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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Aspen Art Museum, Designed by Shigeru Ban Architects

Aspen Art Museum, Designed by Shigeru Ban Architects | sustainable architecture |

The Aspen Art Museum, Shigeru Ban's first museum in the U.S., is designed to be part–environmental center, part–ski lift.

The $45 million structure, currently under construction in downtown Aspen, is emblematic of post-recession restraint. “Museums have to be very practical,” Ban says. “They can’t just be sculpture.” And in keeping with that ethos, the architect has delivered a simple three-story structure free of tight angles, ovoid shapes, or curving walls. This includes half a dozen galleries, an artist residency area, education spaces, and conservation studios, all told occupying a total 33,000 square feet. The galleries are large and column-free, with flexible partition walls capable of accommodating large-scale sculpture and installation. The rooftop garden functions as entrance hall, public gathering area, and outdoor projection space. “The program was so precise,” Ban says. “There was no space to waste.”

More details at the link.

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New Zealand retreat by Fearon Hay Architects

New Zealand retreat by Fearon Hay Architects | sustainable architecture |

Conceived as a camp, this luxury family retreat was designed by Fearon Hay Architects as an arrangement of freestanding structures around a courtyard, set in a saddle above Matiatia Bay on Waiheke Island in New Zealand.

Care had to be taken to reduce exposure of the home to high winds; natural undulations of the saddle have been subtly emphasized to form a protective setting for three structures, comprising living, sleeping and studio areas. Retractable glass panels and perforated aluminium screens offer variations of enclosure to the living and sleeping spaces. The raw and robust materials are countered by the placement of fires, the invitation of leather cushioning around a sunken sitting area and the use of linen fabrics and oiled natural timber throughout the spaces.

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G house: Passive Design in Normandy, France

G house: Passive Design in Normandy, France | sustainable architecture |

The intermittent use of this structure near the Seine estuary, built as a holiday home, strongly influenced the environmental choices of the project. The challenge was to give priority to passive devices and architecture, offering a gain in terms of energy performance, but also for the comfort of the occupants.

The exposure has been a main priority : East-West orientation, oversized opening to the South, natural shades and solar control strategy, North side blind.

Great attention has been given to thermal insulation. Choosing wood slab, and a wood panelling structure insulated from the outside, has allowed us to obtain good levels of insulation and air tightness. Furthermore, the low-thermal-mass building, offered by the wooden structure is interesting in the context of a weekend home, that needs to heat up quickly, for short periods. A wood stove thus is sufficient to heat the home.Finally, the building is based on the dry process framework, with the benefits of prefabrication : quality building, swift assembly, and site protection...

Michael John Carter's curator insight, March 7, 2013 12:41 AM

Starting point is about the design!!

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MJMArchitects: Chinguacousy Park Renewal

MJMArchitects: Chinguacousy Park Renewal | sustainable architecture |

MJMArchitects' park renewal plan has made Chinguacousy Sports Park a hub of activity.

The local Brampton, Ontario landmark has three new pavilions which create a variety of environments suitable for a number of recreational activities. Together they lay a foundation for new activities and facilities to develop in the future. Sustainable features such as water retention systems, reflective rooves, recycled materials, highly efficient mechanical systems, and energy management controls modernize the park with a low impact on the environment.

A new park amenities and boat pavilion at the north pond connects the water course to the land activities; its wood cladding blends into the environment while framing views of the park. Deep overhangs not only contribute to passive cooling, but blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces by physically and visually connecting the pavilions with the landscape. 

This effect is complemented by new lighting, landscaping and pedestrian paths throughout the park- view more photos at the link.

OBJETSEMOTIFS's curator insight, June 3, 2013 2:39 AM

A modern Kinkaku-Ji !

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Experiential Learning Building at University of Calgary by Perkins+Will

Experiential Learning Building at University of Calgary by Perkins+Will | sustainable architecture |

Located at the University of Calgary, the Energy Environment Experiential Learning (EEEL) building is a five-story teaching facility that allows students to learn in an experiential and hands-on environment.

WIth approximately 11,000 sm of teaching laboratories and 2,500 sm of classroom space, space is provided for up to 3,000 sm of future research labs. The structural module and arrangement of the building systems allows the university long-term flexibility to convert spaces efficiently from one use to another.

The project also incorporates a number of solar control strategies, such as sculpted aluminum spandrel panels and solar shutters that actively track the sun to provide fully daylit but glare-free interior spaces. Additional environmental strategies include the use of thermal mass, an efficient envelope, natural ventilation, earth tubes, and low-energy systems, which contribute to the project using 45% less energy compared to a conventional laboratory building.  Low-flow fixtures and use of captured rain water mixed with recycled process water for toilet flushing reduces potable water use by 64%.

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