C.F. Mllers Storkeengen tackles climate challenges in a Danish town

January 5, 2018 by  
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The modern age’s best landscape architecture projects aren’t one-trick ponies. C.F. Møller Landscape takes this to heart in their recent design for Storkeengen (Stork Meadow), a multipurpose nature park that offers recreation, beauty, and strengthened protection against storm floods. Located in the Danish town of Randers, Storkeengen aims to “resolve the city’s current and future climate chal-lenges” and bring the townspeople closer to nature and to Denmark’s longest river, the Gudenå River. Created in collaboration with Randers Vandmiljø, Randers Municipality, and Orbi-con, Storkeengen is envisioned as a pioneering project combining water purification , recreation, and climate adjustment. According to C.F. Møller, the riverside town of Randers is threatened by the effects of climate change due to its low-lying position next to the Gudenå River. Thus, the city has developed a vision to protect the town called ‘The City to the Water,’ with the implementation of Stor-keengen as the first step. The 83-hectare Storkeengen is designed to function like a wetland meadow. C.F. Møller designed “cloudburst routes” that direct stormwater runoff into the park, where it’s then naturally filtered in wetland meadow areas before being dis-charged in the river. A dyke will also be installed between the park and the river to protect the nearby residences from flooding and provide new connectivity be-tween Randers and the park. Related: Denmark just opened the “world’s most humane” maximum security prison “Storkeengen is a climate adaption project on Nature’s own terms – also when it comes to the project’s technical wastewater solutions, which are designed to strengthen the nature qualities of the wet meadows,” wrote C.F. Møller. “To in-crease accessibility and enhance the nature experi-ence, new pathways and ac-tivity plateaux are created, so that Storkeengen’s unique flora and fauna, and the wet meadows’ changing habitat, can be experienced at close hand. The plateaux also make it possible to get up close to the area’s grazing cattle, enjoy the sun-set, or navigate the Gudenå stream by canoe.” The project will break ground this fall and is slated for completion in 2021. + C.F. Møller Images via C.F. Møller

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C.F. Mllers Storkeengen tackles climate challenges in a Danish town

MADs mountain-like towers reach completion and LEED Gold in Beijing

December 5, 2017 by  
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Many of Asia’s high-rises may seem indistinguishable from those in the West, but MAD Architects’ recently completed Chaoyang Park Plaza puts a unique Chinese spin on skyscraper design. Located in Beijing’s central business district, the mixed-use development takes inspiration from the ‘shan shui’ style of traditional Chinese landscape painting that emphasizes balance and flowing lines. The mountain-like buildings, lush vegetation, and water features evoke an oasis of nature in a dense concrete jungle. The 220,000-square-meter Chaoyang Park Plaza comprises 10 buildings that eschew modern boxy forms for the curved forms commonly found in shan shui paintings. “It is an extension of the park into the city, naturalizing the CBD’s strong artificial skyline, borrowing scenery from a distant landscape ? a classical approach to Chinese garden architecture, where nature and architecture blend into one another,” wrote MAD architects. Ma Yansong, the founder of MAD architects, elaborates: “In modern cities, architecture as an artificial creation is seen more as a symbol of capital, power or technological development; while nature exists independently. It is different from traditional Eastern cities where architecture and nature are designed as a whole, creating an atmosphere that serves to fulfill one’s spiritual pursuits. We want to blur the boundary between nature and the artificial, and make it so that both are designed with the other in mind.” The pedestrian experience shares similarities with walking through a river valley with meandering pathways, flowing water features, traditional Eastern landscape elements like bamboos and pines, and organic boulder-like shapes. Offices will be housed in the two largest buildings that look like a pair of asymmetric mountains, as well as one of the lower-lying buildings on the south side of the site. Shorter buildings shaped like round river stones contain commercial space, while two Armani towers on the southwest side contain residences. Related: MAD Architects Break Ground on Mountainous Chaoyang Park Plaza in Beijing The project earned LEED Gold certification for its use of vertical fins on the exterior that have the double benefit of mitigating solar gain and emphasizing the smoothness and verticality of the towers. To combat Beijing’s sweltering summers, the architects installed a pool outside to serve as an air-cooling system and designed the building systems to draw in fresh air. + MAD Architects Images © Hufton+Crow

