sustainable architecture
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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Eco-Friendly Architecture: 13 Buildings Made From Recycled Shipping Containers

Eco-Friendly Architecture: 13 Buildings Made From Recycled Shipping Containers | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

All over the world, architects are repurposing old shipping containers and turning them into innovative, beautiful houses, hotels, libraries, workspaces, and even seaside observation decks. Shipping container buildings are designed to have a minimal impact on the environment, are cost-effective, and modular designs can easily be moved from place to place.

We hope you'll be as inspired as we are by these 13 buildings made out of shipping containers.

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Cathryn Wellner's curator insight, January 8, 2014 2:00 PM

Shipping containers aren't just rectangular boxes - at least not in creative hands.

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, January 8, 2014 5:39 PM

One of the architectural trends we hope to see more of in 2014 is eco-friendly architecture, and these buildings are excellent examples of that. All over the world, architects are repurposing old shipping containers and turning them into innovative, beautiful houses, hotels, libraries, workspaces, and even seaside observation decks. Shipping container buildings are designed to have a minimal impact on the environment, are cost-effective, and modular designs can easily be moved from place to place. We hope you'll be as inspired as we are by these 13 buildings made out of shipping containers.

Betty Fitzgerald's curator insight, January 9, 2014 6:01 PM

It's nice to see shipping containers beautified. Not just an ugly extra garage for the old buick.:D

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A Tech-Savvy, LEED-Certified Residential Tower Complex for San Francisco

A Tech-Savvy, LEED-Certified Residential Tower Complex for San Francisco | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Designed by SF-based Handel Architects, the complex holds 754 units in four towers, and is located in the newly up-and-coming mid-Market neighborhood, nestled between tech giants like Twitter and Spotify.


Although NEMA has a lot going for it in the LEED-Certified design department (polished concrete or wood floors, quartz countertops, soaking tubs and Hansgrophe faucets in every unit, a forthcoming outdoor Public Art Plaza, and Club Solarium inspired for NorCal wineries) it's the tech innovations offered by NEMA that really demand attention. With an eye on the next generation of renters, NEMA has positioned itself wisely to appeal to both those who are able to fork over a little more for sleek, modern design and urban techies who will be wowed by the impressive digital amenities - to say this place is "fully wired" would be a vast understatement...

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Luminous Moon-Gate Taichung City Cultural Center

Luminous Moon-Gate Taichung City Cultural Center | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Luminous Moon-Gate was designed in 2013 for the Taichung City Cultural Center International Competition. The objective was to design a public library and fine arts museum to distinguish itself as a city with arts and culture at its core. To achieve this, the design firm was tasked with creating accessible, attractive, and flexible space, and a rich social and recreational learning environment.

The Moon-Gate follows the philosophy that, with a commitment to improving society, architecture is inherently sustainable. High porosity between buildings allows wind to freely flow around the exteriors; low porosity materials facilitate better control over water and heat retention. Filtration systems throughout the interior and under-slab ventilation maintain steady temperatures. High-efficiency photovoltaic panels installed on top of the library and museum take advantage of the large surface area exposed to the sun, while energy-efficient lighting provides energy savings.

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, December 18, 2013 11:46 AM

Sustainable building can enrich our lives while keeping the planet healthy.

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Efficient, Contextual and Connected to the Environment: the T House in Quebec, Canada

Efficient, Contextual and Connected to the Environment: the T House in Quebec, Canada | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Taking cues from its bucolic environment, this architecture is defined and modulated by the natural views, sunlight and the topography of the site.

T House was designed with state of the art technical specifications and a geothermal system for energy resources in a rural setting. Fenestration was applied as a function of climate and orientation to ensure the comfort of each space in winter and summer, and operable windows provide cross ventilation.

To the north, the house has few openings. To the south, the roof of the central space projects out over the patio just enough to protect the lobby from overheating in the summer while allowing winter rays to penetrate and bring solar gain. Concrete and natural stone flooring, cool in the summer; since they are exposed to direct sunlight and equipped with a hydronic heating system, they provide ideal comfort during the cold seasons as well...

