Worlds newest mega-skyscraper opens in Seoul

April 6, 2017 by  
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The world’s newest super-tall building has opened in Seoul , Korea. Clocking in at fifth tallest in the world, the Lotte World Tower is a 554.5-meter (1,819 feet) tall skyscraper that knocks the 1WTC, the tallest U.S. building, out of the top five. Designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates , the solar-powered building will seek a LEED Gold accreditation and boasts additional record-breaking features including the world’s highest glass-bottomed observation deck, fastest elevator, and the highest swimming pool in a building. Set on the banks of the River Han in southern Seoul, the Lotte World Tower is a multibillion-dollar mixed-use tower that houses retail, offices, luxury residences, and a seven-star hotel. The sleek and tapered form of the 123-story building draws inspiration from the curves of Korean artistry and contrasts with Seoul’s craggy mountainous landscape. The building shape and interior combine a modern aesthetic with elements inspired by the Korean arts of ceramics, porcelain, and calligraphy. Related: World’s largest shipping container shopping mall pops up in Seoul The building’s top ten stories are allocated for public use and entertainment facilities. The glass-floor observation deck on the 118th floor allows visitors to experience a busy Seoul intersection from a bird’s eye view. The skyscraper also includes a massive 2,000-seat concert hall, aquarium, movie theater, and food hall. Designed for the LEED Gold , Lotte World Tower is equipped with solar panels, wind turbines, external shading devices, and water harvesting systems. + Kohn Pederson Fox Associates Via Bloomberg Images via Kohn Pederson Fox Associates

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Worlds newest mega-skyscraper opens in Seoul

Copycat Tower Bridge in China sparks controversy

March 2, 2017 by  
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China is infamous for copying famous architecture from other countries – according to The New York Times the country boasts 10 White Houses, a couple of Great Sphinxes, four Arcs de Triomphe, and at minimum one Eiffel Tower. Now in the city of Suzhou, a Tower Bridge based on London’s iconic landmark is drawing attention, although the New York Times says it’s unclear why the bridge , which was completed in 2012, has suddenly been garnering international notice. Images of Suzhou’s Tower Bridge have drawn awe – one news outlet described the Chinese bridge as even more magnificent than the original. Suzhou’s bridge certainly is much larger; it accommodates a five-lane highway and flaunts four towers instead of two. Pedestrian walkways and observation platforms allow people to enjoy the views and architecture of the bridge. Related: China officially bans ‘weird’ architecture But not everyone is enamored with the Chinese Tower Bridge. Suzhou, which has been called the Venice of the East, has its own architectural traditions, such as whitewashed courtyard houses and ancient gardens. Some of China’s most beautiful traditional architecture can be found in the city. Li Yingwu, president of Beijing-based firm OAD Group , called Suzhou’s Tower Bridge plagiarism. He said, “I was really surprised that it got built in Suzhou, because it has preserved its culture really well. It shows that local officials lack confidence in their own culture. They don’t understand that architecture essentially is about culture. It’s not merely an object.” One news outlet, JSChina.com.cn , even suggested the copycat bridge would hinder promotion of the country’s traditional culture. Suzhou has 56 other copycat bridges, according to The New York Times, imitating international bridges like Australia’s Sydney Harbor Bridge or Paris’ Alexandre III Bridge. Architect Cheng Taining of the Chinese Academy of Engineering told Beijing News in 2015 some officials believe foreign-style structures bestow status on an area, making it look more modern or sophisticated. Via ArchDaily and The New York Times Images via CCTV Facebook

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Studio Gang’s Solar Carve is a faceted jewel of a building in NYC’s Meatpacking District

February 27, 2017 by  
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The curtain is set to rise on Solar Carve , a glistening jewel of a building set to soar above New York City’s 10th Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets. Jeanne Gang’s Studio Gang architecture has given the tower a chiseled, gem-like exterior that almost appears to be sculpted by the rays of the sun. Caught between the High Line and the Hudson River, the 139,000-square-foot structure will have light, fresh air, and spectacular views in abundance. “All of our floors have unparalleled views of the Hudson River,” said Jared Epstein of Aurora Capital , which is developing the space in tandem with William Gottlieb Real Estate . Cushman & Wakefield will handle the leasing of Solar Carve, which is poised to open in the first quarter of 2019. The building is targeting LEED Gold certification, and according to the Post amenities will include a 10,000-square-foot planted rooftop and an 8,000-square-foot terrace on the second floor “at High Line height.” All office floors, save the seventh, will have private terraces. For two-wheeled commuters, there will also be a bike room, plus a locker room with showers. Rooms, which will feature 16-foot-tall wall-to-ceiling windows, will range in size from 13,700 to 14,200 square feet. “Each floor is slightly different because of the carve of the building,” added Epstein. The 17,000-square-foot ground floor will likely be devoted to retail. Future occupants will luxuriate in a heightened environment characterized by 17.5-foot-tall ceilings and 300 feet of glass frontage. Related: Studio Gang creates a new kind of energy as it transforms a Wisconsin power plant into an arts college facility “There is nothing like this building,” said Bruce Mosler of Cushman & Wakefield. “It will be unique to the Meatpacking [District], which is exploding with excitement.” + Solar Carve Tower + Studio Gang Via Curbed

