Conceptual eco-village empowers women in Beirut

July 23, 2020 by  
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In a bid to advance gender equity in Lebanon, Beirut-based Anastasia Elrouss Architects has proposed the Vertical Eco-Village: Urban Lung of Beirut, a three-pronged proposal that centers on the M Tower, a 14-story, greenery-covered tower in the eclectic suburb of Chyah. Designed with a structural concrete shell fitted with recycled wooden partitions, the tower would comprise residences as well as spaces for workshops, retail and agricultural functions on the lower levels. The tower, in conjunction with an off-site wooden pavilion and urban farm, would function as a vocational training and cultural center specifically aimed at empowering Lebanese women through agricultural and self-sustainable skill building. Proposed for a 900-square-meter site at the intersection of two suburban streets, the M Tower emphasizes flexibility and adaptability with open-floor apartment plans that can be uniquely configured by residents into single-floor apartments, duplexes or penthouses with varying amounts of urban gardening space. Pocket gardens and linear terraces wrap around the tower to provide panoramic views of the city and reduce the urban heat island effect. Related: Prefab apartment proposal wants to make city living more sustainable “The building takes on the appearance of a single structural vertical planted element extending the busy city life,” the architects explained. “The intervention is a vertical green landmark revealing a unified structure whose multilayered facades are acting as a protective translucent shell vis-a-vis the street and the surrounding buildings.” For self-sufficiency, the tower would be equipped with photovoltaic panels , solar thermal panels, a rainwater harvesting and storage system and natural underground water storage for irrigation and domestic use. The training and retail facilities, operated by the Warchee NGO, would occupy the lower levels and could include urban farming areas, carpentry workshops, mushroom farming, a vegetable cannery and a vegetable market. The tower’s agricultural production areas would be complemented by the project’s two other satellite locations — Beirut Park’s renovated wooden pavilion and an urban farm — that would be connected to each other via electric shuttle.  + Anastasia Elrouss Architects Images via Anastasia Elrouss Architects

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Conceptual eco-village empowers women in Beirut

Paleo-futuristic luxury tower stands out from a Quebec forest

December 11, 2019 by  
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Montreal-based architectural practice MU Architecture has proposed a “self-sustainable” escape in the deep forests of Quebec. Designed to mimic a giant totem or a stone cairn, the sculptural building would comprise 50 luxury housing units along with a suite of high-end amenities that include an indoor shooting range, a vast wine cellar and even a sky bar. Solely designed as a playground for the elite, the tower would rise to a height of more than 200 meters, and it would vastly stand out compared to its lush, natural surroundings. In a bid to justify the placement of a 48-story tower in the midst of pristine Quebec forest, MU Architecture explained that the luxury resort project, dubbed PEKULIARI, is “diametrically opposed with the concept of urban sprawl .” The tower would be wrapped in toned glass panels and a metal “exoskeleton” framing that gives the building the appearance of large rocks stacked atop one another. Related: A sleek artist studio with Passive House elements projects over a cliff “Unique in the world, this visionary and ambitious architecture project introduces harmonious osmosis between the human habitat and the natural habitat ,” the architecture firm said in a project statement. “Addressing a clientele eager to reconnect with nature and rejuvenate in peace, this world-class project offers an unparalleled exotic experience. PEKULIARI will make a significant contribution to the prestige of the region, generate a strong impact on the local economy and shine at an international level.” In addition to 50 luxury suites that range between 4,000 to 8,000 square feet each, the proposed building is designed to include an abundance of luxe amenities: a grocery store, a business center, a gym, a spa, a swimming pool, a sky bar, a greenhouse , a wine cellar, entertainment rooms, an indoor shooting range, a cigar lounge and more. Although the building would be powered by renewable energy, it seems easiest to access via private helicopter due to its location in an otherwise untouched forest — begging the question of how green this conceptual project really is. + MU Architecture Images via MU Architecture

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Paleo-futuristic luxury tower stands out from a Quebec forest

