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Vincent Callebaut Envisions Shell-Inspired Eco-Tourism Resort in The Philippines

12:58 - 19 September, 2017
Vincent Callebaut Envisions Shell-Inspired Eco-Tourism Resort in The Philippines, Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures
Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures

Vincent Callebaut Architectures has released a design proposal for a new eco-tourism resort in The Philippines inspired by natural coastline forms. Making extensive use of cradle-to-cradle and other sustainable design principles, the resort features a series of spiraling apartment buildings and shell-shaped hotel buildings, themselves positioned on two Fibonacci spirals of land in a coastal lagoon. At the center of the ensemble, a mountain-like complex combines a school, recreational swimming pools, sports halls, the resort's kitchens, and a suite of laboratories for environmental scientists.

Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures + 47

Inside Vancouver's Brock Commons, the World's Tallest Mass Timber Building

06:00 - 18 September, 2017
Inside Vancouver's Brock Commons, the World's Tallest Mass Timber Building, Courtesy of
Courtesy of

“Plyscraper,” “woodscraper,” call it what you will, but the timber age is upon us. Brock Commons Tallwood House, the recently completed student residence building at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, now occupies a prominent position within architecture: the tallest building with a timber structure in the world.

Courtesy of Courtesy of Courtesy of Courtesy of + 15

Algae Dome by SPACE10 Could 'Combat Chronic Malnutrition'

06:00 - 12 September, 2017
Algae Dome by SPACE10 Could 'Combat Chronic Malnutrition', © Niklas Adrian Vindelev
© Niklas Adrian Vindelev

SPACE10's latest project displayed last week at Copenhagen's CHART art fair hosts the secret to combating malnutrition, greenhouse gases and ending deforestation - a pretty steep demand for a structure only four meters tall. The hero of this story is a microalgae that runs through the three hundred and twenty meters of tubing entwined around the pavilion.

IKEA's future living lab worked with bioengineer, Keenan Pinto and three architects, Aleksander Wadas, Rafal Wroblewski and Anna Stempniewicz to build a photobioreactor that facilitates the high production of microalgae that can be grown almost anywhere on the planet. During the three days of the fair, 450 liters of algae was grown as visitors got to experience the full extent of the neon green process.

© Niklas Adrian Vindelev © Niklas Adrian Vindelev © Niklas Adrian Vindelev © Niklas Adrian Vindelev + 14

Antarctic Base McMurdo Station Receives Sustainable New Master Plan

06:00 - 4 September, 2017
Antarctic Base McMurdo Station Receives Sustainable New Master Plan, © OZ Architecture
© OZ Architecture

McMurdo Station, the American Antarctic base, was never meant to be a permanent settlement when it was built in 1956, yet today it is home to 250 people full-time in addition to approximately 1,000 summer workers each year. Consisting now of over 100 buildings spread across 164 acres, the settlement acts as a logistical base for field science but is dysfunctional for the scientists and researchers who live and work there and inefficient in terms of meeting the demands of Antarctica’s harsh climate. OZ Architecture has recently unveiled a new master plan for McMurdo that aims to turn the station into a model of American leadership in science, engineering, sustainability, and architecture, condensing the current sprawl into a 300,000 square foot campus composed of 6 buildings.

© OZ Architecture © OZ Architecture Current McMurdo Station. Image © Peter Somers Current McMurdo Station. Image © OZ Architecture + 14

Student Design Competition: Innovation 2030

19:30 - 31 August, 2017
Student Design Competition: Innovation 2030

Architects play a crucial role in addressing both the causes and effects of climate change through the design of the built environment. Innovative design thinking is key to producing architecture that meets human needs for both function and delight, adapts to climate change projections, continues to support the health and well being of inhabitants despite natural and human-caused disasters, and minimizes contributions to further climate change through greenhouse gas emissions.

This Pavillion Lives and Dies Through Its Sustainable Agenda

08:00 - 30 August, 2017
© Krishna & Govind Raja
© Krishna & Govind Raja

Are the concrete buildings we build actually a sign of architectural progress? Defunct housing projects abandoned shopping malls, and short-sighted urban projects are more often than not doomed to a lifetime of emptiness after they have served their purpose. Their concrete remains and transforms into a lingering reminder of what was once a symbol of modern ambition. Stadiums and their legacies, in particular, come under high scrutiny of how their giant structures get used after the games are over, with few Olympic stadiums making successful transitions into everyday life. With a new approach to sustainability, the Shell Mycelium pavilion is part of a manifesto towards a more critical take on building. Say the designers on their position: “We criticize these unconscious political choices, with living buildings, that arise from nature and return to nature, as though they never existed.”