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Studio Gang’s Solar Carve is a faceted jewel of a building in NYC’s Meatpacking District

Designers float plan to cover Toronto’s CN Tower with clip-on condos

February 13, 2017 by  
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CN Tower in Toronto , Canada once held the title of world’s tallest freestanding structure until China’s Canton Tower and the Burj Khalifa overtook it. Now design firm Quadrangle has come up with a new vision for the 1970’s building: to cover it in modular Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) condominiums . The wooden residential pods would cling to the outside of the tower between wind-shielding wings. Once a broadcasting tower, the CN Tower today is mainly a tourist attraction, with a restaurant and hands-free walk on a ledge 116 stories above ground. Honoring what Quadrangle calls Toronto’s “tradition of reinvention and exploration,” the design team dreamed up a new use for the tower. Instead of just visiting occasionally, people could call the CN Tower home, enjoying life in condominiums featuring breathtaking views of the Canadian metropolis. Related: Taiwan’s first CLT building paves way to greener alternatives to concrete and steel Quadrangle says the condominiums could be offered in several sizes so people could pick the layout best for them. Supports drilled into the concrete tower would allow the pods to taper as they crept up the side of the building. In their press release Quadrangle said, “Dynamic shapes will evolve from the varying sizes of the units, with staircases creating sharp diagonal incisions in the otherwise cube-like structures.” The studio settled on CLT for the building material , saying it is sustainable, beautiful, and versatile. Using CLT, the condominiums could be snapped together onsite, making for quick construction that wouldn’t disrupt tourist activities too much. The design has its critics. Treehugger pointed out while the tower could probably hold the pods, and the idea very well could revitalize the old building as intended, CLT may not be the best material for the job since it weighs around 31 pounds per cubic foot and would require cladding and insulation. + Quadrangle Via Dezeen and Treehugger Images courtesy of Quadrangle

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Designers float plan to cover Toronto’s CN Tower with clip-on condos

Satellites verify San Francisco’s leaning Millennium Tower is sinking

December 1, 2016 by  
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‘Leaning tower’ isn’t a moniker most people want attached to an inhabited skyscraper , but that’s what people are calling the 58-story Millennium Tower in San Francisco. And for good reason. The European Space Agency recently unveiled (ESA) satellite data which shows not only that the tower is leaning, but it’s sinking – and a lot faster than engineers previously thought. ESA’s Sentinel-1 satellites gathered the data showing the tower filled with luxury condominiums is sinking at a rate of around two inches each year. According to KTVU, that number is about twice what engineers expected. The Millennium Tower has sunk 16 inches since it opened in 2009. Related: New NASA study reveals just how fast New Orleans is sinking Why is the tower sinking? Although ESA says the exact cause is not yet known for sure, “it is believed that the movements are connected to the supporting piles not firmly resting on bedrock.” ESA scientists could see the tower’s movement through combining several radar scans from the satellites. According to ESA, “The technique works well with buildings because they better reflect the radar beam.” The scientists could map other areas in the Bay Area using the satellite data. They saw some buildings were moving along the Hayward Fault, and even noticed an uplift of land near Pleasanton. They think replenished groundwater may have resulted in the uplift. The San Francisco information will benefit researchers as they scrutinize subsidence in other cities of the world. Millennium Tower developers say it’s safe for inhabitants to stay in the leaning tower. But earlier in November, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a lawsuit against developers as they did not tell buyers the tower is sinking “much faster than expected.” Via KTVU Images via Wikimedia Commons and Copernicus Sentinel data (2015-16)/ESA SEOM INSARAP study/PPO.labs/Norut/NGU

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Satellites verify San Francisco’s leaning Millennium Tower is sinking

Danish city becomes world’s first to power water treatment plant with sewage

December 1, 2016 by  
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The Danish city of Aarhus is on the cusp of becoming the first city in the world to use energy created from household wastewater and sewage to power its water treatment facilities . The Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant expects to generate more than 192% of the energy it needs to run the plant, which supplies fresh water to 200,000 nearby residents. The excess electricity will be used to power water pumps to distribute the clean water and, if there is any electricity left, it will be funneled back into the utility grid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2P4G0HP08iQ The water treatment facility’s approach to turning sewage into usable electricity centers around biogas . Wastewater and sewage are processed in digesters filled with bacteria, which breaks down the organic materials. Kept at a steady 100.4°F (38°C), the waste produces biogas (mostly methane, although some other gases are also present) that is burned to generate both electricity and heat. While this process is used at many wastewater treatment plants as a means to burn off harmful greenhouse gas emissions , none have attempted to harness that electricity for reuse on such a scale until now. Related: Copenhagen now has more bikes than cars The sewer-power upgrades at Denmark’s Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant cost around $3.19 million to install. Aarhus Water officials believe the new system will pay for itself in just five years’ time thanks to reduced maintenance costs and the added benefit of selling excess electricity back to the power grid. Meanwhile, other cities in Denmark (like Copenhagen) and elsewhere in the world are looking for ways to duplicate the Aarhus system so they too can reap the benefits of recycled wastewater energy. Via New Scientist Images via Aarhus Water

