TAMassociati envisions a zero-emissions, future-proof urban development

December 3, 2020 by  
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Venice-based architecture firm TAMassociati has teamed up with sa_partners and Franco Giorgetta Landscape Architect to design Porta del Ticino — Urban Living Lab, a future-proof masterplan for a large post-industrial site in the southern Swiss city of Bellinzona. Developed as part of an invited competition by the Canton, Municipality and SBB-Swiss Railways, the urban proposal reimagines the heart of the cantonal capital as a living organism that flexibly adapts to change over time with a systemic and non-linear approach. The large-scale masterplan also aims to achieve zero emissions with 100% renewable energy. The Porta del Ticino — Urban Living Lab outlines a plan to redevelop a 120,000-square-meter site currently dominated by the industrial complex of the Officine Bellinzona, the area’s most important heavy-industry company with over 130 years of history that will be relocated to a new site within a few years. To offset the future industrial development outside of the city, the design team has centered their proposed masterplan on a large public green lung — dubbed the Almenda — that will comprise 6.4 hectares of biotic area and 3.2 hectares of agricultural area to naturally regulate the city’s climate. Related: SOM designs a low-carbon waterfront community for China’s “most livable city” In addition to a spacious re-naturalized area, the development will also emphasize the site’s history with visual connections to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bellinzona Castle and the “Cathedral,” an industrial stone building iconic of the Officine Bellinzona factory. A mix of commercial, educational, administrative, residential and other development typologies will be integrated along a “green kilometer” that will link the river and mountains along a north-south route. The masterplan would be implemented in phases to allow for modular and flexible growth at variable speeds with reduced environmental impact. To ensure sustainable growth, the project follows an “eMergetic evaluation” concept that considers the entire building lifecycle to minimize the city’s carbon footprint . The proposal also includes planned energy policy objectives with zero-emission targets, renewable energy systems and environmental monitoring. + TAMassociati Images via TAMassociati

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TAMassociati envisions a zero-emissions, future-proof urban development

SOM designs a low-carbon waterfront community for Chinas most livable city

October 14, 2020 by  
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Global design firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has unveiled designs for Jiuzhou Bay, a new 5.6 million-square-foot mixed-use neighborhood in coastal Zhuhai, which was recently named China’s most livable city by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Selected from a shortlist of 10 global design firms, SOM’s proposal targets a low-carbon scheme that makes use of the region’s abundant natural resources — the sea and the sun — to generate renewable energy and reduce the development’s environmental footprint. Located in China’s southern Guangdong province in the Pearl River Delta, Zhuhai is a burgeoning tech hub with a reputation that has been recently elevated by a connection to the international finance and tourism centers Hong Kong and Macau via the longest sea-crossing bridge in the world. The new development will be a beacon for sustainable growth in the tech-heavy region that the architects say may soon rival Silicon Valley. The proposed Jiuzhou Bay development will include state-of-the-art office spaces, residences, retail and infrastructure, such as a robust transportation hub that offers connections to land, sea and rail across more than 40 acres. Related: Historic Zhuhai sugar factory to be reborn as a low-carbon cultural hub The city’s maritime history has also greatly informed the architects’ design decisions, particularly with the five modular canopies that wrap around the three sides of a 1.8 million-square-foot port to form a series of covered pedestrian alleyways, a lively retail environment and interlinked courtyards along the waterfront. Solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems would be integrated into the canopies. The masterplan also includes a lighthouse-inspired skyscraper with offices, a 20-story Ritz Carlton hotel , a sky bar and an observation deck. “The forms of the canopies are inspired by the local legend of the Fisher Girl and reflect the fishing nets commonly seen on the coastline throughout the region,” said Sean Ragasa, design director at SOM. “We wanted our design to resonate with the culture and history of Zhuhai, and to evoke a story that’s familiar to everyone who lives there.” + SOM Images via SOM

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SOM designs a low-carbon waterfront community for Chinas most livable city

