Architects: Rojkind Arquitectos, AGENT
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Architecture Project: Michel Rojkind, Gerardo Salinas, Alberto Villarreal
Project Team: Felipe Castañeda, Isaac Smeke
Illumination: Sylumis + AGENT
Vegetation: Zona Verde Mx
Mep: Innovative Design
Client: The Coca-Cola Company
Structural Engineer: Jorge A. Cadena
Area: 500.0 sqm
Proyect Year: 2012
Photography: Jaime Navarro
As part of an ongoing collaboration with The Coca-Cola Company, Rojkind Arquitectos to- gether with AGENT worked on the design of Foro Ciel, the physical space which will house the content for the Transformadora Ciel pro- grams.
Foro Ciel emerges as the vivid example of a positive transformation as its main premise. Having an unused space as a starting point (flat roof and helipad) and transforming it into a productive co-working center, surrounded by green areas, the space not only achieves functionality but also revives a corner of the city.
The site, reinvented with recycled materials and a series of clean technologies, acquires a green roof whose vegetation does not require irriga- tion from the grid since a rain water collecting system was installed. Regarding the environmental impact, we took into account various aspects during design and construction to minimize environmental damage and even have a positive impact. For example, the aesthetic “industrial” project is intended to leave many elements (facilities, pipelines, etc.) So apparent to avoid using ex- tra materials finishes.
The customized furniture, includes inter- changeable modules that activate a flexible configuration interior where different groups are able to work in various topics and re-ar- range the layout as their work flow requires to. The shapes within the space, as well the curved windows are reminiscent of Ciel’s “double droplep” logotype and a representation of the dynamic work space it holds.
- Natural and LED-based lighting
- Water-based paint for structural elements – Powder coated paint for most furniture pieces. - The majority of furniture pieces are locally produced.
- Green roof including an orchad with rain water collection system.
- Use of recycled materials and re-utilization of existing structural elements from the helipad.
- Use of low impact materials that contribute to LEED certification
- Solar panels which contribute to most of the electrical requirements of the space.
- Exposed installations to eliminate the need of unnecessary finishes.
The Mecanoo + Royal Haskoning design team was recently announced as the winner for the realization of the new Eurojust headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands. This design concept illustrates a strong connection with Eurojust’s neighbouring organisations, the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) and Europol. The atmosphere of soft slopes and grassy vegetation is designed to sit within the lush surroundings of The Hague’s ‘Green Heart’. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Architects: ESA Architects
Location: Newbury, Berkshire, England
Client: Stryker UK ltd
Project Area: 10,000 sqm
Project Year: Sept. 2011
Project Team: Alastair Roberts, Nic Sampson, Ralph Humphrey, Samiul Kamal-Uddin, Claire Lewis-Smith, James Gott, Nigel Height.
Photographer: Jaap Oepkes
Today the world celebrates its most precious resource: water. Countries world-wide suffer from water shortages so extreme that they cannot produce enough food to support their basic needs. In an effort to protect the World’s largest source of surface fresh water, the City Design Practice of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is gaining international support in their pro bono pursuit to create a 100-year vision that will environmentally protect and economically revitalize the entire U.S. and Canada Great Lakes region, a vision known as The Great Lakes Century.
“The availability and quality of fresh water to sustain a radically urbanizing world is unquestionably a core issue of our time and requires holistic environmental thinking at an unprecedented scale,” said Philip Enquist, SOM partner in charge of urban design worldwide.
Continue reading for more information on this important cause.
Architects: H Arquitectes -David Lorente, JosepRicart, Xavier Ros, Roger Tudó
Location: Parets del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
Collaborators: Blai Cabrero Bosch, Montse Fornés Guàrdia
Quantity Surveyor: Iñaki González de Mendiguchía
Surface Constructed: 160 sqm
Photographs: Pedro Antonio Pérez
Architects: Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes
Address: Allée de Bourgogne, Nanterre, France
Design Team: Mathias Neveling, Anna Zottl, An Vranken, Markus Himmel, Jeanne Stern, Maria Joao Pita, DI Katja Pargger, chef de projet; Barbara Fellmann, DI Dorit Boehme, Petra Meisenbichler
Area: 7,116 sqm
Photographs: David Boureau, Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes
Sana’a, Yemen is at risk of being the first capital city in the World to run out of renewable, reliable and clean water supplies. With seasonal rain, expensive bottled water and polluted reservoirs, the residents of Sana’a are constantly faced with waterborne diseases and severe drought hazards.
