BIGs looping station design in Paris turns bridge into public space

March 24, 2017 by  
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Danish firm Bjarke Ingels Group and French studio Silvio D’ascia Architecture unveiled new renderings of their competition-winning designs for a loop-shaped metro station in Paris. Created as part of Société du Grand París’ Grand Paris Express project, the Pont de Bondy station is one of 68 new stations planned for the redevelopment that will expand the existing metro system by 200 kilometers. The sculptural station will include a bridge and tunnel wrapped around a giant atrium next to the riverbank.

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BIGs looping station design in Paris turns bridge into public space

New Zealand river world’s first to obtain legal staus as a person

March 16, 2017 by  
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A river in New Zealand now has legal status similar to a human being, marking a historic victory for indigenous people. For over 100 years, the Whanganui Iwi have fought over the rights of the Whanganui River, the country’s longest navigable river . Now the New Zealand Parliament has recently passed the Te Awa Tupua Bill , or Whanganui River Claims Settlement Bill, acknowledging past wrongs and declaring the river “an indivisible and living whole.” The Whanganui River can now be represented through two human representatives, one appointed by the New Zealand government and the other by the Whanganui Iwi. Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson told Newshub, “I know some people will say it’s pretty strange to give a natural resource a legal personality, but it’s no stranger than family trusts, or companies, or incorporated societies.” A $56 million financial redress payment is also part of the significant legislation. Related: Indonesian president gives forest management back to indigenous communities It’s been a long battle for the Whanganui Iwi. According to the bill, “Since 1873, Whanganui Iwi have sought recognition of their authority over the River, including by pursuing one of New Zealand’s longest-running court cases.” Whanganui Iwi spokesperson Gerrard Albert said the people have challenged the government’s impact on the river’s health since the mid-1850’s, and sought recognition of their rights over the river. In a statement he said, “We have always believed that the Whanganui River is an indivisible and living whole – Te Awa Tupua – which includes all its physical and spiritual elements from the mountains of the central North Island to the sea.” A government website adds, “The tribes of Whanganui take their name, their spirit, and their strength from the great river…The people say, ‘Ko au te awa. Ko te awa ko au’ (I am the river. The river is me).” Over 200 Whanganui Iwi descendants were present in Parliament as the bill passed, and sang songs after the third and final bill reading. Via EcoWatch Images via Alex Indigo on Flickr and eyeintim on Flickr

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New Zealand river world’s first to obtain legal staus as a person

Large section of Arctic Ocean is six times more acidic than 20 years ago

March 16, 2017 by  
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Ocean acidification is increasing rapidly in the Arctic Ocean . New research from an international team reveals between the 1990’s and 2010, the area of acidified water expanded northward by around 300 nautical miles from near Alaska nearly up to the North Pole . The depth of acidified waters hiked up too, from around 325 feet to more than 800 feet. 13 scientists from institutions in China, Sweden, and the United States scrutinized data from the 1990’s up through 2010 to see how acidification has escalated in the Arctic Ocean, and they found both area and depth of acidified waters spread. Acidity in the area is six times greater than it was 20 years ago. Paper co-author Wei-Jun Cai of the University of Delaware said in a statement, “The Arctic Ocean is the first ocean where we see such a rapid and large-scale increase in acidification, at least twice as fast as that observed in the Pacific or Atlantic oceans.” The journal Nature Climate Change published their research online in late February. Related: Melting Arctic Seas are Turning into Giant Pools of Acid, Researchers Warn There are a few possible reasons for such rapid acidification. One is the lack of summer sea ice ; water is exposed to the atmosphere for lengthier periods of time now and therefore has more time to absorb acidifying gas like carbon dioxide . Currents in the atmosphere have also sent Pacific Ocean water, which tends to be more acidic, into the Canada Basin. Co-author Richard Feely of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the combination of those two phenomenon likely led to the speedy acidification. Naturally the news isn’t great for marine life. Feely said mussels, clams, and small sea snails may have a hard time maintaining or building their shells in acidified waters. As sea snails in particular are an important source of food in the Arctic food web, sustaining herring and salmon, their decline could impact the rest of the marine ecosystem . Via the University of Delaware and the Toronto Star Images via Pixabay and Tammy Beeson/University of Delaware

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Large section of Arctic Ocean is six times more acidic than 20 years ago

