sustainable architecture
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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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The Lotus Building Grows from a Lake in Wujin, China

The Lotus Building Grows from a Lake in Wujin, China | sustainable architecture |

Growing from the artificial lake at the center of Wujin, China is a fantastic new structure – “The Lotus Building” from Australian architecture firm Studio 505Considering its natural form, it’s only appropriate that The Lotus Building is designed with the importance of the environment in mind.

Studio 505 explains:

“The project has been designed to minimise energy usage- with over 2500 geothermal piles driven through the base of the artificial lake, The entire lake water mass and ground beneath is utilised to pre-cool (summer) and pre-warm (winter) the air conditioning systems for both the lotus and the two storey building beneath the lake. The project is also mixed mode and naturally ventilated and utilises evaporative cooling from the lake surface to drive a thermal chimney within the main flower pod.”

Norm Miller's curator insight, August 23, 2014 4:26 PM

As China becomes richer as a country we get to see some more innovative icon type designs even if they are imported into China.  I love the energy conservation integrated into the design.

Asian ProSource's curator insight, October 15, 2014 12:35 PM

The Lotus Building combines design with energy conservation. 

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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 |

'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...'

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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China's Sustainable Cave Hotel Under Construction

China's Sustainable Cave Hotel Under Construction | sustainable architecture |

Construction has started on a cave hotel resort by Atkins that will nestle into the rockface of an abandoned water-filled quarry near Shanghai, China.

Once complete, the hotel will offer around 400 rooms, as well as conference facilities, a banquet hall, restaurants, a swimming pool and a water-sports centre.

The building will use geothermal technologies to generate its own electricity and lighting, while greenery will blanket a roof that extends just two storeys above the edge of the quarry.

Sustainability is integral to Atkins' design of this unique resort, built into an abandoned, water-filled quarry.

Joram Walukamba's comment, July 3, 2013 7:43 AM
awesome ....
linh pham's curator insight, October 7, 2014 11:47 PM

A new hotel gonna be built near Shanghai, China which will call with a name ' Cave hotel'. This new hotel will have a shape like a waterfall in the middle of two buildings of hotel. A great ideal hotel will come up in the future make the guest really interested included me, it uses geothermal technologies to generate its own electricity. It is really a great hotel but what i consider is this hotel will be built in among the environment and it will be affect directly to the environment which many protecter want to protect the environment. Waster will be a problem with this hotel because there is no water factory near there. The idea of this hotel is great but it will create many problems to some objecter like green environment. I don't think this hotel can build and success in the future. 

india cox's curator insight, May 6, 2015 12:23 AM

Geothermal is such a good alternative energy source. i hope more hotels can follow this kind of innovation. Using an old quarry is a brilliant idea. By using an area that probably wouod not have been used otherwise its a fantastic way to use the natural environment as a part of the hotel. Having sustainability as part of their mission is a great idea!

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Sky City, China: World's tallest prefab building breaks ground in June

Sky City, China: World's tallest prefab building breaks ground in June | sustainable architecture |

Sky City in Changsha, China, will be 2750 feet tall, 220 stories, housing 30,000 people in 4450 apartments, with excavation and construction slated to begin in June, 2013.

Aiming to accommodate a growing population, the skyscraper is considered a "pragmatic" building, designed for efficiency, affordability, replicability.

The Sky City concept significantly reduces the per capita use of land, and the associated CO2 emissions generated, thus providing a means of large-scale development with a significantly lower impact on the environment.

As a result, a resident of Sky City will be using 1/100th the average land per person- learn more about this innovative building concept and its sustainable features at Treehugger.

Sofi Lapizco's curator insight, May 19, 2013 12:05 AM

En esto se muestra el diseño de un edificio el cual fue pensado en algunos de los gustos de las demas personas, pensado para que sea atractivo para todos y llamativo.

Sky City en Changsha, China, será 2.750 metros de altura, 220 pisos, viviendas 30.000 personas en 4.450 viviendas, con la excavación y la construcción debieran comenzar en junio de 2013.

