Zero-carbon masterplan on the water aims to revitalize Bergens urban growth

July 22, 2019 by  
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In a bid to revitalize the Norwegian city of Bergen, London-based architectural practice Waugh Thistleton Architects has proposed Trenezia, a masterplan that would transform the coastal city into a shining example of zero-carbon urban development. The mixed-use development would consist of over 1,600 homes and be built on the waters of Store Lungegårdsvann, a bay that separates the city center from the southern boroughs of the city. Energy demands and the carbon footprint would be minimized through site-specific, environmentally responsible design and the use of carbon-sequestering timber as a primary construction material for all of the houses. Created in collaboration with local architects Artec, Urban System Design, Degree of Freedom and landscape design firm East, the zero-carbon Trenezia masterplan was created for the BOB, a Norwegian housing association with a goal of building sustainably in urban areas. In addition to promoting sustainable ideals, Trenezia aims to revitalize the city center, which the architects said is currently suffering from depopulation as people move to the outskirts to live in suburban family homes. Related: Industrial building is reimagined as a zero-carbon paragon for Paris 2024 Olympics Edged in by mountains and water, Bergen’s city center has little land left for development. As a result, the architects decided to build on the lake. “Perfectly placed between the historic town and the new cultural arts hub to the east, the Store Lungegårdsvannet Lake is the ideal site for a new cultural and residential center,” the team explained in a press release. A new boardwalk would span the lake and serve as a ‘central spine’ that connects the public-facing elements, which includes a swimming pool and sailing club, retail, performance spaces and cafes. More than 1,600 homes would be placed behind the boardwalk . The new homes would stress intergenerational interaction and offer a range of accommodation from family houses to co-living to student flats to sheltered housing both for private sale and rent. The homes, which will be built from timber, echo the gabled rooflines of Bergen’s iconic wooden houses that helped earn the city a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. “The masterplan, by virtue of its form, responds to the local climate through the creation of solar corridors through the site to maximize sunlight and daylight into every home,” the architects said. “Residential fingers are separated by canals with individual and communal boat moorings and pontoons for residents, creating a comfortable environment where people can be healthy, happy and productive.” + Waugh Thistleton Architects Images by Darc Studio and Artec via Waugh Thistleton Architects

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Zero-carbon masterplan on the water aims to revitalize Bergens urban growth

Luminous LEDs transform Pragues historic Mirror Chapel into an interactive art space

November 6, 2018 by  
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The lavish interiors of Prague, Czech Republic’s Mirror Chapel were recently transformed into a psychedelic art space thanks to New York-based design studio SOFTlab . Commissioned by the 2018 Signal Festival that concluded last month, the designers inserted an interactive and circular art installation made of responsive mirrors and LEDs . Dubbed Iris, the luminous artwork reacted to ambient sound and the movement of people through the rotation of mirrors, creating vertically fragmented images for a dream-like effect. Built in the early 18th century, the Mirror Chapel has long drawn visitors for its sumptuous interiors dressed with marble, mirrors, gilded stucco decorations and frescoed and painted ceilings. In the 1930s, the beautiful chapel — which belongs to the historic complex of buildings in Prague called Clementinum — began being used for secular purposes such as concerts and exhibitions. The building has also been a popular destination for the Signal Festival of Lights , the largest cultural event in the Czech Republic that unites art, urban space and modern technology and has drawn crowds of more than two million people since it was launched five years ago. One of the many invited international design practices, SOFTlab crafted a site-specific artwork for Mirror Chapel that takes inspiration from the building’s many mirrored surfaces. Arranged as a circular array, the Iris art installation reacts to sound and movement to create a bewildering display of light and reflections evocative of a ‘mise en abyme’ — a French term describing the technique of putting a copy of an image within itself — that mixes elements of the chapel, viewers and light into a series of recursive and panoramic images. Related: MAD reactivates an abandoned Japanese tunnel using surreal immersive art “Both the intricate nature of the Mirror Chapel’s architecture and its use as a classical concert hall drive the design of the installation,” the designers explained. “A mirrored object in the round reflects the ornate surroundings externally while reflecting the viewer infinitely on the interior of the circular enclosure. This reflective enclosure is disrupted as people approach for a closer look. In this way, it is curiosity and sound that activate the installation. A closer look has the potential to produce a delightful bewilderment as the exterior leaks in while space and sound become multiplied in unexpected ways. In that sense, Iris is not an object, image or artifact on its own, but relies on the existing space as the medium. As it bends, multiplies and conflates light and sound, it calls into question the lenses (both mechanical and cultural) that limit or expand our spatial experiences.” + SOFTlab Images via Signal Festival of Lights / SOFTlab

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Luminous LEDs transform Pragues historic Mirror Chapel into an interactive art space

Hydroponic gardens and a mini mountain promote fun and well-being in this creative office

