The Crochet Coral Reef (CCR) is a project by the Institute For Figuring, a non-profit Los-Angeles based organization that pioneers creative new methods for engaging the public about scientif...
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:
I've been following this project for years. It's a great and facinating learning tool "for all ages". The design credit goes to Nature and hyperbolic life forms. It's great tool to to help us learn about our coral reefs.
H&M is putting on its fancypants. The Swedish retailer announced on Tuesday the launch of “Conscious Exclusive,” a collection of partywear derived from sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, recycled polyamide, and Tencel. Inspired by old Hollywood glamour, the formal duds include sweeping gowns and natty suits for women, as well as a “rock-and-roll red-carpet style” that brings “real attitude to spring tailoring” for men, according to Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s head of design.
Amsterdam-based Hofman Dujardin Architects, in collaboration with Fokkema & Partners, has helped sustainable energy company Eneco practice what it preaches with the design of its headquarters in Rotterdam. The 14-floor office has been operational since April, with employees enjoying one of the Europe's best workspaces.
The heart of the building is a central atrium surrounded by a light-filled meeting centre with a reception space, meeting rooms, working areas, informal meeting areas, lounges, restaurant, service desk and auditorium. Sun collectors on the south façade and on the roof track the sun throughout the day, absorbing the maximum amount of solar energy.
The working and meeting areas are designed to be energetic islands floating on a white terrazzo floor. Some islands are open spaces and others enclosed for privacy but they are all executed with vibrant colours and materials. Those on the ground floor are red, purple and orange, while those on the first floor are in different shades of verdant green (meeting rooms) and blue (working spaces). The diversity of color and materials on the work islands are not only lively and inviting but give the different spaces specific identities and atmospheres that enable people to orientate themselves better in the office.
Learn more about the sustainable strategies incorporated into the design of this green office space at the article link...
Among the first Passive Houses in France, this bamboo-clad farmhouse by the Parisian firm Karawitz Architecture brings a bit of green to tiny Bessancourt.
When architects Milena Karanesheva and Mischa Witzmann—the couple behind Paris-based Karawitz Architecture—decided it was time for more space, they knew that they’d have to move their private lives outside of the French capital. After much research they settled on the small town of Bessancourt, about 17 miles northwest of Paris, because it offered an easy train ride into the city and a five-minute walk to the Montmorency Forest, ideal for their two young kids. But as for the house they’d live in, as Karanesheva puts it, “We wanted to use the opportunity to experiment.”
They commenced building in 2008, with German Passive House standards as their sustainability polestar. By construction’s end they had created a 1,733-square-foot home that uses only 4,200 kilowatt-hours per year—about a tenth of what a conventionally constructed house in France might use. With no other means of heating or cooling than those generated by the structure—a tenet of Passive House design—the new home is modeled on the French country dwellings of the area. Regional aesthetic codes also made their presence felt—out went any plans for a terraced roof, in came the barnhouse slope—but the resulting bamboo-clad abstraction of a farmhouse makes a strikingly modern addition to the rural landscape...
Recycling plastic may be expensive, but we've got oceans of it to deal with, both literally and figuratively. This project will spin out enormous capacity for innovation -- Imagine the 3d printer tough enough to use recycled materials!
Sustainability in architecture reveals itself in many forms, some more subtle or hidden than others. It’s much more complicated an issue than just green lawning your building, but sometimes that’s just what you need to get your message across.
The House in Travessa do Patrocínio by RA\\ does just that. The narrow townhouse is situated in the center of Lisbon, in a neighborhood with little access to green spaces. To compensate for this, the architects draped the house with lush green facades that cover 100 square-meters of wall space.
The facades are integral components to the architecture, and are planted with approximately 4,500 plants sourced from 25 different local varieties, all of which require little maintenance. The result is a vertical garden that functions as an urban “lung” within the pavement-heavy area, helping to rid the residential street of excess noise, carbon, and other pollutants floating about.
Though small and humble in proportion, the architects hope that the house is an “example of sustainability for the city of Lisbon,” a new urban model applicable at all scales of building.
An initiative in Burkina Faso is tying together eco protection with women's empowerment. The group fashions skirts and handbags from used plastic bags. The proceeds go towards improving the lives of the seamstresses.
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:
Ten Years later: a full-circle plastics recycling project that enables, trains and educates the women involved. Compare this with a projects that "gives' a pair of shoes to someone when another pair is puhcased. One pair of shoes will not change a person's life. Training, providing earnings, a repurposing the dearth of plastics in the evironment is a project model we can all get behind. sdc
The house on the shore with a view of the Wadden Sea is an energy-plus house, which means that it produces more electricity and heat than it uses.
This was achieved without compromising on the exclusive qualities of a large home, including panoramic sea-views. The architecture uses clear and simple expression, open and transparent to the sea and more closed and private towards the neighbors. The unusual geometry of the volume is combined with a calm and unpretentious detailing, and a restrained material palette.
Designed with ‘passive house’ principles, the home is compact in form, with large windows facing the view to the south-west, to make optimal passive use of the sun’s heat. The angle also respects the shoreline protection zone, creating a triangular floor plan. The sloping roof is angled to optimize the performance of the solar heating cells. Passive solar heat gain is absorbed and accumulated in the interior concrete walls and floor slabs, while the south-west facing balcony and overhangs shade the facades and control the amount of seasonal solar energy. The balcony is a free-standing concrete slab completely eliminating any cold-bridging to the interior...
Read more about this contemporary and contextual green design at the article link...
Japan’s historic architecture was among the most sustainable and environmentally friendly on the planet. Think of a traditional machiya (merchant’s house) or even a palace, such as the Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto; made of local materials such as wood, tatami, paper. The 20th century’s rush to modernize favored new technologies over tradition, and Japan became one of the most exciting architectural landscapes on the globe. There are few environments as adventurous: a place where microhouses are built on microscopic building sites, where skyscrapers rise on seismic quake lines and where material and form are pushed to new heights- it is a constantly changing architectural landscape...
But the price for this constant reinvention is often environmental; with global economic uncertainty and recent disasters, Japan has had to rethink how it wants to go forward. It could be the beginning of a quiet architectural revolution, as architects and urban planners – as well as the public – question architectural ideals since 1945 and ask: how can this be done better?
Now, with reconstruction beginning, the need and desire to find innovative and sustainable ways of building is growing. Japanese architecture has traditionally prized and worked in response to nature, so it's no surprise that architects are not only looking to new green technology but also back to Japan’s architectural traditions; a shoji screen can be as relevant as a solar panel in sustainable architecture...
Visit the link for the complete article for case studies, example projects and more images that address this new phase of architecture and sustainable development in Japan.
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