Thursday, December 29, 2011

Today we go to the WELL

Stepwells are wells or ponds in which the water can be reached by descending a set of steps. Dated to 600 AD, stepwells are essentially inverted ziggurats excavated from the earth, producing an infrastructural monument to water collection.

here are some interesting ones:

here are some more stepwells

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Happy Holidays Folks

“Check it out!”

Michael Hadley has sent you a link to a blog: “Take a look at this!” Structural, and Mechanical Engineers put your thinking caps on for this Challenge!”

Today’s Environment of the Week will be Dynamic Architecture by David Fisher

Thank you Maricela Cordova for today’s YEOW suggestion!
[If anyone else has any YEOW’s they’d like to share, please feel free to let me know! Thx J]

Do Enjoy! Y.our E.nvironment O.f the W.eek

David Fisher (fl. c. 2000) is an Israeli-born Italian architect in Florence. He graduated from the University of Florence and also was a lecturer of architecture and structural engineering at the same university. He has designed buildings and proposed schemes for the restoration of ancient monuments. He has dealt with prefabrication and construction technologies. He has invented the concept of the “rotating tower”. David Fisher is the designer of the proposed rotating Dynamic Tower, billed as the world's first building in motion. It was designed with the firm Dynamic Architecture Group.[4] The intention was to build an 80-story skyscraper in Dubai. It would have had revolving floors, some of which could have moved on command, providing residents with an ever-changing shape along with a changing view of the Persian Gulf. This would have been Fisher's first skyscraper design.[5] In addition to Dubai, rotating towers were thought for London, Paris, New York, Moscow and Bogotá. These towers are planned to be built.

For more information see link below:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Top 10 Things you’ll never hear an Architect say

Architects are cliché and are easily defined by stereotypes. Everyone knows it – even the client – so there is no sense in fighting it. See if you have ever said any of the following things:

1) I’ll be home early tonight
2) I really should add some black clothing to my wardrobe, I wear too much color
3) Everything is going perfectly on your project
4) Your building is ahead of schedule and under budget
5) This will be my second vacation this year
6) You should listen to the contractor – he has fantastic design ideas
7) You have way too much money budgeted for this project
8 ) I learned everything I ever needed to know in college
9) I didn’t spend enough time in school
10) Designing that project was super easy, took almost no time at all
11) I can’t believe they pay me this much for so little work
12) I’m not much of a book reader
13) Just cut that tree down, there are plenty of trees all over this neighborhood
14) That’s okay, nobody will notice it besides me so you can leave it that way
15) I’ve never been wrong but you can just add a lamp later if you think it will be dark
16) I think I will get the eyeglasses with the silver frames, you’ll hardly notice them on my face
17) I am going to reduce my fees since this project is so straight forward
18) They are hiring me for my artistic abilities and don’t care how much it costs
19) At this rate, I’ll be able to retire by the time I’m 50 years old
20) I get to spend most of the fee actually designing the project
21) It’s having all the groupies that makes being an architect so rewarding
22) There should really be more codes to govern this
23) Most Planning and Zoning Departments have really got it all figured out
24) Which car should I drive to work today
25) I don’t think there is enough glass block in this project – work in some more
26) The idea of living in a house I designed sounds terrible
27) I think we should pull in some more consultants and get their opinion
28) Speculative development is the best because you can do whatever you want
29) I hate talking about architecture, I work on that crap all day
30) I don’t see ‘Zombies’ on your programming requirements
Do you think I missed any? Add them in the comment section -


(By the way, if for some reason this post resonates with you, you might also enjoy ‘When you are an Architect…‘ that someone put together back in January)
See link bleow for more info:

Friday, December 9, 2011

Space Station America

Foster and Partners has designed the worlds first Space Port being built in New Mexico.  Here are some images from their web site:

For more information and construction photographs please visit the Space Port America's web site.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Troll Wall Restaurant

Happy Friday everyone! 

Today's YEOW will be on the Troll Wall Restaurant by Reiulf Ramstad Architects.

Trollwall Restaurant by Reiulf Ramstad Architects

"The building is located at the foot of the tallest vertical rock face in Europe, in Norway’s Romsdal Valley.

More text from the Architects:

Trollwall Restaurant
It’s a new cursor at the foot of the Troll Wall; The architecture of the new visitors`center next to E139 is an outcome of the sites` close connection to the impressive mountain wall, Europe’s tallest vertical, overhanging rock face in The Romsdal Valley.

