Henning Larsens energy-efficient Kiruna Town Hall opens to the public

November 30, 2018 by  
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The northern Swedish town of Kiruna, that’s famously uprooting itself, has just inaugurated its new town hall — Kristallen, dubbed The Crystal — in the relocated city center three kilometers to the east. Designed by Danish architecture firm Henning Larsen , The Crystal is an energy-efficient homage to Kiruna’s existing town hall that was designed by the Swedish architect Arthur von Schamlensee. Conceived as the town’s “living room”, the circular building was built with recycled materials from the original structure, including the iconic 1958 bell tower and original door handles from the main entrance. Located nearly 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle , the Swedish town of Kiruna was founded atop the world’s largest iron ore mine, a site that provides 90 percent of Europe’s iron ore. However, a century of mining operations has destabilized the area, leading to rifts and sinkholes that have threatened to swallow the town. As a result, the state-owned mining firm Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara (LKAB) proposed demolishing the old town and relocating its estimated 18,000-person population to a new site three kilometers east. Henning Larsen, Temagruppen, WSP and UiWE won the competition to design the new town hall , called Kristallen (The Crystal), an important landmark located at the heart of new Kiruna. The building creates a distinction between the inner and outer volumes, each catering to its community and civic functions, respectively. The inner core of the community-oriented building offers public exhibition rooms, workshops and social common spaces. The outer volume includes staff offices for various municipality departments and is sheathed in a sleek circular glass and natural stone facade engineered to deflect winds and heavy snowdrifts. The angular forms seen on the exterior and interior of the building also reference the geometry of the iron minerals critical to the town’s identity. Related: Kjellander + Sjöberg designs a climate-optimized urban development in new Kiruna “The building we are opening today is not just exciting in form – It is also designed to meet high environmental standards. It is in other words a very modern city hall, which in the future will become a living room for Kiruna. It is a place for meetings, work, art and culture in equal measure,” said King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. + Henning Larsen Photography by Hufton + Crow via Henning Larsen

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Henning Larsens energy-efficient Kiruna Town Hall opens to the public

Hong Kongs greenest school champions environmental stewardship

October 22, 2018 by  
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Copenhagen-based Henning Larsen Architects has unveiled images of its recently completed French International School of Hong Kong – Tseung Kwan O, a colorful and energy-efficient development that the firm has declared as the city’s “greenest school.” Designed to promote sustainability, the new primary and secondary school serves as a green oasis in the city. Boasting significant water savings and sewage reduction, the school is designed to meet Building Environmental Assessment Method (BEAM) Plus Gold standards, a Hong Kong rating tool for green construction. Completed in September, the new campus of the French International School serves 1,100 students in a multicultural learning environment — the student body represents 40 nationalities — that champions collaboration and sustainability. Its distinctive facade speaks to the diverse campus vision and features a grid of 627 multicolored ceramic tiles. In addition to the primary and secondary classrooms, the campus includes a library, a canteen, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, an auditorium with a multifunctional arena, multiple gardens and a 400-meter-long track called “The Loop” that connects the campus playgrounds and gardens. A healthy environment is promoted through ample green space, which improves urban air quality, provides natural shading and creates a green refuge in an urban environment where access to nature is limited. A total of 42 native trees grow within the campus, and the Native Garden offers educational opportunities. The interior is dressed in eco-friendly surface materials including natural rubber floors, bamboo ceilings, non-toxic paints and fabrics made from pure wool. The buildings are oriented to optimize access to natural daylight and seaborne winds to minimize the need for air conditioning and artificial lighting. Low-flow fixtures offer up to 30 percent water savings. Related: Henning Larsen unveils green, mountain-inspired buildings for Shanghai The learning environment is further enhanced with improved room acoustics, reduced background noise and a layout that encourages team building. “We dissolved the traditional classrooms,” said Claude Godefroy, design director and partner at Henning Larsen Hong Kong. “We pushed boundaries on how learning spaces can allow teachers and classes to work together in a more collaborative, open space.” + Henning Larsen Photos by Philippe Ruault

