Archive for the ‘architecture’ Category
AN : the Old mixes with the Eemrging and the New….a series of photos of various development projects that, for a time, expose sights that are not normally seen because of the height and proximity of buildings in London… do browse through the series of photos in the site….BBC News – In pictures: Building sites reveal unseen London.
” Will Self confesses to being dazzled by the skyscrapers that dominate urban skylines, but wonders if they have overshadowed visionary dreams of making cities better places to live.It was said of the French writer Guy de Maupassant that he ate dinner in the restaurant of the Eiffel Tower every night of the week, and when asked why, replied, “Because its the only place in Paris from where you cant see the Eiffel Tower.” “
AN : lovely little literary walk starting within the heart of London and thenceforth into the realm of thought of architecture and the core value of living in cities. Much, much more can be said on this topic….as residents who live in cities vary from 9% urban dwellers in Bhutan to 97% in Belgium. ( world avg 50+% ).
via BBC News – A Point of View: Staring at the Shard.
“For many years the OECD has run programs that have explored various topics in architecture for education and has supported a related Centre for Effective Learning Environments [pdf]. It maintains a useful Database of Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investment and every few years publishes a sort of showcase document highlighting new and best practices in school design around the world. The latest volume, Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011, is well worth browsing, as a related slide presentation from Professor Christian Kühn of Technical University of Vienna and a short essay from 2010 by Peter Lippman which asks, Can the physical environment have an impact on the learning environment?
Whatever decisions are eventually reached, considerations of ICTs use in schools as well as planning related to school architecture should flow out of larger, more fundamental considerations of the educational strategies and learning philosophies at the heart of a schooling system, and of the role of education in helping communities and societies realize their larger developmental objectives.”
AN : Information & Communication Technologies can impact on the action and environment of schooling and learning.
via Re-thinking School Architecture in the Age of ICT | A World Bank Blog on ICT use in Education.
“Peter Busby of powerhouse architecture firm Perkins+Will has made it his mission to improve people’s lives through design. His projects include the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (a “living lab” that generates extra power for the University of British Columbia campus) and Dockside Green (a mixed-use community that is one of the world’s greenest developments).
Busby recently stopped by GOOD’s headquarters and talked to us about the components of sustainable design and how a background in philosophy has helped shape the way he looks at his work. Watch our GOOD Talks video and learn more about Busby’s work in a recent Architect feature.”
via GOOD Talks: Architect Peter Busby on Sustainable Design – Design -GOOD.
“Since the invention and development of steel and concrete, the combination of which would spawn the birth of the skyscraper, wood as a building material has been marginalized as simple construction ephemera, used to form concrete or to structure building frames advanced with the expressed purpose of producing single family homes or large estates and to furnishing their plush interiors.
Wood fell out of vogue in a large part because of its vulnerability to fire, probably the single greatest factor in restricting use of the material to smaller structures. But change is coming, writes CNN, as wood has become transformed by a handful of dedicated engineers and architects – Shigeru Ban most notable among them – and put to use in the service of large-scale structures like Michael Green‘s proposed “Tallwood” skyscraper in Vancouver. “
The plans for the 30-story tower are among a small group of “woodscrapers” being proposed throughout the world, which all had to overcome stringent building codes. Explaining the motivation behind his design, Green says that wood construction at such scales is decidedly cheaper than standard-industry methods and, more importantly, much more energy efficient, given the large amounts of CO2 expended in the manufacturing of steel and concrete and the extent of their large carbon footprints. Conversely, wood traps carbon dioxide throughout a building’s life cycle, and, if sustainably harvested from controlled and well-managed forests, can prove to be a renewable resource.
For Tallwood, Green has created a system of laminated strand lumber beams which are load-bearing and fire-resistant. Where the structural capacity of steel rapidly degrades when exposed to flames, the large beams, which are comprised of strips of wood fibers glued together, develop an exterior layer of char that insulates the wood’s structural core. Innovative designs such as Tallwood, when coupled with may propel wood at the forefront of future construction advancements.
As Green says, “Really we’re at the stage where we’re able to start to show what’s possible, a bit like that Eiffel Tower moment. That was built when no one was used or understood tall structures, but it showed what could be done and just as importantly stretched the imagination.”
via The Case for Skyscrapers Made of Wood – Design – The Atlantic Cities.
“Toronto has been aggressive about it: they have a new, comprehensive green roof law, the first one in North America.
Like all laws, it’s complicated, but new building permit applications for residential, commercial, and institutional developments must now have green roofs. New industrial developments (as of April 30, 2012) will soon have to be green, also.
The law states a minimum roof size, so it doesn’t apply to gardening sheds. And the larger the roof, the greater the percentage of it will have to be green. People can opt out, but they have to pay toward a fund.
