Welcome to the Y.our E.nvironment O.f the W.eek!
We’re sharing inspiring and influential project solutions to increase the presence of design in our practice as we have the responsibility of shaping environments in the world for ourselves and the future.
For this week’s YEOW, we’d like to share with you the Apple Campus
Check out Apple’s new
corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California, scheduled to open sometime
next year. The campus sits on175 acres, and houses up to 13,000 employees. The
new building is circular in shape with four stories totaling 2,800,000 square
feet. Read below for some of its green features:
critics charge that Apple's sleek new campus will exemplify the worst aspects
of car-centered suburbia, the vision is loaded with green elements. Here are
six that stand out.
The new plan
will transform an existing site almost entirely covered with buildings and
asphalt into a landscape featuring almost 7,000 trees – including the apple,
apricot, cherry and plum fruit trees that made San Jose's orchards thrive long
before silicon was invented.
Apple Campus 2 is finished, 80 percent of the site will be green space, said Lisa
president of environmental initiative for Apple," ina
video describing the
project. (That's about 100 acres.) "We're maximizing the natural assets of
the area. This area has a great climate, so 75 percent of the year, we won't
need air conditioning or heating, we'll have natural ventilation."
the campus will run entirely on renewable energy. The plan calls for about 8
megawatts of solar panels to be installed on the roof of the main,
spaceship-shaped building as well as the parking structures. An unspecified
number of fuel cells also will be installed, with the rest of the electricity
needed for operations sourced through grid-purchased renewable energy.
opposition to the site has centered on its transportation
plan. To combat
those criticisms, Apple has expanded its Transportation Demand Management
program, emphasizing the use of bicycles, shuttles and buses that will link
employees with regional public transit networks. Roughly one-third of the
employees (about 5,000 people) are likely to use this option.
four-story circular design meant to accommodate 14,200 employees has raised
eyebrows, but if you look beyond the shape, the structure itself is being
designed to create as much energy as it uses. There is a strong emphasis on
energy-efficiency: the passive heating and cooling systems will use 30 percent
less than a comparable campus. A central site will contain fuel cells, back-up
generators, chillers, condenser water storage, hot water storage, an electrical
substation and water and fire pumps.
4. Attention to
been paid to reducing the number of impermeable surfaces on the site. (Up to
9,240 of the parking spots, for example, will be underground so that Apple can
invest in landscaping that absorbs water. A recycled water main is under
consideration, and other steps have been taken to minimize water consumption by
about 30 percent below a typical Silicon Valley development. Those measures
include low-flow fixtures, the use of native plans and roof rainwater capture.
5. An expanded
waste management program
diverts about 78 percent of the waste associated with its existing headquarters
from landfills. The proposal calls for the company to recycle or reuse any
construction waste; from an operations perspective, it will step up recycling
from solid waste sources as well as the use of composting.
6. A sharpened
focus on commuting alternatives
As part of its
transportation program, the plan calls for buffered bike lanes on streets
adjacent to the campus that are segregated from vehicular lanes and that also
allow for bikes to pass each other. The focus will be on encouraging all
employees that live within 15 minutes of the campus to use sustainable or
public transportation alternatives. The site will start with 300 electric
vehicle charging stations, with the built-in capacity to expand.
working with the local utility SRP to supply its new factory completely with
additional renewable energy, such as geothermal and solar power, Apple is
recognizing the importance of integrating renewables into the grid," said
Noah Horowitz, senior scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
"Their approach starts with energy efficiency in the facility's design and
operation, and then ensures the load is met by renewables; this will benefit
Apple's shareholders as well as the environment."
Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion of Quebec and Canadian Art
Location: Montreal, Canada
Client/ Owner: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Firm Name: Provencher Roy + Associés Architects
With construction of the new Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion of Quebec and Canadian Art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the architects at Provencher Roy + Associés Architectes have achieved a remarkable conversion of a heritage church. At a time when conservation of the religious patrimony is a challenge all over the world, this architectural intervention is an exemplary model of the genre. Its excellence has been acknowledged by the 2010 Canadian Architect Awards of Merit, the Grand Prix du design 2011, and the Prix d’excellence 2011 from the Institut de développement urbain du Québec, which, upon presentation of its award, congratulated Provencher Roy + Associés Architectes for “its thorough architectural reflection with regard to this project, its exceptional urban integration, and its design, which brings past and future together.” In 2012, the pavilion received the Award for Architectural Integration of Montreal Architectural Heritage Campains.
Underground Passage connects all four art pavilions and allows visitors to enter the museum free of charge. This plan shows the connection between the Historic Church and the new addition.
Montreal-based practice Provencher_Roy has been selected to receive the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s (RAIC) 2015 Architectural Firm Award. Chosen for their consistent, high quality work that spans 32 years, the 150-person firm was also praised by the jury for their dedication to mentorship.
“Provencher_Roy was chosen for the breadth and consistently high quality of work over many years,” said the five-member jury. “They have worked with a broad range of clients and project types. The firm is recognized for its collaborative work and the excellence of its working and peer-learning environment.”
An interesting approach to land planning that was once exercised in French colonial holdings. The "Seigneurial System" or "Ribbon Farms" placed an emphasis on ensuring equitable access to roadways, waterways, and public utility access.
The flight from Boston to Chicago isn’t the most scenic, but if you’re lucky enough to snag a window seat – no mean feat these days – study the patchwork landscape with a discerning eye. About 40 minutes into the flight, you’ll notice something a bit peculiar (at least for North America): Instead of the usual tableau of square or rectangular farmsteads, you’ll see ribbons of agronomy.
These ribbon layouts are a ghost of geography: a relic from when France parceled land in Canada back in the 1600s. What’s most intriguing to me, though, is how ribbon farms – or rather the lack thereof in much of the United States – shaped attitudes toward modern transportation, and continue to shape our psychology as a nation today.
Because with ribbon farms, the expectation is that transportation is king.
By starting with the transportation network and then building out from there, ribbon farms come with certain efficiencies. Part of their elegance is how easy it is to transport goods from them. Within a ribbon farm, moving around is a bit more difficult – the farthest part is much farther away from the house and barn than the most distant part of a square farm. Butbetween farms and markets, ribbon farms are superior. Roads running past ribbon farms can serve more addresses over the same distance; neighbors are a short walk away; cities and crossroads closer than you’d expect.
The transportation-centric layout of ribbon farms in North America traces its roots back to medieval times. When France was trying to stabilize its colonial foothold in the New World back in the 17th century, Cardinal Richelieu (an adviser to the king and powerhouse in French politics) hatched a plan. To encourage more intensive settlement, he parceled the land similarly to the way it was divided in France: in long, thin strips oriented perpendicularly to a transportation route – which in Nouvelle France was primarily the St. Lawrence River.
Much of arable North America, however, was not allocated in ribbon farms. The Public Land Survey System carved up large portions of the United States into one square mile sections, each of which were subdivided to create farms and aggregated to form townships. Canada adopted a similar system, the Dominion Land Survey, for its prairie states.
So when the U.S. started with square farms, the process and the results were theexact opposite from ribbon farms: We plotted the farms first and then pondered the logistics. It’s therefore no surprise that Americans feel transportation should come to us instead of the other way around. We pick a place to live and then figure out how to get where we need to go. If no way exists, we build it: roads, arterials, highways, interstates … and so on.
WE PICK A PLACE TO LIVE AND THEN FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET WHERE WE NEED TO GO. IF NO WAY EXISTS, WE BUILD IT…. IT’S THE AMERICAN WAY.
And it’s this quirk of geography – the shape of a typical American farm – that I believe influenced the development of the entire nation.
Here’s how: Roads snaked out to farms where they were needed, which is to say nearly everywhere. Farmsteads, and later suburban houses, were more or less evenly distributed across the landscape rather than concentrated alongside existing roadsides. In regions dominated by ribbon farms, transportation was clearly the foundation. But in much of the rest of North America, parcels were delineated first; transportation routes followed.
