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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Sustainable Treehouse Community in the Costa Rican Jungle

Sustainable Treehouse Community in the Costa Rican Jungle | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Finca Bellavista is a community of interconnected sustainable treehouses set high in the trees of the Costa Rican jungle.


Simply one of these extraordinary sustainable treehouses would be amazing, but a whole network of interconnected treehouses  is indescribable.  Finca Bellavista is a community of tree dwellers living high in the foliage of the Costa Rican jungle.

Community founders, Mateo and Erica Hogan discovered the 62-acrea property on the edge of the Rio Bellavista River with the intention of creating an escape for themselves. Upon brainstorming options for affording the property, they settled on building a treehouse structure and inviting friends and others to join them, the result is the interconnected treehouse community we've shared below. Each structure is connected by bridges and zip lines, which they liken to "the Ewok village in Return of the Jedi."

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Bubba Muntzer's comment, June 10, 2013 7:16 AM
Interesting, how the Swiss Family Robinson tree house effect almost made me not stop to wonder whose land they're living on.
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The Non Program Pavilion by Jesús Torres García

The Non Program Pavilion by Jesús Torres García | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in Spain, near the Mediterranean Sea, this small pavilion is surrounded by a remarkable landscape. The construction is defined by the relation between the landscape and the structure on the field.


The structure developed itself as a flower, subscribing to Oscar Niemeyer’s approach. The whole project has been composed in the concept of “how to build in natural landscape?” The non-program pavilion disappears in the landscape, attempting to erase the division between the intervention and the area. This concern of integration reaches the point where the landscape generates the architecture itself.


The non-definition of the program has a wide range of uses, such as providing environmental awareness, doubling as an exposition hall or music hall, and providing activities support for the wider community. The interior space is as free as the liberty of program, furnishing the space with the energy of each use...

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Culture Forest: Community-oriented ecological design by Unsangdong Architects

Culture Forest: Community-oriented ecological design by Unsangdong Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Unsangdong Architects have designed “Culture Forest”, a multi-use building and art center located in SeongDong-gu, Republic of Korea. The project is expected to be completed next year.


From the architects:

'The scenery looking at Seongdong will be as open as possible, providing a landscape of intensive and storytelling experience... Each program consists of an eco friendly and creative cultural space and green area. The skin of will unify architecture and nature through green walls and generates energy by solar powered panel skin.'


Visit the link to read the complete architect's description of the winning proposal for this new cultural development that integrates technology, ecology, and community...

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A Better Vision for Apple's Cupertino Campus

A Better Vision for Apple's Cupertino Campus | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
The company is missing a key opportunity to develop a walkable neighborhood.

Apple is already a world leader in consumer technology; this was its chance to be a world leader also for community-oriented sustainability.

The corporation has shown a commendable ability to support transit and walkability in certain neighborhoods where it has retail outlets. Another high-tech giant with a need for security, Amazon, is showing how to revive an older neighborhood for its new, highly walkable headquarters in Seattle. Google has signaled its strong desire to position its future headquarters amid a mixed-use, housing- and transit-rich environment. So the potential was there.

Instead, Apple chose to design its new headquarters as if it were a new consumer product, an “iBuilding” of sorts with a clean, high-concept design that reinforces the company’s futuristic corporate brand. In that sense, it probably succeeded: the building is cool-looking in an abstract sort of way, the kind of structure that will make people go “wow.”

But it does nothing to make Silicon Valley a better environment for people, and might even make it harder to improve the walkability of Cupertino by sealing off potential walking routes...

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Adaptive Reuse + Environmental Architecture at Claremont University's New Campus

Adaptive Reuse + Environmental Architecture at Claremont University's New Campus | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This new Administrative Campus Center for the Claremont University Consortium (CUC) consolidates the majority of CUC departments and services into a single location through the adaptive re-use of an under-utilized 42,000 square feet maintenance building.


The new Center allows CUC to create a unique and vibrant work environment with a well-defined public character in an environmentally sensitive manner, and provides a collective gathering place for both the Colleges and the broader community.

The project deploys a series of intertwined, materially rich, tactical architectural elements that reprogram the existing facility and redefines its public presence. These include a continuous 740 foot long cedar screen, a custom ceiling cloud, a digital garden, and a field of 168 solar chimneys that providing natural light through the space...

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Adaptive Reuse + Green Innovation: Lahas Zone Showrooms, China

Adaptive Reuse + Green Innovation: Lahas Zone Showrooms, China | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Recognized by united nations and world banks, the City of Yiwu houses the world’s biggest small goods market, having seemingly arisen over night, is now the center of trading for small goods in the world. The people of Yiwu, once workers on the farming fields dared to change their fates and stepped into the world of business and landed on success. “Breakthrough Innovations” is this city’s most valued essence.


The city strongly encourages young entrepreneurs, and with that in mind, the Lahas Zone was idealistically concieved and designed, centering a green enviroment that can incorporate services, offices, R&D and exhibitions all into living comfortably...

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A field chapel made by the hands of community...

A field chapel made by the hands of community... | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Made by the hands of community - A field chapel has been built in the Odenwald. An architectural firm, 12 students from Chicago and local craftsmen realized the wooden construction.

With no funding or even a plot of land, Reverend Moser-Feesche had taken it upon himself, with the help of a local architectural firm, to build a chapel. In order to realize this nonprofit project they would assembled a small army of volunteers, recruited from as far as the US.

Under their professor's direction, 12 students from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago drew up plans for the chapel. In addition to the group of students and architecture firm, local craftsmen and the church co-operative played an instrumental role. A farmer offered the pastor a plot of land, the wood needed came in the form of donated construction timber processed at a local sawmill, and the gravel for the courtyard came from the River Main.

After just eight weeks of hard teamwork the community was bestowed with a new chapel on the aforementioned hill. The façade of the modest building is a mesh of diagonally-angled wooden planks. From a courtyard, intended as a representation of the temporal, one steps through an open foyer into the actual chapel at the base of the nine-meter-tall tower.

The interdenominational chapel provides a peaceful place of retreat for anyone who may pass by.

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