Dibdo Francis Kr’s rainwater-harvesting 2017 Serpentine Pavilion unveiled in London today

June 20, 2017 by  
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Today marks the official debut of Diébédo Francis Kéré’s spectacular rainwater-harvesting Serpentine Pavilion . The 2017 pavilion was unveiled on a perfectly sunny day – but when it rains the roof will protect protect visitors from drizzle while funneling precipitation it into a central waterfall and storing it for irrigation in the surrounding park. The pavilion is inspired by the culture of Kéré’s home village of Gando in Burkina Faso even as it plays with experimental construction techniques and embraces the climate in Britain. Diébédo Francis Kéré, who runs Berlin-based Kéré Architecture , is the first African architect to construct a Serpentine Pavilion . Kéré cited trees as his design inspiration. The pavilion is topped by a massive canopy – visitors can walk underneath and be safe from the rain while at the same time experiencing the weather through a transparent roof and wall openings that allow the wind to blow through. Related: Diébédo Francis Kéré unveils 2017 Serpentine Pavilion with rain-gathering roof The roof is made of wood , supported by a hidden steel frame. Raindrops that fall on the pavilion are funneled into an oculus, creating a waterfall. Then the water enters a drainage system on the floor for use in irrigation later. The walls are made from prefabricated wooden blocks. At night the blocks create an intricate play of shadow and light as the gaps twinkle from movement inside the pavilion. Trees offer a place to gather in Burkina Faso, and Kéré hopes his Serpentine Pavilion in London will also offer a space for people to visit and share their experiences. In his design statement he spoke of his aim for the Pavilion to “become a beacon of light, a symbol of storytelling and togetherness.” And in his video on the pavilion’s design, he spoke of his desire for the pavilion to be inclusive and offer a space for all. + Kéré Architecture + Serpentine Galleries Via ArchDaily Images © Kéré Architecture, Photography © 2017 Iwan Baan ; © Erik Jan Ouwerkerk; © Enrico Cano; and © Simeon Duchoud

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Dibdo Francis Kr’s rainwater-harvesting 2017 Serpentine Pavilion unveiled in London today

Britain installs worlds biggest wind turbines near Liverpool

May 18, 2017 by  
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It’s official: Britain is now the world’s leader in wind turbine technology. Yesterday, Danish company Dong Energy finished installing 32 of the world’s biggest turbines in Liverpool Bay as part of the Burbo Bank extension. Standing 195-meters in length with blades longer than nine London buses, the turbines are now live and generating clean energy . Each of the new turbines stands taller than the Gherkin skyscraper and has more than twice the power capacity of those in a neighboring wind farm which was completed a decade ago, according to the Guardian. Said Benjamin Sykes, the country manager for Dong Energy UK, “That shows you something about the scale-up of the industry, the scale-up of the technology.” Sykes hailed the installation as a “very important milestones” for the renewable energy sector. The Guardian notes this is the first time 8MW turbines have been commercially used anywhere in the world. As a result, the UK can now boast that it has installed more offshore wind power than any other country. Subsidies, agreeable regulations, and a maritime past have made this monumental achievement possible. Related: Siemens Creates the World’s Largest Turbine Blades for New UK Wind Farm! Now, the UK has a capacity of 5.3GW, which means enough electricity can be generated to power 4.3 million homes. And, the sovereign state has no intention of slowing down. Eight more projects are already under construction, and they are expected to add more than half the capacity again. In Germany, Sykes recently received approval to build the world’s first subsidy-free offshore wind farm . By the time that project begins construction, he believes turbines as powerful as 13MW or 15MW will be on the market. “There’s every reason to think they will arrive,” said Sykes. Improved technology will also ensure those in the clean energy sector continue to receive taxpayer support in the UK, as ministers have made it clear cuts need to be made in the industry. “This and other projects have been crucial for driving costs down for the whole industry,” said Skyes, referring to the Burbo Bank extension. + Dong Energy Via The Guardian Images via Pixabay , Dong Energy

