Floating prefab architecture addresses climate change on Chengdus Jincheng Lake

November 26, 2018 by  
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Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi of the firm NLÉ Architects recently unveiled his third iteration on the award-winning Makoko Floating School, a prefabricated building system aimed at addressing “the challenges and opportunities of urbanization and climate change” through sustainable and alternative building typologies. Dubbed the MFS IIIx3, the thought-provoking collection of structures has been set afloat on a lake in Chengdu, the capital of southwestern China’s Sichuan province. The project was created in collaboration with local Chengdu partners Fanmate Creative Furniture Company and Chengdu Keruijiesi Technology Company. Located on Jincheng Lake in Chengdu’s new ecological belt, MFS IIIx3 marks NLÉ Architects’ fourth prototype of the Makoko Floating School. The first prototype floating structure was built in 2013 for and by the historic water community of Makoko in Lagos, Nigeria, an area considered at-risk for climate change . Although the initial project has met its demise , the architects have gone on to improve and reiterate their designs. In 2016, the Waterfront Atlas (MFS II) was launched in Venice, Italy, as well as the Minne Floating School (MFS III) in Bruges, Belgium. In their latest take on the Makoko Floating School, the architects have recreated the modular building in three sizes — small, medium and large. All structures were prefabricated from wood and locally sourced bamboo . The collection of floating buildings includes an open-air concert hall, an indoor exhibition space and a small information center. All three spaces are organized around a communal plaza. Related: Sustainable Makoko Floating School in Nigeria is finally complete “MFS IIIx3 is introduced into the dynamics of a 2,200 year-old history of water management expertise, originating from the Min River (Minjiang) and from Dujiangyan — an ingenious irrigation system built in 256 BC, and still in use today — keeping the southwestern Sichuan province free of floods and drought and making it one of the most fertile and economically developed urban and agricultural areas in China,” the architects explained. “MFS IIIx3 offers an approach to and revives an ancient yet contemporary civilizational relationship with water, originally inspired by the water community of Makoko in Lagos, and now adapted for the water city of Chengdu.” + NLÉ Architects Images via NLÉ Architects

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Floating prefab architecture addresses climate change on Chengdus Jincheng Lake

China is creating a giant panda park three times the size of Yellowstone

March 8, 2018 by  
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China just announced that it has secured over $1.6 billion in funding for a massive panda reserve that will help the animals recover their numbers in the wild. The Giant Panda National Park will cover 10,000 square miles – twice as big as Yosemite Park and three times as big as Yellowstone – of mountainous wilderness where pandas can breed and live without human encroachment. The park will be constructed in the Sichuan , Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. All of the 2,000 wild pandas in the world live in these three provinces, with 80% in Sichuan. Pandas in the different provinces are currently isolated, but creating a park will allow them to join together and, hopefully, reproduce. Related: Giant pandas removed from the endangered species list in huge conservation win China announced plans for the park last year, but the project didn’t have the funding to make it a reality. The Bank of China and the Sichuan Department of Forestry joined together to make the park happen over the next five years. Via Phys.org Images via Flickr and Deposit Photos

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China is creating a giant panda park three times the size of Yellowstone

