Natural light floods this solar-powered business school in Frankfurt

October 26, 2017 by  
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According to the World Green Building Council , students score higher on tests and learn up to 26% faster when placed in rooms lit by natural light. Danish practice Henning Larsen Architects took this report to heart when they designed the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, a light-filled academic building that officially opens today. Powered by solar and wind energy, this sustainability-minded business school takes cues from its urban surroundings while setting “new standards for transparent and open learning in the world of business and finance.” Transparency, community, and visibility are key to the design of the 32,790-square-meter Frankfurt School of Finance & Management . To open the school up the urban setting, the architects centered the development around the Street of Knowledge, a long public atrium that echoes The Zeil, one of Frankfurt’s oldest commercial streets. A wide variety of glass-fronted rooms branch off on either side of the Street of Knowledge in two north-south facing volumes that reinforce the atrium’s likeness to a real city street. Above the third floor terrace, these two parallel buildings turn into five offset towers of flexible 400-square-meter office units. Designed to the DGNB Platinum standard, the school reduces demands of primary energy by 60 percent as compared to the German energy saving ordinance (EnEV) standards. Computer simulations and calculations led the architects to optimize the building shape and facade, constructed with a mix of opaque and transparent elements, early on in the design process to minimize energy needs, solar radiation, noise pollution, and wind. Rooftop photovoltaics and a wind turbine supplement energy needs, while rainwater retention systems slow the effects of intense rainfall. The skylight and careful building orientation maximize access to natural light . Related: Frankfurt named the most sustainable city on the planet “As architects we know that light is one of the most important factors for learning,” said Partner and Design Principal at Henning Larsen, Louis Becker. “It helps improving our focus and performance. My hope and ambition is that the varied daylight-filled spaces we have created for Frankfurt School of Finance & Management will contribute to the important task of educating students that will excel within their field and give something back to the city of Frankfurt.” + Henning Larsen Images by Henning Larsen/Karsten Thormaehlen

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Natural light floods this solar-powered business school in Frankfurt

LEED-seeking brick building in Montreal hides funky geode-like courtyard

October 6, 2017 by  
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Montreal’s ADHOC Architectes  created a beautiful residential building whose ubiquitous brick facade hides a crystalline-filled courtyard—inspired by the geode. Located in the trendy Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood, La Géode’s many sustainable features are expected to earn the project Canada’s first LEED v4 certification for a multi-unit building. At first glance, the building looks like any other in the area. However, the brick facade – much like a geode – hides a crystalline treasure on the interior. The unique design of the five-unit residential building began with optimizing the footprint to create a layout that would be conducive to a quality living environment, based on maximum efficiency. By blending the street entry and alley space, the architects created a central entryway that leads into the inner courtyard. Related: Beekeeper built dream hexagonal house without ‘hateful’ right angles A small walkway covered in grey and white panels leads into the open-air courtyard , covered in the same facade. The space was strategically designed to create a sense of privacy for the residents as well as a pleasant outdoor space for socializing. In addition to creating a healthy communal space, the courtyard helps provide natural light and cross ventilation of the units, all of which come with private loggias that open up to the exterior. The walls were also built to have high acoustic performance, blocking out a lot of street noise, again enhancing residents’ quality of life. A large part of the design was focused on providing sufficient greenery for the tenants. Various shrub, climbing species and trees were planted to grow freely on the floor and the walls of the inner courtyard, adding to its healthy-living atmosphere. This greenery, along with the building’s high energy performance and various green features, are expected to earn the building a LEED v4 certification , a first for this kind of structure in Canada. + ADHOC Architectes Photography by Adrien Williams

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LEED-seeking brick building in Montreal hides funky geode-like courtyard

