Green Gaud-esque office pops up on a former brownfield in Portland

April 12, 2017 by  
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Portland is a mecca of environmentally friendly design and the city’s new sculptural One North complex is keeping that green reputation alive. Holst Architecture recently completed the eye-catching office project that draws inspiration from Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí’s modernist curves and emphasizes sustainability. Conceived as “an opportunity to break the mold for standard office spaces,” One North uses low-carbon footprint systems to achieve approximately 50 percent more energy efficiency beyond industry requirements. Built on a former brownfield in the up-and-coming Williams District, One North comprises an East Building and West Building that frame a central 14,000-square-foot public courtyard. To the make development more attractive to the community, the architects created Gaudí -inspired jutting apertures that give the buildings a sense of movement and energy. Their projected forms also help provide solar shading and reduce energy use. The facade is clad in locally sourced and sustainably harvested timber siding that lend a sense of warmth. Related: LEED Platinum Skyline Residence is designed to generate as much energy as it consumes “Material selection was critical, and we emphasized low-carbon footprint techniques, such as wood cladding, cellulose insulation and mineral wool insulation,” wrote the architects. The timber-framed buildings are estimated to sequester 587,400 pounds of carbon within its 39,000 cubic feet of wood. Rooftop solar panels produce approximately 71-kilowatt hours of on-site electricity. + Holst Architecture Via Dezeen Images via Holst Architecture

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Green Gaud-esque office pops up on a former brownfield in Portland

Office with arched openings shows off the beauty of cross-laminated timber

March 29, 2017 by  
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Increasing numbers of architects are celebrating the strength, beauty, and sustainable properties of cross-laminated timber . Japanese architecture firm Junichi Kato & Associates shows off how the timber can be used as both a structural and finishing material in the Santo CLT Office. Built in Japan’s Shiga Prefecture, this nearly 140-square-meter office building houses warm and welcoming workspaces with arched openings. Inspired by the climbing kiln in Shigaraki, a town famous for ceramics, Junichi Kato & Associates introduced an arch -shaped continuous frame into the building structure. A raised wooden terrace wraps around two sides of the building and is partly shaded by the roof overhang. The walls and floors are constructed from cross-laminated timber, while foam insulation and low-e glass improve energy efficiency. Related: Taiwan’s first CLT building paves way to greener alternatives to concrete and steel The office is entered from the west and visitors are immediately greeted with an exhibition space, reception desk, and a small informal meeting area. A wall divides the entrance area from the large working space in the center of the building. The night-duty room, shower, and toilet are located in the rear. Large windows fill the office with natural light which, coupled with the ample use of wood, gives the office its cozy and welcoming character. + Junichi Kato & Associates Via ArchDaily Images by Kei Sugino

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Office with arched openings shows off the beauty of cross-laminated timber

Worlds tallest skyscraper design hangs off an orbiting asteroid

March 24, 2017 by  
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What if your daily commute involved parachuting down to earth rather than being stuck in vehicular traffic? That’s the vision in Clouds Architecture Office’s incredible proposal for a skyscraper suspended off an orbiting asteroid. The design, called Analemma, would be powered by space-based solar panels and capture water in a semi-closed loop system that draws from the moisture in clouds and rainwater. While some may write off Analemma as an early April Fools’ Day joke, we think the unusual design is a fun and unconventional thought experiment worth exploring, if only to get our creative juices flowing. The conceptual design begins with the placement of a large orbiting asteroid set on a figure-eight geosynchronous path that moves between the north and southern hemispheres on a predictable daily loop. The skyscraper , suspended from the asteroid via a high-strength cable, would allow residents to parachute down to work when the orbit slows down and gets closest to midtown Manhattan. The proposed building is split into four main areas: business activities at the lower end of the tower, sleeping quarters placed approximately two-thirds of the way up, prayer rooms at the very top of the building, and surface transfer points at the bottom. The tower would be prefabricated in Dubai —which the architects say is “a specialist in tall building construction at one-fifth the cost of New York City construction”—and the modules transported and assembled above earth. Related: This 3D-printed space igloo just won NASA’s Mars habitat competition “Analemma Tower is a proposal for the world’s tallest building ever,” writes CAO. “Harnessing the power of planetary design thinking, it taps into the desire for extreme height, seclusion and constant mobility. If the recent boom in residential towers proves that sales price per square foot rises with floor elevation, then Analemma Tower will command record prices, justifying its high cost of construction.” + Clouds Architecture Office Via Dezeen Images via Clouds Architecture Office

