Salvaged materials from devastating fire take new life in a British pier

July 26, 2017 by  
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A British seaside pier destroyed by a devastating fire in 2010 has made an incredible comeback in the hands of dRMM Architects . After a seven-year process, the century-old pier in Hastings, England was transformed from its decrepit and dangerous state to a vibrant new public space clad in reclaimed materials. Crafted in collaboration with the community, the Hastings Pier is an inspiring story of sustainable restoration and craft, earning it a place on the shortlist for the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize , UK’s top architecture award. Originally constructed in 1872 and later topped with a pavilion that survived until the fire, the Hastings Pier enjoyed its heyday as an entertainment destination in the 1930s but later fell into disrepair and ultimately closed in recent decades due to neglect. Rather than restore the Victorian pier to its original design, drMM wanted to craft a pier better suited to the 21st century and focused on designing an attractive multipurpose space with few buildings. The architects not only redesigned the pier, but also wrote the brief and helped raise funds with the Heritage Lottery Fund that paid for structural repairs below deck and partially covered the costs of rebuilding the pier above deck. The most defining building on the new pier is the new visitor center , that’s not positioned at the end of the pier but rather on top of the damaged pier’s weakest section. The cross-laminated timber structure is clad in reclaimed timber salvaged from the fire and is topped with an accessible viewpoint rooftop that doubles as an events space. The only other structures are a pair of circular extensions that house a kitchen, staff facility, and toilet; a group of hut-like trading stalls; and deck furniture built from reclaimed materials as part of a local employment initiative. The 266-meter-long deck was rebuilt with sustainably sourced African Ekki hardwood. Related: Light-filled cancer center harnesses the healing power of nature RIBA wrote: “From a conservation perspective, this project has reinvigorated a fire-damaged historic structure and facilitated a contemporary and appropriate new 21st century use. The project has been mindful to integrate material from the original pier in the new design, and the process of restoration was used to help train a new generation of craft specialists.” + dRMM Via Dezeen Images © Alex de Rijke

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UK man builds highly sustainable Passivhaus-standard home for his elderly parents

July 17, 2017 by  
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A UK man has built his parents the ultimate gift: a highly sustainable home where they can comfortably live out their lives in one of their favorite places on Earth—and it’s also a house that’s won numerous awards to boot. The loving son is Richard Pender, who began the self-built project, called Shawm , as a master’s student studying renewable energy at Newcastle University. Richard worked in collaboration with Dan Kerr of MawsonKerr Architects to create a beautiful airtight home in rural Northumberland that’s built to Passivhaus standards. Richard’s retired parents, Tony and Anne Pender, previously resided in a traditional farmhouse but needed a more modern home where they could comfortably age in place. To allow his parents to continue living in the beautiful yet wild landscapes of rural Northumberland, Richard lived and worked onsite to design and build a custom home with minimal environmental impact. Though Richard isn’t an architect, he drew on his experience with conventional property development projects and dedicated three years to research to meet the highest standards of energy efficiency and detailing. Related: Colorado man builds state’s most energy efficient house The new Shawm home is located within a former farmyard behind the existing farmhouse. The timber-frame new-build is attached to an existing stone wall and features a traditional barn-like silhouette with a clean and contemporary appearance. Materials were sourced locally, such as the larch cladding from Borders and the bespoke furnishings built from trees felled onsite. Richard also manufactured the entire timber frame with a specially designed jig in an old hay shed. Since Shawm was built with Passivhaus principles, the low-impact and low-energy home features highly insulated fabric with airtight construction, thus doing away with any need for a space heating system. The house also includes mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, ‘passive’ solar gain through the south, and use of local and low-carbon materials wherever possible. However, because the site on which Shawm is built is oriented to the north, the home was unable to attain Passivhaus certification. A small biomass pellet boiler provides space heating and domestic hot water in the winter. A solar array powers the house year-round, while rainwater is stored and pumped around the home for non-potable uses. Shawm is also disability friendly and includes ramps, electric blinds, and intercom front door control. The Shawm house won four Regional RIBA Awards, a National RIBA Award, and is long-listed for the RIBA House of the Year 2017 . + Shawm House Via Dezeen Images via Shawm House , by Renderloft