The fact that the farm, not the transportation, came first is important. It was a geographic case of the tail wagging the dog.
Flexible and distributed transportation networks are really the only solution compatible with this way of thinking. Trains, which rely on a strong central network, never had a chance. We were destined for the automobile all the way back in 1787, when we first decided to carve up the countryside into tidy squares.
Town, section, range. Pick your plot, worry about the details later. It’s the American way, and it’s driven the psychology of an entire nation.
Editor’s Note: An earlier, unedited version of this article appeared on the author’s blog.
Invents A Shapeshifting Display You Can Reach Through And Touch
THE TANGIBLE MEDIA GROUP AT MIT'S MEDIA LAB HAS UNVEILED A
FUTURISTIC DISPLAY MADE OF ATOMS, NOT PIXELS.
We live in an age of touch-screen interfaces, but what will
the UIs of
the future look like? Will they continue to be made up of ghostly pixels, or
will they be made of atoms that you can reach out and touch?
At the MITMedia
Lab, the Tangible
Media Groupbelieves the future of computing is
tactile. Unveiled today, the inFORM is
MIT's new scrying pool for imagining the interfaces of tomorrow. Almost like a
table of living clay, the inFORM is a surface that three-dimensionally changes
shape, allowing users to not only interact with digital content in meatspace,
but even hold hands with a person hundreds of miles away. And that's only the
To put it in the simplest terms, the inFORM is a self-aware
computer monitor that doesn't just display light, but shape as well. Remotely,
two people Skyping could physically interact by playing catch, for example, or
manipulating an object together, or even slapping high five from across the
planet. Another use is to physically manipulate purely digital objects. A 3-D
model, for example, can be brought to life with the inFORM, and then
manipulated with your hands to adjust, tweak, or even radically transform the
But what really interests the Tangible Media Group is the
transformable UIs of the future. As the world increasingly embraces touch
screens, the pullable knobs, twisting dials, and pushable buttons that defined
the interfaces of the past have become digital ghosts. The tactile is gone and
the Tangible Media Group sees that as a huge problem.
"Right now, the things designers can create with
graphics are more powerful and flexible than in hardware," Leithinger
tells Co.Design. "The result is our gadgets have been consumed by the
screen and become indistinguishable black rectangles with barely any physical
controls. That's why BlackBerry is dying."
In other words, our devices have been designed to simulateaffordances—the
quality which allows an object to perform a function, such as a handle, a dial
or a wheel—but not actually have them. Follmer says that's not
the way it's supposed to be. "As humans, we have evolved to interact
physically with our environments, but in the 21st century, we're missing out on
all of this tactile sensation that is meant to guide us, limit us, and make us
feel more connected," he says. "In the transition to purely digital
interfaces, something profound has been lost."
The solution is programmable matter, and the inFORM is one
possible interpretation of an interface that can transform itself to physically
be whatever it needs to be. It's an interesting (and literal) analogue toskeuomorphism: while in the touch-screen age we have started
rejecting interfaces that ape the look of real world affordances as
"tacky" in favor of more pure digital UIs, the guys at the Tangible
Media Group believe that interface of the future won't be skeuomorphic. They'll
be supermorphic, growing the affordances they need on the fly.
Although the inFORM is primarily a sandbox for MIT to
experiment with the tactile interfaces to come, it would be wrong to dismiss
this project as mere spitballing. "We like to think of ourselves as
imagining the futures, plural," Follmer says. "The inFORM is a look
at one of them." But while the actual consumer implementation may very
well differ, but both Follmer and Leithinger agree that tangible interfaces are
"Ten years ago, we had people at Media Lab working on
gestural interactions, and now they're everywhere, from the Microsoft Kinect to
the Nintendo Wiimote," says Follmer. "Whatever it ends up looking
like, the UI of the future won't be made of just pixels, but time and form as
well. And that future is only five or ten years away. It's time for designers
to start thinking about what that means now."
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