Luca Curci Architects proposes a self-sustainable Vertical City of the future

December 5, 2019 by  
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Italian architecture firm Luca Curci Architects has unveiled the Vertical City, a futuristic proposal for urban development comprising a series of modular, zero-energy skyscrapers anchored into the ocean floor. Envisioned as a completely self-sufficient settlement, the utopian city promises “healthier lifestyles” for the vertical city-building’s residents. The thought experiment was recently presented for the first time at the Knowledge Summit 2019 in Dubai last month. The Vertical City proposal comprises a super-tall, mixed-use residential building at its core surrounded by and connected to three civic-oriented towers and three crescent-shaped leisure buildings. All buildings would be built using modular, prefabricated elements that can be repeated horizontally as well as vertically. The Vertical City can also be expanded in parts and would be anchored into the sea bed close to the mainland. Related: WOHA unveils a lush, net-zero Singapore Pavilion for the 2020 World Expo The cylindrical buildings in the development are clad in photovoltaic glazing and punctuated with hexagonal openings that promote circulation of light and air. The central, 750-meter-tall residential tower would consist of 10 modular layers — each layer consists of 18 floors and includes a mix of homes, offices, stores and other facilities — to host a total of 25,000 people. The building would also offer more than 200,000 square meters of green space, which includes the public garden at the top of the building. “We will build a new way of living,” Luca Curci said in a press statement. “More sustainable . With more interconnected communities programs. Deleting suburbs. Reducing poverty.” In addition to the 25,000 people housed within the central residential tower, the Vertical City would service over 100,000 people who would travel to the city for work, school and medical care in the three adjacent towers that house offices, government departments, healthcare facilities and educational institutions. The three crescent-shaped buildings, called the Moons, offer lifestyle amenities such as hotels, wellness and spa centers, sport centers and shopping malls. + Luca Curci Architects Images via Luca Curci Architects

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Luca Curci Architects proposes a self-sustainable Vertical City of the future

Sculptural, tree-filled tower supports sustainable urbanism in Singapore

August 12, 2019 by  
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Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) recently completed the Robinson Tower, a contemporary and sculptural high-rise in Singapore that was created in collaboration with Associate Architect A61 . Designed with a mix of boutique retail and office spaces, the skyscraper champions the firm’s ideas of “sustainable urbanism” by engaging the public streetscape with floor-to-ceiling glazing and publicly accessible green space. To strengthen Singapore’s new slogan as a “City in a Garden,” the building features an abundance of greenery from an enclosed rooftop garden to the open-air garden atop the retail podium. The integration of greenery into Robinson Tower was in part because of Singapore’s Landscape Replacement Policy, a 2014 law that requires that any greenery lost to development must be replaced with publicly accessible greenery of equal area. Because the V-shaped site was already constrained by Market Street and Robinson Road, KPF decided to embed greenery inside of and on top of the building in addition to providing streetscape landscaping. The sculptural tower’s crystalline form takes cues from the angular terracotta roof of Lau Pa Sat, a historic building and food market nearby. The tower features 20 boutique office floors stacked atop a retail podium. Between the retail and office spaces is a manicured rooftop garden with mature trees. An enclosed rooftop garden crowns the building and, like the rest of the building, is wrapped in glass to provide marina views. Related: Singapore’s Marina One green-infused residential building will feature lush cloud forests “Robinson Tower follows in the footsteps of KPF’s work at Marina Bay Financial Centre, which first introduced the mixed-use model to Singapore,” said Robert Whitlock, design principal of KPF. “Even though that project was massive in scale, with a park integrated in its plan, this distinctive tower similarly embodies the integration of context, culture and sustainability with architecture.” Robinson Tower also houses KPF’s Singapore office, which was founded in 2018. + KPF Photography by Tim Griffith via KPF

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BIGs massive Lanescraper building may become Australias tallest tower

August 10, 2018 by  
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Bjarke Ingels Group has unveiled designs for the Lanescraper, a supertall building proposal that has been shortlisted for Melbourne’s Beulah Tower competition. Envisioned with a footprint of over 2.5 million square feet, the Lanescraper aims to serve as a bustling mixed-use destination housed in what could be the tallest tower in Australia. The $2 billion project would see a dramatic redevelopment of the post-industrial Southbank neighborhood, so-named after its location south of the Yarra River. Selected as one of six shortlisted designs, the Lanescraper reinterprets the concept of Melbourne’s laneways and block neighborhoods into a giant “vertical block” made up of a series of stacked and staggered volumes with laneway-inspired gaps in between. Rising to a height of nearly 1,200 feet, the Lanescraper will feature a mixed-use program with car parking, food and retail, interactive/discovery spaces and the BMW Experience Center at its lowest levels. Stacked above will be the entertainment and cultural options in addition to office and commercial space, childcare facilities and a hotel. The bulk of the building will be reserved for residential use, which occupies the uppermost levels. The design is developed around the idea of two cores—one large and one smaller—which lends itself to an optimized walking layout and circulation. The stacked and staggered boxes also help break down the mass of the building to a more human scale. The design was created in collaboration with Fender Katsalidis , ARUP, Jan Gehl, GTA Consultants, bloomimages, and Brick Visual. Related: BIG and CRA break ground on greenery-infused Singapore skyscraper “The stacked blocks between the cores extend upwards and interlock to provide connectivity and structural rigidity, appearing as a zipper of diverse programmatic functions that step back respectfully from Southbank Boulevard and Power Street,” explains Bjarke Ingels Group. “In doing so, the tower tapers inwards and negotiates the space between the surrounding buildings, minimizing vis-à-vis at the top and overshadowing of the public realm below. An evolution of the skyscraper beyond the proverbial ‘village-in-the-sky’ to a tower uniquely Melburnian: the LANESCRAPER.” + Bjarke Ingels Group Images via BIG

