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Trade is critical for generating economic growth and reducing poverty. Without good quality infrastructure roads, rail, and ports the cost of trade and transport rises. In Southern Africa transport costs are 73% higher than in the EU and US, limiting the ability of the region to trade competitively. Landlocked countries such as Zambia are especially affected, facing transport costs around 50% higher than coastal countries. As a consequence their trade volume is some 60% smaller .

On the 6th April, DFID announced £100 million for the implementation of an innovative and comprehensive transport and cross-border trade reform programme along the North-South Corridor combined with a broader package of regional trade-related reforms. The initiative is also supported by other donors and will transform Southern and East African trading opportunities.

The North South Corridor will involve upgrading 4000 km of road, rehabilitating 600 km of rail track and help to accelerate the generation of 35 Giga Watts of new power capacity through the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP, and to enable a better system for power transmission power across the region by 2015. Improvements on the NS Corridor could lead to transport cost savings to African based businesses in the order of US$50 million per year.

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

Click above image to enlarge
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.

Read more of this story »

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.

Read more of this story »

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

Click above image to enlarge
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

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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.

Read more of this story »

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…)

‘Design and Government’ Calls for German Architects to Submit their Projects

from Bustler.net News by Vanilla Hustler

[edit]

image

EXPO pavilion, 2000, Location: Hannover, Germany, Client: Foundation Holland World Fairs, Design: MVRDV

Salad Origin Now Traceable With New Kroger Greens

from Slashfood by Sarah LeTrent
traceable salad greens at kroger

The Kroger Co.

Ever wondered where that lettuce leaf you’re eating was grown?

Kroger says it’s become the first grocery chain to employ traceability technology on its salads, so consumers can see exactly where its packaged Fresh Selections salad greens come from.

For its pre-washed, ready-to-serve salads, Kroger is using HarvestMark technology — a 16-digit tracking code on packaging that consumers can plug into HarvestMark’s Web site to trace the greens back to the source, including the region where the produce was grown and the date it was packed. It’s part of the grocer’s new “Quality You Can Trace” program.

Continue reading Salad Origin Now Traceable With New Kroger Greens

BIG Wins Competition for the World Village of Women Sports in Malmø

from Bustler.net News by Vanilla Hustler

Danish architects BIG, in collaboration with British structural and civil engineering firm AKT, Swedish consultantTyréns and German climate engineers Transsolar have just been awarded first place in a design competition in Malmø, Sweden for a 100,000 m2 first of its kind sports facility.

World Village of Women Sports by BIG

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Competition-winning design for the World Village of Women Sports in Malmø, Sweden by BIG, in collaboration with AKT, Tyréns and Transsolar

The World Village of Women Sports seeks to create a natural gathering place for the research, education and training in all areas connected to the development of women’s sports. Located in the center of Malmø, the 100,000 m2 facility will create a regional landmark and new attraction for the area. The winning design was chosen among five submissions by a jury, comprised of the founder and main financier of the World Village of Women Sports, Kent Widding Persson, the co-founder and entrepreneur Mårten Hedlund, City of Malmø Architect,Ingemar Gråhamn and Architects Mats Jacobson and Cecilia Hansson together with representatives from the City of Malmø.

World Village of Women Sports by BIG

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Rendering Close-up

Obama $US8b Plan To Modernise The US Power Grid

from Gizmodo Australia by Jesus Diaz

Oh, Sr. Presidente, you look so goooood in the middle of the largest photovoltaic farm in the country — the 180-acre DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy centre in Tampa, Florida. Maybe that’s why you want to put solar panels everywhere. (more…)

Tarzan’s Making His Reservations At This Frame Hotel

from Gizmodo Australia by Rosa Golijan

Finding a room service guy who doesn’t even blink if you’re running around in a loin cloth (or less) shouldn’t be tough in this Dubai hotel. The place already almost looks like a jungle on the inside. (more…)