UNStudio designs sculptural, driverless metro stations for Doha

October 1, 2020 by  
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UNStudio has completed the first 37 stations for Qatar Railways’ Doha Metro, one of the most advanced and fastest driverless metro systems in the world. With phase one and three metro lines — Red, Green and Gold — now complete, citizens of Doha who previously relied primarily on cars now have access to an efficient and reliable public transit service that will grow over time. To create a strong station identity for the new metro network and encourage public transit habits, UNStudio tapped into urban design principles to turn the eye-catching stations into attractive public spaces rooted in Qatari architecture and culture. In collaboration with the Qatar Rail Architecture Department, UNStudio has created a vision for all stations in the new Doha Metro Network based on an extensive set of design guidelines, architectural details and material outlines as laid out in the newly developed ‘Architectural Branding Manual.’ The comprehensive manual provides a framework for the design of different station types that respond to local contextual differences while integrating visually cohesive elements shared across all stations, including wayfinding , passenger flow and daylight penetration.  Related: Zaha Hadid’s 2022 World Cup stadium in Qatar adapts for future use The concept design for all of the Doha Metro stations are rooted in the notion of Caravanserais, a type of roadside inn for travelers (caravanners) historically common across the Middle East, including in Qatar . With dramatic vaulted ceilings, a rich mother-of-pearl effect interior and uniquely Qatari ornamentation and material palette, the Caravanserai-inspired stations strengthen Qatari identity while encouraging social interaction within beautiful public spaces. “We are going to move differently in the future,” said Ben van Berkel of UNStudio. “Mobility is changing fast, from the introduction of autonomous vehicles to urban cable cars and the Hyperloop . The mobility hubs of the future have to respond to and cater to these changes. In order to encourage the use of more sustainable forms of transport, these stations not only have to ensure smooth passenger flows, but they need to truly appeal to the public; to be places they want to visit and return to.” + UNStudio Photography by Hufton+Crow via UNStudio

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Presidential debate gives 10 minutes to climate change

October 1, 2020 by  
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It seemed like the whole 90 minutes would be spent slinging insults about family members, interrupting and telling each other to shut up. But with 10 minutes to go of the first 2020 presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace said, “I’d like to talk about climate change .” The results were revealing. Whether or not you agree with Joe Biden’s plans for getting the U.S. out of its environmental mess, just about any viewer would have to admit that Biden has a plan. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump works hard to avoid the topic. Related: Biden vs Trump on environmental issues and climate change “I want crystal clean water and air, we now have the lowest carbon … if you look at our numbers now we are doing phenomenally,” Trump said during the debate, adding that people were very happy that he withdrew the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord immediately on taking office. When pushed, Trump admitted there might be something to climate change. He then repeatedly turned the conversation to California’s fires , blaming the state for lack of forest management. Wallace tried to steer Trump back to the topic. “But sir, if you believe in the science of climate change, why have you rolled back the Obama Clean Power Plan, which limited carbon emissions in power plants? Why have you relaxed fuel economy standards that are going to create more pollution from cars and trucks?” Trump again brushed off the question, this time talking about the safety of new cars. When Biden got his chance to speak, he gave a quick sketch of his $2 trillion green energy plan , which would include replacing federal cars with electrical vehicles and weathering millions of homes to cut heating and air conditioning needs. Trump repeatedly interrupted, insisting that Biden’s plan was synonymous with the much-maligned Green New Deal and saying it would cost $100 trillion. The 10-minute climate change debate was a surprise to viewers, as it wasn’t on the pre-released list of debate topics. The six planned topics were the economy, Supreme Court, coronavirus pandemic, race and violence in cities, election integrity and the two candidates’ past records. While climate change is relevant to people planning to continue living on Earth, it’s not the top issue in most voters’ minds. According to a Pew Research Center poll, 68% of Biden supporters cited climate change as “very important,” compared to 11% of Trump supporters. Overall, 42% of voters cited climate change as very important. The top three issues, according to the Pew poll, were the economy, healthcare and Supreme Court appointments. Via EcoWatch , HuffPost and Grist Image via Milkovi

