Vincent Callebaut Architectures have received honorary mention for their “Wooden Orchids” proposal in the International Union of Architects’ (UIA) Mount Lu Estate of World Architecture Competition. Based in Ruichang, China, the competition tasked participants with designing several cultural and commercial complexes near one of the world’s largest flower theme parks. Wooden Orchids consolidates these functions in a green shopping hub that speaks to the area’s demographic and climatic influences.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about bamboo - besides being an entirely natural, sustainable material with the tensile strength of steel that can grow up to 900 millimeters (3 feet) in just 24 hours – is that it’s not more widely recognized as a fantastic construction material. Like many traditional building materials, bamboo no longer has the architectural currency that it once did across Asia and the pacific, but the efforts of Elora Hardy may help put it back into the vernacular. Heading up Ibuku, a design firm that uses bamboo almost exclusively, Hardy’s recent TED Talk is an excellent run through of bamboo’s graces and virtues in construction, showing off sinuous private homes and handbuilt school buildings.
Michael Reynolds, a well-known proponent of sustainable building and the creator of the Earthship house, will construct a self-sufficient public school in Jaureguiberry, Uruguay, reports local newspaper El País.
Reynolds’ design contemplates a 270-square-meter building with solar panels and a water-collection system that will supply water for the bathrooms and kitchens. In the architect’s usual style, recycled materials such as tires and bottles will be used for construction.
Learn more about the project after the break.
The world’s energy infrastructure may soon undergo significant change; Tesla Motors recently unveiled the Powerwall, a compact, lithium-ion battery pack that will allow residents to autonomously consume energy by drawing from their own sun-powered reserve. For just $3,500, you can purchase an attractive, wall-mounted battery capable of storing up to 10 kilowatt-hours of energy – about a third of what the average US household uses daily. Beyond this, the company will also be offering scalable Powerpacks to businesses and utility companies that will allow limitless storage. Powerwalls will go out for delivery this summer.
Emerging from over 6,000 entries, three winners of the fourth Global Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction have been selected. The international competition, occurring every three years, recognizes designs that provide sustainable solutions to local issues faced by communities throughout the world. This year’s winning projects addressed sites in Colombia, Sri Lanka, and the United States and will receive monetary prizes ranging from $50,000 to $200,000.
The winning entries were selected from last year’s top-prize recipients in the five regional Holcim Awards competitions, a total of 15 proposals (see our previous coverage here). An international jury of industry leaders, led by Mohsen Mostafavi (Dean of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design), determined the winners of the 2015 Global Holcim Awards.
See the winners after the break.
To demonstrate the structural potential of “pulp,” Ball-Nogues Studio built an experimental reclaimed paper pavilion this year at Coachella. The lightweight, self-supported structure, known as the ”Pulp Pavilion,” was made from a low-cost blend of recycled paper, water and pigment sprayed onto lattices of organic rope. After its use as a place of refuge for festival goers, it will be either composted or recycled. See the pavilion illuminated at night, after the break.
Founder of the Living Building Challenge, sustainability aficionado and architect Jason McLennan has been commissioned by famed actor Leonardo DiCaprio to design a 68-vila eco-resort on a private island in Belize. As The New York Times reports, the ambitious 42 hectare (104 acres) “Blackadore Caye, a Restorative Island” will be carried out by New York developer Delos by 2018.
The resort will feature an arc of floating suites built over the water and a network of artificial reefs and fish shelters, along with 48 millionaire villas and an indigenous plant nursery focused on manatee conservation.
“My goal was always the fact that I wanted to create something not just environmental, but restorative,” said DiCaprio to the newspaper. “A showcase for what is possible.”
Where the Panamerican Route passes along Rancagua, Chile, it does so in a seemingly interminable straight line, intersecting with the H-35 toward the Pacific and the Andes. At this junction between two of Rancagua’s arterial roads German practice raumspielkunst has envisioned “The Cloud,” a new form of self-sufficient gas station.
Responding to the nature of its site as a meeting point between the industrial and the touristic, the environmentally efficient gas station would cater for thousands of commuters each day.
Perkins+Will‘s Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) at the University of British Columbia has been announced as the recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada‘s 2015 Green Building Award. Granted by the RAIC and Canada Green Building Council, the award celebrates stellar architectural designs adhering to responsiveness to occupants’ well-being and environmental responsibility. The CIRS achieved LEED Platinum status and is a regenerative structure, implementing ingenious strategies to sustain net-positive energy, net-zero water, and net-zero carbon in both construction and operation.
Walk21 Vienna has launched its Walking Visionaries Awards, a challenge that invites people from around the globe to explore the many ways walking can be implemented into our daily lives to support sustainable and livable cities. Submit a solution now through April 30, 2015 for a chance to participate in the Walk21 Conference in Vienna, Austria in October 2015. 30 winners will receive a free ticket to the conference and given the chance to meet leading professionals and share their ideas with other visionaries through mediums such as lectures, round table discussions, and workshops. Additionally, the winners’ solutions will be published in the conference documentation. Selected by both public opinion and a jury vote, winning submissions will be announced in June 2015. For more information or to submit an idea, visit walk21vienna.com.
Developed for an international planning and architectural competition, this proposed masterplan for the Città della Scienza by Vincent Callebaut Architectures, coffice – studio di architettura e urbanistica, and Studio d’Architettura Briguglio Morales fuses sustainability with history to propose a self-sufficient urban ecosystem in Italy. Operating on the principle of living facades, the Città della Scienza revitalizes the forgotten military district into a vibrant, continually regenerating living city.
Read on after the break for a closer look at the plan.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked the Brazilian non-profit group Arquitetas Invisíveis to share with us a part of their work, which identifies women in architecture and urbanism. They kindly shared with us a list of 48 important women architects, divided into seven categories: pioneers, “in the shadows,” architecture, urbanism, social architecture, landscape architecture and sustainable architecture. We will be sharing this list over the course of the week.
Today, in the last post of the series, we present the female architects who put an emphasis on sustainability.
Rüdiger Lainer and Partner plans to construct the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper next year in Vienna’s Seestadt Aspern area. 76 percent of the 84-meter tower is expected to be made from wood rather than concrete, saving approximately 2,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions (equivalent to driving a car 25 miles a day for 1,300 years).
“I think it is important everyone now in 2014 thinks in different ways. We have wood, which is a perfect construction material for building,” she said. “It was used 200 years ago and it was perfect then and is perfect now,” says Kerbler project developer Caroline Palfy, commenting on the architects’ decision to use wood due to its environmental benefits.
An interior loft view and more details, after the break.
The Curtin University Master Plan has become the first project to receive a 5 Star Green Star-Communities Rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). Helmed by AECOM and Donaldson and Warn architects, the plan sets forth a strategy for the renewal of the University’s main campus in Bentley, Perth, aiming to create a “vibrant urban community” that combines commercial, retail, residential, educational, and transport infrastructure. Sustainability is a cornerstone of the project, which seeks to be adaptable to, and respectful of, its site and heritage.
The 5-star rating honours Australian Excellence in “innovation, design excellence, environmental sustainability, economic prosperity and liveability”. Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.
Australian company ArchiBlox has released its design for the world’s first carbon positive prefabricated house. Representing a new movement in ArchiBlox houses, the carbon positive house provides the option for a more environmentally-conscious design, through both reducing embodied energy that accompanies new-home construction and maintaining positive-energy production. The groundbreaking product line began its first installation on February 8 at Melbourne’s City Square.