Lila-Lou’s Ankida Yacht Will Make You Long For A Journey

from Gizmodo Australia

I don’t even want to imagine what the price tag for Lila-Lou’s finely-tuned Ankida yacht will be. I just want to lay on the deck and watch the wind hit those optimally positioned sails as I drift around the world. (more…)

peddle thorp architects: fluid – amphibian pavilion

from Designboom – Weblog


‘fluid’ – the amphibian pavilion

peddle thorpe architects‘(PTA) submission for the thematic pavilion of the world expo 2012
in yeosu, korea is resolved as a vessel – a floating exhibition space that can be sailed to other cities.
it represents an evolution of architecture – a futuristic adaptable living building that can adjust to
the unknowable future, encouraging multidisciplinary problem solving through sustainable solutions.

the overall concept presents a schematic design which is alive, adaptive and reactive
to its oceanic environments. anchored to the coastline as if a living organism, rising and falling
with the tides, the pavilion illustrates the bond and interdependence of the ocean with its
coastal eco system. the architectural form draws on the contours and fluidity of oceanic organisms,
presenting a new paradigm of living architecture.

yeosu is an emerging city, and this piece of architecture can be seen as the vessel to carry
the metaphor of change like an ark to the new world, sending a positive message to future generations,
and offering a platform for people to collaborate and create. the idea is that sustainability
and conservation would run through the design approach. with its open interior,
the pavilion could continued use of the pavilion with the ability to host a range of events even
after the world expo has finished. the design which was developed by antoine damery for PTA,
will promote dialogue and encourage collaboration between asia pacific countries about the
importance of the preservation of oceans and ecosystems.

Beijing Expansion Looks Like High Tech Eden

from Gizmodo Australia by Jesus Diaz

They may have some of the dirtiest city skies in the planet, but at least the Chinese authorities are doing some nice and beautiful urban planning for the future of Beijing. (more…)

nabito architects: taipei pop music center proposal

from Designboom – Weblog


taipei pop music center proposal by taipei pop music center
image courtesy nabito architects

international firm nabito architects have sent in images of their proposal for
the taipei pop music center proposal.

‘by consuming pop music, people want to express who they are, to which group they
belong and what their identity is.’

their design is based on a horizontal slab that consists of a node at the center.



the middle of the taipei pop music center
image courtesy nabito architects


taipei pop music center at night
image courtesy nabito architects


taipei pop music center at night
image courtesy nabito architects


taipei pop music center interior
image courtesy nabito architects

image courtesy nabito architects

the facade is divided into sections of approximately 1m wide by means of vertical steel
pillars. within these areas LED panels are managed by a central PC that can change
the building aspect according to needs (entertainment, advertising, culture, news and events).


image courtesy nabito architects

photovoltaic system integrated into a glass curtain wall. the building performs as
a self sufficient organic system, harvesting solar energy by day and using it to illuminate
the screen on northern facade after drak, mirroring a day’s climate cycle.

a famous example of this technology is the media wall (beijing) with its first venue
dedicated to digital media art.

it offers the most radical example of sustainable technology applied to an entire building’s
envelope to date.

the facade is constituted by glass panels that integrate photovoltaic cells.
each panel has a specific density.


longitudinal section
image courtesy nabito architects

longitudinal section
image courtesy nabito architects


cross sectional view
image courtesy nabito architects


floor plan
image courtesy nabito architects


floor plan
image courtesy nabito architects

Winners Announced for the Lavender Lake Art Factory Competition

from Bustler.net News by Vanilla Hustler

The winning designs of the suckerPUNCH-curated Lavender Lake Art Factory competition have recently been announced. The international competition asked architects to submit concepts for an ‘art factory’ at the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, New York that will contain private/shared art studios, a storefront gallery/bar, analog/digital shops, and live/work spaces for rotating artists in residence. Both the interior and exterior realizations of the project should rethink the white boxes of modern art work and display spaces and conceive a sequence of spaces that address the diversity of contemporary art and design at multiple scales.

The jury comprised Abigail Coover (Hume Coover Studio, suckerPUNCH), Nathan Hume (Hume Coover Studio, suckerPUNCH), Mike Szivos (SOFTlab), Jose Gonzalez (SOFTlab), Armand Graham (Asymptote), Serra Kiziltan (Gage Clemenceau Architects), and Philip Mana (Studio Daniel Libeskind).

