New York City’s "floating food forest" returns next month

March 22, 2017 by  
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If you missed it the last time around, Swale New York’s “floating food forest” will be giving visitors another chance to check out its vegetative bounty starting next month. Housed on an 80-foot-long barge, the 130-by-40-foot community garden will be making calls at Hudson River Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the Bronx’s Concrete Plant Park from April 20 through November 15. The garden is free to tour—and free to harvest. Guests will be able to help themselves to a share of the mini farm’s crops, which in past iterations have included perennial favorites like cauliflower, broccoli, squash, peppers, kale, bok choy, ramps, zucchini, radicchio, and scallions. You may even find boughs laden with persimmons, bushes plump with blueberries, or trees hanging with bananas. Part farm, part art project, Swale is a response to laws that prohibit foraging for food on public lands. By taking to the water, however, the garden is bound by a different set of rules. Related: Come eat free food from this floating edible forest before it sets sail again 70 percent of the plants grown on the barge are edible. The others are to attract pollinators—including the bees that live in a repurposed piano—or keep pests away. Mary Mattingly, the artist who spearheaded the project, says that Swale brings us “one step closer to transforming our city from dependence on large-scale supply chains with little accountability.” Related: NYC’s first floating food forest to hit the Hudson River this summer She describes Swale as a “call to action” and a vision of New York City’s potential future. “By bringing together groups from varying backgrounds, we will create an environment that works together to find new ideas and answers to food security,” she said. Visitors are welcome to contribute to the garden with their own plants and seeds. It’s a joint effort, after all. “Together, we are re-imagining our city,” Mattingly added. + Swale New York

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New York City’s "floating food forest" returns next month

NYC’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral goes green with new geothermal plant

March 17, 2017 by  
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When St. Patrick’s Day revelers parade past St. Patrick’s Cathedral on NYC’s 5th Avenue today, they will be celebrating not just the patron saint of Ireland, but also a renewable energy future for the famous landmark. Last month, the Archdiocese of New York announced that the historic Saint Patrick’s cathedral activated a new geothermal heating and cooling system that will reduce the building’s energy consumption by more than 30 percent and reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 94,000 kilograms – an impressive feat for the largest Catholic Gothic cathedral in the United States. St. Patrick’s geothermal plant is part of the final phase of a four-year, $177 million renovation that has been overseen by the cathedral’s architectural design team of Murphy, Burnham, & Buttrick working in partnership with Landmark Facilities Group and PW Grosser. It is the institution’s first restoration in more than 70 years (it was dedicated in 1879). Related: Futuristic power plant complex generates clean power through wind, solar and geothermal energy The geothermal heating and cooling system consists of 10 wells in terraces flanking the north and south sides of the cathedral drilled through dense Manhattan schist (a coarse-grained metamorphic rock) to a depth of up to 2,250 feet. When fully activated, the plant will be able to generate 2.9 million BTUs per hour of air conditioning and 3.2 million BTUs per hour of heating through 76,000 square feet of space. While wind and solar grab a bigger share of the renewables market and garner more media attention, the potential for both geothermal electricity and heating is huge. The global geothermal power market is projected to more than double operating capacity to 32 gigawatts by the early 2030s, according to the US and Global Geothermal Power Production Report from the US Geothermal Energy Association. Currently only 6 to 7 percent of the world’s estimated geothermal potential is being harnessed. Related: Pope’s official encyclical: “a bold cultural revolution” can halt climate change The Archdiocese of New York and St. Patrick’s Cathedral are not as interested in tapping the geothermal market as they are in heeding the call of Pope Francis to protect the planet and conserve God’s creation as written in his 2015 encyclical on the environment , Laudato Si. “A consistent ethic of life does not compartmentalize these issues. It prioritizes life and the preservation of life at every level,” said Cathedral Rector Monsignor Robert T. Ritchie. “One of the most basic ways in which we are called to do so is through responsible stewardship of our natural resources.” Images via St. Patrick’s Cathedral , MBB and Local 3 IBEW

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NYC’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral goes green with new geothermal plant