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Lola Ripollés's curator insight, December 16, 2013 4:58 PM

Dos volúmenes conectados por un espacio charnela de transiciión. En un paisaje canadiense y con materiales que complementan el entorno. 

The first volume, 2 –storey and roughly cubic in shape is clad with wood siding. The second, a single-storey 24m long rectangle, embedded in the ground at one end and cantilevered over the hill at the other end is wrapped in composite cement panels. The center of the composition is an empty space of transition between these two volumes: transparently opening onto a spectacular panorama of Appalachian mountain ridges with Mount Sutton peaking on the horizon.

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Australia's Angophora House by Richard Cole Architecture

Australia's Angophora House by Richard Cole Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Angophora House was designed by Richard Cole Architecture, and it is located in Waverton, a suburb on the lower North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

“Built over an escarpment in a densely urbanised heritage conservation area in Waverton, the form of this house responds to the difficult site using the elements of cave, platform and canopy. On entering the house from the upper road, one passes through a curvaceous enclosing concrete wall with rooftop garden over.

Two platforms launch into the space of the valley, extending out from the anchoring escarpment. Insulated timber moveable walls transform the space from warm and enclosing to open and unimpeded. A sheltering timber lined roof opens to the north, falls in response to the slope of the land and captures framed views of adjacent Angophora trees.

The escarpment is retained, raw and open to the rooms of the lower ground floor. A dramatic lift takes the owners to the garage on the street below.”

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Quince's curator insight, December 17, 2013 12:11 PM

"Utilizing the elements of Cave , Platform, and Canopy"  I haven't heard that one before, but I like it! Very nice open design

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, January 8, 2014 5:50 PM

Preciosa casa en Sydney, con un uso magistral de la madera y el hormigón y una increíble fluidez entre el exterior y el interior.

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A Modular & Flexible (shipping container) Terminal for the Port of Seville, Spain

A Modular & Flexible (shipping container) Terminal for the Port of Seville, Spain | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The Port of Seville needed a new Cruise Ship Terminal with a flexible character, multipurpose, extendable, easily removable and even movable.

This would permit to accomodate the unpredictable number of passengers in the port and it does not limit the possibilities of the urban-port valuable space of the Muelle de las Delicias. The Port Authority itself proposed to solve the project using sea containers. On the other hand, the place, near the historic centre, was claiming an object of architectural quality that would promote the dialogue between the port and its urban environment.

The on-site construction work could only last 15 days, the maximum time between two consecutive cruises docking. The modular construction with recycled shipping containers would be mostly finished in workshop, ensuring the precision of the on-site work...

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Ati Energia's curator insight, December 6, 2013 5:02 PM

Modular Buildings constructed with SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) and Powered by PV Panels and other Alternative Energy Systems . . . it is all happening and we want to participate!!! 

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, January 8, 2014 5:56 PM

Arquitectura modular para la autoridad portuaria de Sevilla- Nueva parada para los cruceros. Buen diseño, sostenible y eficiente.

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Paläon, Germany: A Futuristic Design Reflects the Surroundings

Paläon, Germany: A Futuristic Design Reflects the Surroundings | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Paläon is located at the edge of the town of Schöningen and the site of a remarkable, world-famous Stone-Age find: the Schöningen Spears – the oldest ever hunting weapons used by man. It is now also home to the new and emblematic research and experience centre that reflects the location in concept and form.


The building conveys the location’s importance as an archaeological site by rising above the natural topography like layered earth. Its futuristic shape stems from the horizontal landscape and the building’s volume, ground plan and section are defined by references to the landscape and lines of sight. The slightly offset contours create subtly different internal and external spaces. Designed with reflective cladding, the volume mirrors the landscape, with large recessed window openings that underscore the expressive dynamism of the architecture.

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'Integrated into the Landscape' - BIG Set to Build Blåvand Bunker Museum

'Integrated into the Landscape' - BIG Set to Build Blåvand Bunker Museum | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Set to transform a former German WWII bunker carved into the banks of Blåvand, Denmark, BIG’s Blåvand Bunker Museum is a 2,500 square meter museum that will include four independent institutions: a bunker museum, an amber museum, a history museum and a special exhibitions gallery.