And these are the winning designs:

1st Place: “Water Fields”
Pablo Esteban Zamorano & Marcos Cardenas (Santiago de Chile, Chile)

Lavender Lake Art Factory Competition

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Pablo Esteban Zamorano & Marcos Cardenas

Lavender Lake Art Factory Competition

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Pablo Esteban Zamorano & Marcos Cardenas

An art factory, an open public space, a beach, a picnic field, a crop garden, a space for the community and for culture, a land open to the water, the city and the arts. The border condition (water-land) of this site made us think about how these limits could react with each other to create something new. An hybrid space product of a simple movement: the inundation of the site, the analysis of a close up view of the canal and the projection of that into the site as a geometry, to translate what used to be water into land but now as a construction of the memory of the canal. The Gowanus Canal is now a new public space for the city that brings the canal back to the people.

2nd Place: “Lavender Lake Art Factory”
David Jaubert (Brooklyn, New York)

Lavender Lake Art Factory Competition

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David Jaubert

Lavender Lake Art Factory Competition

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David Jaubert

Given the disparate relationship between the factory typology and public place exemplified by the surrounding context, the project seeks to explore the tension between the two as an impetus for a potential hybrid type. By shifting the ground plane on the site, the project’s parti allows for the multiplicity of the datum rather than it’s displacement, resulting in a site condition that aims to extend the synthesis between the public and private domain.

3rd Place: “Lavender Lake Art Factory”
Chiara Gambassi & Jan Kudlicka (Bucine, Italy)

Lavender Lake Art Factory Competition

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Chiara Gambassi & Jan Kudlicka

Lavender Lake Art Factory Competition

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Chiara Gambassi & Jan Kudlicka

What or who influenced this project: Typical rude ambience of Brooklyn, train bridge on one side and the river on the other side. The urbanistic juxtaposition of the industry in the east and the living area in the west. Missing of the green places. So we tried to make a project which has got some similar story with the surroundings but with using new materials. Create the place with the symbiosis between the park/building.

Honorable Mention: “HydroCarbon Architecture”
Cesare Griffa, Davide Guerra + Federico Rizzo/r&d Architecture (Turin, Italy)

Lavender Lake Art Factory Competition

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Cesare Griffa, Davide Guerra + Federico Rizzo/r&d Architecture

Lavender Lake Art Factory Competition

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Cesare Griffa, Davide Guerra + Federico Rizzo/r&d Architecture

The Gowanus site is A toxic body in which the degeneration of the space is a direct consequence of the industrial and criminal activities that took place here over time. The environmental clean up is a necessity. There is an hygienic problem that needs to be addressed, and social potential that need to be unveiled. A mere sterilization of the site is not enough, there is a need of oxygen to sustain life. The appearance of a Gowanus social movement can be the engine of renovation. Such a movement requires a specific space that embed also the dark and degenerated aspects of the area within an hygienic project.

Honorable Mention: “YMCArt Center on the Gowanus”
Vanessa Keith/Studioteka Design (Brooklyn, New York)

Lavender Lake Art Factory Competition

Click above image to enlarge
Vanessa Keith/Studioteka Design

Lavender Lake Art Factory Competition

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Vanessa Keith/Studioteka Design

Our project emphasizes public space for the community, a YMCA with a twist: art spaces + community spaces + research spaces. The main building, located to the north along fifth street, combines space for art with an environmental research and remediation program, including offices and research labs, which makes the project economically sustainable. We were intrigued by the concept of industrial symbiosis and the notion that the site’s industrial legacy could be transformed into an amenity for local residents. By incorporating site remediation within the program and structure, the project serves as a demonstration of a new locally focused strategy.

Images: suckerPUNCH

Super Colossal Wins Gold Coast Cultural and Civic Precinct Master Plan Competition

from Bustler.net News by Vanilla Hustler

Our friends at Australian architecture and design studio Super Colossal have just been named winners in the Gold Coast Cultural and Civic Precinct Master Plan Competition.

