Robotically fabricated Wander Wood Pavilion pops up in just over three days

December 4, 2018 by  
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Traditional materials and futuristic technologies have come together in the Wander Wood Pavilion, a large-scale robotically fabricated structure completed by students at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Installed as a temporary addition to the campus grounds, the experimental pavilion was fabricated and assembled in just over three days using a state-of-the-art eight-axis industrial robot at the UBC Center for Advanced Wood Processing . Constructed with built-in seating, the sculptural installation was built mainly of wood, a renewable material selected for its sustainable features and ability to store carbon. Completed in October 2018, the Wander Wood Pavilion is the result of the Robot Made: Large-Scale Robotic Timber Fabrication in Architecture workshop led by David Correa of the University of Waterloo, Oliver David Krieg of LWPAC, and SALA professor AnnaLisa Meyboom. A large team of students, staff, faculty and external partners worked on the project as part of the university’s SEEDS Sustainability Program , an initiative that aims to advance campus sustainability through multidisciplinary projects. Forestry Industry Innovation provided the funding. “Starting with computational tools for parametric design, structural principles for wood construction, robotic CNC milling and digital workflow management, participants were provided with a unique insight into the new opportunities and challenges of advanced design to fabrication processes for timber structures,” explains the team in their project statement. “Parametric design and robotic fabrication are disruptive new technologies in architecture that allow us to build high performance structures of unprecedented formal complexity.” Related: Provocative timber horn explores the hypnotic pull of the unknown The sinuous and latticed form of the sculptural Wander Wood Pavilion not only helps activate the surrounding public area, but its curved shape also creates a cocoon-like environment for visitors using the built-in bench seating. The research workshop installation was installed next to the university fountain in the Martha Piper Plaza. + UBC Center for Advanced Wood Processing Images by David Correa

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Robotically fabricated Wander Wood Pavilion pops up in just over three days

KOGAA creates an energy self-sufficient City Cell in response to climate change

November 2, 2018 by  
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Galvanized by the growing debate on climate change , Brno-based KOGAA Architectural Studio and NEXT Institute Research Platform have teamed up to create the City Cell Prototype (CCP), a pop-up installation that serves as a testing ground for ways cities can combat climate extremes. Completed this year, the temporary pavilion of nearly 300 square feet is presently located at Malinovsky Square in Brno, Czech Republic’s second-largest city. Built of timber and powered by solar energy, the City Cell Prototype is a multifunctional design that includes rainwater reuse, urban greenery, human shelter and educational opportunities. The City Cell Prototype is primarily constructed from pre-dried KVH timber, a material that has the added benefit of not requiring any additional protective coatings. Elevated off the ground on footings, the wooden structure is centered on a tree set inside a “biofilter.” To make the pavilion look inviting to the public, KOGAA inserted low-slung seating and made the all-timber envelope as transparent as possible using slatted wood screens and two entrances. In addition to the tree, planters have been installed on both ends of the structure, with one wall comprising rows of street-facing planters. Despite the pavilion’s minimalist appearance, the structure features multiple systems that work together to ensure energy self-sufficiency. The sloped roofs, which are made from a translucent material to let light through, are angled to channel rainwater into the centrally located biofilter, where the runoff is then filtered through settling and phyto-processes. Once filtered, the rainwater is stored in tanks and then pumped up to a drip irrigation system connected to the pavilion’s planters. The water pump is powered by solar energy harvested from photovoltaic panels mounted to the roof; solar power also provides electricity for the LED lighting system. Related: An experimental greenhouse pops up at a busy Copenhagen intersection “Together with the vertical greenery, the biofilter allows water retention and evaporation, allowing the surrounding microclimate to cool down,” the architects explained. “Its shape develops from the need to provide shading, collect water and the intent to create a spatial communication between the new object and the existing square, also achieved through the two-sided openness.” After the testing period, the CCP could be included in more permanent projects. + KOGAA Architectural Studio Images via Boys Play Nice

