Category Archives: green arch

Work AC: Public Farm 1

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This year’s winner of the P.S. 1 Young Architects courtyard installation, Work Architecture Company, is infiltrating Queens with their Public Farm 1: ‘Sur les Paves la Ferme!’ – an urban farm/green pavilion. The theme/design of the installation is partially a play on the ever popular ‘urban beach‘ – arguing instead that a public space can be created that serves as a leisure zone and as a productive, functional space serving the community as both a farm and marketplace.

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Since its inception, PS1 has brought together, year after year, the best of summer fun with the latest and greatest in art, music and architectural experimentation. While celebrating invention, the summer structures have provided the necessary shade, seating and water requirements – as well as spatially organizing PS1’s courtyard to create various zones of gathering and program. Every intervention has expanded upon the Warm-Up’s essential DNA (going back to Philip Johnson): the celebrated ‘Urban Beach.’

Throughout the twentieth century, ‘the beach’ has embodied popular dreams of pleasure and liberation. From the first labor paid holidays – which led to the beach’s invasions by blue and white striped bathing suits – to the famous slogan of May 1968 ‘Sous les Paves la Plage’, reaching the beach was synonymous with reclaiming a lost paradise [from Work AC].

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The installation will be created by folding + elevating what would normally be a farm’s ground plane – so that the vegetation because something that you experience from below, while at the same time acting as a giant sunshade for the pavilion. The planters themselves are simple cardboard tubes [detail below] – some as large as 3 feet in diameter – bolted together in [loosely] sets of seven, where a central tube is left open and the six surrounding tubes are planted [some tubes will contain additional items, such as sound equipment].

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The result is an almost textile-like creation that hovers over the space, filtering light through the various open tubes and plant life to create a dynamic setting for community interaction. This playfulness with light is a recurring theme in these yearly installations – but Work is really raising the bar by using this exciting architectural move to create functional and [hopefully] important space. The project will both function as a farm and community magnet while it inhabits the courtyard as this year’s installation, and [with any luck] serve to educate the community on the importance of creating spaces to produce natural food locally.

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For [Dan] Wood [principal of Work AC] the design is both political and personal. “We’re interested in the slow food movement, in the local food movement, and I grew up on a farm,” he said. The entry also had a deep personal resonance with PS1 director Alanna Heiss. “It is quite possible that I am the only museum director in New York City who actually owns a farm—about two hundred acres outside of Sioux Falls, South Dakota,” she said in a statement. “To receive this extraordinarily seductive visual version of a farm at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center struck deep into my rural roots. I can’t wait!” [from The Architect's Newspaper].

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What I’m looking forward to learning more about is how ‘farm like’ this project actually is. I realize that it is more farm in concept than actuality, but I still hope to find out that the installation is producing some crops to be harvested/picked by the community – even if it’s simply a couple of tomatoes and green beans.

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Last year’s P.S. 1 Young Architects courtyard installation on ArchitectureMNP:

P.S.1 Young Architects Program

Liquid Espionage

::Info + images from P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and Work Architecture Company::

::For more sustainable news, head on over to GreenMNP::

Jetson Green: Portland’s First SIPs House

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Preston, green ninja master over at Jetson Green, writes:

Seed Architecture Studio and Kaya General Contractors [have] announced plans to build the first house in Portland using structural insulated panels (“SIP”). This sustainable home design is targeted to save 70% on bills (compared to a home built to current energy code) utilizing tech such as LED and fluorescent lighting, efficient appliances, passive cooling, and the ultra efficient SIPs. Speaking of the home, Seed Architecture Studio owner Darin Dougherty said: “we’ve positioned the project as an exercise equally rooted in design, efficiency, and resource use. The goal of the project is to illustrate that all three of these variables are attainable to everyone. We’re also introducing a hybrid form of pre-fabrication. Because the entire house is produced in a factory and documented using shop drawings, all other components, such as windows and cabinetry can be produced using the shop drawings. We’re expecting this to drastically reduce construction time.”

Click here to read read the rest of this article [this is just an excerpt] over at Jetson Green.