Further commendations have been awarded to the entries by Gall & Medek Architects with the Queensland College of Art, GU, Masters of Design Futures program; as well as DC8 studio; LVO’ Architecture Pty Ltd; and Matt Drysdale.

Gold Coast Cultural and Civic Precinct Master Plan by Super Colossal

Click above image to enlarge
First Prize in the Gold Coast Cultural and Civic Precinct Master Plan Competition for Super Colossal

The Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth largest city and one of the fastest growing regions in our country. The city’s population is around 500,000 and, if as forecast, it continues to grow by 13,000 to 16,000 annually, it will be home to 900,000 residents by 2030. The 16.5 hectare site is located at 135 Bundall Road and is bordered on three sides by rivers and canals. Formerly a simple rural cane farm, the site is now at the heart of a growing city with views across the skyline of Surfers Paradise, Main Beach and Broadbeach.

The competition sought to generate creative new visions and ideas for the future of this key site and its facilities, stimulate community discussion about the future of the Gold Coast Cultural and Civic Precinct, as well as identify specific design features/strategies to be incorporated in the future development of the site.

Electric Ultracapacitor Buses Becoming More Feasible

from Green Options by Christopher DeMorro

One thing many Americans have been loathe to accept is public transportation. Perhaps it is a feeling embodied in the quote attributed to Homer Simpson that “public transportation is for jerks and lesbians.” Or maybe it’s the fact that America is huge and far too spread out to make public transportation viable for many commuters. Yet even so, public transportation remains one of the smartest choices for much of the US, and, with the green revolution must come greater acceptance of it.

And, when you’re talking public transit, buses make up one of the most important parts, but they are gas guzzlers. So naturally, weening these behemoths off of petrol is a high priority for many city governments. Towards this end, China and Sinautec have been testing a fleet of electric buses equipped with ultracapacitors for quick recharging and zero emissions… and so far it works.

Of course, there is a catch.

Read more of this story »

Solar Traffic Light offers promise of green energy cities

from DVICE by Adario Strange

Solar Traffic Light offers promise of green energy cities

By now we’ve all seen our fair share of green energy cars and devices, but there remains a dearth of public works-centric green tech innovations. Helping to fill the void of cool green-tech-meets-public-works design ideas, Taiwanese designers Cheng-Tsung Feng, Yao-Chieh Lin and Bo-Jin Wang created this solar-powered traffic light that easily could have emerged from the labs at Cupertino.

The traffic light uses a discolor LED that allows the red, yellow and green signals to all occupy one space rather than the traditional three-tiered design we have on today’s streets. The trio won this year’s international Lite-On Award (Silver Level) for their striking design which hopefully will inspire cities around the world to adopt this kind of green-centric infrastructure in the near future.

Via Yanko Design

mikou design studio: bobigny school complex, france

from Designboom – Weblog


the bobigny school complex, france by mikou studio
image courtesy mikou studio

french firm mikou design studio were awarded first prize for the design of
the bobigny school complex, france.

the overall project is based on a volumetric spiral consisting of 3 levels.
covered with a grassroof the building includes a preschool and primary school,
recreation centre, central kitchen, toy library, housing service and parking.


image courtesy mikou studio


image courtesy mikou studio


image courtesy mikou studio


image courtesy mikou studio

architect: mikou design studio
client: city of bobigny
gross external area: 5300m2
budget: 9 million euro
programme: preschool and primary school, recreation centre,
central kitchen, toy library, housing services, parking
date: 2009 design competition entry winner

Underwater Kite Harnesses Ocean Energy

from Green Options by Susan Kraemer


A completely new concept of underwater wave energy using a simple 7 ton kite turbine design has been developed by Minesto; which is a spinoff from the Swedish military and aircraft design firm Saab. The Deep Green underwater turbine captures the power of the ocean just like a kite in wind.

The system could generate 18 terawatthours of energy annually, enough to provide nearly 4 million British households with reliably green electricity every year. UK households now use about a third of what average US households use in energy.

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Australia Gets Wave Power Inspired by Oil Rig

from Green Options by Susan Kraemer


Oceanlinx; another Australian wave power company that uses the floating oil rig as the model for its wave power began installation this month of its last test before grid-connecting a 2.5 MW unit off the coast of Port Kembla, near Sydney.