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Oregon initiates first modern statewide refillable glass bottle system in the US

October 22, 2018 by  
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At the beginning of the century, refillable bottles were the only option when you purchased a beer or soda from the local merchant. With the invention of the steel can in 1938, however, that practice began to change. Within 10 years, the 100 percent refillable glass usage for beer had dropped to 84 percent. When non-refillable glass started taking over mainstream production, that number dropped to 8 percent by 1986 and, according to the Container Recycling Institute , refillable beer bottles now account for less than 4 percent of the total containers used. Today, Oregon is getting back to the basics by revitalizing the use of refillable beer bottles. The World Counts reported, “The world’s beer and soda consumption uses about 200 billion aluminium cans every year. This is 6,700 cans every second — enough to go around the planet every 17 hours.” While recycling is an important piece of the puzzle, a large percentage of cans and bottles are tossed into the landfill. Those that do make it to the recycling plant require massive amounts of water and energy to recycle into clean, usable material. With all of this in mind, Oregon recently initiated a statewide recycling program that cuts out the need to break down materials and turn them into something new. Instead, they’ve gone old school by bringing back refillable bottles. Related: Eco-minded Melbourne brewery breaks the mold for sustainable beer production The process works the same as any other bottle deposit system. The consumer pays a deposit upfront when buying a beverage. Upon returning the empty container, they receive the deposit back. The bottle return machines identify the refillable bottles by a unique barcode and automatically separate them from the recyclable glass options. The bottles themselves are slightly different in other ways, too. Noticeably thicker and marked with a “refillable” stamp, the bottles can be reused up to 40 times, which sharply dials back the carbon footprint for the industry. Oregon has been poised to reintroduce refillable bottles into the market because of an existing statewide program that collects and recycles bottles and cans. With that efficient infrastructure in place, adding refillable bottles to the mix is a natural step in the progression of responsible resource management within the state. It’s no surprise that Oregon is an early adopter of the program, as it has a long history of innovation in the beverage recycling industry. In fact, Oregon was the first state to pass a bottle refund law in 1971. In order for the program to be cost-effective, there are some stipulations in place. For example, bottles leaving the state and not being returned for refill drives up costs. To protect against this, bottlers who commit to using the refillable bottles are only allowed to export 20 percent of those bottles out of state. Although Oregon hopes to be a leader in the refillable bottle movement, the program is still going through some growing pains. Bottles are currently being shipped to Montana for cleaning until Oregon can complete its own facility to do the work. While the state’s Department of Environmental Quality hasn’t put an exact measurement on the impact of these efforts, most agree that even with temporary transport to another state, refillable bottles cut the carbon footprint at every post-production phase of the life cycle. The real measure of the program’s success will come with the deposit return rates. If people don’t return the bottles, the system won’t work. This is a struggle that Double Mountain Brewery founder Matt Swihart knows all too well as the original provider of refillable bottles within the Oregon brewing industry. He’s fought an uphill battle in his efforts to successfully introduce refillable bottles to his Hood River bottling plant. With an initial return rate of only 15-20 percent, he’s hoping an organized state system will help facilitate his goals. “Anything we get back and clean saves us money down the road, and of course is a more responsible environmental package,” Swihart told OPB . “Frankly, it’s just the right thing to do.” Currently, seven breweries in Oregon have stepped up to the program. Widmer Brothers Brewing is one such optimistic leader of change. It has always been transparent in its efforts to maintain sustainability wherever possible in the beer-making process, with actions like donating spent grains to local farms and providing reusable to-go containers for employees to cut back on waste. For a company that looks to repurpose and recycle everything down to the crayons and corks, moving to refillable bottles is a natural progression. The company stated, “In 2016, we completed our first Life Cycle Analysis on a bottle of beer produced at our brewery to understand the biggest opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint, learning that one bottle generates 392 grams of carbon dioxide emissions. We are partnering with suppliers to improve!” And now, the brewery is doing just that. Buoy Beer, Double Mountain, GoodLife, Gigantic, Wild Ride and Rock Bottom breweries have also signed on with hopes of many others joining as the program gains credibility. Although breweries are in the spotlight right now, there is hope that the soda industry will also jump on the refillable bottle bandwagon. Who knows — maybe it’s just a few short years before we make the full circle back to refillable milk bottles. Via  OPB ,  The World Counts and  Container Recycling Institute Images via Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative and Thomas Picauly

