Frank Gehry tops Facebook HQ expansion with a 3.6-acre rooftop park

September 19, 2018 by  
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Facebook recently unveiled a peek inside MPK 21, its newest campus building designed by Frank Gehry and built in less than 18 months. Created as an extension to its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, this striking addition blurs the distinction between the indoors and outdoors with its massive walls of glass, sheltered courtyard and expansive 3.6-acre rooftop garden — named The Town Square — planted with 40-foot-tall redwood trees. In addition to its abundance of plant life, the building is also designed to meet green standards and is expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification. Located on a formerly unoccupied industrial site, MPK 21 connects to MPK 20 — another Facebook building also designed by Frank Gehry that opened in 2015 — via an amphitheater -style courtyard called The Bowl. The building houses offices with open workspaces, designed to promote collaboration between teams, as well as quiet areas for focused work. Employees traverse the length of the building with a single walkway, which also connects to five dining areas and a 2,000-person event and meeting space with state-of-the-art A/V technology. Artists from Facebook’s Artist in Residence Program were commissioned to create 15 art installations for MPK 21. “The building was designed to promote teamwork and allow our people to do their best work,” said John Tenanes, Facebook’s VP of Global Facilities and Real Estate, in a press release. “MPK 21 is designed to reduce impact on the environment and enhance employee well-being. The building encourages active engagement inside and outside of the building with pedestrian walkways, access to various outdoor areas, visible stairways and flexible work stations. The physical infrastructure is designed to reduce water, energy  and waste as well.” Related: Facebook signs Frank Gehry to design two more buildings for their California campus The LEED Platinum -targeted building is powered by 1.4 MW of photovoltaic solar roof tiles, which can generate nearly 2 million kWH of electricity a year. Approximately 17 million gallons of water will be saved annually thanks to a reclaimed water system, while the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours is minimized with an abundance of bird-friendly glazing. Facebook also enrolled in Peninsula Clean Energy’s ECO100 energy option to further reduce its carbon footprint. + Frank Gehry Via Dezeen Images via Facebook

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Frank Gehry tops Facebook HQ expansion with a 3.6-acre rooftop park

You’ve got to see this freestanding office stuffed inside the shell of a historic chapel

January 18, 2018 by  
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  In order to revamp this chapel without ruining its stunning historic shell, Belgian architecture studio Klaarchitectuur  tucked a modern, freestanding office space right inside. Now,   exposed brick , chipped plaster, faded frescoes and a domed ceiling create a spectacularly unusual work setting for the lucky people toiling away in the unique space. The design team, led by architect Gregory Nijs, left the building’s shell intact– in accordance with its status on the historical registry– and created a new freestanding structure in its interior. The central cavity was left open, with stacks of boxes placed against one wall. Related: 19th-century church converted into gorgeous modern lofts in Brooklyn These minimalist volumes house all the essential office functions such as workspaces, a conference room, storage space, and bathrooms. The surrounding area is used for a variety of public events, which will allow the chapel to once again serve the community.   Exposed brick, chipped plaster and faded frescoes were all left intact, creating a contrast with the contemporary finishes of the new structure,  with its black staircase , striated wood floors and white-painted walls. + Klaarchitectuur Via Dwell Lead photo via Klaarchitectuur

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The Dutch Mountains is the ‘interactive work and residential environment of the future’

November 1, 2016 by  
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Perhaps the most notable aspect of the Dutch Mountains design is its shape. From the outside, it recalls the hull of an enormous ship just launched into a body of water, with either end curving upward to a height of 147 feet. An aerial view reveals that the building surrounds a private green space spanning nearly 43,000 square feet. There, workers and residents can relax in a park-like setting, hold outdoor meetings, or enjoy a picnic on the shore of a man-made pond—all while protected from the noise and pollution of the major highway running adjacent to the proposed site. The park is visible from all of the development’s amenities, offering a pleasant view of nature as opposed to looking out onto other buildings. Related: New Dutch housing model lets students stay at a senior living home for free The Dutch Mountains features a 52,000-square-foot lobby, which houses the reception area for offices upstairs. The entrance to restaurants, conference venues, a health club, an indoor swimming pool , a supermarket, and an exhibition space are also located on this level. Beyond the lobby is close to 100,000 square feet of office space, laboratories, and hotel rooms. The Dutch Mountains’ ideal tenants include large businesses as well as startups, as the building is designed to be flexible to the needs of each company. The mixed use project is proposed for De Run in the municipality of Veldhoven, in the Eindhoven area. The Dutch Mountains will support the claim that Eindhoven is the “smartest region in the world” by housing the Brainport Experience Center where business come to present their latest innovations. Also included in the plans are a field lab for innovative construction and energy technology, and a garden for food production. + Studio Marco Vermeulen + BLOC Images via Studio Marco Vermeulen