It should be sending power to the Australian grid early next year. Unusually, for wave power concepts, this converts the energy of ocean swells under the platform into air pressure which turns a wind turbine. The company’s previous demo in 2007 proved it works.

Read more of this story »

UPI-2M: biooctanic

from Designboom – Weblog


‘biooctanic’ by UPI-2M
image courtesy UPI-2M

croatian architectural firm UPI-2M have designed ‘biooctanic’ a series of crop production
towers used for the production of bio fuel and city air recuperation.

the idea was to place the towers on positions of existing petrol stations in cities. their
research led them to the conclusion that algae and bamboo would give best production
results; max. amount of bio-fuels per unit of surface (or spatial unit), also considering
other factors, like cost of technologies required for cultivation and processing, growth rate,
annual input-to-yield ratio, etc.

they envisioned this system and applied it to their immediate environment, cities in croatia,
however it is applicable to any urban area in the world. by applying the bio towers we would
reduce the amount of valuable agricultural land used for production of bio-fuel plants, reduce transportation costs and related air pollution. this kind of crop production also has advantages
over farming in open spaces, because it’s not weather-dependant, and you can create artificial
conditions which enhance the plant growth (conditions that can’t be achieved in the natural
environment). the visual identity of the towers is a symbol and result of their function.
beside the benefits of bio-fuel and oxygen production, they consider the towers architectural
appearance as an added value primarily to the conscience of the city inhabitants.


image courtesy UPI-2M

Global Sea-level Rise

from mapmaster>

Global Sea-level RiseThe loss of ice from the Greenland Ice Sheet has increased and will contribute substantially to global sea level rise.

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Minimum arctic summer sea ice extent

from mapmaster>

Minimum arctic summer sea ice extentSea ice has decreased sharply in all seasons, with summer sea ice declining most dramatically — beyond the projections of IPCC 2007. latest?i=7vdXwxna8j0:ziVqN-UB5WY:wF9xT3WuBAs latest?i=7vdXwxna8j0:ziVqN-UB5WY:JEwB19i1-c4
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If You Suffer Acrophobia, Don’t Look At This

from Gizmodo Australia by Jesus Diaz

Photoshop whiners of the world: Stop saying words! This is not a photo montage. These two doors and the stairs are very real, suspended many metres up on the concrete walls of the Congress Hall in Biel, Switzerland. (more…)

Artificial Photosynthesis to Generate Hydrogen Gets $1.4 Million Funding From DOE

from Green Options by Susan Kraemer


A University of Rochester team has been awarded $1.7 million to generate hydrogen fuel with sunlight using artificial photosynthesis and nanotubes. Generating hydrogen without using a fossil fuel is not easy. Using sunlight to split hydrogen off from water has been done before, but the process has not been cheap or efficient.

They propose to change that by dividing the nanoscale process into three separate modules that can be manipulated separately to isolate the process of gathering sunlight from the process of generating hydrogen.

This way they can better control each step.

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Go to the Dark Side With BMW Night Vision

from Wired: Autopia by Stuart Schwartzapfel

bmw_night_vision_system_01

BMW packed the new 7-Series sedan with optional gadgets ranging from radar-assisted cruise control to blind spot detection. There’s even a heads-up display. Pick all the high-tech options and you’ll add $26,000 to the car’s already hefty price tag. But the coolest feature is the new night-vision system that likens a twilight drive to a Special Forces recon mission.

The Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection system significantly advances the first-gen system found in the last 7-series by adding people-spotting technology that distinguishes between animals and humans. The system was developed by the Swedish firm Autoliv Electronics. It is the latest evolution of technology that Lexus andMercedes-Benz also have offered since Cadillac brought it to the automotive sector in the 2000 Deville sedan.

Since then, thermal imaging has made way for far- and near-infrared cameras that detect even the smallest changes in temperature. BMW’s passive system uses far-infrared technology to scan for heat, whereas Mercedes’ near-infrared system illuminates the road with projected infrared light. The BMW system stands apart for its extreme depth, clarity in rain and ability to minimize extraneous information. Despite the added safety such systems offer, Cadillac and Lexus dropped them because few people bought them. But BMW, like Mercedes, still sees a market for it.