“Contrary to the existing closed concrete lump, the new museum will, in its architecture, function as an open heart integrated into the landscape,” Bjarke Ingels described. “The museum is in every way the opposite of the militant history with its more closed, dark and heavy features.”

“Organized around an open central square, the galleries allow much light and will give magnificent views to the surrounding countryside,” he continued. “The bunker is a war machine without holes for doors and windows and rejects all humanity. In contrast, the museum is integrated into the landscape and invites visitors inside.”

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Blooming Bamboo Home: A Modular Solution for Emergency Housing

Blooming Bamboo Home: A Modular Solution for Emergency Housing | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

H&P Architects from Vietnam provide an effective solution to emergency housing with this simple self-assembly home that can be mass produced at a minimal cost in a span of 25 days. BB (Blooming Bamboo) home is one solution to housing for millions of people in calamity-hit locations.

The prototype has just been completed last month in Cau Dien Town, Tu Liem District, Ha Noi, Vietnam. From a bamboo module, each house is simply assembled with bolting, binding, hanging, placing. The structure is strong enough to withstand 1.5m-high floods.
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jardinelviejito's curator insight, November 18, 2013 6:52 AM

Con el uso de materia prima renovable se pueden lograr cosas asombrosas en cualquier lugar del mundo. La diferencia la hace la buena voluntad de las Instituciones y de la gente que maneja estas ideas, logrando así resultados que a todos nos parecen asombrosos, pero que en realidad lo que tienen de bueno es que se llevaron a cabo. 

¿Cuál puede ser tu aporte, tu granito de arena en este mar de ideas global?

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Downley House by BPR Architects

Downley House by BPR Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Downley House is a large new country house built in the South Downs. The client called for a tranquil yet playful place, full of natural texture, contrasts, and indigenous materials. BPR created an entrance sequence which commences in a circular stone entrance court, extends along a pergola into an inner court bounded by a ruined wall and through the house to a roof terrace where a stair bridges into the landscape.


Downley House is constructed of timber elements prefabricated in Swizerland and erected over a two month period. The family and guest wings are constructed of cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels and the barrel vault is made of a CLT timber shell and glue lam ribs. The low-embodied energy of the construction, the efficient envelope, ground source heat pump and heat recovery system create a highly sustainable and energy efficient building.

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Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Selected to Design Wind and Solar-Powered Astana World Expo 2017 Site

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Selected to Design Wind and Solar-Powered Astana World Expo 2017 Site | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill have been selected from 46 architecture teams to design the renewable energy powered World Expo 2017 site in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Located in Kazakhstan's capital, the 173 hectare expo site will be entirely powered by wind and solar power in accordance with the expo’s "Future Energy" theme.  AS+GG was selected because their design was the most practical in terms of sustainability and architecture, and it can be utilized for many years after the expo has run its course. The buildings and the landscaping will be constructed using the principles of environmentally, economically and socially sustainable design.

View more renderings at the link.

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Norm Miller's curator insight, October 29, 2013 1:34 PM

Big ego driven projects result in some great icons and this seems to fall into that same pattern.

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Gippsland Water Factory Vortex Centre by DesignInc

Gippsland Water Factory Vortex Centre by DesignInc | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The Gippsland Water Factory’s Vortex Centre houses office and laboratory functions and an interpretive experience for a major new water recycling plant. The vortex form of the building strongly expresses the dynamic movement of fluids down a pipe, at the same time providing a unique internal environment.

Combining cost performance, aesthetics, water education and ecological intelligence, the 650m2 facility is a beacon of exemplary sustainable design. The centre was designed as a teaching building, taking inspiration from a giant oculus, with a shell made up of seven barrels that fit into one another as they decrease in size, thereby resembling a vortex.

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Lola Ripollés's curator insight, October 24, 2013 2:31 AM

Un centro de reciclaje de agua con referencias fabriles y forma muy  explicativa de vórtex, para acoger actividades de formación y divulgación. Es además un edificio de bajo consumo enrgético con sistemas pasivos.

