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light tree 01

A brilliant solution that combines public art, pedestrian scale lighting, and greenery is easy to imagine beautifying parks, paths and public venues. The Light Tree, designed by Omar Ivan Huerta Cardoso uses hydroponic techniques with LED and solar cell technology. Read the rest of this entry »

africa 01

Aging in Africa sets out to be the first age-valued community on the African continent where the elderly can maintain a meaningful and healthy lifestyle in a comfortable, familiar, and safe environment.

Designed by HWKN Architects, the architecture responds to the needs of the elderly, but also embodies a strong tie to the land, to community and to place. The designers explain that the project “is shaped by deploying a holistic set of social, economic and environmentally sustainable theories pertaining to elder living and care. It is about architecture that does not just house caring, it is architecture as the caring device. Our hope is that it is an inspiration for a new breed of community that values the efficacy of spirit over efficiency of care.” Read the rest of this entry »

Botanical 03

At once evoking a spine, an alien creature, and a psychedelic interpretation of the formal French gardens of old, this amazing rethinking of what a botanical garden can be challenges the mind and the senses.

Based on the development of designer Robert May’s personal understanding of the aesthetic sensibility of Extravagance, the project for a new botanical gardens in Moscow uses coherence in excess as a principle that operates on multiple levels. Read the rest of this entry »

Trike 02

Today, more cities and urban centers are building dedicated bicycle lanes on city streets. Cycling is becoming an increasingly viable way to commute to work and make short, local trips around town.  However, cycling is also a fair- weather transportation option and often carrying groceries or other items is relegated to a small wicker basket perched precariously on the handle bars. The reality is that most climates and most cities need a viable alternative to make short distance commuting a reality for self propulsion. The TrikE is designed to be a true alternative to the car for local transportation. Read the rest of this entry »

Riddel 11

Queensland, Australia-based, Riddel Architecture has completed work on a new high-end private residence constructed almost entirely from the house it replaced. Situated in Hill End, inner Brisbane, Australia, the Hill End Ecohouse was built from recycled materials, using 95% of the salvaged material from the 19th Century house that originally occupied its narrow riverfront site. The original house was built around 1930. The original owners watched the building progress with keen interest and conveyed to the current owners that the original timber was harvested and milled at Blackbutt, 165 km from the site. Read the rest of this entry »

shifting 01

The Tribeca neighborhood of New York is a bustling, shifting, changing and dynamic place. Nothing stays the same for long and the energy of change can be felt around every corner. It is not often that buildings seek to embrace this change; they often seek to stamp their permanence on the shifting landscape. However, Karli Molter’s proposed hotel embraces the change and expresses it throughout the structure. Read the rest of this entry »

aging 06

The historical paradigm for aging is nearly always one of displacement. In the best cases this suggests “snow-bird” retirees, but the reality is likely closer to a hospital. This altered lifestyle often involves leaving behind the objects, daily patterns, communities, and relationships. The end result being one of isolation  in a facility organized around medicine – away from friends,  community, and the countless other amenities that a mobile lifestyle provides.

The response to this, as envisioned by students Benjhamin Callam and Joseph Littrell of the University of Pennsylvania, is to support community with just as much importance as the medical advances that support the individual. Read the rest of this entry »

Chung-Nam 01

Winning the Merit Award for Un-built work at the 2010 AIA  New York Design Awards, the design of the Chung-Nam Government Complex  successfully combines traditionally divergent elements: nature and the built environment; and government and  civic spaces.  The complex, designed by H Associates, Haeahn Architecture,  and EDAW is set in the heartland of South Korea in the Chung-Nam Province, a place rich in natural resources. The design takes advantage of the natural splendor by creating a sinuous green roof that connects several buildings and provides a unified outdoor space that achos the surrounding mountains. In addition, the existing topography of the site is minimally disturbed and the green axes inform the organic shapes of the buildings, and provide cues that create view corridors extending to the natural scenery surrounding the site. Read the rest of this entry »

Kapoor - 03

Artist Anish Kapoor has won the commission to design a 115m high public artwork at Olympic Park in London, to be built as part of London’s Olympic Games in 2012.

The sculpture, called ArcelorMittal Orbit, has been designed in collaboration with structural engineer Cecil Balmond of Arup.

The sculpture – the largest in the UK– will consist of a continuous looping lattice of tubular steel mimicking the orbital trajectory of space objects. The tower will offer views of the  Olympic Park and London’s skyline from a viewing platform. Visitors will be able to take a trip up the structure in a large elevator and will have the option of walking down the spiralling staircase. Read the rest of this entry »

MTV-04

The LAVA designed MTV Awards Installation has been shortlisted for the 2010 Australian Interior Design Awards Environmentally Sustainable Design category. Suspended in the Sydney Convention Centre for the 2009 award program, the sculpture provided an intense visual environment for the global TV show.

The design is at once comforting, yet alien. Drawing its design inspiration from natural patterns found perhaps in membranes  and sea anemones, the digital design was realized in lightweight fabric, using the latest digital fabrication and engineering techniques. The design seeks to create more with less. The 108m3 of space is enclosed within a minimal surface area of 568m2 and uses only113.6kg of lightweight material. Yet there is no shortage of eye candy to keep a fickle TV audience glued to their seats as the engaging interior landscape supports the MTV award experience. Read the rest of this entry »