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UK man builds highly sustainable Passivhaus-standard home for his elderly parents

Biomimetic Eye_Beacon mimics deep-sea creatures in a hypnotic light show

July 17, 2017 by  
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UNStudio and MDT-tex have tapped into the ocean’s murky depths for their design of the Eye_Beacon, a sculptural pavilion for the Amsterdam Light Festival. Illuminated with LEDs to create a hypnotic pulsating light show, the colorful art installation draws inspiration from the bioluminescence of deep-sea creatures. The pavilion was created as the festival’s ticketing and information booth, and follows this year’s theme of biomimicry . Installed on the western side of the ‘Blauwburg’ next to the river Amstel , Eye_Beacon is an eye-catching pavilion that serves as the first stop for visitors to the festival. The structure also connects the ‘Watercolour’ canal route with the ‘Illuminade’ land route. The sculptural pavilion comprises two interconnected cube forms that are twisted to create a dynamic shape with 316 uneven panels. The designers used parametric optimization to determine the pavilion’s openings and complex, curved shape. MDT-tex developed the 2D and 3D tensile textile modules that make up the pavilion. Focused LED projections on the inside of the tensile structure turn the pavilion into constantly morphing composition of light and color ranging from orange sunset hues to neon greens and blues. Related: Amsterdam’s Light Festival Sets the City Aglow With Magical LED Installations “Similar to deep sea creatures that use bioluminescence to signal, attract and inform, the Eye_Beacon uses choreographed light sequences to alert visitors to its dual function as both a sculpture and an information point for the festival,” said Ben van Berkel of UNStudio. “Along with the effect of the pavilion partially overhanging the Amstel River, the twist that connects the two halves of the structure emphasises the crossing point between the land and water routes of the festival.” + UNStudio + MDT-tex Photo credit: Janus van den Eijnden

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Biomimetic Eye_Beacon mimics deep-sea creatures in a hypnotic light show

RIBA International Prize reveals shortlist of the worlds most significant and inspirational buildings

October 27, 2016 by  
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Arquipelago Contemporary Arts Centre Formerly an 1890s sweet potato distillery, the Arquipelago Contemporary Arts Centre in The Azores is a stunning example of adaptive reuse that goes beyond the average restoration project. Menos é Mais and Arquitectos Associados with João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto renovated the structure but preserved elements of the building’s history, including its eye-catching black Basalt exterior. The old cloisters and cells unearthed from the old distillery basement have been brought back to life and provide ancient backdrops for contemporary programs. Heydar Aliyev Centre Zaha Hadid Architects’ Heydar Aliyev Centre is a curvaceous beauty created to celebrate Azerbaijan’s independence and first president Heyday Aliyev. Located in the capital of Baku, the contemporary building is a powerful symbol of the break from the Soviet era both in its diverse and arts-oriented program and in its stunning wave-like design. The Heydar Aliyev Centre, built in 2013, also received the 2014 Design of the Year Award . Museo Jumex The beautiful travertine-clad Museo Jumex by David Chipperfield Architects houses the world’s largest private collection of Latin American contemporary art in the heart of Mexico City. Despite its modern design and program, the building is topped with a sawtooth roof with original factory roof lights in homage to the site’s industrial heritage. The luxurious and light-filled contemporary arts museum is a calming oasis in a bustling and overcrowded city. Stormen Concert Hall, Theatre and Public Library The Norwegian town of Bodø, located 100 kilometers inside the Arctic Circle , may be small but it’s also home to the impressive Stormen Concert Hall that’s considered comparable to the New York’s Carnegie Hall for symphonic music. Designed by DRDH Architects, the project comprises two extremely popular and beloved civic buildings: the larger theater building and a smaller library building. The walls are made from engineered stone with 70% marble aggregate that glisten, glow, and change colors in the presence of the Arctic sunshine. The Ring of Remembrance The Ring of Remembrance is a war memorial in Northern France engraved with names of the thousands who died in the region during World War I. Agence d’architecture Philippe Prost (AAPP) designed the memorial, which is set on the Hill of Lorette in Notre-Dame-de-Lorette with panoramic views over the battlefields of the plain of Artois. Made from black fiber-reinforced high strength concrete, the elegant elliptical structure cantilevers out into the landscape and symbolizes unity in the form of a human chain. UTEC – Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología Grafton Architects designed Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC), a new academic building for a 50-year-old engineering university in Lima that provides more than just an education. Crafted in the likeness of a modern-day Machu Picchu, this geometric concrete building is draped in greenery and symbolizes a bold and positive future for Peru. A variety of meeting spaces punctuate the building both in the interior and exterior. + RIBA Images via RIBA