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The Dutch Mountains is the ‘interactive work and residential environment of the future’

How Opera used 1,000 old floppy disks and other e-waste in their new Poland headquarters

August 24, 2016 by  
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Opera’s new headquarters are located in two prestigious townhouses in the heart of Wroclaw. The buildings-one built in the 19th century and the other dating back to 1913-are part of the city’s rich architectural heritage. The architects combined this historic narrative with the atmosphere of modern-day Wroclaw to create a design that references several city landmarks, but feels contemporary. Related: mode:lina architekci design a playful new restaurant for LIDL Poland The construction of Market Hall, Central Railway Station hall and Szczytnicki’s Park are referenced in the kitchenette , while the design of the meeting rooms is associated with IT and computers. The latter space features an integrated circuit, fans and decor made out of nearly 1,000 old floppy disks and over 200 keyboards. + mode:lina architekci Photos by Marcin Ratajczak , Maciej D?browski

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Dozens killed by powerful earthquake in picturesque rural region of central Italy

August 24, 2016 by  
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The death toll continues to rise after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake shook the mountainous countryside in central Italy around 3:30 a.m. local time . This morning, officials are reporting at least 39 deaths related to the earthquake, many of which were residents of Pescara del Tronto, one of the many small villages close to the earthquake’s epicenter. With many buildings completely destroyed by the earthquake, rescue workers have a difficult task ahead as they sort through rubble in search of survivors. Embed from Getty Images Last night’s powerful earthquake hit 6.2 miles (10 km) southeast of Norcia, in a rural mountain region of Italy popular among tourists. After the initial quake, a series of at least eight smaller aftershocks pounded the area, including a 5.5 magnitude quake less than three miles from Norcia. The last significant earthquake to hit the region occurred in 1997, when a magnitude 6.0 quake killed 11 people and destroyed 80,000 homes. Related: “Cyborg artist” can sense earthquakes around the world as they happen Embed from Getty Images Destruction from the earthquake is widespread, although the small town of Amatrice (pictured above) may have suffered the most damage . The town of 2,000 residents just north of Italy’s Lazio region, and southeast of the initial quake. Reportedly, the entire town is in ruins, and the mayor has issued a plea for assistance. “The town is no more,” Mayor Sergio Pirozzi told a CNN affiliate. In Amatrice and other small villages, rescue workers are using cell phones to locate earthquake victims. They call the phones of missing residents and, if someone answers, rescue workers learn their location and attempt to reach them. If there is no answer, they move on to the next name on the list. As rescue work continues, officials say the death toll is expected to rise further in the coming days, and it will be months before the structural damage is fully assessed. At first glance, it seems likely that many areas will be rendered uninhabitable, and perhaps become ghost towns. Via CNN and USGS Lead image via USGS via screenshot

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Dozens killed by powerful earthquake in picturesque rural region of central Italy

19th century Dutch water tower refurbished as a modern office with a view

August 12, 2016 by  
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The water tower was originally designed by architect J. Kalff as part of the city’s network of fortifications. Its role as the gate to the city center remains unchanged to this day. Its unique place in the Dutch architectural heritage is strengthened by the fact that it is the only water tower in the Netherlands with two flat-steel water reservoirs. BOEi commissioned ZECC architects to modernize the structure by introducing a mix of functions to its interior. The team came up with a design that included the installation of an elevator, additional floors and a new staircase leading to the top of the tower. The floors in the old water reservoirs were filled with office spaces, meeting rooms, and presentation halls. Related: 19th Century London Water Tower Transformed into a Unique, High-Flying Home A small, transparent structure, meant to function as a meeting room or event space, was placed on the roof of the tower, offering wonderful views of the medieval city and St. Jan’s Cathedral. New window openings on the two closed facades are clearly distinguishable from the original openings, while at the same time referencing the existing windows with their arched form. + ZECC Architecten Photos by Stijnstijl Fotografie

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19th century Dutch water tower refurbished as a modern office with a view