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Worlds tallest skyscraper design hangs off an orbiting asteroid

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Trump’s anti-science budget will make America stupid again

March 21, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump ’s proposed budget eviscerates government funding for basic scientific research and development, taking a sledge hammer to education, health and environmental protection. In a series of Tweets posted on Sunday, astrophysicist and TV host Neil deGrasse Tyson indirectly took on Trump’s budget , writing that making America great won’t happen until we make America smart again by increasing government funding, not by ignoring the scientific consensus on man-made global warming and slashing financial support for important programs that improve the quality of life for American citizens and ensure a livable world. https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/843510463392616448 https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/843513652611231744 https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/843516171748069376 https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/843518683053940736 https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/843521200278069248 https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/843523716977905664 https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/843525981570662400 https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/843530014104592384 Trump’s budget boosts Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs while proposing deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (31.4%), Health and Human Services (16.2%), the State Department (28.7%), Commerce (15.7%), Transportation (12.7%), Labor (20.7%), Education (13.5%), Interior (11.7%), Agriculture (20.7%) and Housing and Urban Development (13.2%). Related: Trump team claims funding climate change is “a waste of your money” The budget would also eliminate or zero out programs including Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which funds clean energy research; Global Climate Change Initiative; Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; Chesapeake Bay funding; National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; NASA’s Office of Education; and TIGER transportation grants, a program included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that funds innovative transit projects. Tyson isn’t the only scientist taking action against Trump’s war on science. The March for Science  is scheduled for Earth Day, April 22nd in Washington, D.C. and cities across the country. The mission statement posted on the March for Science website calls for “robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.” Via Huffington Post Image 1 , 2 via Wikimedia

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The UAE joins race to build first city on Mars

February 16, 2017 by  
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The race to colonize Mars first is in full swing, with everyone from Mars One to Elon Musk angling for the prize. Now the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced their intention to build Mars’ first city within 100 years. Their plan, called Mars 2117, aims to inspire, and act as a seed for future generations to grow. Mars 2117 was launched on February 14 , on the sideline of World Government Summit in Dubai, where a Mars 2117 virtual reality experience was offered. UAE Prime Minister and vice president Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum announced the plan : “We aspire to great things, so my brother Mohammed bin Zayed and I today decided the UAE will join the global effort to send humans to Mars. Mars 2117 is a seed we are sowing today to reap the fruit of new generations led by a passion for science and advancing human knowledge.” Related: Elon Musk reveals his big plan for colonizing Mars Mars 2117 isn’t just a dream for the UAE. In a statement Al Maktoum said, “The landing of people on other planets has been a longtime dream for humans. Our aim is that the UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality.” The UAE government plans to create an international scientific consortium to pursue research for the project. Thus far only the United States has been able to land a craft on Mars – Europe and Russia have both failed. And the UAE just started their space agency in 2014, but they already plan to send a spacecraft, Hope, to orbit the red planet in 2021. Popular Science notes although the country lacks rockets, they have plenty of money and have shown they can move swiftly to achieve large goals, such as transforming Dubai from the pearl-fishing village it was around 40 years ago to the architectural wonder it is today, boasting the world’s tallest structure in the Burj Khalifa . Via International Business Times , Popular Science , and Government of Dubai Media Office Images via Dubai Media Office on Twitter

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Floating ring-shaped memorial celebrates Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai

