Three glass arms and a sunken visitor center enhance this renovated Dutch park

August 22, 2017 by  
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Some people have a wonderful knack for devising new ways of seeing the world – including Studio Maks and Junya Ishigami + Associates, who designed this sublime park expansion in the Netherlands . The new triangular-shaped visitor center in Park Vijversburg acts as an extension of the adjacent historical villa, while ensuring minimal impact on the parkland. Three sweeping glass corridors extend from the center, providing visitors with a more immediate perspective of the surrounding landscape. The addition to the recently refurbished park aims to accommodate the increasing number of visitors by providing new exhibition and meeting spaces. Studio Maks’ Marieke Kums and Tokyo-based architect Junya Ishigami designed the center as a partially sunken single-floor structure that has minimal impact on the site. Related: New light-filled learning center celebrates the food history of one of Denmark’s oldest towns Its three curved arms are fully glazed and free of columns and other structural elements. This creates an uninterrupted flow and views of the parkland , while giving a floating appearance to the roof. “We wanted to make a most subtle intervention,” Kums said. “Although the pavilion is an architectural project, it was designed and imagined as part of the landscape.” Rotterdam studio LOLA Landscape, Utrecht-based Deltavormgroep, Hummelo-based Piet Oudolf and Frankfurt-based artist Tobias Rehberger designed an additional 15 hectares of new landscape. + Studio Maks + Junya Ishigami + Associates Via Dezeen Photos by Iwan Baan

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Three glass arms and a sunken visitor center enhance this renovated Dutch park

Vance Tsing Tao Pearl Hill visitor center blends into the landscape with a rolling green roof

August 9, 2017 by  
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Prolific architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson crafted the Vance Tsing Tao Pearl Hill Visitor Center in Qingdao, China with a gorgeous rolling green roof . Located at the base of the Zhushan National Forest Park, the wooden building ‘s undulating canopy mimics the mountain range in the backdrop. At 223,000 square feet, the visitor center is certainly massive, however it was carefully designed to blend into its natural surroundings thanks to its subtle stature and verdant green roof. Additionally, the building is strategically oriented so that visitors can enjoy amazing views of the mountain range on one side and expansive sea views on the other end. Floor-to-ceiling glazed walls provide these views while illuminating the building with natural light . Related: Manetti Shrem Museum’s 50,000-square-foot canopy was inspired by the agrarian landscape The designers choose to use wood as the building’s principle material to create a strong connection to nature. The unique wooden truss roof structure uses large logs to support a layer of Canadian Class J SPF wood. At the center of the undulating roof is an abundance of lush greenery, further integrating the building into its environment. The green roof was strategically designed to insulate the interior and reduce the building’s overall carbon footprint. + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Via Archdaily Photography by He Lian

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Vance Tsing Tao Pearl Hill visitor center blends into the landscape with a rolling green roof

New light-filled learning center celebrates the food history in one of Denmarks oldest towns

August 3, 2017 by  
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Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter just won a competition to design a new cultural center for one of the oldest settlements in Denmark . The winning proposal, called Kornets Hus (“Grain House”), will be an activity-based learning center in Hjørring focused on the importance of grain to Jutland—a region believed to have been populated 10,000 years ago. Kornets Hus will be of a minimalist and modern design built largely from brick and timber that takes inspiration from the region’s diverse landscapes, folk culture, and agricultural heritage. Commissioned by Realdania , the L-shaped 680-square-meter Kornets Hus is set on a site with an existing farm and bakery. The learning center will offer visitors as well as locals and employees engaging educational experiences about the region’s rich food and farming culture. In addition to educational and exhibition spaces, the building will also include a cafe, store, and offices. Related: Norwegian Mountaineering Centre mimics a dramatic snow-covered mountain The building features a simple and flexible plan to accommodate a wide variety of activities. Two brick-clad light wells , reminiscent of baker kilns, bookend the structure’s two ends. Skylights and large windows also help maximize access to natural light . Glazing on the west facade frame views of wheat fields and connect to an outdoor terrace. A large bread oven forms the heart of the public spaces. + Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter Images via Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

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New light-filled learning center celebrates the food history in one of Denmarks oldest towns

LEED Silver visitor center is a portal to a historic American battlefield

December 12, 2016 by  
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Calling attention to a historic landscape can be difficult when there are few artifacts to differentiate it from its surroundings. New Jersey-based ikon.5 architects successfully brought renewed attention to a historic battlefield from the American Revolutionary War with their design of the Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center in Manalapan Township, New Jersey. Located on a high point, the building is a glazed LEED Silver -certified pavilion that frames views of the battlefield while maintaining a minimal energy footprint. The Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center replaced an underutilized structure built for the Bicentennial and comprises office space, a theater, museum store, exhibition space, classrooms, an archeology lab, and restrooms. Though the pavilion features many programmatic features, its thoughtful design keeps the focus on the landscape thanks to its custom-fabricated “mullion-less” glass curtain wall . The largely glazed building appears to float on the landscape and offers unobstructed views of the battlefield from the museum . “Sited at the top of Combs Hill overlooking the Battlefield, the pavilion is conceived as a modern day primitive hut, templar in its siting, but diminutive in its appearance,” write the architects. Related: University of Pennsylvania’s green-roofed New College House targets LEED Silver The building achieved LEED Silver certification thanks to the installation of triple-glazed low-e laminated glazing that wraps around the building and minimizes heat gain and loss. The roof features long eaves to shade the interior and further minimize unwanted solar heat gain. The new visitor center was built within the bounds of the existing property to minimize site impact and incorporates renovated portions of the original building. Rainwater collected on the roof is reused in a rain garden . A geothermal system is used to heat and cool the building. + ikon.5 architects Images via ikon.5 architects , by Jeffrey Totaro and James D’Addio