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Presidential debate gives 10 minutes to climate change

Midcentury warehouse becomes a community-building asset in Mexico City

September 30, 2020 by  
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In a bid to sustainably create more inclusive and connective space in Mexico City, local architecture practice BAAQ’ has rehabilitated Dr. Atl 285 — an industrial structure from the late 1960s — into a mixed-use community hub topped with a productive urban garden. Located in the neighborhood of Santa Maria la Ribera just west of the historic center, the adaptive reuse project responds to the area’s ongoing densification process that has attracted a younger population in recent years. In adapting the building into a community-forward space rather than tearing it down to start anew, the architects have also carefully preserved the cultural and architectural heritage of the the structure while minimizing the project’s environmental impact. Primarily built with reinforced concrete beams and columns, Dr. Atl 285 was originally used for industrial purposes. The architects left the reticular concrete structure exposed in a nod to the building’s past while inserting new cubic elements of wood as part of a new, flexible, modular design that can adapt to different program needs of varying sizes and configurations. The permeable construction also allows natural light to pass through the building. Related: A lush rooftop oasis flourishes on this renovated Art Deco townhouse in Mexico City In addition to a rooftop urban farm that produces food for all users, the architects have created a series of common spaces in the outdoor areas. A water treatment plant was installed beneath the building’s old courtyard to eliminate drainage discharge. By recirculating all of the water used, the water treatment plant helps save up to 45% of water. A garden was planted atop the water treatment plant to provide additional outdoor green space and to improve air quality.  “The project aims to demonstrate the adaptability of architecture in the existing resources, the regenerative potential of the city, and the ability to generate sustainable projects nowadays,” the architects explained in a project statement. “All this to preserve the cultural and architectural heritage through the restoration of these constructions and projects, not only to maintain the presence of each neighborhood but also to reduce the environmental impact of real estate development.” + BAAQ’ Phototography by Jaime Navarro via BAAQ’

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Midcentury warehouse becomes a community-building asset in Mexico City

Wellow is the eco-friendly deodorant you’ve been looking for

September 30, 2020 by  
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Hopefully, deodorant is a daily part of your life. You use it after a shower, you buy more when you run out, but you probably don’t think about deodorant much. Well, it’s time to start. Most deodorant comes in a plastic tube with a plastic top, both of which eventually get tossed in the trash. Every time you go through another tube of deodorant, you add to the plastic waste problem that experts predict will soon overwhelm the world. But now you have a new, eco-friendly option: Wellow deodorant. How is Wellow different from other deodorants? This one creates no waste. Wellow contains no plastics, no toxins and no reason to feel guilty. The product’s paper tube uses 95% recycled post-consumer paper , making it biodegradable. In fact, the tube will completely biodegrade in less than three months. Even the print on each tube uses an eco-friendly plant-based ink. This deodorant’s natural formula includes quality ingredients designed to be just as effective as mainstream deodorants. Hand-poured into every paper tube, Wellow deodorant contains no aluminum , sulfates, parabens, or similar harmful chemicals. Additionally, this cruelty-free formula isn’t tested on animals. If you’re an eco-conscious consumer, you may have tried so-called Earth-friendly deodorants in the past and felt disappointed. Thankfully, Wellow protects both the environment and your armpits. Specially designed to not clog pores, the highly concentrated formula provides up to 24 hours of protection against sweat and odor. Interested buyers can find Wellow in four styles: activated charcoal , coconut and vanilla, bergamot and citrus and fragrance-free. Made with ingredients such as coconut oil, arrowroot powder, shea butter, almond oil and beeswax, Wellow keeps its formula natural. Already tested by hundreds of wearers, this new product’s ongoing Kickstarter seeks funds to get this product on the market. Soon, Wellow may change the way people look at deodorant; hopefully, it will change the way people dispose of their deodorant, too. + Wellow Images via Wellow