Dubai-based firm to construct world’s first 3D-printed skyscraper

March 17, 2017 by  
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3D printing could soar to new heights with the construction of the first 3D-printed skyscraper in the world. Dubai -based firm Cazza recently announced they aim to print the high-rise in the United Arab Emirates . They will draw on a novel construction technique known as crane printing. To print their ambitious skyscraper, Cazza will draw on cranes with added units designed for constructing 3D-printed buildings higher than 262 feet. It’s not yet known how tall the skyscraper will be. The company’s CEO Chris Kelsey said when they started their company, they focused on 3D-printing low-rise structures or houses, but developers kept asking about skyscrapers, so they decided to adapt their technology to reach higher. Related: Three-mile-high futuristic skyscraper has a smog-eating, self-cleaning coating The crane printing process includes all the major structural components needed by towering buildings, according to Construction Week Online. Current construction methods will complete the rest of the building. Mechanical engineer Xavier Hernand said there are vast possibilities for what kind of materials they could use, including steel or concrete . Cazza Chief Operating Officer Fernando De Los Rios said, “The crane printing system can be easily adopted with existing cranes which means we don’t have to build cranes from scratch. We are adding new features to make it adaptable to high wind speeds along with the use of our layer smoothing system that creates completely flat surfaces. You won’t know it’s 3D printed.” Cazza gained notice for blending mobile 3D printing robots with existing building methods to speed up construction processes and make them more cost effective and environmentally friendly. Kelsey said, “Through our technologies, we will be able to build architecturally complex buildings at never-before-seen speeds. It is all about economies of scale where the initial high technology costs will reduce as we enter the mass production phase.” The company has not yet announced a start date for the skyscraper construction. + Cazza Via Construction Week Online Images via Pexels and Good Free Photos

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Dubai-based firm to construct world’s first 3D-printed skyscraper

Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave’ inspires beautiful home design in California

March 16, 2017 by  
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California-based architect Mario Romano ‘s motto “live in art” is clearly visible in his design of the stunning Preston House, inspired by Hokusai’s “The Great Wave.” The home’s exterior was clad with layers of brushed aluminum to create a “rolling” volume that reflects the varying tones and colors of the sky. Although the 5,700 square-foot home is certainly unique in its artful aesthetic, it also has various eco-friendly features incorporated throughout the design. The home’s sculpture-like volume was meant to mimic the blowing winds, detailed brush strokes and the “solitude of barreled water” found in Hokusai’s famous print. However, the unique materials were not only chosen for their art-inspired aesthetics. The aluminum facade sits one inch above the building’s waterproof skin, strategically allowing it to breathe. This feature pulls double duty as a rain screen system that allows air to flow into the layers, essentially stopping any moisture from growing into mold. It also helps ventilate the home by pushing rising hot air outwards and upwards, away from the main volume. Related: Philip Johnson’s Wiley House hits the market for $12 million The home’s interior is a luxurious space comprised of six bedrooms and five baths and a number of common areas, each with its own distinct design. The architect used his own product line, M.R. Walls and Floors, which are resistant to bacteria and water, to cover much of the walls and flooring. Using customized digital tools and CNC technology, the surfaces convert  eco-friendly materials into bold design patterns inspired by nature. For example, the interior flooring on the second floor appears to be wooden planks, but it’s actually an innovative material called SIMOWOOD, which is made of recycled rice husk. + Mario Romano

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Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave’ inspires beautiful home design in California

Gorgeous Bostanl Bridge doubles as public park, designed for sunset watching

March 16, 2017 by  
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This beautiful footbridge in Izmir, Turkey, offers much more than a passage from one side of Bostanl? Creek to the other. The timber-clad bridge doubles as a public park with a cascading seating structure that complements the adjacent Bostanl? Sunset Lounge. Studio Evren Ba?bu?: steb designed both the bridge and lounge area as vibrant urban spaces that offer stunning views of the bay. Both interventions are part of the ?zmir Sea coastal regeneration project designed to turn the site into a public attraction point in Izmir’s Kar??yaka district. Perfectly aligned with the masterplan , the footbridge connects two sides of Bostanl? Creek, but also function as a place to rest and enjoy beautiful sunsets. Bow-shaped and elongated, the building uses a girder geometry to allow the passage of small boats underneath. The steel frame supports several cascading thermo-wood surfaces that can be used as seating surfaces. Related: Gateway Villetaneuse footbridge unfurls like a leaf over train tracks outside Paris The same materiality and design concept extends to the Bostanl? Sunset Lounge, which forms an inviting urban space that stretches between the artificial slope and the embankment. Wide ash wood gives warmth to the project which promotes an easy way of living–the vision of the entire Izmir Sea coastal regeneration initiative. + Studio Evren Ba?bu?: steb Via Archdaily Photos by ZM Yasa Architecture Photography

