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Timelapse: How to Build an Emergency Shelter with Scaffolding and Local Materials

Designed and developed by Pilosio Building Peace, RE:BUILD is a construction system for building refugee camps and facilities for emergency assistance. The temporary modular structures can be used as houses, schools, clinics, dining areas or any other space that is urgently needed. 

The system, which is easy and fast to assemble, combines scaffolding with natural materials that are easy to find, such as gravel, sand or earth, providing thermal insulation. Containers to channel and reuse rainwater are also incorporated. Watch the timelapse video above to see RE:BUILD in action and learn more about how it was used to build schools for refugee children in Jordan here.

Shigeru Ban's Nepalese Emergency Shelters to be Built from Rubble

© VAN, courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects
© VAN, courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects

Shigeru Ban Architects has released images of their first emergency shelter prototype designed for Nepal. Planned to be built by the end of August, the simple shelter is designed to be easily assembled by almost anyone. Using connecting modular wooden frames (3ft x 7ft or 90cm x 210cm), salvaged rubble bricks are used to infill the wall's cavities while paper tube trussing supports the roof. This, as Shigeru Ban says, will allow for "quick erection and nearly immediate inhabitation."

Shelter Global Announces 2015 Dencity Competition Winners

International architecture non-profit Shelter Global has announced the winners of its 2015 Dencity Competition. Out of 300 entries from 50 different countries, three winners and six special mentions were selected.

The competition’s goal was “to foster new ideas on how to handle the growing density of unplanned cities and to spread awareness of the massive problem,” and jury members sought out project designs that empower communities and allow for self-sufficiency. Read about the three winners, after the break.

Izaskun Chinchilla Architects’ Organic Growth Pavilion Opens on Governors Island

Izaskun Chinchilla Architects have made their recycled, upcycled, and bicycled “Organic Growth Pavilion” a reality on New York’s Governors Island. One of two winners of the “City of Dreams” pavilion competition (hosted by AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee and the Structural Engineers Association of New York), Izaskun Chinchilla Architects carried out a kickstarter campaign to fund the pavilion’s construction.

Organic Growth Pavilion. Image © Sergio Reyes Collaborative Construction of Organic Growth Pavilion. Image © Sergio Reyes Organic Growth Pavilion. Image © Sergio Reyes Organic Growth Pavilion. Image © Sergio Reyes

This Plastic Bottle House Turns Trash into Affordable Housing in Nigeria

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. 

Renzo Piano and G124 to Transform Italian Suburbs with Shipping Containers

A group of six young architects under the leadership of Renzo Piano have been hard at work transforming unused spaces within Italy's suburban framework. The team, known as G124, focuses its efforts on injecting life back into overlooked and forgotten areas of its built environment and stimulating the local economy through design. This most recently entailed transforming a long abandoned area under a viaduct in northeast Rome into a bustling cultural hot-spot. 

In Focus: The Architectural Applications of Zinc

Many times, the most innovative minds in architecture aren't the architects themselves. They can come in the form of students, researchers and in this case - providers. We recently asked VMZINC, a company that provides material solutions for architects, a few questions about the use of zinc in architecture, the Stonehenge Visitors Center and more. 

AD: How do you create intricate shapes with zinc, as seen in the roof at the Stonehenge Visitors Center?

Seaweed, Salt, Potatoes, & More: Seven Unusual Materials with Architectural Applications

The following article is presented by ArchDaily Materials. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine, Lara Kristin Herndon and Derrick Mead explore seven innovative architectural materials and the designers behind them. Some materials are byproducts, some will help buildings breathe and one is making the leap from 3D printing to 4D printing.

When Arthur C. Clarke said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, he was speaking from the spectator’s point of view, not the magician’s. As our list of smart materials shows, technology solves difficult problems, but getting there requires more than just a wave of the magic wand. Each of the following projects looks past easy answers. Whether it’s a new way of looking at old problems, a new material that maximizes the efficiency of an old technique, or a new method to tap the potential of an abundant or underutilized resource, here are seven innovators who take technology out of the realm of science fiction.

The Sustainable Initiatives Deconstructing Detroit

As architects we generally see ourselves as providers of new buildings; we also often see architecture as a way to remedy social ills. For many architects, when presented with a social problem, we try to think of a design for a building which addresses it. But what happens when the problem itself is a surplus of buildings?

This is exactly the situation that Detroit finds itself in today. Thanks to the rapid decline in population since its heyday in the mid 20th Century, the City of Detroit is home to some 78,000 vacant structures. While politicians worldwide win public support by promising new construction and growth, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing proudly announced his plans to demolish 10,000 empty homes before the end of his term.

The process will be inherently wasteful. Fortunately, some are making the best of the situation, with sustainable initiatives that create jobs and economic benefits for residents. Read on after the break to find out how.

The "Open House": From House to Theater in 90 Minutes

"Open House" is artist Matthew Mazzotta's latest invention: a compact, faded pink house that unfolds into a ten-piece outdoor theater that seats nearly 100 people. Facing a raised earthen stage, it's a public space made from the remnants of a privately owned blighted property. Reversing the loss of public space that the city of York, Alabama has experienced, Open House has transformed a wasted ruin of a house into an outdoor theatre open to various community events.

