Kengo Kuma unveils nature-filled Eco-Luxury Hotel for Paris

June 29, 2017 by  
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Travelers to Paris can soon immerse themselves in a paradise of luxury and greenery at the Kengo Kuma -designed Eco-Luxury Hotel. Located on the banks of the River Seine in the Rive Gauche neighborhood, the plant-covered Eco-Luxury Hotel will deliver a breath of fresh air to Paris’ dense urban fabric. The building will be built of timber—a favorite material of Kuma—and punctuated with greenery that grows along the balconies, rooftops, interior, and ground level. Set along the Avenue de France, the Eco-Luxury Hotel was conceived as a green reprieve from the bustling city streets. An intimate public garden is placed at the heart of the project between the main U-shaped 1Hotel and Slo Living youth hostel. Long and folded timber fins clad the building facades, creating space for planters and balconies. The overlapping fins’ long and narrow profiles and abundant greenery give the hotel the illusion of a dense forest. Related: Kengo Kuma unveils “blossoming” glass and timber villas for Bali “As particles, dispersed facade panels together with the volumetric decomposition come to blur the shape of the building,” said Kengo Kuma & Associates to Dezeen . “The warm materiality of the wood is combined with the soften reflection and aerial touch of the metal panels. The building will come alive with the light.” The lower floors of the building surrounding the central garden feature full-height glazing and a series of public spaces including sport facilities, business incubators, restaurant, co-working space, and roof terrace. The hotel interior will be filled with natural light and also feature a predominately timber materials palette. + Kengo Kuma & Associates Via Dezeen Images by Luxigon / Mir

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Kengo Kuma unveils nature-filled Eco-Luxury Hotel for Paris

Amazing Dutch Windwheel is a green energy generator you can live in

June 29, 2017 by  
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The iconic Dutch windmill is getting a high-tech makeover with a big eco-friendly boost. Windwheel Corporation unveiled today their new designs for the Dutch Windwheel, a circular building set on the water that harnesses clean energy and houses private residences as well as public venues. Created for Rotterdam, the futuristic Dutch Windwheel aims to transform the city skyline and provide an eye-catching landmark that’ll serve as the new benchmark for healthy, sustainable design. First unveiled in mid-2015, the Dutch Windwheel 2.0 fleshes out the project’s programmatic functions, circulation patterns, and energy systems in more detail. Windwheel Corporation worked with a team of innovators, including Arup , Royal BAM Groep, Deltares, and others, to develop the project. A Green Deal was also signed today at Rotterdam’s World Trade Center by Minister Kamp, Provincial Executive member Bom-Lemstra (province of Zuid-Holland) and Alderman Struijvenberg (municipality Rotterdam) to increase the project’s chances of realization. The innovative Dutch Windwheel comprises apartments, a hotel , a space for short-stay housing, commercial and cultural space, a cruise terminal, and a sky lobby with a restaurant at the top of the building. Similar to a Ferris wheel , the Windwheel will be equipped with mobile cabins that transport visitors to the highest point of the structure. Certain cabins will have special features, such as the Bar cabin with food and drinks, the Relax cabin for yoga and relaxation, and even a cabin that goes underwater for up-close views of aquatic life. Elevators and stairs will also be installed. Related: The Dutch Windwheel is not only a silent wind turbine – it’s also an incredible circular apartment building The disk-like building will be built with locally sourced materials and wrapped in a smart plant-covered skin that reflects unwanted solar heat gain while letting in natural light and ventilation. Rainwater will be captured and reused throughout the building. Artificial wetlands provide water filtration and habitat. The facade will be integrated with solar panels and wind energy will also be harnessed. Organic waste will be collected for biogas production. + Dutch Windwheel Images by DoepelStrijkers

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Kengo Kuma’s Turkish art museum is made of stacked timber boxes