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Britain installs worlds biggest wind turbines near Liverpool

This 18th-century London townhouse hides a swimming pool under a glass floor

May 4, 2017 by  
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This 18th-century London townhouse hides a swimming pool under a glass floor

London’s Marston Court transforms shipping containers into emergency housing for the homeless

April 26, 2017 by  
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A newly-constructed emergency h ousing development in London’s Ealing borough provides 34 temporary apartments to the needy. CargoTek teamed up with QED Property , ISO Spaces and Ealing Council to build the innovative Marston Court development out of re-purposed shipping containers, using a kit of moveable and re-usable parts for maximum flexibility. The project addresses the issue of homelessness with flexible, temporary and affordable design solutions. Marston Court is located on a disused brownfield site on Bordars Walk in Ealing. The project revitalizes vacant land by providing emergency accommodation to those in need, including young families and low-income individuals. Related: CargoTek taps shipping containers for affordable UK homes and offices The project will house up to 72 people in 34 fully furnished apartments with a management office, laundry and refuse storage. It includes a landscaped outdoor area with a playground. ISO Spaces manufactured the modular components in their production facility in Cornwall. The company’s founder Gregg Curtis said: “Homelessness is an issue that is always critical at any scale, We need to design and develop more solutions to these issues. Our focus is on providing real products to do that. And working in partnerships with organizations that can deploy those solutions at scale is critical.” + CargoTek + ISO Spaces + QED Property

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London’s Marston Court transforms shipping containers into emergency housing for the homeless

Europes tallest modular tower snaps together in north London

April 20, 2017 by  
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The last module has slotted into place on Europe’s tallest modular tower. Designed by multidisciplinary practice HTA Design LLP , the record-breaking Apex House is a new student housing development that rises to the height of 29 stories in the Wembley Regeneration Area. Completed in just 12 months, the modular high-rise makes use of highly advanced prefabrication techniques and boasts energy-saving systems to achieve a BREEAM rating of Excellent. Developed by Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems , the Apex House comprises 679 modules with over 580 rooms that’ll be ready for students to move into this fall. The modules were prefabricated in Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems’ factory 60 miles away in Bedford with all the furniture, windows, electric wiring, and plumbing installed before they were transported to the site. The modules were stacked to a height of 90 meters in just 13 weeks. Related: Apartment Tour: Inside the world’s tallest modular building “Modular construction provides a much faster alternative to traditional construction without compromising on the quality of the building, or the versatility of the design,” said Christy Hayes, chief executive officer at Tide Construction, according to WAN . “Modular produces 80% less waste, requires fewer onsite workers and provides certainty of cost and time. Apex House is a shining example of what modular construction can bring to UK property, whether its hotels, residential apartments, build to rent or student accommodation .” The Apex House is the second tallest modular building in the world. + HTA Design LLP + Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems Via WAN Images via http://www.visionmodular.com , photos by Richard Southall

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Europes tallest modular tower snaps together in north London

Greening the fleet: Uber eyes EV-only service in London

April 5, 2017 by  
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Charging infrastructure is the major barrier to rolling out all-electric taxis in London, according to findings from six-month Uber study.

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Greening the fleet: Uber eyes EV-only service in London

World’s oldest fossils discovered in Canada – and they’re 4 billion-years-old

March 2, 2017 by  
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Around four billion years ago, bacteria formed tiny tubes and filaments, likely in deep-sea hydrothermal vents. An international team of scientists lead by the University College London (UCL) recently discovered those microorganism remains, preserved for billions of years, which the scientists think could be the oldest fossils humans have ever unearthed. The discovery might even hold clues to life on other planets like Mars .

