Nona Yehia and Jefferson Ellinger of Ellinger/Yehia Design LLC recently gave a TEDx presentation discussing their investigations into the natural phenomenon and how it can influence and inspire intelligent systems of design within the architectural realm. Why does architecture look the same in all cities? Why can’t the built environment engage the same kinds of dynamic principles that drive the natural world? These are just some of the questions this young firm based out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming poses. Take a look at the video for more details on their firm, philosophy and current projects.
In the latest bid to solidify territorial claims within the Arctic Circle, Russia has unveiled plans to build a city for 5,000 year round residents 1,000 miles from the North Pole on the remote island Kotelniy in the Novosibirsk archipelago. Part of a strategic plan to assert its claim over the vast reserves of natural resources underneath the polar ice cap, the planned development will cost several billion dollars.
Continue reading after the break.
Architect: Line and Space, LLC
Location: Xiamen, China
Project Team: Les Wallach, FAIA (Lead Designer), Bob Clements, AIA, LEED AP (Project Architect), Henry Tom, AIA, NCARB (Project Manager), Mike Anglin, RA, LEED AP, John McColgin, Ray Jin LEED AP, Emily Starace RA, LEED AP
Project Area: 11,400 sqf
Project Year: August 2011
Photographs: Yang Chaoying, Line and Space, LLC
We recently came across a photo expose chronicling numerous projects by Peter Zumthor. It features an extensive gallery covering models, drawings, and photos of his projects in various states from construction to completion. Be sure to check the site out here, and catch a glimpse into the inner workings of Zumthor.
Livability.com recently released a compilation of the 10 best downtowns in the USA. Based on a rubric analyzing entertainment, planning, architecture, and green spaces they have come up with a list atypical of the cities typically found at the top of similar lists. Each of the cities on the list has a distinct and unique aura. Starting with Franklin, Tennessee, and topping out with Indianapolis, Indiana at number one, the descriptions of each city are sure to provide ample insight into the inimitable characteristics that warranted their listing within the top 10 downtowns. Be sure to check out projects from the cities on the list here:
David Baker of DB+P Architects recently produced a short video on the benefits of urban density and the repercussions of the current suburban sprawl trend in the US. It provides an insightful look into the resources required to maintain current cities and why density, if properly planned can provide the healthy atmosphere that great cities are known for. One of the most interesting points brought up is how population density is inversely related to carbon footprint – one example illustrates how Oklahoma City with a population density of 872 per square mile produces almost double the carbon that New York does with a population density of 70,595 per square mile. With land still relatively inexpensive, especially in the heartland of the US, the question becomes how to convey the benefits of urban living to those that cherish suburbia.
PLANT Architecture has recently been recognized with an Honorable Mention in the City of Toronto’s Urban Design Awards. Held every other year, the awards acknowledge the contributions design has on the local milieu. PLANT’s revitalization of the Nathan Phillips Podium Square (part of Toronto’s iconic City Hall by Viljo Revell) introduces a greenscape to the podium previously occupied solely with a vast hardscaped plaza.
An increasing trend towards sustainable construction within the building industry has resulted in a steady stream of “green” products into the marketplace. It is not uncommon to see products labeled with numerous claims that are certified by previously unheard of governing bodies. Industry leaders recently gathered in Toronto at Greenbuild to focus on avenues to increase the transparency of such claims made in the marketplace, and develop an integrated information source to reduce confusion and increase reliability.
Some of the players that are beginning to influence the conversation include the US Green Building Council and the US Forest Service, both of whom are advocates for increased regulation and standardization of Environmental Product Declarations. Architecture 2030 has also introduced a new initiative aimed at the reduction of dependency of fossil fuels in the building life cycle, reductions in greenhouse gas embodies products, and an overall reduction in energy consumption to carbon-neutral by 2030. With the latest update to the AIA 2030 Commitment, these new initiatives mark an increasing awareness of the overall building life cycle costs and their impact on our environments.
SCI-Arc‘s introduction of the Robot House (spring 2011) – a multifunctional robotics lab that enables the exploration of advanced fabrication techniques, manipulation of high tech materials, and numerous methods for simulation – has brought about a new and intriguing component to the school. Designed by faculty members Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser, its primary goal is the advancement of next generation platforms for the experimentation and future speculation of architecture.
The state-of-the-art Staübli robotic systems are housed within a 1,000 sqf double height research room between studio spaces and the shop. Given the nature of work that is being produced at SCI-Arc, it will be interesting to see the new projects that take full advantage of the Robot House and the adjacent Robotics & Simulation Lab.
The AIA has recently updated its 2030 Commitment Reporting Tool, a tool that assists in providing firms a method to track the predicted energy use of their complete design portfolios. Since buildings are the largest contributor to the production of greenhouse gases and represent nearly half of the total annual production, this tool provides an avenue to address and exercise our responsibility in the creation of the built environment.
In order to increase the relevance and better suit the needs of firms, the AIA has expanded the toolset to include additional building types, additional code equivalents, distinctions between new construction/renovation and interior work, and a mixed use calculator.
It was with much enthusiasm that Denver International Airport officials announced Santiago Calatrava as the architect for the new $650 million expansion that included a hotel, public plaza, and commuter-rail station. However, Calatrava is now withdrawing himself from the project only a year later. Numerous concerns have been cited as the reason for his departure including “financial constraints, unnecessary time delays, and deep divisions” between his design team, DIA, and Parsons International Group as quoted by his wife and business manager Robertina in a letter to DIA manager Kim Day.
Architect Andrea Palladio’s (1508–1580) influence can be found throughout the world in monumental architectural works on both sides of the Atlantic. His Four Books on Architecture (1570) are some of the most famous and influential writings on architectural theory. The Royal Institute of British Architects Trust in conjunction with the Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio, Vicenza, has organized a traveling exhibition called Palladio and His Legacy: A Transatlantic Journey. This display will offer up a unique opportunity to view the numerous works, drawings, and models of one of the most influential architects of the last 500 years. Hosted by the Carnegie Museum of Art in their Heinz Architectural Center, the exhibition will run from September 3-December 31, 2011.
Ever wanted to get a behind the scenes look at some of the most interesting buildings in Chicago? If you are an architecture enthusiast, student, or just curious about what all the hype is about, this weekend is your opportunity to experience the best that Chicago has to offer. From October 15-16, 2011, the Chicago Architecture Foundation will be hosting openhousechicago 2011 – which is free and open to the public. The primary themes for OHC are sustainability and community, with an emphasis on how buildings can achieve energy efficiency, and how design brings people and places together in a holistic manner.
Click here for a complete mapping of all the buildings available to explore.
The construction of the Busan Cinema Center by architecture firm COOP HIMMELB(L)AU is nearing completion. Slated to be the new home of the Busan International Film Festival, the complex will house cinemas, restaurants, a 1000 seat multifunctional theater, and numerous public spaces. More details after the break.