April 24, 2017 by  
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Prolific architect Kengo Kuma just unveiled plans for an amazing timber museum in Turkey. According to the architects, the Odunpazari Modern Art Museum will be an expansive complex made up of obliquely stacked wooden boxes, paying homage to the area’s traditional wooden Ottoman residences. The modern art museum is planned for Eskishehr, a university town about three hours from Istanbul. According to the Kengo Kuma studio , the design focused on blending the building into the existing urbanscape while creating a cultural landmark for the city, “Our design strategy is to make the volume in aggregation; stacking small boxes to create the urban scale architecture,” explained the studio. “Stacked boxes at the street level are read in the scale of surrounding houses and it grows taller towards the centre of the museum to stand in the urbanscape that announces itself as new cultural landmark of the area.” Related: Kengo Kuma unveils plans for spiraling timber-clad library in Sydney The timber boxes , which are placed at irregular angles will allow for the building to gradually grow in height from the exterior towards it center, creating a fairly large building but one that doesn’t hover over the traditional low-level buildings in the immediate area. Additionally, the wide spaces in between the horizontal timber slats – a nod to the area’s former wooden market – will illuminate the interior with tons of natural light . The entrance of the museum will lead to a central atrium, made up of four boxes and lit from a skylight in the ceiling. The boxes slowly rise up through the design, giving the interior plenty of flexible exhibition space . The larger exhibitions will be placed at the bottom level while more intimate collections will be exhibited in the smaller boxes at the top of the building. + Kengo Kuma Via Dezeen Images via Kengo Kuma

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Kengo Kuma’s Turkish art museum is made of stacked timber boxes

Kengo Kuma unveils blossoming glass and timber villas for Bali

January 24, 2017 by  
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From Ibuku’s gorgeous bamboo structures to D-Associates’wood and brick DRA House , Bali’s contemporary architecture strikes a delicate balance between contemporary and vernacular design. Among the most recent projects planned to be built on this Indonesian island is a cluster of six unique villas, a yoga pavilion and a greenhouse designed by Kengo Kuma . The 215,000-square-foot project named Tsubomi Villas, or “flower bud” in Japanese, will include six villas enveloped in overlapping layers of wood that form hyperbolic paraboloid roof canopies . The buildings, planned to be built on a sandstone cliff on the Bukit Peninsula, the southernmost point of Bali , look like they emerge from the ground like flowers. Related: Kengo Kuma unveils plans for spiraling timber-clad library in Sydney The Tsubomi Villas combine glass and timber to provide a feeling of openness and tranquility. The design blurs the line between interior spaces and the surrounding landscape, inviting the lush forest inside. + Kengo Kuma & Associates Via Architizer

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Kengo Kuma unveils blossoming glass and timber villas for Bali

Kengo Kuma’s "floating kitchen" uses Chinese dishes to support the shelves

August 23, 2016 by  
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Beijing Centre for the Arts ‘ founder Weng Ling commissioned Kuma to create a unique kitchen design. So he came up with an assorted range of kitchenware supporting the kitchen’s shelving structure, instead of the other way around. The Floating Kitchen includes ceramic bowls and plates, wooden boxes, vases, woks, wicker baskets, pots are pans, all from Chengdu in China. All these elements are used to create kitchen worktops and shelves at different heights to form the self-standing structure.  Kuma described the installation as an assemblage of “structuralism objects – a primitive condition where objects come in indirect contact with people, and only the intensive aggregation and flow of those objects stand out in relief.” The Kitchen Home Project also includes works by Dutch studio MVRDV and media artist Au Yeung Ying Chai and is on show at the Ca’ Tron palazzo until the September 30, 2016. + Kengo Kuma Via Dezeen Photos by Julien Lanoo

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Kengo Kuma’s "floating kitchen" uses Chinese dishes to support the shelves