Con el objetivo de dar cabida a una población cada vez mayor, el rascacielos se considera un edificio "pragmático", diseñado para la eficiencia, la asequibilidad, la replicabilidad.

El concepto Sky City reduce significativamente el uso per cápita de la tierra, y las emisiones de CO2 asociadas generadas, lo que proporciona un medio para el desarrollo a gran escala con un impacto mucho menor sobre el medio ambiente.

Como resultado, un residente de la ciudad del cielo va a utilizar 1/100o la tierra media por persona de aprender más acerca de este concepto innovador edificio y sus características sostenibles en Treehugger.

Robert T. Preston's curator insight, June 2, 2013 1:24 PM

Article about the new megalithic "Sky City" building breaking ground, this month.  A half mile tall, it will be huge, and will cut the human footprint down considerably, from people with standard homes.

Robert T. Preston's comment, June 6, 2013 9:33 PM
My wife works with the Chinese on many projects. They are quite ambitious, but occasionally, their ambition gets ahead of safety, and quality control. Let's hope that with this beast, they get it all right.
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Ecology and Planning Museum by Steven Holl in Tianjin, China's New Eco-City

Ecology and Planning Museum by Steven Holl in Tianjin, China's New Eco-City | sustainable architecture |

Steven Holl Architects has been commissioned to design the Ecology and Planning Museum in Tianjin,China – the new Eco-City is planned the to be the home to population of 500,000 when completed in 2020. 60,000 square meters in total, the museum structure will be the first in the cultural district.

Marking the entrance to the Planning Museum, shared public plaza gathers the visitors around the large model of the eco-city and a temporary display area, further directed to the exquisite space experience of great interiors and program sequences. The top storey facilitates the green architecture, landscape and water resources exhibits and the access to the vegetative rooftop, offering panoramic views to the future city.

Interconnected by underground service zone area and further connected to the central business district of Eco-City by a high speed tram, this museum development represents the initial space experience of the cultural district of this “poster-city for state-of-the-art sustainable aspects”, rising from the Bohai Bay...

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Sustainability & Education at Shanghai's Largest Organic Farm

Sustainability & Education at Shanghai's Largest Organic Farm | sustainable architecture |

Tony’s Farm is the biggest organic food farm in Shanghai, which produces certified vegetables and fruits. But it's more than just a place for vegetable production. The vision is to integrate the consumer and therefore promote a natural lifestyle.

To link the activities of the working people with the visitors of the farm, playze developed a building complex, which combines the main reception, a lobby, (working also for the future hotel rooms) and a vip area, with the new offices and an existing warehouse, where the fruits and vegetables are being packed. The building provides transparency within the manufacturing process. Thus it supports the vision of integrating the visitor and helps to reinforce the consumer confidence in the products of the farm. At the same time the building design is driven by the concept of sustainability, combined with it's iconic qualities, it communicates and promotes the core concept of the Farm...

Lauren Moss's insight:

An interesting project that incorporates relevant social issues and educational opportunities within the context of a working farm...

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Huangshan Mountain Village: sustainability grows in the Chinese landscape

Huangshan Mountain Village: sustainability grows in the Chinese landscape | sustainable architecture |

MAD has unveiled plans for a towering village of apartment blocks beside the Huangshan Mountains in eastern China. 

Inspired by the topographical layers of the landscape, the buildings will have organically shaped floor plates and will emerge from amongst the treetops on a site beside the Taiping Lake.

The high-density village features low-rise residences that echo the contours of the surrounding topography and offer unequalled access to one of China’s  landscapes.

The site of verdant scenery and limestone cliffs have long inspired artists and offered sheltered spaces for contemplation and reflection, contributing to its UNESCO Heritage status. Composed in deference to the local topography, the village provides housing, a hotel and communal amenities organized in a linked configuration. As its form evokes the geology of the region, the village blurs the boundaries between the geometries of architecture and nature.

For residents, the apartments will be a quiet retreat –  all have spacious balconies which overlook the lake. Communal amenities and walking paths encourage residents to explore the landscape. Each floor is unique and accessed from shared social spaces, creating a seamless balance between private and public spaces. The same serene design sensibility of natural environment extends to the interiors, with the use of local materials and the incorporation of plants and greenery enhancing comfort and well-being, while simultaneously setting up a closer connection with local culture...