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::article written by Philip, writer for our ninja Preston’s green blog Jetson Green – original article entitled Portland’s First SIPs House to Save 70% on Bills!. These articles from Jetson Green on MNP’s Green Tuesdays are part of a feature you can find here every week – just click any Tuesday in the calender and enjoy! And for more ‘green’ news + info, head on over to Green.MNP::

Jetson Green: M-Hotel

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Preston, green ninja master over at Jetson Green, writes:

I love the possibilities and ideas presented by the m-hotel from Tim Pyne. That said, I can’t say there’s anything green about the concept (that is soon to be a reality) other than two things, possibly: (1) it’s a non-permanent structure (7-10 years) where the parts can be reused differently in the future and dismantled to make way for a different use on the site, and/or (2) it’s a prefab structure and prefab has the potential for green benefits such as material savings, lower construction waste, and minimized site disturbance, etc. But still, it’s cool and innovative. The m-hotel is designed as a series of steel-framed slot boxes that slide into the frame (which makes for easy dismantling in the future).

Click here to read read the rest of this article [this is just an excerpt] over at Jetson Green

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::article written by Philip, writer for our ninja Preston’s green blog Jetson Green – original article entitled M-Hotel, a Prefab Hotel on the Cusp [London]. These articles from Jetson Green on MNP’s Green Tuesdays are part of a feature you can find here every week – just click any Tuesday in the calender and enjoy! And for more ‘green’ news + info, head on over to Green.MNP::

Steven Holl: Sliced Porosity Block

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What is it with this ninja and ‘porosity‘?

Steven Holl is at it again – chasing after an idea of ‘porous’ architecture/design. His recent project for NYU’s Department of Philosophy seems to have been a success – where Holl investigated porosity as it applied to a project of much smaller scale [one building]. Now the firm is stepping it up, designing a ‘Sliced Porosity Block‘ in Chengdu, China. Scheduled to open in 2010 [pretty soon, right? I can't believe its the future already...], this ‘giant chunk of a metropolis’ will house a hybrid complex of public spaces, bordered by 5 jagged towers containing offices, apartments, retail, a hotel, cafes, restaurants + more. All contained on a 105,000 square foot site, the development is meant to maximize public open space while creating a type of ‘micro-urbanism’.

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The overall ‘look’ of the project is that of an enormous city block, or mega block [I always preferred LEGOs myself - and yes, I could tell the difference], that is carved, sliced, and distorted to create a feeling of openness while maintaining the sense of interconnectivity. Look’s mostly as if it’ll be a monstrously monolithic creation, but who knows – we’ll have to wait and see. Here’s some more info, from courtesy of Steven Holl Architects:

The ‘Sliced Porosity Block’ will be located just south of the intersection of the First Ring Road and Ren Min Nan Road. Its sun sliced geometry results from minimum daylight exposures to the surrounding urban fabric prescribed by code. Porous and inviting from every side, five vertical entrances cut through a layer of micro-urban shopping before leading to the elevated public ‘Three Valley’ plaza. A great urban terrace on the scale of Rockefeller Center, this multi-level plaza in the center of the complex is sculpted by stone steps, ramps, trees, and ponds and caters to special events or to a casual afternoon in the sun. Here the public space parallax of overlapping geometries in strict black and white is supercharged by color that glows from the shops positioned underneath the plaza.

The three generous ponds on the plaza are inspired by a poem by Du Fu (713-770), in which he describes how ‘Time has left stranded in Three Valleys’. (Du Fu was one of ancient China’s most important poets, who spent a part of his life in Chengdu). These three ponds function as skylights to the six-story shopping precinct below, and are pierced by diagonal stray escalators that thrust upwards to three ‘buildings within buildings’. Residing on voids in the facades of the sculpted blocks these pavilions are designed by Steven Holl (history pavilion), Lebbeus Woods (high tech pavilion), and Ai Wei Wei (Du Fu pavilion).

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Your achievements overshadowed
any in the Three Kingdoms;
most famous of all was your design
for the Eight Formations.

Against the river’s surge,
they stand solid, immovable,
a monument to your lasting regret
at failing to swallow up Wu.

- Du Fu, The Eight Formations


The project is also going for a LEED gold rating. The project utilizes geo-thermal heating + cooling, uses the large plaza ponds to harvest rainwater while the natural grasses + lily pads both partially clean that water, and create a natural cooling effect. Additionally, the design calls for high-performance glazing, energy-efficient equipment and the use of local building materials.