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MADs mountain-like towers reach completion and LEED Gold in Beijing

MVRDV wins bid for green-roofed Zhangjiang Future Park in Shanghai

October 18, 2017 by  
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MVRDV just unveiled competition-winning designs for Zhangjiang Future Park, a 100,000-square-meter park and cultural center—the latest in a rapidly growing list of large-scale developments in Shanghai . Designed for the city’s Pudong district, the Future Park expands on the existing Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, a bustling business and industrial district for national and international companies established in 1992. The Future Park will serve the over 100,000 workers that live in the area and add 10,000 square meters of public plazas, a 56,000-square-meter public park, and green-roofed community buildings. Located on an island, the Zhangjiang Future Park will serve as an easily accessible community-gathering place. The urban complex comprises four major buildings at its heart: a library , an art center, a performance center, and a sports center. All the buildings will be topped with accessible green roofs connected by pedestrian bridges. The sloped building volumes are varied in height and blend into the landscaped environment. Related: Drone video reveals progress on Heatherwick’s “tree-covered mountain” in Shanghai “We wanted to respect the natural green landscape for Zhangjiang Future Park and drew from its island location separated by two rivers”, says Nathalie de Vries, co-founder of MVRDV. “The entire complex will provide high quality public space with public and cultural facilities, making it a place for relaxation and excitement for the people who work and live here.” The project is set for completion in early 2019. Via MVRDV

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MVRDV wins bid for green-roofed Zhangjiang Future Park in Shanghai

Starburst shipping container home to rise in the California desert

September 27, 2017 by  
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Don’t rub your eyes—this incredible shipping container home is not a mirage. London-based designer James Whitaker is bringing his crystalline cargotecture vision to life with the Joshua Tree Residence in a rocky California desert. Arranged in a spectacular starburst fashion, the sculptural house will be powered by solar energy and optimized for protection against the desert’s harsh elements. If the Joshua Tree Residence looks familiar, you may be remembering James Whitaker’s previous unrealized work, Hechingen Studio , proposed as an office in Germany. Whitaker earned the opportunity to bring his crystalline cargotecture vision to reality when the client, a film producer who lives in Los Angeles, saw a rendering of Hechingen Studio on a trip to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. The client, who owns a 90-acre property near the park, commissioned Whitaker to design a similar structure as a holiday dwelling for him and his wife. “With a background in nurturing creative projects to fruition, [the client] is, in many ways, the dream client!” said Whitaker, according to Dezeen. Related: James Whitaker designs funky light-filled office space out of shipping containers The Joshua Tree Residence may look eccentric, but its sculptural appearance isn’t out of place for the California desert , where L.A. wealthy often commission unusual-looking homes. The 2,153-square-foot cargotecture home will be elevated on concrete columns over a sloped site and surrounded by a rocky landscape with loose boulders. The home’s shipping container elements will be painted bright white and extended in all directions. ”Each container is orientated to maximise views across the landscape, or to use the topography to provide privacy, depending on their individual use,” added Whitaker. The modern and minimalist interior will features angular, white-painted surfaces with simple plywood furnishings and bright red Misfits seating by Ron Arad . + James Whitaker Via Dezeen Images via James Whitaker

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Starburst shipping container home to rise in the California desert

