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San Francisco's Zero Waste Successes

The "Pit" in San Francisco © Walter Parenteau
The "Pit" in San Francisco © Walter Parenteau

Approaching zero-waste is a matter of changing the way our culture thinks about use and reuse.  It's not an impossible task, and San Francisco is leading the march to establish a feasible means of enacting public policy, structuring programs and educating the public on what it means to be "zero-waste".  With a goal set for 2020, SF hopes to keep 100% of its waste out of landfills.  Mayor Ed Lee estimates that the leading waste management company "Recology" is diverting nearly 80% of trash from landfills to be recycled or turned into compost.  This begins with a public policy that sets a standard and gains traction as citizens embrace the goals of the city.  Support programs reinforce these guidelines that eventually become habits and a cultural response to treating our environment.

Read on after the break for more on San Francisco's road to "zero-waste".

Ahn Jung-geun Memorial Hall / Yeonghwan Lim + Sunhyun Kim

  • Architects: Yeonghwan Lim + Sunhyun Kim
  • Location: Namsan Park, Seoul, Korea
  • Architect in Charge: Young Lim, Sun Kim
  • Project Team: Sunyoung Hwang, Jihwan Kim, Seokwon Lee, Kyungtae Park, Hojun Song
  • Client: The Building Council of Ahn Jung-Geun Memorial
  • Area: 1185.02 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Youngchae Park

© Youngchae Park © Youngchae Park © Youngchae Park © Youngchae Park

Refurbishing America's Shopping Mall

One thing about a recession is that it accelerates the demise of dying trends and struggling establishments. In this case, it is America’s beloved shopping malls, which have been slowly in decline since its peak popularity in 1990. Now, in the wake of the 2008 economic catastrophe, American cities are riddled with these abandoned shopping meccas, from the mall to big box stores and shopping strips, whose oversize parking lots are equally as useless as the spaces themselves. The question is, how can we effectively repurpose these spaces?

A perfect example after the break...

Room S / Yuichi Yoshida & associates

  • Architects: Yuichi Yoshida & associates
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Architect in Charge: Yuichi Yoshida,Tatsuya Suzuki
  • Project Coordinator: Sumasaga-Fudosan
  • Contractor: TANK
  • Area: 60.16 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Haine Kusuki

'Tearing the Ground' YAP Istanbul Modern Proposal / ONZ Architects

ONZ Architects' ‘Tearing the Ground’ proposal was recently awarded as one of the five finalists in the Istanbul Modern YAP 2013. Their design consists of a contemporary interpretation of a flying carpet constructed with reused plastic units, made of marine litter. The project team tears the ground and lifts up this carpet and puts it in the air with everything it conceals. Thus, the plastic waste produced by the city becomes the main material for the installation. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Casa Cabeço / MSB arquitectos

  • Architects: MSB arquitectos
  • Location: Santana, Madeira, Portugal
  • Design Team: Michael Malaguerra, Susana Jesus, Bruno Martins, Hugo Aires
  • Area: 238.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: MSB arquitectos

© MSB arquitectos © MSB arquitectos © MSB arquitectos © MSB arquitectos

Binissalem School Complex / RIPOLLTIZON

© José Hevia
© José Hevia
  • Architects: RIPOLLTIZON
  • Location: Camí de Pedaç, 8, 07350 Binissalem, Balearic Islands, Spain
  • Architect in Charge: Pep Ripoll - Juan Miguel Tizón
  • Collaborators: Xisco Sevilla
  • Area: 3166.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: José Hevia

© José Hevia © José Hevia © José Hevia © José Hevia

'Seapeaker' YAP Istanbul Modern Proposal / Evren Başbuğ, İnanç Eray, Meriç Kara, Engin Ayaz /

'Seapeaker', was recently named as one of the five finalists for Istanbul Modern "Young Architects Program" 2013 cycle. Designed by the collaborative team of Evren Başbuğİnanç Eray, Meriç Kara, and Engin Ayaz, the main intent of the project is to be a hearing aid for İstanbul. It highlights the city's muted qualities in an unexpected way. Designed using rigorous acoustical principles and the generative capacities of the site, seapeaker amplifies sounds of the sea underneath and punctures a new connection in-between. More images and architects' description after the break.

