Gangnams answer to Central Park will pop up in the heart of Seoul

November 2, 2017 by  
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Dominique Perrault Architecture has been tapped to design the Gangnam International Transit Center, a gargantuan and nature-filled transit terminal that aims to alleviate congestion in the heart of Seoul . The $1.15 billion project will span 160,000 square meters with six underground floors topped by a 30,000-square-meter public plaza described by the architects as a response to New York’s Central Park and London’s Hyde Park. A crystalline glass roof will bring natural light and air deep into the subterranean levels, and gives rise to the project’s name, Lightwalk. Introducing a mammoth complex into the heart of the capital is no easy task. In hopes of advancing Seoul’s agenda toward pedestrian friendly development, the architects created a subterranean transit terminal with the upper two levels dedicated to public and commercial purposes including an exhibition hall, a museum, a library, and a shopping mall. The remaining four floors will be used as parking lots and as bus, subway (for lines 2 and 9), train transit and transfer centers. Over 600,000 transit passengers are expected to use the underground terminal daily—roughly twice the number of visitors to Seoul Station. Aboveground, the landscaped plaza, called The Green Land, will be ringed by a double line of high canopy trees, while pocket parks and large grassy areas allow for a wide variety of activities, from private picnics to food festivals. A wide glass roof, called the Light Beam, runs the length of the plaza to bring natural light to the underground floors and will be supplemented by solar light pipes. The transit terminal will also house an underground park covered in greenery and illuminated by natural light from the light beam. Related: MVRDV wins bid to design Seoul’s High Line-inspired park “It is a minimalistic, yet incredibly powerful gesture, which marks the presence of a new major integrated public transportation station for the city of Seoul,” write the architects. “Spanning between the two main road of the Gangnam district, Bongeunsaro and Teheranro, the Lightwalk creates a landscape intervention linking the two axis and acts as an orientation mark from all sides. Rooted in the ground, it is the symbol of a renewed Seoul, which aims to become more pedestrian friendly, a landmark for all underground infrastructures worldwide, where users can experience natural light and air, deep into the ground, in the Groundscape.” Construction is expected to begin in 2019 with a tentative completion date in 2023. + Dominique Perrault Architecture Via ArchDaily

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Gangnams answer to Central Park will pop up in the heart of Seoul

Zaha Hadid Architects wins bid for the Port of Tallinn Masterplan

September 4, 2017 by  
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Zaha Hadid Architects just won an international competition to redevelop one of Europe’s fastest growing ports in Estonia’s bustling capital of Tallinn. The Masterplan 2030 will oversee a comprehensive and long-term redevelopment strategy for the Old City Harbor and reconnect disparate parts of the city into a more cohesive whole. Pedestrian friendly design, improved public transit access, and increased public space are part of ZHA’s redevelopment plans, as is sensitivity to the city’s historic fabric. An uptick of cruise ships and ferries to the Port of Tallinn has accelerated the demand for better passenger services as the port moves beyond just cargo needs. ZHA’s aim is to redevelop the port into a more attractive and easy-to-traverse urban space. The design will combine Tallinn’s innovative digital information technology with the charms of Tallinn’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities. “We’re honoured to work with the Port of Tallinn, developing unique solutions to create these important connections for the Old City Harbour’s long-term vision,” said Ginaluca Racana, Director at Zaha Hadid Architects. “Supported by its network of new pedestrian routes and public transport links, the masterplan reinvents a familiar space in Tallinn and reconnects the city with its harbour, enabling residents to reclaim a part of the city that is currently difficult to access and designed only for transit.” Related: Zaha Hadid Architects turn an old fire station into a sparkling port headquarters for Antwerp The new masterplan is centered on a central pedestrian promenade with branching pedestrian footpaths that connect disparate parts of the city and link the ferry and cruise terminals to the city center. In addition to the emphasis on connectivity, the design preserves the city’s urban fabric from existing vistas to the sizing of new city blocks. The flexible and mixed-use civic spaces will provide cultural, entertainment, shopping, and hotel amenities to the over 5 million visitors to the port every year. The masterplan for the Old City Harbour is expected for completion by the end of 2017. + Zaha Hadid Architects Renders by VA

