China plans its first "Forest City" to fight air pollution

February 22, 2017 by  
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Just weeks after Stefano Boeri announced plans for China’s first vertical forest, the Italian architect unveiled an even more ambitious vision: Forest Cities. Scaling up from his tree-clad Bosco Verticale skyscraper, Boeri created a blueprint for new cities in China that will be blanketed in greenery to fight air pollution. The first implementation of the nature-filled city will start in the city of Liuzhou, with construction expected to begin later this year. Stefano Boeri’s Forest City masterplans are envisioned as models of sustainable growth in China , a country choked with smog and undergoing rapid urbanization as millions of farmers migrate to cities every year. “We have been asked to design an entire city where you don’t only have one tall building but you have 100 or 200 buildings of different sizes, all with trees and plants on the facades,” Boeri told the Guardian . “We are working very seriously on designing all the different buildings. I think they will start to build at the end of this year. By 2020 we could imagine having the first forest city in China.” The Forest City was created as a scalable development following a petal formation. Each petal, which caters to a population of 20,000, can be scaled to include five petals in a single region, forming a flower-like formation centered on communal green space . All buildings would be covered in trees and greenery to help suck tons of carbon out of the atmosphere, pump oxygen into the air, and provide soothing habitat to both humans and native fauna. Related: China’s first vertical forest is rising in Nanjing The first Forest City settlement is planned for Liuzhou, home to around 1.5 million residents in the southern province of Guangxi. Boeri has high hopes to build the second Forest City in Shijiazhuang, a northern city in Hebei province that ranks among China’s worst for air quality . + Stefano Boeri Via The Guardian Images via Stefano Boeri

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China plans its first "Forest City" to fight air pollution

Flowing home in Portugal challenges the rectangular architecture of its neighbors

February 13, 2017 by  
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With its bold curved walls and inner courtyard focus, this minimalist house in Portugal creates a strong sense of intimacy while challenging the architecture of neighboring buildings. dIONISO LAB designed House L27 with the patio as the main protagonist, blurring the line between interior and exterior spaces, yet remaining relatively opaque when seen from the street. The house is located in a suburban area of Póvoa de Varzim in Northern P ortugal . Its design was derived from the area’s new masterplan , dominated by residential lots with centrally positioned structures surrounding by garden and paved areas. The architects came up with an unusual, fluid layout that competes with the predominantly rectangular architecture in its immediate surroundings. Related: Fortress-like house in Portugal hides a surprising light-filled courtyard inside The first floor houses the main social spaces and private areas, while the living room, library, storage and garage occupy the second floor. Offering expansive views of the area, the rooftop terrace can have several uses, including entertaining guests and sunbathing. + dIONISO LAB Photos by Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

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Vincent Callebaut envisions Belgiums industrial zone as an amazing energy-generating community

January 12, 2017 by  
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Designer Vincent Callebaut presents an amazing green facelift to the century-old warehouses at Belgium’s former industrial site Tour & Taxis in his latest designs for a mixed-use eco-neighborhood. His masterplan transforms the 40-hectare post-industrial site into a sustainable community draped in greenery that generates more energy than its residents need. His futuristic design is part of a greater vision to help European cities transition their built environments towards a post-carbon future. Built at the turn of the 20th century to serve as a major freight and customs clearance center, Tour & Taxis was once the shining jewel of industrialization’s golden age with its majestic engineering, ironwork, and stonework. The 40-hectare industrial site was built atop former wetlands located on the Brussels canal close to the heart of the city. Today, the area is undergoing major renewal and many of the impressive warehouses have been converted into offices, shops, restaurants, and exhibition spaces. Callebaut’s masterplan supports the adaptive reuse trend and expands on it with the design of a mixed-use eco-neighborhood to provide residences, as well as additional retail and office space. The redevelopment would be organized along the Brussels canal and is centered on the transformation of the Marine Terminal into the BIOCAMPUS, a 50,000-square-meter mixed-use space constructed with cross-laminated timber and inspired by biomimetic design . Three heavily landscaped residential buildings—called “vertical forests”—would sit across the repurposed Marine Terminal, totaling 85,000 square meters of new residential space. Related: Futuristic oceanscapers are floating villages 3D-printed from algae and plastic waste The energy-efficient architecture is designed to produce more energy than its users need thanks to passive design, renewable energy production through wind and solar, earth-air heat exchangers for natural ventilation, evapotranspiration gardens, geothermal stations, and more. Construction would use biosourced materials that contained recycled content or can be recycled according to cradle-to-cradle standards. Non-motorized transport would be prioritized in the neighborhood. + Vincent Callebaut Images via Vincent Callebaut

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Vincent Callebaut envisions Belgiums industrial zone as an amazing energy-generating community

Former industrial district in Finland to be transformed into an eco-friendly innovation hub

