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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Henning Larsen Architects brings sustainable Scandinavian design to Minneapolis

Aperture-like windows maximize shading in this stunning Vancouver residence

May 16, 2018 by  
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When Arno Matis Architecture was tapped to help reshape the identity of Vancouver’s Cambie Street, they designed Aperture, a beautiful site-responsive residential development. The city-block-sized structure derives its name from its striking aperture-like openings with glass-and-wood veneer walls angled in response to each facade’s unique solar exposure. Built to LEED Gold specifications, Aperture maximizes passive shading and is topped with green roofs. Created using Arno Matis Architecture’s “Responsive Density Design” strategy, Aperture emphasizes “social porosity” and urban connections. In response to the site context, the 98,000-square-foot building steps down from two six-story mid-rise blocks located along a busy street down to four two-story villas more in scale to the single-family neighborhood in the north. Two courtyard axes bisect the development to allow for the penetration of natural light and mountain views. Related: LEED Gold UBC Aquatic Center takes an innovative approach to water recycling “Stratigraphic architectural themes echo the area’s mid-century modern architectural vocabulary,” wrote the architects. “ Cantilever decks and strong horizontal lines create a sense of lightness and lower the massing profile.” The angled walls that frame each aperture, made of mahogany veneer sandwiched between two encapsulated UV glass layers, lend the building a sense of warmth. The insulated glass also increases thermal resistance and reduces solar gain. + Arno Matis Architecture Images © Michael Elkan

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Aperture-like windows maximize shading in this stunning Vancouver residence

Artist upcycles discarded cassette tapes into eco-friendly MusicCloth

May 16, 2018 by  
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When Singaporean artist and founder of Rehyphen®  Jessica Chuan Yi Xin stumbled upon a stash of forgotten cassette tapes in her room, she brainstormed a way to reuse the material rather than contribute to the growing problem of e-waste. A bit of ingenuity and experimentation led her to develop MusicCloth®, a handwoven textile made from upcycled magnetic tapes. According to the United Nations , nearly 45 million metric tons of electronic waste was generated in 2016 — an increase of 8 percent from just two years prior. As an advocate for the environment, Chuan created MusicCloth® to raise awareness for upcycling and the global problem of e-waste. Chuan developed the innovative textile after nine months of research and development using cassette tapes donated by friends and family. In 2016, she launched a successful  Kickstarter  campaign for MusicCloth® tote bags. The campaign not only raised the funds needed to take the project to the next level, but it also allowed her to collect cassette tapes from donors around the world. Chuan weaves MusicCloth® by hand in a simple yet labor-intensive process. In addition to tote bags, the malleable material has been used to create art , wallets, notebooks and dresses. Chuan and her team at Rehyphen® also expanded to offer workshops through Airbnb’s “Experiences” platform to teach visitors in Singapore how to weave MusicCloth® creations. The globally recognized textile has even found a place in New York City’s Material ConneXion library and has also been recognized by the University of Pennsylvania and Red Dot 21. The material was recently entered in the Golden Pin Design Award’s new Integration Design category. Related: This jewelry is made with upcycled gold from Dell computers “We hope to encourage people to see waste with fresh perspective, and get curious about how things are made,” Chuan said. “We throw things away for they are broken, no longer useful or having lost their charm. We, however, elevate everyday objects to a work of art, and to show that up-cycling art is not an environment movement but instead is a reminder that observing the other side of existence is the essence of art.” + Rehyphen® Images via Rehyphen®

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Artist upcycles discarded cassette tapes into eco-friendly MusicCloth

German company converts old shipping containers into gorgeous living spaces

May 16, 2018 by  
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Building with shipping containers may be a growing trend, but converting these steel boxes into livable spaces is no easy feat. Thankfully, forward-thinking German company  Containerwerk  is making the process a lot easier by reforming recycled containers to pass on to architects, who will then create beautiful homes or offices within the structures. Building with shipping containers has been popular for years, but the actual process of transforming the old steel boxes into viable living structures is quite complicated. One of the biggest challenges is insulating the structures so that they can be used as homes, offices or shelters. Related: Striking apartment complex is made of 48 raw shipping containers Containerwerk co-founder Ivan Mallinowski invented an industrial system to line the structures with a layer of foam insulation .”Insulation is the big problem with building houses with containers,” Mallinowski said in a Dezeen  video. “If you look at the physics of a container, it is made from steel, and steel is a very good heat conductor. We build a special type of insulation. It’s a monolithic insulation, made by an industrial process and surrounds the whole container inside without any heat bridges.” According to Mallinowski, using the specialty foam insulation not only makes the containers more  efficient ; it also allows for 10-centimeter thick walls, meaning that designers can make the most out of the containers’ already limited space. He said, “We can build very thin walls so that the space in the container is as big as possible.” The company recently displayed a finished work at this year’s Milan Design Week . The installation featured a two-story shipping container home made from three refurbished containers. It was prefabricated off site, and it took just two days to assemble at the event. A colorful exterior with large round windows gave the home a fun, contemporary feel. The modern design continued on throughout the interior, where high-end furniture and natural light created a vibrant living space, a drastic change from the structures’ original use. + Containerwerk Via Dezeen Images via Containerwerk

