Gehry Partners unveils plant-covered offices for Los Angeles

July 21, 2017 by  
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Frank Gehry’s firm Gehry Partners is bringing a burst of greenery to Los Angeles’ Playa Vista neighborhood. The world-renowned architecture firm unveiled renderings for their new eight-story office project, called New Beatrice West, that will incorporate the firm’s current offices next door. The eco-conscious structure will be covered in green walls , topped with trees, and feature energy-efficient systems. Located on a corner lot across five contiguous lots, New Beatrice West will be a mixed-use structure that will be integrated into its nearly 88,000-square-foot neighbor, 12541 Beatrice Street, that currently houses Gehry Partners’ offices. Three levels of retail and restaurant space make up the lower floors, while the upper five levels will house offices. Parking is mostly tucked underground across two levels. The building will also accommodate long- and short-term bike parking spaces, as well as locker rooms and showers for bike commuters . Related: Frank Gehry to revitalize the LA River as “a water reclamation project” The building will comprise a series of terraced glass boxes topped with trees and covered with green walls. To minimize energy use, the architects plan to include low-flow water fixtures, energy-efficient lighting, and passive design prinicples. The project’s construction period is estimated at 22 months. + Gehry Partners Via Curbed Images via LA Department of Planning

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Nations tallest timber building to rise in Portland

June 6, 2017 by  
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The nation’s tallest wooden high-rise will soon take shape in Portland , Oregon. Funded by a $1.5 million-dollar award from the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition , the innovative timber building, named Framework, will be built from domestically sourced and engineered wood products. LEVER Architecture designed the mixed-use high-rise as a beacon of sustainability with its use of low-carbon materials, green roof, and resilient design. Slated to begin construction this fall, the 12-story Framework building will comprise ground-floor bank and retail, five floors of office space, and five floors for 60 residential units with a mix of studios as well as one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. Nearly half of the 90,000-square-foot building will be zoned for affordable housing. The mixed-use building will also be primarily built of cross laminated timber and is designed to be fire- and earthquake-resistant. In a Framework press release: “Beneficial State Bank, a triple bottom line community bank, teamed with project^, a values-based commercial real estate developer; and Home Forward, the public housing authority for Multnomah County, Oregon to reimagine their existing Pearl District property in Portland, Oregon into Framework, the nation’s first wood high-rise building. The building seeks to develop a model for a sustainable urban ecology by promoting social justice , sustainable building, and economic opportunity thus yielding broad advancement of these objectives at a national scale.” Related: Magnificent timber skyscraper will sequester carbon and add greenery to Bordeaux Framework, which is expected to complete construction in late 2018, will likely be the nation’s first timber high-rise building with wood from the ground-floor as well as the first with exposed wood in North America. The building is also expected to use significantly less energy than a traditional building of similar size and function with energy savings of 60 percent when compared to code and water savings exceeding 30 percent compared to code. Framework is also expected to result in 1,824 tons of carbon dioxide emission offsets, equivalent to taking 348 cars off the road for a year. + LEVER Architecture

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Nations tallest timber building to rise in Portland

Architects cracked this concrete building to fill its interior with daylight

May 17, 2017 by  
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Usually, architects avoid creating a building full of cracks. But the beautiful concrete facade of this mixed-use building in Aarhus, Denmark was built with intentional imperfections. Copenhagen-based architecture studio Sleth designed the building with a facade of cracked concrete that provides a glimpse of the illuminated interior and references the industrial history of the city’s Sonnesgade district. The Sonnesgade building, realized by the architects as a design-build project, revitalizes an existing industrial construction and consists of three stacked layers of long office floors. It was designed to reflect its surroundings and the transformation of the old freight terminal area into a lively cultural district. It facilitates interaction between the floors, with open-plan areas and flexible office spaces . Related: Berlin’s Tchoban Foundation Museum shelters architectural history within an energy-saving, hand-drawn concrete facade Storage and parking areas are tucked away underneath the landscaping. A sloped asphalt terrain surrounding the building forms outdoor areas for terraces, bikes and gardens, which grounds the project in the existing urban context. Thanks to its role in the rejuvenation of the area and the building’s expressive design, the project was nominated for the Architecture Award Mies Van der Rohe 2017. + Sleth architects Via Fubiz Photos by Rasmus Hjortshøj / C O A S T

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Architects cracked this concrete building to fill its interior with daylight

