Amazons biospheres spring to life with first planting in Seattle

May 9, 2017 by  
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Tech giant Amazon took a big step towards completing its incredible nature-filled biospheres last week. The company celebrated its ceremonial “first planting”—an Australian tree fern—inside the campus’ three giant geodesic spheres . The 11-foot-tall fern is the first of what will be hundreds of tropical plants to fill the domes in the heart of Seattle. Designed by NBBJ , the three steel-framed spheres are part of Amazon’s $4 billion planned campus that will cover 10 blocks of downtown Seattle when complete. Although the greenhouse-like biospheres will not have official office space, they will be filled with hundreds of tropical plants. Workers can use the space as a therapeutic outlet, which the company believes will help encourage employees to “think and work differently.” Related: Amazon’s biosphere domes are slowly taking shape in Seattle The giant spheres—the tallest of the three reaches 90 feet in height and 130 feet in diameter—will be set to 60 percent humidity and 72 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. The multistory glass buildings can accommodate over 800 staff and personnel. Over 3,000 exotic plant species are currently being incubated and tested for the spheres at a nearby greenhouse. The high-tech greenhouses are slated for completion in early 2018. Via Daily Mail Images via seattle spheres

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Amazons biospheres spring to life with first planting in Seattle

Posh new Vietnamese hotel with a lush green facade brings guests closer to nature

November 28, 2016 by  
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Vietnamese firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects completed construction earlier this year on the Atlas Hotel in historic Hoi An. The 48-room hotel features lush green balconies and a long list of alluring amenities to draw tourists to the unique accommodations. VTN is well known for incorporating live plants into its designs, sometimes to the point of obscuring most of the building facade, and the Atlas Hotel is a prime example of that unique approach to architecture . The architects’ new hotel design owes its biggest impact to 100 cantilevering concrete planters, which hold the brilliant green plants that gush forth from all of the building’s balconies, as well as narrow corridors and the hotel’s rooftop. The facade, made primarily from locally-sourced sandstone, provides the perfect backdrop to the lush greenery. Coupling local sandstone with native plants offers a unique homage to the hotel’s environment, without creating even a hint of an eyesore. Related: Lush green rooftop terrace invites homeowners outdoors in the foothills of Vietnam Inside the hotel, the guest rooms are minimally appointed and filled with daylight , which streams in from the floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. The Atlas Hotel also features a serene swimming pool sitting in the property’s protected courtyard, surrounded by trees and grass in a park-like setting. An onsite restaurant and café operate all day long, and guests can lounge in the expansive communal dining room that opens onto the pool deck. Other amenities include a wellness center offering spa and massage services, and a fitness room. + Vo Trong Nghia Architects Images via Vo Trong Nghia Architects

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Posh new Vietnamese hotel with a lush green facade brings guests closer to nature

18 Tech-tastic Green Gadget Gifts

November 28, 2016 by  
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With the ubiquity of smartphone technology and tablets, there’s really a little bit of gadget geek in every person on your holiday gift shopping list. Whether your loved ones’ wider interests lie in music, photography, gardening or cycling, we’ve got you covered for green gadget gift ideas for the upcoming season. From a reusable cardboard smartphone amplifier at just $10 — perfect for the office Secret Santa or hard-to-buy-for teenagers — to a splurge on an electric bicycle that will knock somebody’s socks off, there’s something on the list for every budget too. Click through to see them all. GREEN GIFTS FOR GADGET GEEKS >

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18 Tech-tastic Green Gadget Gifts

Dallas is building America’s biggest urban nature park

November 28, 2016 by  
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Dallas , Texas is about to become one of the greenest cities in America – by building the country’s largest urban nature park. Dallas’ new “Nature District” will comprise a staggering 10,000 acres , including 7,000 acres of the Great Trinity Forest. The Trinity River Park designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates could revitalize a Dallas floodplain into a lush green recreation space. The Trinity River Park will provide visitors with access to playgrounds, lawns, and riverside trails. The design aims to enhance the natural beauty of the area while minimizing flooding damage in Dallas. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates said they worked with government engineers to ensure the infrastructural soundness of the floodplain so that the park transforms flooding “from a natural disaster into a breathtaking spectacle.” Related: Atlanta’s elevated Buckhead Park will connect a city separated by highways 1,000 additional acres of the Great Trinity Forest have already been developed into a golf club, the Texas Horse Park , and the Trinity River Audubon Center , which boasts a nature center for kids and event spaces. The Trinity River Park will be part of the Nature District as well. Another ambitious green project in Dallas is the Trinity Strand Trail , which will connect 73 miles of trails. The first two and a half trail miles opened last year, and plans are in the works to add more miles and connect the existing Katy Trail with the Trinity River. A $50 million donation gave the Trinity River Park project a boost in late October, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said the park will “redefine Dallas for the 21st century.” + Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Via Dallas News Images via Trinity River Dallas Facebook and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

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Dallas is building America’s biggest urban nature park

Fierce public backlash erupts over Japanese skating rink full of frozen fish

November 28, 2016 by  
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Officials at Space World , a Japanese theme park, issued a plea for forgiveness over the weekend, after public backlash forced them to close a skating rink that featured all sorts of sea creatures frozen into the ice . Some 5,000 fish, crabs, and other sea creatures were frozen into the skating rink as part of an attraction dubbed “Freezing Port,” but the public was quick to respond with disgust. Park officials said in their public apology that they were “shocked” by the public’s reaction, and the rink was closed by Sunday evening after a two-week run. Space World manager Toshimi Takeda talked to CNN about the so-called “world first” skating rink attraction. “We were shocked to hear the reaction as the ice skate rink was very popular since it opened two weeks ago, we had an unprecedented number of visitors,” Takeda said. “(But) we had endless opinions about the project, we were shocked … We are sorry for the project and decided to close the rink on that night.” Related: Japanese paper artist replicates amazing wild animals using intricately bound newspaper The fish and other marine creatures frozen into the skating rink were reportedly already dead before being installed in the rink, according to Takeda, who told CNN they were purchased from a local fish market. Now, theme park workers are tasked with removing the fish from the ice, holding an “appropriate religious service” and then reusing the carcasses as fertilizer. Although “Freezing Port” had been open for two weeks, it took news of the macabre attraction hitting social media on Saturday to ignite the public backlash that eventually closed the morbid skating rink. Users of Facebook and Twitter bashed the theme park for the move, and Space World officials were quick to reach a decision to close the attraction on Sunday. Swiftly following that announcement, theme park officials deleted all mentions and photos of the gruesome ice show from its Facebook page. Via CNN Images via Space World

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Fierce public backlash erupts over Japanese skating rink full of frozen fish

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