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German company converts old shipping containers into gorgeous living spaces

LEED Gold UBC Aquatic Center boasts innovative water recycling

April 11, 2018 by  
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A striking aquatics center on the University of British Columbia Vancouver Campus melds elite-level swimming facilities with impressive eco-credentials. Designed by Canadian architecture firm MJMA , in collaboration with Acton Ostry Architects , to achieve LEED Gold certification, the UBC Aquatic Center is awash in high water demands with its three pools, hot tub, steam and sauna, drinking fountains, and 34 showers. To meet water efficiency regulations set out by UBC and LEED Gold, the architects employed an innovative water management system that includes water recycling and an underground cistern tank that can store 1.3 million liters of rainwater at a time. The 85,000-square-foot UBC Aquatic Center is more than just a recreational facility for UBC staff and students. Envisioned as a community resource, the swimming center was also created to provide a high-performance training and competition venue for Olympians and includes separated sections for Community Aquatics and Competition Aquatics. In a fitting response to the demanding brief, the architects topped the mostly glazed building with a white angular roof for that gives the facility a sense of eye-catching drama and helps facilitate rainwater collection. Combined with a long skylight that bisects the building, the continuous ceramic fritted glazing that wraps around three elevations brings in copious amounts of natural light . Sensors for zoned lighting control help reduce electricity demands. Healthy indoor air quality is promoted with an air flow system that replaces chloromine-contaminated air from the top of the water surface with fresh air. Related: Flussbad Berlin Wants to Build an Enormous Natural Swimming Pool in the City’s River Water is captured from the roof and reused for plumbing, landscape irrigation and pool top up. Rainwater collection provides the facility with around 2.7 million liters of water each year—an amount equivalent to an Olympic-sized pool. Renewable materials were also used throughout the build with approximately 30% of materials sourced from British Columbia and Washington State. + MJMA Via Architect Magazine Images by Ema Peter

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LEED Gold UBC Aquatic Center boasts innovative water recycling

The 2018 Super Bowl stadium in Minnesota offsets 100% of its energy

January 26, 2018 by  
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The NFL’s Super Bowl LII kicks off next Sunday—but football won’t be the only thing on our mind when the game begins. This year’s championship game will be held in Minneapolis, the northernmost American city to ever host a Super Bowl, at the LEED Gold-certified U.S. Bank Stadium . Designed by American architecture firm HKS , the energy-efficient NFL stadium is home to the Minnesota Vikings, and it offsets 100% of its electricity with renewable energy credits and employs energy-efficient technologies. Minneapolis’ snowy winter climate presented a major challenge in designing the 1.8 million-square-foot U.S. Bank Stadium. The sculptural shape of the stadium, which features a jagged form evoking ice formations and Viking longboats, was designed in response to environmental conditions: the asymmetrical steep roofline efficiently sheds snow, while southern exposure is maximized for increased snow melting capability. Inspired by traditional Nordic dwellings, the stadium’s lightweight roof uses a single steel truss and is covered with ETFE —the first ETFE roof in a U.S. stadium—to allow solar thermal heating and natural daylight. It has the added benefit of letting the visitors feel as if they’re sitting outside. In addition to translucent ETFE, high-performance glass wraps around part of the stadium to further minimize the need for artificial lighting. Zinc cladding envelops the majority of the building – this material was chosen for its low maintenance and durability. The form of the building optimizes air circulation, which draws captured heat from a “heat reservoir” down to the seating bowl. In the summer, the flow of air risers is reversed to take advantage of the “stack effect” , which ventilates heat at the top of the building while drawing in cool air from below. Related: The 50th Super Bowl at Levi’s Stadium will be a net-zero energy game Heat recovery, air handling units, efficient ventilation, and high-efficiency motors reduced the U.S. Bank Stadium’s energy costs by 16 percent as compared to Minneapolis’ smaller Metrodome, the former home of the Vikings. Lighting was also reduced by 37 percent thanks to the installation of LED sports lighting. The stadium has implemented a sustainability program and is working towards becoming a zero-waste facility. Super Bowl LII will take place Sunday, February 4 at the U.S. Bank Stadium featuring the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. + HKS Images via HKS

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The 2018 Super Bowl stadium in Minnesota offsets 100% of its energy

