Monday, February 27, 2012

Sustainable Street Network Principles

from Urban Times article:

What is the biggest threat to our planet?  ........... Cul-de-Sacs,

The CNU preamble:

The Congress for the New Urbanism recognizes that cities—within the context of their surrounding regions—are the social, cultural, and economic foundation of human civilization. We assert that the street network provides the setting for commerce and social interaction, and that construction, operation, and maintenance of the street network is primarily to serve people and society.

We assert that current transportation engineering addresses only limited individual components of the region’s street network. This results in a fragmented and inefficient system that fails to adequately engage the social, environmental, and economic aspirations of communities.

We advocate a return to the historic understanding of the street network as a fundamental framework for safe, livable communities, where the human scale of the individual and the act of walking represent the basic unit of design.

We dedicate ourselves to re-establishing the relationship between the street network and natural systems. Instead of degrading the environment and depleting natural resources, street networks must support and sustain the ecology of place.

We believe that our scarce economic resources should focus on opportunities rather than problems, and that funding for the street network must respond to rational economic factors.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture

Today's YEOW is the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture by David Adjaye and FAB.

Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture by David Adjaye and FAB

Construction will begin this week on the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC designed by architect David Adjaye.
Adjaye Associates teamed up with American architects The Freelon Group and Davis Brody Bond to win the design competition for the museum back in 2009, under the collaborative name Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup (FAB).
Sited beside the National Museum of American History and the Washington Monument, the museum will accommodate more than half of its volume below ground.

Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture by David Adjaye and FAB

Here’s a longer description of the project from Adjaye Associates:

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)
Washington DC, USA, April 2009 – September 2015

Winning the competition to design the National Museum of African American History and Culture has consolidated the practice’s US portfolio with arguably the nation’s most prestigious new building. Located on Constitution Avenue, adjacent to the National Museum of American History and the Washington Monument, the museum will house exhibit galleries, administrative spaces, theatre space and collections storage space for the NMAAHC. As lead designer for the Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup (FAB) team, David Adjaye’s approach has been to establish both a meaningful relationship to this unique site as well as a strong conceptual resonance with America’s deep and longstanding African heritage. The design rests on three cornerstones: the “corona” shape and form of the building; the extension of the building out into the landscape – the porch; and the bronze filigree envelope.
Situated on the Washington Monument grounds the museum maintains a subtle profile in the landscape – more than half is below ground – with five storeys above. The corona is based on elements of the Washington Monument, closely matching the 17-degree angle of the capstone and the panel size and pattern has been developed using the Monument stones as a reference. The entire building is wrapped in an ornamental bronze lattice that is a historical reference to African American craftsmanship. The density of the pattern can be modulated to control the amount of sun¬light and transparency into the interior. The south entry is composed of the Porch and a central water feature. An extension of the building out into the landscape, the porch creates an outdoor room that bridges the gap between the interior and exterior.
At 50m (49’-2”) deep, the setback is similar to other buildings on the north side of the Mall. The underside of the porch roof is tilted upward allowing reflection of the moving water below. This covered area creates a microclimate where breezes combine with the cooling waters to generate a place of refuge from the hot summer sun. There is also an outdoor patio on the porch rooftop that is accessed from a mezzanine level within the building.

Inside the building, visitors will be guided on a historical and emotional journey, characterised by vast, column free spaces, a dramatic infusion of natural light and a diverse material palette comprising pre-cast concrete, timber and a glazed skin that sits within the bronze lattice. Below ground, the ambience is contemplative and monumental, achieved by the triple height history gallery and symbolised by the memorial space – the “oculus” – that brings light diffused by a cascade of water into the contemplative space from the Monument grounds. Moving upwards, the views become pivotal, as one circulates along the corona with unrivalled panoramas of the Mall, Federal Triangle buildings and Monument Grounds.
Architect: Freelon Adjaye Bond / SmithGroup
Client: Smithsonian
Structural Engineer: Guy Nordenson and Associates, Robert Silman Associates
Mechanical Engineer: WSP Flack + Kurtz
Total Area: 313,000 sqf
Contract Value: $500m

Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture by David Adjaye and FAB

Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture by David Adjaye and FAB

More eye candy and info here:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The WikiHouse Revolution

Will open-source DIY architecture usher in a new age of architectural innovation?