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World’s oldest fossils discovered in Canada – and they’re 4 billion-years-old

Santiago Calatrava unveils spectacular 1 billion London landmark

February 2, 2017 by  
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Starchitect Santiago Calatrava unveiled spectacular designs for a £1 billion glass landmark in London’s emerging cultural district, Greenwich Peninsula . Commissioned by Knight Dragon, the 1.4-million-square-foot mixed-use development is Calatrava’s first design in Britain. The new landmark, called Peninsula Place, will sit at the heart of London’s largest single regeneration project, a £8.4 billion transformation of the Peninsula that will provide over 15,000 new homes in seven new neighborhoods. Calatrava’s Peninsula Place will serve as the gateway to Greenwich Peninsula and become part of the Peninsula Central, a neighborhood that will also be home to two buildings designed by Greenwich Peninsula’s masterplanners Allies & Morrison . Together the neighborhood will offer 800 new homes, a quarter of which will be affordable. Peninsula Place’s lower level will include a new tube and bus station, theater, cinema and performance venue, bars, shops, and a wellbeing hub. Three towers rise above this mixed-use base and will contain office space, apartments, and hotels. Related: C.F. Møller’s Low Carbon Energy Center slashes carbon footprint in Greenwich Peninsula A new land bridge will connect Peninsula Place to the Thames River. Sammy Lee of Knight Dragon said: “My ambition is for Greenwich Peninsula to be a unique cultural destination for Londoners and visitors to this global city. Calatrava’s contribution will help ensure that the UK’s biggest regeneration project fulfills its potential to become just that.” Knight Dragon’s plans for Greenwich Peninsula also include central London’s first major film studio, a new design district, schools, office spaces, health services, and public spaces. + Santiago Calatrava Images © Uniform

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Scientists find evidence of lost continent beneath Mauritius

February 2, 2017 by  
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A group of geoscientists have uncovered an ancient secret. The scientists from German and South African research institutions found evidence of a formerly undiscovered continent beneath the small Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. This lost continent likely vanished into the ocean around 84 million years ago, undiscovered by humans until just recently. Three geoscientists realized zircon they found on Mauritius was much too old for the relatively new island which formed in the wake of underwater volcanic eruptions eight to nine million years ago. Volcanic eruptions on the island spewed out the zircon crystals that researchers now think may derive from an ancient continent linking India and Madagascar as part of the Gondwana supercontinent. Lewis Ashwal of University of the Witwatersrand , who is the lead author on a paper published online January 31 by Nature , said, “Mauritius is an island, and there is no rock older than nine million years old on the island. However, by studying the rocks on the island, we have found zircons that are as old as three billion years.” Related: Ancient ocean crust in the Mediterranean Sea may predate supercontinent Pangea Back in 2013, scientists found ancient zircons billions of years old in Mauritius beach sand, but that find was controversial as other scientists said the materials could have arrived at the beach from somewhere else. The new discovery lends credence to the idea that there once was a continent under Mauritius billions of years ago, as these zircons could not have been transported to the island via wind or waves, according to Ashwal. He said, “The fact that we have found zircons of this age proves that there are much older crustal materials under Mauritius that could only have originated from a continent.” Now some people think other pieces of the Gondwana supercontinent may be found in the future, as we explore deeper in the oceans . Via ScienceAlert and Phys.org Images via Ludovic Lubeigt on Flickr and Susan Webb/Wits University

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World’s tiniest phone repair shops open in London’s iconic red telephone boxes

January 10, 2017 by  
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If you’re in London and need your gadget charged or repaired, you might want to look for that iconic red telephone box. A group of London-based techies have recently opened the world’s tiniest phone repair shop– Lovefonebox– housed in the city’s repurposed red telephone box, and promise to repair mobile devices in less than 30 minutes. The company, named Lovefone , have set up their first repair shop in a red telephone booth in Greenwich, London. They decided to bring these landmarks, made obsolete by mobile technology, back to life, and convert them into tiny mobile phone repair shops with a free charging service. Related: Iconic Verbier Ski Gondolas Repurposed into Stunning Shelters to be Auctioned for Charity Lovefone will start with locations in Greenwich and Knightsbridge and are planning another 6 boxes in London. Their aim is to have 35 locations in London over the next 18 months with franchise opportunities available outside London. + Lovefone

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World’s tiniest phone repair shops open in London’s iconic red telephone boxes

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