The Romsdal valley has some of the tallest, sheerest cliffs in Europe and is a popular place for BASE jumping including “birdmen” jumping off cliffs in Wingsuits!
This location allows for an exciting setting for the new service- and information center.RRAs proposal is carefully planned in relation to the Troll Wall. 
At the same time it is building a character and identity which in itself will be an attraction in the region.
The building has a simple, though flexible plan, with a characteristic roof that has its character from the majestetic surrounding landscape."
-Amy Frearson

Trollwall Restaurant by Reiulf Ramstad Architects

Trollwall Restaurant by Reiulf Ramstad Architects

For more information and really nice photos, go here:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Runneymede Memorial

Happy TurkeyDay!


One acre of America in England- designed by Geoffrey Jellicoe and finished in 1965.
Thanks John Parker for todays YEOW suggestion.
[If anyone else has any YEOW’s they’d like to share, please feel free to let me know! Thx]
Do Enjoy! Y.our E.nvironment O.f the W.eek

Blog: YEOW!
Post: Runneymede Memorials

Runnymede memorials

1953: Air Forces Memorial
This sobering yet beautiful memorial to the men and women of the Allied Air Forces who died during World War II was designed by Sir Edward Maufe R.A. and unveiled by HM Queen Elizabeth II on 17 October 1953. An inscription over the entrance to the cloister reads: 'In this cloister are recorded the names of 20,456 airmen who have no known grave. They died for freedom in raid and sortie over the British Isles and the land and seas of northern and western Europe'.
This was the first new building to be designated Grade I listed status after the war. It is administered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. From the top of the tower visitors can see Windsor Castle, Runnymede and breathtaking views of seven counties.
1957: Magna Carta MemorialStanding at the foot of the Cooper's Hill Slopes is a memorial to the Magna Carta in the form of a domed classical temple containing a pillar of English granite on which is inscribed: 'To commemorate Magna Carta, symbol of Freedom Under Law.' This was built by the American Bar Association on land leased by the Magna Carta Trust. It was paid for by voluntary contributions of some 9,000 American lawyers. The memorial was designed by Sir Edward Maufe R.A. and unveiled on 18 July 1957 at a ceremony attended by American and English lawyers.
1965: John F. Kennedy Memorial
This memorial stands halfway up the Cooper's Hill Slopes and overlooks Runnymede, on ground previously belonging to the Crown and now the property of the United States of America. It is made of Portland stone to the design of G.A. Jellicoe and was unveiled by HM Queen Elizabeth II on 14 May 1965 in the presence of President Kennedy's widow and children. Visitors reach the memorial by treading a steep path of irregular granite steps, one for each year of Kennedy's life.
The inscription reads: 'This acre of English ground was given to the United States of America by the people of Britain in memory of John F. Kennedy, born 29 May, 1917: President of the United States 1961-63: died by an assassin’s hand 22nd November,1963. "Let every National know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend or oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and success of liberty": from the inaugural address of President Kennedy, January 1961.'

The tree behind the memorial is Quercus coccinea- (Scarlet Oak)- whose leaves turn blood red in November to symbolize the assassination of JFK. 

Basically a path with 46 steps (one for each year of Kennedy’s life), a memorial slab of Limestone, and a tree.

Very moving memorial, simple but contemplative- resolved with good materials on a historic piece of land overlooking the Thames.


Check out Link for more information:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

Happy Friday!

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

Here’s some more text from timber supplier Accoya:

The West Brabant Water Line is a 17th century Dutch defensive line of earthen forts and walls that linked and protected a number of cities and villages during attacks from France and Spain; inundation zones were flooded with water too deep for enemy advance on foot but shallow enough to rule out use of boats.
As part of a recent restoration project, RO&AD architects sought to build access to the line’s Fort de Roovere, the largest fortress surrounded by a moat, while still preserving the site’s aesthetic integrity and dramatic view.
The team’s solution was a “sunken” bridge that sits within the water and slope. Following the line of the fort slope and sitting almost flush with the soil and the water level, the Moses Bridge is practically invisible as visitors approach and boasts a trench-like aesthetic.
 Built with Accsys Technologies’ Accoya wood sheet piling on either side with a hardwood deck and stairs in between, the Moses Bridge is not only visually striking and highly functional, but also durable and eco friendly.
Accoya wood undergoes a nontoxic proprietary modification process called acetylation that renders it an unrecognizable wood source, preventing fungal decay while increasing its dimensional stability.

