LAVA unveils greenery-infused Garden Island to revamp Sydney Harbour

October 20, 2017 by  
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Australia-based firm LAVA just unveiled a stunning proposal for converting an inaccessible plot of land near Sydney Harbour into a sustainable waterfront community. The ambitious Garden Island proposal envisions a vibrant green public space with eco-friendly residential towers and multi-use buildings that would host activities throughout the year. Although the area is currently used by the Royal Australian Navy, the proposal hopes to completely overhaul the area in order to convert it into a new waterfront community. Using a sustainable model , a breezy cityscape would be built along the existing coastline that would include residential and multi-use buildings operating with green technology. The various towers, which would offer stunning views of the harbor, would all be installed with plenty of rooftop terraces and surrounded by public gardens . Related: LAVA’s Winning Design for Masdar’s City Center LAVA’s proposal also includes implementing various adaptive reuse methods where possible. For example, a former dry dock would be converted into a floating market that would have room for public baths, shopping, and performance spaces. The development would also install a number of amenities throughout renovated space such as a waterfront promenade, museums, and various social facilities that would aim to foster a strong sense of community. + LAVA Images via LAVA

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LAVA unveils greenery-infused Garden Island to revamp Sydney Harbour

This company wants to turn food waste into building materials heres how

October 20, 2017 by  
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What do peanuts, rice, bananas, potatoes, and mushrooms have in common? In addition to being delicious, they could be transformed into building materials. In a report entitled The Urban Bio-Loop , the Arup group proposes to use food waste (something developed nations have an abundance of) to develop low-cost and eco-friendly materials for use in construction. The authors of the report aim to demonstrate ‘that a different paradigm for materials in construction is possible.” Because first-world nations, such as the United States , waste up to 40 percent of all food , the goal is to turn the waste into a resource for the creation of “construction, engineering, and architecture products,” reports Archinect . This could be done by modifying the traditional waste management system. Discarded organic materials that could prove useful include peanut shells, which could be used to create low-cost partition boards that are resistant to fire and ice; rice , which could be turned into ash and mixed with cement to eliminate the need for fillers; bananas, a fruit whose leaves can make rugged textiles as a result of high-strength fibers; mushrooms, which can be used to grow buildings ; and potato peels, which can be cleaned, pressed and dried to produce a light, fire-resistant and water-repellent insulating material. The group argues that using food waste for building would contribute to a circular economy where organic waste is put to use, rather than tossed into landfills . Repurposing food waste would also reduce the amount of methane that is produced when fruit and vegetable scraps slowly decompose. The gas contributes to global warming , a phenomenon which results in warming temperatures, rising sea levels, and worsening natural disasters. Related: The free grocery store fighting food waste and hunger Arup’s goal is to ameliorate rising levels of waste and a shortage of raw material. Using the low-cost, low-carbon materials would go a long way towards this goal. + “ The Urban Bio-Loop” Via Archinect Images via Wikipedia , Arup Group

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This company wants to turn food waste into building materials heres how

MVRDV unveils plans for the biggest urban development project in Scandinavia

September 8, 2017 by  
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MVRDV and BSK Arkitekter have grand plans for Gothenburg, Sweden. The two architecture firms just unveiled Magasin 113, a proposed transformation and extension of an existing waterfront warehouse in Gothenburg’s future Frihamnen RiverCity —the largest urban development project in Scandinavia. Once renovated and expanded, the multistory warehouse will offer 16,500 square meters of office space, an art center, pop-up spaces, a cafe, tourist information, retail, restaurants, and studios. Magazine 113 is one of the few remaining historic warehouses in the area. The mixed-use adaptive reuse project blends old and new, and will serve as a public hub for a livable neighborhood. The interior is organized into zones and connected via large freight elevators as well as a family of different types of stairs. An outdoor staircase on the waterfront -facing facade connects the different loading balconies with the main public plaza. The architects plan to expand the concrete building’s footprint with the addition of three new levels of timber-framed floors above. A new public space will join the existing structure and new extension, visually uniting the two and attracting public activity from outside. The original brick facade and interiors will be restored, repaired, and displayed beneath a glazed facade to show off Magazine 113’s industrial heritage. The glazed facade that wraps around the existing concrete warehouse and new timber-framed extension provides insulation and a protective “raincoat.” “This will add an exciting blend of a building that is ‘old’ and new, raw and smooth, and solid and transparent at the same time,” wrote MVRDV. Related: The Sax: MVRDV unveils plans for a ‘vertical city’ in Rotterdam “Magasin 113’s location will become a public node through its close connections to other public spaces in the area,” added the architects. “Combined with the nearby park and pool, it aims to attract a wide range of tenants and services, which in turn will help to create an inviting and desirable neighbourhood.” + MVRDV Images via MVRDV

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MVRDV unveils plans for the biggest urban development project in Scandinavia

