Boa Mistura turns 52 fishing boats into art to bring awareness to the plight of the parrotfish

April 16, 2019 by  
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Inspired by the natural design and shapes of the tropical parrotfish, these previously-rusty old boats now don bright new exteriors. The venture was another in a long line of community projects aimed to create “art as a tool for change” organized by the Madrid-based art collective Boa Mistura . The Pepillo Salcedo village in the Dominican Republic has limited access to electricity and running water, and fishing is an essential facet of the economy and life. Boa Mistura, known for inspiring neighborhoods with its artwork, incorporated the community into the endeavor. With the help of local fishermen and their families, 52 fishing boats were sanded down, removed of mollusks, repaired with fiberglass and painted with primer to prepare them for their colorful transformations. The fishermen of Pepillo Salcedo took to the project enthusiastically, some paddling for hours to reach Los Coquitos Beach, where their boats were to be painted. Related: Old fisherman’s shack is reimagined as a dreamy eco retreat The utilization of the parrotfish conception was a mindful decision, as the animal holds a special significance in the tropical Caribbean region. The parrotfish feed off algae that collect onto the coral reefs , contributing to the cleanliness and therefore survival of the vital coral. What’s more, when the parrotfish eat the algae, it allows for the coral polyps (the soft, tiny organisms that help to form the structure of reefs) to become more resilient to other stressors, such as pollution or global warming. The fish feeds off of the coral itself as well, which is then turned into sand through the parrotfish’s digestive system and the animal’s tough teeth — some of the strongest teeth in the ocean , according to scientists. It is a fragile balance and relationship that benefits both the fish and the reef. A single parrotfish can produce hundreds of pounds worth of white sand in a single year, which means a substantial portion of the Caribbean beaches is made of parrotfish poop. Though the parrotfish is a protected species, intense illegal fishing has caused a devastating deterioration in both the fish population and the delicate harmony of the ecosystem. Needless to say, if the parrotfish numbers continue to decline, the region’s iconic white sand beaches and the colorful coral reefs will be in big trouble . The entire project took about four weeks, and now the 52 yolas (the local term for these traditional fishing boats) that cruise the Bay of Manzanillo serve as a reminder for the respect and mindfulness required for the survival of the Caribbean parrotfish, white sand beaches and coral reefs. + Boa Mistura Images via Boa Mistura

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Boa Mistura turns 52 fishing boats into art to bring awareness to the plight of the parrotfish

Spectacular aerial sculpture hovers above a Madrid plaza

February 20, 2018 by  
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A symphony of color has taken to the air above Plaza Mayor. The instantly recognizable aerial sculpture is the work of none other than American artist Janet Echelman , who the City of Madrid commissioned to help celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Plaza Mayor. Titled 1.78 Madrid, the sculpture “explores the cycle of time” and the far-reaching effects of natural phenomenon and the built environment on our lives. Unveiled February 9 this year, 1.78 Madrid was displayed for a 10-day celebratory event that concluded yesterday. Highly engineered colorful fibers 15 times stronger than steel by weight were braided, knotted, and spliced together to create a dynamic form that constantly changes in the wind and provides a soft counterpoint to Plaza Mayor’s hard edges. At night, the sculpture was illuminated with colored lights. 1.78 Madrid is the latest addition to Echelman’s Earth Time Series that began in 2010 with works exhibited across the world. According to project statement on Echelman’s website, the number “1.78” within the title “refers to the number of microseconds that the day was shortened when a single physical event shifted the earth’s mass, thus speeding up the planet’s rotation of one day,” however it’s not clear what specific event the “1.78” alludes to. In Echelman’s previous works titled “1.8,” the number was a reference to how the 2011 Tohoku earthquake shortened the length of the day by 1.8 microseconds. Regardless, the cycles of time and causality are explored in all her works. Related: Janet Echelman’s dazzling aerial sculpture maps the devastating power of an earthquake “The artwork reminds us of our complex interconnectedness with larger cycles of time and the systems of our physical world,” continues the project statement. “The sculpture’s materials embody this. When any one element in the sculpture’s network moves, every other element is affected. Our surroundings affect how we feel and how we experience our lives – we are responsible for the way our cities look and function.” + Janet Echelman Images via Janet Echelman , by João Ferrand

