Twin warming huts for TED conference evoke the Great Canadian Wilderness

July 26, 2017 by  
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The architecture and design students of DBR | Design Build Research created ELEVATE, unique pop-up structures that brought a slice of the Canadian backcountry winter experience to downtown Vancouver . Crafted as part of a three-month design/build course, this temporary installation served as a sheltered outdoor living room for the TED2016 conference. Innovation with wood and technical fabrication were explored in the project, most notably through the curved planks of CNC-milled timber used to create the structures’ inviting, cocoon-like shapes. From afar, ELEVATE evokes snow-covered hilltops, however a closer look reveals the design’s likeness to high alpine shelters . The 16 students sought to create an attractive meeting place where TED attendees, known as TEDsters, could gather and discuss ideas. The structures were also outfitted with graphics of provincial and national parks to encourage TEDsters to explore Vancouver’s great outdoors during their visit. Related: Solar-powered alpine prefab shows off the power of prefab in extreme conditions METSA Wood donated Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), an advanced wood product, that was shaped with CNC technology into the ELEVATE’s skeleton. Set on sill plates, the structures feature a timber deck and curved timber ribs reinforced by cross bracing. A white translucent covering protects visitors from the elements and is complemented with exposed timber ribbing visible from the interior. Each warming hut includes a large seating area marked with the TED logo, as well as bright red beanbags. + DBR | Design Build Research Images by Ema Peter

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Twin warming huts for TED conference evoke the Great Canadian Wilderness

A tremendous translucent ‘forest’ pops up in a French courtyard

July 13, 2017 by  
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The courtyard of Fondation Martell in Cognac, France has been transformed into a translucent forest made of glass fiber-reinforced polyester sheets. Spanish architecture firm SelgasCano designed the Pavillon Martell as a temporary, mobile multipurpose space for concerts, workshops, and relaxation. The pavilion covers a 25,000-square-foot space situated behind the Foundation. Its main material, developed by French brand Onduline, is translucent and watertight and shelters a huge area where various activities can take place. Soft, changing light permeates this undulating membrane, creating an interesting and visually engaging rainbow effect. The architects typically work with off-the-shelf structural solutions. Related: German Students Create a Cloud-Like Retreat High Up in the Treetops “We started to look for the lightest and most cost-effective materials on the market. We found what we were looking for hidden away in the catalogue of Onduline, a leading French construction company with a worldwide presence,” said SelgasCano. Inflatable seats installed in the structure are attached by straps and provide visitors with places to sit, relax and organize workshops, concerts and various other events. The structure is easy to dismantle and transport to any location thanks to its modular nature and light weight. + SelgasCano Via World Architecture Photos by Iwan Baan  

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A tremendous translucent ‘forest’ pops up in a French courtyard

A river made of 10,000 glowing books flows through Toronto

October 26, 2016 by  
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This large, interactive  art installation is created by group of anonymous artists/activists who “want literature to take over the streets and conquer public spaces, freely offering those passersby a traffic-free place which, for some hours, will succumb to the humble power of the written word.” Related: Alicia Martin’s Amazing Book Sculptures Pour out of Windows and Into the Streets The team has previously carried out the installation illegally in New York and Madrid, received official permission to appear in Melbourne, and has recently visited Toronto during Nuit Blanche Toronto, an annual, city-wide celebration of contemporary art. For this occasion, the group has used 10,000 books donated by the Salvation Army and worked for 12 days alongside 50 volunteers to replace cars with books on Hagerman Street, downtown Toronto . Related: Guy Laramée Carves a Majestic Lifelike Mountain Range Out of an Encyclopedia Britannica Set The artwork was open to the public for one night, during which visitors could immerse themselves in a literal flow of words and paper illuminated by soft lighting coming from the pages. They would sit down to read, take photos and eventually take pieces of the installation home. It took 10 hours for the installation to self-dismantle. + Luzinterruptus + Nuit Blanche Toronto

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A river made of 10,000 glowing books flows through Toronto

Milkshake Tree playground in London doubles as an oversized xylophone

June 23, 2016 by  
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Photo by Paul Raftery The Milkshake Tree installation is all about sounds, smells, movement and reflective surfaces. The name came about when one of the kids asked if the new Center could include a milkshake tree. Located outside the NOW Gallery on London’s Greenwich Peninsula, the installation includes long ramps framed by reflective screens and timber fins combined with copper xylophones which the kids can play as they pass by. A 12-square-meter gold mirrored cube dominates the installation and features leaf-shaped cut outs, an Amelanchier tree and a glass prism that create beautiful kaleidoscopic effects. Related: Henning Larsen’s Day Care Center is a Green-Roofed Paradise for Children in Denmark Photo by Paul Raftery A multi-sensory ramp with a musical walkway connects the school to the new hydrotherapy and therapy spaces, while the landscape, designed by BD Landscape Architects, provides additional outdoor spaces-a sensory roof garden , a mud kitchen and a treehouse . The entire site stimulates imagination and playfulness, combining education, rehabilitation and entertainment. + pH+ Architects + London Festival of Architecture  Lead photo by Paul Raftery