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Zaha Hadid Architects wins bid for the Port of Tallinn Masterplan

Lotus-inspired public space collects rainwater to reduce Da Nangs runoff footprint

August 28, 2017 by  
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Urban stormwater runoff poses serious risks to safety and the environment and cities around the world are taking note. HUNI Architectes tackles Da Nang’s runoff footprint with their competition-winning design for the Da Nang City Center Square in Vietnam. Designed with SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems), this attractive lotus flower-inspired square will create a vibrant public space and destination that collects and reduces stormwater runoff. HUNI Architectes’ design beat a shortlist of 15 proposals in a competition organized by the city as part of a greater masterplan to transform Da Nang into Vietnam’s most modernized metropolis by 2030. The architects’ vision for Da Nang City Center Square draws inspiration from Vietnam’s national flower, the lotus , which symbolizes divine beauty. The plaza’s multiple shade structures take the form of giant lotus leaves, while a massive undulating canopy seems to reference the leaves’ gently crinkled shape. Circular granite paving patterns allude to ripples in a lake and are punctuated by circular grassy planters and lotus-pink play areas. Reducing stormwater runoff was a major goal of the design. Impervious surfaces like asphalt will be swapped out for pervious materials such as permeable paving and landscaping, while tree pits will be designed to collect, slow, and filter the flow of stormwater. Water features and interactive fountains will double as SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems) and can be enjoyed year-round along with lighting and performance sets. Related: Vietnam Constructs World’s Largest Dragon-Shaped Bridge – And It Breathes Fire! The contemporary new plaza is also sensitive to its historic surroundings. HUNI Architectes worked to preserve existing buildings on site, including the Han Market, which will be refurbished to increase its appeal to locals and tourists alike. To make the space pedestrian friendly , parking will be tucked underground and there will be easy access to public transport. Bike sharing facilities will spring up in the “Mobility Hubs” at Han Market and cyclists will be able to enjoy a special lane shared with public transport. + HUNI Architectes Via ArchDaily

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Lotus-inspired public space collects rainwater to reduce Da Nangs runoff footprint

Henning Larsen Architects unveils zero energy-targeted civic center for Toronto

May 10, 2017 by  
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Henning Larsen Architects has won a competition for Toronto’s new 500,000-square-foot Etobicoke Civic Centre. Designed in collaboration with Adamson Associates Architects and PMA Landscape Architects , the winning proposal will have a focus on sustainability and feature municipal offices, public gathering spaces, a library branch, recreation center, and a child care center. Build Toronto and the City of Toronto hosted the design competition and evaluated proposals on their environmental sustainability, flexibility, community identity, and pedestrian scale. The competition jury commended the winning team’s proposal for its “flexibility and an iconic design well suited for the community.” The winning design also demonstrates an ability to achieve a net zero target and builds on the context and history of the Etobicoke community. Related: Designers float plan to cover Toronto’s CN Tower with clip-on condos The proposed Etobicoke Civic Centre will break down the development’s large scale using different sized building volumes that help preserve a comfortable pedestrian-friendly scale. Site analysis and local thermal studies also informed building placement to protect against the summer solar heat gain and winter winds. Comfortable microclimates are improved further with green roofs and landscaping, and the total effect will prolong the comfortable outdoor season by up to five weeks, said Henning Larsen Architects. Via ArchDaily Images via Henning Larsen Architects

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Henning Larsen Architects unveils zero energy-targeted civic center for Toronto

Colorful wind-powered community in Scotland is everything an eco-village should be

