Raad Studio creates advanced solar funnel to grow plants deep underground

November 2, 2017 by  
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The innovative team behind NYC’s Low Line have designed advanced solar technology that allows plant life to thrive deep underground. Raad Studio’s latest installation Invasive Regeneration uses a high-powered, solar-powered funnel installed at street level to shoot light onto a concrete block underground, allowing vegetation to grow in an otherwise inhospitable environment. The technology behind Invasive Regeneration is an extension of that used to create NYC’s subterranean park , the Lowline. Created by James Ramsey and Dan Barasch, the world’s first underground park implements an innovative daylighting system of fiber optic cables and mirrors to capture and funnel sunlight underground. Related: Brooklyn Hotel by creators of the Lowline boasts winding gardens and tiny hidden spaces According to the team, the solar-powered installation – which is currently on display at the 2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism – is inspired by the complex relationship between nature and the manmade environment. Their description of the project reads, “Nature represents both decay and renewal, and the continual struggle to gain mastery over the natural world can be inverted to foster growth and rebirth.” + Raad Studio Images via Raad Studio

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Street artist paints huge lifelike murals of butterflies

November 2, 2017 by  
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Graffiti artist Mantra is livening up cities with magnificent nature murals . The France-based self-taught painter adorns the sides of buildings and walls with huge murals, and butterflies are a common motif in his work — which has brightened up spaces in France, Spain, Colombia, and Austria. Nature , butterflies, and books often take center stage in Mantra’s lifelike artwork . He’s painted several butterfly murals where the insects appear as three-dimensional mounted specimens surrounded by frames as might be seen in a museum. Other murals feature women with butterfly tattoos, holding butterflies, or wearing blouses with a butterfly print. Related: Provocative street art installation shows baby peering over US-Mexico border wall La Reina del Rio (lost tape) #Bogotá Nov 2015 Drone : @kozmo_films Music : @roccaeloriginal – Con la Luna Album Bogotá/Paris Illustrated from a picture of @juliatrotti Model : @kristinasrzich Gracias a mis hermanos @ospeninkcrew @dexsink y @oxmesoleuno . #freehand #graffiti #spraycanart #noprojector #nojoke A post shared by Mantra (@mantrarea) on Sep 25, 2017 at 12:39pm PDT Butterflies aren’t the only creatures Mantra brings to life. He’s painted a snake, a bird, a grasshopper, an owl, and a cat. He often paints women outside in nature, but one striking mural features a woman reading among dozens of books on shelves. What appear to be stingrays and an owl keep her company in the piece entitled “Curiosity feeds Imagination.” Earlier this year, Street Art United States spoke with Mantra , who’s been creating street art since 2008. They reported he doesn’t use a projector or grid, but sketches out his work freehand. Mantra said he spent as much time as he could outside as a kid, and that frogs, owls, foxes, and reptiles were his superheros. He said he found “a sense of belonging, and a way of self-expression” in graffiti. Mantra also gave advice for aspiring artists in the interview, saying, “Remind yourself that you are here, alive, and all the small lessons hiding in small things surrounding us feed our imagination.” Find more of Mantra’s work on Facebook or Instagram . His art can also be glimpsed in Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, and Seattle. + Mantra Via Street Art United States and TreeHugger Images via Mantra on Facebook

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Worlds newest mega-skyscraper opens in Seoul

April 6, 2017 by  
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The world’s newest super-tall building has opened in Seoul , Korea. Clocking in at fifth tallest in the world, the Lotte World Tower is a 554.5-meter (1,819 feet) tall skyscraper that knocks the 1WTC, the tallest U.S. building, out of the top five. Designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates , the solar-powered building will seek a LEED Gold accreditation and boasts additional record-breaking features including the world’s highest glass-bottomed observation deck, fastest elevator, and the highest swimming pool in a building. Set on the banks of the River Han in southern Seoul, the Lotte World Tower is a multibillion-dollar mixed-use tower that houses retail, offices, luxury residences, and a seven-star hotel. The sleek and tapered form of the 123-story building draws inspiration from the curves of Korean artistry and contrasts with Seoul’s craggy mountainous landscape. The building shape and interior combine a modern aesthetic with elements inspired by the Korean arts of ceramics, porcelain, and calligraphy. Related: World’s largest shipping container shopping mall pops up in Seoul The building’s top ten stories are allocated for public use and entertainment facilities. The glass-floor observation deck on the 118th floor allows visitors to experience a busy Seoul intersection from a bird’s eye view. The skyscraper also includes a massive 2,000-seat concert hall, aquarium, movie theater, and food hall. Designed for the LEED Gold , Lotte World Tower is equipped with solar panels, wind turbines, external shading devices, and water harvesting systems. + Kohn Pederson Fox Associates Via Bloomberg Images via Kohn Pederson Fox Associates