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Wellow is the eco-friendly deodorant you’ve been looking for

Third Nature imagines a zero-emission regenerative city district in Bergen

September 28, 2020 by  
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An old logistics port and ferry terminal in Bergen, Norway has been reimagined into an inspiring zero-emission district where nature-based climate adaptation, a community-based sharing economy and renewable building materials will take center stage. Copenhagen-based architecture studio Tredje Natur (Third Nature) is the mastermind behind this grand vision, a 40-hectare mixed-use development known as the future Dokken. The design follows principles of a regenerative city, from the emphasis on public transportation and pedestrian-friendly spaces over car-oriented transit to the inclusion of low-carbon construction strategies, such as adaptive reuse and building with renewable and reusable materials. Developed for the Bergen Municipality in close collaboration with Entasis, Matter by Prix and MOE, the future Dokken regenerative city concept seeks to fulfill the goals of the Paris Agreement . Located along the water, Dokken is continually being expanded upon with surplus materials, such as granite rubble, from infrastructural works around the city. The architects aim to better connect the area’s enlarged footprint with two primary elements: a new urban “allmenning,” a climate streetscape that builds on Bergen’s existing urban fabric with unique public spaces, and an all-encompassing, nature-based loop that would create a new 4.5-kilometer coastline. The coastline would introduce a massive, publicly accessible green space connected to the natural harbor-front. Related: Futuristic eco-city powered with renewable energy is unveiled for the Maldives To inject new life into the area, the first phase of the Dokken development would include The Sea Quarter, which comprises the Institute for Marine Research, the Directorate of Fisheries and the new Bergen Aquarium housed within the old Harbor Warehouse; The Sugarhouse Square, a new public space; and Under the Bridge, a place for experimental urban interventions and grass-roots initiatives located under the Puddefjord Bridge. New housing would be built of renewable and reusable materials, while car parking would be tucked underground to create a pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly area with close access to light rail. In total, the urban development encompasses 535,000 square meters of mixed-use, cultural and civic buildings.  “Creating a regenerative city is about integrating sustainability into all the discrete parts if the city, great or small,” the architects said. “In a sustainable future, everything — from our everyday consumer habits to the total ecological footprint of the city — must work together in circular processes, which won’t destroy our nature and climate. The sustainable city must correct the sins of the past by recreating lost narratives and reuniting separate areas and processes — and, in the case of Dokken, by creating new connections and reuniting Bergen with the water.” + Tredje Natur Images via Tredje Natur

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Third Nature imagines a zero-emission regenerative city district in Bergen

Former railway yard to receive a green transformation in St. Petersburg

August 3, 2020 by  
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Dutch architectural firms KCAP and Orange Architects have teamed up with A.Len Architectural Bureau to redesign St. Petersburg’s former Tovarno-Vitebskaya railway yard into a new mixed-use district with extensive greenery. Created as a continuation of Glorax Development’s Ligovsky City neighborhood development project, the new adaptive reuse proposal will combine historic structures with contemporary architecture to inject new life into the area while paying homage to the site’s history. A variety of green space will be incorporated into the masterplan, from linear parks and landscaped boulevards that follow the historic railway tracks to more intimate courtyards and walkways interspersed between the new buildings. Located in the southeastern part of St. Petersburg’s “gray belt”, the adaptive reuse proposal would transform a former railway yard on Ligovsky Prospekt into a predominately residential district for 8,600 people. The 30-hectare site would also include restaurants, cafes, leisure facilities, street retail, service companies, sports facilities, four kindergartens, one primary and one secondary school and both underground and surface parking lots.  Related: A forgotten railway takes on new life as a new cultural destination in France The architects have inventoried the existing architectural structures and plan to reuse many historic elements — such as small buildings, blue cranes, tracks and poles — into the long and linear public parks that will be developed along the main railway tracks from north to south. The project’s main entrance will be located on the primarily mixed-use northern end where the new “Borovaya” metro station will stand and serve as the new urban center for Ligovsky. In contrast, the southern part of the site will feature taller buildings, three of which will create a strong building edge nicknamed “The Trio.” “We want to create an active and landscaped environment where you can feel the history of the railway and live with the people around you,” said Patrick Meijers, partner at Orange Architects. “An area that simultaneously is smoothly connected to the city of St. Petersburg.” + KCAP + Orange Architects Images via Orange Architects

