Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mad Japanese Kid Lives in Ancient Hut that he Created

 On warm, summer nights, kids might ask their parents to let them sleep under the stars. They'll set up a tent, snuggle into their sleeping bags and tell ghost stories all night long. And if they get too cold or feel that the ground is too hard, they'll just find their way back to their comfy beds. But this is not the case with the industrious 14-year-old Shogo Kasai; he built his very own Jomon period (10,000 BC to 400 BC), Japanese pit house out of bamboo and rice straw, and intends to live in it for a few weeks at a time!
 Kasai already spent a night in his humble abode last October, sleeping on what he calls a comfortable straw mat for a bed. He even got a charcoal fire going inside the 2.5-m-high, 4-m-in-diameter hut to make himself an authentic Jomon-style dinner. Naturally, the next step is for him to leave his current home and live in his backyard pit house for weeks at a time, cooking and making his own Jomon period clothing.

Jomon-era pit dwellings at Kabayama
 Early Jomon-period pit houses were circular, like the one Kasai built. After a hole in the ground is dug out, wooden pillars are placed in the pit as supports and a thatched roof is bundled on top. Kabayama and the Sannai Maruyama sites are excellent examples of preserved Jomon communities.

Fire pit inside a Jomon-era pit dwelling at Kabayama
 Fascinated by archaeology, Kasai sought advice from museum officials and pored over books in order to re-create this ancient Japanese building style. He wants to be an archaeologist when he grows up, and he's well on his way, earning the top prize at the local museum last year for a report he wrote about pit dwelling construction.

Reconstructed Jomon pit house at Sannai Maruyama Site
Image: lilomoony

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Bridges Image

The first bridges were made by nature itself — as simple as a log fallen across a stream. The first bridges made by humans were probably spans of wooden logs or planks and eventually stones, using a simple support and crossbeam arrangement. Some early Americans used trees or bamboo poles to cross small caverns or wells to get from one place to another.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fixed & Floating Cities: 5 Futuristic Artifical Island Designs

From army forts turned into pirate radio stations and oil platforms converted into micro-nations, the notion of living full-time on the high seas is nothing new. However, these amazing award-winning designs from the recent Seasteading contest float in front of us five jaw-dropping possibilities for the future of urban life on the sea unlike any artificial islands you have ever seen (including this recycled floating paradise island).
The winning design is a colorful and vibrant work of imaginative urbanism, depicting a world on the water not unlike life on land with winding paths, city squares, mixed uses and traditional architecture. Like a slice lifted from the heart of an old European town this Swimming City concept sits on four pillars with room to pass beneath it and the remnants of its removal showing on all sides.
Almost more a luxury resort hotel than a city on the sea, the winner of the best picture award certainly warrants its prize for the compelling visual cacophony of the above rendering. The image shows off tropical beach-like edges with premium condos jutting out to overlook the water and a dense core of mixed-use functions.
Deemed to have the most personality, this runner-up design is as much about change over time as it is about a fixed work of construction. The idea is a simple, modular mixed-use city-on-a-platform that has the freedom to evolve and expand as needed – forever a work of urban design in progress.
In the realm of aesthetics this design was elected the winner, perhaps in part for the way it shows off its green design strategies in the look of the structure itself. Shaped to channel wind, bring in solar energy and passively cool (as well as feed) the residential population within, this enclosed city structure is eco-friendly in appearance as well as in practice.
It may be no surprise that this last design won the peoples’ choice award. It recalls both the form of a modern city square as well as the oil rigs and other converted architectural remnants of the world’s oceans we have come to associate with creative conversions and liberation from the laws of society and government alike.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Self-sufficient Oasis Tower can feed 40,000 people each year

Eco Factor: Mixed-use tower harvests solar and wind energy.

The Oasis Tower for Zabeel Park, Dubai is an answer to the rise in population and the dearth in the amount of land available for farming. Designed by Rahul Surin, the tower would provide a solution for urban farming and sustainable housing. The architect believes that the Oasis Tower will be able to provide food enough to feed 40,000 people each year.