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LEED Silver visitor center is a portal to a historic American battlefield

Extreme rain storms in the US could increase by 400% due to climate change

December 12, 2016 by  
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The forecast of America’s future includes a 400 percent increase in the number of extreme rain storms if climate change has its way. Six scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) found the frequency of intense rainstorms could increase by 2100, and could dump 70 percent more rain, in the absence of powerful action on climate change. The frequency of very extreme rainstorms leading to flooding or destruction could ramp up from once per season to five times per season before the end of this century, an increase of 400 percent, according to the NCAR scientists. Even worse, when those storms do come, they could hit harder, damaging infrastructure and homes that aren’t equipped to handle the deluge. Lead author Andreas Prein told The Guardian these rainstorms could be one of climate change’s worst consequences in the United States. Related: Winter storms will hit new extremes as the planet gets warmer every year The increase in rain could mainly affect the Atlantic and Gulf coast areas, but even the central part of America, which could get drier under warmer temperatures, might see extreme rainfall. The problem is that for dry areas, moderate rainstorms that nourish the land wouldn’t happen as much as drastic downpours that would damage crops. Other analyses have revealed extreme rainfall is more likely to happen already because of climate change. Prein said the extreme rainstorms we see now could intensify in the future if we don’t step up and do something. He still seems to hold out hope these increased extreme weather patterns aren’t a done deal in the future. He told The Guardian, “It’s really in our hands to change that if we want to.” By limiting emissions, there might still be more extreme rain, but not as much as the NCAR scientists predict. The journal Nature Climate Change published the scientists’ study online this week. Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Extreme rain storms in the US could increase by 400% due to climate change

This green-roofed visitor center will be nestled under a hill in Denmark

November 28, 2016 by  
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The green-roofed Skamlingsbanken Visitor Center near Sjølund in southern Denmark will blur the line between nature and architecture. CEBRA Architects ‘ winning proposal envisions a series of exhibition and gathering spaces formed under a softy curving hill. The project is designed to serve as a gateway to the area’s historic legacy. The center will be located at the highest point of an undulating moraine landscape in southern Denmark, with spectacular views over the Little Belt strait. It will articulate the natural surroundings and provide a contemplative space where visitors can explore the history of the area, which acted as a cultural gathering point during the most politically and culturally turbulent times in the country’s history. The site functioned as a natural stage for advocates for the Danish language, front-runners of the feminist movement, and a celebration marking the end of WWII. Related: CEBRA’s Smart School Meadow is an inclusive learning space that doubles as community center in Russia By lifting a single point within the landscape along a linear cut, the architects created an addition to the landscape in the form of a hill which accommodates the visitor center. From the starting point for hikes, visitors are guided into the landscape or can explore the exhibition and educational facilities within. Various routes provides by the project allow people to freely explore the area, joining a long list of historical events that shaped the nation. + CEBRA Architects Via Archdaily

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This green-roofed visitor center will be nestled under a hill in Denmark

Swiss pilot plans to fly solar airplane to the edge of space

November 28, 2016 by  
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It might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but a Swiss pilot is preparing to fly to the edge of space in a solar-powered aircraft . According to Wired , Raphël Domjan is planning to fly his plane, SolarStratos , higher than any plane has gone before. His goal is to prove that renewable energy is not only equal to, but potentially greater than fossil fuels. Check out the video below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw1TYssfSCg That goal, it seems, is a lofty one in both the literal and figurative senses. When the planned date arrives in late 2018, Domjan hopes to hop into SolarStratos and fly 25,000 meters into the sky, to the edge of space. After flying for two and a half hours, he is planning to spend 15 minutes in the stratosphere before slowly ascending back to terra firma. “Our goal is to be the highest plane ever, not only solar and electric,” Swiss pilot, Domjan told Wired . With this project, we take technology you can find in the supermarket and we put it to the limit. He adds that showing solar technology can take humans as far or further than petroleum fuels will send a strong message about the potential that clean technology holds. “We still have so many things to explore,” he adds. “Maybe exploration can be used to protect our planet.” Related: World’s first piloted solar-powered helicopter lifts off in Maryland But he needs more funding to make his mission happen. Since founding SolarStratos in 2014, Domjan has raised $5 million to make his experimental plane , which is expected to be released by solar aviation specialist PC-Solar by the end of this year. The finished plane will weigh just shy of 1,000 pounds, including two 19kw motors that produce about 50 horsepower. That much weight and power is just barely light enough to complete the missions; according to Wired, Domjan will have to lose about 20 pounds before he can attempt the feat. There’s also the problem of how he will breathe at 25,000 meters, where there’s only two percent of the oxygen available at sea level. Also, despite the funds already raised, the team needs another $5 million in the bank before they’re ready to take flight. Still, it’s a worthy mission – let’s hope the project lifts off the ground. Via Wired Images and video via SolarStratos , Youtube

