Green roofs cover this sustainable school in Prague

March 11, 2022 by  
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Architecture firm XTOPIX has won first prize in an architectural competition for the design of Komo?any Elementary School in Prague. The school utilizes green roofs, rainwater capture and recycled materials to build a unique facility that follows the grade of a sloping property in a natural area. The engineering of the new school building was handled by AED, with landscape done by Land05. Landscaping was important in this school’s layout because the building follows a northern sloping plot adjacent to a forest at the edge of Prague . “We perceive the plot as a connecting transition between the forest and the new public infrastructure,” the designers said, “a transition between the wild and the cultivated.” The structure follows the slope of the plot, connecting floors of the building to the corresponding height levels of the surrounding terrain and nearby streets. Related: Cranbrook School teaches environmental stewardship “Three volumes with the same footprint are set on top of each other, cascading towards the forest and therefore creating the residential roofs,” XTOPIX stated. “We place the school as close to the eastern edge of the plot as possible. Towards the northwest, we create a recessed entrance corner. By doing so we define the gathering place under the oaks for pupils – a school piazzetta made of coloured permeable concrete , which allows chalk drawing and children’s games.” At the site’s western border, the architects created a green strip with a school garden . Inside the lobby on the main floor, there are various levels of planted spaces. The highest part of the school is closest to the forest and contains classrooms and sports facilities. This area has a separate entrance near a series of green roofs atop the school. Even the sports field and gymnasiums are located on a grade with one above the other. The architects used recycled plastic KLP panels for the building facade, which is maintenance-free and recyclable. Another building material is of Czech invention and called Rebeton. It’s a recycled concrete that uses building rubble and nano-mixtures instead of natural aggregate. Another sustainable element, rainwater management, supports the drainage of the sloping property to a nearby stream. “The landscape is conceptually designed to contrast between the natural area around the school and on the rooftops with the urban character of the entry area,” the designers said. “Komo?any is located on the border between the open countryside and the city, where the forest is the greatest natural feature of the area…In terms of species, we work with the natural vegetation of oak groves, which represent domestic oaks, hornbeams and babyka maple.” + XTOPIX Visualizations by Jan Drška

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Green roofs cover this sustainable school in Prague

Prague Meander competition to reinvent Prague neighborhood

January 14, 2022 by  
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Urban planning is central for new or re-imagined areas that house and employ the population. Sometimes it’s a process that happens before a city even takes root. Other times, as in the case of Prague Meander, an area is given a second life. Prague has opened the doors for an international competitive dialogue, which is a design competition that incorporates a variety of professional planners. This includes landscape architects, architects or urban designers and  water  engineers creating a blueprint that meets the needs of all invested parties such as politicians, administrators and important local entities. Related: New riverside development in China will be an urban renewal   This competitive dialogue is focused on a 56-hectare piece of land located on the bank of the Prague Meander and site of a future, but now outdated, plan for Maniny Park. The districts of Karlín and Libe? suffered significant flood damage in 2002, changing the future of the then mostly working-class neighborhood. The area is targeted for continued growth to connect the business and residential builds of the past 20 years with other improvements in the region. The resulting design of this competition will embrace all these aspects of the area. “The aim of the project is to prepare a Rohan Island and Libe? Island Concept Plan, i.e. a strategic development plan for the next decades, and, most importantly, to draw up a detailed landscape study of the Maniny Park project, which will provide flood protection and bring people closer to the river,” explained Petr Hlavá?ek, the Deputy Mayor responsible for Territorial Planning. With a new plan in place, the development will happen gradually and remain somewhat flexible to changing needs as it comes together. The primary goal for the region is not only to provide a natural metropolitan park but to connect the region to the city and the river. Perhaps the premier goal, however, is to offer flood protection against inevitable future events.  “The competitive dialogue concerns a 56-hectare site alongside the Vltava River, the vast majority of which is not developable with buildings. The future handling of this area should respect the history of the site, build on its character, strengthen its identity and reflect the wildness of the local landscape,” said Petr Hlubu?ek, Deputy Mayor of Prague for the  Environment .  With an emphasis on the natural surroundings of the river and parkways, the development will mirror the community vibe of the future Vltava Philharmonic Hall on the opposite bank.  + IPR Praha Images via IPR Praha

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Prague Meander competition to reinvent Prague neighborhood

Sprawling Villa H in Prague adapts to a steep plot with a creative 3-level layout

September 13, 2017 by  
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Terraced gardens and arched layout allow Villa H to adapt to its steep sloping site in Prague, Czech Republic . Architecture firm Atelier 6 designed Villa H to hug the plot in a creative and unique way in order to utilize as much of it as possible. The two-story building sits on a property located on a residential villa in Prague’s Podolí district. It takes an L-shaped form that opens to the west in the garden and to the attractive view of the Vltava river and the cityscape. Related: Jestico + Whiles’ Intelligent Czech Villa The ground floor houses the main living quarters in the northwest wing and a bedroom part in the southwest wing. A deep terrace occupies the space that connects the two wings. A centrally positioned elevator connects all three levels of the building, as well as the garden. Related: Zaha Hadid Architects to transform a brownfield site in Prague The roof extends to cover the west facade of the northwest wing, as well as the terrace in front of the main living space. Different cladding materials used in the exterior create a mosaic that accentuates specific parts of the house and create diversity reflected in the interior. The entire building balances between two principles–privacy and openness. + Atelier 6 Photos by Martin T?ma and Jakub Skokan / BoysPlayNice

