Futuristic UN think tank building looks like it belongs on Star Trek

from DVICE by Kevin Hall
Futuristic UN think tank building looks like it belongs on <i>Star Trek</i>San Francisco is getting ready to break ground on the Federation Council UN Global Compact Center, which — besides looking like a concept sketch for some sci-fi movie — is made notable because of where it’s being built. It will take over the location of the Hunter’s Point Shipyard, which has been deemed one of the most polluted sites in the nation by the US Environmental Agency. Step one is clean all that gunk up. Step two? Build a structure that will serve as an example against that kind of pollution, as well as help stop it from ever happening.

The center itself will act as the site for a think tank that will mull over green technologies and policies to help combat detrimental climate change. The building will ultimately be an 80,000-square-foot center that’s LEED certified, cost $20,000 $20 million and is scheduled to begin construction in 2011. Let’s hope that cleanup is effective, but hey — if not, a third eye or grossly enlarged brain could only help the UN thinkers, right?

UN Global Compact Center, via Inhabitat

Lamborghini Hybrid Coming In 2015

from Green Options by Christopher DeMorro

Even supercar makers are getting into the green game. Hot on the heels of Mercedes announcement that the famous gullwing would return as an all-electric supercar, and Ferrari’s plan to unveil a hybrid of their own at November’s L.A. Autoshow, Lamborghini is now planning a hybrid of their own.

Lamborghini is known for many things; sexy sounding V12 engines, outrageous, egregious bodykits, and low fuel efficiency (often in the single digits). But a hybrid?

Read more of this story »

Israeli company Atlantium Develops Pathogen Water Purification System Without Chemicals

from Green Options by Amiel Blajchman

Have you noticed how all sorts of high end resorts and hotels have started converting their chlorine pools to salt water? And it’s not just the health and hospitality industry that wants to figure out a way to purify their water without resorting to chemicals. Other industries, including the food and beverage, dairy, aquaculture and municipal drinking water providers need to ensure that the water they use contain no micro-organisms or pathogens of any kind. A company based in Israel, Atlantium has developed what may be one of the first industrial-grade solutions to water micro-organism purification without chemicals.

Read more of this story »

New Green Star to shape Frasers Broadway, Barangaroo – Architecture and Design

Architecture and Design

New Green Star to shape Frasers Broadway, Barangaroo
Architecture and Design
The Green Star rating tool could shape the VicUrban township in Melbourne’s south-east, Fraser’s Broadway (pictured), as well as Sydney’s Barangaroo, 
Green precincts agreement between GBCA and vicurbanEcoGeneration

all 3 news articles »

Archimedialab’s Built Landscape Opens in Germany

from Bustler.net News by Vanilla Hustler

Nearly 4 years after the competition for a new administration building of the Schwandorf Incineration Plantin Bavaria, Germany was won by Stuttgart-based archimedialab, this unique ensemble of building and landscape has now been officially inaugurated.

archimedialab - Incineration Plant Schwandorf

Click above image to enlarge
Built landscape: the new administration building of the Schwandorf Incineration Plant by archimedialab

Here is how archimedialab describe their project:

The task to design a new administration building, reorganize the power station compound and create a new noise protection barrier offered the chance to dissolve the dichotomy of landscape and building to realize the deconstruction of those categories into one designed environment, to be experienced in a dynamic and curious fashion.

archimedialab - Incineration Plant Schwandorf

Click above image to enlarge
Main Entrance

OFF Architecture’s Bering Strait Project Allows Views at Arctic Marine Fauna

from Bustler.net News by Vanilla Hustler

In June, Bustler published the winning entries of the Bering Strait Project competition that seeks to connect the short stretch of Arctic Ocean between Russia and the United States via a bridge or a tunnel.

Here is the proposal by Paris-based OFF Architecture (Team comprised of Manal Rachdi, Tanguy Vermet, Mathieu Michel, Takanao Todo, and Lily Nourmansouri) that won the 2nd Prize in the Professional Category:

OFF Architecture - Bering Strait Project

Click above image to enlarge
Site Plan Zoom Out

The project does not simply concern itself with the construction of a commercial or railway link, nor a bridge connecting one continent to another. The amplitude, siting, geopolitical context as well as the global ecological conscience entails a proposal far more audacious, an active project sensitive to the conditions of the site.

