Arup’s Latest Solar Panels Produce Energy From Algae

A view behind the BIQ House Solarleaf panels. Image via GOOD. Image

Architects have been experimenting with the potential of building envelopes for years. Now, Arup has an interesting, Zumtobel Group Award-nominated proposal: the Solarleaf bioreactor. This thin, 2.5 x .07 meter panel, when attached to the exterior of a building, is capable of generating biofuel – in the form of algae – for the production of hot water. More efficient than electricity and more than wood, algae is ideal kindling for producing heat, especially since it can be grown on-site. Moreover, the water in which the algae grows also collects solar energy, providing an additional supply of heat. More details on this innovation, after the break. 

Gerstäckerstreet / KBNK

© Carsten Brügmann

Architects: KBNK
Location: Gerstäckerstraße 9, 20459 Hamburg,
Area: 6450.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Carsten Brügmann

Superbude 2 / Dreimeta

© Steve Herud

Architects: Dreimeta
Location: , Germany
Collaborators: Judy Hänel, Andrea Kraft, Britta Kleweken
Year: 2012
Photographs: Steve Herud

Case Studies in Coastal Vulnerability: Boston, Seoul, Hamburg, Bangladesh & New York

Water floods the Plaza Shops in Manhattan after Superstorm Sandy, 2012. Photo: Allison Joyce/Getty Images.

This article originally appeared in the latest issue of ArchitectureBoston as “Troubled Waters.“ 

The challenges of sea-level rise cross boundaries of all sorts: geographic, political, social, economic. Proposed mitigation strategies will also necessarily shift and overlap. Here, we present five case studies from across the globe that offer intriguing ways—some operational, some philosophical—to address the threats associated with climate change. Drawing on a research initiative focused on vulnerabilities in Boston, a team at developed these additional design-strategy icons to illustrate the layered approaches. They are adaptable, the better to meet the unique demands of each coastal community.

Hamburg’s Plan to Eliminate Cars in 20 Years

About 40% of the area of , the second largest city in , is made up of green areas, cemeteries, sports facilities, gardens, parks and squares. For the first time ever, the city has decided to unite them together via pedestrian and cycle routes. It’s all part of the “Green Network Plan,” which aims to eliminate the need for vehicles in Hamburg over the next 20 years.

According to city spokeswoman Angelika Fritsch, the project will help to turn the city into a one-of-a-kind, integrated system: “Other cities, including London, have green rings, but the green network will be unique in covering an area from the outskirts to the city centre. In 15 to 20 years you’ll be able to explore the city exclusively on bike and foot.”

More details, after the break.

Neue Hamburger Terrassen / LAN

© Julien Lanoo

Architects: LAN
Location: ,
Team: LAN: Umberto Napolitano, Benoit Jallon, Sebastian Niemann (Lead Architect), Vincent Vaulot, Peter Balzer, Remi Carteron (Competition), Franck Boutté Consultants (HEQ – Competition), BASE (Landscaping – Competition), RaissiBidard (Competition), Konerding Architekten (Architects Associated for the building process), Ingenieurbüro Schreyer (BET structure, Energy), RMP Stephan Lenzen (Coordinating Landscape Architects)
Area: 11,000 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Julien Lanoo

Woodcube / architekturagentur

© Martin Kunze

Architects: architekturagentur
Location: Am Inselpark, 21109 , Germany
Area: 4130.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Martin Kunze

Bildungszentrum Tor zur Welt / Bof Architekten

© Hagen Stier

Architects: Bof Architekten
Location: Thielenstraße, 21109 , Germany
Area: 22000.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Hagen Stier

WakuWaku / Ippolito Fleitz Group

© Benjamin Nadjib

Architects: Ippolito Fleitz Group
Location: Schauenburgerstraße 55, 20095 ,
Architect In Charge: Ippolito Fleitz Group
Design Team: Peter Ippolito, Gunter Fleitz, Moritz Köhler, Michael Bertram, Markus Schmidt, Timo Flott
Area: 145.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Benjamin Nadjib