February 16, 2017 by  
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This ring-shaped memorial dedicated to internationally renowned Kenyan environmental political activist and Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai, celebrates human rights and environmental conservation. Boogertman + Partners architects designed the circular form to emphasize the notion of “walks and talks”, solidifying Wangari’s enduring legacy. A long timber-decked route leads visitors over a body of water to the main entrance of the memorial located beneath the structural floating ring. The underside rests on the terrain which envelops an auditorium at the rear. The simple circular form unfolds the life of Wangari as a conversation en route, referencing her legacy and a childhood sense of wonder. Related: Inhabitat talks with NYC’s 9/11 Memorial designer Michael Arad The building houses the main exhibition space , library, conference centre and functional areas. The courtyard , enveloped by the ring, contains an amphitheater , a mausoleum and a subterranean space. + Boogertman + Partners  Via v2com

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Floating ring-shaped memorial celebrates Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai

Chinas rival to AirBnB opens new Beijing office with cutting-edge interior design

February 15, 2017 by  
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Airbnb’s biggest rival in China, Xiaozhu , just opened their latest office in Beijing, a diverse and flexible work environment that bears similarities to an Ikea showroom. The office space, called Sliced House, is the work of People’s Architecture Office (PAO) and People’s Industrial Design Office (PIDO), and is largely inspired by the diversity of the home-sharing startup’s online listings. The office’s collection of domestic spaces creates a casual and playful setting that fosters spontaneous interactions. PAO credits Xiaozhu’s need for a flexible work environment to the startup’s rapid growth—the five-year-old startup is valued at over $300 million and could possibly be bought out by AirBnB in the near future. The office is mostly open plan but also includes private meeting rooms, a conference room, and lounge. Most of the workspaces can be rearranged into different configurations, from the jigsaw-like worktables that can break away into individual desks to the conference room that uses room dividers to transform one long conference table to three smaller tables in separate rooms. The fixed meeting rooms are built to look like cozy living rooms and kitchens. Related: Airbnb launches nature-filled Tokyo office that feels like a beautiful cozy home “Sliced House is conceived as a house that has been divided and its parts dispersed throughout an otherwise banal office interior,” write the architects. “Shared interior finishes between split spaces make apparent that adjacent portions refer to a single room. These sliced samples of domesticity include kitchen, living room, and bedroom and double as ad hoc meeting areas. Such spaces reflect Xiaozhu’s rental offerings, providing users with a wide spectrum of settings to choose from.” PIDO custom built the transforming furniture , which include workspaces and a mobile trishaw-like meeting area made from converted tricycles . This wheeled workspaces were inspired by Xiaozhu’s Tricycle House listing and the tricycle’s long history in China. + People’s Architecture Office Via ArchDaily

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Trump signs executive actions to reinstate Keystone and Dakota Access Pipeline

January 24, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders on Tuesday to move forward with the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. The decision rolls back efforts by President Barack Obama’s administration to impede the two projects, the latter of which was the recent subject of grueling protests by environmental and Native American activists. Signing the documents in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters that he wanted to “renegotiate some of the terms” of the Keystone bill but that he would seek to “get that pipeline built.” He also issued executive actions specifying that pipelines built in the United States should be constructed using U.S. materials. Obama rejected the Keystone pipeline project in 2015, arguing that that it would undercut America’s leadership to fight climate change. As proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada, the pipeline would have moved more than 800,000 barrels of petroleum across 1,200 miles and six U.S. states, linking Canadian oil sands to refineries in the Gulf Cost. Proponents of the pipeline said that the project would create more jobs and expand energy resources. Its detractors, on the other hand, warned that the extraction of oil sands creates more planet-warming greenhouse gases than that of petroleum. “So sad that Obama rejected Keystone Pipeline,” Trump, then the GOP presidential frontrunner tweeted that November. “Thousands of jobs, good for the environment, no downside.” While Obama didn’t block the Dakota Access project, the Army Corps of Engineers denied Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners’ request for an easement in early December, before adding that it was was seeking alternative routes for the $3.7 billion pipeline in response to the vigorous backlash. Protestors, who camped for months in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, rallied against original plans to route the pipeline below Lake Oahe near Standing Rock Sioux reservation, potentially damaging drinking-water supplies and sacred sites. The section under the lake would have been the final piece of the 1,172-mile pipeline, most of which was completed by the summer of 2016. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe accused Trump of acting “hastily and irresponsibly,” saying in a statement that it would contest the move. “Americans know this pipeline was unfairly rerouted towards our nation and without our consent. The existing pipeline route risks infringing on our treaty rights, contaminating our water and the water of 17 million Americans downstream,” said Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock tribe. Much has been made of Trump’s conflicts of interest, and for good reason. Through at least mid-2016, Trump owned ETP stock through, according to financial disclosure forms. ETP CEO Kelcy Warren donated $100,000 to his campaign. Plus, until recently, U.S. Energy Secretary nominee Rick Perry was a member of ETP’s board.