A/Prof Jon Willis's curator insight, October 24, 2013 5:57 PM

Is it just me, or does this look like a giant fish trap  - http://www.uap.com.au/art/interior/nga-fish-trap/

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Modular Prototypes for Flexible and Efficient Prefab Structures

Modular Prototypes for Flexible and Efficient Prefab Structures | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The prototypes designed for DST Company for the CONCRETA 2003 Exhibition, intend to provide a multiplicity of solutions regarding its purpose. The development of a modular typology that could respond to specific ends such as of temporary housing, environmental observatory, fire outpost, bar, Kiosk, “virtual square” or to a minimum element that could gather the necessary conditions to communicate through IT systems was a priority.

The plan was to produce a module that could be repeated and associated almost endlessly, being at the same time functionally mutable and capable of providing urban conditions through associative forms of its base element. 

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Claire Cardwell's curator insight, October 21, 2013 3:46 AM

This looks like a more sustainable source of low income housing.  Pity the governement is still putting up shacks....

De Lille Robert's curator insight, October 21, 2013 1:55 PM

Une solution aux problème de logement?

JMS1kiddz's curator insight, October 23, 2013 9:34 AM

The concept of Prefabs is no new idea, however these modern prototypes change the way one looks at prefabs. Prefabs are generally associated with being made out of some sort of iron material and are built for practicality rather than comfort. These prototypes are designed to manage energy and to work in favour of the land. Not only are they nice looking but they are also complimentary to the land.

-Heather Leigh Arends 

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An Economical Modular Prefab in Oregon

An Economical Modular Prefab in Oregon | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The brief was basic: a simple guesthouse for a familyto live while Bohlin Cywinski Jackson designed their main residence. The architect's design for the is instantly legible with a repetition of trusses, windows, and lumber creating a strong linear profile.

A standard, repeatable, four-foot-wide bay makes use of economical, available materials, such as open-web steel trusses, plywood, laminated veneer lumber, and an insulated aluminum window system. The resulting residence is linear, with an open-plan kitchen and living space, 3 bedrooms, and an office with views over the Cascade Range.

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Best of 2013: Energy-Efficient Buildings Off The Grid

Best of 2013: Energy-Efficient Buildings Off The Grid | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The phrase "off the grid" is quite literal: It means these buildings are not connected to the power grid or sewer systems. There is no need for trash collection and removal, and building materials are often harvested locally—making it beneficial for the environment and your wallet.

Off-the-grid architecture originally had mixed connotations, but off-the-grid living has moved beyond the typical remote shack with no lighting systems. New chemical-free stains and finishes transform reclaimed wood into rich materials for façades, while sustained rammed-earth and recycled steel lend a certain rugged appeal. It has also allowed architects to be more inventive in terms of space, creating structures that provide the privacy of typical homes—without the carbon footprint.

The future of off-the-grid looks promising—perhaps in 2014 we'll see the trend implemented in pre-existing structures in urban areas. Until then, check out the best (and most sustainable) off-the-grid buildings from 2013...

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Norm Miller's curator insight, December 25, 2013 12:09 PM

Homes off the grid need energy storage and that is still the major issue, but TESLA is now making batteries for homes and someday they will be less costly.  For now such solutions are exotic and economically unreachable.

Ursula O'Reilly Traynor's curator insight, December 27, 2013 9:16 PM

Wouldn't it be good to stay in one of these buildings, even for just a short while ....I'm sure it would inspire more of us to think along the lines of sustainability for the built environment of the future. To think outside the box.

Lauren Evelyn's curator insight, February 14, 9:57 PM
Scottsdale Arizona
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Libeskind's Vibrant Proposal for a New Architectural Icon in Paris: the Tour Signal La Defense

Libeskind's Vibrant Proposal for a New Architectural Icon in Paris: the Tour Signal La Defense | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Every building tells a unique story reflecting both the programmatic content and the singularity of the site, and the Tour Signal La Defense proposal for Paris by In Studio Daniel Libeskind radiates a new spirit with a vibrant, sustainable, mixed-use development.