C.F. Mller unveils eco-conscious highrise in Sweden

May 2, 2017 by  
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International design firm C.F. Møller won an architecture competition with their proposal for an eco-conscious high-rise in the central Swedish city of Västerås. Topped with solar panels and a green roof , the energy-efficient skyscraper will be a beautiful landmark and model of hybrid design with its proposed timber and concrete structure. Greenery is woven throughout the design, from the panoramic garden on the 15th floor to the trees planted on every balcony. The 15,700-square-meter mixed-use tower was designed for an architecture competition launched by property management company Riksbyggen in January 2017. The winning design features an elliptical shape with 22 floors; concrete will be used for supporting construction up to the 15th floor, while the remaining seven floors will be framed in solid wood. Untreated wood , protected from the elements by balconies, clads the rounded facade. “The architecture and details of the facades are inspired by the light reflections on Lake Mälaren,” says Ola Jonsson, Architect and associate partner at C.F. Møller. “The result is a three-dimensional and dynamic facade composition that is exciting both near and from afar. The panoramic garden placed high up in the building is a focal point for the city and a fantastic common area for the residents of the house. Our ambition has been to optimize the synergies between the city, building and urban greenery.” Related: C.F. Møller is building a garden-filled vertical village in Antwerp The building’s ground floor will be open for restaurants and commercial use, while residences occupy the upper floors. A vertical green wall faces a public square and is complemented with small parks with active and passive spaces. A garden on the 15th floor offers additional green space to residents as well as 360-degree panoramic views of the city. Green roofs top the parking building and the tower. + C.F. Møller Images via C.F. Møller

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Thailands first LEED Platinum vertical village to rise in Bangkok

April 17, 2017 by  
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Thailand’s wealthiest man, Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, has teamed up with architecture firm SOM to plan One Bangkok, a $3.5 billion project that will be first in Thailand to target LEED Platinum certification for Neighborhood Development. Located in the heart of the capital next to Lumphini Park, the 16.7-acre mixed-use development is one of the largest private-sector developments in Thailand to date. The “people-centric” project will include luxury amenities, public spaces, and sustainable design technologies to reduce energy use. SOM designed One Bangkok to “foster community and promote well-being in a dense urban environment” using attractive streetscapes, eight acres of public plazas, and a mixed-use program. In addition to public space, the 1.83-million-square-meter project will comprise five Grade-A office towers, five luxury hotels, three luxury residential towers, and retail. An estimated 60,000 people are expected to live and work in the district upon completion in 2025. Related: SOM designs pedestrian-friendly revamp for the heart of Philadelphia To achieve LEED Platinum certification for Neighborhood Development, One Bangkok will centralize energy and water-management systems to maximize efficiency. The landscape optimizes stormwater management efficiency by reducing runoff and retaining rainwater onsite for absorption and return to groundwater. Green spaces are also integrated into the buildings on higher levels, from cascading green terraces to networks of sky gardens. The first stage of One Bangkok is expected to open in 2021. + SOM Renderings via SOM , Diagram via PPtv Thailand

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Thailands first LEED Platinum vertical village to rise in Bangkok

Gorgeous bamboo gridshell combines Cambodian design with mathematical forms

April 17, 2017 by  
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Mathematics is beautiful, a truth not lost on architects. Luca Poian Forms designed a gorgeous bamboo pavilion that draws inspiration from the Enneper minimal surface for its striking appearance. Conceived as a landmark structure for Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park, the pavilion combines innovative digital tools with low-tech and sustainable bamboo construction that also references traditional Cambodian design. Created as a submission for the Building Trust’s Camboo Bamboo Landmark Design Challenge , Luca Poian Form’s proposal responds to the competition’s call for an innovative and temporary pavilion to help popularize bamboo as a modern and desirable material in Cambodia. The architects designed a structure that uses locally sourced bamboo in ways both familiar and novel to Cambodia. The sculptural pavilion’s split bamboo roofing references traditional weaving while its undulating arches are inspired by the Ennerper surface as well as the radiating arms of the ancient Goddess Prajnaparamita. Related: Zaha Hadid Architects Win Bid to Design Mathematics Gallery in London’s Science Museum “Known for its characteristic tensile strength, bamboo is a building material that lends itself excellently to the construction of sustainable grid-shell structures,” wrote the architects. “Celebrating the material’s qualities, our proposal derives a grid-shell pattern from the trajectory of the structure’s principal stresses under gravity, effectively eliminating shear forces and maximising the pavilion’s overall stiffness. The result is highly sculptural, structurally coherent, and spatially expressive: a structure that is timeless in its architectural language and innovative in its structural and tectonic approach.” The 110-square-meter pavilion design received an honorable mention in the design competition. + Luca Poian Forms Via divisare Images via Luca Poian Forms

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This gorgeous glowing building is wrapped in an elegant slatted screen

April 4, 2017 by  
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This multi-use building in Niigata City, Japan , functions like a small town with its own park, restaurant, cobblestone alley and offices. Takeru Shoji Architects wrapped the building in an envelope made of dense wooden louvers which protect the privacy of the occupants while allowing them to glimpse the surrounding urban fabric. The building is named Wow! Sta., and it’s located in Horinouchi, an area where Niigata City center meets the suburbs . It provides a calm, private space just steps away from a busy main road. The architects addressed space, time, scale and ambiance in order to bring some order to the messy, hurried city life. Related: Airbnb launches nature-filled Tokyo office that feels like a beautiful cozy home A restaurant occupies the ground floor, and the building features a park-like outdoor dining area. Office spaces occupy the second floor, which is enclosed by trees rising up from the lush garden below. The third floor houses a multipurpose rental space with a kitchen and bathroom. A path meanders through the building, connecting all three floors and allowing visitors and occupants to enjoy the surrounding foliage. + Takeru Shoji Architects Via Architizer Photos by Takeru Shoji Architects, Koichi Satake