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BIGs massive Lanescraper building may become Australias tallest tower

Solar-powered home cuts a bold and sculptural silhouette in Melbourne

August 10, 2018 by  
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When Melbourne and Paris-based architecture firm Ola Studio was tapped to create a suburban single-family home in Melbourne , it based its design around the clients’ love for art as well as the industrial loft-like spaces of converted warehouses they were accustomed to. The end result is a partly gabled home that pays homage to its surrounding local and historic context while exuding an undeniably contemporary appearance. The house, named Ross, is powered using a solar photovoltaic array and also follows passive solar principles to minimize energy use. Set on a long rectangular lot in a diverse heritage precinct, the Ross house comfortably fits a family of five, their dog and an art collection. The home is split into two floors with the primary living spaces and a single bedroom on the ground floor, while the master bedroom, two secondary bedrooms and a sitting area are stacked above. Outdoor decks flank both sides of the home to encourage indoor-outdoor living; the family also has access to lawn space and a spacious pool. Ross’ sculptural roofline takes cues from its neighboring structures, both of which are white-painted, single-story period bungalows. The monochromatic color scheme and minimalist material palette is carried over from the exterior to the interior, which serves as a gallery for the client’s art collection. Related: A modular extension boasts a seamless indoor-outdoor living experience “The house is a bold sculptural piece; elegantly defined by its divisible realms,” explain the architects in a project statement. “This includes the public façade and entry, the living area within a secluded garden , and the private realm upstairs, each providing uniquely evocative environments for the public and residents. Upstairs is wrapped in black vertical aluminium angles and is a study in dealing with domestic privacy within the urban environment.” + Ola Studio Images by Derek Swalwell

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Solar-powered home cuts a bold and sculptural silhouette in Melbourne

Snhetta unveils striking new skyscraper for Manhattans Upper West Side

November 29, 2017 by  
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Snøhetta has unveiled a handsome skyscraper for Manhattan’s prestigious Upper West Side at 50 West 66th Street. Undeniably modern yet sensitive to its historic context, the striking mixed-use tower will soar to a height of 775 feet with 125 residential units. The chamfered form, cut into an angular shape, is “evocative of the chiseled stone of Manhattan’s geologic legacy,” say the architects. Snøhetta’s skyscraper comprises luxury residences stacked on top a mixed-use podium. The residential entrance will be located on 65th Street, while the entrance to a synagogue will be located on 66th. A large terrace is placed atop the podium on the 16th floor, where the building’s residential slab is set back from the multilevel outdoor plaza. The lushly planted terrace will offer views of the Hudson River, Central Park, and the city. Related: Times Square now has double the public space The architects carved away the skyscraper to create a dynamic form with a chiseled crown. Handset and textured limestone , bronze, and glass clad the building. Construction is slated to begin in Spring 2018. + Snøhetta Via ArchDaily Images by Snøhetta and Binyan Studios

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Carbon-neutral Caring Wood wins RIBA award for best new house in the UK