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Former railway yard to receive a green transformation in St. Petersburg

Luca Curci Architects designs a zero-energy smart city of the future

May 11, 2020 by  
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According to the United Nations, 5 billion people are projected to live in cities by 2030. In response to the growing challenge of urban populations and their accompanying carbon emissions, Italian design practice Luca Curci Architects has proposed The Link, a self-sustainable “vertical city” with the goal of net-zero energy operations. Designed to accommodate 200,000 people, the futuristic proposal will be presented to cities around the world. The proposed Link project comprises four buildings, the largest of which would serve as residences with apartments, villas, common areas and a variety of green spaces within 300 floors. The 1,200-meter-tall residential tower would be connected to three other buildings that range from 650 to 850 meters tall and house offices, government departments, healthcare facilities, educational institutions, retail and other amenities. The architects want to blanket the vertical city with more than 120,000 trees and 2 million plants of over 150 species to help clean the air, reduce the urban heat island effect and provide residents with a closer connection to nature. Related: Luca Curci Architects proposes a self-sustainable Vertical City of the future “It is the first smart city ‘conscious oriented’ that will prevent urban sprawl , produce and storage energy, improve air quality, increase urban biodiversity and create a healthier lifestyle,” architect Luca Curci said. The city temperatures, humidity levels, carbon dioxide levels and lighting systems would be managed with an AI-equipped urban operating system.  The Link would be powered by several renewable energy systems, including wind and solar. The city would also make room for on-site food production and farming that follow zero-waste policies so that each community can create its own food supply. All transport would be entirely powered by renewable energy systems; external and internal docks for public transit systems would be located in the tower basements. Each tower would also be equipped with drone ports. + Luca Curci Architects Images via Luca Curci Architects

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Luca Curci Architects designs a zero-energy smart city of the future

ODA designs an urban experiment masterplan for Chengdu

April 28, 2020 by  
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On the invitation of the Chengdu government, New York-based architecture firm ODA has created a visionary new masterplan for the southwestern Chinese city. Spanning 1 million square feet, the proposal would include four 13-story residential towers integrated into a 700,000-square-foot, mixed-use commercial park with modern buildings optimized for passive energy savings. Described by the firm as an “urban experiment in rearranging priorities for the public realm,” the masterplan emphasizes pedestrian-friendly design and indoor-outdoor living throughout. Located along a river, ODA’s masterplan engages multiple levels, from the riverfront at the bottom to the elevated walkways that provide access to rooftop terraces. The design departs from the traditional street experience by prioritizing pedestrian access. It also provides a wide variety of gathering spaces and green spaces, from the accessible green roofs and residential gardens to urban farming plots and reflection pools. Related: ODA to transform Rotterdam’s historic post office into a vibrant destination In addition to apartment buildings, the proposed development is home to a mix of offices and retail that primarily relate to the creative fields. “Anchor” offices would include space for architecture firms, graphic design studios, incubators, startups, fashion studios and interior design firms. Ground-level retail would activate the streetscape and include galleries, community kitchens, markets, artist studios, bakeries, breweries, maker spaces and other stores and restaurants. All offices, residences and retail spaces would have direct outdoor access, while the tiered architecture would ensure ample access to natural light and air throughout the development. “The design combines personal security with common territories that allows neighbors to see and connect with one another,” ODA said. “The idea is that the program is staggered, creating pockets of privacy and connectivity, nooks for relaxation as well as recreation. ODA believes this is what smart design means in the future. Design that meets all our needs, that speaks to the collective whole, and therefore the collective good.” + ODA New York Images via ODA

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