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KOGAA creates an energy self-sufficient City Cell in response to climate change

4 things you need to know about smart thermostats

November 2, 2018 by  
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Stuart Lombard has a mission: to reduce people’s carbon footprints while saving money. He found that heating and cooling made up the bulk of utility costs and searched to find a better way to monitor a home’s energy usage. He founded ecobee in 2007. The company developed a smart thermostat that allegedly saves people up to 23 percent a year on their heating and cooling bills. Some energy companies also offer rebates on smart thermostats, saving homeowners even more money. ecobee offers a few different products; the ecobee4, a smart Wi-Fi thermostat with room sensors, currently retails for $249. But even better than saving money, smart thermostats can help you do your part in reducing energy consumption and protecting the environment. Here are four things to know about smart thermostats. Reduces your carbon footprint Riding a bike to work instead of driving a car and installing solar panels are all positive steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint, but there are easier things you can do as well that will have little impact on your day-to-day life. Things like closing your curtains at night can have a positive impact on your heating and cooling bills and the environment. Lombard said, “There are some other great things like looking at your home and eliminating drafts, doing weather stripping, caulking, those are easy DIY projects for a lot of people.” Heating and cooling make up 40 to 70 percent of a home’s energy use, according to ecobee. In addition to making small changes yourself, a smart thermostat can greatly reduce this. Saves money Smart thermostats like the ecobee save you money in the long run. Lombard added, “The exciting thing about thermostats is from a consumer value proposition … it pays for itself in about a year.” Related: 10 money-saving tips for a green home Works with other technology A major trend right now is connecting all devices in your home. ecobee smart thermostats offer remote access from devices like your phone through an app. The ecobee4 works with Alexa — you can simply give Alexa a command to control your thermostat. Earlier models, like the ecobee3 lite, were Wi-Fi connected but did not have voice technology . Makes decisions for you The word “smart” is often thrown around to describe technological advancements. Generally speaking, smart technology is connected to the internet, which allows you to connect to a different device from your phone. The technology can use algorithms and other data to make decisions. Lombard said, “Our smart thermostats use weather to make smarter heater and cooling decisions.” The ecobee uses wireless room sensors to measure hot and cold spots in houses. It can also sense if someone is home or not and heat or cool the house accordingly. Because smart technology is connected to the internet, you can get frequent software updates, meaning devices work for longer periods of time. Whether you are looking to save some money each month on your utility bills or you want to do your part in saving the planet, investing in a smart thermostat is a good bet. + ecobee

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4 things you need to know about smart thermostats

Striking yellow PVC-clad pavilion is a sustainable shelter designed for the end times

August 10, 2018 by  
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Studio Morison has unveiled a stunning round shelter clad in a membrane of yellow PVC and aluminum mesh – and it just might help see you through the apocalypse. The artists behind the Escape Vehicle #9 shelter, Heather and Ivan Morison, explain that its design was inspired by their vision of a future world where nature has reclaimed the planet. The glowing pavilion has been installed in Holtingerveld, one of the darkest places in the Netherlands, as part of the Into Nature: Out of Darkness art festival, and it invites guest to spend the night in its metallic “existence chamber.” The sustainable shelter is a lightweight, compact structure made up of minimal materials, making it fully demountable. The circular wall consists of a membrane of yellow PVC, which is clad in a custom aluminum expanded mesh. Four Spirafix screw anchors connect the structure’s aluminum legs to the ground, ensuring that the building leaves little to no impact on the landscape. Related: Nomad Pavilion is a woven goat hair desert shelter that collects its own water As far as the design inspiration, Ivan says that he envisioned a future when nature reclaims the planet, when humans will have to “tread quickly and lightly on the land they occupy.” He further explains, “When first imagining Escape Vehicle #9 I had a vision of a flight into the future. I saw a lightness from that future within the darkness of the present, and this is where the Escape Vehicle can take us towards.” His vision of light and darkness can be seen firsthand in the shelter’s interior. Visitors enter the  shelter  through a ladder on the ground, which leads into a circular “existence chamber” with metallic flooring and a ceiling clad in a quilted foil insulation to help maintain the temperature. The chamber is compact, but spacious enough for two people. A double bed sits at the center, directly under a conical “navigational buoy” made from bent sheets of aluminum. A hatch in the metallic ceiling provides access to the rooftop deck , where visitors can enjoy beautiful, peaceful views of the surrounding nature. The yellow structure stands out in the vast greenery during the day, but it converts into a glowing beacon at night. Inside the shelter , the intensity of the yellow increases as the sun rises, creating a glowing light meant to have a calming effect on the inhabitants. The Into Nature: Out of Darkness event runs until September 16th. The shelter is part of the biennial event’s art route, which is also featuring works by Olafur Eliasson , Adrián Villar Rojas and Susan Philipsz this year. Guests can make reservations to sleep in the Escape Vehicle #9 for a unique, off-grid experience. + Studio Morrison Via Dezeen Photography via Studio Morison