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Previous posts involving Steven Holl on ArchitectureMNP:

Furniture by Steven Holl

Steven Holl Architects : Linked Hybrid

Steven Holl : NYU Department of Philosophy

7th BIA: São Paulo’s International Biennial

::All images + info courtesy of Steven Holl Architects::

::Special MNP thanks to Dan at Susan Grant Lewin Associates for keeping us up-to-date::

Jetson Green: Carbon Neutral Lighthouse

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Philip over at Jetson Green, writes:

In England, a handful of efficient demonstration homes have been built on the grounds of the Building Research Establishment Ltd, including “The Lighthouse,” which is the first net zero carbon house in the UK. The house is also the first to attain level six in the Code for Sustainable Homes, which indicates that it is carbon neutral. The two-bedroom house is only 93.3 square meters (barely over 1000 sq. ft.) in a 2-1/2 story building. The building has solar panels and evacuated solar tubes on its roof, as well as making use of passive measures with ventilation chimneys. It also incorporates rainwater catchment as part of the building design.

Click here to read read the rest of this article [this is just an excerpt] over at Jetson Green

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::article written by Philip, writer for our ninja Preston’s green blog Jetson Green – original article entitled Lighthouse, UK’s First Zero-Emission, Carbon Neutral Home. These articles from Jetson Green on MNP’s Green Tuesdays are part of a feature you can find here every week – just click any Tuesday in the calender and enjoy! And for more ‘green’ news + info, head on over to Green.MNP::

Höweler + Yoon on Boston City Hall 2.0

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Some of you ninjas may remember the posts we had up a few months back featuring Boston’s City Hall – and the exhibition at Pink Comma of the ‘alternative’ schemes that had recently been presented in Architecture Boston. One such proposal [or, two+, really] was designed by our current architecte de la semaine, Höweler + Yoon Architecture.

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In an attempt to address all the issues with the building, the architects considered all of the basic solutions in the image above – and for the proposal featured here seem to have combined ‘shrink it‘, ‘enter it‘ and ‘mask it‘. The proposal, ‘Wrap’, creates a new ground plane that rises up to the building and – as the name suggests – wraps around it, creating a second skin for the building.

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Basically, the proposal is an attempt to make the City Hall more ‘people friendly’ – allowing for more pedestrian/public interaction with the brutalist structure. Who would’ve thought – a city hall/city hall plaza that’s people friendly, and doesn’t look like the embodiment of some kind of unapproachable totalitarian structure…Seriously though, I’m not sure that the proposal is totally based in reality [in terms of something like this ever getting built in Boston], but it’s still one of many favorite proposals.

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[There would be some kind of auditorium/gathering space in that glass area beneath the ramp...pretty siiick]

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You can check out more of the proposals for ‘Rethinking Boston City Hall’ in the issue of Architecture Boston – or if you’re in the are you can check out the exhibit [previously over at Pink Comma] at Wentworth.
Previous posts on Höweler + Yoon on architecture.MNP:

ADLS 18.02.2008: Höweler + Yoon

Höweler + Yoon Videos

Höweler + Yoon: Davol Loft

Other posts on Boston’s City Hall on architecture.MNP:

Boston City Hall

History of Boston City Hall

over,under on Boston City Hall

::Images + info from Höweler + Yoon Architecture website::

Taketo Shimohigoshi’s ‘Green Beams’

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A recent winner of an AR Award for Emerging Architecture, Taketo Shimohigoshi’s [of A.A.E., or Associates of Architecture and Environment] ‘FLEG Daikanyama’ is an attempt to introduce a green, natural element into the super dense streets of Tokyo.

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Shimohigoshi has addressed the mostly overlooked space over the streetscape – creating an interesting and dynamic condition above the heads of the pedestrians below. Two white concrete walls have been inserted into the space, the full width of the site, as if cutting out the volume from the surrounding urban fabric on either side – while opening it on the front to the city, creating a stepped plaza. These walls frame large terrace spaces which are set back from the street – contrary to the ‘typical’ urban balconies that protrude from the face of buildings. These terraces then look back out towards the surrounding neighborhood, through a horizontal arrangement of moss-covered ‘beams’.