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Spectacular aerial sculpture hovers above a Madrid plaza

World’s first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge pops up in Madrid

January 23, 2017 by  
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Behold, the world’s first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge. Inaugurated December 14 in the park of Castilla-La Mancha in Alcobendas, just south of Madrid in Spain, the 40-foot-long is made up of eight parts, each one comprising layers of fused concrete powder micro-reinforced with thermoplastic polypropylene. The bridge is the brainchild of the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia , a Barcelona-based research and education center that worked with a contingent of architects, mechanical and structural engineers, and municipal representatives to bring the design to life. Besides Acciona , the firm that performed most of the heavy lifting, both literally and figuratively, the institute’s most notable collaborator was Enrico Dini , the so-called “man who prints houses.” Dini developed D-Shape , a massive 3D printer that’s the first—and perhaps only—of its kind to bind sand into layer after layer of solid rock. With the Alcobendas bridge marking a civil-engineering first, the IAAC is hailing the construction as a “milestone for the construction sector at international level.” Related: 3-D Printer Creates Entire Buildings From Solid Rock But the designers didn’t neglect to tip a hat to the ur-architect: nature. The IAAC leveraged parametric modeling to not only reflect the “complexities of nature’s forms” but also optimize the distribution of raw materials. “The computational design also allows to maximize the structural performance, being able to dispose the material only where it is needed, with total freedom of forms, maintaining the porosity thanks to the application of generative algorithms and challenging the traditional techniques of construction,” the institute said. The result? Less waste, greater stability, and one heck of a conversation piece. + Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

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World’s first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge pops up in Madrid

Four major cities pledge to ban diesel cars by 2025

December 2, 2016 by  
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Air pollution plagues many large cities , and now four major metropolises are taking a stand. At the C40 Mayors Summit ending today in Mexico City, Paris, Madrid, Mexico City, and Athens pledged to ban diesel cars by 2025. They also urged car manufacturers to take action, saying they will provide incentives for their residents to walk, bike, or drive alternatively-fueled cars. Air pollution leads to three million deaths every single year, with most fatalities occurring in cities, according to the World Health Organization. As diesel cars pump out contaminating fumes, the four cities decided to remove those vehicles from their cities. In addition to carbon dioxide, cars emit nitrogen dioxide and tiny particles, worsening air quality especially in congested urban areas. Related: 6 brilliant smog-eating designs ridding cities of air pollution According to The Guardian, it’s not precisely clear if the pledge will include a total ban, or if it will simply ban cars from some areas of the cities, and if so, exactly which areas. But such a move could be especially beneficial for Mexico City, which just this year banned over one million cars in an air pollution crisis. Mexico City mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera said in a statement , “It is no secret that in Mexico City we grapple with the twin problems of air pollution and traffic.” Public transportation , like the subway and bus system, will be expanded, according to the mayor, as will bicycling infrastructure. Athens mayor Giorgos Kaminis indicated he wants to take his city even one step further by removing every car from Athens’ center. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo challenged the car industry to take pollution as seriously as the four cities. “Today, we…stand up to say we no longer tolerate air pollution and the health problems and deaths it causes – particularly for our most vulnerable citizens,” she said. “Big problems like air pollution require bold action, and we call on car and bus manufacturers to join us.” Via The Guardian Images via Mike Norton on Flickr and Pixabay

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Four major cities pledge to ban diesel cars by 2025

Foster + Partners to transform historic Madrid building into solar-powered Prado Museum addition