Tian Yangbei Garden / Spark

  • Architects: Spark
  • Location: Chaoyang, Beijing, China
  • Creative Director: Honglei Liu
  • Design Director: David Perera
  • Senior Interior Designer: Jiayi Hu
  • Junior Interior Designers: Yachun Zhang, Huichao Liu
  • Area: 1300.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Sun Xiangyu

© Sun Xiangyu © Sun Xiangyu © Sun Xiangyu © Sun Xiangyu

The Countries Where Demand for Architects Outstrips Supply

While The WA100, Building Design’s annual ranking of the world’s largest architecture firms, isn’t perfect (see our controversial article here), it does reveal a lot about the state of architecture today. And for 2013, the ranking shows that there are finally brighter days ahead for architects - just not at home.  

BD’s research reveals that China remains the world’s largest construction market (a title it’s held since 2010); that the Asia-Pacific Market is expected to be the largest by 2020 (with projected value of $4.6 trillion dollars); and that China, India, and Brazil offer the best growth potential for architectural services. Not surprisingly, the survey’s top three ranking firms - Aecom, Gensler, and IBI Group - all have a significant presence in these markets.  

However, are these mega-firms really the best models to aspire to? With the economic crisis making it everyday more evident that there are more opportunities abroad than at home, where is a firm to go? China? India? Brazil? 

Almost certainly not. 

Find out whether/where you should go abroad, after the break... 

Indesem ’13: 'Scale Matters'

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the biannual workshop series, Indesem (International Design Seminar) '13 is a week long workshop for students and recent graduates, accompanied by a publicly accessible lecture series featuring renowned architects and theorists reflecting on the current theme. Taking place April 19-26 at the Faculty of Architecture in Delft, the Netherlands, the fundamental idea of the seminar, with the theme of 'Scale Matters', is to create an environment where students and professionals can debate about the position of an architect. The outcome can contribute to the current architectural discussion. Competition to participate in the workshop is open for applicants until February 27. For more information, please visit here.

3D Printing Pen Turns Sketches Into Reality In Seconds

The 3Doodler isn't just a small pen-like device that's "the most affordable way to 3D print" - it's also a Kickstarter smash. The pen reached its $30,000 goal in just a few hours, and, at the time of publication, has earned $555,301.

We've mentioned 3D Printing before for its exciting potential for architecture in the long-term; however, this little doodler shows how quickly the technology is progressing (and how cheap it's becoming). Plus, it's easy to imagine the 3Doodler becoming an integral part of any architect's life, as the device lets you trace your drawings and then pop them to life. It's not a 2D plan, it's not a 3D visualization, but something - awesomely - in between. 

Learn more about this 3-D Printing Kickstarter success, after the break...

Robert A. M. Stern Architects announces the RAMSA Travel Fellowship

The RAMSA Travel Fellowship is a $10,000 prize awarded yearly by Robert A. M. Stern Architects for the purpose of travel and research. More specifically, the RAMSA Travel Fellowship seeks to promote investigations on the perpetuation of tradition through invention - key to the firm’s own work. The prize is intended to nurture emerging talent and is awarded every year to an individual who has proven insight and interest in the profession and its future, as well as the ability to carry forth in-depth research.

Two Short Films Capture the Essence of Steven Holl Architects’ Sliced Porosity Block

Xixi Wetland Art Village / Wang Weijen Architecture

Courtesy of Wang Weijen Architecture
Courtesy of Wang Weijen Architecture
  • Architects: Wang Weijen Architecture
  • Location: Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
  • Client: Xixi Wetlands Park Construction Headquarter
  • Area: 4500.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Wang Weijen Architecture

Courtesy of Wang Weijen Architecture Courtesy of Wang Weijen Architecture Courtesy of Wang Weijen Architecture Courtesy of Wang Weijen Architecture

1221 Broadway / Lake|Flato Architects

© Chris Cooper © Chris Cooper © Chris Cooper © Chris Cooper

AD Classics: La Muralla Roja / Ricardo Bofill

La Muralla Roja, Spanish for 'The Red Wall,' is a housing project located within the La Manzanera development in Spain's Calpe. The building makes clear references to the popular architecture of the Arab Mediterranean Area, a result of the architects' inspiration by the Mediterranean tradition of the casbah. The striking colors that cover the outer and inner facades are selected to either contrast with nature or complement its purity.

Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Courtesy of Ricardo Bofill