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…this green moss detached from the ground gives a new sense of perception to the urban fabric and the sky. The vegetation hanging in mid-air, where nature is not in its natural space, stirs up imaginations and sensuality.
This poetic scenery created by the green beam awakens the sensibility of people, and supports the creativity of the “External” space in between the two white walls.

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::info + images from AR Awards for Emerging Architecture and A.A.E.::

Jetson Green: Zorlu Ecocity

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Preston, green ninja master over at Jetson Green, writes:

Zorlu Ecocity is a Llewelyn Davies Yeang project located in Istanbul, Turkey. It’s a mixed-use development located at the southern extremity of Buyukdere Street in Istanbul. The plan is conceptualized as a “city within a city” and conforms to the city’s planning strategy to multiply the number of urban centers throughout the Marma region to relieve pressure on Istanbul’s historic core.

Click here to read read the rest of this article [this is just an excerpt] over at Jetson Green.

::article written by Preston, founder + editor of Jetson Green – original article entitled Zorlu Ecocity, a Striking Green City within a City. These articles from Jetson Green on MNP’s Green Tuesdays are part of a feature you can find here every week – just click any Tuesday in the calender and enjoy! And for more ‘green’ news + info, head on over to Green.MNP::

Wigglesworth’s Rusty Boxes

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“We tell people we used to operate out of a couple of rusty boxes, but that now we have a new building, we operate out of a couple of rusty boxes.”

Designed by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, the new Cremorne Riverside Center has been built to replace an existing boating facility that was formerly housed in two shipping containers [and which used an old 'rubbish hopper' as a rowing tank]. Located on what is described as the ‘decaying northern embankment of the Thames’, the Riverside Center now consists of two corten steel boxes – one to house the offices and the boats [which were previously stored outside], and one for the changing rooms. The two volumes are connected by a platform constructed of a metal mesh, built on the same level as the top of the river’s retaining wall – allowing direct access [via ramp, as seen below] to the floating pontoon from which the boats are launched.

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Both the shape of the buildings and the material choice [the corten steel] are meant to resemble overturned, rusting boat hulls. The steel cladding also relates to the industrial sites in the surrounding area, including gas works, power stations and recycle plants [sounds like a great place to hit the water for some fun!]

Built with a timber structure, the buildings are insulated using sheep’s wool from Cumbria, and heating is provided via a ground source heat-pump. Additionally, none of the demolition material from the ‘old’ center was removed from the site.

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Where’d all that ‘old’ junk go, you ask? First the existing training tank was filled in, and then the remainder of the demo was used to create ‘brown roofs‘ for the two structures. For those of you not in-the-know [honestly, I wasn't], ‘brown roofs’ are constructed using gravel or other existing materials found on-site to create a habitat for spiders and other insects. This provides a source of food for bird species – in this case black redstarts in particular – encouraging displaced species to return to urban sites, and hopefully preventing more from leaving. And you don’t have to pay someone to remove all that construction waste anymore! You can’t count all the money you save while listening to local bird-song.

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::Images + Info from Sarah Wigglesworth Architects – additional info, and quote, from bdonline::

The 2030 Challenge: No Coal

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_kCq1s3-dM[/youtube]

Our ninja Mark Anthony, frequent commenter here at MNP, has brought our attention to a competition being held by Architecture 2030 called ‘Face It‘. Here’s a description of the competition, from Arch 2030:

The purpose of the Reverberate Competitions is to create a message that will reverberate throughout your campus and around the country. Entrants who have watched the Face It webcast will be better informed about the importance, meaning and purpose of this message, so we encourage everyone to watch the free, half-hour webcast before creating your Competition entries.

In general, for the graphic design categories, students were asked to create a ‘No Coal’ image on their or another student’s face or body (using washable, non-toxic paints). The graphic design categories are now closed.

For the video categories, you must create a one-minute video, presenting ‘No Coal’ and the 2030 Challenge as a two-fold solution to global warming.

Now, the winners get some $$$ and published in Metropolis – which is pretty cool. Unfortunately, only students can vote – so for all our studious ninjas out there, make your choice [here's our choice - Mark's video - if you'd like to vote for the MNP supported video. Being an ever-conscientious ninja, Mark would like to use winnings from the competition to set up a scholarship at his high school for students interested in architecture].