from this slate article:
In the early half of the 20th century, Sears, Roebuck and Co. sold tens of thousands of self-assembly homes to customers across the United States by mail order. A “Sears Modern Home” came in a railroad-delivered kit complete with more than 30,000 component parts, along with nails, paints, and fittings, and a weighty leather-bound instruction manual to help you put together the designs yourself. The plans were designed to be simple enough to be assembled without help from architects, carpenters, or any specialist contractors—in most cases, Sears homes were assembled solely by the buyer, with the help of friends, family, and neighbors, in communal, barn-raising fashion.
As it was the advent of mass-manufacturing and the birth of American DIY spirit that gave way to the then-popularity of the Sears precut home (Sears wasn’t the first, nor the only company in the business), so it is that an Internet reaching maturity, with open-source spirit, brings us the Sears home of our own age: the WikiHouse.
WikiHouse is an “open-source construction set” that allows you to build your own house from slot-together pieces that you mill yourself, from crowd-sourced, open-source designs that you download free from the Web. The idea is to make it easy for anyone to build a house from scratch, without power tools or specialized knowledge, and for the price of raw materials alone. Choose your design, print and cut the parts, grab some friends, and get barn-raising. Et voilà, you have yourself a WikiHouse.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Scourge of 1970s-Era Office Towers

The Scourge of 1970s-Era Office Towers
There's a particular flavor of 1970s-era office tower that's starting to feel its age. Your city probably has at least one. Stuck in between the perceived coolness of early 20th century facades and the newness of all-glass towers, these buildings are having a hard time retaining existing tenants, let alone attracting new ones.

read the reat here

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Obliteration Room

This is What Happens When You Give Thousands of Stickers to Thousands of Kids

This is similar to your ordinary CAD/Revit/Microstation screen.

Some designers need inspiration from Kids

Kids/CAD jockeys at their best.

With a little bit of adult/Project Manager supervision.

This December, in a surprisingly simple yet ridiculously amazing installation for the Queensland Gallery of Modern Ar, artist Yayoi Kusama constructed a large domestic environment, painting every wall, chair, table, piano, and household decoration a brilliant white, effectively serving as a giant white canvas. Over the course of two weeks, the museum’s smallest visitors were given thousands upon thousands of colored dot stickers and were invited to collaborate in the transformation of the space, turning the house into a vibrantly mottled explosion of color. How great is this? Given the opportunity my son could probably cover the entire piano alone in about fifteen minutes. The installation, entitled The Obliteration Room, is part of Kusama’s Look Now, See Forever exhibition that runs through March 12.
If you liked this you’ll also enjoy Roman Ondak’s Room of Heights and Karina Smigla-Bobinski’s helium-filled kinetic drawing sculpture.
The first four images courtesy Queensland Art Gallery and photographer Mark Sherwood. Additional images from Stuart Addelsee and heybubbles.

For more information check it out! See link below.

What Happens When You Give Thousands of Stickers to Kids

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Filip Dujardin’s Impossible Architectural Photography

from fresholme article:

Prepared to have your mind blown. Filip Dujardin‘s set of structurally impossible architecture photographs will have you looking at every detail in search of those details that are basically implausible. Working with a set of photos of real buildings in and around Ghent, Belgium, and using digital collaging techniques, the photographer created a mind-dazzling collection of photos entitled “Fictions“. Filip Dujardin studied history of art at the University of Ghent, specializing in architecture and now works as an independent photographer. His work on this project expresses the intricacy of architecture while pushing the limits of reality well beyond the immediate visual effect. Transforming existing buildings into fictional structures, Filip took out details and added some unusual ones instead. How many can you spot?

Special Bonus: i added one real one... can you find it?

Fictions by Filip Dujardin 3 Filip Dujardins Impossible Architectural Photography

Fictions by Filip Dujardin 4 Filip Dujardins Impossible Architectural Photography

Fictions by Filip Dujardin Filip Dujardins Impossible Architectural Photography

Fictions by Filip Dujardin 5 Filip Dujardins Impossible Architectural Photography

Fictions by Filip Dujardin 16 Filip Dujardins Impossible Architectural Photography

Fictions by Filip Dujardin 17 Filip Dujardins Impossible Architectural Photography

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

BIG Wins Competition for Art Center in Sundance Festival’s Home City

from articale:
Rising star Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and his firm BIG have won a competition to greatly expand an art center in Park City, Utah, the ski town that hosts the Sundance Film Festival every January. The firm’s preliminary design for the Kimball Art Center—a 35-year-old, non-collecting institution currently housed in a two-story former garage—calls for renovating the existing space and adding an 80-foot structure that resembles two blocks of wood, stacked one on top of the other, with the upper section twisting away from the base.