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Striking yellow PVC-clad pavilion is a sustainable shelter designed for the end times

Sculptural open-air pavilion blends into a rocky Norwegian landscape

June 29, 2018 by  
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When Oslo-based design studio MORFEUS arkitekter first laid eyes on Bukkekjerka, a rock formation framed by the rugged mountains on the east and the open sea to the west, its natural beauty stunned them. So, when they were tasked with designing an open-air pavilion on the site along the Norwegian Scenic Route Andøya, they understandably wanted to take a sensitive approach so as not to detract from the landscape. The resulting design is a contemporary structure built from folded concrete to mimic the surrounding jagged mountain peaks. Spanning an area of 2,800 square feet, the Bukkekjerka rest station comprises a series of structures spread out across the landscape. The parking and service facilities are placed in the north, while a freestanding bench in the mountains is oriented for views of the midnight sun. Picnic areas and a footbridge trace a path toward the lighthouses to the east. Consecrated land and unique geological formations can be found in the south, which MORFEUS arkitekter has designed for use as an annual open-air church for weddings and other gatherings. “Our hope is that these elements are unveiled and experienced gradually, encouraging further exploration and experience of the inherent qualities of the place,” explains Caroline Støvring and Cecilie Wille of MORFEUS arkitekter. “The built elements are adapted to the existing terrain, not the other way around. We have wanted to proceed carefully, but also with a boldness that echoes the surrounding landscape. We have desired the project to appear more like landscape and sculptural elements, less like a building.” Related: Off-grid Fossil Discovery Exhibit camouflages into the Texan desert The majority of the structures are open-air; however, even the service building with toilets manages to embrace the landscape with one-way mirrored glass cladding. The glass allows visitors inside the building to enjoy views over the sea and the mountain peaks in the north, while the mirrored side helps blend the building into the landscape. The building is also constructed from polished, acid-resistant steel with a mirror-like shine. + MORFEUS arkitekter Images ©MORFEUS Støvring Wille

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Sculptural open-air pavilion blends into a rocky Norwegian landscape