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This Tower of Biodiversity is designed to spread seeds throughout Paris

November 18, 2016 by  
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Maison Edouard François took a new approach to their tower design. When planning cities, many in France have worried buildings will be too high, according to the firm, but they wanted to demonstrate the potential of tall buildings with a design that disperses seeds to encourage greater biodiversity. The tower is largely able to accomplish the feat due to its 50 meter, or 164 foot, height. Related: Paris allows anyone to plant an urban garden In their building description, Maison Edouard François says, “Covered with plants from wild natural areas, our tower is a tool for seeding: it allows the wind to spread class one purebred seeds into the urban environment. Its height is a key element for its capacity to regenerate urban biodiversity.” Titanium cladding also contributes to the unique tower design. The recyclable cladding is green, and is intended to look almost like moss. Maison Edouard François said the distinctive material affords a fluctuating look to the tower through moiré patterns, and “distills a ‘green’ aura to the Parisian cityscape.” Stainless steel netting covers the 16-story tower over the cladding, granting creeping plants an opportunity to thrive all the way up the building sides. When wind sweeps through the area, it will carry seeds from the plants out into Paris . There’s even a garden on the roof. Inside, exposed concrete contrasts with colorful art and lighting. The M6B2 Tower of Biodiversity stands next to smaller structures with zinc and aluminum facades and roof gardens. Maison Edouard François said when pedestrians stroll among the buildings, they’ll feel as if they’ve stepped outside the city into a garden. + Maison Edouard François Via Dezeen Images via Pierre L’Excellent

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This Tower of Biodiversity is designed to spread seeds throughout Paris

The world’s tallest tower just broke ground in Dubai

October 12, 2016 by  
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Dubai just broke ground on what will be the world’s tallest tower . Developer Emaar Properties says The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbor will stand 928 meters tall, dwarfing the Burj Khalifa ‘s 829.8 meters. Designed by architect Santiago Calatrava , the energy-efficient tower will feature observation decks and elements reminiscent of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

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The world’s tallest tower just broke ground in Dubai

Daan Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Project kicks off 5-city tour of China

September 29, 2016 by  
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Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Tower is now open to the public in Beijing, the first of five Chinese cities on the Smog Free Project China tour. The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection is backing the project, which launches today in the city center. Roosegaarde says the tour promotes the “dream of clean air and the beginning of a journey towards smarter cities.” The artist behind the pollution-busting vacuum tower is on a mission to raise awareness of China’s dirty skies, while giving visitors a little memento to help remind them once the Smog Free Project leaves their city. Jewelry made from collected smog particles—including rings and cufflinks—will serve as lasting reminders of the educational installation. Related: Daan Roosegaarde’s smog-sucking tower will clean the skies of China The Smog Free Project began in Rotterdam in 2013, when Roosegaarde and his team first constructed a prototype of the Smog Free Tower. After a successful pilot program there, the tower is kicking off a global tour, beginning with one of the most polluted countries on Earth. The 23-foot tower sucks up polluted air and filters out smog particles before releasing clean air back into the environment. While operating, the Smog Free Tower creates a small fresh air zone, allowing city dwellers to experience—perhaps for the first time—the difference between the urban air quality they live with daily and fresh, smog-free air. Although the Chinese government has been slow to respond to the growing air pollution problem in its urban centers, officials on deck for the Smog Free Project kickoff touted it as a step in the right direction. “This project is key in our agenda to promote clean air as a “green lifestyle” among Chinese citizens,” said Liu Guozheng, Secretary-General of The China Forum of Environmental Journalists. “Our goal is to guide the public to a healthier lifestyle, low carbon development and to raise awareness amongst the public and reduce smog.” + Studio Roosegaarde Images via Derrick Wang and Studio Roosegaarde

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Daan Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Project kicks off 5-city tour of China

PLP Architecture unveils the design for London’s first timber tower

June 20, 2016 by  
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Architects are finally recognizing the versatility of wood by building innovative timber-framed structures that offer an alternative to traditional steel and concrete construction. Over the last few decades, the trend of building with timber has expanded to include such challenging buildings as high-rises. Now,  PLP Architecture and researchers from the University of Cambridge teamed up to design London’s first timber tower and, if realized, the city’s second tallest building, after The Shard. The 80-story Oakwood Tower will house up to 1,000 new living units. Renderings show two adjoinging structures protruding above the concrete blocks of the Barbican housing estate and its arts center designed in the 1950s. As a lightweight and versatile alternative to traditional construction materials, timber allows for faster constructi PLP Architecture and researchers from the University of Cambridge teamed up to design London’s first timber tower on and lowers carbon emission . Related: Bordeaux’ Canopia tower will be one of the tallest timber frame structures in the world “The use of timber as a structural material in tall buildings is an area of emerging interest for its variety of potential benefits; the most obvious being that it is a renewable resource , unlike prevailing construction methods which use concrete and steel,” said a statement from the University of Cambridge. + PLP Architecture + University of Cambridge Department of Architecture Via Dezeen

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PLP Architecture unveils the design for London’s first timber tower

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