Origami-inspired Aqualagon water park is a site-sensitive extension of the landscape

July 9, 2018 by  
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With their bright, multicolored slides and tubes, most water parks stick out like unsightly sore thumbs in the landscape—but that’s not the case for the site-sensitive Water Park Aqualagon in Villages Nature Paris Marne-la-Vallée, France. Designed by Paris-based Jacques Ferrier architecture , the enclosed water park features a folded and glazed design that takes inspiration from the Japanese art of origami and is largely informed by site conditions. Conceived as an extension of the forested landscape, Aqualagon features full-height glazing, lush greenery, and renewable systems including geothermal energy and water recycling. Spread out across 86,000 square feet next to a large body of water, the Water Park Aqualagon meets the High Quality Environment standard , a certification for green buildings in France. Site studies that mapped the direction of the winds and the path of the sun informed the position and layout of the water park’s multifaceted, glazed building. To make the most of cooling cross-breezes in summer and to protect against cold northeasterly winter winds, the aquatic park opens up towards the west and backs up to the forest. The orientation also optimizes sunlight in winter while minimizing solar gain in summer. The light-filled interior features water slides and multiple pools integrated into a naturalistic landscape of stone-covered terrain, living trees and waterfalls. Continuous outdoor terraces project from the building towards the lake; these walkways overlook stunning views of Villages Nature Paris Marne-la-Vallée. A transparent dome tops the water park and offers a remarkable space for visitors to swim while basking in views of the sky. Related: PHOTOS: Cacheuta Thermal Water Park is a summer escape wedged in Argentina’s Andes Mountains “Like an origami sculpture, our proposal for the aquatic park resembles an unfolding landscape, culminating at around 35 meters. It is a built landscape, rising into the sky,” explains Jacques Ferrier architecture. “The structure is clearly visible from the surrounding area – it becomes a point of reference and a symbol of Villages Nature.” + Jacques Ferrier architecture Images by Luc Boegly

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Origami-inspired Aqualagon water park is a site-sensitive extension of the landscape

Mecanoo unveils greenery-filled social housing for Kaohsiung

May 4, 2018 by  
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Hot on the heels of their recently completed National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts, Dutch firm Mecanoo unveiled their competition-winning social housing designs for the southern Taiwan city. The mixed-use complex will offer 234 units of housing, green space, and publicly accessible programming. Located between a new green corridor and an existing neighborhood along the railway, the project will kick off a larger urban redevelopment scheme in Kaohsiung . The 307,850-square-foot Kaohsiung social housing project comprises two buildings flanking a new green space. Housing units, which vary between 269 and 807 square feet, will cater to a wide variety of users from students and young families to the elderly and people with disabilities. The ground floors of both buildings will be zoned for commercial use to engage the surroundings. The massing of the buildings is optimized to reduce solar heat gain inside the apartments. Related: Mecanoo designs gorgeous green-roofed train station for Kaohsiung The tallest building on the east houses the majority of the apartments and is topped with community facilities while the shorter west tower includes more public-facing facilities such as a senior day-care center. “Distributed in several floors and connected by green terraces , the Sky Park works as a social hub open to the public, which brings together residents and the local community,” said Mecanoo of the greenery-filled complex. White stucco will be applied to the facade that’s partially infilled with green and white ceramic tiles—a departure from the local norm where entire facades are typically covered in tile. + Mecanoo Via Architect Magazine Images via Mecanoo

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Austin Maynard Architects restores a beach shack in their crusade against McMansions

February 6, 2017 by  
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Austin Maynard Architects is taking a stand against McMansions. Tired of seeing Australia’s handsome old shacks demolished to make way for less culturally interesting housing, the Australian architecture firm completed a beautiful renovation and addition to an old beach shack in the town of Lorne. The restored project, called the Dorman House, is a lovely celebration of the Australian beach shack vernacular with stunning ocean views and a modern and eco-friendly design. The Dorman House comprises two parts: the restoration of an old post-war beach shack that remains mostly unchanged, and the addition of a contemporary new extension. The clients, Kate and Grant, had asked Austin Maynard Architects to preserve the original shack and add an extension that would allow for clear and elevated ocean views without dominating or damaging the existing structure. Although the simplest solution would have been to bulldoze the existing shack and start anew, the architects and clients sought the more sustainable solution. “Modest, humble shacks are being replaced with incongruous and unnecessary McMansions ,” wrote the architects. “Increasingly we see a duplication of the suburban home where once stood the shack. Through this process we not only lose important parts of our built heritage, we also lose a significant part of our social and emotional diversity. We lose parts of ourselves. At Austin Maynard Architects we do our best to avoid the simple temptation of demolishing and replacing. Where extensions are required/desired, we aim to retain and respect the existing shack and its scale.” Related: Gorgeous solar-powered THAT House is an eco-friendly rebel “with just enough space” The new extension is an elevated timber box that sits atop the original shack and comprises an open-plan kitchen, dining, and living room accessed via a spiral staircase. The interior is lined with Silvertop Ash and opens up to gorgeous ocean views and breezes through full-height windows. Most of the glass faces north and all windows are double glazed with thermally separated frames, while solar shades are in place to minimize solar heat gain in summer. The exterior cladding will develop a gray patina over time. The structure directly below the timber box is clad in polycarbonate and is used as a light-filled bedroom. Recycled timber decking was used in the construction and locally sourced materials were also used wherever possible. + Austin Maynard Architects Images via Austin Maynard Architects