François Lanthier's comment, November 19, 2012 4:48 PM
Love it! Where do you find all thins great information?
association concert urbain's comment, November 19, 2012 4:55 PM
association concert urbain's comment, November 19, 2012 4:55 PM
Via Lauren Moss
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Self-sufficient house for all seasons by architect John Lin

Self-sufficient house for all seasons by architect John Lin | sustainable architecture |
Self-sufficient house adapted from traditional Chinese rural architecture by John Lin, winner of the AR House award 2012.

Lin, who is an architecture professor at the University of Hong Kong, designed the house in Shijia Village, north-eastern China, as a model that would encourage village residents to be less dependent on outside goods and services.

The Architectural Review has presented its 2012 House Award to John Lin, a Hong Kong-based architect whose innovative work takes him into the interstices of the extraordinary transformation underway in China’s cities, towns and rural areas.

Lin’s winning project is an updated version of the vernacular mud brick courtyard house that populates China’s vast rural areas. His design for a modern prototype of this traditional locus of rural life, increasingly at risk, brings together both old and new, incorporating concrete technology with original mud brick construction...

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Twisting Shapes and a Surprising Interior Design: Tea House in Shanghai

Twisting Shapes and a Surprising Interior Design: Tea House in Shanghai | sustainable architecture |

Tea House and library is a project envisioned by studio Archi-Union Architect and located in the backyard of Archi-Union Architects’ office in Shanghai, China. Its uncommon appearance obeys the rules of modern design, while adding a little extra.

According to the architects, the building “reacts to the site’s environment; the plan layout is a logically obscure quadrilateral, thus maximizing the amount of space. It is divided into three parts. A covered public area is formed towards the open space with the pool, with an enclosed tea house at ground level and library on the first floor where a small triangular balcony extends around the existing tree. Other more private spaces exist such as a lounge, reading room and service room which are arranged towards the rear of the building; a delightful transitional space was created to connect the public space and the private spaces”.

Bella MC's curator insight, July 22, 2014 10:53 AM can offer a professional interior design service

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Sustainable Architecture: Vanke Center by Steven Holl Architects

Sustainable Architecture: Vanke Center by Steven Holl Architects | sustainable architecture |

The Vanke Center will be the first, highest rated USGBC, LEED Platinum Certified Project in China. Hovering over a tropical garden, this ‘horizontal skyscraper’ – as long as the Empire State Building is tall – is a hybrid building including apartments, a hotel, and offices for the headquarters for China Vanke Co. ltd. A conference center, spa and parking are located under the large green, tropical landscape which is characterized by mounds containing restaurants and a 500 seat auditorium...

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First 1K House prototype built in China

First 1K House prototype built in China | sustainable architecture |

The first prototype to emerge from the 1K House studio at MIT is a modular home constructed in the Sichuan Province of China. The Pinwheel House features standardized construction and assembly to build basic, affordable housing in rural areas of developing countries.

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Fish-inspired skyscraper by RMJM for Doumen, China

Fish-inspired skyscraper by RMJM for Doumen, China | sustainable architecture |

Architecture firm RMJM has won a competition to design a landmark tower for Doumen, China, with plans for a 93-metre-high structure covered in scales.

Proposed at the intersection of two rivers in Zhuhai, the Doumen Observation Tower was designed to mimic the movement of water and aquatic life in the coastal city, sometimes known as the Chinese Riviera. The tower's curving form will be clad with 1,400 bent panels, made from perforated aluminium. These will give the structure its scaly appearance, whilst shading the interior from direct sunlight...

Norm Miller's curator insight, August 18, 2014 2:13 PM

Design innovations seem to be increasing each year especially from China.