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This gorgeous glowing building is wrapped in an elegant slatted screen

Zaha Hadid Architects designs Beijing tower with worlds tallest atrium

February 17, 2017 by  
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Beijing is one step closer to completing the world’s tallest atrium. The 190-meter-tall atrium is part of the Leeza Soho, a 46-story mixed-use tower currently under construction that recently reached level 20. Zaha Hadid Architects designed the striking light-filled building integrated with energy-efficient systems and engineered to meet LEED Gold standards. Shaped like a slim barrel, the 172,800-square-meter Leeza Soho is set within the Lize Financial District and will be well connected with the city thanks to its position above a subway interchange station and proximity to the city’s bus routes. Zaha Hadid Architects used the subway lines that run beneath the site as the basis for a diagonal axis that splits the tower into two halves connected via the central atrium . The architects write: “As the tower rises, the diagonal axis through the site defined by the subway tunnel is re-aligned by ‘twisting’ the atrium through 45 degrees to orientate the atrium’s higher floors with the east-west axis of Lize Road, one of west Beijing’s primary avenues.” Related: Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza focuses on environmental sustainability The twist in the atrium allows natural light to penetrate into the center of all the floors and allows for a diversity of views into the city from all directions. To maximize energy efficiency, the glass curtainwall system is constructed with double-insulated low-e glazing units. High-tech insulation, self-shading and use of an advanced 3D BIM energy management system with real-time monitoring will help create a comfortable indoor environment year-round. The tower will target LEED Gold certification and also includes heat-recovery from exhaust air, high-efficiency pumps and fans, chillers and boilers, low-flow rate fixtures, gray water flushing, high-efficient air purifiers, and low VOC materials. Leeza Soho will reach its full height of 207 meters in September this year. The tower is slated for completion in late 2018. + Zaha Hadid Architects

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Is U.S. car ownership on the decline?

February 17, 2017 by  
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Peak oil might be less of a problem now that America has reached peak car. According to research by Michigan’s Sustainable Worldwide Transportation , both the ownership of light-duty vehicles such as cars, SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks, plus the corresponding distance driven, began to wane in 2006. The reasons aren’t clear. “Friends and foes of car-centric planning have been fervently debating whether the post-2006 driving decline was a recession-driven trough or a reflection of the fact that younger Americans, with their Uber -hailing aversion to car ownership, were truly driving the automobile age to an early grave,” wrote Andrew Small in Citylab , a blog from the Atlantic , on Tuesday. There are hints —but just barely—of a rebound. Vehicle-ownership rates per person and per household rose by 1.4 percent from 2012 to 2015. Similarly, the distance driven per person and per household increased by 2.1 percent between 2013 and 2015. Related: Limits to growth prediction of imminent societal collapse As Smalls points out, all eyes are now on President Donald Trump. “The new administration’s pledge to roll back environmental and safety regulations might conceivably (eventually) make new car ownership cheaper and lure some Millennials back behind the wheel. (Especially if federal support for mass transit drops off the face of the earth.),” Smalls said. “On the other hand, the president’s proposed 20 percent tax on goods from Mexico would do the opposite.” TL;DR: We’re going to have to wait a few years to see how things shake out. Photo by Benjamin Child Via Citylab

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Construction commences on Polands tallest tower designed by Foster + Partners

January 12, 2017 by  
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Construction has begun on Varso Tower, a skyscraper designed by Foster + Partners that will be the tallest tower in Poland once complete. International real estate developer HB Reavis is leading the construction of the flagship development, which will comprise three buildings, the tallest of which will top out at 54 stories. Located in Warsaw, Varso will employ energy efficient and environmentally friendly technologies and will be the first project of its scale in Poland to achieve BREEAM Outstanding certification. Foster + Partners designed the 310-meter-tall Varso Tower to include large and flexible modern office spaces, as well as a two-story restaurant and an observation deck that will be one of Europe’s highest at 230 meters. The building will also include shops, restaurants, and cafes on the ground levels that will connect to vibrant covered internal streets open to the public year-round. Hermanowicz Rewski Architects designed the two smaller office buildings that flank the Varso Tower, which will feature green roof -topped terraces. Related: Foster + Partners breaks ground on major transit-oriented project in downtown San Francisco The 140,000-square-meter Varso development is being constructed next to Warsaw’s Central Railway Station and is expected to spur new life and development into the centrally located brownfield area. “We believe that Varso Tower will have a unique place on Warsaw’s skyline, but most importantly it will establish a new destination capable of revitalising this urban quarter, right in the heart of the city. The building contains high-quality and flexible office space, but it also makes an important contribution to the city with its glazed public courtyard at ground level and the spectacular viewing platforms with restaurants at the top. These public galleries offer panoramic views of the city to everyone. We are really looking forward to construction,” said Grant Brooker, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners, leading the design team in London. The development is scheduled for completion in 2020. + Foster + Partners

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