OFF Architecture - Bering Strait Project

Click above image to enlarge
Site Plan

A threshold between the arctic and pacific oceans, the Strait manifests a highly fragile and sensitive climate, linked to the fabrication of ice, acting as a strategic zone for global climate. An incredibly particular ecosystem connected to the surrounding climate is composed of very rare and fragile species which includes belugas, walrus, polar bears, blue whales, dolphins, and orcas, to name a few.

Due to the Straits relatively shallow water levels; the proposed structure is able to descend to the bottom of the ocean, with only a few meters floating above the water level.

OFF Architecture - Bering Strait Project

Click above image to enlarge

The structure works in compression. Two parallel walls cut through the adjacent bodies of water, held apart with bracing, which at times is habitable. Each wall, 10 meters wide, respectfully provides train and vehicle infrastructures at its apex. The massive structure requires simplicity, a trait only achieved with a direct line that connects the two sides of the Strait.

OFF Architecture - Bering Strait Project

Click above image to enlarge
Section Zooms

The interstitial space created by this vast separation, spanning 50 meters, becomes an interface for human passage and exchange, providing visitors and inhabitants the opportunity to traverse the Strait by foot, as was originally intended by primary civilizations. Constant views of the marine landscape travelling across the perforating tubes pierce the linear horizon of the space, constructing a new ground floor plane, submerged 50 meters below water level.

OFF Architecture - Bering Strait Project

Click above image to enlarge
Structure Axonometric

The project creates a milieu dependant on green energy, taking advantage of the site and it’s inherent currents, to install a completely ecological, renewable system.

The delicate ecosystem embodied in the site is enriched through the implication of perforations in the main structure, across which local fauna can permeate, providing adjacent laboratories direct access for research, as well as inviting the public to explore and witness this unique habitation. A protected space is thus created for these ecologies to flourish. This filter allows things to occur naturally in terms of energy, fishing and observation, but under controlled circumstances.

OFF Architecture - Bering Strait Project

Click above image to enlarge

Furthermore, the separation of the Arctic from the Pacific can only improve temperature isolation, gradually decreasing water temperatures in the Arctic as there is much less exchange between the two bodies of water. The Arctic ice sheet will stabilize itself, protecting the cap from melting. Salinity levels are also stabilized seeing as there is a decrease inflow of the salty Pacific waters, further decreasing ice melt, hence reducing global climate change.

OFF Architecture - Bering Strait Project

Click above image to enlarge
View from Tube

The structure takes advantage of the existing currents in the channel. Certain perforations in the structure act as marine current turbines, accelerating water movement and currents. Because the water level in the Strait is relatively shallow, flows tend to be faster, generating more energy.

OFF Architecture - Bering Strait Project

Click above image to enlarge

Because of their large scale, the turbines move in such a slow manner, that fauna is still able to pass through, diminishing any repercussions on marine life. The energy produced from this action is channelled into programmatic zones of the schemes, such as the residences and the laboratories. Furthermore, the structure’s walls rise 2 meters above the level of the sea, utilizing the energy produced from storm fetch, waves that crash and break on the boundary walls.

OFF Architecture - Bering Strait Project

Click above image to enlarge
Interior Shot

Factor 32 – Calculating the Rate of Consumption

from Green Options by Michael Ricciardi

World Fertility Rate Map

World Fertility Rate Map

The current world population is approximately 6.5 billion people and growing. By or before 2050, that number will grow by almost 50% to 9 billion. With the availability of birth control and better education rates for women being higher in developed (industrial or post-industrial) nations, most of this increase is projected to come from the developing  world–those nations that are just now making significant progress away from exclusively agrarian societies, and towards full industrialization.

And despite the prevalence of fatal diseases, civil wars, and high infant mortality rates (note: the US has the highest infant mortality rate of any developed country), most of these developing countries continue to show population increases–especially as more effective medicines and health education (via government and private sector programs) become available.