New Orleans declares state of emergency in anticipation of Tropical Storm Nate

October 6, 2017 by  
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In the midst of one of the most active hurricane seasons in modern United States history, New Orleans braces for impact as Tropical Storm Nate barrels through Central America en route to the American Gulf Coast. Nate, which has already claimed the lives of at least 22 people in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, may make landfall in New Orleans as a hurricane after having gained strength over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans, warned those living in vulnerable areas to relocate to higher ground. “There is no need to panic,” Landrieu said in a statement. “Be ready and prepare. Get a plan. Prepare to protect your personal property.” In addition to the state of emergency in New Orleans, evacuation orders have already been issued for parts of Louisiana, including St. Bernard Parish near the city, while storm surge and hurricane warnings have been issued for the neighboring Alabama and Mississippi coastal areas. As much as a foot of rain is expected in the region, with storm surges of four to eight feet. Related: New Orleans golf course transformed into city’s biggest urban farm with an Eco-Campus As of early Friday morning EST, Tropical Storm Nate was departing from Honduras and rejoining the waters of the Caribbean, with maximum sustained winds of 45 MPH. It is expected to strengthen as it crosses Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where maximum sustained winds of 60 MPH are predicted. Although the storm is passing, parts of Central America are expected to receive up to 30 inches of rain. The storm has already delivered powerful downpours, which have caused mudslides and flash floods. 15 people in Nicaragua and 7 people in Costa Rica have been killed as a result of Tropical Storm Nate. Via ABC News Images via ABC News  and Phil Roeder

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New Orleans declares state of emergency in anticipation of Tropical Storm Nate

Ole Scheeren modular office building looks like a giant Jenga tower

October 6, 2017 by  
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Architect Ole Scheeren unveiled images of his first project in Europe- a residential tower that will offer panoramic views of Frankfurt’s skyline. The designer will overhaul an entire 1970s office block to create 200 living units on the banks of the River Main. Each apartment will consist of a modular unit that can be inserted into the framework of the building, with some recessed and others cantilevering out into space. The Riverpark Tower will be developed in cooperation with GEG, one of Germany ’s most prestigious real estate investment platforms. It will house 220 units on 23 floors, ranging in size from small apartment to four-room suites. Related: Thailand’s tallest building opens with new green spaces for Bangkok “This project is about the positive reinterpretation of an existing structure,” said the architect. “It’s quite a serious intervention, prompted by necessity not ambition,” he added. Modular , glass-fronted units will be inserted into the existing, free-spanning structural framework. They will cantilever out at some points, introducing an element of irregularity to the silhouette. New loft apartments will occupy the space at the four corners of the building which will be cut away at the top. + Buro Ole Scheeren Via Dezeen

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Ole Scheeren modular office building looks like a giant Jenga tower

Kengo Kuma unveils stunning SUTEKI house for Oregons Street of Dreams

August 2, 2017 by  
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Acclaimed architect Kengo Kuma has crafted a stunning cross-cultural home that combines the best of American modern amenities with traditional Japanese design principles. Located in Oregon’s NW Natural Street of Dreams in Portland, the sustainably built SUTEKI home promotes healthy living with its strong connection to the outdoors in both its use of natural materials and garden surroundings. The master-built home is the first of its kind constructed by Japanese homebuilder, Suteki, in the United States. As with many of Kuma’s architectural projects, nature is a big theme in the SUTEKI home. A natural materials palette used throughout the home shows off sustainably harvested wood , from the soaring Olympia wall built of timber to the regional Alaskan yellow cedar in the louvre walls. Natural stone and tile are also prominently featured. A high level of detail and craftsmanship is seen around the home, especially in the origami-inspired ceiling that creates a feeling of fluidity and movement. To deepen the connection with the outdoors and create a restorative living experience, Kuma incorporated seamless indoor and outdoor living spaces built around nature. Large openings frame views of the outdoors and every view is optimized inside and out. Portland Japanese Garden curator Sadafumi Uchiyama designed the garden and used “borrowed scenery” principles to incorporate the surrounding landscape—a giant oak and sequoia tree, and a stream that runs along the property. Related: Kengo Kuma unveils nature-filled Eco-Luxury Hotel for Paris “My collaboration with Suteki is owed to our shared view of the sublimity of nature,” said Kuma. “Embracing the surroundings, insisting on natural materials, sustainability and transparency creates a space where people can experience nature more completely and intimately.” The placement and orientation of the home contributes to its energy efficiency . The Suteki company plans to build more sustainably built homes in the Portland market in the near future. + Street of Dreams Images by Justin Krug Photography

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Kengo Kuma unveils stunning SUTEKI house for Oregons Street of Dreams