October 28, 2016 by  
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Built on a former brownfield site at the edge of Findhorn, the colorful design prioritized passive solar design at every turn. Each home includes sunspaces, which allow residents to make the most of passive solar gain, and the roofs are built with a south-facing pitch to maximize solar absorption during the Spring and Autumn equinox, said, according to the architects, to be the most beneficial times to accumulate solar energy . Related: Scotland reaches gutsy emissions goal six years early The architects explained the Findhorn community was deeply involved with the design process, and their shared values are obvious in every detail. In addition to ensuring maximum energy efficiency, with insulation that’s nearly as tight as a Passivhaus , carbon-sequestering Scottish Larch cladding, a heat-recovery system, and underfloor heating fed by an air source heat pump, the community puts pedestrians and bicycles before cars, and makes plenty of communal space available – including a commercial grade kitchen where residents can sell what they make. Also included in the community are “flexi units” for either workshops, studios, or home offices. The residents of East Whins at Duneland also planned for the future. “The masterplanning exercise examined the implications of climate change and raising sea levels on the site and concluded it was the best site in the surrounding area to avoid future flooding,” the architects write in their design brief. “The detailed design allows for future climate changes such as heavier rain storms, higher wind speeds and hotter summer days.” This community boasts more greatness than we can cover here, including permaculture design and soft landscaping designed to minimize impact on the surrounding dune ecosystem, which is carefully managed by Duneland. + John Gilbert Architects Photos by Tom Manley Photography

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Colorful wind-powered community in Scotland is everything an eco-village should be

Finlands longest bridge will be a beautiful pedestrian and cyclist superhighway

September 27, 2016 by  
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The architects collaborated with engineering firm WSP Finland to design this tram, cyclist and pedestrian bridge, the name of which translates to Crown Bridges in Finnish. The €259 million project will cross Helsinki ‘s Kruunuvuorensilta bay and connect the new Kruunuvuorenranta housing development to the city center. Related: Sunken Pedestrian Bridge in the Netherlands Parts Moat Waters Like Moses! Tensioned cable stays will support the upper part of the structure featuring an elevated walkway and tram tracks . The central, 442-feet-tall pylon has a diamond-like shape that references the crown. The project is expected to break ground in late 2018 and become open to the public in 2025. + Knight Architects + WSP Finland Via Dezeen

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Finlands longest bridge will be a beautiful pedestrian and cyclist superhighway

How Barcelona "superblocks" return city streets to the people

August 9, 2016 by  
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An increase in pedestrian-friendly public space and the reduction of traffic are big benefits of Barcelona’s Urban Mobility Plan, but even more important is the plan’s potential in reducing premature deaths. Studies have attributed air pollution as the driving cause behind 3,500 premature deaths a year in Barcelona’s metropolitan area; the staggering number doesn’t include the injuries or deaths caused by traffic. By removing space for motorized traffic and increasing attractive alternatives—the city plans to add 200 kilometers (124 miles) of bicycle paths and make bus stops more easily accessible to residents—urban planners hope that people will ditch the car to walk and bicycle. To understand the superblock, one can start with the 400 meter by 400 meter nine square blocks of the famous gridded Eixample, a neighborhood that will also be one of the first areas to implement the plan. In the current nine square blocks, motorized traffic passes through all roads at 50 kilometers per hour (around 30 miles per hour). Under the superblock plan, however, the inner four intersecting roads will be reclaimed for public space . Private vehicles may use those roads but will be restricted to speeds of 10 kilometers per hour (6.2 miles per hour). Higher speed traffic and public transport will be confined to the outer roads. Related: How to Create Community Through Quality Public Spaces If all goes to plan, the scheme could free up 160 intersections. “This plan sums up the essence of urban ecology,” Janet Sanz, city councillor for ecology, urbanism and mobility, told The Guardian . “Our objective is for Barcelona to be a city in which to live. Also, as a Mediterranean city, its residents spend a long time on the streets – those streets need to be second homes, or extensions of one’s residence, at all times … Public spaces need to be spaces to play, where green is not an anecdote – where the neighbourhood’s history and local life have a presence.” Via The Guardian Lead image via Tech Insider ; all other images via BNC Ecologica

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How Barcelona "superblocks" return city streets to the people

