10 groundbreaking designs by Shigeru Ban that changed our ideas about architecture

May 8, 2017 by  
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Shigeru Ban, one of Inhabitat’s favorite architects , is renowned for his disaster relief design and his ingenious use of lightweight, unconventional, and environmentally responsible materials — in particular, paper and bamboo. His signature water-proof and fire-proof paper tube architecture is iconic around the world. In recognition for his inspiring work, Ban was named the 2014 winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize . A leader for humanitarian architecture and experimental design, Shigeru Ban said of his accolade: “Receiving this prize is a great honor, and with it, I must be careful. I must continue to listen to the people I work for, in my private residential commissions and in my disaster relief work. I see this prize as encouragement for me to keep doing what I am doing – not to change what I am doing, but to grow.” We’ve rounded up some of our favorite projects by the accomplished Japanese architect, click below to see some of his most inspiring work. Shigeru Ban designed, pro-bono, this stunning temporary Cardboard Cathedral for Christchurch following a devastating earthquake in 2011. Built with his signature paper-tubes, the transitional church can hold up to 700 people and is built to last 50 years. Centre Pompidou-Metz in Metz, France The curvaceous Centre Pompidou-Metz is an extension of the Pompidou arts center of Paris. Its undulating roof made up of a hexagonal pattern was inspired by the woven structure of a Chinese hat that Shigeru Ban found in Paris. Curtain Wall House in Tokyo, Japan One of Ban’s most iconic works, the Curtain Wall House is a contemporary twist on the traditional Japanese home. Two-story-tall billowing curtains wrap around the perimeter of the house like a cocoon that can be opened or closed to allow transparency between the interior and exterior. Cardboard Bridge over Gardon River, France In another display of paper’s structural might, Ban transformed cardboard tubes and recycled paper-plastic composite into a a bridge spanning the Gardon River in southern France . The temporary masterpiece was created out of 281 cardboard tubes and was strong enough to support 20 people at a time. Paper Church in Kobe, Japan After the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake destroyed the Takatori Church in Kobe, Ban designed a temporary paper-tube church pro-bono. Ten years later, the paper church was deconstructed and donated to a Catholic community in Taiwan, where it served as a place for worship. Onagawa Container Temporary Housing in Onagawa, Japan When a powerful earthquake devastated the Japanese town of Onagawa in 2011, Shigeru Ban was quick to design and install temporary disaster-relief housing built from paper tubes and shipping containers. The lightweight, affordable, and clean design provided fast relief to the earthquake survivors while simultaneously lifting spirits with its dignified design. Paper Partition System, Iteration 4 After the 2011 earthquakes and tsunami in Japan, Ban designed his fourth iteration of the Paper Partition System, which provide privacy in existing emergency shelters . Constructed from paper tubes, white canvas sheets, and safety pins, these pop-up partitions were financed with donations from around the world. Tamedia New Office Building in Zurich, Switzerland Built for the Swiss media company Tamedia in Zurich, this carbon neutral office building was created from interlocking wooden beams without the need for metal joints and glue. The beautiful wooden structure also features a glass facade to fill the interior with light. Post-Tsunami Kirinda Project in Kirinda, Sri Lanka In 2004, Ban designed 100 small homes for Sri Lankan villagers displaced by a tsunami in Kirinda. The tiny homes are built from earth bricks and locally-sourced rubber tree wood. Villa at Sengokubara in Kanagawa, Japan Villa at Sengokubara is a minimalist wooden house that wraps around a teardrop-shaped courtyard. Like in his other architecture works, Ban creates a nearly seamless transition between the interior and exterior spaces. + Shigeru Ban

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10 groundbreaking designs by Shigeru Ban that changed our ideas about architecture

This building has trees growing right through its walls

September 21, 2016 by  
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The structure is located in the southern region of Hue, where green spaces is becoming sparser due to urbanization . Unlike the northern part of the city, where construction is strictly managed and controlled by the local authorities, this area is increasingly dominated by high-density developments. Named Symbiosis, the project occupies a small plot on one of the greenest streets that remain in this area. Related: Thong House in Vietnam redefines the traditional townhouse The architects replaced the front half of the building with a beautiful area for plants and a vine trellis . This intervention makes the project blend into its surroundings and use nature as a protective layer that provides shade and regulates indoor temperatures. Another floor was added to the existing building, leaving the ground floor to house a model studio and the first floor to function as the architects’ office. Both spaces overlook the green space in the front. + Cong Sinh Architects Via Archdaily Photos by Hiroyuki Oki

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This building has trees growing right through its walls

Solar-powered Xinhee Design Center is inspired by human skin and bones

August 12, 2016 by  
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The office spaces are organized around a central atrium from which six structures extend out like arms. Each of the volumes, accommodating the offices of the group’s six subsidiary brands, has its own research and office spaces, while still allowing inter-departmental collaboration. The thin, PTFE envelope is soft and flowing, and protects the interior while appearing delicate and open. Related: MAD completes undulating Harbin Opera House in China The atrium functions as a public space that visually connect the offices located on different levels of the building. This interaction extends to include the way offices spaces relate to the outside gardens. While the first floor is occupied mainly by water features and green spaces open to the public, the upper floors house office spaces with smaller green areas scattered throughout the building and the roof. These stacked gardens create a 100% green ratio, while the envelope permits 40% light transmittance. Solar panels installed on the roof of the Center will provide enough energy to meet the daily demands of the building. + MAD Architects Via World Architecture News