Foster + Partners unveils LEED Gold-targeted PGA TOUR HQ in Florida

January 23, 2018 by  
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Foster + Partners has unveiled designs for the new PGA TOUR headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The sleek, light-filled building will be equipped with sustainable biophilic design features that will help the project obtain its targeted LEED Gold certification. Surrounded by greenery, the building will be placed within a large freshwater lake in a nod to the iconic ‘Island Green’ 17th hole at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course. Located to the south of the Clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass, the 187,000-square-foot PGA TOUR headquarters will serve as the new Global Home for the professional golf platform. The new headquarters will also consolidate all the offices —currently spread out across multiple buildings—under one roof. The new building will stress a sense of openness, transparency, and flexibility for a greater collaborative environment. “Inspired by the lush greenery of TPC Sawgrass and the beautiful Floridian light, the new PGA TOUR headquarters is designed as an extension of its surrounding landscape,” said Nigel Dancey, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners. “As the Global Home of the PGA TOUR, it brings the organization under one roof for the first time, and signifies the progressive spirit of the TOUR.” Twenty-foot-wide bridges connect the two building bays and allow for informal meetings, while flexible workspaces cater to the increasingly mobile workforce. Related: Foster + Partners’ Apple Park Visitor Center opens to the public Natural light and air pours into the headquarters through glazed facades and five large skylights. Axial landscape views are welcomed into the building, and employees will have access to a 1.3-kilometer running track in the middle of the woods. Rooftop solar panels will power a portion of the building’s energy needs, while deep roof overhangs mitigate solar heat gain. + Foster + Partners Images via Foster + Partners

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Repurposed cargotecture dwellings keep naturally cool in Costa Rica

January 23, 2018 by  
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An environmentally conscious family tapped DAO and Re Arquitectura to design a home expansion project with low landscape impact. In response, the architecture firms created Franceschi Container Houses, a series of cargotecture apartments to independently house the family’s three sons. Located in Santa Ana west of Costa Rica’s capital, the repurposed shipping container dwellings make use of passive climate control, solar water heaters, and recycled materials to minimize waste and energy demands. Set next to the Uruca River canyon, the Franceschi Container Houses were built on the same property as the main family house where the clients have been living for around 20 years. The project comprises three independent units raised off the ground for minimal landscape impact . The dwellings were built from repurposed 40-foot-tall cargo containers and feature identical floor plans. Related: Qatar unveils first-ever FIFA World Cup stadium to be built from shipping containers The architects carefully placed the dwellings to maximize passive climate control conditions and to optimize natural lighting. The social areas and a deep covered porch are located on the ground floor while the private areas are placed on the upper level. Waste was minimized through recycling and leftover materials like wood and metal were reused for miscellaneous objects like handrails, door handles, planters, and hangers. + Re Arquitectura Via ArchDaily Images via Re Arquitectura

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Repurposed cargotecture dwellings keep naturally cool in Costa Rica

Google and BIG unveil designs for new green-roofed tech campus in Sunnyvale

January 5, 2018 by  
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Google and BIG have teamed up for yet another massive and spectacular Google campus—this time in Sunnyvle’s Moffett Park. Google recently unveiled plans for a new BIG-designed campus last month, following the acclaimed architecture firm’s work on Google’s Mountain View and London campuses . Located on Caribbean Drive, the 1.04-million-square-foot project could accommodate 4,500 employees and feature eye-catching terraced buildings topped with accessible green roofs. Designed to foster community and healthy living, Google’s new Sunnyvale campus will be flush with green space including on its roof. Unsurprisingly, the project will target LEED Gold and is expected to rack up points through its native, low-irrigation landscape and promotion of eco-friendly transit like cycling to work. Related: Google unveils giant green ‘landscraper’ for London HQ The massive site could also accommodate more than just office space. “Housing is part of our thought process in Moffett Park,” Mark Golan, chief operating officer of Google’s global real estate investments & development unit, told The Mercury News . “A new mixed-use community where you have live-work capabilities, makes a lot of sense. Housing and transportation are two huge issues for the Valley overall, and they are huge issues for Google. One of the best ways to address this is by creating mixed-use communities that allow people to live close to where they work, which allows for a vibrant community and also helps the transportation.” The project is not expected for completion until 2021 at the earliest. + BIG Via ArchDaily Images via Google

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LEED Gold-seeking SXSW Headquarters breaks ground

November 24, 2017 by  
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The multimedia behemoth South by Southwest (SXSW) just broke ground on its new “green” headquarters in downtown Austin. Located a block away from the city Capitol, the striking building aims for LEED Gold certification and will boast a large green roof, rain gardens, and other energy-efficient systems. Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects heads the design of the new mixed-use structure and will work together with landscape architecture firm dwg. to preserve the property’s existing heritage live oaks. The 280,000-square-foot glass-clad SXSW Headquarters will comprise 12 floors—five of which will be dedicated to parking for 300 cars—and consolidate the company’s various campuses. The new building sports a serpentine shape optimized for views of the Capitol dome and to preserve the grove of heritage live oaks. The curved building also serves to frame an inviting new public plaza with rain gardens , seating, and pedestrian pathways at the corner of Lavaca and 14th Streets. A spacious cafe and flexible, informal coworking spaces will complement the ground-floor entry and lobby. “Their special vision led to a transformation of the typical office building paradigm,” said lead designer Yvonne Szeto of the SXSW founders. “The lobby was reimagined not as a traditional circulation space but as a relaxed and welcoming living room that fosters interaction between tenants as well as with the neighboring community.” Related: Energy-efficient Bluebonnet Studios offers sustainable housing to Austin’s most vulnerable citizens A major highlight of the building will be The Rooftop Deck, a 2,000-square-foot covered patio surrounded by greenery that’s located 165 feet above downtown Austin for sweeping views of the Capitol and Hill Country. The project is slated for completion in 2019. + Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Renderings by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and CZ Properties

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