The powerful, unique icon is expressed in a dynamic volume- a reflection of the aim to create a building before its time. Two intertwined ribbons spiral together formally and programmatically, creating a tower, and open space between, with south-facing vertical gardens to act as biotopes for workers, visitors and residents.

Find more images and project details at the article link...

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Norm Miller's curator insight, December 17, 2013 9:32 AM

Libesiind does it again. 

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A Passive 'House under the Oaks' by Juri Troy Architects

A Passive 'House under the Oaks' by Juri Troy Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The house under the oaks is a low budget passive house concept developed for an Austrian family. With a minimum footprint and a wide outstretching wooden box on six columns it offers a living area of about 100 m2.

The whole structure was done in prefabricated timber with all ecological wood wool insulation of up to 60 cm. The interior is done all in local wood as well with a simple white pigmented oil cover. A heat pump with ground collector, a controlled ventilation system with heat exchange and photovoltaic panels on the roof offer a perfect energy concept with a minimum of required external energy – which is provided by eco electricity. It is a new prototype for affordable living on minimal energy standard in Austria.

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Innovation & Sustainability at Geusseltbad Aquatic Complex, Netherlands

Innovation & Sustainability at Geusseltbad Aquatic Complex, Netherlands | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Masterminded by Slangen + Koenis, this swimming pool complex is the highlight and the heart of the district’s new sports complex in northeast Maastricht, near Geusselt Castle. 

Part of an ambitious modernization scheme, the project combines superb architecture with the highest environmental standards, implementing sustainable concepts and using cradle-to-cradle materials. Thanks to triple glazing, solar panels and geothermal energy, the power consumption could be curbed to one third of what one would expect for a building of this size and programmatic nature.

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Herman van den Bosch's curator insight, December 8, 2013 1:25 PM

Tja, de Maastrichtenaren klagen steen en been. Maar de deskundigologen op architectuur en duurzaamheidgebied zijn lyrisch. Een grote opsteker voor al die bibberende zwemmers: de CO2-uitstoot is dratisch gedaald.

Professionele Mediators's comment, December 10, 2015 1:36 AM
NIce
Goedkope Opslagruimte Huren Deventer Arnhem Apeldoorn -Salland Storage 's comment, February 2, 2016 1:13 AM
bit.ly/1SAe8f4
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MARS Architects Cleverly Fold Climbing Walls into Bulgaria's First Sustainable Activity Center

MARS Architects Cleverly Fold Climbing Walls into Bulgaria's First Sustainable Activity Center | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
MARS Architects snagged first place in an international competition for the design Walltopia's Collider Activity Center, Sofia's first sustainable mixed use center.

Located in Sofia, the Collider Activity Center will mark the city's first green mixed use center to combine both leisure and exercise space. To tie together the site’s diverse programs, the architects inserted a series of dramatic climbing atriums into the folds of the building, creating a continuous climbing experience.

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Jon Carter's curator insight, January 4, 2014 4:22 PM

Super cool, gotta go to Sofia for this one. Deep Water solo outdoor pool, with boulder's galore in the park outside, not too mention a few K square ft of climbing inside. Outside walls are transparent showing climbers moves.. So nice.

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De Rotterdam: OMA Completes Mixed-Use 'Vertical City'

De Rotterdam: OMA Completes Mixed-Use 'Vertical City' | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

OMA today marks the completion of De Rotterdam, a mixed-use, 160,000m2 slab-tower conceived as a ‘vertical city’ on the river Maas. The three stacked and interconnecting towers rise 44 floors to a height of 150 meters and span a width of over 100 meters. Nevertheless, the building is exceptionally compact, with a mix of programs organized into distinct but overlapping blocks of commercial office space, residential apartments, hotel and conference facilities, restaurants and cafes. 


“Efficiency has been a central design parameter from day one. The extreme market forces at play throughout the course of the project, far from being a design constraint, have in fact reinforced our original concept. The result is a dense, vibrant building for the city.”