Frida Escobedos 2018 Serpentine Pavilion unveiled in London

June 14, 2018 by  
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Mexican architect Frida Escobedo has unveiled this year’s Serpentine Pavilion —a dark and porous envelope that wraps around an inner courtyard with a shallow pool of water. Located on the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery in London’s Kensington Gardens, the temporary summer pavilion is built with walls of concrete roofing tiles stacked together in a staggered formation on steel poles. The open voids in the stacked tile walls give Escobedo’s pavilion a sense of lightness by allowing natural light and views to pass through. At 38, Escobedo is the youngest architect ever tapped for the design of the annual Serpentine Pavilion. She is also the first solo woman selected for the commission since Zaha Hadid , who designed the first pavilion in 2000. For the 2018 Serpentine Pavilion, now in its 18th iteration, Escobedo took inspiration from domestic Mexican architecture and British materials. An enclosed courtyard —a common feature in Mexican houses—forms the heart of the pavilion, which comprises two rectangular volumes set on a north axis in a nod to the Prime Meridian, a global standard for time and geographic distance. In contrast, the outer walls of the pavilion are aligned with the Serpentine Gallery’s east facade. Escobedo designed lattice-like walls of British-made cement roof tiles that take inspiration from Mexico’s traditional breeze walls, known as celosia. The mirrored underside of the canopy and the triangular pool on the ground reflect the movement of light and shadow to heighten visitors’ awareness of their surroundings. Related: Diébédo Francis Kéré’s rainwater-harvesting 2017 Serpentine Pavilion unveiled in London today “My design for the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 is a meeting of material and historical inspirations inseparable from the city of London itself and an idea which has been central to our practice from the beginning: the express of time in architecture through inventive use of everyday materials and simple forms,” Escobedo said. “For the Pavilion, we have added the materials of light and shadow, reflection and refraction, turning the building into a timepiece that charts the passage of the day.” The Serpentine Pavilion opens June 15 and will run until October 7, 2018. + Frida Escobedo Photography © 2018 Iwan Baan

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Frida Escobedos 2018 Serpentine Pavilion unveiled in London

This prefab pavilion in Zhejiang brings travelers closer to nature

June 7, 2018 by  
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There’s no better way to build appreciation for nature than to immerse people in its beauty. That’s the idea behind the Pine Park Pavilion, a recently completed structure by the riverside in China’s Zhejiang province. Designed by Beijing-based design studio DnA Design and Architecture , the prefabricated Pine Park Pavilion serves to bring cyclists and hikers closer to the landscape. Commissioned by the Songyang Department of River Control and Reservoir Management as a piece of tourism infrastructure near the village of Huangyu, the 197-square-meter Pine Park Pavilion was prefabricated offsite and then assembled onsite. The installation is parallel to the river and comprises a pavilion, retail store, toilets, an infant room, management room, a tearoom  and private meeting spaces. “The elongated pavilion consists of four segments,” the architects wrote. “The building elements are separated with glass surfaces, on which the production of resin is illustrated in an artistically alienated manner, thus giving rise to one picture in combination with the already existing group of trees around the pavilion.” The prefabrication of the project and the preservation of existing trees are indicative of reduced site impact. The structural components are deliberately exposed, giving the modern pavilion a raw appearance. The large panels of glazing used throughout also give the structure a sense of transparency. The glass walls frame the landscape like a painting. In addition to serving as a viewpoint, the Pine Park Pavilion also includes an art installation that explains the production of pine resin in the neighboring village of Huangyu. Related: UNStudio designs cocoon-like pavilion made of 100% recyclable materials “The simple wooden building with its clear constructive structure serves as a resting place at the dam on the river and provides information about a traditional method of producing resin,” the architects wrote. “It consequently combines information about the location with a tourism infrastructure that links history and future for visitors in a playful manner.” + DnA Design and Architecture Images by Ziling Wang and Dan Han

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This prefab pavilion in Zhejiang brings travelers closer to nature

