>The Hudson Yards, a large former rail yard next to midtown Manhattan’s Hudson River, is getting a redo. While it was inevitable that this long undeveloped site would eventually be given the designer treatment, what’s unexpected are the masterful plans proposed by Steve Holl, one of five designers invited to submit their designs Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
If yurts intrigue you but you’re not ready to be a canvass dweller, the Wall home by Chilean-based FAR architects might be for you. The design is based on the idea that homes should not draw such distinct lines between inside and outside; instead there should be a gentle transition. To create this transition, the house is built in layers — four layers to be exact.
Pretty cool idea, huh? Here’s how it works…
The first layer forms the core. Made from concrete, the “Cave” is home to two bathrooms, which are covered completely in ceramic tiles. The second layer is made from engineered wood and plywood, forming stacked shelves that surround the home’s traditional rooms. The third layer is a translucent shell made from high-strength plastic panels that let in plenty of light and wrap the house in sunshine. The layer four is made of fabric that both filters solar energy and keeps out nasty flying pests.
Blue is my favorite color and I’ve often been criticized for the lack of diversity in my wardrobe, so when I saw this building I was immediately intrigued. The Blue Tower by Bernard Tschumi opened in New York City late last year, housing 32 apartments and a 3rd floor commercial space. If you’re an architectural traditionalist, don’t read any further.
It sticks out like a sore thumb in the neighborhood of old, brick buildings and it rises high above the current landscape. I’m not convinced that the shape is really what people want either; it looks like an unfinished headquarters for Planet Hollywood.
Since Chicago has taken great strides toward becoming a greener city, it seems a good place to find architects to design headquarters for the world’s greenest city.
I’m referring to Masdar, the $22 billion development in Abu Dhabi, which is the world’s first ever zero-carbon, zero-waste and zero car city. The Chicago architecture firm of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill has been chosen to design “the world’s first positive energy, mixed-use building”, which promises to be “the first building in history to generate power for its own assembly, through development of its solar roof pier before the underlying complex.” Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
Close your eyes and think of Moscow, Russia. The image that comes to mind is a series of funky-colored domes, large open squares, and even a gigantic banner of Stalin – or Lenin (depending on when you grew up). Now picture a giant, volcano-shaped glass and steel structure that rises gradually out of a large park to dominate the city’s skyline.
The world’s largest green building is coming to Moscow. Dubbed Crystal Island, the structure (designed by London’s Foster + Partners) will boast over 2.5 million square meters of usable space, also making it the world’s largest single building. It will house theaters, offices, residences, performance centers and even an international school.
For almost two decades, I’ve been a victim of L.A.’s various pollutants. From the smog to the endless rows of uninspired strip malls that seem to pop up overnight, this otherwise terrific city has for too long been harmful to both the lungs and the eyes. What we need is more visual appeal combined with auto-sufficiency – something that not only looks incredible but contributes to a cleaner, healthier existence.
Leave it to the French to make my fantasy a reality. Vincent Callebaut’s Anti-Smog: An Innovation Centre in Sustainable Development accomplishes all this and more, using green building techniques and green technology to create a visually stunning center comprised of two structures that feature public spaces like meeting rooms, galleries, a cafeteria and a courtyard.
The Starwood Capital Group plans to put a new star in Hollywood, with its conviction to begin construction on its green luxury hotel chain called “1”. Starwood aims to have fifteen locations in the next twenty-four months including Los Angeles.
Call it another example of going green in Hollywood.
The goal is to combine architecture that is environmentally sustainable with great interior design, service, and luxury. The Starwood Group, which owns high end hotels such as the W Hotels, Le Meridien, and Westin, hopes “1” will set a new standard for green hotels and eventually push the entire hotel industry to transform. Each “1” location plans to donate one percent of hotel revenue to local environmental groups, hence the simplicity of the name.
Modern? Luxury? Green? Wow. Sounds like a job for G Living! And send me, please. We’re excited to be invited to the first ever Wired LivingHome. Off to Brentwood, California, taking you (wherever you are) to a residence that promises to serve as the benchmark for how we can live NOW. The future is here. NOW. We may not be fulfilling upon my vision of the future: the Jetsons with flying cars and instant pill meals (just add water)… but iPhones and electric cars come pretty close, and if you’re a total construction/architecture slut like me, these homes (if you’ve never seen one) make me want to swear. They’re cool. And this one is open to the public. We can get in, and you can, too.
Architect Chris Sorensen, the mind and soul behind Sorensen Architects, is painting the town green with his efforts to literally shape Malibu into a more modern, progressive place.
When it comes to building or renovating homes, “most people don’t have a clue about the more sustainable, greener building material alternatives out there,” says Sorensen. “That’s why it’s our responsibility as the architects to inform our clients about their options.”
Let’s face it, building green is expensive. Even improvements that will pay off in the long run have a high initial cost. Obviously, protecting the planet is worth a couple extra bucks, but I’ll admit to having been in a store and struggling between the regular twinkle Christmas lights and the LED ones that cost seven times as much. And to be honest, the green in my pocket sometimes trumps the green for the planet.
It’s a frustrating choice consumers have to make — and one that is especially pronounced in the realm of green real estate.
A couple guys in Philly are going to make a LEED silver 1,000 square foot house for $100,000. And they’re blogging about it! Some days, I love being an American.
Here’s an example of cool architecture that multi-tasks.
In an attempt to revamp the harbour area of Las Palmas in Spain’s Canary Islands, Nicholas Grimshaw of Grimshaw Architects designed a stunning water theater that expands on the Seawater Greenhouse concept and takes full advantage of the area’s steep beaches, prominent winds and abundant sunshine.
Utilizing these renewable energies, the structure uses vertically stacked evaporators and condensers to convert sea water into fresh water. The roof collects solar heat, which is fed into a distiller, which freshens the water – which is then used to irrigate crops and help moderate the hot, arid climate.