Light-filled timber home is a modern zen haven in Seattle

July 18, 2017 by  
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How do you combine countryside tranquility with urban style? MW|Works Architecture+Design strikes a thoughtful balance in Helen Street, a beautiful modern home with handsome craftsmanship and careful attention to detail. Filled with light and views of the landscape, this lovely Seattle home is built largely of wood, from the heavy reclaimed timber cladding to the naturally weathered cedar plank roof. Helen Street was commissioned by clients who had been living on a rural property east of Seattle but found themselves drawn back to the vibrancy of city life. Thus, the architects were tasked to create a home with a smaller footprint than the client’s former house that still retained the peaceful setting of the countryside as well as easy indoor/outdoor living. The new-build is located on an urban corner lot in the walkable Madison Valley neighborhood next to Washington Park Arboretum , and comfortably houses the two clients and their two dogs. Related: Shapeshifting Tent House blurs the line between indoor and outdoor spaces A courtyard is located at the heart of the home, bringing natural light and greenery deep in the interior. “Territorial view corridors helped identify where the building could be very transparent and where privacy was more important,” wrote the architects. “The material palette was simple with a largely glassy main level with solid volumes crisply detailed in cement panels.” Naturally weathered cedar planks clad the roof plane and master suite, while stacked and blackened reclaimed timber clad the exterior. + MW|Works Architecture+Design Images by Andrew Pogue

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Light-filled timber home is a modern zen haven in Seattle

Worlds first porcelain courtyard opens at Londons V&A Museum

June 30, 2017 by  
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London’s world-renowned Victoria & Albert Museum has made art even more accessible to the masses with the completion of the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter. Set to open today, this beautiful and unique civic space includes the “first outdoor porcelain courtyard in the world” as well as a new subterranean exhibition hall. Designed by AL_A , this alternative museum entrance is the V&A’s largest architectural intervention in over a century. Created over the course of six years, the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter transformed the museum’s former boiler house yard into a new arts destination. The design includes the underground Sainsbury Gallery, a flexible 1,100-square-meter column-free exhibition gallery; the Sackler Courtyard, the world’s first porcelain public courtyard; the Blavatnik Hall, a new entrance into the V&A from Exhibition Road; and the Aston Webb Screen, a newly created colonnade with 11 openings. The £54.5 million project is part of the museum’s FuturePlan scheme that has updated two thirds of the V&A’s public spaces in the past 15 years. The V&A Exhibition Road Quarter is envisioned as bridge between the city and the museum, and a reflection of the founding mission to democratize access to culture and education. “The V&A Exhibition Road Quarter reframes the relationship between street and Museum, breaking down the barrier between the two,” says a press release. “We have created a less formal, more public place that is as much of the street as it is of the Museum, attracting and welcoming in new audiences, and making ideas of accessibility and democracy very explicit.” Related: Robots weave an insect-inspired carbon-fiber forest in London The Sackler Courtyard is paved with 11,000 handmade porcelain tiles produced after two years of research and development. This new public space also hosts a cafe with furniture designed by AL_A and reveals architecturally significant facades and details never seen before by the public, such as the sgraffito decoration on the side of the Henry Cole Wing. Over 22,000 cubic meters of earth were removed from the site, 99% of which was recycled. In celebration of the project’s opening, the V&A is hosting REVEAL, a free, week-long festival from June 30 to July 7. + AL_A Images © Hufton + Crow

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Worlds first porcelain courtyard opens at Londons V&A Museum

Atlanta makes rainbow crosswalks permanent as a symbol of unity

June 15, 2017 by  
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A vibrant visual symbol of pride will remain a permanent part of the urban fabric in Atlanta , Georgia. For Atlanta Pride Week 2015, rainbow crosswalks were installed at the intersection of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue, and this week on the anniversary of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting, Mayor Kasim Reed made the colorful crosswalks permanent. The intersection of Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street in Atlanta’s Midtown is considered a hub for the LGBTQ community in the city, so Reed said it was fitting the location should feature the rainbow flag. He announced the decision one year after the shooting in Orlando, Florida in which 49 people lost their lives. Related: 12 comfort dogs dispatched to grief-stricken Orlando Reed said in a statement, “For the past year, Atlanta has grieved alongside Orlando . Our city has rallied around our LGBT community, and we have not shied from demonstrating our unity and solidarity. And with this spirit, I cannot think of a more important time to reaffirm our unwavering and unqualified support for our LGBTQ residents…We must never forget that love defeats hate, and light defeats the darkness.” Over 22,200 people to date have signed a petition requesting the city make the rainbow crosswalks permanent. Advocate Sarah Rose, who started the petition, said the community has been vocal about their desire to keep the rainbow crosswalks in place. Reed said symbols of unity matter, and he would keep the crosswalks year-round “in recognition of the outstanding and ongoing contributions of Atlanta’s LGBTQ community to our city.” Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell , who’s currently campaigning for the role of mayor in the 2017 election, told local channel WSB-TV in May, “I believe this is a model for what we can do for the entire city. There are neighborhoods that may want to show their neighborhood spirit at a particular intersection and this can be the model.” Via HuffPost and the City of Atlanta Images via screenshot