November 25, 2016 by  
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Foster + Partners and Rubio Arquitectura’s design beat out a shortlist of eight other proposals by practices including OMA and David Chipperfield Architects . The renovation of the Hall of Realms will create additional display space for permanent and temporary exhibitions at the Prado Museum. As one of the few surviving structures from the former 17th century Buen Retiro Palace, the Hall of Realms holds special historic significance in the city. The Hall of Realms’s magnificent and intricate interiors will be restored , while the facade will be delicately opened to let in natural light and views. These openings will transform the historic building into a more permeable, public-facing structure with connections to the new civic plaza and terrace cafes. In addition to solar panels, the new roof will be cantilevered to protect the southern facade from intense sunlight. Related: Beautifully restored 135-year-old building revives one of Delhi’s oldest markets “On behalf of the team that I led at Foster + Partners in collaboration with Rubio Arquitectura, I would like to say how honoured we are to contribute to this next phase of the expansion of the Prado – one of the truly great museums of the world,” said Lord Foster. “The Hall of Realms, built by Crescenzi and Carbonel in the 1630’s, is one of the very few remains of the former palace and predates the Museum which was conceived in 1819. Two centuries later the transformation and expansion of this historic hall will add significant new galleries and related public spaces to the Prado. It will also create, as a setting, a new urban focus for the city of Madrid.” The renovation project will be completed in time for the museum’s 200th anniversary celebrations in 2019. + Foster + Partners + Rubio Arquitectura Images via Foster + Partners

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Valdivieso Arquitectos reimagines former water cistern as gorgeous Spanish home

September 20, 2016 by  
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The architecture team , led by Alejandro Valdivieso, turned the former cistern into a home that fits seamlessly into its sparsely populated suburb of Alpredrete outside Madrid . The Casa Aljibe renovation features a sweeping curved facade of glass, overlooking a central patio. The upper level of the home is the new part of the build, created from cross-laminated timber made of large, multi-layered panels of spruce-pinefir (SPF) lumber. That level houses the common areas of the home: entryway, kitchen, and living/dining area. Related: RM Passive House in Spain is a zero energy Mediterranean dream home The partially-buried lower level holds bedrooms and bathrooms in the section of the building that was once used as a warehouse. This aspect of the layout was a choice decision, due to the privacy offered by the sloping land. Even so, the architects toyed with the private spaces, flanking both bedrooms and bathrooms with large pane windows that blur the line between outside and in. The rear patio is accessible from the lower level as well, which provides outdoor space with privacy from a protective concrete wall and a corrugated shade roof. + Valdivieso Architects Via ArchDaily Images via David Frutos for Valdivieso Architects

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10 brilliant communal designs helping people work and live together

