Air Conditioning Bill Too High? Should’ve Moved Into This Building

from Gizmodo Australia by Rosa Golijan

Apparently the oddly arranged 600mm diameter circular windows on this building in India are not a hidden message from aliens, but a clever way to create ambiance indoors while saving up to 25 per cent on air-conditioning costs.

suppose design office: taipei pop music center proposal

from Designboom – Weblog


image courtesy suppose design office

continuing our coverage of the taipei pop music competition, here is japanese
firm suppose design office‘s proposal. the design is based on natural landforms.


image courtesy suppose design office


image courtesy suppose design office


image courtesy suppose design office


image courtesy suppose design office


image courtesy suppose design office


image courtesy suppose design office


image courtesy suppose design office


image courtesy suppose design office


image courtesy suppose design office

Cheap, Printed Solar-Powered LEDs Could Change 1.5 Billion Lives

from Gizmodo Australia by Rosa Golijan

Photovoltaic cells printed on sheets aren’t news, nor are LEDs and ultrathin lithium batteries. What’s news is a combination of the three which can help give light to 1.5 billion people who live in impoverished areas without access to electricity.(more…)

Heathrow Airport Gets Fleet of Electric Shuttle Cars

from Green Options by Andrew Williams

For those eager to absolve the carbon guilt caused by yet another international flight, Heathrow airport is trialling an innovative electric car shuttle fleet to ferry passengers to and from the business car park.

Seeing as Heathrow is the world’s busiest international airport, I suppose the effort is a little bit like launching an attack on a saber-toothed tiger with a blunt knife, or maybe a feather duster… But hey, maybe I’m being unfair – I suppose you’ve got to start somewhere right? And I admit, the system does seem a bit nifty – if not quite as good as the Johnny Cabs (video) in Total Recall.

Read more of this story »

Oct 31, 2009 (5 days ago)

a.asadov architectural studio: aerotel

from Designboom – Weblog


aerotel by a. asadov architecture
image courtesy a. asadov architecture

russian firm a. asadov architectural studio have designed ‘aerotel’ a concept hotel on water.
the project is an alternative for the man-made islands and could be realized in any
water area – from town lakes to the ocean seashores.

the advantage is that construction costs would be low (in comparison with man-made
islands) for the full recreation complex. aerotel consist of two levels for relaxation – on
the water (with several ponds of fresh and sea water) and in the air (the hanging hotel
with a ‘web park’)

the construction consists of the ring membrane, stretched on arms and fixed on 3 supports,
coming to the bottom. the arms structure forms a ‘web park’ with pedestrian roads
and some plants – some kind of ‘hanging gardens’. inside the membrane there could be
a hotel with cafes, restaurants and winter gardens. you could reach the hotel two
ways – from water (by escalator along the support) or from the air – by airship (there are
special mooring areas on the ring for them to land and park).


image courtesy a. asadov architecture


image courtesy a. asadov architecture


image courtesy a. asadov architecture


image courtesy a. asadov architecture


image courtesy a. asadov architecture

image courtesy a. asadov architecture

ACME’s Proposal for the Rathaus-Terrassen Competition in Weilburg, Germany

from Bustler.net News by Vanilla Hustler

In September 2008, the historic city of Weilburg in Germany launched the “Rathaus-Terrassen” architectural contest as invited competition to design a replacement for an existing parking structure.

London-based practice ACME was one of the 13 invited offices and eventually won the 1st prize in the public voting process and was awarded the 2nd prize from the professional jury.

Rathaus Terrassen Weilburg by ACME

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ACME’s proposed concept for the “Rathaus Terrassen” in Weilburg, Germany

The project site is located below the dense medieval city center of Weilburg, in the steep landscape of the surrounding river valley.

The design of the Rathaus-Terrassen develops a typology of terraced landscape building as an integral part of the context, creating a very urban character towards the city while blending into the valley landscape on all other sides.

The horizontal stone fin facade varies to account for the differing demands of the building program of retail, restaurants, housing, and car parking by changing the form, density, dimension and frequency of the stone fins.