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Bjarke Ingels and other outstanding designers star in a new Netflix series called ‘Absract’

January 24, 2017 by  
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Design lovers: pull up a sofa and get ready for a serious Netflix binge sesh. On February 10, Netflix is revealing a show called Abstract: The Art of Design that features conversations about the revolutionary impetus of design. The series features rock star architect and BIG founder Bjarke Ingels, graphic designer Paula Scher, automotive designer Ralph Gilles and interior designer Ilse Crawford, among others. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=63&v=DYaq2sWTWAA Netflix just released a preview of the show, which will be released in its entirety on February 10th. It shows Bjarke Ingels flying through the air like Superman, which is apt, since Ingels promises to be a superhero of a star for a show about design. The gregarious architect routinely garners massive audiences for his TED talks and he has been featured in numerous major magazines. Related: 10 Must-See Documentaries You Can Stream on Netflix Right Now Other designers on the show may be slightly less well known, but they are massively important in their own fields. Ilse Crawford has changed the way interior design impacts the way we live, Nike designer Tinker Hatfield oversees Nike’s Innovation Kitchen and photographer Platon has helped us see world leaders in a way we never have before. The show is produced by Wired Editor-in-Chief Scott Dadich. “Abstract is an eight-episode documentary series about creativity, about visionary designers who shape the world around us—from architecture to illustration, cars to typography,” said Dadich. Via Architizer

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Trump appears to stand against House Republicans’ move to decimate ethics office

January 3, 2017 by  
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With Republicans now controlling the House of Representatives and the Senate in the US, one of their first moves was an attempt to eviscerate the Office of Congressional Ethics . But supposed Republican and President-elect Donald Trump appeared to stand against Republicans’ priorities in two tweets today. Perhaps in a bid to sound reasonable, Trump tweeted there are better issues for House Republicans to address, such as tax reform and healthcare. Facing bipartisan pressure, from many more people than just Trump, Republicans finally decided to reverse the astonishing move. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/816298944456232960 https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/816300003442495488 House Republicans, in a surprise measure that came without debate or advance notice, decided to dramatically curtail the Office of Congressional Ethics, even though according to the New York Times , Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and majority leader Kevin McCarthy of California spoke against the move. Related: Trump calls for more nuclear weapons in alarming new tweet Then Trump hopped on Twitter and fired off two tweets, referring to the Office of Congressional Ethics as ” the Independent Ethics Watchdog .” Even though he said the office is “unfair,” he said maybe weakening the office shouldn’t have been Republicans’ first step. He called for the representatives to instead focus on ” so many things of far greater importance ” and appended his second tweet with #DTS, likely a reference to his campaign promise to “drain the swamp.” The New York Times reports House Republicans faced bipartisan criticism; Trump, of course, wasn’t the only one to speak out against slashing an ethics office, and his stance was hardly even a strong one. California Democrat and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, “Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress .” Other organizations and voters spoke out against the startling measure, and today Republicans moved to reverse their plan in what the NYT describes as an “embarrassing turnabout.” The Office of Congressional Ethics is an independent office created after scandals in 2008 saw three representatives, two Republicans and one Democrat, go to jail. An outside board of six members oversees the office. Some people have said the office’s investigations have been too aggressive; others say lawmakers complained because they wanted to safeguard themselves. Via The New York Times ( 1 , 2 ) Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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