Archive for the ‘architecture’ Category

Gehry on Cones, Domes and Messiness – Video – NYTimes.com   Leave a comment

Architect Frank Ghery on the planned 450,000 sq. ft. Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Link has video.

Gehry on Cones, Domes and Messiness – Video – NYTimes.com.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/bcvideo/1.0/iframe/embed.html?videoId=100000003268745&playerType=embed

Posted December 12, 2014 by arnoneumann in architecture, Frank Ghery

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New Dioramas | Sohei NISHINO in London | deconarch.com   Leave a comment

“The Diorama Maps project is a joyous mixture of photography and cartography, inspired in part by the 18th century Japanese map-maker Ino Tadataka. To make his “Diorama Maps,” Sohei Nishino spends months in a city, exploring its many vantage points. During this time he shoots thousands of pictures, which he then painstakingly hand-prints, trims to size, and compiles into huge tableaux collages from which he issues the limited edition photographic prints in two sizes. The effect is not a traditional bird’s-eye view but a wonderfully fragmented, enlightened way of seeing three dimensions in one plane.”

New Dioramas | Sohei NISHINO in London | deconarch.com.

Posted December 11, 2014 by arnoneumann in architecture, art, Dioramas

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Moscow′s city architecht | All media content | DW.DE | 15.11.2014   Leave a comment

Moscow′s city architecht | All media content | DW.DE | 15.11.2014.

http://www.dw.de/embed/320/av-18067456

http://www.dw.de/embed/320/av-18067456

Posted November 16, 2014 by arnoneumann in Architects, architecture, Moscow, Russia

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BBC News – In pictures: Building sites reveal unseen London   Leave a comment

 

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.

Posted February 9, 2013 by arnoneumann in architecture, Buildings, London

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BBC News – A Point of View: Staring at the Shard   Leave a comment

” 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.

http://goo.gl/cCY51

Re-thinking School Architecture in the Age of ICT | A World Bank Blog on ICT use in Education   Leave a comment

“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.

Posted September 9, 2012 by arnoneumann in architecture, education

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GOOD Talks: Architect Peter Busby on Sustainable Design – Design – GOOD   Leave a comment

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.

http://www.good.is/post/good-talks-architect-peter-busby-on-sustainable-design/

 

Posted July 8, 2012 by arnoneumann in architecture, Sustainability

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The Case for Skyscrapers Made of Wood – Design – The Atlantic Cities   Leave a comment

“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.

Posted March 24, 2012 by arnoneumann in architecture

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A plan to turn a former jail into rental housing -Vancouver , BC   Leave a comment

Gregory Henriquez believes that transforming a former city jail into affordable rental housing is poetry.

He is the architect behind the transformation of the former remand centre at 211 Gore into 95 units of rental housing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

The poetic metaphor of transforming a jail into housing is really a healthy message for any society,” says Mr. Henriquez, seated inside his upstairs office in the old B.C. Securities heritage building at Homer and Pender. The office is grand with plaster cornices, tall windows and marble floors.

“Incarcerating people isn’t the answer,” says Mr. Henriquez. “Housing them is.”

He has become known as the Vancouver architect with the vision towards equitable housing. He is the designer behind the Woodward’s Building, lauded as a successful merger of low-income housing and market housing, as well as the affordable Downtown Eastside condo project at 60 W. Cordova.

Mr. Henriquez is often confused with his famous architect father Richard, well known for Eugenia Place in English Bay, with the tree rising from the rooftop, a tribute to the forest that stood there before it.

The remand centre is a passing of the baton from father to son because Richard designed the original building, and Gregory has re-designed and will soon re-purpose it for social and affordable housing. While Richard is the true poet of the family, son Gregory has carved out his own niche as the social issues-minded architect.

“He is the architect with the ethical pen,” says condo marketer Bob Rennie, who worked with Mr. Henriquez on Woodward’s as well as numerous other projects.

Mr. Henriquez’s decision to focus on the remand centre was driven as much by personal necessity as it was to supply essential rental stock.

It was 2008, when the market had bottomed out, and Mr. Henriquez thought that he could either take a long break, or put his architects to work on a housing project he’d considered for awhile. His father’s 1973 remand centre had been sitting unused since it closed in 2002, and was an ideal and obvious source of rental housing for low-income tenants in the area.