7 world-changing finalists announced for the 2016 Buckminster Fuller Challenge

August 23, 2016 by  
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Cooperación Comunitaria In 2013, Tropical Storm Manuel and Hurricane Ingrid ravaged La Montaña, one of the poorest and most marginalized areas of Mexico. Home to over three-quarters of the Mexican state Guerrero’s indigenous population, the beautiful but devastated area struggled to get back on its feet in the wake of mass destruction. Cooperación Comunitaria was founded to radically improve the population’s living conditions with a comprehensive model that begins with community outreach and ends with projects that integrate both local indigenous culture and modern, eco-friendly techniques. One such example is the organization’s program to build affordable and earthquake-resistant homes constructed from local materials . Taking Root’s CommuniTree The World Wildlife Fund estimates that between 46 to 58,000 square miles of forest are lost every year—equivalent to 48 football fields every minute. CommuniTree tackles deforestation with a comprehensive reforestation and carbon sequestration strategy that also aims to help turn the tide on poverty and climate change. The project is currently working with thousands of smallholding rural farming families in Nicaragua by providing economic incentives that encourage sustainable land-use change. PITCHAfrica’s Waterbank Schools PITCHAfrica designed and implemented the Waterbank School , an innovative rain-harvesting school campus model for Africa that comprises education buildings integrated with rainwater harvesting , collection, and filtering systems. By using buildings to collect water rather than female labor, more girls and women are able to attend the Waterbank Schools. The nonprofit says school attendance has risen by at least a quarter, and often as high as 95%. The Sentinel Project’s Una Hakika Canada-based nonprofit The Sentinel Project launched Una Hakika as part of their mission to prevent genocide worldwide. Described as a “hybrid of communications technology, social insight, and beneficial use of social media,” the Una Hakika project aims to use online and offline measures to empower ordinary citizens in combating misinformation that can lead to violence or genocide. The pilot has helped defused conflict between farmers and herders in Kenya’s Tana Delta and is now being tested in Burma to prove that it can be replicated in different contexts. Urban Death Project The Urban Death Project (UDP) wants to turn corpses into compost as an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to burials and cremations. The UDP designed Recomposition centers that would safely decompose dead bodies into nutrient compost. The building would be a hybrid between a public park, funeral home, and memorial space. The first full-scale Recomposition center is slated to pop up in Seattle, Washington. Rainforest Solutions Project British Columbia’s enormous coastal rainforests are rich with resources and life, which is why they’ve become the target of many different interest groups including the government, First Nations, environmentalists, and logging companies. In an effort to protect the rainforests, Greenpeace, ForestEthics Solutions, and Sierra Club BC founded the Rainforest Solutions Project to promote conservation options and economic alternatives to industrial logging. One of their most recent successes is the historic 250-year agreement between different parties to conserve and sustainably manage the 15-million-acre Great Bear Rainforest, the world’s largest old-growth temperate rainforest. + Buckminster Fuller Institute

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Climate change will be the demise of US national parks

August 23, 2016 by  
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This week the National Parks Service turns 100 years old, and it’s a good time to reflect on the organization’s genuine dedication and hard work to preserve land and monuments across the U.S. But now US national parks are facing the biggest threat of all: climate change . Melting glaciers , wildfires, erosion, and rising sea levels are just some of the mammoth effects that will likely bring an end to these national gems as we all know them. The NPS has charted the toll climate change has had on its 412 protected parks and monuments all over the nation, according to The Guardian . Alaska is especially hard-hit, due to 80 percent of the state hiding permafrost under the surface. The Arctic is the fastest warming region on Earth, causing sinkholes and landslides when the permafrost melts. Coastal regions have been hammered by severe storms, wind erosion, and rising sea levels. Towns with generations-long histories have even elected to relocate due to the imposing global warming effects. In the southern states weather patterns have been destroying pieces of history. Arizona’s Tumacácori National Historical Park suffered the intense rain-induced collapse of two historic structures made from adobe clay. Lauren Meyer from the NPS stated, “For the more vulnerable sites, particularly adobe structures which seem to be the canaries in the coal mine in the south-western US, losses are already rapidly occurring.” Related: Alaskan permafrost could melt in the next 55 years, says world’s leading expert Everything threatening the parks seems to be traced back to warmer temperatures . A glimpse of the rampant wildfires in the last few years confirms this, as does the fact that tree species are dying out, causing a ripple effect in the wildlife that relies on them for food and shelter. 40 national parks are threatened by a one meter rise in sea level , which NPS calls “one of the most obvious and most challenging impacts” of climate change. Sally Jewell, NPS’ secretary of the interior described a dystopian vision of parks becoming “Isolated islands of conservation with run-down facilities that crowds of Americans visit like zoos to catch a glimpse of our nation’s remaining wildlife and undeveloped patches of land.” Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia ( 1 , 2 ), Wikipedia