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

Sunken Bridge by RO&AD

-via Dezeen
by Amy Frearson
Click on link below for more info and photos:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Friday!

Michael Hadley has sent you a link to a blog:

"More Fires in office to put out kept me tied up all morning. But look what I have for you today. Coming to a City Near You. Check this out.”

Do Enjoy! Y.our E.nvironment O.f the W.eek

Thank you Craig Kubicz for Todays yeow suggestion.
[If anyone else has any YEOW’s they’d like to share, please feel free to let me know! Thx] Blog: YEOW!

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Wacky Buildings on Rise in China

By Susan Galleymore, Inman News
November 1, 2011

An Hui Province's eye-catching "Piano House."
Photo: Xinhuanet

China caught the world's gaze with its innovative "bird's nest" design for Beijing National Stadium, which took center stage during the Summer Olympics in 2008. And the view has remained riveting as China continues to push architectural design way beyond traditional boundaries.
Clearly, China is going all out to attract more attention -- and the accompanying revenue.
Among the architectural wonders built, planned or under construction: a building in the form of a piano and glass violin, a ping pong paddle-shaped hotel, an airplane-shaped airport terminal, and a comic book museum in the form of massive 3-D speech bubbles.

Plans for the Comics and Animation Museum on the drawing board in Hangzhou challenge the principles of architecture and play with design, perspective and proportion.
Hangzhou, 111 miles southwest of Shanghai in Zhejiang Province, is the site of the International Comic and Animation Festival, so it is a fitting home for the planned museum. The museum complex includes eight interlocking buildings shaped like speech balloons. At night they can even "speak": the design calls for images and text to be projected onto their white exterior facades, communicating with pedestrians below.
Netherlands-based architecture firm MVRDV designed the museum so that visitors can take in the entire circular space of each building at once. Each balloon building, from the lobby to the roof terrace restaurant, the comic library, and a choice of three cinemas -- with a total of 1,111 seats, including an IMAX theater -- offers a different interactive experience: blue screen, stop motion, drawing, creating emotions, and a gigantic 3-D zoetrope that produces illusions of action from a rapid succession of static pictures.
The museum will be part of the Comic and Animation Centre, which spans 33 acres and also features a series of hill-shaped buildings, including offices, a hotel and a conference center. The project will consolidate Hangzhou's position as China's animation capital. Construction starts in 2012. The local architect is Zhubo Architectural, and Arup is the engineering designer. Construction is already under way on Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport Terminal 3, which has a design that resembles an aircraft, including fuselage, wings and tail section.
Shenzen airport, in Guangdong Province, along the South China Sea, last year ranked as China's fifth-busiest airport for passenger traffic, handling about 26.7 million passengers, and the airport's expansion is expected to give it the capacity to handle 45 million passengers per year, according to the engineering design firm's website. The project is scheduled for completion in 2012.
China is fusing imagination with its financial and engineering means. China has the landmass, the labor force and the drive to stretch out such wild architectural experiments. Smaller city governments are taking note of Beijing and Shanghai's successes, and following suit.
In An Hui Province's Huainan City, a collaboration between architectural design faculty and students of the local Hefey University of Technology and designers of Huainan Fangkai Decoration Project produced an open grand piano-shaped house, as black and shiny as the coal mined in the region, that contrasts with the giant glassy violin resting against its side. The violin structure houses the escalator.

Here are some unusual and bold buildings either completed or underway in China:

Plans for a Comics and Animation Museum in Hangzhou, southwest of Shangahai in China's Zhejiang Province, call for a series of interconnected buildings designed to resemble speech bubbles. The museum complex is part of a larger development that will span 33 acres and will include offices, a hotel and a conference center.

The ping-pong paddle hotel building will present views of a stadium shaped like a giant unlaced American football, a volleyball-shaped building housing a swimming pool, a soccer ball-shaped gym stadium, and a basketball-shaped stadium. According to Jin Chang, director of Huainan's Municipal Bureau of Sports, this is the "perfect architectural shape for a hotel," which will feature a viewing deck in the racket's handle.

Check out link for more information:

Friday, November 4, 2011


Happy Friday!
Today's YEOW is something different but way cool!