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Gorgeous Bostanl Bridge doubles as public park, designed for sunset watching

"City of Dreams" pavilion on NY’s Governors Island will be made from 300,000 recycled cans

March 14, 2017 by  
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Every summer, Figment NYC selects a team to design and erect a temporary “City of Dreams” pavilion for its annual arts festival on Governors Island , a 172-acre plot of land in New York Harbor, just below Manhattan’s southernmost tip. Co-hosted by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Structural Engineers Association of New York , the competition is as much a meditation on the future of New York City as it is a call for novel and sustainability-oriented approaches to design. This year’s winning entry, dubbed “Cast & Place,” rehabilitates waste from eyesore to resource. The brainchild of Team Aesop, a group that consists of Josh Draper from PrePost / RPI-CASE , Lisa Ramsburg and Powell Draper from Schlaich Bergermann Partner , Edward M. Segal from Hofstra University , and Max Dowd from Cooper Union , the trellised structure will deploy roughly 300,000 community-sourced aluminum cans, though not in a way most of us would expect. A defining characteristic of the pavilion is its filigree-like pattern, which Team Aesop plans to create by making clay casts that they’ll allow to dry—and crack—inside a furnace. The cans will then be melted down and drizzled into the channels, creating rivulets of molten aluminum that turn solid as they cool. The designers originally wanted to use soil dredged from the East River, but scheduling difficulties forced them to look elsewhere. Team Aesop now has its eye on excavated earth from a construction site in Flushing, Queens, which it will frame with reclaimed wood from Big Reuse , an organization that turns demolition debris into building materials. Light but strong, the resulting pieces can be assembled into structures for both shelter and play. Flanking the standing structure will be “rain-soaked reflecting pools of dredge” that wear away to reveal the pavilion’s framework. They’re meant to foment contemplation, inducing “meditations on time, materiality, and the sources of our city,” Draper and company said. But Team Aesop can’t pay for everything alone. To raise funds, the designers have launched a Kickstarter campaign , with rewards that range from a pop-up postcard model of the pavilion to one of the 36 panels they eventually hope to make. Donors to the project can pride themselves as forward thinkers. Not only will they be helping shepherd a new fabrication method, but they’ll also be “enabling a conversation about the future,” Team Aesop said. “In a time of climate crisis, we need to rethink how we use energy and resources,” the designers added. “We asked ourselves: What if we used waste to make this pavilion? How could we find value in the valueless? Join our journey and become part of the conversation.” + Cast & Place: City of Dreams Pavilion on Kickstarter Photos by Schlaich Bergermann Partner/PrePost/Edward M. Segal/Max Dowd

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"City of Dreams" pavilion on NY’s Governors Island will be made from 300,000 recycled cans

Studio Gang’s Solar Carve is a faceted jewel of a building in NYC’s Meatpacking District

February 27, 2017 by  
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The curtain is set to rise on Solar Carve , a glistening jewel of a building set to soar above New York City’s 10th Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets. Jeanne Gang’s Studio Gang architecture has given the tower a chiseled, gem-like exterior that almost appears to be sculpted by the rays of the sun. Caught between the High Line and the Hudson River, the 139,000-square-foot structure will have light, fresh air, and spectacular views in abundance. “All of our floors have unparalleled views of the Hudson River,” said Jared Epstein of Aurora Capital , which is developing the space in tandem with William Gottlieb Real Estate . Cushman & Wakefield will handle the leasing of Solar Carve, which is poised to open in the first quarter of 2019. The building is targeting LEED Gold certification, and according to the Post amenities will include a 10,000-square-foot planted rooftop and an 8,000-square-foot terrace on the second floor “at High Line height.” All office floors, save the seventh, will have private terraces. For two-wheeled commuters, there will also be a bike room, plus a locker room with showers. Rooms, which will feature 16-foot-tall wall-to-ceiling windows, will range in size from 13,700 to 14,200 square feet. “Each floor is slightly different because of the carve of the building,” added Epstein. The 17,000-square-foot ground floor will likely be devoted to retail. Future occupants will luxuriate in a heightened environment characterized by 17.5-foot-tall ceilings and 300 feet of glass frontage. Related: Studio Gang creates a new kind of energy as it transforms a Wisconsin power plant into an arts college facility “There is nothing like this building,” said Bruce Mosler of Cushman & Wakefield. “It will be unique to the Meatpacking [District], which is exploding with excitement.” + Solar Carve Tower + Studio Gang Via Curbed