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Repurposed shipping containers make a bold statement at the National Theater Company of Korea

March 1, 2017 by  
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Seoul’s trendy mall made of shipping containers isn’t the only place you’ll see cargotecture in the city. Urbantainer , the same local firm behind the world’s largest cargotecture mall Common Ground , recently completed an extension for the National Theater Company of Korea , one of the nation’s flagship theater companies based in the capital. The new visitor area comprises a series of red shipping containers skillfully transformed into a contemporary and functional space that still preserves an industrial character. The National Theater Company of Korea (NTCK) commissioned Urbantainer to create a visitor area that would serve as a social space within the grounds. To integrate the new space with the existing buildings, the designers aligned the containers with the building axis and painted them the same shade of red as the NTCK logo. “While highlighting the modular form of containers, the design is deliberately held light and maintains a balance with existing features and objects such as a former oil station and the grass square,” writes Urbantainer. Related: World’s largest shipping container shopping mall pops up in Seoul Although the cargotecture building looks like it’s made up of separate containers stacked together, many of the container walls were removed to create an interior with a 12-meter-long column-less space to accommodate large gatherings. High ceilings, access to natural light, and the light color palette give the interior a spacious and open feel. The flexible open-plan area can be manipulated with partitions and moving walls to allow for a variety of functions. + Urbantainer Images © Kyungsub Shin

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Quirky Pinocchio-themed museum looks like it came out of Geppetto’s workshop

November 23, 2016 by  
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This unusual complex occupies a irregularly-shaped piece of land located on the outskirts of north eastern Seoul. The client, an avid collector of Pinocchio dolls and artifacts from around the world, and owner of a private kindergarden , commissioned Moon Hoon to design a museum and galleries where her Pinocchio collections and related collections and designs could be enjoyed and experienced by kids and adults alike. Three buildings house different programs, and are organized around a nice grassed inner courtyard dominated by a sky-train, a pond, and large Pinocchio statue. Related: Enchanting fairytale museum will pay homage to Hans Christian Andersen The first building is inspired by the whale scene in the story. The curvilinear layout of the building references the whale and the wave, leaving very narrow crawl space between large and small stepped seats to enhance a sense of adventure. The open, concave crater-like space becomes an extension of the interior when the weather permits. The second building is where large character dolls and accompanying tables and seats are exhibited. A curved, high ceiling auditorium functions as a venue for different shows and performances. The third building features a water fountain that provides active sound and movements to the still environment. The balcony in the second floor can be opened on both sides to provide views of the neighboring forest. + Moon Hoon Via Archdaily

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Quirky Pinocchio-themed museum looks like it came out of Geppetto’s workshop

Giant gold spot draped over this building will catch the eye of anyone flying into Seoul

July 20, 2016 by  
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Created in partnership with Gansam Architects , Paradise City will comprise two buildings: the 3,600-square-meter Sandbox retail complex and the 6,200-square-meter Nightclub. The project will serve as the centerpiece of a new tourist hub for the Korean capital. Rather than insert two conventionally styled buildings, the architects designed two concrete monolithic forms that are distorted and manipulated to respond to the surrounding environment and take on a more fluid, rippled form. Related: South Korea Unveils Plans for Sustainable Mini-City in World’s Best Airport “The project takes two simple volumes, which create a new urban space. These masses then take an imprint of the facades around the site, stretching over the two buildings. Thus adapting themselves to the given environment, accepting these conditions as a sine qua non,” says MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas . “The buildings are opened by lifting them like a curtain, unravelling their interior. Then, to top it off is the golden spot, marking the entrance like a sunbeam, making its presence known even from the air and the landing planes at Incheon airport.” The project is expected to be completed in time for the 2018 winter Olympic games and will have a direct mono-rail connection to Incheon airport. + MVRDV Images via MVRDV

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Giant gold spot draped over this building will catch the eye of anyone flying into Seoul

The flexible Songpa Micro-Housing building in Seoul is inspired by tapioca pearls

December 9, 2015 by  
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OBBA built this affordable 538-square-feet daylit house in Seoul for a newlywed couple and their cats

November 20, 2015 by  
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OBBA’s Oasis temporary pavilion in Seoul dances in the wind like willow leaves

November 10, 2015 by  
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Polar bear range states agree on groundbreaking protection plan to save the species

September 9, 2015 by  
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Polar bears got a crucial win this week, as the five nations with wild populations of the endangered bears agreed to a 10-year plan  to protect and manage the animals and their habitat. In the “first-ever circumpolar action plan” for wild polar bear survival, according to the World Wildlife Fund , the five so-called polar bear “range states” – Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Russia, and the U.S. – have committed to a long-term plan to curb the factors that are destroying polar bear habitats and causing populations to decline. Read the rest of Polar bear range states agree on groundbreaking protection plan to save the species

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