Liberland may be the world’s first sovereign nation powered by algae

June 2, 2016 by  
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The winning proposal is a pedestrian-friendly design that supports a growing populace with stackable horizontal structures. Called Inverted Archeology, this groundbreaking technique constructs the city-state in consecutive temporal layers to form a self-sufficient, compact, dense, integrated and resilient urban fabric. Algae, strains of which don’t require significant sunlight to proliferate, would be grown on the underside of buildings to provide a clean source of energy . The design specifically creates an environment that is conducive to innovation, ensuring that all citizens – regardless of their ethnicity, race, age, gender or profession – have every opportunity to reach their full potential and participate collectively in financial gains. Related: The world’s first algae-powered building in Hamburg The RAW-NYC team led by Raya Ani comprised of an interdisciplinary group of collaborators from around the world, including – for full disclosure – the author of this post. “The team makeup and the design process was quite interesting and challenging at the same time,” Ani told Inhabitat. “To bring people together from different backgrounds substantiated our ideas and enriched the design process.” “The main vision was to balance density with quality of life. We wanted to address density differently than defaulting to skyscrapers, where connections between buildings occur only on the ground level. We wanted the city to be built one horizontal layer at a time, where it’s possible to walk everywhere and everything is connected. The horizontal layers are stacked in a staggered configuration to ensure natural light penetrates all of them.” Liberland president Vít Jedli?ka told Inhabitat that he and his team are studying whether a stackable algae-powered city design is feasible for Liberland. “We are blessed to have such great minds involved in creating Liberland, he said. “The winning design concepts show that the country can become a prosperous habitable area using [the] latest innovations in green technology to remain mostly self-sufficient. We will further study upon the 1st place project to see if and how exactly it could be introduced in reality. When that’s possible, we want to launch a virtual 3D landscape with building models to help people choose a place to live or to invest in. I congratulate all selected participants for their clever ideas representing the freedom Liberland stands for.” Sustainability played an important role in the RAW-NYC design. In addition to algae, buildings would feature integrated photovoltaic panels , rainwater harvesting systems and green roofs , and nothing would go to waste – neither space nor materials. Everything would be recycled, including all human, agricultural and organic waste, which would be converted into biofuel, and rooftop and community gardening would be scattered throughout, and floodable parks embrace rising waters. The Liberland design competition provided the opportunity of a lifetime – to design from scratch a progressive nation state that promotes innovation and autonomy. The RAW-NYC team used every available device to envision a genuinely sustainable, zero-waste urban oasis that will be resilient in the face of the numerous economic, environmental, and social challenges in the pipeline. + Liberland + RAW-NYC Architects

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Liberland may be the world’s first sovereign nation powered by algae

Critics are fuming over potentially toxic Russian rocket about to crash in the Arctic

June 2, 2016 by  
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Parts of a Russian rocket are expected to crash in Canadian Arctic waters this weekend. The rocket will be launching a satellite under Russia’s Rokot program, and its debris may still contain hydrazine, a toxic fuel, when it makes its descent back down from space. It is unclear who will clean up the debris or what the environmental impact will be in a place that’s home to polar bears and whales , but critics are fuming. The rocket is a ballistic missile from the Cold War era. According to the Canadian Press service, only two countries in the world still use hydrazine, and Russia is one of them. Related: The Russians want to build an outpost on the moon Although Canada was warned about the launch, Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Austin Jean said they should have been warned further in advance to address airspace safety and environmental concerns. Russian Embassy press secretary Kirill Kalinin said environmental concerns were “seriously taken into account.” University of British Columbia International Law professor Michael Byers said hydrazine has devastated the launch site most used by countries in Kazakhstan. He said we don’t know much about how hydrazine interacts with cold water, and that there should be an international ban on the fuel. It’s likely the debris will plummet into the North Water Polynya, an area rich with seals, narwhals, walruses, and beluga whales. Inuit people from Greenland and Canada hunt in the area. Greenpeace Arctic Campaigner Alex Speers-Roesch said , “The idea of dropping a missile full of toxic chemicals in the Arctic waters off Baffin Island is just as preposterous as drilling for oil there. Dumping these chemicals from a ship would be a clear violation of international and Canadian law, and it is no more acceptable when it is dumped from the air.” It’s not yet known how much hydrazine will be in the debris when it hits. Jean said the fuel could burn out completely as it re-enters the atmosphere. Byers said rockets often contain remaining propellant after onboard computers shut them down. Back in 2005, an American rocket released over two metric tons of fuel that was hydrazine-based near Newfoundland. Via The Globe and Mail and the Canadian Press on the Huffington Post and Cambridge Times Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Critics are fuming over potentially toxic Russian rocket about to crash in the Arctic

Gorgeous solar-powered and pedestrian-friendly housing development is coming to Turkey

August 10, 2015 by  
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