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Taiwan Skyscraper's Facade Covered in Thousands of Wind Turbines

Taiwan Skyscraper's Facade Covered in Thousands of Wind Turbines | sustainable architecture |

Beijing-based Decode Urbanism Office has designed a 1,150 foot (350m) skyscraper located in Taichung City, Taiwan, to house the city’s Department of Urban Development, commercial concerns, museums, retail areas and exhibitions spaces. 

The building’s design was inspired by the plum blossom, the national flower of China and Taiwan. The building’s twisting and turning structure is intended to evoke the experience of plum blossoms bursting into bloom.

To do so, the facade has thousands of small diamond shaped wind turbines, which produce enough energy to power the building. These wind generators are set into the facade grid, oscillating as wind skirts the building.

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, October 13, 2013 2:25 PM

Qué os parece una fachada compuesta por miles de pequeñas turbinas que generan  energía para el consumo del edificio?

Un propuesta de belleza orgánica y filosofía sostenible para esta torre de Taichung City, en Taiwan,

JMS1kiddz's curator insight, October 15, 2013 10:42 AM

new and innovative way to produce power for an entire building. The source of energy is embedded in the architecture. - Madi Chaput

JMS1kiddz's curator insight, October 16, 2013 7:17 AM

Yet again another environmentally friendly design. This building has been designed to generate its own energy and power LED lighting throughout the building. This is done through the power of wind turbines which the building is completely surrounded by. It is becoming the newest trend in design to create buildings and structures that are helpful to the environment.

-Heather Leigh Arends

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Taiwanese Wind Tower is Covered with Thousands of Wind Turbines and LED Lights

Taiwanese Wind Tower is Covered with Thousands of Wind Turbines and LED Lights | sustainable architecture |
Beijing-based Decode Urbanism Office has designed a tower with a façade composed of multiple wind-driven generators.

Thousands of wind turbines will produce enough energy to power the entire building. At night, the diamond-shaped generators are lit with thousands of LED lights incorporated into the building envelope.

The 350-meter (1,150-foot) structure, in Taichung City, China, will house the city’s Department of Urban Development, as well as commercial activities.

The tower’s façade, inspired by the plum blossom — China and Taiwan's  national flower – reacts to changes in direction and intensity of the wind, creating a truly dynamic visual effect. Similarly, mechanical wind power generators have LEDs, illuminating the façade and producing a pulsating flow of light, whose intensity and color adjust to correspond to changes in temperature and season.

The wind harnessing capability, along with the lighting that responds to local atmospheric conditions, makes this conceptual tower a true “decoder of nature.”

Federico Morabito's comment, May 18, 2013 5:41 AM
This is an example of "Smart Progress" is in an effort to channel the interests of research towards evolutionary solutions, through systematic monitoring of the quality process of mental and physical state of the individual with the 'environment.
Edmund Chan's comment, May 19, 2013 12:45 AM
What about routine maintenance ?
Clem Stanyon's comment, May 30, 2013 11:17 PM
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Minimalism & Playfulness Define a Contemporary Shipping Container Residence

Minimalism & Playfulness Define a Contemporary Shipping Container Residence | sustainable architecture |

The WFH House in China, designed by Copenhagen-based studio, Arcgency is a contemporary design, constructed of three stacked shipping containers.

The house surrounded by lush vegetation  ”was designed to produce more energy than it consumes through the use of upcycled shipping containers as a steel frame, a sustainable bamboo facade, a rainwater collection system, solar cell-clad green roof and permeable paving.”

The interior is neat, dressed up in impeccable white, yet with splashes of color here and there. The main floor is envisioned as one singular space that accommodates the kitchen, dining area and the living room. The main advantage is that, this type of space delimitation allows a seamless transition between the indoor environments...

Immotopic's curator insight, March 4, 2013 4:06 AM

Le moins c'est le mieux*

Immotopic's comment, March 4, 2013 4:07 AM
Less is better*
Natalie Curtis's curator insight, March 6, 2013 9:18 AM

The WFH House is a perfect example of my inspiration for my Architecture Repurposing topic... it's sustainable, energy-efficient and innovative. It is a elegant representation of repurposing materials to be used in creative and intelligent alternate spacial use and design. The interior design is just as seamless and minimalistic as the outside and creates an open feel, as well. If you're at all curious about how the masterminds behind shipping container homes, do what they do, you'll find this blog interesting. The small array of pictures goes from the finished product all the way down the skeleton of the home and it's really quite fascinating to see the actual raw, industrial looking shipping containers being transformed into a modern, minimalistic and elegant home. 