STUDIOKCA's 'Head in the Clouds' Pavilion Opens in NYC

Back in February of this year, the non-profit arts organization FIGMENT asked “What would an art pavilion made out of recycled materials and based around the idea of 'The City of Dreams' look like to you?.” Brooklyn-based STUDIOKCA beat out over 200 other submissions in the competition with their Head in the Clouds pavilion, now open to the public on Governors Island in NYC.

Heineken WOBO: When Beer Met Architecture

A very wise man, Homer Simpson, once described alcohol as “the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” While this may not necessarily be true for all problems, fifty years ago it seemed that beer was going to play a part in solving a housing shortage on the Caribbean island of Curaçao, thanks to a bizarre, yet socially conscious, piece of design.

Shigeru Ban's Cardboard Cathedral Underway in New Zealand

Courtesy of Christchurch City Libraries' Flickr
Courtesy of Christchurch City Libraries' Flickr

Shigeru Ban just can’t get enough of paper tubes. The Japanese architect, renowned for his design of structures that can be quickly and inexpensively erected in disaster zones, is at it again in the city of ChristchurchNew Zealand, which was hit hard by a devastating earthquake last February. The earthquake of magnitude 6.3 killed over 200 people and inflicted irreparable damage on the city’s iconic gothic cathedral of 132 years. The cathedral was a copy of one in Oxford, England, and was one of the most famous landmarks of the Christchurch, pictured on postcards, souvenirs and tea towels.

A pioneer in so-called “emergency architecture,” Shigeru Ban has begun construction on a highly anticipated, unique replacement: a simple A-frame structure composed of paper tubes of equal length and 20 foot containers. The tubes will be coated with waterproof polyurethane and flame retardants that the architect has been developing since 1986 - years before environmental friendliness and the use of inexpensive recycled materials were even a concern in architecture.

Read more about Ban's visionary Cardboard Cathedral after the break...

Chicago's Cook County Aims to Eradicate Demolition Waste

Image via Cook County
Image via Cook County

Cook County, Illinois, recently brought the elimination of construction waste to a new level by creating the first demolition debris ordinance in the Midwest. This groundbreaking ordinance requires most of the debris created from demolition to be recycled and reused instead of being sent to the landfill. The ordinance helps contribute to Cook County’s zero waste goal, part of the Solid Waste Plan Update.

The new law states that at least 7 percent of suburban construction and demolition debris must be recycled, and an additional 5 percent must be reused on residential properties. This new legislation will have a great impact as it affects about 2.5 million suburban Cook County residents.

More after the break...

Finalists of the 100 Mile House Competition

3rd Prize: Won Jin Park (New York, USA) - Courtesy of the Architectural Foundation of British Columbia
3rd Prize: Won Jin Park (New York, USA) - Courtesy of the Architectural Foundation of British Columbia

The Architectural Foundation of British Columbia (BC) has announced the five finalists of the 100 Mile House Competition. Similar to the well-known 100 Mile Diet, the 100 Mile House challenges participants to design a 1200-square-foot home using only materials and systems that are made, manufactured and/or recycled within 100 miles of the City of Vancouver. Many have questioned whether the 100 Mile House is a plausible solution in today’s modern cities (check out: The 100 Mile House: Innovative ‘Locatat’ or Just Plain Loca?). Be your own judge and review the finalists after the break.

The 100 Mile House: Innovative 'Locatat' or Just Plain Loca?

If you could construct your house out of materials made, recycled, or found within 100-miles of your lot, would you? And if you did, would you feel proud that you never once stepped into The Home Depot? Would you tout the fact that you took an environmental stand, that you did your bit to help the world?

Would you have?

As we mentioned in February, The Architecture Foundation of British Colombia has launched a competition to construct the 100-mile House. Inspired by the 100-mile Diet of locavore fame, in which you only eat what is grown or harvested within 100 miles of your home, the 100-mile house challenges you to construct historically, “using only materials and systems made/ manufactured / recycled” within a 100 mile radius.

But is this method truly better for the environment? Or just another example of pretentious pseudo-greenery?

More after the break…

A Thousand Traps to Escape / Olivier Bourgeois and EAUL atelier 5D

© Jean-François Noël / Atelier 5D / Marika Drolet-Ferguson
© Jean-François Noël / Atelier 5D / Marika Drolet-Ferguson

“A Thousand Traps to Escape” is a temporary installation designed by 13 students from Laval University under Olivier Bourgeois in the Magdalen Islands in Quebec, Canada.  The project builds on the collaboration of themes of architecture, art, landscape and installation in the creation of space based on simple materials, the landscape and “the basic rules of construction”.  The “local material” chosen for this construction is the ubiquitous lobster trap made of wood and fishnet.  Its formal simplicity allowed for an basic stacking technique that produced relatively complex visual results of transparencies and opacities.

Read on for more information on the development of this project.

UMAMI Burger Prototype / Kanner Architects

© Kanner Architects
© Kanner Architects

Kanner Architects is collaborating with UMAMI Group, creating a concept restaurant called UMAMI KO (U-ko). The modular burger shack is meant to inhabit urban settings worldwide, creating a comfortable indoor/outdoor experience within an environmentally sensitive structure.

Architects: Kanner Architects Client: Umami Group Project Area: 2,240 sqf