Gebr. Heinemann Headquarters Extension Winning Proposal / gmp Architekten

Courtesy of

Architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp Architekten) have won the first prize in the competition for the extension of Gebr. Heinemann Headquarters in ’s HafenCity. The new building designed for the -based, tradition-rich trading company impressed the jury as “an independent urban-planning and architectural contribution characterized by timeless, harmoniously self-contained architecture.” Viewed from the northwest, the new extension is a companion piece to the Maritime Museum, with the two buildings flanking the “Heinemann-Speicher” in the middle. From the Ericus Bridge, the new construction highlights the corner of the ensemble on Shanghaiallee and makes a characteristically urban statement. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Spiegel / Ippolito Fleitz Group

© Zooey Braun

Architects: Ippolito Fleitz Group
Location: Ericusspitze 1, 20457 Hamburg,
Architect In Charge:
Design Team: Peter Ippolito, Gunter Fleitz, Tilla Goldberg, Christian Kirschenmann, Tim Lessmann, Alexander Fehre, Christine Ackermann, Roger Gasperlin, Katja Heinemann
Area: 520.0 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Zooey Braun

Elbbrücken Underground Station Winning Proposal / gmp Architekten

Courtesy of

gmp Architekten just won the first prize in the competition for the design of the Elbbrücken Underground station. The genius loci of this over-ground station is determined by its position directly at the river Elbe, the future dense urban development, and by the historic Elbbrücken bridges with their conspicuous shallow steel arches. Characterized by simple and clearly structured access principles, the complex difference in levels between the terrain and the platforms is cleverly dealt with inside the building. More images and architects’ description after the break.

World’s First Algae Bioreactor Facade Nears Completion

BIQ via GOOD

BIQ – the world’s first algae powered building – is set to be completed in later this month. Built for the International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Hamburg, this zero-carbon apartment complex will sport a bright green -cum-algae farm, while its interior proposes a radical new theory on how we will live in the near future.

More about BIQ after the break…

Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie to be Completed by 2017

© Martin Wippel

Sitting idle since November 2011, Herzog & de Meuron’s long-running Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg, Germany, has left residents wondering when will the music ever begin?

First envisioned back in 2003, the enormous crystalline glass structure stands nearly complete on top a historic warehouse on the edge of the River Elbe. Rising costs, delayed schedules and legal issues with the contractor, have plagued this magnificent concert hall with controversy. However, according a report in the German news magazine Der Spiegel, contractor Hochtief has initiated a new deal to ensure the completion of the building.

A revised contract, which is expect to adjust the architect’s fee’s to €94 million (€17 million over the original project cost), has projected Elbphilharmonie will be completed within the next four years. The news is bittersweet, as the architectural community and the residents of have been waiting years for this highly anticipated concert hall to be complete, yet they cringe at the news of an overblown €575 million price tag.

3rd International Green Roof Congress 2013

Courtesy of The International Green Roof Association (IGRA)

The latest technological developments and new areas of application in the field of Green Roofs will be presented at the 3rd International Green Roof Congress, which will be held in . Organized by The International Green Roof Association (IGRA), the event will take place May 13-15, where acknowledged international Green Roof experts from various disciplines will discuss the status quo and the future trends of Green Roofs with architects, designers, landscape contractors and more. If you are interested in ‘Building with Nature’, this unique event will encompass a range of related topics  To register, and for more information, please visit here.

Ecumenical Forum HafenCity / Wandel Hoefer Lorch + Hirsch

Courtesy of Wandel Hoefer + Lorch

Architects: Wandel Hoefer Lorch + Hirsch
Location: Shanghaiallee 12, 20457 Hamburg,
Architect In Charge: Wolfgang Lorch, Andrea Wandel Prof.
Project Manager: Florian Gotze
Collaborators: Dirk Lang, Bruno Di Franco, Kimberly Rubert, Nikolaus Hirsch, Andreas Schmalz, John Vogt
Area: 0.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of Wandel Hoefer + Lorch

Sprach und Bewegungszentrum / eins:eins architekten

© Bernadette Grimmenstein

Architects: eins:eins architekten
Location: Rotenhäuser Damm 40, Hamburg,
Architect In Charge: Christoph Roselius, Julian Hillenkamp
Client: GWG Gewerbe
Structural Engineer: Imagine Structure GmbH
Services: Ebert-Ingenieure GmbH
Year: 2013
Photographs: Bernadette Grimmenstein

Treehouses Bebelallee / blauraum

Courtesy of blauraum

Architects: blauraum
Location: Bebelallee 64, ,
Client: Robert Vogel GmbH & Co.
Area: 8,800 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Martin Schlüter, Dominik Reipka