Read more of this story »

Battery Shortage Slows Prius Sales; Will Batteries Hold Back Hybrids?

from Green Options by Christopher DeMorro

The Toyota Prius is among the most popular cars under the Cash For Clunkers program right now. But many people who want one will have to wait, as production of the popular hybrid has slowed because of a battery shortage. The supplier of Prius batteries, Panasonic EV Energy, can not keep up with Toyota’s 500,000  annual Prius capacity. While Panasonic EV says it should have its production capacity ramped up to a million units annually by mid-2010, this begs the bigger question;

Will battery packs hold back hybrid production and development?

Read more of this story »

solar forest charging station for electric vehicles

solar forest parking station

designer neville mars has developed an electric vehicle charging station that takes
the form of an evergreen glade of solar trees. the photovoltaic grove serves a dual function,
acting as a go to source for clean renewable energy while providing a shady spot for cars
to park as they charge.

solar forest parking station

each of the trees in the forest are composed of a set of photovoltaic leaves mounted
on a branching poll. the base of each trunk features an power outlet that can be used
to charge your electrical vehicle.

solar forest

solar forest

solar forest


via inhabitat

‘think outside the parking box’ international design competition
designboom and nissan motor company are looking for YOUR artwork that illustrate
your perception within the theme ‘think outside the parking box’. challenge conventional
urban parking! playful enhanced parking technology, robotic facilities, safety, dynamic
services, green parking … creative solutions that address urban parking problems,
statements of objections, creative-innovative-and-hilarious ideas in form of videos,
art- design objects and illustrations can be submitted.
register for free here

Organic Food No Better For You Says Influential UK Agency

from Green Options by Kay Sexton

organic food box

The Food Standards Agency in the UK has declared that, “… there are no important differences in the nutrition content, or any additional health benefits, of organic food when compared with conventionally produced food.”

In a comprehensive study, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine examined more than 50,000 studies on the nutritional value of foods going back to 1958. Of these, 55 met the criteria of the project. Dr Alan Dangour, the principal author, commented on the marginal differences found during the studies, “A small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist … but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance. Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority.”

Read more of this story »

DCM Win Sydney’s UTS Broadway Building Design Competition

from Bustler.net News by Vanilla Hustler

Denton Corker Marshall have been announced as the winner of the UTS Broadway Building Design Competition in Sydney, Australia.

DCM Win Sydney's UTS Broadway Building Design Competition

Click above image to enlarge
Winning design in Sydney’s UTS Broadway Building Design Competition by Denton Corker Marshall

LOT-EK Selected to Design New York City’s Pier 57

from Bustler.net News by Vanilla Hustler

New York firm LOT-EK has been selected to design Pier 57 as part of New York City’s Hudson River Parkdevelopment. The proposal, a team effort with developer Young Woo & Associates, foresees a rooftop park crowning a small shopping center of local artisan stores built with recycled shipping containers.


Winning proposal for Chelsea’s Pier 57 development by LOT-EK with Young Woo & Associates

The proposal also includes plans for a contemporary culture center with spaces for exhibitions, galleries, auctions, and entertainment.

Pier 57 occupies a high visibility location in Chelsea at West 15th Street and West Street (Route 9A), at the western edge of the Meat Packing District.


LightBoy lamp brings Japanese cute to burly construction workers

from DVICE by Adario Strange
LightBoy lamp brings Japanese cute to burly construction workers In Japan, sometimes it seems as though nearly “everything” has to be cute. Such is the case with this new street construction balloon light found on Omotesando in Tokyo, Japan.

The LightBoy mascot doubles as a lamp, providing nighttime Japanese construction workers with a diffuse, non-glare light source, while humbly bowing to passersby as the late night construction crew goes about its business. If ever there was an example of Japan’s mix of hard work and the “kawaii” (cute) aesthetic, this is it!

Via LightBoy

Student Works: An Infrastructural Lifeline for Palestine and Israel

from InfraNet Lab by neeraj
[Torn Country, Thesis Cover Page, Christoph Hesse]

[Torn Country, Thesis Cover Page, Christoph Hesse]

For Palestine and Israel, and undoubtedly for the rest of the world, the year 1999 was one of hope. A huge step towards a peaceful future in the Middle East was made in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, when the Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat signed the so-called “The Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum”. It was overseen by the United States (represented by the Secretary of State Madeleine Albright) and co-signed by President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan. Beyond political issues it contained the following physical (and potentially architectural) implications:

1) A stable and safe Gaza – West Bank Passage
2) The construction of a Seaport in Gaza to connect Palestine to the global economy
3) A Free Trade Zone shared by Israel and Palestine to foster stability
4) Solutions for the pressing water problems and the damaged Dead Sea area

This was all in 1999, ten years ago. Just one year later, in 2000, the promising situation was overshadowed by the start of the Second Intifada, halting the progress to the goals presented in “The Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum”. It seems that the window of opportunity is almost now closed.