Portuguese winery transformed into a minimalist and modern home

September 8, 2017 by  
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A 20th century winery has traded barrels of grapes for family gatherings thanks to the efforts of Extrastudio . The Lisbon-based architecture firm transformed the former winery into a light-filled home in Azeitao, a small village in southern Portugal. The architects retained the gabled structure’s original building footprint, but refreshed its look with a red-colored render that gives the building its new name—the Red House. Built in the 20th century by the client’s grandparents, the winery has been overhauled into a minimalist and modern dwelling complemented with a black-bottomed pool. Despite its contemporary interior, the home exudes rustic appeal thanks to its gabled roofline and uneven application of red-colored render. The facade’s patchy and pinkish appearance, which changes over time, echoes the look of the original weathered walls. “A natural red pigment was added to the mortar, to reinforce the building’s presence, allowing the house to age gradually and changing its tonality, without ever requiring a coat of paint,” said the Extrastudio, according to Dezeen . “Over the days and months, the colour of the house alters, lighter or darker depending on the humidity, almost black when it rains.” The render derives its color from powdered brick and heat-treated clay, a material that protects the facade against weathering damage. Related: 100% solar-powered winery keeps naturally cool with cork-insulated roofs Natural light fills the Red House, which is dominated by white-painted interiors, pale concrete floors, and tall ceilings. Mirrors line the living room to further reflect light. Full-height black glass doors stretch the width of the garden-facing facade on the ground floor and slide completely open to expand the living space to the outdoors. The ground floor comprises the communal areas, arranged in an open-plan layout, while the bedrooms and bathrooms are placed on the floor above. A small room occupies the attic. + Extrastudio Via Dezeen Images via Extrastudio

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Portuguese winery transformed into a minimalist and modern home

Subterranean Oxygen Park is a breath of fresh air in the Qatari desert

August 18, 2017 by  
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A “green lung” in Qatar’s desert landscape is helping people stay healthy and active, and reconnecting them to nature. Erik Behrens and James Haig Streeter of AECOM recently completed Oxygen Park, a unique public space in Doha’s Education City. Built to promote exercise and social gatherings, Oxygen Park is partly buried underground and features undulating, organic forms masses inspired by the desert’s wind-eroded rocks and landscapes. Oxygen Park derives its name from the elemental life-force of oxygen , which the park also produces with its tree-studded green landscape. The designers wrote: “Oxygen Park is a man-made ‘green lung’ with a design inspired by nature. It is an antidote to the generic indoor gym environment and helps people to get back to nature, while fostering social engagement and promoting active healthy lifestyles.” A series of “balloon lights” float above the subterranean landscape to draw attention to Oxygen Park from afar. Related: SOMA Architects’ luxury Shaza Hotel breaks ground in Doha The park’s exercise features include shaded running trails, subterranean pitches for team sports, and equestrian facilities. More passive recreational areas also punctuate the park in the form of water plazas, sensory gardens, shade gardens, play gardens , and a series of soundscape -filled, folly spheres. The use of water and shade are seamlessly integrated into the design to provide relief from the hot climate. At night, a beautiful lighting scheme illuminates the park and water to create a safe and attractive environment for workouts and strolls after sundown. + AECOM Images by Markus Elblaus

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Subterranean Oxygen Park is a breath of fresh air in the Qatari desert

Historic Amsterdam park gets new life with a funky climbing "blob"

August 16, 2017 by  
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Design and engineering firm  Carve  breathed new life into one of Amsterdam’s oldest parks with a playful new blob-like  playground design. The eye-catching structure is a gigantic white and lilac abstract shape that just begs for children to climb aboard its weirdness and explore its many fun features. The firm was charged with creating a new playground area in the park’s existing basketball court, which is surrounded by an abundance of greenery. In addition to creating a fun play area for local children aged 0-6, the new structure also needed to be a vibrant meeting place for park goers. So the designers created an eye-catching “organically shaped sculpture that incorporates various play functions.’’ Related: Basurama transforms landfill trash into playgrounds in Taipei The unique structure is a large voluminous form whose curious shape invites children to explore the interior where they’ll find plenty of places to run, climb, slide, and swing. The large blob, which is painted a bright lilac on the interior, was designed with plenty of dynamic areas such as a web of climbing nets, a metal slide, and a tube swing hanging from one end. On the exterior, the structure has a mirrored wall on one side, which reflects a distorted view of the surrounding greenery. On the other side, kids will find a soccer goal painted on the wall, begging for a strong penalty shot. A sunken trampoline adjacent to the structure further encourages a fun, energetic environment around the park’s new landmark. + Carve Photography by Marleen Beek via Carve  

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Historic Amsterdam park gets new life with a funky climbing "blob"