January 11, 2017 by  
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The Finnish city of Tampere just declared Schauman & Norgren Architects and Mandaworks the winners of an international competition for the redesign of Hiedanranta, a former industrial district. The 250-hectare masterplan, named Hiedanranta Innovation Bay, prescribes carbon neutral development to deal with the rapidly growing population. The design will be sensitive to the site’s industrial heritage and the natural lakeshore environment. Located northwest of the city of Tampere, Hiedanranta Innovation Bay will house 25,000 new residents and 10,000 new jobs created around a circular economy . Schauman & Norgren Architects and Mandaworks organized the area around two urban grids and divided the land into six diverse and productive neighborhoods. The neighborhoods will be connected by two major corridors—a north-south “innovation corridor” and an east-west “recreation corridor”—complemented with a cohesive landscape design integrated with passive stormwater management and habitat cultivation. Major civic buildings as well as manufacturing facilities and the innovation campus will line the innovation corridor, whereas the recreation corridor is defined by water elements such as the harbor and a grand canal. Related: Reykjavik announces plans to be carbon neutral by 2040 Public transportation and non-vehicular transport are prioritized in the masterplan. Two tram lines will crisscross the development, while cycle and pedestrian routes will make it easy for residents to move between neighborhoods. The masterplan will be installed in three phases, from 2025 to 2045. “Embracing the circular economy and creative potential of Tampere, the masterplan catalyses innovation, embraces the future of smart manufacturing and creates a robust platform for public life. Hiedanranta Innovation Bay embraces the site’s industrial character and builds upon its foundation to create an urban district that supports new technologies, emerging business trends and local energy production ,” says Patrick Verhoeven, partner in charge of Mandaworks. + Schauman & Norgren Architects + Mandaworks Images via Schauman & Norgren Architects

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Former industrial district in Finland to be transformed into an eco-friendly innovation hub

New project could see UK electric trains powered by off-grid solar

January 11, 2017 by  
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In what’s being hailed as a “completely unique” idea that could have “wide impact with commercial applications on electrified rail networks all over the world,” a new project in the UK could see electric trains powered by trackside solar panels that work independently from the main power grid. The Guardian reports that Imperial College London has teamed up with climate change charity 10:10 to look into using trackside solar panels to power trains. As part of the project, researchers will investigate connecting solar panels directly to power lines that supply trains, in an effort to bypass the larger power grid and more efficiently manage power demand from trains. Along with the aforementioned worldwide commercial applications, Imperial College said in a statement that if the research is successful, it would “also open up thousands of new sites to small and medium-scale renewable developments by removing the need to connect to the grid. Related: Wind power now runs all electric passenger trains in the Netherlands The Guardian notes that state-owned Network Rail is already investing billions of dollars toward electrifying railways in the UK, in an effort to get rid of polluting trains that run on diesel fuel. According to 10:10, this effort, combined with the growing production of renewable power in the country could add up to significantly less carbon emissions by 2050. As many trains in the country run through rural areas where the electricity grid is tough to access, the plan to power trains with solar panels not connected to the grid could have widespread applications. The project’s first goal is to look at the feasibility of converting “third rail systems” that supply electricity through power lines close to the ground, which are used on about one third of the country’s tracks. “I don’t think you get a better fit for PPA than a train line,” said Leo Murray of 10:10. “A rural train line even more so, the project would open up many investment opportunities across the country and further afield.” Via The Guardian Images via Sunil060902 and Siemens UK

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UNStudio and Heerim design garden-filled luxury development in Seoul

November 17, 2016 by  
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The existing 32-tower site comprises over a million square meters with 4,424 apartments. UNStudio and Heerim will completely redevelop the current homes into a “new and future-oriented eco-design” that adds over 1,500 new apartments by replacing the 35-story towers with 50-story towers. All parking will be tucked underground to make room for a new garden landscape. The buildings are south-oriented and glazed to maximize natural light and cross ventilation . Related: UNStudio’s sculptural Fairyland Guorui Villa mimics Beijing’s river landscape The redevelopment follows a “Live, Work, Play” philosophy and is organized around six themed gardens that break the massive residential area down into neighborhood blocks that inspire education. The six gardens include: the Curiosity Forest, Excitement Garden, Alluring Urban-ground, Contemplation Cloud, Playfulness Park and Longevity Fields. The development is also further divided into four circular themed zone to create a total of 24 neighborhoods, all with access to greenery, lively streets, and easy connections to mass transportation, educational centers, and recreation facilities. Six “iconic towers” clustered at the center of the site house facilities catering to luxury urban living, art, culture, and healthy lifestyles. + UNStudio + Heerim Images via UNStudio

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UNStudio and Heerim design garden-filled luxury development in Seoul

MAD completes the undulating Harbin Opera House in China

December 24, 2015 by  
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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects unveil a pedestrian-friendly masterplan for Oslo’s Eureka Kvarteret

December 15, 2015 by  
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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects unveiled their winning competition proposal to design the area of Skøyen in central Oslo, Norway. The masterplan scheme aims to create a clear street network of main streets, internal passageways, shortcuts and promenades which will strengthen local engagement and link the area with major transportation hubs. Read the rest of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects unveil a pedestrian-friendly masterplan for Oslo’s Eureka Kvarteret

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects unveil a pedestrian-friendly masterplan for Oslo’s Eureka Kvarteret

Central China’s most populous city gets New Urban redesign by Foster + Partners

June 11, 2015 by  
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Central China’s most populous city will soon be home to a highly walkable and livable urban paradise. Foster + Partners recently received approval for their masterplan of Yuexiu International Financial City, a large and historically significant site in the heart of Wuhan city . Largely informed by Wuhan’s history, culture, and existing urban infrastructure, the masterplan will serve as a “new urban model” that features sustainable urban planning principles, including highly walkable mixed-use spaces. Read the rest of Central China’s most populous city gets New Urban redesign by Foster + Partners Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Foster + Partners , Luke Fox , masterplan , mixed-use , walkable , wuhan , Wuhan masterplan , Yuexiu International Financial City , Yuexiu International Financial City by Foster + Partners

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Benoy Unveils Designs for Park-Centered Mixed-Use Development in the Heart of Chengdu

November 6, 2014 by  
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