Hundreds of repurposed orange crates make up striking facade in Italy

January 20, 2017 by  
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Orange crates never looked so good. Studio NOWA (Navarra Office Walking Architecture) repurposed hundreds of the plastic crates to for the facade of two former artisan sheds in Italy. Converted into a striking rehabilitation and treatment center for people with disabilities, the building’s facade has a unique pixelated texture that dominates the surrounding area. The project, called Protiro, was designed and built for Concetta D’Alessandro Foundation, a non-profit organization that deals with the treatment and rehabilitation of people with disabilities . The architects transformed two former artisan sheds into a multi-functional space, using basic materials to make its exterior distinctive and recognizable. Related: Gorgeous Glass Clad Groot Klimmendaal Rehabilitation Centre Sits Tucked Amongst the Trees A guesthouse occupies the ground floor of the building, while the first floor, sheltered under a vaulted roof, functions as a large space for group activities. Service areas occupy the two low volumes which form an entrance vestibule to the main hall. A new lift and staircase were added to this space. The patterned skin envelops the entire structure, strengthening its visual identity. + StudioNOWA Via Archdaily Photos by Peppe Maisto

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Hundreds of repurposed orange crates make up striking facade in Italy

Congress maneuvers to give away 640 million acres of American land

January 20, 2017 by  
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Republican Congressmen would love to keep you distracted with the healthcare battle. And while that fight is of huge importance, they’re using that publicity to quietly pave the way to toss away 640 million acres of American land – even if the government loses money on the transaction. In the rules for the 115th Congress , lawmakers altered one little line that has the potential to allow the government to callously throw away national treasures. The line reads, “In the One Hundred Fifteenth Congress, for all purposes in the House, a provision in a bill or joint resolution, or in an amendment thereto or a conference report thereon, requiring or authorizing a conveyance of Federal land to a State, local government, or tribal entity shall not be considered as providing new budget authority, decreasing revenues, increasing mandatory spending, or increasing outlays.” What that jargon basically means is Congress has made it easy to dispose of federal land. That single line allows them to skirt requirements that a bill handing over federal land must not decrease federal revenue or add to the government’s debt. Related: Big Oil celebrates Trump’s goal to open up drilling in national parks In essence Congress is denying federal land possesses any value whatsoever, according to the Guardian, which said such lands may include spaces near the Grand Canyon . The land in question is far from worthless. It provides 6.1 million jobs, and around $646 billion yearly in economic stimulus due to recreation . Some federal land is already leased to energy and logging companies, and generated $2 billion in royalty revenue in 2016 alone, according to the Bureau of Land Management . Federal tax revenue from recreation was nearly $40 billion, according to the Outdoor Industry Association . If land is transferred to states, as some Republican representatives wish, large quantities could go towards property or energy development, and public access could be limited. The Wilderness Society Senior Director of Government Relations for Lands Alan Rowsome told The Guardian, “We didn’t see it coming. I think it was sneaky and underhanded. It exemplifies an effort to not play by the rules. This is the worst Congress for public lands ever.” Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Congress maneuvers to give away 640 million acres of American land

Penda unveils temporary nature-filled village for the Beijing Horticultural Expo

January 20, 2017 by  
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Architecture studio Penda’s love of modular, timber architecture will make waves at Beijing’s International Horticultural Expo 2019 in the form of a stunning, village-like exhibition space. Commissioned by property developer Vanke , the 30,000-square-meter complex is remarkably different from the typical expo pavilion, which is usually designed as a single large building where visitors must queue to enter and are guided from place to place. Instead, Penda created a sprawling exhibition space, called Thousand Yards, that’s filled with plants and winding paths to encourage individual exploration and discovery. Selected as the winning design in Vanke’s invited competition, Thousand Yards features a series of color-coded timber modular units massed in organic, asymmetrical patterns around a central plaza. “The pavilion was designed as a network of small scale units,” said Precht. “It was a core feature to avoid a large, iconic structure that covers a majority of the land. Rather, we wanted to create a village-like typology that can be explored by the visitors.” The modular units will be prefabricated using cross-laminated timber and constructed using an eight-by-eight-meter configuration inspired by an ancient Chinese measuring system called Li. Related: Penda’s Low-Impact Modular Bamboo Hotel Reconnects Visitors with Nature Greenery will be woven throughout the site on multiple levels, from the ground floor to the rooftops. Visitors will also be given a packet of seeds when they enter and asked to plant them on the roofs. Winding pathways, hidden views, and the unpredictable placement of architecture offers visitors the chance to make discoveries of their surroundings, from unexpected playgrounds and vegetable gardens to a teahouse and food court. + Penda Via Dezeen