Rathaus Terrassen Weilburg by ACME

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Current situation of Weilburg’s city center

Here’s some more information from ACME:

The site is the largest continuous open space within the dense medieval city of Weilburg, where the stark and scenic contrast between the walled town and the surrounding sweeping landscape of the river valley remains clearly legible.

The design of the ‘Rathaus-Terraces’ originates from the Baroque terraced-landscape building typology, found nearby in the Weilburg Castle Gardens, and develops them into a contemporary form of landscape building.

A building as an integral part of the landscape allows the project to blend into the surrounding context while inviting inhabitation and managing to create specific urban character towards some if its city context. In this way, an active urban frontage can be created facing the old city centre, while the facade towards the river valley blends into the rhythm of rock cliffs and forested slopes along the Lahn river.

Rathaus Terrassen Weilburg by ACME

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Rendering

Rathaus Terrassen Weilburg by ACME

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Rendering

Rathaus Terrassen Weilburg by ACME

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Rendering

The project provides the required program of 19,200sqm of retail, surgeries, housing and car parking within a stratified massing, where vertical routes are carved in at specific moments to create connective visual sight lines and public routes between the city centre and river. In order to maximise activities within the project, functions like gastronomy and housing are dispersed widely within the overall massing. Access to each unit is provided through the new pedestrian cross-routes within the project and through lifts from the proposed public park landscape above. While the retail space orientates itself towards the city centre, the other functions differ in position and orientation to maximise south facing aspects, privacy and stunning views into the Lahn valley. The creation of new routes, public parks and a multitude of commercial and private programs ensures that the complex has a wide variety of uses, thereby maximizing its contribution to the regeneration of Weilburg’s historic core.

Rathaus Terrassen Weilburg by ACME

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Rendering

Rathaus Terrassen Weilburg by ACME

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Rendering

Rathaus Terrassen Weilburg by ACME

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Rendering

Similar to the strongly layered geological rock visible around the site, the building envelope is structured in horizontal layers. The fine scale of layers allows the envelope to change gradually from vertical to horizontal orientation, inviting different forms of use and inhabitation on its surface. The horizontally organized reconstituted stone fins filter daylight and natural ventilation to open areas such as corridors and the carpark while providing sun shading for other functions. Externally, the fins are used as steps, planters, benches and circulation spaces to create public routes and parks within the project. Variation of the fin thickness, spacing and position are used to form larger openings like entrances, balconies and windows where required.

Rathaus Terrassen Weilburg by ACME

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Rendering

Rathaus Terrassen Weilburg by ACME

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Rendering

Rathaus Terrassen Weilburg by ACME

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Plan

Rathaus Terrassen Weilburg by ACME

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Canyon Circulation Diagram

Rathaus Terrassen Weilburg by ACME

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Terrace Circulation Diagram

Rathaus Terrassen Weilburg by ACME

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Retail Access

Project Facts

Location: Weilburg, Germany
Client: City of Weilburg/ Nassauische Heimstätte (Projektstadt) in cooperation with a private investor
Functions: approx. 6,000 sqm retail, 2,000 sqm residential, 1,200 sqm Surgery/ Doctors Practices, and 280 parking spaces
Total GFA: 19,200 sqm
Project costs: approximately 15-19 Million Euro ($22-28 Million)

Credits

ACME: Julia Cano, Kelvin Chu, Sebastian Drewes, Deena Fakhro, Michael Haller, Daewon Kwak, Friedrich Ludewig, Isabel de la Mora, Andreas Reeg, Teresa Yeh

Images: ACME

Warmer Seas Blocking Nature’s Carbon Pump

from Green Options by Michael Ricciardi

Diatoms are one of the most common types of phytoplankton.

Diatoms are one of the most common types of phytoplankton.

Climate change isn’t just warming the atmosphere, it’s also warming the ocean’s surface and deeper levels of the water column. This is known as the pelagic ocean (the “pelagic zone” is any part of the water column other than that at the sea floor) and it just so happens to harbor the most productive ecosystem on planet Earth. The pelagic ocean is responsible for an estimated half of the world’s primary production (i.e., the basic food or nutrient making needed to sustain other life), and sustains most of the world’s natural fisheries.