Plastic waste pop-up pavilion rethinks recycling in the Netherlands

May 25, 2017 by  
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Plastic waste takes on new life in the PET Pavilion, a temporary structure that popped up in a public park in Enschede, The Netherlands. Project.DWG and LOOS.FM designed the 227-square-meter ephemeral pavilion to spark dialogue on topics relating to recycling and sustainable building. The experimental pavilion serves as an educational gathering space and can be easily dismantled for relocation within a day. The pavilion bears draws inspiration from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House with its steel framework and floor-to-ceiling transparent walls. Over 40,000 plastic bottles are sandwiched between the pavilion’s double-walled transparent corrugated sheets, creating a curtain of crumpled bottles that turn the pavilion into an “abstract lantern” at night. The elevated pavilion also includes a staircase and ramp covered with 25,000 bottle caps and a divider wall filled with 8,000 body wash containers. “It is really confronting when you encounter the huge piles of waste up close,” write the designers. “That’s something we wanted to work with. ‘Something’ became a pavilion with monumental walls of pet bottles. Dismountable and temporary, with the plot in loan. With a temporary structure you bypass complicated regulation. Society is changing. To build for eternity, is an empty claim. Temporality means freedom.” Related: Dissolvable bioplastic bags from Bali are safe enough to drink The PET pavilion is currently located in a temporary park on the grounds of the former Robson pajamas in Enschede. The building is used to host events, from talks to galleries, and also includes a bar and winter garden. The pavilion will be moved to an as yet undetermined site at the end of 2017. + Project.DWG + LOOS.FM Images via Project.DWG , art by Martin Oostenrijk, Jelle de Graaf, and André Boone

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Plastic waste pop-up pavilion rethinks recycling in the Netherlands

Only 25 glaciers remain in Montana’s shrinking Glacier National Park

May 11, 2017 by  
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Our warming climate is ravaging the storied glaciers of Montana’s Glacier National Park . The United States Geological Survey (USGS) and Portland State University recently released data revealing the devastation of climate change on the area over 50 years. The park’s glaciers shrunk by 39 percent on average, but some dwindled by up to 85 percent. An estimated 150 glaciers filled the park in 1850; today there are around 25. The researchers tracked two glaciers on United States Forest Service land and 37 glaciers in Glacier National Park . But now just 26 glaciers in the park are bigger than 25 acres, the benchmark for a body of ice to be correctly termed a glacier. Geologist Andrew Fountain of Portland State said, “While the shrinkage in Montana is more severe than some other places in the U.S., it is in line with trends that have been happening on a global scale.” Related: The Glaciers of Glacier National Park May All Disappear by 2030 The researchers scrutinized digital maps from satellites and aerial photography to measure the outer edges of glaciers in the late summer, when seasonal snow has disappeared and it’s easier to tell how large a glacier truly is. Site visits added to the data. The researchers looked at glaciers in 1966, 1998, 2005, and 2015/2016 to track 50 years of climate change in Glacier National Park. The news isn’t good; it shows visually how the mountain ecosystem has altered in the northern Rocky Mountains. Lead USGS scientist Daniel Fagre said, “The park-wide loss of ice can have ecological effects on aquatic species by changing stream water volume, water temperature, and run-off timing in the higher elevations of the park.” The loss of glaciers in the park named for them could also hurt tourism in the area. The research is intended to help park management and inform the public; according to USGS it will assist scientists in their understanding of the effects of large scale climate patterns on glaciers in distinctive mountain environments . Via United States Geological Survey Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

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Only 25 glaciers remain in Montana’s shrinking Glacier National Park

World’s first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge pops up in Madrid

January 23, 2017 by  
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Behold, the world’s first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge. Inaugurated December 14 in the park of Castilla-La Mancha in Alcobendas, just south of Madrid in Spain, the 40-foot-long is made up of eight parts, each one comprising layers of fused concrete powder micro-reinforced with thermoplastic polypropylene. The bridge is the brainchild of the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia , a Barcelona-based research and education center that worked with a contingent of architects, mechanical and structural engineers, and municipal representatives to bring the design to life. Besides Acciona , the firm that performed most of the heavy lifting, both literally and figuratively, the institute’s most notable collaborator was Enrico Dini , the so-called “man who prints houses.” Dini developed D-Shape , a massive 3D printer that’s the first—and perhaps only—of its kind to bind sand into layer after layer of solid rock. With the Alcobendas bridge marking a civil-engineering first, the IAAC is hailing the construction as a “milestone for the construction sector at international level.” Related: 3-D Printer Creates Entire Buildings From Solid Rock But the designers didn’t neglect to tip a hat to the ur-architect: nature. The IAAC leveraged parametric modeling to not only reflect the “complexities of nature’s forms” but also optimize the distribution of raw materials. “The computational design also allows to maximize the structural performance, being able to dispose the material only where it is needed, with total freedom of forms, maintaining the porosity thanks to the application of generative algorithms and challenging the traditional techniques of construction,” the institute said. The result? Less waste, greater stability, and one heck of a conversation piece. + Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