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Penda unveils temporary nature-filled village for the Beijing Horticultural Expo

Hawaii bill calls for 100% green transportation by 2045

January 20, 2017 by  
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Hawaii lawmakers want the state’s ground transportation to run entirely on renewables by 2045. As a majority of their imported fossil fuels go towards transportation, if every car on the road was instead powered by clean electricity , it could make a huge difference for the state’s emissions. But there’s still a long way to go. Not only does the bill need to be passed, but just around 5,000 of the one million cars in Hawaii are currently electric . Hawaii already leads the United States in renewable energy goals, with a target of utilities sourcing 100 percent of electricity from clean sources by 2045. But they want to go a step further, now calling for 100 percent renewable ground transportation. Related: 45-ton Azura generator harvests energy from Hawaii’s waves The 2045 clean ground transportation goal wouldn’t be a mandate, unlike the 2045 electricity goal under which utilities will be fined if they do not source all their electricity from renewable sources by the deadline. If you live in Hawaii, you won’t have to turn in your gas-guzzling car; state representative Chris Lee, who’s the Energy and Environment committee chairman, said, “Nobody wants to step in and force people to get rid of cars that they might love now.” The Hawaii Legislature began Wednesday, and there the bill will be introduced. Lawmakers are unsure if funding will be part of the bill. But it is clear that it will focus only on ground transportation and not air transportation, a sector where it’s more difficult to power crafts renewably. For Hawaii to achieve its goals, other states and countries will have to pitch in. Energy consulting company HD Baker & Co. managing director Hugh Baker said, “Our ability to achieve it is really going to be dependent on what happens throughout the entire automotive industry. We can say we want 100 percent clean transportation technology, but the market in Hawaii is not nearly big enough by itself to move the whole global automotive industry. It will really take more than just Hawaii.” Via Phys.org Images via Good Free Photos and Ken Lund on Flickr

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Hawaii bill calls for 100% green transportation by 2045

Tech entrepreneur renovates UK castle into a giant happy office space

January 20, 2017 by  
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When entrepreneur Chris Morling decided to renovate a historic castle into his company’s UK headquarters, he looked for a designer who would think out of the box, and well … that’s exactly what he got. Morling hired famed designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen who teamed up with Interaction to take on the massive task of transforming the “ugly, unfriendly and un-creative” interior into a dizzyingly vibrant office space with plenty of sustainable features for money.co.uk . https://youtu.be/KiSFafxBGpk Located in Cirencester, UK, the 10,000-square-foot Victorian Castle is now filled with a dizzying hodgepodge of colorful paints and quirky design features , from Rolling Stone-inspired toilets and suits of armour to a Star Wars-themed cinema and even an ice cave meeting room. Although certainly flashy, the office space is really geared to the comfort of the employees. There are plenty of distinct areas for team meetings or quiet nooks like the library for a little bit of solitude. Nature lovers can enjoy the large vertical garden wall in the reception area, which is equipped with automatic water release system. Related: Medieval Italian Castle Transformed into Modern Mountain Museum Mr. Morling told the Daily Mail that the inspiration behind the renovation was to make his employees happy, “It is about making this a wonderful place, a productive place to work,” he said. “What we have done is modeled all the design around the needs of the team. Some people want to stand while they work, some people to work alone. Ultimately it boils down to creating a space where you feel comfortable.” Thankfully though, this design isn’t purely in-your-face aesthetics. The castle was installed with a super-efficient high specification energy recovery system that provides fresh air ventilation into every single room in the castle, cutting down on the office’s energy needs. For further energy conservation , each room is equipped with passive infrared sensors that light up when people are in the room and turn off when they aren’t. + Money.co.uk + Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen + Interaction Via The Daily Mail Images courtesy of Interaction

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Tech entrepreneur renovates UK castle into a giant happy office space

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