The system does a great job of helping you see in the dark, but it is not without flaws.

BMW isn’t suggesting drivers switch off their headlights. The $2,600 option compliments the 7-Series’ adaptive headlights, which follow your steering inputs to help you see around that turn. The system provides a crisp, clear picture of 1,000 feet of pavement ahead of you, a distance Autoliv says is twice the range of the headlights. That can mean the difference between avoiding that deer and totaling your $110,000 Beemer.

“The new system is like an extra set of eyes — a very complex processing unit is constantly monitoring video of the road ahead,” says Stuart Klapper, night vision business director at Autoliv.

bmw_night_vision_02A silver dollar-size far-infrared camera in the grille detects the temperature of everything ahead. A computer converts the data into an image (shown at right) that appears on the dashboard’s i-Drive navigation display. Warmer objects like a pedestrian or moose are white, while cooler objects like a parked car are black. The pedestrian-detection feature kicks in when the car exceeds 25 mph, scanning the road 10 to 100 yards ahead of you. Pedestrians appear with a yellow tint, helping you figure out if that dark shape is a kid on a bike or a dog in the road. The system also monitors your speed and trajectory to warn you if you’re on a collision course.

BMW designed the system to account for country and city driving conditions. When driving at slower speeds in the city, where higher pedestrian traffic is expected, the system monitors a smaller area ahead of you so it isn’t warning you about the drunk staggering across the street three blocks ahead.

We tested the system during a weekend in Manhattan and the Berkshire Mountains, about 150 miles from the Big Apple. We did more than 500 miles behind the heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel of the big Beemer and have mixed feelings about the system’s execution.

The system is remarkable for the crisp, clear picture that it projects. It’s like watching a black and white movie on a nice TV. The more time you spend with it, the more you appreciate how well it highlights everything from a couple walking down the street to an oncoming car. Things you couldn’t see through the windshield appear clearly and vibrantly on the screen. This was particularly helpful driving a tight country road. A motorist had pulled over on the side of the road and, thanks to the bright image on the screen, was easily spotted. That might have prevented an accident.

That said, the system provided a few false warnings on the run from Sandisfield, Massachusetts, to Becket on Route 8, a winding road with plenty of tight turns and blind corners. It’s exactly the kind of road where you’d want the system to work flawlessly, yet it continued to warn of dangers that weren’t there. We suspect that, as the car rounded a corner and its nose pointed ever-so-briefly away from the road, the sensors detected something at the side of the road.

“It is possible that an animal or another warm object may have triggered the alert. In the 7-series, a false warning can occur,” Klapper says. “In the new 5-series, we have fine-tuned the warning algorithms to eliminate most false warnings.”

That’s all well and good, but the one time a deer did cross our path, there was no warning because we weren’t going fast enough to activate the pedestrian/animal warning. But we did find that the system is far more effective — and useful — in the city.

The biggest problem is that you have to take your eyes off the road to use it. You have to wonder why the display wasn’t mounted closer to the driver’s line of sight as it is in Mercedes S-Class models with Night View Assist Plus. Klapper says BMW wanted to take advantage of its high-resolution iDrive navigation display. That may be, but it detracts from any safety advantage the system might provide.

BMW’s done a good job advancing in-car night vision, but it remains to be seen whether consumers will embrace it with the same fervor as navigation systems and voice-activated controls. The technology’s future isn’t as clear as the image on the screen in the car.

Photos and videos: Autoliv Electronics.

mikou design studio: URSSAF offices, saint etienne, france

from Designboom – Weblog


URSSAF offices, saint etienne by mikou design studio
image courtesy mikou design studio

URSSAF offices, saint etienne by french firm mikou design studio was an entry
in the design competition to create a new building for the social security organization.

the building is sculpted by successive withdrawals, emphasizing terraces planted
with plants behind horizontal railing strips

bas van der veer: a drop of water and bioplastic planter

from Designboom – Weblog

[EDIT]


handles are incorporated into the design of the planter making it easy to transport and plant the tree
and protects the tree from animals


the bioplastic planter makes use of renewable plastics


an illustrative graphic of the planter’s biodegrading process

bas van der veer’s multiculti herb planter has been a part of designboom’s handled with care and kitchen ecology exhibitions.

