Thomas Heatherwick’s London Garden Bridge officially scrapped

August 16, 2017 by  
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Plans to build Thomas Heatherwick ‘s controversial Garden Bridge in London have been officially scrapped. The Garden Bridge Trust charity – created to build and run the bridge  – just announced the end of the project due to the lack of support by London mayor Sadiq Khan. Khan’s reasoning, according to his earlier statement, was led by the project’s spiraling construction and maintenance costs. A financial inquiry into the Garden Bridge project found that the initial estimated costs escalated from £60 million ($77 million) to over £200 million ($259 million). This was determined to be too large of a financial risk to London taxpayers. Related: Architects and artists sling harsh criticism at Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge project Khan withdrew his support for the project following the recommendations of the report which also raised concerns about the fairness of the process of choosing the architects– it was said that Heatherwick Studio and Arup were favored by the procurement system. Heatherwick first unveiled the design for the Garden Bridge in 2013 as a verdant structure that would span the River Thames between Temple and South Bank. “The Garden Bridge has not found its right moment, but I hope one day it will and that London continues to be open to ideas that make life here better,” said a statement from Thomas Heatherwick. + Heatherwick Studio Via Dezeen

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Thomas Heatherwick’s London Garden Bridge officially scrapped

Global ocean circulation may be slowing down due to Arctic ice loss

August 16, 2017 by  
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Humanity is entering a phase of grave uncertainty as rising temperatures wreck havoc on our planet. Researchers from Yale University and the University of Southhampton have found evidence that Arctic ice loss may be having a negative impact on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) , the largest ocean circulation system on the planet. A complex system not easily explained by talking heads scoring political points, AMOC helps regulate ocean and atmospheric temperatures – and its collapse would have repercussions that not even scientists can properly predict. “The ongoing decline of Arctic sea ice exposes the ocean to anomalous surface heat and freshwater fluxes, resulting in positive buoyancy anomalies that can affect ocean circulation,” the researchers wrote in a new study published recently in Nature . “It is found that on decadal timescales, flux anomalies over the subpolar North Atlantic have the largest impact on the AMOC, while on multi-decadal timescales (longer than 20 years), flux anomalies in the Arctic become more important. These positive buoyancy anomalies spread to the North Atlantic, weakening the AMOC and its poleward heat transport. Therefore, the Arctic sea-ice decline may explain the suggested slow-down of the AMOC and the ‘Warming Hole’ persisting in the subpolar North Atlantic.” Related: How climate change could alter the environment in 100 years So what does this mean? Trevor Nace, a geologist, explains for Forbes : “This process whereby water is transported into the Northern Atlantic Ocean acts to distribute ocean water globally. What’s more important, and the basis for concern of many scientists is this mechanism is one of the most efficient ways Earth transports heat from the tropics to the northern latitudes. The warm water transported from the tropics to the North Atlantic releases heat to the atmosphere, playing a key role in warming of western Europe…” Since this is largely unprecedented, it is uncertain exactly what will happen if the AMOC collapses, or how it will affect global weather patterns. But we do know that even small shifts in climate can result in dramatic changes – evidenced by the growing number of droughts, floods and other natural disasters worldwide. In November, temperatures in the Arctic were 20C degrees higher than normal, according to an Arctic Resilience Report . The best way to slow down this trend is to release fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which requires a shift away from burning fossil fuels and other carbon-producing industries. And that requires leadership. Via Forbes Images via NOAA, NASA

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Luxury Tree Villa communes with breathtaking nature in India