Efforts are already paying off: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is reporting that the law has resulted in more than 1.2 million square feet of new green space planned on new commercial, institutional, and multi-unit residential developments. It will also keep enough rainwater runoff out of the lakes and rivers to fill fifty Olympic sized swimming pools. It’s reduced the heat island effect and led to an annual energy savings of over 1.5 million KWH for building owners.
And there are still other benefits: opportunities for parks and recreational areas. Birds and bees do well with these changes. To get an idea of what these roofs can look like, here’s a collection of still images of green roofs around the world.
Other cities are trying to catch up with Toronto. New York City is in the midst of its PlaNYC initiative that’s encouraging green roofs, planting trees, and trying to improve the streetscape so to minimize the heat island effect for which the city is notorious: temperatures there can exceed rural areas by seven degrees. The first green roof in New York City, which is at a large post office facility in Midtown, saves its owners $30,000 in electrical bills.
What’s stopping people the world-over from having green roofs? Higher initial cost. Sometimes, higher maintenance cost or roofs unable to handle the weight. But proponents say electrical savings can help in those areas. Also because the roof is covered with waterproofing and a lot of dirt, the roof is preserved and tends to last longer. And more buildings are under construction that have been designed with green roofs in mind, like this refinery office in Rotterdam.
What’s next? Perhaps “blue roofs,” which preserve rainwater for recreation, like at Urbeach. Then, there’s this: what about green floors? Or Depave, a Portland group that rids areas of “unnecessary concrete?” “
via Your Roof: Once Black, Now Green – Meakin Armstrong – National – The Atlantic.
“The predecessor to “Design with the Other 90%: Cities” opened at the Cooper-Hewitt in 2007. Titled “Design for the Other 90%,” the 2007 show was smaller, featuring 34 projects from around the world, ranging from One Laptop Per Child, an often-debated initiative to create inexpensive computers for kids in resource-challenged regions, to LifeStraw, a straw designed to filter and purify water immediately as a user sips through it.The initial show’s thesis, as well as that of the on-going series, is that designers have traditionally focused on creating products and services to sell to the wealthiest 10% of the world’s population, but architects, engineers, graphic and industrial designers, as well as design-savvy entrepreneurs, are increasingly addressing the needs of the majority of the globe’s residents–namely those who live in poverty.“The first show hit a nerve. It started to spark an international conversation on what role design could play in solving critical global issues,” Smith said, pointing out that the first show traveled to six different venues and the catalog has been reprinted seven times, including Japanese and Korean editions.“We saw there was dearth of information on this type of design,” Smith added. “So we decided to create a series.”While it’s still early to talk about what the Cooper-Hewitt has planned for its next show–Smith said there will be others–the series has a permanent home online as individual exhibitions open and close, with the Design Other 90 Network. The site offers a database that will kick off with 100 projects from both of the shows in the series to date. There’s room for more as worldwide conversations–and debates–on how to best design for, and with, the 90 percent of the world’s citizens are sure to continue.”
via Cooper-Hewitt show presents slums as innovation hotbeds | SmartPlanet.
LEGO is still so astounding in its range and creativity. Here is a beautiful example of an architectural application .
“When Frank Lloyd Wright presented his brilliant vision for Fallingwater®, he surprised everyone. The imagined residence wasn’t placed beside the waterfall that ran through the property, but above it, which almost totally eliminated its visibility. He argued that hearing the water instead of looking at it would connect the owners closer to nature, making it a thoroughly integrated part of their life.
In his design, Wright made use of similar shapes as those found in its surroundings.It consists of climbing levels shaped by large sandstone ledges so the house seems to hover above ground, stretching itself across the diving stream.
The entire house is composed of projected balconies jutting out above the rock. The rooms themselves, with their adjacent outdoor terraces appear to reach out to the branches of the surrounding trees.
Constructed using local craftsmen building with local sandstone, the daring, groundbreaking project would catch instant fame after being featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1938, making it the world’s most famous Private Residence.”
Novel , innovative interaction by the people for the people to discuss urban ideas ; their ideas in their cities. The process learnt is adaptable to any other city. Will be interesting to see the outcome and results from the 9 city , 6 year journey.
“The BMW Guggenheim Lab launches in New York from August 3 to October 16, 2011, before traveling to Berlin and a city in Asia, to be announced later this year. Cycle 1 concludes with an exhibition presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2013. Two additional two-year cycles will follow, each with a new mobile structure and theme, concluding in the fall of 2016.
Part urban think tank, part community center and public gathering space, the Lab is conceived to inspire public discourse in cities around the world and through the BMW Guggenheim Lab website and online social communities.”
via What Is the Lab? | BMW Guggenheim Lab.