Third highest CO2 polluter in U.S. to shut down 25 years early

February 15, 2017 by  
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Coal power is on the way out–and the closure of the 2,250 megawatt Navajo Generating Station is evidence. The major Arizona coal plant that’s provided electricity to cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix during its over 40-year history is set to shut down in 2019. The Navajo Generating Station, which started generating electricity in 1974 and is managed mainly by Salt River Project , is slated to close 25 years ahead of schedule, according to High Country News. The plant is a huge polluter in the American West, spewing so much carbon dioxide Azcentral.com said the plant is America’s third largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to carbon emissions, the station pumps out 472 pounds of mercury, 259 pounds of arsenic, and 4,370 pounds of selenium from its smokestacks yearly. High Country News reports those elements toxic to humans and wildlife have appeared in Grand Canyon fish and Mesa Verde National Park precipitation. The coal plant also consumes around nine billion gallons of water taken from Lake Powell every single year for cooling and steam generation. Related: China orders a halt to over 100 coal-fired power plants Coal power is no longer the area’s cheapest power source. Salt River Project officials have said it’s less expensive for them to purchase power from alternative sources than to generate energy at the station for their one million customers, due largely to low natural gas prices. While the shut down will provide a breath of fresh air for the environment , the transition could be hard for local communities. 90 percent of the plant’s 400 employees are Native Americans . The Navajo Nation and Hopi tribe receive royalties from the plant and the Kayenta coal mine located 78 miles away which provides coal for the Navajo Generating Station. High Country News suggested the plant owners could work with local tribes to build renewable energy plants on reservations instead. Via High Country News Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Third highest CO2 polluter in U.S. to shut down 25 years early

Fallingwater Institute adds four timber ‘portals’ to Frank Lloyd Wright landmark

February 15, 2017 by  
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Students participating in the Fallingwater Institute’s summer residence program will now have a beautiful new home-base from which to study the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright design and national monument. Architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson designed four “modest wood portals” to provide updated lodging to the rustic 1960s teaching facilities. Wright completed work on the iconic Fallingwater home in 1939. The stunning design, which was built for the Kaufmann family, sits over a waterfall in southwest Pennsylvania. Today, the home is a National Historic Landmark run by the Fallingwater Institute, which has been offering summer residency programs to architecture lovers of all ages for over 20 years. Related: Frank Lloyd Wright’s unbuilt Trinity Chapel brought to life in vivid renderings Now, students will be able to live a bit more comfortably as they study thanks to four new cabin-like structures built on the High Meadow farm next to the main home. The new residences are made up of four wooden cabins clad in a cedar stained shale gray. On the interior, built-in shelves and most of the furniture were constructed out of simple plywood, and cork flooring is used throughout the cabins. A horizontal pine screen, which was harvested and milled on site , connects the four cabins, which all have stunning views of the surroundinga. The angled nature of the design was strategic to provide shade in the summertime while also optimizing air ventilation throughout the cabins. Bill James, project architect from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s Pittsburgh office, explains that the four new cabins were designed to be subtle, but comfortable additions for summer tenants: “The building’s main entry welcomes visitors into a central screened porch, which joins the new architecture to an existing cabin and serves as the outdoor gathering and dining space,” he said. “A horizontal screen, made of Norway Spruce harvested and milled on site, extends from the main cabin and continues along the walkway leading to the dwellings.” + Fallingwater Institute + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Via Archinet Photography by Nic Lehoux

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Fallingwater Institute adds four timber ‘portals’ to Frank Lloyd Wright landmark

1,700 Flint residents sue the EPA over tainted water

February 1, 2017 by  
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More than 1,700 residents of Flint, Michigan are seeking class action status for a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming it mismanaged the water crisis in the city. The suit was filed in a U.S. District court in Michigan on Monday, and alleges that the agency failed to warn them of the dangers of the tainted water , and did nothing to pressure state or local authorities to address the issue. The plaintiffs are seeking a collective $722 million in damages. According to Reuters , part of the 30-page lawsuit reads, “This case involves a major failure on all levels of government to protect the health and safety of the public. Local, state and federal agencies and employees, working individually and at times in concert with each other, mismanaged this environmental catastrophe.” The EPA had not yet issued a comment on the court action at the time of publication. The water crisis resulted in thousands of children being exposed to water laced with lead , which is known to stunt cognitive development and cause a number of chronic health issues. Researchers believe there is no safe lower limit for lead exposure. Related: EPA regional head steps down after agency rules response to Flint water crisis “inadequate” While the city has switched back to a safe water source as of October 2015, it’s been a struggle for residents to access clean water in the meantime. The previous water system caused irreparable damage to the city’s pipes, and replacing them has been a very slow and expensive process. Though filters are available for residential taps, many are still limiting themselves to bottled water out of fear that contamination may still seep through. Via Reuters Images via Steve Johnson and Wikipedia

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C.F. Mller unveils new images for sustainable and garden-filled vertical village in Antwerp