The Shell Mycelium Pavillion is a collaboration between BEETLES 3.3 and Yassin Areddia Designs and offers an alternative to conscious design through temporary structures. Located at the MAP Project space at the Dutch Warehouse, the pavillion formed part of the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016 Collateral in India. Read on for more information from the architects:

How (and Why) to Let Weather Into Your Buildings

09:30 - 24 August, 2017
How (and Why) to Let Weather Into Your Buildings

Bringing the weather inside is usually the opposite of what you want from a building envelope. However, new research from the University of Oregon, described in an article by The Washington Post, aims to show the physical and psychological benefits of letting nature inside. Signs of nature and change are both beneficial to our well-being, yet we don’t always have access to them when inside buildings—and humans are now spending 90% of our lives inside. But even in an urban setting, where nature may be hard to come by, there’s no escaping the weather. When researchers found ways to bring things like wind and dappled reflections of the sun inside, they found that exposure to these natural movements lowered heart rates, while being less distracting than similar artificially generated movements.

By now, green buildings are a familiar concept, but the article in The Washington Post proposes moving beyond green buildings as we know them today. While green building can be great in new construction, that excludes a lot of existing buildings that could and should also benefit from an intervention of nature. Ideally, buildings should actively demonstrate their relationship with nature, moving beyond simply “doing no harm.”

© Hiroyuki Oki © Carlos Chen © Alex de Rijke © Alejandro Arango + 7

5 Passive Cooling Alternatives Using Robotics and Smart Materials

14:00 - 20 August, 2017
5 Passive Cooling Alternatives Using Robotics and Smart Materials, Cortesía de IAAC
Cortesía de IAAC

The IAAC (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia) has developed a series of advanced materials and systems for air conditioning and passive ventilation, allowing homes to reduce interior temperatures up to 5 degrees lower while saving the electricity consumption caused by the traditional air-conditioning. The systems are made from long-lifespan materials, which lower the costs of maintenance in the long-term and can be used as low-cost alternative building technologies. 

The projects highlighted are the Breathing Skin, Hydroceramics, Hydromembrane, Morphluid and Soft Robotics - all developed by students of the IAAC's Digital Matter Intelligent Constructions (conducted by Areti Markopoulou). The passive air-conditioning of spaces is investigated using a combination of new materials that mimic organic processes, adaptive structures and Robotics that help regulate temperature and create sustainable micro climates. 

Agency2017: Australasian Student Architecture Congress in Sydney

18:02 - 14 August, 2017
Agency2017: Australasian Student Architecture Congress in Sydney

The Australasian Student Architecture Congress (ASAC)—titled Agency 2017—will be held in Sydney from the 28th of November to the 2nd of December. It will be the first congress held in Sydney since 1999 and student-led by ASAC Inc., a non-profit student body based in NSW, Australia.

Margot Krasojević Designs Bridge That Sails Like a Ship

14:00 - 13 August, 2017
Margot Krasojević Designs Bridge That Sails Like a Ship, © Margot Krasojević
© Margot Krasojević

Dr. Margot Krasojević, known for creating impossibly futuristic architecture has unveiled her latest project: a bridge that can sail across the water. Dubbed the “Revolving Sail Bridge” - the experimental project was commissioned by the Ordos government in the Kanbashi District of Inner Mongolia (China) to be built across the Wulamulum River. Featuring a main floating section topped with a carbon-fibre triple sail, the flexible structure is capable of sailing anywhere across the river to relocate itself.

© Margot Krasojević © Margot Krasojević © Margot Krasojević © Margot Krasojević + 20

The Rehabilitation of Traditional Nubian Houses of Bigga

17:30 - 8 August, 2017
The Rehabilitation of Traditional Nubian Houses of Bigga

As part of larger ElBaseetah Suburbs for Investment and Community Development S.A.E. RTNHB project in south Egypt; RTNHB will provide an entertainment and social space among Nubian people, their visitors, and guests. Funded by ECO Group, the site will be an attractive Nubian area, a spot of social interaction, cultural dialogue, and place for entertainment in front of Philae Temple.

IKEA Launches Home Solar Battery to Take on Tesla

14:30 - 4 August, 2017
IKEA Launches Home Solar Battery to Take on Tesla, Courtesy of Solarcentury
Courtesy of Solarcentury

A new challenger has stepped into the ring of home solar batteries, and it’s a name you may recognize: global furniture retailer IKEA.

A competitor to Tesla’s now-available Powerwall home battery and solar roof system, IKEA’s home battery will be first sold in the UK, where owners of solar-powered homes can typically only sell excess energy produced back to the national grid at a loss. The battery pack will instead allow that power to be stored for later use, helping homeowners reduce their electricity bills by as much as 70 percent.

How Sustainable Is Apple Park's Tree-Covered Landscape, Really?

09:30 - 14 July, 2017
How Sustainable Is Apple Park's Tree-Covered Landscape, Really?, Courtesy of Duncan Sinfield
Courtesy of Duncan Sinfield

This article was originally published by The Architect's Newspaper as "How green are Apple’s carbon-sequestering trees really?"