It was, in fact, an empty shell awaiting a new purpose. It had already been gutted before the basement became home to a community courtroom.

“I thought, we can either give up or look for projects that are really meaningful and put some people to work drawing up things that would be very exciting around issues of social justice and affordability and housing and inclusivity, and things we hold near and dear to our hearts,” he says.

A remand centre is a detention centre for people who have not yet been found guilty and are awaiting their appearance in court. The Vancouver remand centre at 211 Gore is striking because of the rows of concrete bays that jut out the side of the building. Inside, the bays are used as alcoves for beds. The feature is a Richard Henriquez metaphor.

“They are obviously in prison but still in society, and they are not yet guilty, so the metaphor of them sleeping on the outside of the building was an interesting thing,” says Mr. Henriquez.

He made a pitch to the province’s housing ministry, and after three years of back and forth, the idea became a reality last spring. The remand centre is set for a makeover to be completed by mid 2013.

The 95 rental units built, to be managed by the St. James Community Service Society, will include 34 rental units for low-income tenants. Tenants who qualify for a studio apartment can earn around $32,500, while one-bedroom units will be rented to tenants who make $36,300, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. housing income levels. The maximum rents would be about $800 to $900 a month. Studios will be up to 485 square feet in size, and one bedrooms up to 590 square feet.

The remainder of the units will be for at-risk youth who work in the BladeRunners construction-training program, as well as those who are on a shelter allowance. The 34 rental units will generate enough revenue so that the project won’t require subsidies. Rents will cover the $1.6-million mortgage.

Housing Minister Rich Coleman has said that the $13-million project is also possible because of the already existing building, which drastically offsets construction costs.

As for the concrete bays, Mr. Henriquez will replace them with larger glass bays, allowing light into the units.

The project provides much-needed affordable rental housing in an area where rental and condo prices have skyrocketed in the last couple of years. Some of his own architects, says Mr. Henriquez, cannot afford to live in Vancouver.

“Which is sad and wrong.”

While an effort has been made to provide affordable condo housing, such as Mr. Henriquez’s project at 60 W. Cordova, many people still can’t afford the down payment. About 50 per cent of Vancouverites rent, and in the Downtown Eastside in particular, rental stock is essential.

Mr. Henriquez doesn’t expect the new housing to transform the gritty block, but he figures it will, for what it’s worth, help fill the massive gap that is rental housing. He can’t think of another new rental building in the neighbourhood, which isn’t surprising considering land values.

“Vancouver hasn’t produced rental because most land trades at market housing rates,” he says.

“But straight market housing by itself in the neighbourhood isn’t going to work. Every project has to bring some level of affordability and some statement about caring about the neighbourhood … You don’t want people to feel you are bulldozing their neighbourhood.”

Mr. Henriquez says speculative condo buyers push prices up, and creative methods must be used to keep them from purchasing units that are intended to be affordable. Those methods include making the project a no-rent building, not including parking, and banning the practice of flipping.

Condo owners usually don’t provide affordable rentals, either. Condo marketer Bob Rennie says those speculative condo investors who need to rent their units to cover their mortgages are currently providing much of the rental stock.

“These passive condo buyers that everybody hates are the rental supplier,” he says.

They price their rents on average around $1,600 a month, which is too high for many people. And because the number of condo units being developed in the last few years downtown has drastically dropped, there will be less of those rental condos available.

“To find rental under $1,250 or under $1,000 is a rare commodity, given our land costs and construction costs,” says Mr. Rennie. “So building small suites and providing affordable rental fills a need.”

The city has recognized the need for rental stock with its STIR program, which stands for Short Term Incentives for Rental Housing, and includes breaks on property taxes, development cost levies, and parking, and allowances for greater density, in exchange for development of rental housing.

Vancouver property prices, however, are expensive, and condominiums remain more lucrative to the average developer.

“You just have to look at really creative models, and looking at smaller sizes,” says Mr. Rennie. “So whether it’s condos or affordable rental, you have to try different models. We can’t keep hanging onto yesterday’s model, because land has become so expensive.”

via A plan to turn a former jail into rental housing – The Globe and Mail.

Your Roof: Once Black, Now Green – Meakin Armstrong – National – The Atlantic   1 comment

 

 

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.

Posted October 16, 2011 by arnoneumann in architecture, Green Roofs

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