The Tesla Semi just made its first cargo trip transporting battery packs

March 8, 2018 by  
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The Tesla Semi recently hit the roads on its very first production cargo trip, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk , who posted a picture to social media. The image showed two of the heavy duty trucks Musk said would ferry battery packs from the Nevada Gigafactory to Tesla’s California car factory. First production cargo trip of the Tesla Semi heavy duty truck, carrying battery packs from the Gigafactory in the Nevada mountains to the car factory in California A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on Mar 7, 2018 at 11:23am PST Tesla Semis recently embarked on the 258-mile trip between the first Gigafactory and Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Inverse reported . The journey would take around four hours and pass through Sacramento. Production on the trucks isn’t anticipated to start until next year, so Inverse said it isn’t clear if the cargo trip is basically a real-world test or marks the beginning of regularly scheduled deliveries. According to Electrek , Tesla vice president of Trucks and Programs Jerome Guillen said in 2017 the company would be their own first customer, utilizing the vehicles to transport cargo between the Gigafacory and Fremont car factory. Related: Tesla is selling its solar products in Home Depot stores starting in July Inverse pointed out this is the first time since Tesla unveiled the Semi late last year we’ve glimpsed the vehicle with an attached trailer. Other sightings had shown the Semi on its own. The Semi will have a range of 300 miles or 500 miles, with expected base prices of $150,000 or $180,000, respectively, according to the Tesla Semi web page. Tesla said the truck features “badass performance,” boasting an acceleration of zero to 60 miles per hour in 20 seconds. The vehicle, which they described as the safest truck ever, will be equipped with four independent motors and Enhanced Autopilot. The company also said the Tesla Semi offers $200,000 or more in fuel savings, saying, “ Electric energy costs are half those of diesel .” Inverse said Tesla has accepted preorders from UPS, Walmart, Pepsi, Sysco, and Anheuser-Busch, to name a few companies. + Tesla Semi + Elon Musk Instagram Via Inverse Images via Tesla

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The Tesla Semi just made its first cargo trip transporting battery packs

Green-roofed village shows a more sustainable way to build in post-disaster rural areas

October 24, 2017 by  
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When the 8.0-magnitude Sichuan Earthquake devastated China in 2008, nearly 5 million people were left homeless. Rural Urban Framework , a non-profit research and design collaborative, saw construction in the wake of disaster as an opportunity to improve the lives of rural villagers through new building typologies. Their recently completed project, Jintai Village, is a socially and environmentally sustainable prototype for earthquake reconstruction that combines rooftop farming, biogas technologies, denser living, and local materials in a self-sufficient community. Developed with support from the local government and NGOs, the Jintai Village Reconstruction project was created as an alternative to the hundreds of thousands of homes rebuilt after the 2008 earthquake and as “an investigation into modern rural livelihood.” Unlike most rural developments, this 4,000-square-meter project takes cues from denser urban living by placing buildings closer together with narrow alleys in between. The architects developed four housing types—varying in size, function, and roof sections—in their total of 22 houses united by their use of brick facades, concrete frameworks, and terraced roofs where villagers can grow food. Natural ventilation, rainwater harvesting systems, and insulation made of straw are built into the homes. Related: Eerie photos show nature swallowing up a Chinese village 7 years after an earthquake “By relating various programs of the village to an ecological cycle, environment responsiveness is heightened, transforming the village into a model for nearby areas,” said Rural Urban Framework to Dezeen . “Because the land available for house building is limited, the village combines dense urban living in a rural context.” The village also includes a concrete community center with space for growing vegetables on the roof. The humanitarian project was completed as part of the studio’s ongoing efforts to provide design services to charities and NGOs working in China . + Rural Urban Framework Via Dezeen Images by architects

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Green-roofed village shows a more sustainable way to build in post-disaster rural areas

Elegant arts factory and innovation center replace an crumbling factory in China

November 11, 2016 by  
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The design has won the Silver Award in the Mixed-Use Category at the annual AAP American Architecture Prize. It attempts to find a common language between a variety of uses. Simple, industrial building materials such as exposed concrete frames and concrete bricks create a neutral backdrop for the production and exhibition spaces , as well as a boutique hotel.   Related: Abandoned factory in China becomes a giant floating field of fish and algae The form of a typical three-nave warehouse was reinterpreted as a continuous, undulating roofscape that has elements which remind of traditional Sichuan-style roofs. As another nod to traditional Chinese architecture , the four courtyards all serve different functions and have individual characters. The biggest courtyard can be used for open-air shows and performances, screenings and host events. It also acts as a buffer zone between the production facilities and the hotel, absorbing dust and noise. Bamboo screens line all four courtyards which resemble the layout of ancient Chinese palaces. + Urbanlogic Via v2com

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Elegant arts factory and innovation center replace an crumbling factory in China

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