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Oregon initiates first modern statewide refillable glass bottle system in the US

Spectacular town hall doubles as a bridge in Denmarks Faroe Islands

August 21, 2018 by  
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When Copenhagen-based Henning Larsen Architects was tapped to design the Town Hall in Eysturkommuna, the firm knew that there would be no point in trying to compete with the sublime Faroe Islands setting. Sculpted by wind and volcanic forces, the lush Nordic landscape instead provided inspiration for the building, which doubles as a bridge over a river and appears as a green-roofed extension of its surroundings. Blurring the line between nature and building, the Town Hall pays homage to traditional Faroese architecture with a new contemporary twist. Located in the village of Norðragøta, the Town Hall in Eysturkommuna is a subtle addition to the lush landscape that was created to help revive the local community. With an area of 750 square meters, the building is remarkably small for a town hall , yet what the structure lacks in size it makes up for in dramatic views. Doubling as a bridge, the angular building unites what used to be two separated municipalities and is partly wrapped in full-height glazing to frame stunning vistas of mountains and water. A circular mirror-lined glazed opening was also inserted into the floor to allow views of the rushing river below. “A central theme in traditional Faroese architecture is the blurred line between nature and building, the fact that the spectator has difficulties distinguishing where the landscape ends and the building begins,” explains Ósbjørn Jacobsen, Partner at Henning Larsen. “The primary conceptual idea behind the design of the town hall is driven by the notion of this fleeting line between landscape and building. I believe that could be one way to approach modern Faroese architecture.” Related: Danish architects deck out Viborg town hall with green roofs and solar panels The public is not only invited to enjoy the interior of the Town Hall, but they are also welcome to use the terraces and green roof for picnics or to even swim in the river. To heighten the building’s connection with the site, artist Jens Ladekarl Thomsen created an exterior sound and light installation that draws from the sounds and structure of the local neighborhoods and nature and “lets passersby believe the ‘house speaks’ of its surroundings.” + Henning Larsen Architects Images by Nic Lehoux

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Spectacular town hall doubles as a bridge in Denmarks Faroe Islands

Henning Larsen Architects brings sustainable Scandinavian design to Minneapolis

May 30, 2018 by  
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Henning Larsen Architects and MSR Design  unveiled their competition-winning designs for Minneapolis’ New Public Service Building — a municipal building that will integrate the Scandinavian ethos with sustainable design. Located across from Minneapolis City Hall, the multi-purpose structure is envisioned as the city’s new face of public service and will offer healthy work spaces for city employees as well as public areas. The building is designed with the hopes of achieving  LEED Gold certification. Expected to include 250,000 to 300,000 square feet of interior space, the New Public Service Building will accommodate hundreds of employees. The project draws inspiration from the abundance of greenery and parks in Minneapolis by incorporating a public landscaped plaza. The green, open space will not only reinforce the new building’s connection to the adjacent City Hall but will also help activate the street level. To minimize energy demands, the architects used climatic simulations and analysis to determine the massing and orientation of the building. “It will truly be a building for everybody,” Henning Larsen Architects said in a statement . “As an urban gesture, the scheme invites the public into the building by placing extroverted and public functions towards Government Plaza. The design approach, influenced by our Scandinavian ethos, focuses on creating collaborative and innovative work spaces, integrated sustainability and highlighting daylight as a human right and contributor to a healthy workplace .” Related: The 2018 Super Bowl stadium in Minnesota offsets 100% of its energy The interior design of the seven to 10-story building encourages collaboration through open stair connections and shared spaces. An optimized facade system will help modulate the amount of natural light in the building, while indoor plants and a natural materials palette will promote employee well-being. Minneapolis’ New Public Service Building is slated for completion by the fall of 2020. + Henning Larsen Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Henning Larsen Architects