Trash Cans Get Pimped Out For Charity

from Gizmodo Australia by Rosa Golijan

My trashcan is a metal, woven-looking thing filled with crumpled up ideas and 48 gum wrappers. Makes me wish I had one of theses 35 customised, artist-designed trashcans being put into auction for charity instead. (Particularly the cactus one.)(more…)

Team Germany Wins Solar Decathlon…Again

from Bustler.net News by Vanilla Hustler

The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that ‘Team Germany’ from the Technische Universität Darmstadt has won the 2009 Solar Decathlon with their project surPLUShome. This is the second time in a row that a team from TU Darmstadt wins this international contest after already snatching the title in Solar Decathlon’s last edition in 2007.

Team Germany Wins Solar Decathlon

Click above image to enlarge
Winning project at the Solar Decathlon 2009: surPLUShome by Team Germany (Technische Universität Darmstadt), Photo: Jim Tetro, U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

After 9 days and 10 contests, Team Germany reached the highest overall scores, closely followed by Team Illinois and Team California (previously on Bustler). Dubbed “the big, black monolith,” surPLUShome is almost entirely covered with photovoltaic panels that managed to generate 19 kilowatts during one day of test runs—more than twice as much as some other Solar Decathlon contestants.

image

Click above image to enlarge
surPLUShome, Photo: Thomas Ott

Dishwasher Robot Ensures Our Future Selves Will Have Zero Personal Responsibility

from Gizmodo Australia by Jack Loftus

My elaborate plan to take out years worth of repressed childhood dish washing memories on my own children some day has hit a Panasonic robot-sized snafu. (more…)

Principle Power’s WindFloat to Perform First Inter-Energy Marriage

from Green Options by Tina Casey

Principle Power, Inc.'s WindFloat wind turbine platforms may be adapted for wave power, too.Somewhere in the U.S. there is a justice of the peace who still refuses to perform inter-racial marriages, but Principle Power, Inc. has no such backward looking qualms when it comes marrying two different forms of sustainable energy. Last week the company won a $750,000 development grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to adapt its patented WindFloat platform to bring wave energy generating capability on board, along with the wind turbines for which it was originally designed.

Of particular interest to DOE is WindFloat’s innovative three-corner design, which stabilizes the platform against turbulence and enables it to be deployed in deep water where winds are more favorable to energy generation. In addition to its obvious use in the civilian world, the marriage of wind and wave power may also prove fruitful for its application to the U.S. military’s need for non-petroleum energy sources at remote bases.

Read more of this story »

Rotating hotel gives every guest a room with a view

from DVICE by Michael Trei

Rotating hotel gives every guest a room with a view

Rotating restaurants have been around for decades, but building an entire hotel that rotates to give every guest a view is a much tougher challenge. That’s the plan for a new hotel to be built on Šolta Island on the Croatian coast, where every room will have an ocean view at least part of the time.

Rotating at the dizzying speed of 1.3 times per day, it’s unlikely that you’ll get vertigo, but you’ll still need to choose carefully if you want to catch a sunset view over the marina with your honey. Still, it beats checking in only to discover that your room faces the dumpsters out back.

World Architecture News

Maldives Gov’t. Meets Underwater To Show Effects Of Global Warming

from Gizmodo Australia by Dan Nosowitz

The Maldives, a stretch of islands off the coast of Sri Lanka, are so close to sea level that global warming poses a serious threat. So the government held a cabinet meeting underwater to bring attention to the problem. (more…)

foster + partners: margot and bill winspear opera house opens

from Designboom – Weblog


margot and bill winspear opera house by foster + partners/OMA at the AT &T performing arts center in dallas
all images © nigel young
image courtesy foster + partners

the margot and bill winspear opera house, dallas by foster + partners opened yesterday.