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Atlanta makes rainbow crosswalks permanent as a symbol of unity

Reflective arrow-shaped studio is a futuristic space for displaying art

June 15, 2017 by  
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When Mr. White retired, he had an unusual building request: he wanted a studio where he could work and display his art that had few windows but provided plenty of natural light – all while enhancing his garden. The result looks like a futuristic space dwelling fell out of the sky and into Victoria. Australian architects Nervegna Reed Architecture and PH Architects teamed up to create the Arrow Studio, a private art gallery that provides a secure space for a local art connoisseur to safely display his private collection. Located in the outskirts of Hanging Rock, Victoria, the small art gallery was created for an art collector who wanted to securely display his private collection and have room for a studio space. The client requested that the structure have minimal windows for not only security reasons, but also to create sufficient wall space to hang the artwork. He also requested that the few windows that were installed be framed in such a way that would impede intruders from breaking in. Related: Century-old packing shed brought back to life as a contemporary art gallery According to the architects, these specific criteria led them to create a unique arrow-shaped design by starting with a rectangular volume whose interior was pushed inwards from one end, jutting out from the other. Curiously, this shape allowed the designers take advantage of the arrow’s indentation to create a formidable timber-slated screen that provides security as well as subtle natural light for the interior. The jutted screen also provides nice lighting for entertaining in the backyard area, beautifully illuminating the surrounding green space. The architects used plywood to create the structure’s frame, which as then coverd with large sheets of galvanized metal. This cladding provides the building with a second skin to properly insulate the structure and the artwork from harsh weather. The metal sheeting also gave the structure a fun reflective exterior that adds to the whimsical character of the building. + Nervegna Reed Architecture + PH Architects Via Arch Daily Photography by Sam Reed and Toby Reed

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Reflective arrow-shaped studio is a futuristic space for displaying art

The minimalist Yoshino Cedar House was built entirely out of locally-sourced timber

June 15, 2017 by  
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The beautiful Yoshino Cedar House , located near Osaka, was built by local carpenters and craftsmen with sustainable cedar harvested from the nearby mountains. The community-run retreat was created through a collaboration between Airbnb designers, Samara and architects Go Hasegawa . The team sought to foster the local community while providing a much-needed source of income for the town. The cedar retreat’s design was part of the 2016 event, Kenya Hara’s House Vision , an exhibition that showcases community-led housing projects that aim to help small towns boost their economies. Like a lot of rural areas in Japan, the small town of Yoshino has an aging population that is dwindling by the day. For years, the town’s principal industry was sustainable forestry , but without young workers working to enter the workforce, the town’s only economic boost these days is its annual cherry blossom festival. Related: Circular garden walkway cuts straight through Japanese timber home From the start of the Cedar House project, the architects and designers worked with locals every step of the way. Local foresters, woodcutters and carpenters collaborated on the process, from harvesting and cutting the timber to its construction. According to the architects, the design of the Yoshino Cedar House, which is technically owned and operated by the community, was meant to pay homage to the area’s local traditions as well as foster new relationships between residents, “Every detail of the structure inspires connection to the people of Yoshino and their underlying traditions.” Located on the bank of the Yoshino River, the structure is clad on the interior and exterior in warm-hued cedar planks whose intricate patterns create a calming, peaceful environment. The bottom floor, with a single table built into the floor, houses the living and dining space. An open staircase leads to two separate bedrooms on the second floor. The simple, uncluttered rooms have one mattress and a small table and are beautifully illuminated by natural light coming through the structure’s A-frame window. Since its inauguration, local townspeople take care of the Airbnb retreat ‘s rental operation and all proceeds are used to support the community. + Go Hasegawa + Samara Via Dwell Photography via Airbnb

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The minimalist Yoshino Cedar House was built entirely out of locally-sourced timber

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