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Sprawling Villa H in Prague adapts to a steep plot with a creative 3-level layout

7 of the best places to view autumn foliage around the world

August 28, 2017 by  
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It may not feel like it, sweaty and sticky as you may be, but if you are a resident of the Northern Hemisphere, autumn is right around the corner. As fun as it has been to soak up the summer sun, the crisp air, slower pace, and dazzling foliage of autumn sounds like heaven right about now. For those who wish to take advantage of the imminent seasonal beauty, we’ve compiled a list of locations across the Northern Hemisphere that will be bursting with autumnal splendor in the weeks to come. 1. Montreal, QC -> Burlington, VT I’m cheating a bit with this first one, but with less than two-hours in a car separating these two fine cities, it is highly recommended that appreciators of autumn pair both lovely spots. Montreal and Burlington are among the earliest major cities in Eastern North America to reach peak foliage, starting in mid-September and continuing into October. While in Montreal, visitors should hike or bike to the top of Mount Royal, or visit the elevated St. Joseph’s Oratory, for a view of the gorgeous patchwork of color along the St. Lawrence River. Autumn is short but sweet in the city, so enjoy the magic while it lasts. Related: Tiny Fern Forest Treehouse Provides a Cozy Vacation Hideaway in the Woods of Vermont While in Burlington , be sure to bike along the Island Line Rail Trail, from which you can catch breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, framed by Lake Champlain. Of particular interest is the causeway section, which connects Colchester and South Hero, where visitors can journey out into the lake itself, thanks to a narrow land bridge. 2. Fujigoko Region, Japan Due to its island location and varied elevation, Japan boasts an impressive diversity of climate zones, from subtropical to cold temperate continental. The fall foliage of Fujigoko, also known as the Fuji Five Lakes Region, benefits from its northern location and higher elevation. Underneath the towering Mount Fuji, the five lakes located in an arc to the north of Fuji provide an excellent contrast to the vivid fall foliage. After the sun has set and the cool air becomes cold, visitors should warm up with a bowl of Fujigoko’s famous udon noodles. 3. Prague, Czech Republic Prague seems to be at the top of many people’s list of favorite European locations, and for good reason. The gorgeous architecture, befitting a city founded in the 6th century, is well complemented by the seasonal changes of autumn. As the leaves change color and the sun retreats, Prague shines. The cool air complements the warm, hearty traditional Czech cuisine, which may be enjoyed on a heated patio if the weather cooperates. For breathtaking views of the foliage, take a trip to the top of Petrin Hill or walk through Kampa Island. Related: Imposing Communist-Era Television Tower Transformed Into a Unique Hotel in Prague 4. Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina/ Tennessee Although New England receives the lion’s share of praise as the American autumn experience, one would be unwise to ignore the majesty of fall in the South. Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the most visited in the United States, offers unparalleled views of a diverse, rich ecosystem that sheds its leaves in waves, from the top of the Appalachian balds down to the foothills. Related: Jimmy Carter built a new solar plant on his old peanut farm Beyond the park, there are endless spots to explore in the mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia . For those based in or traveling from Atlanta, Tallulah Gorge State Park is only a short drive for breathtaking views that may include whitewater rapids, depending on the weekend. 5. Huangshan, China Huangshan, or the Yellow Mountains, is a beautiful mountain range known for its hot springs, sunsets, unique jagged peaks, and top-down views of clouds. Understandably, it is a popular destination all year round, but it truly peaks in the autumn. Maple trees turn vivid red, various deciduous trees become golden, and the Huangshan pine trees provide an evergreen hue. Add in Huangshan’s unparalleled sunrises and your portrait of fall excellence is complete. 6. Highlands, Scotland Though the Scottish Highlands may be known for their plentiful pine trees, the golden aura of deciduous trees play well against this more traditional backdrop. Peak foliage in the Highlands tends to begin in late September and continue into October. Paired with Scotland’s numerous and famous lochs and the rolling mountains, the Scottish autumn is a must-see. After a hike through Cairngorms National Park, relax with a dram and seasonal produce, including wild game, fresh fruit, and oysters. 7. Michigan If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look no further than Michigan. Whether your fall travels takes you to Michigan’s breathtaking, extensive shoreline bounded by four of the Great Lakes or further inland in the Wolverine State, you are guaranteed to be dazzled by Michigan’s natural beauty. In autumn, all things apple are there in Michigan for your enjoyment; after all, the state produces over 900 million pounds of apples each year. If you seek true wilderness, check out Keweenaw National Historical Park for bold fall foliage, historic towns, and shoreline views. Lead image via Pixabay , others via Depositphotos 1 2 3 , Rob Taylor/Flickr , Justin Henry/Flickr , sunnywinds/Flickr , Andreas Manessinger/Flickr, Xiaojia He/Flickr , daveynin/Flickr , yue/Flickr , Robert Brown/Flickr , and Rachel Kramer/Flickr