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Climate change will be the demise of US national parks

Solar-powered Pipe desalinizes 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water for California

August 23, 2016 by  
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“LAGI 2016 comes to Southern California at an important time,” write Rob Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian, co-founders of the Land Art Generator Initiative . “The sustainable infrastructure that is required to meet California’s development goals and growing population will have a profound influence on the landscape. The Paris Climate Accord from COP 21 has united the world around a goal of 1.5–2° C, which will require a massive investment in clean energy infrastructure. For this particular competition, LAGI asked designers to submit proposals that incorporate either an energy or drinking water component, since they are inextricably intertwined, or both. Khalil Engineers from Canada chose to power an electromagnetic desalination device using solar power . And – in keeping with the public art and educational aspect of LAGI’s overall environmental and social crusade – The Pipe is a beautiful design that allows people to seamlessly interact with their source of drinking water without any of the unpleasant side effects typically associated with energy generation. Related: Gigantic solar hourglass powers up to 1,000 Danish homes “Above, solar panels provide power to pump seawater through an electromagnetic filtration process below the pool deck, quietly providing the salt bath with its healing water and the city with clean drinking water,” the design team writes in their brief. “The Pipe represents a change in the future of water.” According to Khalil Engineers, their design, a long gleaming thing visible from Santa Monica Pier, is capable of generating 10,000 MWh each year, which will in turn produce 4.5 billion liters (or 1.5 billion gallons) of drinking water. Given the current drought throughout California , and the dearth of water in general, a variety of urban micro generators such as this can complement utility-scale energy generation. “What results are two products: pure drinkable water that is directed into the city’s primary water piping grid, and clear water with twelve percent salinity. The drinking water is piped to shore, while the salt water supplies the thermal baths before it is redirected back to the ocean through a smart release system, mitigating most of the usual problems associated with returning brine water to the sea.” The winners of LAGI 2016 will be announced on October 6, 2016 at Greenbuild 2016 . + LAGI 2016: Santa Monica + Khalil Engineers

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Solar-powered Pipe desalinizes 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water for California

Monstrous goldfish found in Australian rivers were released as pets

August 23, 2016 by  
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Australian researchers are warning of a new, invasive threat to the continent’s native wildlife: goldfish that were abandoned by their owners and released into the wild. Most of us think of goldfish as a small and harmless species, but apparently Western Australia’s rivers contain just the right conditions to allow the fish to grow into two kilo monsters that wreak havoc on the local ecosystem. There are a number of reasons why these fish pose such an environmental hazard. For one, they tend to eat the eggs of native species. But even when they aren’t directly affecting the reproduction of other fish, they’re releasing a nutrient-rich waste into the water column which creates dangerous algae blooms . They’re also carriers of nasty diseases that don’t naturally occur in Australia’s waters. Related: Great Barrier Reef tourist pollution may be causing turtle-specific herpes outbreak It’s believed that pet owners who dump unwanted fish in local waterways are to blame. The practice is called “aquarium dumping.” Once they are released into the water, they breed at a rapid rate, taking over the area. Because they can travel quite far, up to 230 kilometers per year, they’re incredibly difficult to eradicate. In fact, scientists from Murdoch University are calling them “one of the world’s worst invasive aquatic species.” This isn’t the first time pet goldfish have caused an ecological crisis. In 2013, researchers at Lake Tahoe in the US found abandoned goldfish that had grown over and foot and a half long terrorizing the waters. Via Gizmodo Images via Murdoch University

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Monstrous goldfish found in Australian rivers were released as pets

Kengo Kuma unveils spiraling new timber-clad library design for Sydney

March 16, 2016 by  
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