Vatican Citys first-ever pavilion debuts at the Venice Architecture Biennale

June 1, 2018 by  
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The Vatican Chapels Pavilion of the Holy See opened to fanfare last week, marking Vatican City’s debut at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. Curated by Professor Francesco Dal Co, the temporary installation consists of 10 chapel-inspired pavilions, each designed by a different renowned design practice from around the world. Perhaps the most anticipated of them all is the pavilion by Foster + Partners , which takes the form of an open-air chapel built with a tensegrity structure. Spread out across the picturesque San Giorgio Maggiore Island, the Vatican Chapels Pavilion of the Holy See is set in a contemplative wooded environment. Foster + Partners’ chapel is located between two mature trees on one end of the island and connects to the lagoon beyond. The chapel comprises a tensegrity structure made up of three upright crosses that support a larch latticework membrane connected with steel cables and masts. Italian furniture company Tecno built the installation. “The project started with the selection of the site,” explained Norman Foster, founder of Foster + Partners. “On a visit to San Giorgio Maggiore, close to Palladio’s magnificent church and the Teatro Verde, I found a green space with two mature trees beautifully framing the view of the lagoon. It was like a small oasis in the big garden, perfect for contemplation. Our aim was to create a small space diffused with dappled shade and removed from the normality of passers-by, focused instead on the water and sky beyond – a sanctuary.” Related: Foster+Partners unveil design for first-ever Vatican Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale The larch membrane allows dappled light to pass through the chapel’s interior. The tensegrity structure was also engineered to withstand wind loads. Jasmine vines are planted around the structure and will grow overtop it in time to soften its contours and add an extra sensory element. The pavilion will remain open to the public until November 25, 2018. + Foster + Partners Images by Nigel Young/Foster + Partners

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Vatican Citys first-ever pavilion debuts at the Venice Architecture Biennale

A breezy oasis-like home hits the market in Brisbane

May 7, 2018 by  
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The stunning, oasis-like Rosebery House is now for sale—including its surprisingly lush environment less than two miles from Brisbane . Built predominately of timber and steel, this breezy abode was designed by Brit Andresen and Peter O’Gorman, among Australia’s most renowned contemporary architects. The home is listed on The Modern House with the price available on request. Open to the outdoors on all sides, the nearly 2,700-square-foot Rosebery House comprises three two-story pavilions punctuated by two covered voids that let in light and ventilation. Stairways and open decks connect the various rooms. Each pavilion is designed to house a different programmatic function but is also flexible enough to adapt to changing needs. Key to the success of the home is the massive trellis that runs the building’s full length and provides privacy, protection from the elements, and access to cooling breezes. Related: Heritage-listed church repurposed into modern solar-powered home in Brisbane Among the many highlights of the four-bedroom, two-bath house is the library living room, where battened panel screens slide open to a canopy view. “It’s the type of space where you could feel like you are a hermit in the middle of a rainforest ,” says the current owner, “but then the sounds of a tennis match float in on the breeze from the opposite riverbank and remind you that you are in a city.” Interested in placing a bid? Head over to The Modern House to get in touch with the homeowners. + Rosebery House Via Dwell Images by Michael Nicholson

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A breezy oasis-like home hits the market in Brisbane

PUP Architects disguises a tiny house as a rooftop air duct

March 14, 2018 by  
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PUP Architects disguised a dwelling as a rooftop air duct to bring attention to London’s housing crisis . The “guerrilla habitation” project playfully exploits development loopholes by fashioning a habitable rooftop space atop a canal-side warehouse in east London. PUP Architects based their design off a loophole that allows development of rooftop service structures without planning permission. PUP Architect’s H-VAC structure beat out 128 proposals to win property developer Shiva’s annual Antepavilion program, a competition that calls attention to problems with the local planning department and the city’s housing shortage .  Disguised as an HVAC exhaust, this hidden two-story dwelling starts from within the brick warehouse and pops up onto the roof in a snaking linear form clad in silver waterproof shingles made from recycled Tetra-Pak offcuts. The timber-framed structure winds its way up and culminates into a periscope-like shape with small room with two comfortable benches accommodating up to six. Related: This tiny prefab solution to Finland’s housing shortage can pop up in 24 hours “The pavilion invites discussion about the occupation of the city’s rooftops by highlighting relaxed permitted development rights,” says the Antepavilion press release. “It suggests that if dwellings could be disguised as air conditioning equipment, thousands of micro houses could be built across the city providing new homes.” The unusual pop-up pavilion won 2017’s Architecture Foundation Antepavilion competition for sustainable housing alternatives. + PUP Architects Images by Jim Stephenson and Phineas Harper

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PUP Architects disguises a tiny house as a rooftop air duct

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