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A giant zeppelin-shaped gathering space lands on the roof of the Dox Center for Contemporary Art in Prague

November 24, 2016 by  
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The design team found inspiration for the project in early twentieth-century airships and their symbolic qualities as structures that represent unprecedented technological advancements. It complements the existing complex that transformed an old factory into an important cultural hub in Prague. The airship will be christened after one of the most famous characters in utopian literature, Gulliver. Related: Gigantic Airship Hangar Transformed Into Tropical Island Resort “The idea to invade the DOX Centre’s starkly modern austere concrete -and-glass architecture with a “parasitic“ structure has been on my mind for several years”, said Leoš Válka. ” I first dreamed of an absurdly fascinating organic shape that would contrast with the DOX Centre’s existing architecture,” he added. + Hu? architektury Martin Rajniš + DOX Photos by Jan Slavík

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A giant zeppelin-shaped gathering space lands on the roof of the Dox Center for Contemporary Art in Prague

Imposing Communist-Era Television Tower Transformed Into a Unique Hotel in Prague

October 30, 2016 by  
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Visitors to the hotel can also get a different perspective of the city from the observatory located at the tip of the tower. For food and other culinary delights, the  Oblaca restaurant  is located one floor down. And for added luxury, the hotel will prepare a festive decorated table for a private dinner or lunch of up to 16 guests, which can also include a private waiter and sommelier. Related: Prague’s Luscious MOODs Hotel Melds Sustainable Materials With Superior Comfort The only thing that might justify the $900 per night price tag, is a glass-walled bathroom that lets you relax in style and peer out over the city skyline from your secluded hideaway. While it would certainly make for a unique experience, the room itself doesn’t have any other standout features – unless you include the option to convert it into your very own private conference room, in which case there’s that. Originally constructed in the 1980s, the tower consists of three concrete pillars with a metallic finish, and has nine different ‘pods’ scattered across it’s surface. The television tower still houses transmission equipment, which was supposedly used to jam communications from the west during the country’s communist occupation. Related: Mobile Bicycle Sauna Dedicated to Prague Cyclists Who Want to Relax Criticism of the building’s appearance was strictly prohibited during its earliest days, but in an attempt to try and improve the building’s public image at the turn of the century, Czech artist  David ?erný  was invited to infuse the tower with some public art. He settled on giant metallic babies crawling up and down the side of antennae; they were removed at one point, but after enormous public outcry, they were quickly reinstated. Via Gizmodo Images by One Room Hotel

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Curvaceous lines and a large skylight give an ethereal vibe to this modern teashop in Prague

March 10, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Curvaceous lines and a large skylight give an ethereal vibe to this modern teashop in Prague Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: birch veneer , czech republic , medium-density firewood , micro topping , minimalist design , modern , plywood , Prague , skylight , squeegee-grade micro topping , Studio pha , T Lounge , tea shop , tea store

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Curvaceous lines and a large skylight give an ethereal vibe to this modern teashop in Prague

Imposing Communist-Era Television Tower Offers a Unique Hotel Destination in Prague

March 26, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Imposing Communist-Era Television Tower Offers a Unique Hotel Destination in Prague Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: communist-era architecture , David Cerny , metallic baby sculptures , Oblaca restaurant , one room hotel Prague , Prague television tower hotel , Žižkov Television Tower        

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Devastating Floods Across Central Europe Cause Thousands to Evacuate

June 5, 2013 by  
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This week heavy rainfall in Central Europe caused some of the worst flooding in centuries as rivers across Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic breached their banks. At least 16 people have died in the massive floods, and thousands have been evacuated from their homes. While the main focus of rescue workers has been on getting people to safety, authorities have also been forced to shut down chemical plants that were threatened by the floods. Read the rest of Devastating Floods Across Central Europe Cause Thousands to Evacuate Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Austria , budapest , Central Europe , czech republic , Deggendorf , Dresden , Europe floods , floods , germany , Lovochemie chemical plant , Prague        

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Devastating Floods Across Central Europe Cause Thousands to Evacuate

Devastating Floods Across Central Europe Cause Thousands to Evacuate

June 5, 2013 by  
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This week heavy rainfall in Central Europe caused some of the worst flooding in centuries as rivers across Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic breached their banks. At least 16 people have died in the massive floods, and thousands have been evacuated from their homes. While the main focus of rescue workers has been on getting people to safety, authorities have also been forced to shut down chemical plants that were threatened by the floods. Read the rest of Devastating Floods Across Central Europe Cause Thousands to Evacuate Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Austria , budapest , Central Europe , czech republic , Deggendorf , Dresden , Europe floods , floods , germany , Lovochemie chemical plant , Prague        

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