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RIBA International Prize reveals shortlist of the worlds most significant and inspirational buildings

People are making Halloween great again with these terrifying Trumpkins

October 27, 2016 by  
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The first Trumpkin on our list, and possibly the most terrifying entry, is painted on the face of the pumpkin rather than carved. A tuft of real hair finishes off the eerie image. It was posted on Instagram by user @ktmod with the tasteful caption, “Grab ’em by the pumpkin.” #Trumpkin lol 🎃🍁Happy Hump Day!!!🕸🍂🍁 A photo posted by lucymorey3 (@lucymorey3) on Oct 26, 2016 at 9:45am PDT This Trumpkin by @lucymorey3 really captures The Donald’s natural speaking style: shouting hatefully. This next Trumpkin by Instagram user @petermartindk takes a more classic approach, transforming the presidential candidate into a glowing jack-o-lantern. We dig the minimalist approach here. Spotted this on the way home tonight #trumpkin A photo posted by @bubbeemonkey on Oct 26, 2016 at 12:29pm PDT Instagram user @bubeemonkey may not be responsible for carving this smug-looking Trumpkin, but we’d like to thank them for sharing it with the world. Reddit user Shazkitten decided to take a more photorealistic approach – a surprisingly detailed portrait, considering the medium. Interestingly, this Trumpkin was originally posted last Halloween. A sign of things to come? Good effort @sainsburys. 🎃😂 #Trumpkin #Hilary #PresidentialDebate #Halloween A photo posted by Divya 🌺🔮? (@divyadancer) on Oct 26, 2016 at 10:52am PDT These Sainsbury’s pumpkins have an almost sculptural quality — they’re definitely not your average pumpkin carving. They both look a bit too happy, though, considering how bitter the election has gotten. This painted masterpiece is the work of John Kettman of LaSalle, Illinois. Kettman has been painting portraits on pumpkins for about 6 years, but this autumn he took a political turn with his gourd art. In addition to his Trumpkin, he’s also created Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders pumpkins. Happy National Pumpkin Day! #nationalpumpkinday #NYCpumpkin #nychalloween #trump #clinton #trumpkin #election2016 #election2016🇺🇸 A photo posted by PaulsdaBurgerJoint (@paulsdaburgerjoint) on Oct 26, 2016 at 8:05am PDT Another pair of matching Hillary and Donald pumpkins courtesy of @PaulsdaBurgerJoint . These two look like they just stepped onto the floor of the debates. Ohio pumpkin artist Jennette Paras chooses someone in the news as her source of inspiration in a personal tradition dating back 25 years. This Halloween, she transformed a massive, 374-pound pumpkin into a likeness of Donald Trump – an effort that took six separate blond wigs attached to the gourd. Nearby, she’s placed a sign suggesting visitors “make pumpkins great again.” #trumpkin is done. My sissy is going to dab some yellowish…crap on its head to make the hair look like his head. #acrylicpainting #smashthetrumpkin #fuckofftrump #anyonebuttrump #artsy A photo posted by Cassie Tucker (@tangledinreverie) on Oct 24, 2016 at 9:57pm PDT This Trumpkin by @tangledinreverie really captures Trump’s luxurious, windswept locks. David Jones’ Trumpkin takes a minimalist, pop-art approach that captures the candidate perfectly. Unlike some of the others on this list, he’s avoided using a wig to depict Trump’s famous hair, instead repurposing the inside of the pumpkin to form some kind of squash toupee. #trump #pumpkin #fall #diy #justbecause #funny #hilarious #lol #Trumpkin #trumppumpkin #trending #potd #picoftheday #photoofday #halloween #October #autumn A photo posted by Tiffany Marz 🌟🎙🎬🕆? (@tiffany_marz) on Oct 25, 2016 at 3:03pm PDT This Trumpkin by @tiffany_marz takes an interesting new approach, with the outside of the pumpkin modified with what appears to be sculpted clay, rather than painted or carved. Imgur user Fizzgig posted a more somber approach with this contemplative Trumpkin created by their mother. Still dying from one of our winning pumpkins today! 😂😂😂😂 #haha #pumpkin #ThatHairTho #trumpkin #worklife A photo posted by Jacqui🔵YouTuber/Blogger (@jduran1313) on Oct 25, 2016 at 2:39pm PDT Another creative new approach to the art of pumpkin decorating by @jduran1313 — collaged instead of painted, this time. This superb Trumpkin is the work of master pumpkin carver Hugh McMahon . If you’d like to learn how to create your own pumpkin-based masterpiece, he walked HuffPost through his process in this fantastic tutorial . Hard days work at the lab #trumpkin #surgeonsmakegoodcarvers #drumpf thanks @twiskle for capturing the glory A photo posted by Erika WS (@erika_whartonshumthing) on Oct 25, 2016 at 12:42pm PDT This defensive Trumpkin by @erika_whartonshumthing looks like it’s had better days. If you’d like to revisit your favorite moments from the debates, look no further than Valerie Miller’s Trumpkin. We can almost hear this pumpkin shouting “Wrong!” at approaching trick-or-treaters. Images via The Daily Beast (1, 2), Reddit (3), NBC News Chicago (4), NBC San Diego (5), Dangerous Minds (6), Yahoo! News (7,9), Huffington Post (8), and Instagram  (embedded)