November 6, 2018 by  
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A running track, elevated hydroponic gardens and a miniature “mountain” combine in this fun, new office headquarters for the non-profit Leping Foundation in Beijing , China. Designed by the prolific local design practice People’s Architecture Office (PAO), the mostly open-plan office landscape was created to foster health and wellness. Covering an area of 1,100 square meters, the Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation Headquarters unites four of the company’s departments with a suspended vegetated loop and a running track underneath. Known for its social innovation work, the headquarters of the Leping Foundation covers four distinct fields: job training for migrant workers, agricultural research, preschool education and microfinance. To cultivate a sense of community among the different fields, the People’s Architecture Office created an office that fosters collaboration and interaction. The activity loop track that snakes through the various departments encourages office workers to take breaks and walk laps around the office. In addition to the open kitchen, dining area and lounge, the architects also added a “mini mountain” integrated with stairs to give workers a way to “hike” up to the mezzanine level. The office also includes a separate gym, a meditation space and a meeting room. “The wall design reminds users of the importance of staying active and changing positions,” the architects explained. “Gradating bands of blue span the height of the walls and columns at 60-cm intervals. Recommended periods of time spent at each height are given and each of these correspond with certain postures and activities, which include laying down, sitting, walking and climbing.” Related: China’s rival to AirBnB opens new Beijing office with cutting-edge interior design The suspended hydroponic gardens that are filled with edible plants and aromatic herbs not only add beauty and a source of food for the office, but they also help clean the indoor air. The gardens are complemented with an advanced air filtration system — an important addition given Beijing’s notoriety for severe air pollution . Indoor air quality data is regularly collected, monitored and displayed in real time above the running track. + People’s Architecture Office Photography by Jing Weiqi via People’s Architecture Office

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Hydroponic gardens and a mini mountain promote fun and well-being in this creative office

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

Flame-colored NOAA map paints a picture of this week’s toasty heat wave

July 20, 2016 by  
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Nobody needs a news report to know that summer is hot, but we’re in the midst of a particular scorcher. Scientists like to create visualizations to convey the full impact of natural phenomenon, such as heat waves, and this one from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reveals—in bright, flaming hues—what may be in store for the continental United States this week. The heat map was created using predicted high temperatures across the country , painting one toasty picture for the days ahead. Data from NOAA’s HRRR Model was compiled to create a map that shows the predicted high temperatures on July 18, 2016 at 5 p.m. EDT. The map is essentially a snapshot of the dawn of the  heat wave that is expected to last through the week. The heat wave is expected to be severe, as a “heat dome” created by a high pressure ridge and extreme temperatures will trap and intensify heat in several places across the U.S. Related: Lethal extreme heat and wildfires scorch the American Southwest The forecast calls for heat index values to reach 110 degrees or higher in some areas of the country. The National Weather Service issued heat alerts for more than a dozen cities in light of the soaring temps . A quick glance at this brightly colored heat map is slightly terrifying, but a slightly longer gaze will allow enough time for the realization that this is only the beginning, and there is a great deal of summer left to endure before temperatures will ease back to more comfortable levels. Via Gizmodo Images via NOAA and Shutterstock

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Flame-colored NOAA map paints a picture of this week’s toasty heat wave

Cantilevered solar home overlooks breathtaking views on Australia’s Sunshine Coast

December 11, 2015 by  
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Cantilevered solar home overlooks breathtaking views on Australia’s Sunshine Coast

Leça Seaside Swimming Pools are a Stunning Fusion of Nature and the Man-Made

August 9, 2011 by  
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Read the rest of Leça Seaside Swimming Pools are a Stunning Fusion of Nature and the Man-Made Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: classic green building , eco pool , eco pool design , environmental pool , green pool design , kids pool , natural pool , natural pool sit , portugal green building , public pool design , seaside pool , site specific design

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Leça Seaside Swimming Pools are a Stunning Fusion of Nature and the Man-Made

Obama’s New Standards for Heavy Duty Trucks Could Save $50 Billion in Fuel

August 9, 2011 by  
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If you’ve been wondering when stricter standards would be placed on long-haul, heavy-duty vehicles traveling the nation’s highways, rest assured the day has finally come. Today, President Obama met with industry officials to announce the first fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas pollution standards for work trucks, buses, and other heavy duty vehicles . The new program is anticipated to save businesses that employ these vehicles approximately $50 billion in fuel costs, and over 500 million barrels of oil over the life of the program. Read the rest of Obama’s New Standards for Heavy Duty Trucks Could Save $50 Billion in Fuel Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco-friendly transportation , epa , green transportation , green vehicle design , long haul vehicle regulations green policy , policy fuel efficiency , policy greenhouse gas pollution , president obama , U.S. Department of Transportation , U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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Obama’s New Standards for Heavy Duty Trucks Could Save $50 Billion in Fuel

Elithis Tower: The World’s First Energy Positive Office Building

August 9, 2011 by  
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Elithis Tower: The World’s First Energy Positive Office Building

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