Apart from vertical farming techniques, the mixed-use tower will employ the latest in renewable energy technologies incorporating micro vertical-axis wind turbines and a photovoltaic E.T.F.E façade that satisfy most of the building’s energy demands.
The façade’s renewable energy systems will be optimized for maximum energy generation. The tower’s top will be designed in the form of a hexagram, which is seen as the combination of the negative and positive nullifying each other and thus claiming equilibrium.

Via: Vertical Farm

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ultra-light architecture

Designer Michael Jantzen is the author of different proposals in the ambit of architecture published in international magazines of that specialty. What they all have in common are the bold forms, hardly classified in some style or current, and a great concern in environmental matters. One of the most recent works consists on an experimental building which he called Wind Shaped Pavilion. Around the building's cylindrical central nucleus there are six floors built on a textile structure strengthened and ultra-light with a shape similar to a wing; from there its design.

Supposedly the "wing-floors" roll under the wind's action altering continuously the shape of the building and its solar orientation. That way they also act as an eolian generator, producing enough energy to become self sufficient. The author explains that it is possible to increase the prototype scale and turn it into a block of apartments or desks, for example. In that case its occupants could control the orientation of the "wings" according to the climatic conditions, insulation or view.

Despite the kindness of the concept there are several relevant questions that come up. How will they resist winds blowing at high speed? And, on the other hand, is it possible for them to work in a urban environment where the wind is diminished? How does it behave relatively to a possible fire? What rotation is necessary in order to generate the supposed energy? How do you make the connection to services by cable and by conduct? And we no longer speak of the innumerable questions about construction and forms...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Phoenix Project by MAD Architects

Here is the Fake Hills project that has been designed by MAD Architects. Well, those guys are continuing to design ‘mad’ structures.

Here’s the latest design made by this company called The Phoenix Project. This complex which contains five luxury apartment buildings and hotel will be built in Sanya Harbour in China. The project also considers creating a 390.000 square meters artificial island which will house those buildings. It will be 1250 meters long and 350 meters wide and it will be connected with the bridge to the island of Sanya.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Detroit Ice House dazzles in winter sunlight, attracts crowds

Glittering bright and white in the winter sun is the Ice House at 3920 McClellan on Detroit’s east side. The interestingly made beautiful structure is seen drawing a lot of crowd these days. Gregory Holm, a photographer, along with architect Matthew Radune came up with an innovative idea of enclosing an abandoned house in ice. After keeping their project secretive for many weeks, the duo finally unveiled it over the weekend.
Making an extraordinary view for the visitors, the double-story home has thick icicles stretching nearly from the roof’s edge to the ground like frozen vines on one side. The project was undertaken to highlight the foreclosed homes in the Detroit area. Old furniture, books on a table placed inside make an interesting view. To give the house this creative and stunning transformation, the duo leased the house by striking a deal with the Michigan Land Bank. A lot of creativity and imagination has gone into making this amazing Ice House look like what it does.

Geotectura’s Green Gasoline Station offers solar-powered EV charging

Eco Factor: Concept gasoline station harvests solar energy to recharge EVs.

With the rise in the number of electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the streets, it will be important for gasoline stations to adopt the new trend and equip their stations with EV charging stations. However, since most of the electricity generated in different parts of the world still comes from coal-fired power plants, greening the world will take much more than green cars.

In an effort to design a gasoline station that is both green and trendy in Europe, design firm Geotectura has unveiled a station dubbed Green Gasoline. Designed in association with Malka Architects, the unique station will harvest renewable energy and will feature recharge poles for the next generation of electric vehicles.
The station will also feature a service area and a café, both of which will be below ground, leaving the horizon unblocked. Solar and wind energy will be harvested to power the station and electric vehicles.
Via: Geotectura