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Cat Perrin's curator insight, November 27, 2013 3:09 AM

Sustainable architecture, and sustainable constructions, and sustainable trading. Everything should be thought on a sustainable point of vue.

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Celebrating Innovative Architectural Solutions with Global Impact: TAMassociati architects

Celebrating Innovative Architectural Solutions with Global Impact: TAMassociati architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

On November 7th the Venetian office TAMassociati was awarded the Curry Stone Design Prize, the international award that selects the architectural solutions which are the most innovative and have the biggest impact on improving the global quality of life. 

For the first time an Italian architecture office has been awarded one of the major international awards in this category. Tamassociati architects was chosen by an international jury for African projects commissioned by the NGO Emergency, known for its great attention to issues of sustainability and the universal right to healthcare- the Salam centre for cardiac surgery in Khartoum, which won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2013 and the Paediatric centre Port Sudan (Giancarlo Ius Gold Medal 2013).

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The Cairns Institute by Woods Bagot and RPA Architects

The Cairns Institute by Woods Bagot and RPA Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

As a repository of regional knowledge and research capacity, the The Cairns Institute is perfectly positioned to make a significant contribution to the development of a sustainable quality of life for tropical communities. The Woods Bagot design team, in collaboration with RPA Architects, designed a building that represents its place and its context in a new and exciting way.


Intrinsic to the design is a celebration of the rainforest setting and enrichment of the place experience. An evolving landscape skin, a ‘trellis’, defines the building, offering aesthetics and sun control, while a variety of micro climate ecologies around the building have been created.

The design assists in minimising running costs for the university whilst contributing to the quality of the environment, in line with the university’s aspirations to achieve a sustainable outcome for the building.

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Steven Holl to design four museums for new complex in China

Steven Holl to design four museums for new complex in China | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

'Steven Holl Architects has been selected by near unanimous jury decision as the winner of the new Culture and Art Centre of Qingdao City competition, besting OMA and Zaha Hadid Architects. The 2 million sq ft project for four museums is the heart of the new extension of Qingdao, China, planned for a population of 700,000.

The winning design for the new Culture and Art Centre begins with a connection to Qingdao. The linear form of the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge - the world's longest bridge over water - is carried into the large site, in the form of a Light Loop, which contains gallery spaces and connects all aspects of the landscape and public spaces. The raised Light Loop allows maximum porosity and movement across the site, and permits natural sound bound breezes that blow in off the ocean to flow across the site...'

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Richard Platt's curator insight, November 3, 2013 12:42 PM

Great Architects are hard to find, and they usually stay busy

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Sustainability and Innovative Design: Green Homes at the Solar Decathlon

Sustainability and Innovative Design: Green Homes at the Solar Decathlon | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Orange County hosted the U.S. Department of Energy's biennial green building event the Solar Decathlon this year, constructing a village of 'solar homes' in Irvine's Great Park, open to the public two weekends in October.

The twenty student-built projects compete in ten contests with specific criteria, ranging from architecture and engineering to communications and energy balance. The individual contest scores are totaled at the end of the competition to determine overall livability, efficiency and affordability, awarding the team with the highest overall score first place.

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J. Francisco Muzard's curator insight, October 28, 2013 6:19 AM

J'approuve ce genre de construction qui, non seulement sont agréables à l'oeil mais qui sont aussi écologiques. Des maisons idéales pour les pays du sud comme au Chili, par exemple...

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Bio-mimicry in Architecture: Two Award-Winning Projects from Architects 3XN

Bio-mimicry in Architecture: Two Award-Winning Projects from Architects 3XN | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Architects 3XN depict their diligent comprehension of futuristic design concepts with strong traces of bio-mimicry through two award-winning projects – the UN head office and the Blue Planet aquarium in Copenhagen.
Both projects in question stand apart for their iconic architectural vocabulary with strong references of biologic attributes to building design.

Learn more and view images at the article link.
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Norm Miller's curator insight, October 22, 2013 2:51 PM

Imitating nature in design.

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, October 23, 2013 6:30 AM

De nuevo buscamos inspiración en las formas y estructuras de los seres vivos. Dos proyectos muy interesantes de 3XN.