A puzzle-like aluminum faade wraps around Bergens National Academy of the Arts

October 16, 2017 by  
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Snøhetta ’s recently completed National Academy of the Arts in Bergen is wrapped in an innovative prefab façade made of raw aluminum elements . The new facility is built to withstand the rainy climate of the Norwegian west coast and offer a durable, robust space where KMD’s 350 art and design students can learn and collaborate under one roof. The building replaces the former Bergen Academy of Art & Design (KHiB) and assembles the previously scattered faculty buildings under one roof. It has two main axes–one internal, dedicated to students and staff, and one external, open to the public. Related: Snøhetta unveils spectacular makeover for nation’s second-largest waterfall The most prominent features of the building are in the large project hall situated at the point where the two axes cross. The entrance is connected to a large outdoor plaza which makes the building inviting and engaged in a dialogue with Bergen’s city center. Related: Iridescent hand-folded metal panels clad Snøhetta’s Learning Center at Toronto’s Ryerson University Prefab raw aluminum elements clad the building’s exterior, with 900 varied sized seawater-durable crude aluminum elements protruding from the wall at varying distances. Large cantilevered box-shaped windows punctuate the rhythm of the metal surface. The crude aluminum surfaces can withstand the rainy coastal climate and will gradually weather and oxidize, heightening the variations in colors and textures. + Snøhetta Lead photo by Trond Isaksen

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A puzzle-like aluminum faade wraps around Bergens National Academy of the Arts

Huge battery in the UK holds the energy equivalent of 500K smartphone batteries

October 16, 2017 by  
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A large new battery storage project could help the United Kingdom’s grid handle power from more renewable sources . The 10 megawatt (MW) lithium-ion battery , on the grounds of a biomass plant in Sheffield, is contained inside four 40-foot shipping containers . It can hold the same amount of energy as around 500,000 smartphone batteries. UK energy company E.ON installed the battery , called the Blackburn Meadows battery for its location at the Blackburn Meadows biomass plant, and connected it to the grid . They said in their statement the battery has the same power as around 100 family cars. Related: Tesla nears halfway mark on world’s largest battery installation in South Australia The Blackburn Meadows battery is one of the first of what The Guardian described as a fleet of industrial-scale battery plants. National Grid, the firm that owns England and Wales’ electricity transmission network, requested new technologies to help keep the grid balanced, a challenge as more renewable sources come online – since the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. The large batteries are a response to that request. When supply is high, the batteries can store power, and when supply drops, they can provide power. National Grid commercial development manager Leon Walker said in a statement, “Using battery storage is a significant development for managing the national grid. It’s an ultra-fast way of keeping electricity supply and demand balanced. Over four years we estimate that this service will save the system operator around £200 million.” While the Blackburn Meadows battery is currently one of the largest in Britain, The Guardian pointed out it won’t be long before others even bigger are built. They said British Gas’ parent company Centrica is building a 49MW battery facility, and EDF Energy is also building one that’s the same size. Their article included a graphic saying renewables provided almost 30 percent of the UK’s power between April and June of this year. Via The Guardian and E.ON Images via E.ON and Darren Cool / E.ON

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Snhettas ready-made cabin can fit into any landscape

May 4, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a Snøhetta -designed home, this may be the opportunity you’ve been looking for. The renowned Norwegian design firm just unveiled a beautiful prefabricated cabin designed to pop up in and complement any landscape. Created in collaboration with Rindalshytter , Norway’s leading producer of leisure homes, the Gapahuk cabin features an environmentally friendly footprint with off-grid capabilities. Designed for adaptability, Gapahuk can suit an array of climates and terrains from high mountaintops to lakesides. The cabin is built primarily from wood and uses a twisting roof that protects the interior from the elements. “Focus has been put on using high quality and low maintenance materials that can be locally sourced and are environmentally friendly,” writes Snøhetta. Related: Gorgeous forest home will fulfill your tiny cabin dreams Natural light pours into the Gapahuk through the cabin’s large windows that also frame views of the surrounding landscape. Created with an emphasis on social design, the compact cabin interior prioritizes common areas with its large open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living room. In contrast, the cabin’s three bedrooms are moderately sized. The building also features an outdoor patio space to emphasize connection with the outdoors. + Snøhetta

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Times Square now has double the public space