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Adaptive Reuse + Green Innovation: Lahas Zone Showrooms, China

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

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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Shanghai Organic Food Farm by Playze

Shanghai Organic Food Farm by Playze | sustainable architecture |

Sustainability and LEED Certified buildings are becoming an increasingly popular subject of planning and design, so it’s only natural that an organic food farm in China would be concerned with such issues.

Tony’s Farm is one of those concerned with being more green; which led to their collaboration with Playze for a new structure. A total of 78 shipping containers- all stacked, cantilevered and positioned every direction to house the corporate headquarters, meeting areas, lobby and warehouse.

A courtyard style structure allows for a nice outdoor space, great for impromptu meetings, lunch or anything in between. The interior is clean and simple, with the exterior providing as an impermeable barrier of the elements to the working environment...

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Daylighting + Innovative Facade Technology at the Nantong Museum by Henn Architekten

Daylighting + Innovative Facade Technology at the Nantong Museum by Henn Architekten | sustainable architecture |

As part of the master plan designed by HENN, the new Nantong Urban Planning Museum is located prominently along the central river.

The museum is characterized as a floating volume, resting on a glass pedestal, with space for special exhibitions, a café and bookstore. The overall dominant form which cantilevers above the glass entry contains the primary exhibition space, offices, and conference rooms.
Its distinctive façade is composed of two layers: the inner thermally seals the building envelope, and the outer is a reticulated metal structure with varied panels. The façade’s diamond-shaped grid is comprised of seven different panels that allow for varying degrees of opening from 9%-60%. This provides for the controlled regulation of sunlight in fine increments, to accommodate the needs of the interior program. The exhibition spaces are therefore, characterized by a predominantly closed façade with minimal openings, and the offices with maximum levels of natural daylight...

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Parkview Green: China's LEED Platinum Mixed-use Development

Parkview Green: China's LEED Platinum Mixed-use Development | sustainable architecture |
Green features are adopted in creating a sustainable mixed-use development
Parkview Green is a LEED®-CS Platinum certified mixed-use development with grade-A office space, a six-star hotel and retail facilities. It is four buildings encased in a glass and ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) envelop that creates an easily controlled microclimate which keeps energy bills at a minimum over the projects lifecycle.

The project is designed by Hong Kong-based architects Integrated Design Associates, while Arup provided structural, MEP, façade, fire, building physics, geotechnical and traffic engineering.

Key passive and active green features adopted in this development include an environmental envelop, earth pre-cooling system introducing air underground before entering the interior, chilled ceiling radiant cooling, and under-floor air conditioning. These well-orchestrated passive and active systems significantly reduce cooling and heating energy...

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Greenland Group Suzhou Center

Greenland Group Suzhou Center | sustainable architecture |
The Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) proudly announces that it has won an international competition to design the Greenland Group Suzhou Center, in Wujiang, China.

Major high performance energy saving strategies include a high performance façade, utilizing cooler outside air at higher levels for natural ventilation of the atrium, natural light harvesting using daylight responsive controls, lighting energy optimization using efficient fixtures and occupant controls, energy recovery systems, demand controlled ventilation, and an onsite energy center with combined heat and power plant to capitalize on the overall load diversity of the development...

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GMP Architekten: Eco-park in Qingdao

GMP Architekten: Eco-park in Qingdao | sustainable architecture |

Near the coast of the yellow sea in Qingdao, China, German practice GMP Architekten has laid the first cornerstone for 'Eco-park in Qingdao', a sustainable living and working district. Positioned between the mountain ranges and the ocean, the ten square kilometer site is positioned amidst the rock formations and green plains of the area.
The design integrates the highest possible proportion of renewable energy sources into the masterplan including water and wind power, geothermal energy and an emphasis upon solar energy.

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