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Lord Rothschild’s distinctive Flint House wins RIBA’s 2015 House of the Year

December 1, 2015 by  
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Jeremy Clarkson introduces Amazon’s Prime Air drone delivery in charming video

December 1, 2015 by  
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When Amazon launched its Prime membership service, tons of people were lured in by the free two-day shipping aspect, never mind all the other perks. But Prime members never dreamed there would come a day when those priority packages would be delivered not by a person dressed in brown but by a semi-autonomous flying drone dressed in white and blue. Amazon’s new delivery drone prototype, known as Prime Air (obviously), was originally promised two years ago and now the Washington-based mega retailer has released a teaser ad to show how it’s done. Read the rest of Jeremy Clarkson introduces Amazon’s Prime Air drone delivery in charming video

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Zaha Hadid is the first sole female recipient of the prestigious RIBA Royal Gold Medal

September 24, 2015 by  
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How to watch this weekend’s rare supermoon lunar eclipse

September 24, 2015 by  
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A rare lunar event is happening this weekend that’s not to be missed. And if you do, you won’t have another chance to see these elements come together until 2033. A total “supermoon” lunar eclipse – also called a blood moon – will take place on Sunday, September 27, and will be visible for most of the world to see. Read the rest of How to watch this weekend’s rare supermoon lunar eclipse

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Wild Walk is upstate New York’s answer to the High Line, 40 feet above the forest floor

September 24, 2015 by  
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