April 20, 2017 by  
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The most visited destination in the United States now has double the public space—an amazing feat unimaginable just ten years ago. When New York City temporarily closed part of Broadway Street at Times Square to traffic and created a pedestrian plaza in 2009, many dismissed the experiment as foolish. But the removal of cars in favor of public space proved an incredible success and with the pilot project turned permanent, Times Square was forever reinvented. Today, the city announced the official completion of their reconstruction project: a 2.5-acre permanent pedestrian-only public plaza on Broadway designed by architecture firm Snøhetta. With an average of 45 million visitors each year—many of who look up at the billboards instead of the path in front—Times Square is notorious for its pedestrian traffic. Before the addition of pedestrian plazas, the exposure to vehicular traffic, slow-moving pedestrians , and small sidewalks made visiting Times Square an unpleasant, polluted, and sometimes unsafe experience. However, with the re-direction of vehicular traffic and the return of public space to pedestrians, Times Square dramatically transformed into a welcoming civic space. Pedestrian injuries decreased by 40 percent and crime in the overall area decreased by 20 percent. Air pollution has even fallen by as much as 60 percent. This week marks the official opening of the completed Times Square reconstruction project, designed by Snøhetta and completed in 2016. Together with the NYC Department of Transportation , Department of Design and Construction, and the Times Square Alliance, the architecture firm carved 2.5 acres of pedestrian space out of a project site known as the “Bowtie” in the heart of the Times Square Theater District, bounded by Broadway and 7th Avenue between 42nd and 47th streets. The first phase of the pedestrian street opened to the public in spring 2014. An overwhelming majority of New Yorkers and visitors agreed that the plaza has enhanced Times Square and made it a more pleasant place. Related: Snøhetta Selected to Design A New Car-Free Times Square “Conceived as a project whose success would be measured not only by its new aesthetic but also the long-term physical, psychological and economic benefits on its community, the reinvention of Times Square stands as a model for how the design of our urban landscapes can improve health and well-being of its users while providing an important stage for public gathering,” said Craig Dykers, Architect and Founding Partner of Snøhetta. The Bowtie is designed to accommodate multiple speeds of pedestrian circulation—330,000 people move through Times Square on average every day—using subtle design cues. Street furniture and other design elements also create a welcoming space to linger. Conceived as “an outdoor room right in the heart of Manhattan,” the plaza includes ten fifty-foot-long granite benches plugged into the city’s power grid and connected to 400-amp, 200-amp, and 20-amp power sources. The reconstruction project also allowed for major overhaul of outdated infrastructure, including the sewer lines below. + Snøhetta Images © Michael Grimm

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Worlds northernmost plus-energy office could spark an energy revolution

January 18, 2017 by  
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Building the first office in Norway that produces more energy than it consumes is already a hefty goal, but real estate developer Emil Eriksrød wants to take it another step further. The young entrepreneur has a vision for inspiring the rest of the world with a plus-energy office building, the northernmost of its kind in the world that will be located in Porsgrunn, a tiny Norwegian town with a population of less than 35,000. Designed by Snøhetta , the Powerhouse Telemark features a unique diamond shape optimized for harvesting solar energy and minimizing energy expenditure. Eriksrød and Snøhetta see the ambitious Powerhouse Telemark project as an opportunity to put Norway on the map for energy solutions. It’s also part of Eriksrød’s goal to inspire commercial real estate developers worldwide to invest in energy-plus buildings in cities of all sizes. “I hope we will be plagiarised and copied, replicated in all seven continents,” said Eriksrød. “This building should do wonders in lowering the bar for daring to do both spectacular and environmentally forward buildings, hopefully in a combination. Just imagine, when Porsgrunn has the customer base for such a building, imagine how many other places that have the same potential. There are tens of thousands of cities with a bigger population in the world.” Related: Ultra modern PV+ House boasts scissored solar panels for a super energy boost The $17 million Powerhouse Telemark has a site-specific design with a diamond-shaped form optimized for harvesting solar energy . Heat exchangers and heat pumps will also produce electricity and heat for the building. The 11-story office building will comprise 6,500 square meters of space with modern office facilities, a foyer, gym, canteen, and a roof terrace surrounded by climbing plants. “This project proves that energy positive buildings can pay off commercially. It took us about a year to have the renters needed to make the building profitable. The world needs a lot of energy positive buildings. Hopefully this great building in our little town, can be the start of thousands of similar Powerhouses,” said Eriksrød. The project is slated for completion in 2019. + Snøhetta Photo illustration by Loft Visual Group/Snøhetta, renderings by Snøhetta

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Snhetta designs nature-filled Beirut bank with a focus on sustainability

August 11, 2016 by  
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Snøhetta’s proposal for the Banque Libano Francaise (BLF) in Beirut beat out a shortlist of 30 other designs. The new BLF headquarters will comprise both public and private spaces, with private offices located near the top of the building and public spaces created in the cut-away spaces at the building base. Transparency and connectivity with the community are also major design objectives and will be achieved with ample glazing and the building’s street level accessibility. The outdoor terraces also serve as “social hubs” around which the working spaces are organized. Related: Snøhetta unveils designs for Temple University’s green-roofed library in Philadelphia A statement in the Snøhetta press release writes: “Achieving a development that is sustainable is paramount in responding to future user requirements. The parameters for sustainability will evolve with the user requirements and project specific criteria. The overriding factors will be ensuring: Economic Sustainability – the project must be fundamentally economically viable; Social Sustainability – the project must give back to the city and complement the existing urban context; and Environmental Sustainability – the project must respond to the environment both in regard to energy consumed and with regard the embodied energy of the structure.” + Snøhetta Images via Snøhetta

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These spectacular alpine cabins will awaken your inner adventurer

March 21, 2016 by  
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Iridescent hand-folded metal panels clad Snøhetta’s Learning Center at Toronto’s Ryerson University

December 8, 2015 by  
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SANAA’s layered design proposal wins the Budapest gallery competition

December 2, 2015 by  
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San Francisco’s first Passive House apartment complex produces so much energy it powers its own Microgrid

December 2, 2015 by  
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