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Environmental Design: The Latest Architecture and News

Could Tall Wood Construction Be the Future of High-Rise Buildings?

Across the globe, tall wood structures have begun transforming the world of skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, ushering in an important shift to an architectural practice that has traditionally been dominated by steel and concrete. Typically defined as wood-constructed buildings over 14 stories or 50 meters high, the past six years have seen over 44 tall wood buildings built or underway around the world. Notable examples include Michael Green Architecture and DLR Group’s T3 and Team V Architectuur’s upcoming 73 meter residential tower HAUT.

SURGE Combines High Aesthetics with Environmentally Oriented Technology

Chinese architect Mingfei Sun has designed an environmentally oriented urban hub for Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Titled SURGE, its natural aesthetics and technological forwardness are intended to communicate a J.M.W. Turner-esque awe for the power of nature, making it an oasis of high aesthetic and ecological value.

3GATTI Proposes 'Green Spaceship' for Madrid Library

A Green Spaceship appears to have landed in Villaverde, Madrid, in design firm 3GATTI’s proposal for the new municipal library. The design for the landmark building employs the public’s curiosity to draw visitors in and create an iconic presence in the city. The library is split between two floors, both architecturally and conceptually. The ground level is transparent and open, meant to house the noisy, public aspects of the program; the upper floor is the architectural showpiece, floating above the ground and containing the more private, quiet study spaces.

© 3GATTI © 3GATTI © 3GATTI © 3GATTI + 14

Stefano Boeri Architetti Creates a Vertical Forest for Tirana 2030 Master Plan

Albania’s capital city, Tirana, is slated to receive the country’s first Vertical Forest in a scheme designed by Milanese architecture firm, Stefano Boeri Architetti. Originating as part of the city’s new development master plan completed by the firm 3 years ago, the building will greatly increase the amount of greenery within and around the metropolitan area. Tirana’s Vertical Forest will contain 21 floors above ground with 4 more below and will be populated by 105 apartment units above a primarily commercial ground floor.

Tirana Vertical Forest. Image © Stefano Boeri Architetti 24-hour school in Tirana. Image © Stefano Boeri Architetti Blloku Cube. Image © Stefano Boeri Architetti Tirana 2030 - Agriculture. Image © Stefano Boeri Architetti + 19

PPA Offers Unique Nature-Integrated Experience in Proposed Italian Forest Development

Milan-based architecture and design firm Peter Pichler Architecture has proposed a new sustainable tree-house concept, offering a unique maximized connection with nature.

Tree House Section Tree House Room Courtesy of Peter Pichler Architecture Courtesy of Peter Pichler Architecture + 7

The Trends that Will Influence Architecture in 2019

It is, once again, the time of year where we look towards the future to define the goals and approaches that we will take for our careers throughout the upcoming year. To help the millions of architects who visit ArchDaily every day from all over the world, we compiled a list of the most popular ideas of 2018, which will continue to be developed and consolidated throughout 2019.

Over 130 million users discovered new references, materials, and tools in 2018 alone, infusing their practice of architecture with the means to improve the quality of life for our cities and built spaces. As users demonstrated certain affinities and/or demonstrated greater interest in particular topics, these emerged as trends. 

The AIA Toolkit for Architects in the Era of Climate Change

A misconception often surfaces in design circles that architectural beauty and evidence-based environmental performance are mutually exclusive. To address this, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) is releasing a new tool that can assist architecture firms in designing high-performance energy-efficient buildings.

Despite the federal stance on paramount environmental issues, the AIA upholds and advocates for the responsibility of architects to mitigate against the effects of climate change. Aware that the construction industry consumes nearly 40% of the energy supply nationwide, the AIA COTE® Top Ten Toolkit presents a series of strategies to promote sustainability without compromising the design.