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This whimsical retail store with a mesh wall is home to designer bags in Thailand

May 29, 2018 by  
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Bangkok-based firm  ASWA Architects  created a stunning retail studio for a popular bag brand in Thailand. TA.THA.TA bags are known for being functional and whimsical — a reputation that inspired the architects to create a similar feel for the new store. The front glass facade is covered with a white metal mesh shade system that, along with the extra-tall pitched roof, gives the structure a modern and ethereal atmosphere. The structure stands on a very narrow lot in the center of Bangkok, and the size of the lot forced the architects to utilize vertical space as much as possible. The site’s existing large tree helps provide shade . Inside, the studio is approximately 1,300 square feet and spans three floors. A welcoming retail store is located on the first floor. The second floor houses the design and assembly studio, while guests and employees can enjoy a third-floor lounge space with a mezzanine level. Related: Apple’s new Regent Street store is filled with daylight and living trees The brand’s identity greatly influenced the architectural concept and is noticeable throughout the space. Variations of metal mesh are in many areas, but a bespoke shade system marks the design. Made from white mesh, the screen acts as a double facade for the building’s all-glass front wall. This unique feature allows plenty of natural light to stream into the interior while also providing shade during the searing summer months. The interior design is functional and uncluttered, again a nod to the company’s brand. To add a touch of wellness, the architects added  greenery on every level. Bright drop lamps add extra lighting, and TA-THA-TA designed much of the furniture to leave a final mark of its identity on the structure. + ASWA Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Phuttipan Aswakool  

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This whimsical retail store with a mesh wall is home to designer bags in Thailand

Hufton + Crow capture Denmark’s beautiful grass-covered Moesgaard Museum in new photos

October 13, 2015 by  
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Henning Larsen Architects reveal plans for a new mosque in Copenhagen that marries Islamic and Nordic design

March 26, 2015 by  
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Henning Larsen Architects  has released its plans for a new mosque and Islamic community centre in Dortheavej—an area in northern  Copenhagen , Denmark. Commissioned by The Islamic Society of Denmark , the building will be oriented towards Mecca, and will be comprised of a series of interlocking domes that will stand 2, 890 square meters in size upon completion. Larsen’s team is melding Nordic and Islamic architectural traditions in the mosque’s design; a first for the Scandinavian country. Read the rest of Henning Larsen Architects reveal plans for a new mosque in Copenhagen that marries Islamic and Nordic design Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: copenhagen , Copenhagen mosque , Daylighting , Denmark Mosque , henning larsen , henning larsen architects , islamic architecture , Islamic community center , Islamic Society of Denmark , mosque , mosque pool , Nordic and Islamic , nordic architecture , reflective pool , sacred space , Scandinavian architecture , skylight

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Henning Larsen Architects reveal plans for a new mosque in Copenhagen that marries Islamic and Nordic design

Have a Picnic or Sled on Top of Henning Larsen’s New Moesgaard Museum in Denmark

October 21, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Have a Picnic or Sled on Top of Henning Larsen’s New Moesgaard Museum in Denmark Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: archaeology museum , Denmark , grass roof , green roofed , henning larsen architects , Moesgaard Museum , prehistoric museum , Skåde , sloped roof

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White Arkitekter Unveils Plans to Move an Entire Swedish City

June 19, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of White Arkitekter Unveils Plans to Move an Entire Swedish City Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , city masterplan , henning larsen architects , iron ore mining , kiruna , Kiruna 4-Ever plan , Kiruna relocation , Sweden , urban planning , Venice Architecture Biennale , White Arkitekter

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