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Curvaceous Corten steel office building beats the heat with solar-savvy design

June 30, 2016 by  
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The 4,905-square-foot office building is set on a small corner site abutting a road junction in full view to pedestrians and motorists. To mitigate the harsh solar rays from the south, the architects created a horseshoe-shaped building pointed towards the north that wraps around a cooling, north-facing pool. On the south side of the building, the architects left a void for a small grass courtyard shaded by the building. The Corten steel external walls extend far beyond the building’s internal volumes to serve as solar-shading fins. Related: The Courtyard House Battles Extreme Heat With Passive Strategies In India The office interior is accessed via an entrance on the northwest corner and is organized around a two-meter-wide passage runs the length of the outdoor pool. The various office spaces branch out from the passageway. Large north-facing glazing and other glazed incisions illuminate the workspaces with natural light and frame views of the cityscape and the oasis-like pool, but are shielded from harsh solar by the extended Corten steel walls. “The design creates an energy efficient building in response to the climate of the location and a distinct identity,” write the architects. + Sanjay Puri Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Sanjay Puri Architects , by Vinesh Gandhi

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Curvaceous Corten steel office building beats the heat with solar-savvy design

Will driverless cars fuel suburban sprawl?

June 30, 2016 by  
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In a recent article for the Wall Street Journal , writer Christopher Mims argues that driverless cars like those being developed by Google and Uber might lead to greater suburban sprawl. On the face of it, the argument makes a certain sort of sense: other major advances in transportation technology have enabled us to live farther and farther from where we work and play, so why wouldn’t self-driving cars change our lifestyles even further? Mims offers a few points to back his predictions: the first is that ordering a ride from a self-driving car is likely to be significantly less expensive than car ownership, allowing people to invest in larger, nicer housing further away from the city . He also points out that a lengthy commute that might be intolerable in a regular car might be downright relaxing if commuters were able to use it as time to simply relax during the trip. Related: Uber confirms rumors they are testing a self-driving car However, there are some obvious holes in this logic. While Mims takes care to point out a recent survey claiming that 66% of millennials prefer to live in the suburbs, the study has some glaring flaws . It only included that small portion of the millennial population that is in the market for a home or intends to purchase one in the next three years. Only about a third of millennials fall into that category — the rest either prefer to rent as a cost-savings measure (understandable, giving the rising tide of student loan debt), aren’t able to qualify for a mortgage, or simply aren’t interested in home ownership. The majority of millennials, at least, probably aren’t going anywhere. It also doesn’t make sense to compare the advent of the driverless car to the invention of the automobile itself. While it’s true that cars made it easier to travel longer distances than had ever been possible before, dramatically reducing the length of trips, that’s not true for self-driving cars. No matter whether a vehicle is controlled by man or machine, an hour-long commute will still take an hour out of the commuter’s day, so it’s unlikely an impatient person who values living close to work will have a dramatic change of heart simply because the drive requires them to pay a bit less attention to the road. Related: Google patents sticky “fly paper” car hood to protect pedestrians in self-driving car crashes Worth noting, as well, is the fact that many strongly disagree about the impact driverless cars may really have on the way we live. Carlo Ratti, an MIT researcher for the school’s Senseable City Lab , believes the opposite: that self-driving cars will allow people to more easily live in denser urban areas . But the truth of the matter is that we simply don’t know, and until self-driving vehicle technology has progressed to the point where it’s a viable everyday transit option, that will remain the case. What do you think? Sound off in the comments… Via The Wall Street Journal Images via Wikipedia

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Will driverless cars fuel suburban sprawl?

Dubai debuts world’s first fully 3D-printed building

May 24, 2016 by  
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Not surprisingly, the actual build looks exactly like the early renderings. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the 3D-printed office building in a ceremony on Monday attended by a number of UAE dignitaries. Named the “Office of the Future,” the 3D-printed building is located on the Emirates Towers premises and will be the temporary home of the Dubai Future Foundation. Related: Dubai to build world’s first 3D-printed…

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New timber office building will be among the tallest of its kind in London

March 24, 2016 by  
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Architecture firm Waugh Thistleton designed an office block in London’s Shoreditch district meant to be built entirely out of wood . Five vertical slices separated by deep voids within the floor plates will be constructed using glulam and cross-laminated timber. When its completed, the nine-story office building will be among the tallest modern timber-framed structures in the British capital. Read the rest of New timber office building will be among the tallest of its kind in London

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Starbucks brews up new program to donate unsold food to local charities

March 24, 2016 by  
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The love-hate relationship between environmentalists and Starbucks gets a new twist this week, as the monster coffee chain unveils a new policy to donate unsold food to charity. The Seattle-based company has been researching ways to rescue its prepared foods from the trash when they aren’t sold by the expiration date. The new food donation program is starting small, but Starbucks has big plans to expand the program over the next several years until every last bit of unsold food ends up in the hands and mouths of people who need it. Read the rest of Starbucks brews up new program to donate unsold food to local charities

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Your cat may be giving you road rage

March 24, 2016 by  
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Could cats be to blame for road rage? A new study has discovered a potential link between Toxoplasma gondii , a parasite carried by cats, and intermittent explosive disorder (IED) in humans. But don’t give up your cats for adoption just yet. Read the rest of Your cat may be giving you road rage

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MuuM Architects-designed office building is a quiet oasis in the heart of bustling Istanbul

October 28, 2015 by  
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