November 28, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9NBzc3LaMc Located in Antwerp’s Nieuw Zuid area on the river Schelde, the residential tower breaks from traditional design with its community-oriented structure that encourages social interactions beyond just chance encounters in the lift or lobby. The building will contain a variety of housing types to encourage diversity that range from small, shared flats suitable for students to larger family homes and live-work studios . The 15,000-square-meter tower block will include 154 homes as well as a mix of shops, offices, and communal facilities. Related: Zaha Hadid Architects renovate a derelict fire station into Antwerp’s new BREEAM-rated port headquarters The compact volume will be wrapped in a light-grid that defines the vertical mini-communities to give “a sense of intimate neighborliness across the stories, with the opportunity for both privacy and social interaction, as is known from traditional horizontal neighborhoods,” write the architects. Greenery will be woven into the terraces, winter gardens, and rooftop terraces to create a cooling microclimate . Shared facilities include a bicycle workshop, laundry room, community room, and a roof landscape on the fifth floor. The building is expected to achieve passive-house standard. + C.F. Møller Images via C.F. Møller

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C.F. Mller unveils new images for sustainable and garden-filled vertical village in Antwerp

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects unveil designs for ARoS Aarhus Art Museum extension

November 17, 2016 by  
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As the original designers of ARoS in 2014, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects sees Next Level as a continuation of their relationship with the museum. In 2011, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson added his “Your rainbow panorama,” a permanent ring-shaped installation that hovers above the museum roof. The new extension will add a 1,200-square-meter subterranean gallery and a gigantic semi-subterranean art installation named “The Dome” disguised as a nine-meter-tall grassy hill on street level. The architects describe the 40-diameter Dome, topped with a circular skylight, as “one of the most spectacular spaces ever built into an art museum.” Related: Twilight Epiphany Skyspace by James Turrell Suspends Time and Space With LEDs in Houston “The Next Level project will connect to the existing building developing the museum horizontally in contrast to the existing vertical movement and working with the natural flow of the city from the river to the square of the Aarhus Music Hall,” say the architects in a press release. “This references the main architectural concept of the museum building which created a public route through the museum that transforms the building into a bridge linking two of the city’s cultural centres.” The new extension will offer a new Turrell-designed experience of color and light to visitors as they make their way down into the galleries and exhibition spaces. The Next Level project will open to the public in 2020. + Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects + James Turrell Images via Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects unveil designs for ARoS Aarhus Art Museum extension

Corals at Keppel Bay combine the best of luxury and sustainability

November 17, 2016 by  
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The project features buildings clad in glazed, white aluminum and glass panels , which create a rhythm accentuated by ribbons of balconies. It comprises 366 apartments that range from one-to-four bedrooms and penthouses, with sizes ranging from 538 square feet to 8,503 square feet. The residents will have exclusive access to Marina at Keppel Bay on Keppel Island which includes a clubhouse with members’ lounge, fine dining establishments and yacht charter services. Related: Daniel Libeskind’s ambitious design for The Kurdistan Museum in Iraq To help foster biodiversity, harvested “donor” coral fragments are grown in a nursery, after which they are transplanted to King’s Dock, near the residences. To further sustainability, reflecting pools run the length of each building. These pools serve to help cool the residences. The site also features a green roof, rainwater collection and solar panels. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFwTiG9_XOI “Just like a coral reef , the composition of each cluster of buildings is unique—the common thread is spectacular bay views and expansive balconies throughout,” said Daniel Libeskind. “I sought to imbue the entire site with openness and greenery—the true core of this project is sustainable living,” he added. + Studio Libeskind

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Corals at Keppel Bay combine the best of luxury and sustainability

Norway’s most stunning hydropower plant is now a tourist destination

September 14, 2016 by  
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Most of Norway’s electricity comes from hydropower, geothermal power and wind, and now the government is aiming to use those very industries to draw in additional tourist traffic. The Øvre Forsland hydroelectric power plant in the forested mountains of Helgeland, a Norwegian province just south of the Arctic Circle, is one of those such destinations. The 30-gigwatt-hour plant, designed by Stein Hamre , complements the surrounding natural environment, rather than standing out as an eyesore. Related: Norway moves up zero emissions target to 2030 “The plant has been designed to reflect the characteristics of the landscape, which is located on the river bed in a clearing at the edge of a spruce forest,” said the architects in a statement. “The main inspiration for the design was the verticality and the irregularity of the spruce trees.” The government hopes that hikers will come to the gorgeous plant and want to learn about hydroelectricity. Who wouldn’t want to visit this idyllic mountain scene? + Stein Hamre Architecture Via The Guardian Images via Bjørn Leirvik

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Norway’s most stunning hydropower plant is now a tourist destination

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