The pelagic zone also plays a very complex but important role in the global carbon cycle. Inorganic carbon (mostly in the form of CO2) can be “drawn down” from the atmosphere by two main processes: the respiration of photo-synthetic algae and plankton (which produce oxygen and serve as a food source as well), and, secondly, the sedimentation of carbon (in the form of sinking, dead marine matter) onto the sea floor. Most algae and phytoplankton have chlorophyll and live in the upper most layer of the water column where there is sufficient sunlight penetration (this is called the euphotic zone; from the surface down to 200 meters is the epipelagic zone). Although carbon is also removed via “outgassing” (the exporting of carbon and carbon-based molecules into the atmosphere via ocean-air circulation), these two processes keep carbon out of the atmosphere. And of the two, bottom accumulation (via sinking) is the predominant means by which carbon is removed from the water column.

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Mini-E Hits Pothole, Shuts Down: Electric Car Durability in Question

from Green Options by Christopher DeMorro

One major obstacle on the road to widespread acceptance of electric cars is reliability. Electric cars are still relatively new ground, and anybody who has ever gotten a cellphone wet or left a laptop in a car during a hot summer day (guilty on both counts) knows that electronics are very sensitive to the elements. Apparently, they are also sensitive to potholes.

One of the “lucky” few who were given an Electric Mini to test out—the founder of GM-Volt.com found out just how sensitive when the Mini came to a dead stop in a construction zone after hitting one such pothole.

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soma wins first prize to design thematic pavilion at yeosu expo 2012, south korea

from Designboom – Weblog

soma has won first prize to design the thematic pavilion at the yeosu expo 2012 in south korea,
which is set to be one of the event’s major facilitis. its exhibitions will give visitors an overview
and introduction to the expo’s theme ‘the living ocean and coast’.

we experience the ocean mainly in two ways, as an endless surface and in an immersed position
as depth. soma’s concept for the thematic pavilion consists of continuous surfaces with
contrasting spatial qualities, transitioning between contrasting experiences to form the pavilion’s
outer appearance. towards the sea, the conglomeration of solid vertical cones defines a new
meandering coast line, a soft edge that is in constant negotiation between water and land.
on the opposite side, the pavilion develops out of the ground transforming into an artificial roof
landscape with gardens and scenic paths. the topographic lines of the roof turn into lamellas
of the kinetic media façade that faces the expo’s entrance and the ‘digital gallery’.

EPA Tests Porous Pavement, Greener Gardens

from Wired: Autopia by Keith Barry

rainylot

As stormwater runoff endangers the world’s water supply, the EPA is busy planting gardens and repaving its parking lots.

Don’t worry — it’s not just an attempt to beautify the agency’s field offices in Edison, New Jersey. The renovations are being done in the name of science, with a field test of runoff-reducing pavements and installation of water-cleansing rain gardens. The Environmental Protection Agency is using the trials to see how pavement and plant choices can help filter pollutants out of rain water before it reenters the water supply.

“Runoff from parking lots and driveways is a significant source of water pollution in the United States and puts undo stress on our water infrastructure, especially in densely-populated urban areas,” EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou said in a statement. The study, he said, “will help us develop strategies to lessen the environmental impacts of parking lots across the country.”

Plus, the agency gets a fancy new parking lot.

Previously, when an EPA staffer’s ‘78 Fiat leaked oil, the next rainstorm would pick that oil up and carry it — along with hydrocarbons from exhaust and leftover fertilizer — straight into the watershed. Without proper treatment, some of those pollutants might end up in your water glass.

While permeable pavement and absorbent plants have become popular tools for “greening” parking lots, the EPA says that no real-world tests have been done to see whether porous surfaces are effective in reducing runoff, or whether rain gardens can absorb runoff from parking lots.

The EPA says their tests will take place over the next 10 years, with three different kinds of pavement and rain gardens installed in working parking lots. By the end of the study, the EPA will be able to provide recommendations grounded in real-world trials for concerned property owners.

