In the United States alone, more than 125 million plastic bottles are discarded each day, 80 percent of which end up in a landfill. This waste could potentially be diverted and used to construct nearly 10,000, 1200-square-foot homes (taking in consideration it takes an average of 14,000 plastic bottles to build a home that size). Many believe this process could be a viable option for affordable housing and even help solve homelessness.
The idea isn’t new. In Nigeria, the plastic bottle house has proven to be a success, turning trash into an affordable (and beautiful) housing material. By packing plastic bottles with soil or sand, and then stacking and bounding them with mud and string, one can build an earthquake-proof home that is 18 times stronger than regular bricks. Watch the video about to learn more.
Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY has realized two permanent installations – “Under Stress” and “Sous Tension” – in the public areas of the Department of Computer Science at the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA). Both structures “utilize programming techniques inherent in computer science to optimize the form and creating a pattern on the surface.”
“The structures engage the spaces with their intricate and gestural movements that effortlessly travel over the areas,” says the practice. “They provide visitors with iconic hubs for informal and spontaneous social gatherings while expressing the tension between the dynamic interactions from the multi-directional and converging paths within the public spaces. More than a signal for the school, they become elements of enhancement for the school’s identity.”
Yesterday Orange County legislators decided to “take no action” against blocking the “destructive” rebuild of Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center. The plan, deemed by architecture critic Michael Kimmelman to be “vandalism,” will remove one of the building’s three sections and replace it with a “big, soulless glass box.”
The 44-year-old brutalist landmark has been the center of a preservation debate for years; lawmakers argue that the building is “not easy to love” and expensive to maintain, while preservationists declare the building is an important piece of modern history and blame its state of disrepair on neglect. The council vetoed an offer last summer to allow a New York architect to purchase the property and transform it into artist studios.
“See the future, create the future,” this is the motto of Dubai’s newly unveiled “Museum of the Future.” The metallic oblong-structure, planned for a corner lot in Dubai’s central financial district next to the Emirates Towers on Sheikh Zayed Road, is said to become “an incubator for ideas and real designs, a driver for innovation and a global destination for inventors and entrepreneurs.”
“The world is entering a new era of accelerated knowledge and great technological revolutions,” tweeted United Arab Emirates prime minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “We aim to lead in that era, not to follow and lag behind. The Museum of the Future is the first step of many to come, marking the beginning of great achievements.”
Holograms, robotics and 3-D printing will play a crucial role in the structure’s realization. Learn more and watch a video fly-through the building after the break.
In 1955 the Museum of Modern Art staged Latin American Architecture since 1945, a landmark survey of modern architecture in Latin America. On the 60th anniversary of that important show, the Museum returns to the region to offer a complex overview of the positions, debates, and architectural creativity from Mexico and Cuba to the Southern Cone between 1955 and the early 1980s.
More about Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980, opening at MoMA on March 29th, after the break.
Stereotank’s HeartBeat filled the air in Times Square this past Valentine’s Day. Now that the love season is over, the Brooklyn-based practice has turned their clever installation into a welcoming “HeartSeat” by simply opening up their heart-shaped sculpture to the public and transforming it into a bench. The installation will remain on view through Sunday, March 8th. See a video of HeartSeat, after the break.
A Montreal-based practice known for their experimental material use and building methods, KANVA has been selected to receive the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s (RAIC) 2015 Emerging Architectural Practice Award. The 10-person collective was lauded by the jury for “always looking to the future” and being “continually and consistently innovative.”
Edmund Sumner has shared with us images from his recent visit to Lyon, France, where he photographed Coop Himmelb(l)au’s newly completed Musée des Confluences. Perched on a century-old artificial peninsula at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, the “museum of knowledge,” as Coop Himmelb(l)au affectionately refers to it, is distinct for its “iconic gateway” – an openly traversable “Crystal” that provides multi-level access to the museum’s exhibition spaces and views of the building’s unique context. Step inside, after the break.
The Negro Building Remembrance Competition invites architects, landscape architects, artists, playwrights, poets, musicians and writers from every discipline, as individuals, teams, students or professionals, to propose imaginative ways to commemorate the Negro Building, the forgotten landmark of the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia.
Tomorrow legislators are due to decided the fate of Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center. The midcentury icon, listed on the World Monuments Fund’s global watch list, has been the center of a prolonged debate challenging its right to be preserved.
