via [ Washington Post ] “Walking on Air” by Peter Slevin
The natural instinct is to inch out onto the glass very, very slowly, said sheet metal worker Leo Thier, who took a break from another job to venture into the box. Still in his hard hat and construction boots, he delivered his verdict: “It’s fantastic. It’s insane.
We are quite familiar with the use of the “Wish Instinct” in advertising but in architecture? - yes
via [ Pruned ]
In the 1940s, archaeologists discovered the ancient city of Seuthopolis, the capital seat of the Odrysian Kingdom beginning in the 4th century BCE.
Unfortunately, the discovery came too late, because under construction nearby was a reservoir dam, which would soon flood the valley and drown “the best preserved Thracian city in modern Bulgaria.”
Now over half a century later, a project proposed by Bulgarian architect Zheko Tilev would uncover and preserve the ruins using “a circular dam wall, resembling a well on the bottom of which, as on a stage, is presented the historical epic of Seuthopolis.”
The Beddington Zero Energy Development, or BedZED, is the UK’s largest eco-village.
The multi-award winning development is one of the most coherent examples of sustainable living in the UK.
Located in Wallington, South London, BedZED comprises 100 homes, community facilities and workspace for 100 people. Residents have been living at BedZED since March 2002.
BioRegional are working to show that eco-construction and developing green lifestyles can be easy, accessible and affordable, and provide a good quality of life. For example, the heating requirements of BedZED homes are around 10% that of a typical home. We have produced research reports and training to save industry professionals time and money.
I was looking at Bedzed a lot while President of the East Chicago Redevelopment Commission. I considered redeveloping Marktown and parts of the North Harbor Project into green communities. For Marktown it was a perfect marriage of garden city meets sustainability. Part of the plan was to create renewable energy districts and thus lower the costs for homeowners.
[ NY Times Article: Country, the City Version: Farms in the Sky Gain New Interest ]
In the past couple of years the large west-coast argi companies have begun to purchase property near urban markets in the east, to remain competitive as transportation costs continue to raise. This bodes well for regionalism and locally grown food. When you think of the challenges we face the vertical farm has its advantages.
Advantages of Vertical Farming
|Year-round crop production; 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop (e.g., strawberries: 1 indoor acre = 30 outdoor acres)|
|No weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, pests|
|All VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers|
|VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling black water|
|VF returns farmland to nature, restoring ecosystem functions and services|
|VF greatly reduces the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface|
|VF converts black and gray water into potable water by collecting the water of
|VF adds energy back to the grid via methane generation from composting non-edible
parts of plants and animals
|VF dramatically reduces fossil fuel use (no tractors, plows, shipping.)|
|VF converts abandoned urban properties into food production centers|
|VF creates sustainable environments for urban centers|
|VF creates new employment opportunities|
|We cannot go to the moon, Mars, or beyond without first learning to farm indoors on
|VF may prove to be useful for integrating into refugee camps|
|VF offers the promise of measurable economic improvement for tropical and subtropical
LDCs. If this should prove to be the case, then VF may be a catalyst in helping to reduce or even reverse the population growth of LDCs as they adopt urban agriculture as a strategy for sustainable food production.
|VF could reduce the incidence of armed conflict over natural resources, such as water
and land for agriculture
NL architects have designed the taipei performing arts center aiming to make the building accessible to everybody. the public character of the center is guaranteed by the elevation of a substantial part of its program, creating a public square underneath it. as such the square becomes part of the building inside of it.
Dutch firm cie architects receives first prize in the competition to design the tianjin urban planning museum, china.
The conceptual framework for the project emerged from superimposing different urban fabrics from the traditional city plan of tianjin to produce a bored block of varying porosity. block strategies were used for accessibility allowing daylight and ventilation in the building. furthermore, through a combined analysis of historical building methods and materials indigenous to the region, the proposal was able to engage with the chinese building tradition while developing a distinctly modern and highly sustainable museum project. de architekten cie collaborated with arup amsterdam on issues of sustainability and structure and was assisted throughout the design and presentation process by their partners in shanghai, UNIT architects.