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Studio Gang’s Solar Carve is a faceted jewel of a building in NYC’s Meatpacking District

JFK Airport is opening a $65 million pet terminal

February 20, 2017 by  
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Traveling with pets just got a little bit easier for anyone passing through New York’s John F. Kennedy airport . The airport just gave us a first look at The ARK – a $65-million terminal for animals complete with a “Pet Oasis.” The facility will educate pet owners on any flight requirements before takeoff, provide food and water for flights, receive incoming pets and help board others on their outgoing flights, and even microchip animals who need it. Soon, the ARK plans to provide even more services. Phase 2, to be launched sometime in Q2 2017, will see the opening of the ARK Import-Export Center, with facilities for horses and an aviary. By summer, the terminal should be fully operational with a pet boarding facility, a grooming service, a veterinary clinic and a blood laboratory all open for business. Related: Man Tries to Smuggle Turtle Disguised as Hamburger Through Airport Security The ARK will be open 24-hours a day, and it will serve as a central resource for all airlines making stops at JFK. John J. Cuticelli, the CEO of ARK Development, said in a press release , “Transporting live cargo by plane can be a complex and arduous process for owners and animals alike. Our goal is to create a more efficient and safe process by reducing the need for additional travel and offering trained animal care staff immediately pre- and post-flight. The ARK provides a healthy and comfortable environment, and sets new international airport standards for comprehensive veterinary, kenneling and quarantine services.” + The ARK at JFK

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JFK Airport is opening a $65 million pet terminal

London is charging old, polluting vehicles a 10 fine to drive in the city

February 20, 2017 by  
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A new law will charge old, polluting cars a £10 fee to drive in central London. London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said that the “T-charge” will help quell the massive amounts of pollution in the central city. The fee targets vehicles that don’t meet Euro 4 standards, and it is expected to affect about 10,000 vehicles every week. “It’s staggering that we live in a city where the air is so toxic that many of our children are growing up with lung problems,” Khan told The Guardian . “If we don’t make drastic changes now we won’t be protecting the health of our families in the future. That is why today, on the 14th anniversary of the start of the congestion charge, I’ve confirmed we are pressing ahead with the toughest emission standard of any major city, coming to our streets from 23 October.” Related: London breaks legal limits on air pollution in just five days in 2017 Most of the vehicles affected by the T-charge are petroleum-fueled cars and trucks made before 2006. The new law will kick into action on October 23, 2017 and the city is launching an online service that will tell Londoners if their vehicle is affected. The fee will be in addition to London’s Congestion Charge , and a £11.50 daily charge for driving any vehicle within a certain area of the city during specified times on weekdays. That means a potential cost of £21.50 to some drivers who want to bring their vehicles into the city. If this seems extreme, keep in mind that the Lambeth’s Brixton Road area broke annual air pollution limits over the course of just five days in January of 2017. Diesel vehicles are seen as the single biggest source of the city’s air pollution. Via The Guardian Images via David Holt , Flickr Creative Commons

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London is charging old, polluting vehicles a 10 fine to drive in the city

10 landscape design projects that turned neglected spaces into incredible parks

January 16, 2017 by  
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Landscape architects frequently work to transform areas that contain industrial and toxic waste, infrastructure no longer in use, or land affected by war , natural disaster or disuse. These neglected places, while often having a negative impact on the environment and surrounding community, are simultaneously part of our cultural heritage. To highlight the significance of these spaces, and the potential that they hold to become something more than a blight, we’ve gathered up a series of projects that illuminate how designers use unlikely opportunities to transform landscapes into spectacular spaces—all while preserving their historic and cultural meaning. These 10 case studies showcase the creative approaches global city governments, preservationists, developers and the design community have taken to transform marginalized places into healthy and meaningful environments for everyone to enjoy.

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10 landscape design projects that turned neglected spaces into incredible parks

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