This library shows how beautiful sustainable design builds community

April 5, 2017 by  
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This gorgeous new library just an hour’s drive from downtown Toronto is a true civic center with its welcoming light-filled spaces nestled into a hillside. Canadian design firm RDHA recently completed the green-roofed Waterdown Library in Hamilton, built to replace a smaller municipal building and designed with a strong focus on sustainability. The new 23,500-square-foot building houses the traditional library functions as well as several other civic spaces including two community multipurpose rooms, the Waterdown Public Archive, a satellite municipal services outlet, a community information office, and police services. The Waterdown Library’s cantilevered form draws inspiration from its surrounding landscape of the Niagara Escarpment, a massive rock ridge that overlooks Lake Ontario. RDHA writes: “The design process for this 23,500 square foot facility began with an acknowledgement of its dramatic site on the Niagara escarpment. Taking advantage of the topography to provide expression and access to the different programmatic elements in the building, the scheme engages and responds to the site by creating an architectural promenade that culminates in elevated south-facing views to Dundas street, the escarpment and Lake Ontario beyond.” By nestling the library into the hillside, the architects disguise the library’s bulk and create a building that looks one-story from the exterior but actually contains six levels. The slab-like building cantilevers over ten feet towards the southwest to mimic the escarpment’s rocky outcrop. Floor-to-ceiling glazing wraps around the building to lessen the library’s monolithic appearance. The building is also clad in four-inch-thick locally quarried limestone panels and sixteen-foot-high solar fins. Related: Golden Gate Valley Library is a Solar-Powered LEED Gold Renovation in San Francisco The library’s focus on energy efficiency begins with reliance on natural lighting thanks to the full-height glazing and sawtooth-style skylights. Solar heat gain is mitigated by the ceramic frit pattern on the double-glazed, argon-filled, low E-glass. Douglas fir used for solar shading and for interior cladding and furnishing was sourced from the demolished Hamilton Central Library. Recycled, low-VOC , and local materials are used throughout the building. A sloping green roof tops the library, while bioswales filter and funnel stormwater runoff into an underground rainwater collection system. The Waterdown Library has become a major gathering place for the Hamilton community and the greater region, and has seen a 150 percent increase in visitor numbers compared to the old library it replaced. + RDHA Via Architectural Record Images via Tom Arban

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This library shows how beautiful sustainable design builds community

Historic Missouri church rises from the ashes with an eco-friendly twist

April 3, 2017 by  
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When the 2011 catastrophic fire ravaged the historic Westport Presbyterian Church in Kansas City , much of the church’s structure and finishes were completely destroyed. Fortunately, however, the original limestone facade survived in good condition. Rather than knock down the building and start anew, Kansas City-based design firm BNIM reconstructed the iconic church, from the painstaking restoration of sacred components to the creation of a new addition that features modern and eco-friendly elements. Built in 1905, the 27,000-square-foot multi-story Westport Presbyterian Church is one of the most iconic buildings in Kansas City’s historic Westport community. BNIM and the community came together to rebuild the church and tackle the challenges of preserving original elements while crafting a space that was also dynamic and progressive. Parts of the church considered not sacred were deconstructed and large amounts of salvaged material —from the reclamation of 40,000 feet of pinewood framing material to the reuse of original limestone—were used in reconstruction. The restored and renovated church features a new addition with a 150-seat sanctuary, 40-seat chapel , gathering space, fellowship room, 3,000-square-foot multipurpose room, a 1,000-square-foot street-facing “community room”, administrative offices and office space that will be leased to a Westport area nonprofit. The renovation includes energy saving elements such as LEDs and contemporary stormwater management practices. All stained glass was restored and reinstalled in contemporary mounting. The project won an AIA Kansas Merit Award and an AIA Kansas City Citation Award. Related: Stunning see-through church is made from stacked weathered steel “This is one that put a smile on all our faces,” said an AIA Kansas City jury member. “There was a fire, and it destroyed just about everything on this church except for the stone walls. For the community to come together and rebuild this, and do it in such a thoughtful, elegant, and modern way, was something the jury really applauded.” Another jury member added: “It wasn’t just a restoration, it was a repositioning of the whole church itself. It made for a better building, and we think more connected to the community.” + BNIM Images via BNIM

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Historic Missouri church rises from the ashes with an eco-friendly twist