“The plan is to gut Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center, strip away much of its distinctive, corrugated concrete and glass exterior and demolish one of its three pavilions, replacing it with a big, soulless glass box,” says architecture critic Michael Kimmelman. “[The legislators] can do the right thing Thursday. They can overturn the veto and reconsider demolition.” More on Kimmelman’s call to save the Rudolph landmark, here.
Now on view at London’s Architectural Association, Jan Kaplický Drawings presents work by the Czech architect Jan Kaplický (1937-2009) – a visionary designer with a passion for drawing as a means of discovering, describing and constructing. Through drawing he presented beguiling architectural imagery of the highest order.
The earliest projects date from the early 1970s when, for Kaplický, drawing was essentially a speculative pursuit. Whilst his days were spent working for other architects, during evenings and weekends he designed and drew at home. His architecture at this time was the plan and the finely detailed cross-section. Never satisfied, he constantly developed and honed his graphic language, perfecting the technique of the cutaway isometric which became his trademark.
A preview of Kaplický’s drawings, after the break.
After boycotting the premature opening of the infamous Philharmonie de Paris, Jean Nouvel has taken his frustrations to court demanding that his name and image be removed from all references to the publicly funded €390 million concert hall. The French architect, who has claimed to be wrongly vilified as a “spoilt-star artist” and unfairly blamed for the project’s spiraling costs, does not “wish to express himself any further on the project.”
He has asked the court “to order amending work” to 26 “non-compliance” areas that do not comply with his original design. This areas include parapets, fireplaces, facades, the promenade and 2,400-seat concert hall itself.
Downtown Cleveland Alliance seeks a creative professional or team (architect, designer, artist, engineer, landscape architect or combination thereof) to propose unique and attractive design solutions for the area under and around the Main Avenue Bridge Underpass, centered at the intersection of West 9th Street and Main Avenue in Downtown Cleveland. This location is a critical pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular connection between the Warehouse District and the Flats East Bank, with infrastructure, history, and functional potential to inspire the highest level of creative treatments. Request for Qualifications are due Friday, March 6th by 4:30pm! More information, here.
Challenging the notion that beauty is subjective, Alain de Botton has made a case for attractive cities, believing that a city’s beauty is key to its success and citizens’ quality of life. The Swiss philosopher, author and founder of London’s The School of Life believes that attractiveness is the primary reason why many choose to vacation to Paris, and not Frankfurt.
“We think beauty is subjective, and so no one should say anything about it,” says Botton. “It’s a very understandable qualm, but it’s also horribly useful to greedy property developers.”
So, what makes a city attractive? Find out Botton’s six points for beautiful cities, after the break.
Egypt’s Minister of Housing Moustafa Madbouly has revealed plans to build the nation’s tallest tower in Cairo. The pyramid-like Zayed Crystal Spark tower will top out at 200-meters (656-feet) and occupy a 798,000-square-meter parcel in the city’s Sheikh Zayed district – a short distance from the historic pyramids of Giza.
“Istanbul is exotic and modern,” says architect Yener Torun, who has spent the last year documenting Istanbul‘s most contemporary and brightly colored spaces on Instagram. “It is funny, because my photos of Istanbul do not really look like Istanbul. And that is what I exactly wanted to do – to show a different site of the city, a side that was never focused on.”
Critiquing Istanbul’s recent explosion of growth and “bad” architecture, Torun set out to discover the city’s lesser known, brightly colored spaces that have had a positive influence on day-to-day life. Now with nearly 40,000 followers, his quest is proving to have an affect and is inspiring him to spread his explorations beyond Istanbul to Ankara, Bursa, Izmir and Kocaeli.
See a selection of Torun’s images, after the break.
Rüdiger Lainer and Partner plans to construct the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper next year in Vienna’s Seestadt Aspern area. 76 percent of the 84-meter tower is expected to be made from wood rather than concrete, saving approximately 2,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions (equivalent to driving a car 25 miles a day for 1,300 years).
“I think it is important everyone now in 2014 thinks in different ways. We have wood, which is a perfect construction material for building,” she said. “It was used 200 years ago and it was perfect then and is perfect now,” says Kerbler project developer Caroline Palfy, commenting on the architects’ decision to use wood due to its environmental benefits.
An interior loft view and more details, after the break.