The following ’student works’ critically re-examines the memorandum while addressing the current political situation and necessities.  Designed by Christoph Hesse for his Masters of Architecture and Urban Design Thesis (2007) at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design,  the project highlights the potential of architecture, urban, and infrastructural design to go beyond political strategies (that often lack the strength to alter a given situation), to create a new reality, formulate new ecologies, and produce new economies.

Hesse states:

Especially in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, we have to overcome the domination of political approaches which usually end in military actions that capture a whole region under a ‘permanent temporarily’ of physical underdevelopment, fear and desperation. Maybe the project started as a dream, but so did peace in the Middle East.

[A stable and safe Gaza - West Bank Infrastructural Link]

[A stable and safe Gaza – West Bank Infrastructural Link]
[Water connection and elevation difference between the Mediterranean Sea and shrinking Dead Sea]

[Water connection and elevation difference between the Mediterranean Sea and shrinking Dead Sea]
[Port Connection: A New civic center for Gaza, Image: C.Hesse]

[Port Connection: A New civic center for Gaza, Image: C.Hesse]

The project proposes an inner harbor as a new seaport for Gaza – benefiting trade on the Gaza Strip, West Bank and Israel.  The origin of the water connection between the Mediterranean and Dead Sea would remain open as a canal to allow containerships to reach a distribution center in the hinterland of Gaza. Along the canal urban programs such as a linear park, housing and commercial areas would couple the infrastructure with other functions that are linked in a symbiotic relationship.

[Sectional Perspective.  Urbanization of the new canal and the inner harbor of Gaza.  Image: C.Hesse]

[Sectional Perspective. Urbanization of the new canal and the inner harbor of Gaza. Image: C.Hesse]
[Free trade zone shared by Israel and Palestine.  Image: C.Hesse]

[Free trade zone shared by Israel and Palestine. Image: C.Hesse]

DuPont™ Corian® design studio launches in new york

located in the flatiron district of new york city, DuPont™ opened the first ever Corian® design studio.
the space was designed by michael morris and yoshiko sato of morris sato studio, a new york based
architecture firm. they have integrated unique lighting as well as sound and shape technology into the
space, such as the starry sky lighting installation made from 74 pieces of thermoformed Corian. the design
studio is an interactive workshop that allows designers and architects to talk directly with experts about
there material needs. it will also showcase design applications for dupont surfaces. the Corian design studio
is a collaborated effort between DuPont, surface solutions provider evans & paul, and marketing distributor
dolan & traynor.


World’s Largest Contract Caterer Bans 69 Endangered Fish From Menus

from Green Options by Rhishja Larson

White Marlin

In a move praised by environmentalists fighting to protect vulnerable species, thousands of restaurants across the UK and Ireland have taken 69 fish off their menus.

The Compass Group, world’s largest contract caterer, is setting an example in addressing fisheries’ sustainability and helping to reduce demand for over-exploited fish. According to today’s Guardian, the 69 species on the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) “Fish to Avoid” list will no longer be served at 6,500 outlets across the UK and Ireland supplied by Compass.

Head of conservation at MCS, Simon Brockington, in the same article, praised the company’s decision, calling it a “crucial step in ensuring the long-term survival of vulnerable fisheries.”

Currently, a decision on whether or not to offer “official advice” to consumers on eating ethically is under consideration by the government’s Food Standards Agency. If the agency moves forward with the decision, it will encourage consumers not to buy or eat endangered fish,as well as direct them to the MCS and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Read more of this story »

What Is A Petabyte?

13.3 years of HDTV content, that’s approximately 58,292 movies, which means an equal number of large pizzas. So one petabyte equals 52 tonnes of pepperoni pizza. Yes, my head has assploded. For more serious equivalents, check the graphic. [Mozy(more…)