August 16, 2017 by  
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A picture-perfect getaway roosts in the treetops of west India. Architecture BRIO completed the Tree Villa, a two-story luxury getaway on the cliff of a 160-acre “treesort.” Set within the rich river landscape of Tala near the Kuda caves, the treehouse -like glass dwelling offers an immersive experience within a forested tropical setting. Architecture BRIO built the Tree Villa around existing mature trees, which grow up and through the roof, deck, and fencing, and give the structure its treehouse-like appearance. The dwelling blends into its surroundings with its thatched roof , predominately timber palette, and clean modern design. The architects wrapped the elevated Tree Villa in full-height glazing to optimize views of Tala’s stunning scenery. Tie-dyed bordered sheer curtains filter harsh sunlight during the day. The Tree Villa accommodates four adults and two children. The elevated ground floor is surrounded by an expansive timber deck and comprises a large luxurious bedroom, bathroom with mirrored slats, and a spiral staircase to the upper floor. The larger upper level also features a large timber deck in addition to a second bedroom, loft bed for children, living area, kitchen, dining room, west-facing patio, and a semi-outdoor bathroom that’s dramatically pierced by the enormous brand of an old Garuga fruit tree. The modern and minimalist open-plan interior and lack of walls reinforces the immersive experience in nature. Related: Bamboo-Veiled Dormitory by Architecture BRIO The architects write: “The volumetric compositions of partly white, partly reflective and transparent surfaces within a wooden framework animate and lighten up the space. It questions conventional definitions of exterior and interior and reinterprets notions of privacy and exposure within a hospitality environment. The spatial composition in an otherwise traditional tropical roof structure lends a sense of softness, sensuality, intimacy and complexity, making it a perfect setting for a retreat into the wilderness of Tala.” + Architecture BRIO Via ArchDaily Images © Photographix

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Gensler proposes temporary floating structure for UK Parliament

October 5, 2016 by  
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The upcoming refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster means the UK Parliament needs to move – but with minimal disruptions. Gensler has proposed they don’t have to move very far. Instead, the architecture firm has come up with a plan that would allow parliament to conduct business on a floating structure on the River Thames . The modular construction, named Project Poseidon would be both cost effective for taxpayers and visually stunning for passersby. It is estimated the refurbishment may take up to six years to complete, leaving Parliament in a bind and possibly having to work in multiple, separate locations. Gensler ’s solution makes sure government business remains under one roof and enjoys the natural security of the surrounding river. The 8,600 square meter structure would be made out of steel platforms and a wooden frame with a design inspired by the hammer-beam roof of Westminster Hall . Related: Gensler proposes floating Thames Airport to ease airport congestion in London Construction of floating Project Poseidon could take as little as three years, taking place at a handful of shipyards around the UK. The pieces could be shipped across the Thames to be assembled in their final place, only 10 meters away from the Palace of Westminster. Duncan Swinhoe, Regional Managing Principal at Gensler, excitedly boasts the future applications of the floating structure: “Once the refurbishment of the Palace is complete, the modular structure could be relocated and adapted to provide a permanent legacy such as a Museum for Democracy or alternatively a new parliament for an emerging overseas democracy.” + Gensler Via  World Architecture News Images via Gensler

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Fisker promises a 2017 comeback with a 400-mile range electric sports car

October 5, 2016 by  
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A few months after the announcement that Fisker Automotive will reboot the Karma Revero , the company’s namesake Henrik Fisker says he is starting a new car company, called Fisker Inc., to produce an electric sports car that can travel over 400 miles between charges, a huge jump over existing EV ranges. Although the company hasn’t volunteered a solid launch date for such a vehicle, or any other details to speak of, Bloomberg reports that we’ll all learn more sometime in mid-2017. The Danish automotive designer told Bloomberg that his next EV offering will “look completely different” and will be “sporty and spacious.” While there’s no word on the initial cost of a technologically advanced EV with a 400-mile range, Fisker suggested there will be a mass market version priced around $40,000. That’s a pricepoint low enough to compete with the Tesla Model 3 , which debuted at $35,000 (but ‘only’ has a 215-mile range). Related: The Fisker Karma – a candidate for resurrection or DOA? Fisker has a long history in the automotive industry, having designed iconic cars for BMW, Aston Martin, and VLF Automotive. The CEO announced his new company in a Twitter update on Monday, October 3, saying, “The Original Fisker is back. I am very proud to be launching Fisker Inc. With a game changing battery technology.” Much like Tesla, Fisker will be producing its own electric car batteries as Fisker Nanotech. Reportedly, the company is working on graphene-based battery technology, which is a longer lasting alternative to lithium ion that has also been shown to charge much faster. “For the last two years, I have been looking at battery technologies and wanted to see if there was something that could really give us a new paradigm,” Fisker told Bloomberg. “We had the strategy of developing the technology as fast as possible without getting tied down to a large organization, which would hold us back. Now we have the technology that nobody else has. And there is nobody even close to what we are doing out there.” Via Engadget Images via Fisker Inc and Twitter via screenshot

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Fisker promises a 2017 comeback with a 400-mile range electric sports car