Futuristic office in China captures the awesome spirit of the Internet

July 6, 2016 by  
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Located inside an existing 20,000-square-meter industrial building, the recently completed Cloud DCS office and product gallery is the first part of a larger master plan with similarly futuristic buildings. The celestial-inspired office space features a curvaceous interior with a gradient of seven shades of blue to symbolize the fluidity of the Internet. Images of clouds are printed onto several surfaces as a nod to the company’s cloud computing software. Related: Shanghai Dragon: Futuristic Office by Morphosis “We wanted to capture the idea of flying through the sky, like when you look outside the window of an airplane,” said Italian architect Alberto Puchetti of Arboit Ltd. according to Azure Magazine . The space eschews hard edges for rounded corners to create a seamless and continuously flowing effect. The river-like flooring is complemented with white translucent stretch fabric that lines the ceilings and illuminated by colored LEDs . A large meeting room with oval windows sits at the center of the room like a nucleus overlooking at the different areas of the single-level space. + Arboit Ltd. Via Azure Images via Arboit Ltd.

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California solar energy generation jumped 1,378% in 5 years

July 6, 2016 by  
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Look out, world, California is coming to save you. A recent report shows that solar energy generation in the Golden State has exploded since 2009 , along with zero emission vehicle use and other renewable resource reliance. We might just have a chance at fighting climate change , after all. Findings from nonprofit group Next 10 ’s most recent California Green Innovation Index were released late last month, revealing how green the state has become in the last few years. Along with the startling 1,378 percent rise in solar energy, renewable energy of all sorts accounted for 25 percent of all retail electricity sales. This high energy efficiency helped lead to a 20 percent lower electric bill for residents, on average, in 2014 alone. Related: MIT’s groundbreaking new transparent film stores solar energy in glass or clothing Zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) have seen a 244 percent jump in registrations over the last two years, hinting toward a trend that could put a serious dent in our fossil fuel reliance within the next decade. F. Noel Perry, founder of Next 10, said, “ California is not only the fourth-most energy productive economy in the world, the state also leads in key clean tech indicators, like clean tech patents and investment. Much of the rest of the nation is following our lead.” Via Clean Technica Images via Flickr , Next 10

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California solar energy generation jumped 1,378% in 5 years

SunFire fights energy poverty in Africa with parabolic solar kits

July 6, 2016 by  
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The main element of the new Clean Energy Kits is the SunFire12 parabolic cooker . Measuring nearly four feet wide, the cooker concentrates sunlight onto a focal point, where black pots or pans best suited to absorb heat are placed. SunFire says it takes 12 minutes to boil 0.3 gallons (or one liter) of water. This might seem like a lot of time to westerners accustomed to easy energy access, but the additional time spent cooking comes with the benefit of being free and clean. One cooker can easily provide a meal for up to six people, according to the company, requires no maintenance, and boasts a 10-year lifespan. In communities the SunFire folks have visited, local people have told them, “the trees are running away from us”. They’re alluding to deforestation sweeping across Africa as demand for cooking fuel increases alongside population growth. Addressing this, the SunFire Rocket converts “small amounts of food into large pots of food.” Using 50 percent less fuel than a standard wood-burning device and “virtually smokeless,” the Rocket is said to be South Africa’s most efficient wood-burning stove. It is included in the kit for use on days when the sun doesn’t shine. Related: Solar Sister empowers women to bring solar energy to rural Africa Completing their Clean Energy Kits are insulated SunBags, or heat retained bags, which can be used to complete the food-cooking process without using fuel, thereby conserving resources. SunFire says their bags save time for other activities and money, retain nutrients and flavor, and act as “bush fridges” in places that lack electricity to keep food cool. Menzies told Inhabitat, “SunFire believes the best way to make Solar Cookers more accessible is by inspiring entrepreneurs to create small Solar Cooker businesses in their own communities.” This would make a difference at the grassroots level and create new jobs in rural areas. “It still seems incredible to me that there are 3 billion people or just over half the world’s population forced to use firewood to cook when Solar Cookers can easily do the job,” he said. “I aim to spend my life making the tech more readily available where it’s most needed and created SunFire to change the world one meal at a time.” + SunFire Solutions

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SunFire fights energy poverty in Africa with parabolic solar kits

Floating Nexus Center in Mexico marries corporate office spaces and solar passive design

January 15, 2016 by  
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