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Swiss pilot plans to fly solar airplane to the edge of space

Ortega Submersible’s electric submarine lets three divers jet through the seven seas

November 28, 2016 by  
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Co-founders Daan Pol and Filip Jonker dreamed of adventure, so they decided to dive into the personal submersible business. They’ve designed three open-top submarines that seat one, two, or three people. They say their submarines are the safest, fastest, and most versatile of their kind on Earth. Related: This all-electric personal submarine can dive up to 400 feet The company even designed their own battery , called the Hancell 378i . The Mk.1C sub uses four of these batteries to power two electric motors. The Mk.1C has a surface speed of 10.4 miles per hour (mph) and jets around at 12.7 mph underwater. It has a range of 80 nautical miles, and its design ensures divers can spend more time underwater since the vehicle can transport people down to low depths rapidly. A navigation system, an on-board breathing apparatus, and 250 liter (66 gallon) cargo space are included on the submersible. The design is even ergonomic and “of the highest quality in modern Dutch engineering” according to the company. Riders must wear diving gear (including oxygen tanks and breathing apparatuses) while in Ortega’s submersibles. But the open-top design allows them to climb out and explore their surroundings easily. Ortega Submersibles envisions people like underwater archaeologists or marine biologists utilizing their submarines. They describe the Mk.1C as “a luxurious yet accessible maritime commodity.” The company does not say how much their submarines cost on their website, but people serious about buying the product can get in touch via their contact page . + Ortega Submersibles Via Dezeen Images via Ortega Submersibles and Ortega Submersibles Facebook

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Ortega Submersible’s electric submarine lets three divers jet through the seven seas

US Army to evict Dakota Access Pipeline protestors next week

November 28, 2016 by  
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After police brutally attacked hundreds of Dakota Access Pipeline protestors last week , the US Army Corps of Engineers has announced plans to shut down the Standing Rock encampment on December 5th for “safety reasons.” Tear gas, rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and freezing water cannons have not deterred the protesters from holding their ground. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies are protesting the 1,200-mile oil pipeline because its route encroaches on sacred sites and puts the community’s water supply at risk. On December 5th, the United States Army will remove the protesters from their current site on the north side of the Cannonball River to a “free speech zone” on the other side. In the face of forcible eviction, Standing Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II urges the resistance to remain strong. “It is both unfortunate and ironic that this announcement comes the day after this country celebrates Thanksgiving – a historic exchange of goodwill between Native Americans and the first immigrants from Europe,” said Archambault. “Although the news is saddening, it is not at all surprising given the last 500 years of the treatment of our people. We have suffered much, but we still have hope that the president will act on his commitment to close the chapter of broken promises to our people and especially our children.” Related: 8 ways to help the water protectors at the Standing Rock Reservation President Obama has faced increased pressure to take action on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux, particularly in the wake of Donald Trump’s shocking victory. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has spoken out on behalf of the protesters on several occasions and was recently was joined by Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), who has called on President Obama to halt the pipeline construction. “No pipeline is worth more than the respect we hold for our Native American neighbors,” said Heinrich . “No pipeline is worth more than the clean water that we all depend on. This pipeline is not worth the life of a single protester.” Via International Business Times Images via Standing Rock Uprising

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US Army to evict Dakota Access Pipeline protestors next week

The Icefjord Center in Greenland will be a place for the community to learn about climate change

July 1, 2016 by  
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Once completed, The Icefjord Center will be a place for education and understanding about climate change. The building consists of wooden framework, designed as a truss, that bridges across the landscape. The building replicates the feeling of hiking across a fjord and gives visitors a place to relax and commune. The building is scheduled to be built on a UNESCO-protected site in Greenland , will present 4000 years of cultural heritage and knowledge on the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier which scientists have been studying for centuries.  MIR and  Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter  beat out renowned architectural firms and designers, including Snøhetta, Olafur Eliasson, and Kengo Kuma and Associates, to win the proposal. Related: Accessible sail-shaped viewing tower hovers over the edge of Denmark’s Aarhus harbor Dorte Mandrup’s proposal won the competition and was lauded by the jury for its poetic qualities and simplicity. Its framework is covered by a gently sloping wooden boardwalk that functions as the starting point of the World Heritage Trail. Reminiscent of a hilltop, the volume allows visitors to move across its roof, and overlook the route before descending onto the trail. Gathering points and informal seating areas are created along the length of the volume, offering undisturbed views of the icefiord. + Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter Via Designcurial Images by MIR

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The Icefjord Center in Greenland will be a place for the community to learn about climate change

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