MVRDV plans to sustainably repurpose the Dutch Expo 2000 Pavilion

August 11, 2020 by  
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MVRDV has unveiled plans to sustainably transform one of its seminal projects, the Dutch Pavilion at the 2000 World Expo in Hannover. The redesign will highlight the Expo Pavilion’s reputation as a landmark for sustainable design, while transforming it into a co-working office building flanked by two new buildings: one containing student housing and the other comprising offices and parking spaces. The new vision for the Expo 2000 Pavilion will also retain the building’s third-floor forest, which made the pavilion an icon in the 2000 World Expo.  MVRDV’s design for the original Expo 2000 Pavilion responds to the Dutch Expo theme “Holland Creates Space.” The architects took a space-saving approach by stacking six different Dutch landscapes into a tower and leaving the remainder of the site open as multipurpose outdoor space. This “stacked landscape” concept conceptualizes the building as a self-contained ecosystem capable of generating its own internal resource cycles.  Related: MVRDV designs a sustainable “urban living room” for Shenzhen The architects’ new vision for the pavilion maintains the “stacked landscape” concept, while renovating the interior to better fit an office environment. The first floor that was originally used as a grid of greenhouses, for instance, will be turned into an office with a similarly strict rectilinear layout. On the second floor, the architects will repurpose pod planters into glazed meeting rooms and office spaces. The third-floor forest level and exterior staircases will largely be kept the same as will the ground-level “dunes” that will remain as communal meeting areas with small cafes and exhibition spaces. The co-working office building will be complemented by two new buildings that form perimeter blocks around the site and create an entry point on the west side of the site. The larger of the two buildings will contain 370 student apartments as well as 300 bike parking spots. The smaller building will feature three levels of office and meeting rooms as well as ample parking. The two new buildings will feature stepped roofs with colorful accessible terraces with different programming — from gardens and sports facilities to study areas and a cinema — in a nod to the “stacked landscape” concept.  + MVRDV Images via MVRDV

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MVRDV plans to sustainably repurpose the Dutch Expo 2000 Pavilion

Geothermal-powered dorm minimizes its carbon footprint in Quebec

May 25, 2020 by  
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Near Sherbrooke, Quebec, Montreal-based ARCHITEM Wolff Shapiro Kuskowski has recently completed the Mitchell Family House, a new and energy-efficient student housing complex for the Bishop’s College School. Built to house 270 students from 37 countries, the brick-clad dorm complements the century-old private boarding school’s existing architecture while raising the bar for sustainable design with its emphasis on energy efficiency. In addition to an airtight envelope, the residence taps into the campus’ central geothermal system and integrates sustainable stormwater management systems.  Completed in fall 2019, the Mitchell Family House is the campus’ eighth student residence and the first to combine housing and academic functions under one roof. The V-shaped building is organized into two wings that converge at a common central core. Nearly 300 students — between the ages of 12 and 17 — are housed within 18 two-person rooms on the upper floors. The two-story apartments that bookend the wings accommodate the “house parents” and their families. All rooms connect to central living spaces with a lounge and dining/kitchen area as well as study nooks on the mezzanine level.  Related: LEED Platinum UCSB student housing harnesses California’s coastal climate Shared common areas are also abundant on the lower level, which is dedicated to academic activities. The entire floor opens up to an outdoor agora that embraces views of the surrounding forest and nearby river. Nature is brought indoors through tall, triple-glazed windows and the use of timber for interior surfaces. The exterior brick-and-concrete facade — sculptural precast concrete was used as a visual nod to the stone used on the campus heritage buildings — pay homage to the campus’ architectural vocabulary.  Because a major design goal was to minimize the building’s carbon footprint , the architects installed highly efficient mechanical systems, such as a heat recovery system, and prefabricated wall panels insulated from the outside to reduce energy loss. The residence is connected to the campus’ central geothermal system that has since been expanded with four new wells. In addition to implementing a stormwater management plan, landscape architects oversaw a “renaturalization” process to return native plantings to the site as soon as the building was completed. + ARCHITEM Wolff Shapiro Kuskowski Photography by Adrien Williams and Maxime Brouillet via ARCHITEM Wolff Shapiro Kuskowski

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These stunning student housing apartments are inspired by tiny homes

June 4, 2018 by  
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Student housing has come a long way since the days of crowding two roommates into a confined space with a couple of beds and a single desk. Case in point: this impressive student housing complex designed by Amsterdam-based firm Standard Studio  that uses the principles of tiny home living . Located in Rotterdam, the Hermes City Plaza apartments offer 218 beautiful 200-square-feet units incorporated with various multi-functional and ultra-efficient features. The purpose of the project was to create housing for first year Erasmus students who are new to the city. Looking to go beyond the usual cramped and cold student housing , the architects decided to create a series of independently functioning units, which are all less than 200 square feet. Inspired by the  tiny home movement , these apartments feature space efficiency, natural light and smart storage. Related: Why these floating dorms made from shipping containers are the future of cheap student housing Each unit comes with a fully equipped living space, meaning there is a full kitchen and bathroom. No more flip-flopping it to the typical shared community bathrooms! The apartments have an open layout that connects the living room to a small kitchenette and dining area. Space efficiency was essential at every step and forced the designers to get creative. There wasn’t enough room to put a full sink in the kitchen, so the team installed one large sink that straddles the kitchen and the bathroom. A half-partition that separates the two spaces pulls double duty as a mirror for the bathroom and a chalkboard for the kitchen. All the cabinetry was custom-built out of renewable bamboo , and LED strips light up the space when natural light isn’t available. The design takes advantage of vertical space with high ceilings and a sleeping loft . The loft is reached by stairs and has built-in closets and shelving. In fact, most of the apartments’ furnishings provide dual functionalities. The living room, for example, has one large multipurpose unit that incorporates a sofa, a desk and storage. The space offers students a feel of independent living, but there are some shared amenities meant to foster a strong sense of community. Residents can enjoy a rooftop terrace , music room, TV rooms, a laundry area and a communal study area. + Standard Studio Via Treehugger Images via Standard Studio