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Milkshake Tree playground in London doubles as an oversized xylophone

Super lightweight solar panels for flat roofs install in under two minutes

June 23, 2016 by  
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Millions of flat commercial roofs around the world are currently unable to support the weight of a conventional rooftop solar array, squandering significant clean energy potential. Beamreach Solar has designed an elegant new solar panel , called Sprint, which resolves this dilemma. Capable of producing 30 percent more energy than conventional photovoltaic technology, Sprint panels are also easier to install, requiring zero tools and zero grounding. Kerstens told Inhabitat that Sprint solar panels are not only more efficient than existing technology, but also cheaper because they are so much easier and faster to install. With the racking system already integrated into the panel, any person can install them in under two minutes without any training. This is about five times faster than solar panels that have to be drilled into a roof or weighted down. In addition to removing any potential barriers for customers who may be intimated by installing a rooftop solar array, Beamreach’s new technology drives down installation and labor costs. Plus, they can be installed closer to each other without reducing efficiency, resulting in more overall output. At present, Sprint solar panels produce up to 320 watts, but Kerstens said they are steadily improving their output and will eventually have building integrated panels with their superior technology. For now the rooftop panels have been tested to withstand wind speeds of up to 115 MPH and – particularly beneficial in areas with heavy snow – they can handle weight loads of up to 5400 Pascals (Pa). This is equivalent to roughly 113 pounds per square feet. Related: Dubai to build the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant And for people like me who aren’t in love with heights or the idea of negotiating with a series of large and unwieldy solar panels several feet off the ground, the streamlined Sprint design with a built-in handle that makes it easier to carry is an attractive option. This same design makes shipping cheaper, according to Kerstens. Lastly, they are better for countries that reach higher than average summer temperatures, such as those in the Middle East . As Kerstens notes, solar panels like sun but not heat, so their performance decreases with every increase in temperature. Spring panels boast a lower temperature coefficient curve than most technology on the market, making it possible to introduce clean solar energy further afield than ever before. + Beamreach Solar

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Solar-powered KontererART city in Poland is made of reused shipping containers

May 20, 2016 by  
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Instead of designing several freestanding pavilions , the architects created a single big building with interconnected containers housing different activities and spaces. The Bar and Carbo Gallery, which was left over from last year’s event, was converted into a base. The surrounding containers house the music workshop, Aktywator office, scene, food, toilets and warehouses . These were attached to the bar and gallery at a 90-degree angle, creating a U-shaped composition. The exterior of the north and south facades was painted orange to mark the entrances and the make the structure stand out. Related: Cargotecture transforms a San Francisco parking lot into a lively village The complex shelters a sandy beach with deck chairs and a big island made of pallets . Located near the river, the project includes a terrace and a rooftop bar that provides views of the surroundings. In order to provide clean energy for the project, the architects placed solar collectors on the rooftops and designed a green wall that supplies the bar and catering with fresh herbs. + Adam Wiercinski + Borys Wrzeszcz + Agnieszka Owsiany + KontenerART Photos by Przemys?aw Turlej , Skyphoto.pro

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Yves Béhar showcases his sweet handmade surfboard in a temporary Miami Surf Shack

December 16, 2015 by  
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San Francisco designer Yves Béhar built a temporary installation as a showroom for his handcrafted surfboards in Miami Design District. The wooden Surf Shack is accompanied by an exhibition called Connecting, where the designer showcased his original sketches, prototypes and the well-known activity-tracking wristband Jawbone and the One Laptop Per Child project. Read the rest of Yves Béhar showcases his sweet handmade surfboard in a temporary Miami Surf Shack

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Elon Musk’s idea for powering the entire U.S. with solar energy holds a lot of water

December 16, 2015 by  
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Elon Musk is many things: a forward-thinking technology buff, a serially successful businessman, and even a mediocre actor . He spends a lot of time thinking about the world’s big problems and coming up with possible solutions, and it’s probably high time we all start listening to what he has to say. Recently, Musk offered his take on powering the entire United States with solar power , and the more his suggestion is analyzed, the more sense it makes. Essentially, he proposes that the whole country could be powered by “a little corner of Nevada or Utah” and that, if government leaders cooperated and invested in infrastructure, it could happen in as little as 15 years. Is it really possible? Read the rest of Elon Musk’s idea for powering the entire U.S. with solar energy holds a lot of water

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This surreal animated replica of Milan is built entirely from cardboard and tape

September 29, 2015 by  
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Artists transform huge stacks of shipping containers into amazing street art

September 21, 2015 by  
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