Hou de Sousa (Nancy Hou and Josh de Sousa) has completed construction on Raise/Raze and Sticks, two competition winners for temporary installations in Washington, DC and New York, respectively.
Through Raise/Raze, the firm reused plastic balls from Snarkitecture’s “The Beach” at the National Building Museum to create an installation in DC’s Dupont Underground, a contemporary arts and culture space repurposed from an abandoned trolley station. Raise/Raze opened on April 30, and closed on June 1.
Located at the Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, New York, Sticks is a multi-purpose pavilion space made of standard dimension lumber and accented with scrap wood found on-site. The pavilion opened on July 9, and will close December 31.
The Architectural and Environmental Design (AED) is created to be a platform for all early career researchers, practitioners and students from all around the world, helping them to share ideas, and to expand networks for scholars.
For a ruined Civil War-era warehouse in Brooklyn, there may have been no better organization than an avant-garde theater group to think creatively about its future.
Situated in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge in the popular Dumbo neighborhood, the 1860 tobacco warehouse was crumbling and forgotten when St. Ann’s, a 36-year-old theater company that began life in another Brooklyn church, sought to renovate it for its first permanent home. Attaining energy efficiency in historic buildings is not just possible—it can be the most sustainable and aesthetic choice.
Designed as a fusion of traditional Indian architecture and contemporary office space, the main objective of the project is “to reduce heat gain and optimize façade opening ratio, ensuing no artificial lighting is required on a typical day.”
Architecture and Urban Planning firm group8asia has won third prize in the Seoul Metropolitan Government competition for the design of Nodeul Island with its sustainable project Seoul Green Dot.
Nodeul Dream Island leads with the idea of Neverland in mind, and isdesigned as “a utopia where nature and serenity are abundant.” Here, it is hoped that environmental economy, and socially sustainable practices can be utilized to create a space to transform the dense urban fabric.
After discovering a vibrant new pigment of blue by accident, chemists at Oregon State University have brought the compound to market in the form of a paint that looks promising to architectural sustainability.
While experimenting with materials to study applications for electronics in 2009, OSU chemist Mas Subramanian and his team mixed black manganese oxide with other chemicals and heated them to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Little did they know, one of their samples would turn into a brilliant blue color.
The result is a compelling report. It reveals that these high-performing projects skew small. That performance gains and metrics, particularly real-time performance metrics, are improving each year. That the leading projects tend to be expensive. On average, they come in at $537 per square foot. “The cost data shows us that we need more compelling examples of lower-cost, higher performance projects,” Hosey says. Clearly, more exemplars at greater scale, type, and cost variation would be beneficial to both the profession and the market.
Based on an interpretation of local black agricultural barns, the 300-square-meter house will be clad in charred timber, an ancient Japanese form of natural preservation as a way to enhance the longevity and beauty of wood.
One man’s trash is another man’s building material. Researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (commonly known as RMIT University) have developed a technique for making bricks out of one of the world’s most stubborn forms of pollution: discarded cigarette butts. Led by Dr. Abbas Mohajerani, the team discovered that manufacturing fired-clay bricks with as little as 1 percent cigarette butt content could completely offset annual worldwide cigarette production, while also producing a lighter, more efficient brick.
On June 16-17, Prague will be hosting one of the leading architecture and urbanist events in Europe. Most of the 49 world renowned experts who will speak at reSITE 2016: Cities in Migration have experienced migration themselves. Coming from 20 countries, they will bring innovative solutions and successful strategies for European and Western cities to come to terms painlessly with the influx of new residents. Carl Weisbrod, Chairman of the City Planning Commission of NYC, Professor Saskia Sassen, sociologist at Columbia University, and Michael Kimmelman, the Architecture Critic for The New York Times will come from New York City. A huge number of speakers will come from Germany. Besides the famous landscape architect, Martin Rein-Cano from Topotek 1, Berlin, we will meet one of the city planner of Munich and the co-founders of the initiative “Refugees Welcome.”
Nowadays the main building materials used in the construction industry are concrete, steel and timber. From the point of view of ecological sustainability, there are four important differences between these three materials: first, timber is the only material of the three that is renewable; second, timber needs only a small amount of energy to be extracted and recycled compared to steel and concrete (but the implementation of its potential is not as developed yet); third, timber does not produce waste by the end of its life since it can be reused many times in several products before decomposing or being used as fuel and; and fourth, timber traps huge amounts of carbon from the atmosphere – a tree can contain a ton of CO2  – and the carbon absorbed remains embedded as long as the wood is in use.
Considering the fact that 36 percent of total carbon emissions in Europe during the last decade came from the building industry, as well as 39 percent of total carbon emissions in the United States, the materiality of construction should be a priority for governments’ regulations in the future as measurements against global warming. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the level of carbon emissions of the big economies across the globe are big issues that need to be solved with urgency in order to avoid larger, more frequent climate catastrophes in the future. The current regulation in several countries of the EU, which is incentivizing the use of renewable materials in buildings, is showing the direction the building industry in many other parts of the world should follow. And if these measures are adopted across the EU and beyond – if other countries start to follow this tendency as well – there will be significantly more wood in cities.
The Swedish exhibition, “The Forests of Venice,” has been selected as a Collateral Event for the 2016 Venice Biennale. Initiated by Kjellander + Sjöberg and Folkhem; and curated by Jan Åman, the exhibit highlights wood as a sustainable material, while looking at "the interaction between nature and the man-made human habitat in order to respond to climate change and limited resources."
Located in the arid desert of the San Rafael Valley, Arizona, Casa Caldera by DUST is a unique object in the vast landscape. In this video, architects Jesus Robles and Cade Hayes explain their project as viewers are taken on a vivid tour of the building and site. The camera moves through the desert, unveiling the house gradually, as one would truly experience it.
“One of the unique things about Casa Caldera is the experience of the approach,” Hayes says. “Two hours of travel are actually part of the experience of arriving. It isn’t until you are 20, 30 feet from the house that you get a good look.”
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture has announced a shortlist of 19 projects selected from 348 entries received from 69 countries. Presented once every three years, the award honors new standards of excellence in contemporary design, social housing, community improvement and development, historic preservation, reuse and area conservation, as well as landscape design and improvement of the environment. The basis for the Aga Khan Award is “to identify and encourage building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of communities in which Muslims have a significant presence.” Selected by a Master Jury, the shortlisted projects will compete for $1 million dollars in prize money. Since its establishment in 1977, over 110 projects have received the award and more than 9,000 building projects have been documented.
In anticipation of the upcoming 50th anniversary of Expo 67, Studio Dror has proposed a 150-meter-wide vegetated dome for Park Jean Drapeau, the original site of the World Fair. The new dome would complement Buckminster Fuller’s Biosphere, which was built as the US pavilion for Expo 67.
MVRDV’s design for the Dutch exhibition “Hola Holanda” at the Book Fair of Bogotá (FILBO) features a modular system of crates that will be repurposed as neighbourhood libraries after the Book Fair ends. Avoiding the waste of resources created by one-time pavilions, the Dutch firm has introduced a playful element of sustainability to the fair, maintaining its spirit even after the event ends.