In celebration of World Water Day, we would like to catch you up with the progress Sabrina Faber who was selected as winner of the 2010/2011 Philips Livable Cities Award – a global initiative designed to generate innovative, meaningful and achievable ideas to improve the health and well-being of city-dwellers across the world. Although the project went on hold due to political unrest, The Rainwater Aggregations (RAINS) Project was still able to complete three sites just in time for World Water Day. Continue reading for more.
Tetra Shed is inspired by the growing need to accommodate the desires of more and more people wanting to establish a home office. The architects at Innovation Imperative designed this garden office as a challenge to the notion that a home office is simply a converted room in one’s house. It is an alternative solution to the “cuboid offices” that have grown in popularity over the last few years. This concept and mock-up will be on display at Grand Designs Live London between May 5th and May 13th.
Read on for more about Tetra-Shed after the break.
In approximately 3 1/2 months I will be standing on a stage in Washington D.C. at the American Institute of Architects 2012 National Convention talking about blogging and social media for architects. Most of the people who swing through here probably don’t much care about that – and I don’t blame you (you already know that I’m making it up as I go). However, what struck me this morning as I was standing in the shower (where I do some of my best problem solving), was how blogging, my presentation for the convention, and architecture in general, all have something really important in common …
Walk into the cafeteria at the Googleplex and you are nudged into the “right” choice. Sweets? Color-coded red and placed on the bottom shelf to make them just a bit harder to reach. “Instead of that chocolate bar, sir, wouldn’t you much rather consume this oh-so-conveniently-located apple? It’s good for you! Look, we labelled it green!” 
Like the Google cafeteria guides you to take responsibility of your health, Google wants to transform the construction industry to take responsibility of the “health” of its buildings. They have been leveraging for transparency in the content of building materials, so that, like consumers who read what’s in a Snickers bar before eating it, they’ll know the “ingredients” of materials to choose the greenest, what they call “healthiest,” options.
These examples illustrate the trend of “medicalization” in our increasingly health-obsessed society: when ordinary problems (such as construction, productivity, etc.) are defined and understood in medical terms. In their book Imperfect Health, Borasi and Zardini argue that through this process, architecture and design has been mistakenly burdened with the normalizing, moralistic function of “curing” the human body. 
While I find the idea that design should “force” healthiness somewhat paternalistic and ultimately limited, I don’t think this “medicalized” language is all bad – especially if we can use it in new and revitalizing ways. Allow me to prescribe two examples: the most popular and the (potentially) most ambitious urban renewal projects in New York City today, the High Line and the Delancey Underground (or the Low Line).
More on “curative” spaces after the break. (Trust me, it’s good for you.)
Last month, our reporting of the Architecture Billings Index was a little pessimistic, as the slight upward movement was no sure sign of a stable recovery. Yet, February marks the fourth month the Billings Index has remained in positive territory (a score of 50 or more indicates as such), and while we are cautious to mark the volatile index’s movement as a trend, we sure hope it is! February reported a score of 51.0 and a significant jump was reached in the new project inquiry index (up from 61.2 to 63.4). In fact, the 63.4 score is the highest inquires for new projects since July of 2007. “This is more good news for the design and construction industry that continues to see improving business conditions,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “The factors that are preventing a more accelerated recovery are persistent caution from clients to move ahead with new projects, and a continued difficulty in accessing financing for projects that developers have decided to pursue.” Breaking the index down regionally, the Midwest leads with 56.0, followed by the South, Northeast and finally the West with scores of 51.3, 51.0, 45.6, respectively.