"Self-propelling beach animals like Animaris Percipiere have a stomach . This consists of recycled plastic bottles containing air that can be pumped up to a high pressure by the wind. This is done using a variety of bicycle pump, needless to say of plastic tubing. Several of these little pumps are driven by wings up at the front of the animal that flap in the breeze. It takes a few hours, but then the bottles are full. They contain a supply of potential wind. Take off the cap and the wind will emerge from the bottle at high speed. The trick is to get that untamed wind under control and use it to move the animal. For this, muscles are required. Beach animals have pushing muscles which get longer when told to do so. These consist of a tube containing another that is able to move in and out. There is a rubber ring on the end of the inner tube so that this acts as a piston. When the air runs from the bottles through a small pipe in the tube it pushes the piston outwards and the muscle lengthens. The beach animal's muscle can best be likened to a bone that gets longer. Muscles can open taps to activate other muscles that open other taps, and so on. This creates control centres that can be compared to brains".-From Strandbeest website.

Watch the film here:

Thank you Ramon S for today's YEOW!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Korean Corporate Pavilion

Happy Friday!

Designed for the ShangHai Industrial Pavilion, UnSangDong Architects imagined the Korean Corporate Pavilion coinciding along the subjects of green city and green life. It is named Communi-Imagination and it holds the introspection of environment together with innovation of technology. Korea got over the unfortunate situation of the Korean War which didn’t seem to be possible and has achieved unimaginable development and innovation. This space represents technology and spirit of Korean enterprises which is the main agent of these accomplishments. More images and architects’ description after the break.

The spirit and the technology of 12 Korean enterprises which are developing towards higher-tech such as information technology, distribution, aviation, electronic, vehicle, chemistry and shipbuilding are represented in the architecture by diverse exhibitions and videos. This recordable scale of expo is held in which is the biggest market in the world. We hope to promote advanced Korean technology and brand, and re-establish a new relationship for economy and cultural exchange between Korea and . We hope to promote new competiveness of Korean enterprises with new awareness of nature and Korean high-technology. In conclusion, Environmental Communi-Imagination connects Asia to the world and suggests a new vision.

Courtesy of UnSangDong Architects
Green Imagination 01: Combination of Green and Imagination

We suggest Korean Corporate Pavilion containing exhibition and experience of natural nature and artificial nature. The shape of the pavilion is taken from nature. It brings parts of it to the architecture as an artificial container. Green-Imagination means the combination of Green and Imagination which re-produces an unlimited potentiality of nature and the power of making imagination true in order to express the spirit and the technology of Korean enterprise.
As society is getting civilized, the condition of nature goes to ruin. Global warming and depletion of natural sources which the consumption-driven society in capitalism causes are important issues now, and we can’t avoid the environmental subjects. Especially the unlimited expansion of population, architecture and infrastructure in big cities predict overall natural exhaustion threatening the ecosystem. Korean enterprises also need to suggest new values for the future through introspection of nature. Therefore, a new system gained from the combination and symbiosis of nature and human is suggested such as landscape architecture and ecological architecture. This system is the active integration of architecture and nature from deep introspection of sustainability.
Courtesy of UnSangDong Architects
Green Imagination 02: Compound of nature component_ a container holding nature

Korean Corporate Pavilion is a pot-like architecture. The pot is an artificial container in which nature is put in. The pot is a technological container maintaining and creating diverse figures of nature. In this technologic container, 12 Korean enterprises are combined. The exhibit hall provides potentiality of futuristic high-technology through cooperation and communication among each other. This pot-like architecture is composed with a 3-dimensional digital space at ground level, exhibition space on the 2nd floor and space for enterprise prospecting on the 3rd floor. Eventually it is a huge pot of a pine grove penetrating the whole system.

The artificial pot putting nature in embodies and combines nature by diverse methods. This diverse composition is generated by a 3-dimensional combination of natural topography. Various Korean topographies are abstracted and its components such as mountain, field, valley and river are combined with architecture.

The artificial pot putting in nature contains eternity and change of Korean landscape; mountain and water. In the oriental view of nature, scenery is interpreted as a temporal medium which contains traces and the involving the past and the future. Korean Corporate Pavilion as artificial nature is an organic body breathing with mysterious nature which keeps changing unlimitedly. Korean Corporate Pavilion is a symbiotic structure at the contact point of lively dynamics and contemporary esthetics. To sculpt Korean scenery, the Korean corporate pavilion intents a Korean environmental-friendly spirit. The Korean nature like landscape painting is engraved. --Alison Furuto

To view the rest of the article and more eye candy, please visit here:

Thank you Dan Clifford for today's YEOW.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Arizona Centennial

Happy Friday!