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These stunning student housing apartments are inspired by tiny homes

A 1940s home gets an energy-efficient renovation for $250K

June 4, 2018 by  
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When the homeowners of a small, Cape Cod-style home in Arlington Heights, Illinois wanted extra room for their growing family, they turned to DII Architecture for help. The design/build firm not only added a second floor, but also oversaw a complete revamp of the ground floor. Conceived with a modern farmhouse aesthetic, the Wilke House is now flooded with natural light and features an airy, spacious interior that’s more energy-efficient than before thanks to a new suite of low-energy additions. Located on a large three-quarter-acre lot, the 2,150-square-foot home was refreshed with new white siding and a roof clad in Owens Corning shingles . The original Cape Cod attic was demolished and replaced with a new second floor with room for a double-height dining and meeting area that can be seen from above thanks to a new catwalk, which has Feeney DesignRail railings. Although the budget didn’t allow for a standing seam metal roof, the Wilke House makes its modern farmhouse influences evident through the material palette of warm woods matched with crisp white paint, extruded window elements, and indoor daylighting. “This project has quite a few sustainable elements,” says DII Architecture. “During the demo phase, we preserved as much of the first floor as possible, included old nominal 2×4 studs and white oak flooring. Low VOC paints were used throughout the home as well as LED bulbs. Energy Star appliances were also implemented. Lastly, Low-E windows [with] argon were used for the whole house.” Related: Crusty old Swiss barn transformed into a modern solar-powered home The renovated home, completed for $250,000 in 2016, offers bedrooms for the family’s two kids as well as a guest bedroom for when grandparents and friends visit. The large lot was preserved to provide an outdoor play area for the family’s children and dog. All second-floor rooms feature vaulted ceilings to help create the illusion of more space. + DII Architecture Images by Black Olive Photographic

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A 1940s home gets an energy-efficient renovation for $250K

Monsanto will scrap its notorious name after acquisition by Bayer

June 4, 2018 by  
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“Monsanto” is a bad word in environmentalist circles. However, the company name so connected with concerns over glyphosate , the main ingredient in Monsanto’s product Roundup, will vanish following the company’s acquisition by Bayer — a deal described as “a marriage made in hell.” Bayer will retire the 117-year-old brand name Monsanto, The Guardian reported . Bayer said in a statement , “Bayer will remain the company name. Monsanto will no longer be a company name. The acquired products will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio.” Related: Bayer’s proposed $66B Monsanto takeover is “a marriage made in hell” Activists say the deal will create the most powerful agribusiness in the world. In 2016, Bayer announced plans to acquire Monsanto, and said in their statement they signed an agreement for $128 per share later that year — which corresponds to a total cost of around $63 billion this year, considering Monsanto’s debt. Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann said, “We aim to deepen our dialogue with society. We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground. Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring process to a standstill. We have to talk to each other. We need to listen to each other. It’s the only way to build bridges.” Campaigners have protested the takeover — Friends of the Earth said it would “increase control over farmers and cut out competitors, and allow it to become the dominant ‘Facebook of farming .’” Friends of the Earth Europe food and farming campaigner Adrian Bebb said Bayer “will become Monsanto in all but name unless it takes drastic measures to distance itself from the US chemical giant’s controversial past. If it continues to peddle dangerous pesticides and unwanted GMOs then it will quickly find itself dealing with the same global resistance that Monsanto did.” + Bayer Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos

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Monsanto will scrap its notorious name after acquisition by Bayer

Europes tallest modular tower snaps together in north London

April 20, 2017 by  
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The last module has slotted into place on Europe’s tallest modular tower. Designed by multidisciplinary practice HTA Design LLP , the record-breaking Apex House is a new student housing development that rises to the height of 29 stories in the Wembley Regeneration Area. Completed in just 12 months, the modular high-rise makes use of highly advanced prefabrication techniques and boasts energy-saving systems to achieve a BREEAM rating of Excellent. Developed by Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems , the Apex House comprises 679 modules with over 580 rooms that’ll be ready for students to move into this fall. The modules were prefabricated in Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems’ factory 60 miles away in Bedford with all the furniture, windows, electric wiring, and plumbing installed before they were transported to the site. The modules were stacked to a height of 90 meters in just 13 weeks. Related: Apartment Tour: Inside the world’s tallest modular building “Modular construction provides a much faster alternative to traditional construction without compromising on the quality of the building, or the versatility of the design,” said Christy Hayes, chief executive officer at Tide Construction, according to WAN . “Modular produces 80% less waste, requires fewer onsite workers and provides certainty of cost and time. Apex House is a shining example of what modular construction can bring to UK property, whether its hotels, residential apartments, build to rent or student accommodation .” The Apex House is the second tallest modular building in the world. + HTA Design LLP + Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems Via WAN Images via http://www.visionmodular.com , photos by Richard Southall

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Europes tallest modular tower snaps together in north London

UBC’s Nano Studios to offer affordable micro-apartments for under $700 a month

March 1, 2016 by  
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Coin-operated mini-disco lets you dance the night away inside a pay phone

March 1, 2016 by  
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Chinese art school transforms a defunct train into student housing

October 2, 2015 by  
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Sandcastle Matt builds stunning Neo-gothic structures out of sand

October 2, 2015 by  
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