3 Inventors of world’s tiniest machines to share Nobel Prize in Chemistry

October 5, 2016 by  
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This week, the international team that invented the world’s tiniest machines won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Three scientists will share the prize in an even split: Jean-Pierre Sauvage (France), Sir Fraser Stoddart (Great Britain), and Bernard “Ben” Feringa (Netherlands). Over the course of 16 years beginning in 1983, these three invented and developed molecular machines that could some day lead to breakthroughs in new materials and energy storage devices. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfB4NHDI83Q The molecular machines (also known as nanomachines ) invented and developed by this international trio are 1,000 times smaller than a single strand of hair. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences , which awards the Chemistry prize, describes the potential of the team’s innovation. “They have developed molecules with controllable movements, which can perform a task when energy is added,” the academy said in a statement. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry (in addition to global fame) pays out $931,000 (8 million Swedish Krona). Stoddart, Sauvage, and Feringa will split the prize three ways. Related: Tiny nano motors could scrub our oceans clean of CO2 pollution In 1983, Sauvage successfully linked two ring-shaped molecules, creating a chain—the first breakthrough leading to the development of the tiny machines. In 1991, Stoddart developed a molecule called rotaxane, which involves a dumbbell-shaped molecule with a ring around its middle. Feringa, in 1999, became the first person to create a molecular motor, completing the machine. He has used molecular motors to rotate a glass cylinder 10,000 times bigger than the motor, hinting at the scientific potential of these incredibly minuscule machines. “The molecular motor is at the same stage as the electric motor was in the 1830s, when scientists displayed various spinning cranks and wheels, unaware that they would lead to electric trains, washing machines, fans and food processors,” the jury said when announcing the winners. Via DailyMail Images via Lard Bucket and Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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Recycled shipping container is transformed into a chic, modern home

October 5, 2016 by  
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https://vimeo.com/162719711 Founded as an incubator for new and exciting ideas in mobile architecture , LOKI Homes serves as a sort of testing ground for research and development. The first LOKI home wasn’t created for a client or agency; the cargotecture home was designed and built “to satisfy our own purely creative architectural and design ambitions here at LOKI, combined with our deep appreciation and love of the wild,” writes the firm. “So we built a teeny tiny house, and shipped it all the way out in the middle of nowhere.” Related: James Whitaker designs funky light-filled office space out of shipping containers Clad in dark timber panels, the converted shipping container features large glazed windows and doors to bring light to the interior and to create the illusion of spaciousness. In contrast to its rugged and utilitarian facade, the interior looks cozy and welcoming with white-painted corrugated walls, timber surfaces, and soft patterned textiles. The one-story home includes two bedrooms placed on opposite ends of the structure; a small dining/living area with a kitchenette; a compact bathroom; and an outdoor terrace. The LOKI Home prototype is available for purchase and rentals. + LOKI Homes Images via LOKI Homes

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Futuristic inflatable spa engulfs visitors in mist on the River Thames

June 5, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Futuristic inflatable spa engulfs visitors in mist on the River Thames Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: birch , Buckminster Fuller , Chelsea Fringe , experimental public space , fog , greenhouse , Horticultural Spa & Apothecary Experience , London , London Festival of Architecture , LOOP.PH , MIST , nine elms , Nine Elms Horticultural Spa & Apothecary Experience , plywood , PVC membrane , river thames , Riverside Gardens , urban intervention

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Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge Gets Green Light from London’s Lambeth Council

November 12, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge Gets Green Light from London’s Lambeth Council Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: elevated park , Garden Bridge , Heatherwick Studio , joanna lumley , lambeth council , London , park bridge , pedestrian promenade , river thames , thomas heatherwick , Westminster City Council

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London Proposes £600M Bicycle Highway to Float Along the River Thames

October 6, 2014 by  
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A new bicycle lane in London could have cyclists floating on the River Thames. The Thames Deckway, proposed by River Cycleway Consortium Ltd, would create a bicycle-only path along the river and give cyclists a direct route for their commute . Designed by artist Anna Hill and architect David Nixon, the floating pathway would stretch 12 kilometers throughout London along the Thames’ south bank. Read the rest of London Proposes £600M Bicycle Highway to Float Along the River Thames Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , floating bike lane , green design , London Bicycle Lane , River Cycleway Consortium Ltd , river thames , sustainable design , Thames Deckway

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