Apple is planting a forest in Cupertino, California. When the company’s new headquarters is completed later this year, 8,000 trees, transplanted from nurseries around the state of California, will surround the donut-shaped building by Foster + Partners. The trees are meant to beautify Apple’s 176 acres (dubbed Apple Park). But they will also absorb atmospheric carbon.

That’s a good thing. Carbon, in greenhouse gases, is a major cause of global warming. Almost everything humans do, including breathing, releases carbon into the atmosphere. Plants, on the other hand, absorb carbon, turning it into foliage, branches, and roots—a process known as sequestration.

World's First "Smart Street" in London Turns Footsteps into Energy

16:15 - 12 July, 2017
World's First "Smart Street" in London Turns Footsteps into Energy, via Pavegen
via Pavegen

Technology company Pavegen has unveiled the world’s first “Smart Street” in London’s West End that utilizes the company’s unique kinetic paving slabs to generate energy from pedestrians’ footsteps. But unlike earlier Pavegen installations deployed in cities like Washington DC and Rio de Janeiro (which uses the panels as the foundation for a soccer field), the London Smart Street comes with its very own app – giving visitors precise information about the power they are generating, and encouraging use by offering up store vouchers in return for steps.

via Pavegen via Pavegen via Pavegen via Pavegen + 5

Norman Foster Stresses the Importance of Interdisciplinary Architecture in Creating Future Cities

16:00 - 8 July, 2017

Architecture, as both a profession and the built environment, currently finds itself at a crossroads in trying to adapt to a world in constant flux. Cities and its people face continuous socio-economic, political and environmental change on a daily basis, prompting a necessary rethink in the evolution of sustainable urbanization. With a focus on housing, society and cultural heritage, RIBA’s International Conference, Change in the City, aims to offer insight into the “New Urban Agenda” and how architects can play an interdisciplinary role in future urban development.

Speaking in an interview ahead of the conference, Norman Foster is a strong advocate for a careful consideration of what aspects of urban life need to be prioritized when designing cities of the future. For an increasingly global society, Foster stresses the need for architecture to surpass buildings and tackle its greatest obstacle – global warming, honing in on its roots and factors involved to create viable urban solutions.

Foster + Partners to Transform Major Landfill Site Into Sustainable Innovation Hub in Sharjah

08:00 - 5 July, 2017
Foster + Partners to Transform Major Landfill Site Into Sustainable Innovation Hub in Sharjah, via Flickr User Utsav Verma. Licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0).
via Flickr User Utsav Verma. Licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Foster + Partners have announced plans for the redevelopment of a major landfill site in Sharjah, UAE, belonging to Bee’ah – the foremost environmental energy and waste management company in the Middle East since 2007. Upon Sharjah reaching its “zero waste to landfill” target by 2020, the site is set for redundancy, sparking a proposed sustainable masterplan as an example of a circular economy and a reflection of Bee’ah’s vision of clean energy and sustainable innovation.

“We believe that this vision, as interpreted through our masterplan, represents a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate just what can be achieved at sites like this which feature in every industrialized nation on the planet,” expressed Giles Robinson, Senior Partner at Foster + Partners. “The project will also serve to further showcase Bee’ah’s waste management center as a place where innovation, environmental best practice, and good design take center stage.”

"Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding" by Julien Lanoo

14:00 - 1 July, 2017

Architectural photographer Julien Lanoo is known for his storytelling. His documentary-style photographs of the built environment range from Adjaye Associates' Aishti Foundation, OMA’s CCTV and the Oslo Architecture Triennale to name a few. Now the photographer has released a short film: introducing Canadian-Ghanaian architect Akwasi McLaren as he tells the story behind building his eco-lodge in the Cape 3 Points region of Ghana. Broken down into 3 chapters, “Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding” follows McLaren’s journey from designing his parents’ hotel in Ghana as a student to building his beloved lodge on the beach, to his hopes of sharing the valuable skills of ecological building and craftsmanship to cities.

Stefano Boeri on Designing the World's First Forest City in China

12:00 - 30 June, 2017

I really hope that this experiment will become a reference for many other architects, for many other urban planners, for many other public administrators and politicians, in order to implement, improve and multiplicate the realization of forest cities in China and all over the world.

In this video, Stefano Boeri explains the design of the just-announced Lizhou Forest City, which, when completed in 2020, will become the world’s first ground-up city constructed employing the firm’s signature Vertical Forest research.

Boeri explains the evolution of the concept from their first Vertical Forest project in Milan to the Lizhou development, which will accommodate up to 30,000 people in a master plan of environmentally efficient structures covered top-to-bottom in plants and trees, as well as the planning processes required to bring the project to fruition.