November 29, 2017 by  
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A modern, carbon-neutral take on the traditional English country house in Kent has won the Royal Institution of British Architects’ House of the Year award . Designed by James MacDonald Wright and Niall Maxwell , the rural dwelling called Caring Wood was praised for its eco-friendly design and multigenerational design—properties that RIBA president Ben Derbyshire believes are among the many ideas displayed at Caring Wood that will “influence UK housing for many years to come.” Designed for three generations of the same family, Caring Wood sports an eye-catching form with four tilting towers that take inspiration from traditional oast houses, agricultural buildings used for kilning hops. This unusual design that pays homage to the local vernacular is what granted it planning permission in the National Planning Policy Framework, which recognized it early on for its “outstanding architectural quality.” Locally sourced materials and craft traditions were used in construction, including handmade peg tiles, locally quarried ragstone, and coppiced chestnut shingles. The sculptural project also gives back to the landscape with 25,000 trees planted on the 84-acre estate. Low energy design principles maximize natural ventilation, daylighting, and passive stack ventilation , while clean green technologies are also incorporated and include solar panels, EV charging, and ground source heat pumps. Related: Solar-powered English country house offsets all its CO2 emissions “Beyond the impression of sublime craftsmanship and spatial grandeur this house offers, Caring Wood leads us to fundamentally question how we might live together in the future,” said RIBA House of the Year 2017 jury chair, Deborah Saunt. “At a time when we are increasingly atomised, individually preoccupied and lost in personalised digital worlds, designing homes where families come together – in their many permutations – is an increasingly important aim. Whilst this might seem to be a particular brief for one extended family, it is one taking huge risks in asking how we collectively might live inter-generationally as social structures evolve.” + MacDonald Wright Architects Via ArchDaily Images © James Morris

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Solar-powered skyscraper with worlds tallest ceramic facade unveiled for Dubai

October 19, 2017 by  
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UNStudio and Werner Sobek have unveiled plans for a new Dubai skyscraper guaranteed to turn heads with its twisted form and a ceramic-tile façade said to be the world’s tallest. Sculptural and functional, the beautiful Wasl Tower will cut down on energy costs with its use of solar panels and optimization of natural light. Hotel group Mandarin Oriental will operate the mixed-use skyscraper that will comprise a 250-room five-star hotel along with offices, residences, and public spaces. Located near the Burj Khalifa on the Sheikh Zayed Road, the 300-meter-tall Wasl Tower stands out from Dubai’s rigid and cold metal-and-glass skyline. The sinuous and asymmetric skyscraper will use a programmed lighting system tucked behind the facade’s fin-shaped ceramic tiles—angled to provide shade and let in filtered natural light—and make the building look as if it were breathing at night. The lights will be powered with solar panels installed atop the car park. Related: Dubai to expand massive solar park to include world’s tallest solar tower Glazing runs up along the full-height of the building like a curved, open seam and houses outdoor balconies and greenery in a “vertical boulevard” that culminates in a top-floor infinity pool. Seventeen elevators will service the building and its diverse stacked programs. “As the project strongly relates to and interconnects with Dubai’s urban experience, the aim is to make a visit to the Wasl Tower as attractive and contemporary as possible,” said UNStudio founder Ben van Berkel. “”As such, a dedicated concept of health, comfort and well-being throughout was developed for the building.” Wasl Tower is slated for completion in 2020. + UNStudio + Werner Sobek Via Dezeen

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Solar-powered skyscraper with worlds tallest ceramic facade unveiled for Dubai

Henning Larsen Architects dramatically pointed skyscraper will transform Manila skyline

September 6, 2017 by  
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Henning Larsen Architects just won an international competition for a new landmark building in the heart of Manila, Philippines. Designed in collaboration with landscape architects SLA and BuroHappold Engineering , the dramatically tapered high-rise for Bonifacio Global City is a sculptural beauty that combines Filipino traditional design with contemporary influences. The mixed-use building will be filled with natural daylight and prioritize access to nature. Rising to a height of 308 meters, the landmark tower is designed to redefine the skyline of Bonifacio Global City, a centrally located financial district in Manila . The high-rise will comprise state-of-the-art workspaces, restaurants, a civic center with exhibition spaces, and a public observatory at the top of the structure. The large public plaza that surrounds the building will be densely planted with tall trees and mimic the shade and ambiance of a Filipino tropical forest. The plaza serves as a protected public space for large gatherings and celebrations, a tradition emphasized in Filipino culture. Related: Incredible museum by Kengo Kuma will be set inside a lush nature-infused cave in Manila “We aimed to create a design that will be the benchmark of how a high-rise can give back to a city and its people. The project is characterized by a high degree of responsibility, in relation to not only materials and production but also regarding positive, social spaces encouraging intimacy and community,” says Claude Bøjer Godefroy, Partner and Design Director in Henning Larsen’s Hong Kong office. “This building represents a milestone for Manila and the Philippines. We aimed to make it a truly Filipino building by understanding and integrating elements of Filipino nature, culture and climate.” Trees grow inside the building and will be visible through the glazed facade. At night, the tower is illuminated and doubles as a kind of lighthouse for the city. + Henning Larsen Architects

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