Chengdu Tianfu New Town Landscape blends tradition and modern living

February 19, 2021 by  
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International design firm MLA+ has unveiled designs for Chengdu Tianfu New Town Landscape, a proposal for a vibrant landscape corridor, as part of an international design competition hosted by the southwestern Chinese city. Inspired by Chengdu’s rich history and strong local character, the architects crafted a 210,000-square-meter linear space that puts a modern spin on local cultural icons such as tea houses and opera. The site-specific approach of blending traditional culture with modern forms gives the competition entry its unique appearance that celebrates Chengdu throughout. Developed for Chengdu Tianfu New Town, located about 25 kilometers south of downtown Chengdu , the Chengdu Tianfu New Town Landscape aims to help define the area’s central business district as a new core of the city. “[Chengdu] is a city where various elements clash into unique identities: eastern lifestyle and western culture, traditional and modern spaces, city and nature,” the architects explained in a press release. “It is also a city famous for its layback and leisure lifestyle. Chengdu’s way of life sets it apart from other major cities in China.” Related: MVRDV unveils sustainable Chengdu Sky Valley masterplan The architects highlighted Chengdu’s unique qualities with a series of modern architectural and landscape forms that are rooted in traditional design. One example can be seen in their interpretation of the tea house — an important social space for locals — as shared gathering spaces for informal meetings and casual gatherings inserted into bamboo gardens in the central landscape corridor. The centuries-old Sichuan Opera is also celebrated with a nearly 800-square-meter water stage that can accommodate events for up to 2,000 people. Elements that focus on Chengdu’s more recent accomplishments include the “Food Hill,” an undulating landscape of green hills with integrated tables for outdoor eating and pop-up street food markets to emphasize the vibrant food culture of the city, which was recognized as Asia’s first UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy in 2008. Attention is also given to the city’s growing street sports and hip-hop culture in the “Red Wall Playground,” a dynamic space inspired by the local tradition of red walls. + MLA+ Images via Frontop

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Chengdu Tianfu New Town Landscape blends tradition and modern living

This "super plant" can actually absorb air pollution

February 19, 2021 by  
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Scientists at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have found that Cotoneaster franchetii could help absorb pollution on heavily trafficked roads. In a study that compared how different plants tame pollution, RHS scientists found this species of cotoneaster to be the most effective. The plant was compared to other shrubs, including western red cedar and hawthorn. According to the researchers, cotoneaster turned out to be a “super plant” that could act as a carbon sink for fossil fuel pollution. However, the study established that the plant was really only helpful in areas with high traffic. In comparison to the other plants in the study, cotoneaster was found to be 20% more effective in absorbing pollution. In quiet regions with limited pollution, the plant was found to be less effective. Related: The Ray integrates plants and pollinators along I-85 “On major city roads with heavy traffic, we’ve found that the species with more complex, denser canopies, rough and hairy leaves such as cotoneaster were the most effective,” said Tijana Blanusa, lead researcher. “We know that in just seven days, a one-meter length of well-managed dense hedge will mop up the same amount of pollution that a car emits over a 500 mile drive.” Air pollution is a big concern in the modern world. RHS conducted a survey that involved over 2,000 participants to find out their take on pollution matters. The survey revealed that 33% of respondents have been affected by pollution but only 6% had taken steps to combat the situation in their own gardens. But researchers are hopeful that sharing how powerful cotoneaster and similar plants are could help the public participate in improving air quality through gardening . “We are continually identifying new ‘super plants’ with unique qualities, which, when combined with other vegetation, provide enhanced benefits while providing much-needed habitats for wildlife,” said Alistair Griffiths, director of science and collections at RHS. “We’ve found, for example, that ivy wall cover excels at cooling buildings, and hawthorn and privet help ease intense summer rainfalls and reduce localized flooding . If planted in gardens and green spaces where these environmental issues are most prevalent, we could make a big difference in mitigating against and adapting to climate change.” + Royal Horticultural Society Via The Guardian Image via Père Igor

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This "super plant" can actually absorb air pollution

MVRDV unveils sustainable Chengdu Sky Valley masterplan

November 24, 2020 by  
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MVRDV has revealed designs for Chengdu Sky Valley, a competition entry for the Future Science and Technology City, which is a planned district on the outskirts of Chengdu, China. Guided by sustainable and placemaking principles, the masterplan seeks to differentiate itself from the country’s other high-tech cities with an emphasis on retaining the existing agricultural landscape, promoting self-sufficient lifestyles and designing with site-specific analyses in mind. Developed as part of Chengdu’s Eastward Development Strategy, the planned Future Science and Technology City will be developed on a rural swath of land adjacent to the new Tianfu International Airport with access to the city’s Metro Line 18. Rather than raze the rural area, the architects sought to retain and enhance the existing landscape — characterized by agricultural fields, rolling hills and scattered villages — while embedding new areas of development in between preserved farming areas.  Related: MVRDV designs a sustainable “urban living room” for Shenzhen “The dichotomy between the existing rural landscape and the future science and technology campus demands a solution that balances tradition and innovation, past and future, young and old, East and West, technology and agriculture,” MVRDV explained. “The design therefore preserves the agricultural valleys, incorporating this activity as a key component of the Future Science and Technology City. New buildings are clustered on the hills, and shaped in a way that amplifies the valley skyline, augmenting the appearance of the Linpan landscape.” MVRDV’s tech taskforce, MVRDV NEXT, developed a series of digital scripts to analyze the site’s topography. The site analyses informed decisions on several parts of the design: which areas should be designated for agricultural zoning versus new building development; the optimization of pathways and bridges to ensure accessibility across the entire site while never exceeding a slope of 4%; the shape and height of human-made hills; and building height limits. As a result, the design features three main valleys — the Knowledge Valley, the Experience Valley and the Venture Valley — around which seven mixed-use developments will be clustered. + MVRDV Images via MVRDV and Atchain

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MVRDV unveils sustainable Chengdu Sky Valley masterplan

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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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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