Photo: Flickr user doortoriver

Pocket Light Concept Provides Portable Wallet-Sized Illumination

from Gizmodo Australia by Jack Loftus

The Pocket Light is a nifty light that’s powered by a watch battery and folds down to the size of a credit card. Convenient! And, when paired with that other pocket-sized protection, could lead to quite the romantic little evening. (more…)

Oslo’s Skyline Gets Three “Crystal Clear” Landmark Towers

from Bustler.net News by Vanilla Hustler

Kristin Jarmund Architects in collaboration with C. F. Møller Architects, has recently won a major competition to design a spectacular new landmark project in the city of Oslo, for the client KLP Eiendom AS, one of Norway’s largest property investors. The project, which has been dubbed “Crystal Clear”, consists of three towers, which grow organically from the ground to form a sculptural cluster, and are composed of stacked, prismatic volumes.

Oslo Crystal Clear Towers

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Competition-winning design for a new high-rise complex in the heart of Oslo

The development totals approx. 90,000 m² of offices, commercial space and possibly housing, located at one of Oslo’s most valuable sites, the former postal sorting office adjacent to the central station. ‘Crystal Clear’ ties in with the city’s skyline, and the string of developing landmark projects that will help turn Oslo into one of Europe’s most modern capitals.

Oslo Crystal Clear Towers

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Rendering

Here’s some more info from the architects:

A high-rise development, located at Norway’s most important traffic hub in central Oslo, and with fantastic views of the waterfront and fjord-landscape beyond. The idea is to create a landmark sculptural ensemble of towers, yet observe the harmony with the surrounding, low-rise urban fabric of the capital. The three towers of approx. 110, 65 and 55 m height, are arranged along the edges of the site, and the tallest tower is aligned with the existing nearby Oslo Plaza and Postgirobygget towers, while the lower buildings form the link to the city.

Oslo Crystal Clear Towers

Click above image to enlarge
Rendering

Oslo Crystal Clear Towers

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Rendering Interior

The three towers have clear-cut and vertical elevations to the exterior of the site, with large openings and setbacks forming windows to selected viewpoints. In contrast, the elevations towards the interior of the site are composed of stacked, glazed volumes, freely arranged to form a prismatic and crystalline appearance. The layout secures the views over the water, not only for the three new buildings but also the city beyond.

Oslo Crystal Clear Towers

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Rendering Close-Up

Oslo Crystal Clear Towers

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Rendering Close-Up

In between the towers, a two-story base containing shops and restaurants forms an undulating landscape that connects to street level via ramps, plateaus and stairs. This base creates a calm urban garden, framed by the tall buildings, with recreational space and cafes for the city and the buildings occupants. The towers are designed with a high degree of flexibility to house offices, hotels and possibly housing.

Oslo Crystal Clear Towers

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Elevation

Oslo Crystal Clear Towers

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Section

Oslo Crystal Clear Towers

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Aerial photo of the site

Oslo Crystal Clear Towers

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Site Plan

Oslo Crystal Clear Towers

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Floor Plan

Oslo Crystal Clear Towers

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Floor Plan

Oslo Crystal Clear Towers

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Floor Plan

Project Facts and Credits:

Address: Biskop Gunnerus gate 14 b, 0185 Oslo, Norway
Client: KLP Eiendom AS
Year: 2009
Year of competition: 1st prize in architectural competition, 2009
Architect: Kristin Jarmund Architects in collaboration with C. F. Møller Architects
Landscape : Kristin Jarmund Architects in collaboration with C. F. Møller Architects
Competition collaborators: ATKINS, Erichsen & Horgen AS, MIR (illustrations), Oslo Modellverksted (model)
Area: 92,000 m² (75,000 m² above ground)

Using Waste Heat Energy for Industrial-Scale Air Conditioning

from Green Options by Susan Kraemer

Here’s a low carbon cooling technology that uses hot water from waste to make A/C without fossil fuels, saving 80% over fossil-fueled chillers.

This industrial scale chiller from the Chinese company Broad Central Air can convert many different kinds of waste heat into air conditioning. The waste heat can come from many industrial sources, including what the Chinese site calls “town gas” – methane from town landfill, collected and burned to generate heat.

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Dubai’s Technosphere Would Fit Right Into A Disney Park

from Gizmodo Australia by Rosa Golijan

I think they ran out of weird building designs, because the centrepiece of Dubai’s Technopark looks like it was copied from Epcot’s Spaceship Earth. Whatever happened to architecture proposals for Dubai being completely nuts? (more…)

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