Beautiful visitors center curves around a semi-natural ice rink in a Japanese forest

August 28, 2017 by  
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Tokyo-based Klein Dytham architecture completed a beautiful timber-clad visitor center befitting its surroundings in a breathtaking Japanese forest. Set in the foothills of the active volcano Mount Asama in Karuizawa, the Picchio Ice Rink Visitors Center welcomes tourists who flock to the area for hiking in the summer and ice-skating in winter. The architecture and landscape are sensitive to nature, particularly the site’s natural flow of water and ecosystem, and also draws direct inspiration from the surrounding flora and fauna. Designed in collaboration with landscape design firm Studio on Site , the Picchio Ice Rink Visitors Center is part of the popular Hoshinoya resorts area in Karuizawa, Nagano . One of the biggest highlights of this year-round destination is the “KERA-IKE (pond) Ice Rink,” a semi-natural gourd-shaped ice rink made from both assisted and natural freezing. In the distance rises stunning snow-capped Mount Asama. Deep wintering pools were carved into the pond to give fish and other aquatic life a place to live where the ice doesn’t freeze entirely. Related: Elegant Japanese wedding chapel mimics curved leaves The Picchio Ice Rink Visitors Center, which opened in summer 2016, features a clubhouse and serves as a trailhead during the summer and skate-rental area in winter. The building and a pair of complementary gabion walls behind it are curved to follow the shape of the pond and reference the arcs made by skaters in the ice rink. The walkways, landscaping, and benches are also informed by the landscape’s natural topography. The building facade is clad in cedar shingles punctuated by bright green and blue anondised aluminum tiles. Floor-to-ceiling glazing lets in natural light and offers views of the rink and nature from inside. + Klein Dytham architecture Via Dezeen Images © Brian Scott Peterson and Makoto Yoshida

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Beautiful visitors center curves around a semi-natural ice rink in a Japanese forest

Lotus-inspired public space collects rainwater to reduce Da Nangs runoff footprint

August 28, 2017 by  
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Urban stormwater runoff poses serious risks to safety and the environment and cities around the world are taking note. HUNI Architectes tackles Da Nang’s runoff footprint with their competition-winning design for the Da Nang City Center Square in Vietnam. Designed with SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems), this attractive lotus flower-inspired square will create a vibrant public space and destination that collects and reduces stormwater runoff. HUNI Architectes’ design beat a shortlist of 15 proposals in a competition organized by the city as part of a greater masterplan to transform Da Nang into Vietnam’s most modernized metropolis by 2030. The architects’ vision for Da Nang City Center Square draws inspiration from Vietnam’s national flower, the lotus , which symbolizes divine beauty. The plaza’s multiple shade structures take the form of giant lotus leaves, while a massive undulating canopy seems to reference the leaves’ gently crinkled shape. Circular granite paving patterns allude to ripples in a lake and are punctuated by circular grassy planters and lotus-pink play areas. Reducing stormwater runoff was a major goal of the design. Impervious surfaces like asphalt will be swapped out for pervious materials such as permeable paving and landscaping, while tree pits will be designed to collect, slow, and filter the flow of stormwater. Water features and interactive fountains will double as SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems) and can be enjoyed year-round along with lighting and performance sets. Related: Vietnam Constructs World’s Largest Dragon-Shaped Bridge – And It Breathes Fire! The contemporary new plaza is also sensitive to its historic surroundings. HUNI Architectes worked to preserve existing buildings on site, including the Han Market, which will be refurbished to increase its appeal to locals and tourists alike. To make the space pedestrian friendly , parking will be tucked underground and there will be easy access to public transport. Bike sharing facilities will spring up in the “Mobility Hubs” at Han Market and cyclists will be able to enjoy a special lane shared with public transport. + HUNI Architectes Via ArchDaily

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Lotus-inspired public space collects rainwater to reduce Da Nangs runoff footprint

Fierce public backlash erupts over Japanese skating rink full of frozen fish

November 28, 2016 by  
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Officials at Space World , a Japanese theme park, issued a plea for forgiveness over the weekend, after public backlash forced them to close a skating rink that featured all sorts of sea creatures frozen into the ice . Some 5,000 fish, crabs, and other sea creatures were frozen into the skating rink as part of an attraction dubbed “Freezing Port,” but the public was quick to respond with disgust. Park officials said in their public apology that they were “shocked” by the public’s reaction, and the rink was closed by Sunday evening after a two-week run. Space World manager Toshimi Takeda talked to CNN about the so-called “world first” skating rink attraction. “We were shocked to hear the reaction as the ice skate rink was very popular since it opened two weeks ago, we had an unprecedented number of visitors,” Takeda said. “(But) we had endless opinions about the project, we were shocked … We are sorry for the project and decided to close the rink on that night.” Related: Japanese paper artist replicates amazing wild animals using intricately bound newspaper The fish and other marine creatures frozen into the skating rink were reportedly already dead before being installed in the rink, according to Takeda, who told CNN they were purchased from a local fish market. Now, theme park workers are tasked with removing the fish from the ice, holding an “appropriate religious service” and then reusing the carcasses as fertilizer. Although “Freezing Port” had been open for two weeks, it took news of the macabre attraction hitting social media on Saturday to ignite the public backlash that eventually closed the morbid skating rink. Users of Facebook and Twitter bashed the theme park for the move, and Space World officials were quick to reach a decision to close the attraction on Sunday. Swiftly following that announcement, theme park officials deleted all mentions and photos of the gruesome ice show from its Facebook page. Via CNN Images via Space World

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Fierce public backlash erupts over Japanese skating rink full of frozen fish

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