Albion District Library / Perkins + Will Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture / LMS Architects Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery / DLR Group Family House / LMS Architects + 6

The World's First Zero-Waste Bio-Brick is Grown from Human Urine

Courtesy of University of Cape Town
Courtesy of University of Cape Town

Some years ago, researchers in the United States previously tested the concept of using synthetic urine-based substances to fabricate building materials. However, new research conducted by Masters student Suzanne Lambert at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, puts forth a zero-waste process of producing urine-based bricks by using collected human urine for the first time.

Courtesy of University of Cape Town Courtesy of University of Cape Town Courtesy of University of Cape Town Courtesy of University of Cape Town + 6

Ross Barney Architects' CLT Design for McDonald's Expands the Possibilities of Timber Construction

© Kendall McCaugherty, Hall+Merrick Photographers
© Kendall McCaugherty, Hall+Merrick Photographers

In an effort to reinvent an iconic American fast-food brand, McDonald’s U.S. has announced a new direction for the corporation, beginning with rethinking the restaurant’s current archetypal design both in its interior eating spaces and exterior urban landscape. A primary example of this commitment can be seen in the recently completed design for McDonald’s Global Flagship in Chicago by Ross Barney Architects.

The structure, which fills an entire city block in the heart of Chicago, was envisioned as a hallmark example of both the architect and the corporation's shared commitment to environmentally sustainable design. Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), an essential material for the project, replaced many of the commonly-used building materials such as steel, concrete, and plastics that have a larger environmental footprint.

Ingenhoven Architects and Architectus Win Competition to Design Sydney's Tallest Residential Skyscraper

A beautifully delicate design by ingenhoven architects, in cooperation with architectus, has bested series of internationally acclaimed architects to design Sydney’s tallest residential tower at 505-523 George Street. The 79-storey skyscraper will reach 270m, and include several uses, ranging from high-quality living and retail to hotel and leisure. The designers hope the tower will be “a profoundly visible landmark standing for an economical, environmental and socially sustainable, future-oriented development”.

Courtesy of Doug and Wolf Courtesy of Doug and Wolf Courtesy of Doug and Wolf Courtesy of Doug and Wolf + 12

Massachusetts' LEED Platinum Award Winning Arena Named US' Most Environmentally Sustainable

Massachusetts’ Bentley University Arena together with Architectural Resources Cambridge (ARC) have earned the LEED Platinum certification and was named the most environmentally sustainable arena in the United States. The 76,000 square foot arena emphasizes the university’s commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency, and goal to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2030. Bentley Unversity also offers a major in Sustainability Science and a program that will reduce more than 270 tons of material waste per year. This arena hosts several university events such as concerts, alumni events, career fairs, and is home to its NCAA Division I hockey team.

Courtesy of InkHouse Courtesy of InkHouse Courtesy of InkHouse Courtesy of InkHouse + 5

Call for Submissions / 2018 Summer [IN]STITUTE in Environmental Design

UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design is now accepting applications for the 2018 Summer [IN]STITUTE in Environmental Design! The Summer [IN]STITUTE gives participants the opportunity to test their enthusiasm for the material and culture of architecture, landscape architecture and sustainable city planning. The Institute is geared towards post-baccalaureate participants with no previous experience in design, or experienced designers who wish to explore an aspect of environmental design outside of their primary discipline.

Five-Dragons Temple Environmental Refurbishment / URBANUS

© Yang Chaoying © Yang Chaoying © Yang Chaoying © Jerry Yin + 27

Ruicheng County, China
  • Architects: URBANUS
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 267.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2016

Aeriform Ecologies: An Atmospheric Archive for Industrial Effluvium

Air pollution in urban areas is quickly racing to the forefront of the environmental discussion, with several major cities facing a serious deterioration of breathable air supply. New Delhi, Beijing, Los Angeles, Moscow and Karachi represent a handful of cities facing the world's worst urban pollution, each with recorded amounts of particulate matter exceeding acceptable levels. In 2014, the World Health Organization issued a report estimating that 7 million people suffered premature deaths in 2012 due to air pollution exposure.

