Architect tops Japanese community center with a series of striking wooden roofs

March 3, 2017 by  
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Hiroshima-based architect Hiroshi Sambuichi has covered a cultural center in the small Japanese island of Naoshima with a series of strikingly beautiful wooden roofs . Much of the design of the complex is based on traditional Japanese architecture – including the low-rise hipped roofs, which strategically provide fresh air circulation throughout the buildings. The complex is comprised of multiple buildings that share a series of wooden roofs . The largest roof covers the main volume of the community hall, which is built into a grassy slope. Made out of multi-tonal Japanese cypress or “hinoki,” the massive roof follows the low incline of the landscape. A large triangular opening is carved into its apex, which lets additional fresh air into the interior. Related: Kengo Kuma’s new community center hides a hilly indoor landscape under its zigzag-roof The two roofs cover four buildings underneath, which have multiple indoor and outdoor spaces – another feature that pays homage to traditional Japanese architecture . “A structure that provides protection from rain while allowing breezes to gently pass through, it inherits the principles of the Japanese traditional thatched roof,” said Sambuichi. Inside, natural materials create a simple and elegant atmosphere. The flooring is made from Hinoki panels, some of the walls are made out of adobe clay, and some rooms have compacted earth flooring made from a leftover solution from a local salt factory. The complex also has a number of typical Japanese tatami rooms, which were laid out to receive optimal air circulation. “Emulating the traditional layouts found in Naoshima, gardens and verandas are placed at the north and south, so that breezes will pass through the tatami rooms,” said the architect. To further cool the interior spaces in the hot summer months, an innovative system feeds underground water into pipes in the community center’s ceiling. Via Dezeen Photography by Sambuichi Architects

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Architect tops Japanese community center with a series of striking wooden roofs

Only 9% of California is still in drought as Sierra Nevada snowpack hits 185%

March 3, 2017 by  
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A year ago 95 percent of California was in a drought . Today, just 9 percent of the state is still experiencing drought conditions thanks to one of the wettest winters on record. Those are the findings of the United States Drought Monitor, a weekly map of drought conditions produced jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The percentage of the state currently in drought is the lowest since 2011, when the drought began. Scientists say the Sierra Nevada snowpack measured on March 1 was an astounding 185 percent of average, measuring 45.5 inches. The Sierra Nevada hasn’t had this much snowpack since 1993 when the snowpack was at 205 percent of normal, measuring 51.25 inches. The historical average snowpack is 24.6 inches, according to the state Department of Water Resources. Related: California storms could herald the end of punishing historic drought A series of “atmospheric river” storms flowing east from Hawaii and the tropical Pacific have slammed the state, bringing heavy rain and dumping massive amounts of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. There have been about 30 atmospheric river events since Oct. 1 – well above the yearly average of 12, and the six annually during the last five years of the drought. However, even with record levels of rain filling up reservoirs and snow accumulating in the Sierra Nevada, Gov. Jerry Brown is not about to declare the drought over. The snowpack will be measured again on April 1 when it is considered at its peak and Brown said he will wait until those results are announced before making a call on the drought and associated water conservation measures . + United States Drought Monitor Via Los Angeles Times Images via Pexels and Wikimedia

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Only 9% of California is still in drought as Sierra Nevada snowpack hits 185%

Robots construct an art gallery in Shanghai from recycled gray bricks

March 3, 2017 by  
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Archi-Union Architects have completed an unusual art exhibition space in Shanghai with the help of robots. Created for the Chi She artist group, the building in the city’s Xuhui district was built with recycled gray-green bricks salvaged from a former building. Designed with both traditional and contemporary elements, the Chi She exhibition space features an unusual protrusion made possible with advanced digital fabrication technology. The 200-square-meter Chi She exhibition space was built to replace a former historic building, the materials of which were salvaged and reused in the new construction. While the zigzagging roof has been raised and reconstructed from timber, the most eye-catching difference between the old and new buildings is the part of the wall above the entrance door that bulges out. The architects used a robotic masonry fabrication technique developed by Fab-Union to create the curved wall, which would have been difficult to precisely achieve with traditional means. Related: WeWork’s new coworking space in Shanghai features salvaged materials from the city’s past “The precise positioning of the integrated equipment of robotic masonry fabrication technique and the construction elaborately to the mortar and bricks by the craftsmen makes this ancient material, brick, be able to meet the requirements in the new era, and realizes the presentation of the design model consummately,” wrote the architects. “The dilapidation of these old bricks coordinated with the stretch display of the curving walls are narrating a connection between people and bricks, machines and construction, design and culture, which will be spread permanently in the shadow of external walls under the setting sun.” + Archi-Union Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Su Shengliang

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Robots construct an art gallery in Shanghai from recycled gray bricks

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