Hub, named MARAH, was designed by Architecture students from the American University of Beirut , who used the project as an experiment in building lightweight and temporary systems, as well as creating spaces that have a large social and programmatic impact. Some of Lebanon ’s longest sandy beaches are located in the Tyre region–also a popular nesting site for the endangered Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles, as well as the home of several species of local wildlife, such as the Arabian spiny mouse and the Red fox. Phoenician springs and freshwater estuaries dominate the Ras el Ain area which facilities a diversity of marine life and a large part of this region has been turned into a protected area. Despite this, the Tyre region has seen severe destruction and devastation, which acted as impetus for creating a temporary pavilion that would help spread awareness of the importance of conserving marine biodiversity . Related: Floating timber pavilion transforms a Swiss lake into an exciting new public square Architecture AUB students from the DI-LAB (Design Impact Laboratory) teamed up with environmental consultants and the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve to introduce a structure that acts as a hub for the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve. The center is located directly on the beach, where it acts as a meeting point, an information point, a presentation pavilion, an exhibition space, and a training center, among other things. The pavilion was built using wood, metal ties and ropes and addresses the idea of creating a space that simultaneously generates a large social impact and minimal site impact. + Di-Lab – American University of Beirut Via Archdaily Photos by Lorenzo Tugnoli

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Stunning temporary beach pavilion rises in Lebanon’s Tyre Coast Nature Reserve

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