MVRDV unveils sustainable Chengdu Sky Valley masterplan

November 24, 2020 by  
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MVRDV has revealed designs for Chengdu Sky Valley, a competition entry for the Future Science and Technology City, which is a planned district on the outskirts of Chengdu, China. Guided by sustainable and placemaking principles, the masterplan seeks to differentiate itself from the country’s other high-tech cities with an emphasis on retaining the existing agricultural landscape, promoting self-sufficient lifestyles and designing with site-specific analyses in mind. Developed as part of Chengdu’s Eastward Development Strategy, the planned Future Science and Technology City will be developed on a rural swath of land adjacent to the new Tianfu International Airport with access to the city’s Metro Line 18. Rather than raze the rural area, the architects sought to retain and enhance the existing landscape — characterized by agricultural fields, rolling hills and scattered villages — while embedding new areas of development in between preserved farming areas.  Related: MVRDV designs a sustainable “urban living room” for Shenzhen “The dichotomy between the existing rural landscape and the future science and technology campus demands a solution that balances tradition and innovation, past and future, young and old, East and West, technology and agriculture,” MVRDV explained. “The design therefore preserves the agricultural valleys, incorporating this activity as a key component of the Future Science and Technology City. New buildings are clustered on the hills, and shaped in a way that amplifies the valley skyline, augmenting the appearance of the Linpan landscape.” MVRDV’s tech taskforce, MVRDV NEXT, developed a series of digital scripts to analyze the site’s topography. The site analyses informed decisions on several parts of the design: which areas should be designated for agricultural zoning versus new building development; the optimization of pathways and bridges to ensure accessibility across the entire site while never exceeding a slope of 4%; the shape and height of human-made hills; and building height limits. As a result, the design features three main valleys — the Knowledge Valley, the Experience Valley and the Venture Valley — around which seven mixed-use developments will be clustered. + MVRDV Images via MVRDV and Atchain

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MVRDV unveils sustainable Chengdu Sky Valley masterplan

Affordable senior housing gets a climate-responsive upgrade in California

November 17, 2020 by  
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San Diego-based design firm Studio E Architects has given an affordable housing development a climate-responsive renovation while strengthening the multiplex’s sense of placemaking in the desert of La Quinta, California. The 11-acre, tax credit-financed project, which was completed last year, comprised the redesign of Washington Street Apartments’ 72 existing units and the addition of 68 units on an adjacent 5.2-acre undeveloped plot to serve very low-income seniors and farm workers. To stay within a tight budget, the architects employed sustainable, low-tech strategies, such as deep sun shades and thermal chimneys, to promote natural cooling in response to the harsh desert heat. Set on a desert plain in Coachella Valley, the newly expanded Washington Street Apartments occupy an L-shaped site with the newly constructed units to the east of the renovated and redesigned existing units. To encourage relationship building, the architects inserted a series of community amenities throughout the development, including buildings and pools, shared laundry facilities, courtyards, lawns and an arbor and allotment garden. Related: Mirror-covered ‘Mirage’ house disappears into the California desert This public realm of courtyards and paseos are made more inviting with the architects’ environmentally responsive design that mitigates the desert heat. Sustainable, low-tech strategies include high solar reflectance roofs with extended eaves that bounce light while protecting the outdoor gathering spaces from unwanted solar gain. Deep overhangs supported by thin steel columns — a nod to the winter tents of the Indigenous inhabitants of Coachella Valley — are strategically designed so that summer sunlight can be blocked while allowing in low winter sunlight. The new residential buildings are oriented east to west to minimize exposure to late afternoon sun while openings are strategically placed to take in prevailing breezes and to promote thermo siphoning , a natural phenomenon that pushes hot air up and out of the building. The buildings have also been equipped with high-performance insulation and HVAC systems. + Studio E Architects Images via Studio E Architects

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Affordable senior housing gets a climate-responsive upgrade in California

UNStudio designs sculptural, driverless metro stations for Doha

October 1, 2020 by  
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UNStudio has completed the first 37 stations for Qatar Railways’ Doha Metro, one of the most advanced and fastest driverless metro systems in the world. With phase one and three metro lines — Red, Green and Gold — now complete, citizens of Doha who previously relied primarily on cars now have access to an efficient and reliable public transit service that will grow over time. To create a strong station identity for the new metro network and encourage public transit habits, UNStudio tapped into urban design principles to turn the eye-catching stations into attractive public spaces rooted in Qatari architecture and culture. In collaboration with the Qatar Rail Architecture Department, UNStudio has created a vision for all stations in the new Doha Metro Network based on an extensive set of design guidelines, architectural details and material outlines as laid out in the newly developed ‘Architectural Branding Manual.’ The comprehensive manual provides a framework for the design of different station types that respond to local contextual differences while integrating visually cohesive elements shared across all stations, including wayfinding , passenger flow and daylight penetration.  Related: Zaha Hadid’s 2022 World Cup stadium in Qatar adapts for future use The concept design for all of the Doha Metro stations are rooted in the notion of Caravanserais, a type of roadside inn for travelers (caravanners) historically common across the Middle East, including in Qatar . With dramatic vaulted ceilings, a rich mother-of-pearl effect interior and uniquely Qatari ornamentation and material palette, the Caravanserai-inspired stations strengthen Qatari identity while encouraging social interaction within beautiful public spaces. “We are going to move differently in the future,” said Ben van Berkel of UNStudio. “Mobility is changing fast, from the introduction of autonomous vehicles to urban cable cars and the Hyperloop . The mobility hubs of the future have to respond to and cater to these changes. In order to encourage the use of more sustainable forms of transport, these stations not only have to ensure smooth passenger flows, but they need to truly appeal to the public; to be places they want to visit and return to.” + UNStudio Photography by Hufton+Crow via UNStudio

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UNStudio designs sculptural, driverless metro stations for Doha

BIG Unveils Designs for BSN7 Mixed-Use Neighborhood in Aarhus

October 3, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of BIG Unveils Designs for BSN7 Mixed-Use Neighborhood in Aarhus Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aarhus , basin 7 , big , BSN7 , courtyard , Denmark , harborfront , microclimates , mixed-use , placemaking , promenade , public promenade , public realm , public space , Urban design , waterfront

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BIG Unveils Designs for BSN7 Mixed-Use Neighborhood in Aarhus

Los Angele’s First Parklet Opens on York Boulevard in Highland Park

February 7, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Los Angele’s First Parklet Opens on York Boulevard in Highland Park Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “Glass tiles” , California , Cathi Milligan , glass art , Glass Studio , Highland Park , Highland Park parklet , la , LA Parklet , LA’s 1st parklet , Los Angeles , Los Angeles parklet , mini parks , mosaic , parking spaces , parklets , pedestrian friendly , placemaking , public spaces , Reservoir Dogs , York Boulevard parklet

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Los Angele’s First Parklet Opens on York Boulevard in Highland Park

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