responding to the dallas climate, a solar canopy extends from the building, shading
a fully glazed, sixty-foot-tall lobby which enhances the transparency of the building.
this establishes a direct relationship between inside and outside, creating greater
accessibility and thus a more democratic building. beneath the canopy, which forms
an integral part of the environmental strategy, a shaded pedestrian plaza creates a major
new public space for dallas, as defined by the masterplan designed by foster + partners
and OMA for the AT&T performing arts cente

NL architects: TNW – sports hall, utrecht

from Designboom – Weblog


turnaccommodatie nieuw welgelegen (TNW) by NL architects
image courtesy NL architects

turnaccommodatie nieuw welgelegen (TNW) by NL architects is a sports hall dedicated
soley to gymnastics. four individual gymnastic clubs will combine their efforts in this
new facility. the project based on the idea of a ‘tulip’ TNW is the 3rd last building of
the redevelopment of a sports complex in the center of utrecht.

the brief for the TNW excluded the possibility of creating windows in the hall. in order
to be ‘livable’, daylight is required, but for serious training and competitions windows will
cause undesired effects – too much contrast and too much distraction.

the idea of tulip is to ‘peel off’ the skin at the top to bring daylight into the interior.
by partly bending out the facade a gap comes into being between the roof edge and the walls:
indirect light will reflect into the hall. the carefully deformed envelop creates a mildly
glowing gradient that lights up towards the top.

a pleasant side effect of bending out the facade is that the building becomes sculptural.

[EDIT]


daylight entering the gym
image courtesy NL architects


the gym opens to allow daylight in
image courtesy NL architects


image courtesy NL architects

hall with no daylight
image courtesy NL architects

hall with daylight
image courtesy NL architects

image courtesy NL architects

turnaccommodatie nieuw welgelegen (TNW)
image courtesy NL architects

turnaccommodatie nieuw welgelegen (TNW)
competition: 1st prize
client: dienst maatschappelijke ontwikkeling gemeente utrecht
team: bobby de graaf, sarah moller, michael schoner, gen yamamoto,
rebecca eng, joanna janota, jeong jun song

ShowCase: University Library UBU Utrecht

from Archinect.com Feed

ShowCase is an on-going feature series on Archinect, presenting exciting new work from designers representing all creative fields and all geographies. We are always accepting nominations for upcoming ShowCase features – if you would like to suggest a project, please send us a message.
The UBU is a library located on the campus of Utrecht University in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Incorporating 4.2 million books, 1,000 seats, 450 parking places, 300 workstations, 3 shops, 1 auditorium and 1 bar – the UBU, comparable to a data recorder, is more than a place where people can consult books, it is a place where they can work in a concentrated fashion, but also one where they can meet other people without the need of any other stimulation except the atmosphere that the building radiates. Glass and concrete panels clad the volumes of the building. The glass panels are printed with a repetitive image of a papyrus plant. Papyrus – a traditional material used in paper production – derives etymologically from the Greek byblos, which also serves as the root for words such as bibliography, bibliophile, and � in Dutch � Bibliotheek, or library. The papyrus image is replicated on each glass panel, allowing the fa�ade to perform as a curtain which veils the library while also making subtle allusion to the nature of the program within. The pattern printed facade also mitigates sunlight entering the building, protecting the library�s printed materials. The pattern, which is also cast into the concrete panels of the exterior and interior walls, carries the allegorical motif into the various programs of the library.image↑ Click image to enlarge
Exterior.
Photo: Jan Bitter Fotografie
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Exterior.
Photo: Jan Bitter Fotografie
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Close-up of the glass fa�ade.
Photo: Jan Bitter Fotografie
image↑ Click image to enlarge
Close-up of the glass panel printed with a repetitive image of a papyrus plant.
Photo: Jan Bitter Fotografie
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Interior.
Photo: Jan Bitter Fotografie
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Interior.
Photo: Jan Bitter Fotografie
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Interior.
Photo: Jan Bitter Fotografie
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Interior.
Photo: Jan Bitter Fotografie
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Interior.
Photo: Jan Bitter Fotografie