Enter Aeriform Ecologies: An Atmospheric Archive for Industrial Effluvium. Conceived as a thesis project by Jennifer Ng, University of Michigan with thesis advisor Kathy Velikov, Aeriform Ecologies delves into the possibilities for byproducts of petroleum production by proposing a network of solutions for the 'spatial runoffs' created by fossil fuel extraction. Based on a futuristic approach that includes a network of unmanned atmospheric gas harvesting dirigibles, the project blurs the lines between science, technology, and architecture.

Explore the effervescent world of Aeriform Ecologies after the break

The Queen Maud Research Station. Image © Jennifer Ng 111oW Respositories in Elevation. Image © Jennifer Ng Physical Models. Image Photos © Jennifer Ng & Adam Smith Queen Maud Station 066's Extraction and Sampling Pod. Image © Jennifer Ng + 41

Open Call: International Competition to Design a Beautiful House

BW International is now accepting entries for its Design a Beautiful House competition, an international call offering £25,000 (about $39,000 USD) to winner(s). The competition is open to all designers, students, artists, and others from anywhere across the globe, and requires no registration fee.

Entrants are asked to think about the definition of beauty in order to create a design that considers the ways that beauty and aesthetics can enhance the function of a home and the experiences of its users.

Code of Context: The Uneasy Excitement of Global Practice

Global, the Winter 2014 issue of ArchitectureBoston magazine, out now, is an examination of the challenges and opportunities facing architects working abroad, from the Middle East to Africa to Asia. The topics explored in this issue include how to value resource-constrained approaches, honor local vernacular, and learn from the urbanization precedents set in other parts of the world. In this article, Jay Wickersham FAIA examines how in a globalized market, architecture firms can take steps to ensure that their designs act in the best interests of the foreign communities they affect.

The signs of architecture’s globalization are all around us. Foreign students flock to Boston to study architecture, prominent buildings are designed by foreign architects, American firms build practices around international projects. Globalization has allowed architects to work outside their own regions and cultures, at a scale and with a freedom of design they might never enjoy at home. But beneath the excitement and glamour of international practice, I sense an unease. Are we creating vital and original new architectures, or are we homogenizing cities and landscapes and obliterating regional differences? Are architects helping to strengthen and develop the economies of host communities, or are they acting as unwitting tools of inequality and repression?

Sasaki Associates. Technologico de Monterrey. Monterrey, Mexico Machado and Silvetti Associates. Vietnamese-German University. Binh Duong, Vietnam Kyu Sung Woo Architects KAIST IT Convergence Building Daejeon, Korea Höweler + Yoon Architecture. Sky Courts. Chengdu, China + 18

1024’s “Vortex” Installation Unites Environmental Analysis and Art

Paris-based firm 1024 architecture has created Vortex, a generative light sculpture located within the Darwin Ecosystem Project’s green building in Bordeaux, France. The “architectural fragment” consists of scaffolding, raw wood, and twelve lines of LED light. With colored LED lights appearing to shoot across the structure, a new spatial experience is created, which also informs viewers about energy consumption within the building.

Learn more about the structure and 1024 architecture after the break.

Courtesy of 1024 architecture Courtesy of 1024 architecture Courtesy of 1024 architecture Courtesy of 1024 architecture + 12

Move Over, Green Walls: Living Canopy Comes to West Vancouver

Courtesy of Matthew Soules Architecture
Courtesy of Matthew Soules Architecture

Imagine walking beneath an illuminated canopy of lush greenery, in the form of inverted pyramids sculpted to perfection. In early August 2014 visitors were welcomed by this succulent living roof to the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver, British Columbia. Guests were guided through the fairgrounds beneath the 90-foot long canopy, creating an immersive sensory experience befitting the interdisciplinary creative arts festival. Designed by Matthew Soules Architecture and curated by the Museum of West Vancouver, Vermilion Sands was created as a temporary installation for the ten day festival.

Submerge yourself in Vermilion Sands with photos and more info after the break.