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World’s first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge pops up in Madrid

Dallas is building America’s biggest urban nature park

November 28, 2016 by  
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Dallas , Texas is about to become one of the greenest cities in America – by building the country’s largest urban nature park. Dallas’ new “Nature District” will comprise a staggering 10,000 acres , including 7,000 acres of the Great Trinity Forest. The Trinity River Park designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates could revitalize a Dallas floodplain into a lush green recreation space. The Trinity River Park will provide visitors with access to playgrounds, lawns, and riverside trails. The design aims to enhance the natural beauty of the area while minimizing flooding damage in Dallas. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates said they worked with government engineers to ensure the infrastructural soundness of the floodplain so that the park transforms flooding “from a natural disaster into a breathtaking spectacle.” Related: Atlanta’s elevated Buckhead Park will connect a city separated by highways 1,000 additional acres of the Great Trinity Forest have already been developed into a golf club, the Texas Horse Park , and the Trinity River Audubon Center , which boasts a nature center for kids and event spaces. The Trinity River Park will be part of the Nature District as well. Another ambitious green project in Dallas is the Trinity Strand Trail , which will connect 73 miles of trails. The first two and a half trail miles opened last year, and plans are in the works to add more miles and connect the existing Katy Trail with the Trinity River. A $50 million donation gave the Trinity River Park project a boost in late October, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said the park will “redefine Dallas for the 21st century.” + Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Via Dallas News Images via Trinity River Dallas Facebook and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

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Dallas is building America’s biggest urban nature park

Coiling glass skywalk opened in China lets people walk on a sheer cliff face

August 3, 2016 by  
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A new glass skywalk has opened up in China ’s Hunan province that allows tourists to walk along a sheer cliff face, seemingly supported by nothing at all. The 100 meter (328 feet) long Coiling Dragon Cliff skywalk wraps around the side of Tianmen Mountain , and is about 1.6 meters (5.2 feet) wide. The attraction opened Monday, and while some visitors clung tightly to the side of the mountain, others strolled right up to the railing, selfie sticks raised high, for a once-in-a-lifetime shot. From the walkway, sitting at 4,600 feet above sea level, visitors can see Tongtian Avenue below, a winding mountain road with exactly 99 turns that snaked up the side of the peak. The mountain is just one of several stunning natural features in China’s Zhangjiajie National Forest Park . The attraction is the third of its kind in the Tianmen Mountain Scenic Area. The Coiling Dragon path was once completely built of wood, but was recently converted to a glass bottom for a more dramatic view. Related: World’s longest and highest glass bridge to open next spring in China This isn’t the first dramatic glass-bottomed attraction to be built in China recently. Elsewhere in the park, the world’s longest and highest glass bridge is currently wrapping up construction. The bridge will connect both sides of the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, allowing visitors to view the stunning natural landscape from 984 feet above the ground. Though the bridge was originally planned to open in May, it’s currently been delayed. Via CNN Photos via ImagineChina

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Coiling glass skywalk opened in China lets people walk on a sheer cliff face

Candy-colored pop-up park creates a relaxing oasis in busy Stockholm

June 14, 2016 by  
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Humlegårdsgatan was once seen as a noisy and dirty means to get from point A to point B, but that was before the Gamla Liv-commissioned Pop Up Park appeared. Tengbom architect Åse Larsson said, “We wanted to brighten it up, give it air and add places to pause – rather than simply pass by. A room to live in.” Visitors are giving positive feedback for the space, comparing it to New York’s High Line . Related: Temporary Market Hall made from sustainable materials pops up in Stockholm Wooden platforms painted pink and mint green are assembled in varying heights, allowing passersby to relax amidst the area’s popular shopping destinations. All car traffic is halted while the park is open, effectively slowing down the tempo of the street. As the popularity for such parks continues to rise, Tengbom hopes the city will be open to expanding the project to even more areas. This summer four more Pop Up Parks are expected to open, which may eventually grow into permanent oases. + Tengbom Architects Images via Tekla Evelina Severin

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Candy-colored pop-up park creates a relaxing oasis in busy Stockholm

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