This stunning hotel in the Dolomites brings nature inside

April 3, 2017 by  
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Design studio noa* transformed an early 20th century hotel into a beautiful mountain-inspired building that brings nature indoors. Surrounded by the snow-capped Dolomites, the Tofana Hotel ‘Explorer’s Home’ enjoys a quiet location near the woods and a ski lift. The building’s asymmetrical shape draws inspiration from the Dolomite landscape, featuring zigzagging balconies with densely planted coniferous trees that give the building depth and a mountain-like appearance. Located in Italy’s Badia Valley, the newly refurbished Tofana Hotel captures the concept of an “Explorer’s Home.” Founded in 1933, the establishment has been passed down for three generations and is currently owned by Günther and Verena Frena, who share an enthusiasm for outdoor recreation. Inspired by the clients’ athletic lifestyles, the architects created a hotel in the image of a mountain with zigzagging terraces that look like climbing routes, while numerous trees and plants on the terraces help blend the building into the landscape. Stunning views of the Dolomites can be enjoyed from numerous angles. Related: Norwegian Mountaineering Centre mimics a dramatic snow-covered mountain “From building to landscape: the design celebrates the evolutionary transformation of an originally compact building – into a layered structural landscape that sustainably reflects its surroundings… the house brings nature into the house,” said architect Lukas Rungger. Large windows and spacious terraces allow natural light to penetrate deep into the building. The interior color scheme, materials palette, and spatial layout also draw inspiration from nature. The use of larch, linen, and natural stone paired with blue, green, and brown tones are suggestive of alpine meadows, biotopes, moss forests, and rock caves of the Badia Valley. The reception is likened to a “Base Station” with its gondola and visitors ascend to their “hut cabins,” or hotel suites. + noa* Images via noa*

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This stunning hotel in the Dolomites brings nature inside

University of Pennsylvania’s green-roofed New College House was built using recycled construction waste

September 12, 2016 by  
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Located at a major campus gateway, the 198,000-square-foot New College House (NCH) facade combines the University’s iconic red brick and limestone materials with large vertical glass towers that let in natural light , frame views, and give the building a modern appearance. The seven-story NCH includes suite-style residences to house 350 students, along with living spaces for faculty, graduate students, fellows, house deans, and residential advisers. Community is at the heart of the design and as such, the building has many shared common areas, including a movie-screening room, music practice spaces, and study and lounge areas on every floor. A large dining area with a kitchen is located on the top level. “In this city of neighborhoods, we sought to embrace the many scales of community that define the collegiate experience unique to Penn,” says Frank Grauman, design principal from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s Philadelphia office. “The New College House is, therefore, both inviting and secure, open and private, embodying the comfort of home, and the power to form a campus gateway worthy of this place.” Related: HWKN unveils designs for University of Pennsylvania’s bold Pennovation Center Built to meet LEED Silver standards, the NCH is topped with green eco-roofs with 95 percent water retention. The dining facility is covered with a sloping green roof that doubles as an open lawn. Stormwater will be further managed with a below-grade cistern, while a soil management system aims to reduce erosion. Low-flow and low-consumption plumbing fixtures installed throughout the building will help reduce water usage. Energy recovery units, high-efficiency lighting, and access to natural light will keep energy use to a minimum. + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Images © Jeffrey Totaro and Greg Benson

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University of Pennsylvania’s green-roofed New College House was built using recycled construction waste

Stormwater-savvy urban park turns permeable paving into a beautiful design asset

January 29, 2016 by  
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Stormwater-savvy urban park turns permeable paving into a beautiful design asset

Solar-powered Josey Pavilion beats wicked hot Texas summers without air-conditioning

August 31, 2015 by  
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Solar-powered Josey Pavilion beats wicked hot Texas summers without air-conditioning

Turenscape’s regenerative wetland park cleans up a post-industrial landscape in China

January 12, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Turenscape’s regenerative wetland park cleans up a post-industrial landscape in China Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ASLA , china , landscape architect , Landscape Architecture , Liupanshui , Liupanshui Minghu wetland park , native habitat , natural riverbank , regenerative landscape , Shuicheng River , stormwater management , stormwater retention , Turenscape , Turenscape landscape architecture , water cleanup , wetland park , wetlands

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Turenscape’s regenerative wetland park cleans up a post-industrial landscape in China

The Victorian Station Project Proposes a Green Park Renovation of an Aged London Train Station

October 16, 2012 by  
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Nelly Fuentes and Ian M. Ellis proposed a lush green renovation of London’s antiquated Victoria Station for London’s recent Green Infrastructure Ideas Competition . Hosted by the Garden Museum, the Landscape Institute, and the Mayor of London, the High Line-inspired competition sought to find innovative ways to integrate green spaces into the British Capital. Ellis and Fuentes proposal not only renews Victoria Station, but connects woodlands, grasslands and marshlands along the River Thames to the transit hub, introducing low-impact techniques for water management so as to protect urban ecosystems, establish new wildlife habitats and encourage exploration of the city. + Ian M. Ellis The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: green infrastructure , ian ellis , london design , nelly fuentes , pilmco wharf , river thames , stormwater management

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The Victorian Station Project Proposes a Green Park Renovation of an Aged London Train Station

Green Stream Linear Park: Vibrant New Public Space in São Paulo Could Help Alleviate Flash Flooding

December 19, 2011 by  
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Read the rest of Green Stream Linear Park: Vibrant New Public Space in São Paulo Could Help Alleviate Flash Flooding Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , Brasil , Brazil , davis brody bond , drainage , eco design , flash flooding , flooding , green architecture , Green Building , green design , green stormwater management , green stream linear park , Landscape Architecture , public park , sao Paulo , stormwater management , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , urban park , water issues , water retention

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Green Stream Linear Park: Vibrant New Public Space in São Paulo Could Help Alleviate Flash Flooding

HOW TO: Make Personalized Photo Pillows for Your Friends and Family

December 19, 2011 by  
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HOW TO: Make Personalized Photo Pillows for Your Friends and Family

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