A lush hilly park tops the Nanning Planning Exhibition Hall in China

January 16, 2017 by  
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The green roof of the new Nanning Planning Exhibition Hall in China is an elevated urban park that that brings institutional architecture back to the people. Designed by Zhubo Design Zstudio , the building acts as an artificial mountain that expands the existing park and adds a new public space for city dwellers. Instead of acting as a symbol of the Chinese governmental power, like most urban planning halls in the country, the new Nanning Planning Exhibition Hall aims to be a building for citizens. The project preserves the existing park and introduces now public spaces to the site. By merging architecture, landscape and daily life, the building establishes a stronger connection between the government and the citizens and promotes human-oriented values. Related: This green-roofed visitor center will be nestled under a hill in Denmark Dozens of trumpet-like steel structures comprise the roof, providing support for the topography and creating a large, column free space inside. These steel elements also facilitate rainwater collection and house all the interior staircases and equipment rooms. + Zhubo Design Zstudio Via Archdaily

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A lush hilly park tops the Nanning Planning Exhibition Hall in China

How shared space makes four micro apartments in Japan seem much larger

November 30, 2016 by  
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Sometimes, size really doesn’t matter. Designed by Osamu Nishida and Erika Nakagawa from ON Design & Partners , the Yokohama Apartment complex features four micro residential units measuring around 215 square feet each. Despite such reduced dimensions, clever design ensures the small spaces feel expansive and livable. Magic especially resides in a shared open-air courtyard conceived as a living-room and a kitchen that doubles as an art gallery for the four artists living upstairs. With 1636 square feet of total floor area, the Yokohama Apartment building is subdivided into two levels. The common space on the ground level is canopied by the private residential floor, which is cut into four parts, and each unit has its own access coming up from the ground floor. Twisted stairs provide access without compromising tenants’ privacy. The ground floor is a covered open air piazza that provides common and private storage rooms, a micro kitchen unit and a dining room. This area is used for exhibitions, workshops, presentations, debates and other art activities. Related: Slice of the City home in Japan uses bold angles to solve tricky space restrictions Yokohama Apartment comprises brilliant Japanese design that maximizes every single inch. Unfortunately, this great invention mirrors a turning point in Japanese society, whereby poverty and unemployment, particularly among young people, forces innovation. Sharing space offers a bright alternative to the small and introverted dwellings common in Japan today. This societal concern was raised by Yoshiyuki Yamana, the curator of the Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture earlier this year ; he chose the Yokohama Apartment project as an example of how to successfully adapt to the country’s new social condition . + ON Design & Partners + Venice Biennale Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat

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Unexpected living room with Soviet-era furniture pops up in a Lithuanian lagoon

September 9, 2016 by  
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The Living Boom offers an unexpected and quiet respite in Nida, the bustling popular resort town in Lithuania. A team of 18 international architecture students completed the project within a span of two weeks. The public space is partially hidden behind a five-meter-tall wooden wall so that visitors must physically walk onto the pier to see the entirety of The Living Boom. The wall, fixed to a concrete floor with metal bolts, serves as the symbolic threshold between the “interior” living room and “outdoor” nature. “A pier is a dead end. How can one change the ‘end of this long path’ and celebrate its end as a new space?” Write the designers. “Being already set into boundaries on three sides by the element of water, the start of the project was to construct a fourth wall that creates a new space. As one walks along the pier, approaching the wall in the middle of the plain landscapes of lagoon and sand dunes , one yet has to find out what the space behind the wall offers. Only after physically walking through, one can see and grasp the new space, with furniture shining in red, generating an unseen space in the middle of water, sky, sand dunes and forest.” Related: This timber installation challenges students to think about new ways to design homes The Living Boom is outfitted with local Soviet-era furniture modified with modern elements by the students and includes a three-meter-long table, multiple benches, a traditional wind vane, a giant wooden chair, and even a fireplace. All parts of the installation were painted the same shade of red. + The Living Boom Images by Alexandra Kononchenko and Miguel Angel Maure Blesa

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Unexpected living room with Soviet-era furniture pops up in a Lithuanian lagoon

Copenhagen’s South Harbor School rises from the sidewalk to promote community

May 31, 2016 by  
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The building is located in a densely populated area that required additional educational facilities. As the new public school , the building merges its institutional and maritime qualities. With various seating and walking areas rising from the sidewalk onto the roof of the building, the school is designed to become an active part of the community. Related: World’s First LEGO School to Open in Denmark this August The interior features spaces of different heights and natural lighting , ensuring that students, teachers and visitors are both surprised and challenged. This dynamic spatial condition also supports learning and developing social abilities among students. “When you look at it, absolutely every single space is being used. I also love how this sits, it’s completely contextual and it has its own identity,” said Keith Papa, Architect Director at Building Design Partnership (BDP), and member of the WAN Awards jury. Congratulations on an exemplary and inclusive design. + JJW Architects Via v2com Photos by Torben Eskerod

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Copenhagen’s South Harbor School rises from the sidewalk to promote community

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