August 29, 2016 by  
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1. WeWork and WeLive WeWork is an internationally recognized concept with luxury communal working spaces situated across the globe. Their membership plans allow freelancers and entrepreneurs to work at any WeWork space in the world. They’ve recently expanded their successful brand to include WeLive , a line of fully-furnished apartment complexes that boast communal workspaces, kitchens, roof decks, and even hot tubs. 2. Neuehouse Neuehouse is another urban co-working space that caters itself to creatives. Based in New York, Los Angeles, and London, Neuehouse transforms vacated and industrial buildings into multi-level communal workspaces that include screening rooms, broadcast studios, dining spaces and conference rooms, all centered around a modernist and artistic aesthetic. 3. 17th century London church by Tom Dixon Designer Tom Dixon transformed a 17th century London church into a contemplative co-working space for Clerkenwell Design Week . He installed some of his own lighting and furniture designs, including a chandelier made of CURVE lights and geometric tables and chairs. The project was inspired by vicar Andrew Baughen, who hoped to make the church more accessible to local creatives. 4. Coworkrs Brooklyn Leeser Architects transformed an old Brooklyn factory into this vibrant co-working space near the Gowanus Canal. The converted warehouse combines striking pops of color with the raw, industrial edge of the original building. The forward-thinking design features suspended LED lighting, glass conference room alcoves, and angular staircases. 5. Hoffice Some freelancers are drawn to majestic spaces; others wish for more down-to-earth offices . Swedish project Hoffice is perfect for those who want a home atmosphere but have trouble being productive alone. Hoffice helps freelancers turn their own apartments and homes into shared co-working spaces where others can come work – for free. Many have been drawn to the Hoffice idea; people in Southeast Asia, Australia, and North America have hosted events so far. 6. B:Hive Six friends outfitted a unique co-working space in Connecticut with the goal to ” create something that couldn’t be replicated .” They scoured thrift stores to find furniture and furnishings to upcycle into a funky “anti-office,” B:Hive Bridgeport . Complete with decorations from a Ping Pong table to a bicycle desk and barn wood tables, their hive offers a vibrant space for creatives looking to connect with the community. 7. 1975 ferry transformed as a buoyant work/live space Architect Olle Lundberg often works with salvaged materials . He found a 1975 ferry in Iceland, the Maritol, and brought it to San Francisco , where he worked his magic. Lundberg converted the ferry into a space where he lived and worked with his wife before selling it to Kahle and Creon Levit, who turned the old ship into a co-working space affectionately called the ” Icebreaker .” 8. Solar-powered Coboat catamaran Coboat offers the opportunity for digital nomads to take to the seas and live and work aboard a wind – and solar -powered catamaran . Desalination provides water for the boat dwellers as they live a ” zero carbon footprint ” lifestyle on the ocean . Seating outdoors and indoors allows freelancers to take full advantage of the experience. 9. Mexico City helipad converted into a co-working space and garden Coca-Cola decided it no longer needed its rooftop helipad in a Mexico City office. So they asked Rojkind Arquitectos and AGENT to renovate the helipad into a garden and co-working space. Called Foro Ciel , the space features a green roof sprouting native plants that includes an ” integrated solar system “. Walkways through the garden offer inspiring panoramic views of the city. 10. 19th century factory in Madrid inspired by Picasso Google tasked Jump Studios with converting a 19th century Madrid factory into a campus that can house ” 7,000 workers and 50 resident start-ups .” The architecture and design firm created a bold space that incorporates the building’s brick walls. For the colors decorating the factory , Jump Studios drew inspiration from painters Joaquín Sorolla and Picasso. Images via WeWork , Neuehouse , Tom Dixon , Leeser Architecture , Hoffice by David Wild and Amrit Daniel Forss, Peter DaSilva at The New York Times , B:Hive Bridgeport Facebook , Coboat , ©Jaime Navarro courtesy of Rojkind Arquitectos, and Jump Studios

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10 brilliant communal designs helping people work and live together

Starship-like Utsikten viewpoint juts out into Norways breathtaking alpine landscape

August 29, 2016 by  
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Utsikten—Norwegian for “The View”—is located near the top of Gaular Mountain following an ascent of hairpin bends. The viewpoint was constructed almost entirely of concrete with an 80-centimeter-thick platform and raised, wing-like corners that point towards the north, south, and west. “Each corner is shaped specifically in relation to the landscape and to different use,” write the architects. “It has been an object to create a shape that stimulates physical movement, and also can work as an arena for cultural events.” Solar panels that provide all the necessary energy for the platform are installed on the west corner. Related: Giant timber periscope tower offers lakeside views to everyone — even those with disabilities Given the remote and challenging location, Utsikten was meticulously designed with physical and computer models before it was installed in phases. The finished platform creates a clean and precise shape in the landscape that will gradually soften over time as the concrete weathers and natural vegetation grows along the sides. Rails made from thick steel pipes and inconspicuous nets have been installed for safety. Seats are carved into the upturned wings. A small bathroom is tucked below. + Code Arkitektur Via ArchDaily Images by Jiri Havran

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Starship-like Utsikten viewpoint juts out into Norways breathtaking alpine landscape

This Madrid-based musician folds spectacularly intricate origami figures

December 10, 2015 by  
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Dream-like Kaleidoscope is a mirrored, multi-sensory children’s playhouse in Spain

January 21, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Dream-like Kaleidoscope is a mirrored, multi-sensory children’s playhouse in Spain Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: A2arquitectos , dream-like space , hexagonal tunnel , Kaleidoscope , madrid , mirrored , mirrored tunnel , playhouse , squash court , surreal

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