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Austin Maynard Architects restores a beach shack in their crusade against McMansions

Rammed earth walls form the core of this modern Australian home

December 12, 2016 by  
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Innovative, eco-friendly materials and contemporary design form the basis for Willow Grove, a modern home in the Australian farming community of the same name. Finnis Architects designed the small three-bedroom house for a couple that sought a slower pace of life away from city living. Rammed earth walls made from locally sourced materials serve as the focal point of the design, which comprises two wings that spread out and overlook views of the countryside. The rammed earth walls , which can be seen at the entrance, cut through the home and create a connection between the interior and exterior. The warm-toned and textured look of rammed earth creates a sharp contrast with the dark polished concrete floors, and that dichotomy is enhanced by a minimalist materials and color palette. The facade is clad in corrugated metal sheeting as a reference to the rural area’s corrugated country sheds. Related: 8 inexpensive earth homes almost anyone can afford The wedge-shaped entry framed by the angled rammed earth walls open up to two wings on either side. The west wing houses the open-plan living area, dining room, and kitchen. The wing to the east contains two guest bedrooms, a bathroom, laundry room, and a master suite. Large windows frame hillside views and let in natural light , while large overhanging eaves mitigate solar heat gain and accentuate the roofline’s winged shape. + Finnis Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Finnis Architects , by Nic Granleese

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Triptyque gives a 1970s office building an eco-friendly makeover in Brazil

October 10, 2016 by  
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Located within the heart of Rio de Janeiro’s business and economic district, the 85-meter-tall RB12 sports a new bioclimatic facade with zigzagging glazed panels and louvers that reduce solar heat gain but allow desired natural light in. Natural ventilation flows throughout the building. Plant-filled balconies punctuate the sculptural facade and aid in natural cooling. The landscaping is irrigated with harvested rainwater, which is also used to flush the toilets. Related: Bioclimatic Rio Branco 12 Tower to Set New Standards for Green Offices in Brazil “RB12 embodies an innovative new concept of sustainable development based on energy production, thus following the global trend of green-refurbishment, which consists in adapting and upgrading old buildings in order to align them with sustainable development criteria,” say the architects. “Among the environmental requirements that RB12 comprises are: thermal comfort, managing water consumption, optimizing natural light system, clean energy production through solar panels and fuel cells .” RB12 was redeveloped as part of Porto Maravilha, an area undergoing urban revitalization to improve living conditions in downtown Rio de Janeiro. + Triptyque Via ArchDaily Images via Triptyque

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Triptyque gives a 1970s office building an eco-friendly makeover in Brazil

Dynamic solar-shading screen wraps around a garden-filled home

July 5, 2016 by  
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Located on a highly visible corner site at the junction of two roads, the Kyeong Dok Jai house draws the eye with its beautiful asymmetric screen that wraps around the building like a white veil. The architects call the front facade an “eco-screen” that’s made of white aluminum pipes and helps mitigate solar heat gain and provides a noise buffer , privacy, and security. The pipe-screen’s curvaceous shape was inspired by Korean-style “cheoma” eaves, while the perforated concrete fence is a nod to the traditional stone fence. Related: Stunning South Korean Courtyard Home Balances Tradition With Modern Design The home interior is split into four levels and a roof, all of which are organized along the south axis and divided into three wedge-shaped spaces. “All the program of spaces of this house were laid out as the touring course that has dramatic interest of “strolling” through the inside and outside of this house, visually and spatially,” write the architects. Garden space and greenery are woven throughout the home and bathed in natural light . Residents also have access to a garden on the roof. + IROJE KHM Via ArchDaily Images via IROJE KHM , by Jong Oh Kim

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Curvaceous Corten steel office building beats the heat with solar-savvy design

June 30, 2016 by  
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The 4,905-square-foot office building is set on a small corner site abutting a road junction in full view to pedestrians and motorists. To mitigate the harsh solar rays from the south, the architects created a horseshoe-shaped building pointed towards the north that wraps around a cooling, north-facing pool. On the south side of the building, the architects left a void for a small grass courtyard shaded by the building. The Corten steel external walls extend far beyond the building’s internal volumes to serve as solar-shading fins. Related: The Courtyard House Battles Extreme Heat With Passive Strategies In India The office interior is accessed via an entrance on the northwest corner and is organized around a two-meter-wide passage runs the length of the outdoor pool. The various office spaces branch out from the passageway. Large north-facing glazing and other glazed incisions illuminate the workspaces with natural light and frame views of the cityscape and the oasis-like pool, but are shielded from harsh solar by the extended Corten steel walls. “The design creates an energy efficient building in response to the climate of the location and a distinct identity,” write the architects. + Sanjay Puri Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Sanjay Puri Architects , by Vinesh Gandhi

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Curvaceous Corten steel office building beats the heat with solar-savvy design

Net-zero Spring Ranch boasts enviable views of California’s Central Valley

March 17, 2016 by  
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Light-filled Shenzhen Art Museum and Library protects against solar heat gain

December 28, 2015 by  
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This incredible giant ‘Couch’ building cleverly doubles as both bleachers and a clubhouse

October 14, 2015 by  
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