Stacked shipping containers transform into a thriving arts space in Venezuela

December 26, 2018 by  
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Venezuela-based architecture practice Pico Colectivo has stacked recycled shipping containers together to transform a vandalized property into the new Cultural Production Zone in the city of Guacara in Carabobo State, Venezuela. Built atop an existing structure, the colorful cargotecture addition offers a creative gathering space for the community with mixed programming that ranges from a skate plaza to a recording studio and music room. The Cultural Production Zone is located on a site where the existing building had been vandalized during protests. In a bid to reactivate the depressed site and address the lack of centrally located creative spaces in the city, Pico Colectivo was tapped to breathe new life to the property. Funds from a state program were used to purchase the project’s shipping containers , technical equipment and cultural tools. “The strategy is based on supplying the old building with these devices, inserting multiple structures into a single, more complex system, like parasites that lodge on a foreign body,” the architects explained of the additive architecture. “The design establishes a use of parts and components from modules and patterns similar to the properties of the same structuring objects. A substructure supported by previous foundations. A building assembled on top of another, by means of individual terminals that are added until organizing the whole.” Related: Shipping container food halls slated to revitalize Southern California neighborhoods Completed in 2016, the 550-square-meter Cultural Production Zone comprises three floors. On the ground floor, the TV studio, administrative office, bathrooms and a recording studio and control room are housed within the original building. Stairs placed inside an angled shipping container lead up to the second and third floors that include the exhibition gallery, image lab, rehearsal studio and control room, meeting area and an open-air coffee bar with elevated views of the city. The grounds include a skate plaza and an  urban garden . + Pico Colectivo Photography by José Alberto Bastidas via Pico Colectivo

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Stacked shipping containers transform into a thriving arts space in Venezuela

Henning Larsen completes award-winning Wave apartments in Denmark

December 26, 2018 by  
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Copenhagen-based Henning Larsen Architects has completed The Wave, a striking wave-shaped apartment complex that has made splashes internationally long before the project was finished. Located in Vejle, Denmark, the award-winning building was designed as an extension of its surroundings, from the waterfront location to the rolling, forested hills that rise from Vejle Fjord. The Wave’s sculptural silhouette comprises five rounded towers that create a new visual landmark for the town and are visible from rail, road and sea. Spanning an area of nearly 3.5 acres, The Wave consists of more than a hundred luxury apartment units along with a new public pier in front that aims to revitalize the waterfront. Although construction on the complex started in 2006, the financial crisis halted all progress after the completion of only two towers; construction resumed on the remaining three towers in late 2015. The wave-shaped towers consist of nine floors each and appear identical to one another to create the appearance of a unified building. The fifth and final tower of The Wave was finalized in November 2018. “The land surrounding Vejle is unique for its rolling hills, which are an uncommon sight in Denmark ,” explained Søren Øllgaard, partner and design director at Henning Larsen. “We designed The Wave as striking new presence in the Vejle skyline, one that reflects and embodies the surrounding area. We feel our design merges our own contemporary designs with a strong sense of local identity.” Related: Henning Larsen’s energy-efficient Kiruna Town Hall opens to the public The spectacular nature-inspired building garnered international attention and awards even before the project was completed. In 2009, The Wave’s two completed towers were crowned ‘Residential Building of the Year’ by Danish trade magazine Byggeri. The project has also earned an ABB LEAF Award for innovative architecture in 2012 as well as the prestigious Civic Trust Award in 2013. + Henning Larsen Architects Photography by Jacob Due via Henning Larsen Architects

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Henning Larsen completes award-winning Wave apartments in Denmark

Triangular windows bring light and drama to a stunning Bogota bakery

December 26, 2018 by  
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The site of a former house in Bogota has been reborn into a gorgeous bakery and cafe that respects the surrounding residential context. Designed by New York City-based Studio Cadena , the sculptural building draws the eye with oversized triangular windows, a monolithic concrete envelope and contemporary interiors featuring playful terrazzo floors, timber furnishings and pops of greenery. With an area of 7,500 square feet, the restaurant marks Studio Cadena’s second and largest commission for Masa, a popular bakery chain in Colombia. Inside, the building comprises a cafe and bakery along with a dining area and separate retail space. Outdoor seating can be found along a street-facing patio as well as in the rear garden area that overlooks the kitchen through a large circular window. To achieve an airy and open feel, the architects used an open-plan layout and delineated spaces with strategically placed elements such as a long concrete bar, cylindrical wood-clad service station and multi-tiered seating platform at the entrance. “The idea is that everything is connected, but the spaces remain fragmented for intimacy,” explained Studio Cadena founder and principal Benjamin Cadena. “In any space in the restaurant , you might hear or smell things that give a sense of the adjacent spaces, but it isn’t completely open. The design defines distinct spatial volumes yet allows you to move through them with the freedom of an open plan.” Studio Cadena designed all of the surfaces, fixtures and furniture. The variety of lighting designs also distinguish the different spaces, from the large paper globes in the corner cafe to the hand-painted metal mesh that hangs down in the middle of the building. Related: An ancient Jaipur palace property is transformed into a modern restaurant The building volume is built with textured cast-in-place concrete walls inside and out. Triangular windows of different sizes punctuate the concrete envelope and open the restaurant up to natural light while establishing a connection between the street and the interior. + Studio Cadena Photography by Benjamin Cadena and Naho Kubota via Studio Cadena

