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

Self-powered Eco-Cybernetic City interacts with the surrounding environment

Eco Factor: Self-sufficient skyscraper harvests solar and wind energy.

Conceived as a city that takes input from nature and the surrounding the Eco-Cybernetic City by Orlando De Urrutia resembles a forest of trees that are in search of light. The building is not only self-sufficient in terms of energy, but features systems that allow it to save energy and rely on natural sources for everything from energy to water.

The building with 150 floors has been touted to be an “alive machine” by the designers, as the building interacts with its surrounding environment. Featuring a two-tower structure, the building is equipped with aerogenerators that take advantage of the airflows between the towers to generate wind energy.
Specialized systems have been integrated in the design that allows the building to harvest water from the air and also harvest rainwater. The Eco-Cybernetic City incorporates a façade of photovoltaic lattices, which generate solar energy for the building and its unique multimedia LED façade that interacts with the changes in the atmosphere.
The skin of the building is made of bio-climatic panels that are easy to clean and also allows the growth of vegetation. Once vegetated, the surface creates a green mantle that purifies the air surrounding it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Top 10 Buildings Of The Decade

1. Millennium Dome, London, 2000

Designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership and engineers Buro Happold, this was a £45m politically-driven folly. Often compared to a giant jellyfish washed up on the Greenwich peninsula, today this huge tent has been reborn as the successful O2. With a diameter of 365m and topping 100m, its titanic scale remains impressive.

2. Blur, Expo 02, Yverdon-les-Bains, 2002

This sensational pavilion, which was designed by New York architects Diller + Scofidio, was the star of Switzerland’s Expo 02. A cat’s cradle of tensile steel, 20m high and 100m long, it brooded at the end of a steel-and-glass jetty over Lake Neuchatel. Inside, some 30,000 water jets created clouds through which mesmerised (and damp) visitors could walk, again and again.

3. Serpentine Pavilion, London, 2002

This lyrical pavilion, designed by architect Toyo Ito and engineer Cecil Balmond, was a suggestion of an architecture of the future, in which boundaries between walls, floor, ceiling, interior and exterior might dissolve. In a decade of bombast, here was profundity and simplicity.

4. 30 St Mary Axe, London, 2003

Norman Foster’s Gherkin was admired and scorned. Most were awed by his office tower, although some thought it symbolised the cocksure ambition of the City. Its pleasures are chiefly for those who work here: the skygardens are impressive, and the restaurant is one of the world’s most breathtaking new rooms.

5. European Southern Observatory Hotel, Cerro Paranal, Chile, 2003

This "hotel" for astronomers working in the Atacama desert is a perfect fusion of architecture and landscape, from the Munich practice Auer and Weber and engineers Mayr and Ludescher. Coolly geometric red concrete walls form a quasi-monastic courtyard, behind which rooms are stacked in orderly rows. Ostentation is left to the heavens.

6. Beijing National Stadium, Beijing, 2008

This eye-catching 80,000-seat stadium, designed by the Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron with the Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, was the architectural highlight of the 2008 Olympics. It consists of two buildings, one inside the other: a red concrete bowl for seating surrounded by the steel “bird’s nest”. Since the Olympics, this charismatic building has been largely redundant.

7. St Pancras station, London, 2007

Magnificent revival of the Victorian Gothic railway terminus, now one of the world’s finest stations. Alastair Lansley led his team over a decade, transforming this fusion of 19th-century architecture and mind-searing engineering into a place for 21st-century trains. The hotel and penthouse flats high in the rafters have yet to be completed.

8. Le Viaduc de Millau, Aveyron, 2004

Awe-inspiring bridge carrying the A75 autoroute across the Tarn Valley in southern France. Designed by the engineer Michel Virlogeux and Norman Foster, the Viaduc de Millau is best seen from the tops of the valley sides, especially when its Eiffel Tower-high pylons spear the summer clouds.

9. Neues Museum, Berlin, 2009

After 10 years of painstaking reconstruction, this magnificent 19th-century cultural pantechnicon, closed in 1939, was reopened to popular and critical acclaim. The complex and intelligent redesign was by the British architect, David Chipperfield, who has allowed the old building to breathe while fitting it out with all the new technology it needs.

10. Burj Dubai Dubai’s economy totters as the Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest structure, prepares to open.

At 818 metres, it is the equivalent of the Empire State Building with the Chrysler Building on top. Designed by Adrian Smith and Bill Baker of Chicago-based SOM, the Burj has 160 storeys of hotel rooms, Armani-styled apartments and sky-high offices.