Kimball Art Center Expansion

Kimball Art Center Expansion

Kimball Art Center Expansion
Kimball Art Center Expansion
Kimball Art Center Expansion

Kimball Art Center Expansion

Kimball Art Center Expansion

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How Should Architects Approach Urban Informality?

Aerial photograph of Chimalhuacán, Mexico. Source: arquitectura 911sc

Rendering of the bus rapid transit system in Neza-Chimalhuacán, Mexico, with integrated bicycle lanes. Source: arquitectura 911sc

A Membrane for Manhattan

from Architizer article

All architecture must decide its stance on how it will accept or resist preexisting conditions. This site specificity is part of what makes architecture what it is, and in the face of global climate change, architects, designers and planners must determine what kinds of problems need solving: are we to actively undo centuries of environmental damage, hopeful of an eventual return to a bucolic status quo, or must we accept its consequences and take the aftermath as a launching point for a new ‘progressive’ design?

Architects Tingwei Xu and Xie Zhang from the University of Pennsylvania have fervently opted for the latter challenge, as demonstrated in the porous membrane they have designed to cling around Manhattan’s buildings in anticipation of rising sea levels.

"Foreclosed" Reopens the American Dream


At New York's Museum of Modern Art, Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream proposes five solutions to the disconnect between the housing Americans need and the housing America offers.

The Garden in the Machine
The Garden in the Machine-Studio Gang Architects
Architectural model for Studio Gang Architects’ The Garden in the Machine project for Cicero, Illinois.
Photo © James Ewing

The Garden in the Machine
The Garden in the Machine project for Cicero, Illinois.
Image courtesy Studio Gang Architects

Part two to the previous article...

A blueprint for a new American dream; will architect Jeanne Gang's ideas for Cicero work in the real world?

10 Innovative Materials To Look Out For In 2012

from the Freshome article

The development of new materials that have increased performance and functionality has become a major driver of innovation in recent years. According to the Industrial Technologies arm of the Research and Innovation department of the European Commission, it is estimated that 70% of all new product innovation is based on materials with new or improved properties. These emergent materials and their associated technologies are changing the way that architects and designers work and the way that we as consumers are engaging with the buildings and products that surround us.

Neptunballe Neptutherm B 10 Innovative Materials To Look Out For In 2012
sea balls or what are commonly referred to as Neptune's balls.

051121 HKS versintert 11 10 Innovative Materials To Look Out For In 2012
Hollow Sphere Structures
Helmet by Fashion Helmet co 10 Innovative Materials To Look Out For In 2012
Bioplastics based on polylactic Acid

The World’s Fastest Elevator

the world's fastest elevator

This month, Mitsubishi announced the development of the fastest elevator in the world—capable of reaching 1,000 meters per minute, or 60 kilometers per hour. This elevator will be used in the new Shanghai Tower designed by Gensler, which will be the second tallest building in the world at 632 meters when it is completed in 2014.

Colombian Bio Hotel Boasts a Beautiful Living Facade

Read more: The Bio Hotel is a LEED-Inspired Hotel for Bogotá, Columbia | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

Bio Hotel, a sustainable construction inspired by the LEED methodology, will be a 7-storey hotel located in Bogotá D.C. – Colombia. LEED is a certification program for sustainable buildings and construction projects administered by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Bio Hotel boasts a beautiful living facade, solar energy generation and storage systems, as well as efficient wastewater management and gray water recycling. The recycled water will be used to irrigate the hotel’s plantings and public green spaces. The materials and wood are sustainably sourced and harvested, and all rooms received ample natural light.

+ Bio Hotel

Friday, February 10, 2012

Another Road Side Attraction


today we google googie

from Wikipedia:
Googie's beginnings are with the Streamline Moderne architecture of the 1930s. Alan Hess, one of the most knowledgeable writers on the subject, writes in Googie: Ultra Modern Road Side Architecture that mobility in Los Angeles during the 1930s was characterized by the initial influx of the automobile and the service industry that evolved to cater to it. With car ownership increasing, cities no longer had to be centered on a central downtown but could spread out to the suburbs, where business hubs could be interspersed with residential areas. The suburbs offered less congestion by offering the same businesses, but accessible by car. Instead of one main store downtown, businesses now had multiple stores in suburban areas. This new trend required owners and architects to develop a visual imagery so customers would recognize it from the road. This modern consumer architecture was based on communication.

try it yourself! click here