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Triangular windows bring light and drama to a stunning Bogota bakery

Venezuela’s last remaining glacier is melting away

December 6, 2017 by  
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Venezuela’s last remaining glacier will be completely gone within the next 10 to 20 years. Until as recently as 1991, five glaciers were found in the Sierra Nevada de Mérida mountain range in Venezuela . As climate change has accelerated, so too has the meltdown. Named for the nearby Pico Humboldt, Venezuela’s second highest peak at over 16,000 feet, the Humboldt Glacier is one-tenth of the size it was three decades ago. Scientists hope to study the glacial disappearing act so as to learn more about what other communities might expect in a warming world. “This is a tragedy that should be highlighted as one more consequence of irresponsible behavior in energy-intense economies,” said Walter Vergara, a forest and climate specialist at Global Restoration Initiative in Latin America , according to GlacierHub . Unfortunately, Venezuela’s current political and economic crises make an international scientific study very difficult. The Humboldt glacier was last studied by an international team in 2015. Even then, the data was limited; a research team from Westfield State University in Massachusetts was only able to conduct a GPS survey and gather basic observations. While some data, such as measurements of ice coverage and reflection of solar radiation, can be studied using satellites, they would be more accurate if more researchers were able to spend time at Humboldt. Related: Venezuelans are getting Fridays off to battle an energy crisis It is often difficult for Venezuelan scientists to find success at home due to the economic and political crises that has gripped their country in recent years. Despite the challenges, Venezuela is not without its environmental heroes.  “Venezuela’s Minister for Environment, Ramón Velásquez-Araguayán, is a smart and capable climate scientist who is very sensitive to climate change issues and environmental conservation ,” Ángel G. Muñoz, a postdoctoral research scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University, and Princeton University, told GlaicerHub. Still, it is likely that Venezuela will soon become the first country to lose all of its glaciers . Sadly, it is not likely to be the last. Via GlacierHub Images via Wikimedia and Serge Saint/Flickr

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Venezuela’s last remaining glacier is melting away

Venezuelans are getting Fridays off to battle an energy crisis

April 7, 2016 by  
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Venezuelans are getting a three-day weekend every week for the next two months, but they aren’t as excited as you might expect. The measure doesn’t signal a burst of employer generosity, but an encroaching energy crisis resulting from an extended drought . Sixty per cent of the country’s electricity is derived from hydroelectric stations, which, of course, rely on water to keep them afloat. Read the rest of Venezuelans are getting Fridays off to battle an energy crisis

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Venezuelans are getting Fridays off to battle an energy crisis

ADJKM Unveils Updated Designs for Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Complex for Social Action Through Music

September 29, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of ADJKM Unveils Updated Designs for Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Complex for Social Action Through Music Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ADJKM , ADJKM Arquitectos , Caracas , CASMSB , concert halls , disadvantaged youth , Los Caobos Park , music complex , music conservatory , Simon Bolivar Complex for Social Action through Music , Social Justice , venezuela

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ADJKM Unveils Updated Designs for Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Complex for Social Action Through Music

Carbon-Free Chocolate Shipment Sets Sail

March 8, 2012 by  
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It takes quite a bit of effort for chocolate to travel around the world and into to your mouth. It also takes quite a bit of fuel. Though the cacao tree is indigenous in the Americas, the chocolate industry has since become an international effort,…

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Carbon-Free Chocolate Shipment Sets Sail

Chavez Uses Twitter to Announce Sinking of Natural Gas Platform

May 13, 2010 by  
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Hugo Chavez’s Twitter account can be found @chavezcandanga RT @chavezcandanga Mi dios, it sunk! Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela and a recent convert to Twitter, has used the 140-character medium to announce the sinking of a natural gas platform off the coast of Venezuela. Above are his two tweets about it (you can see a rough translation below)

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Chavez Uses Twitter to Announce Sinking of Natural Gas Platform

Hugo Chavez Sends Army to Change All Lights in Venezuela to CFLs

March 11, 2010 by  
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Due to a bad drought that’s dried up the hydroelectric plants that supply more than two-thirds of its power, Venezuela has been suffering through its worst energy crisis in the last 50 years. President Hugo Chavez’s solution

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Hugo Chavez Sends Army to Change All Lights in Venezuela to CFLs

Biologists Discover a New Species of Spiny Pocket Mouse

February 1, 2010 by  
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The Heteromyidae family also includes kangaroo rats, like this one. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons Researchers at the City College of New York believe they have found a new species of spiny pocket mouse, dubbed Heteromys catopterius . Taking its name from a Greek word that roughly means a “height that commands a view,” the small mouse finds its home high in Venezuela’s coastal range…

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Biologists Discover a New Species of Spiny Pocket Mouse

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