Michael Hadley has sent you a link to a blog:
“Look at what's going on in Arizona!!!"
[If anyone else has any YEOW’s they’d like to share, please feel free to let me know! Thx]

Do Enjoy! Y.our E.nvironment O.f the W.eek

Counting down to Arizona's Centennial..... 
The city of Phoenix, in partnership with the Arizona Centennial Commission, is in the process of designing improvements to Centennial Way, currently Washington Street, from Central to 19th avenues, in preparation for Arizona’s Centennial Celebration!  The Achen-Gardner/Entellus Design-Build Team was selected as the project team to design and construct these improvements.  Provided below is an aerial view of the project area.

City street where construction will begin.

The project consists of new widened decorative sidewalks, better defined decorative crosswalks, ADA curb ramps, bike lanes, enhanced pedestrian lighting, landscaping, and other streetscape elements.  Finally, the project will resurface and re-stripe the roadway alignments within the project area. 
This project is partially funded with State/Federal funds through the Transportation Enhancement process.

Please see link provided for more information:

For questions, comments or concerns related to the project, please contact our project hotline at 602-532-6100 or e-mail us at Way AZ Inquiry

Friday, October 7, 2011



For this Friday's YEOW, I'd like to share with you the TAR CREEK SUPERGRID.

Clint Langevin, in collaboration with Amy Norris, proposed "repurposing abandoned mines as renewable energy infrastructure in the U.S." for his thesis project at the University of Toronto.

[Image: Inside the Picher, Oklahoma, supergrid, by Clint Langevin and Amy Norris].

The specific site for their project is the Tar Creek Lead and Zinc Mine in Picher, Oklahoma, which long-term BLDGBLOG readers might remember as the town at risk from cave-ins. As the Washington Post reported in 2007, "Trucks traveling along the highway are diverted around Picher for fear that the hollowed-out mines under the town would cause the streets to collapse under the weight of big rigs." The unlucky town was then gutted by a tornado in 2008.

Langevin's and Norris's work highlights the area's surreal, almost Cappadocian landscape: "Dozens of waste rock piles, some up to 13-storeys high," they write, "and contaminated ground and surface water are the legacy of mining operations in the area, which produced a significant portion of the lead used in the World Wars."

[Images: Photos of waste rock piles in Picher; (top) Jason Stair, Photos via the architects].

The architects specifically propose "a structure that raises the solar energy infrastructure off the ground [and] creates the opportunity to host other activities on the site, as well as to remediate the polluted ground and waterways. The concrete structure, pre-fabricated using waste rock material from the site, is assembled in a modular fashion from a kit of parts that accommodates a variety of programs."

"Importantly," the architects add, "the hollow structure also acts as a conduit to carry water, energy, waste—all the infrastructure for human habitation—to all inhabited areas of the site."
The result is a three-tiered plan: the topmost layer is devoted to solar energy development and production: testing the latest solar technology and producing a surplus of energy for the site and its surroundings. This layer is also the starting point for water management on the site. Rainwater is collected as needed and transported through the structure to one of several treatment plants around the radial plan. The middle layer is the place of dwelling and exploration of the site. As the need for space grows, beams are added to create this inhabited layer: the beams act as a pedestrian and cycling circulation system, but also the infrastructure for dwelling and automated transit. Finally, the ground layer becomes a laboratory for bioremediation of the ground and water systems. Passive treatment of both the waste water from the site and of the acid mine drainage is coupled with a connected system of boardwalks to allow inhabitants and visitors to experience both the industrial inheritance of the site and the renewed hope for its future.
It's a bit of a Swiss Army knife—in the sense that it tries to solve everything and have a solution for every possible challenge—with the effect that the architects seem to under-emphasize the titanic supergrid that clearly defines the overall proposal. It's as if the proposal is so large—more landform building than architectural undertaking—that even the architects lose sight of it, focusing instead on individual systems in their description.

[Images: A wanderer above the sea of white cubes gazes at the Picher supergrid].

But inside this continuous and monumental space frame, whole communities could live—the "infrastructure for dwelling" and "pedestrian and cycling circulation system"—surrounded by a toxic geography for which the grid itself serves as both sublime filter and possible remedy.

[Images: inside the supergrid (view larger)].

The model for the project is pretty great, and I would love to see it in person: a cavernous grid envelopes the site's artificial topography, wrapping tailings piles and hills of waste rock, whilst treading lightly on ground too thin to hold the weight of architecture.

[Images: The model, by Clint Langevin and Amy Norris].

You can see more—including aerial maps and structural details, such as the placement of solar panels—at Langevin's and Norris's site

Source taken from: