The OVO Wroclaw is a landmark edifice spearheading a revolution in urban Polish design. Gottesman-Szmelcman Architecture won the commission following an international competition and in 2008, their blueprint won the MIPIM Future Projects Award for Retail & Leisure.

The OVO Wroclaw creates a new vision of urban living that unites 180 luxury residences, a five-star DoubleTree by Hilton with 189 rooms and suites, corporate offices with high-end retail spaces within a modern and sleek rounded exterior that seamlessly blends the curved lines of the building with a stylish minimalism that typifies the interior spaces.

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Located in the Inner suburb of Ivanhoe, sits a seemingly calm, unassuming modern suburban home in its moat of sand.  The house by Kavellaris Urban Design is a clever orchestration of balancing tension that has created wondrous moments throughout.

The house can be read as a conversation of dualities, of heavy and lightness, public and private and of light and darkness.  The first expression of this tension can be seen from street façade, essentially two forms bifurcated by a double height black void, which forms a grand recessive entry.  On the one side we have a solid, rigid, rectilinear form, seeming weighed down by its own mass.  On the other, elevated from the earth by a shard of black glass, symbolic of emptiness or absence.
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green building, retrofit, future house, Specht ArchitectsA lush vision of the American prairie has provided a century of architectural inspiration–wide open views, waving grasses, ribbons of roadways, and boundless optimism. But as aquifers dry and desertification advances, the prairie and its local landmarks begin to sponsor another reality. The prairieHouse by Specht Architects  is designed to work in this new environment, as it adapts the ubiquitous infrastructure of the oil industry to the needs of a very different future. Read the rest of this entry »

The integration of the Passive House certified museum Kunstmuseum Ravensburg into the fabric of a medieval city challenges the identity of architecture by bridging 500 years of vernacular with a single gesture. The museum maintains the German city’s fabric with a nod in materiality and form, but resolutely avoids mimicry or nostalgia. If you quickly walked passed it you may not even recognize it is of our era. The barrel vault roof relief and rich, historical brickwork allow the mass to slip into the old, dense neighborhood with only a whisper and wink of the contemporary on the outside. Read the rest of this entry »

2000 years ago, the Romans terraced a hillside just north of Barcelona to grow grapes. Those formations still exist in the sleepy town of Teià and were the first place Berta Barrio and her husband and collaborator Josep Peraire took me to on our visit to her project, the small public library Biblioteca de Can Llaurador. The gesture of the terraced slopes and the green-roofed library are immediately apparent. The building yawns out of the landscape, gently funneling in passersby to a womb of knowledge.

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australian architecture,sustainable architecture, Hyperlocalization, PHOOEYAustralians are by definition sports crazy, so naturally sports architecture should play a significant role in the nation’s psyche. Sport clubs dot the suburbs like fire stations, but none has the kinetic punch and environmental acumen as Templestowe Reserve Sporting Pavilion. The new sport center packs a lot of solar technology on the roof to support the many hot showers taken inside. It also uses the thermal mass from the deconstruction of the previous building buried below, which acts as a heat sink for incoming fresh air to help cool down exerted bodies. The charged design is the real story because it acts as an active participant in the games. Read the rest of this entry »

Tiny House,japan house, micro house, portable house

A residence this small is no longer a house but too large to be considered furniture. The intention is fully practical by condensing function to elements. It is small enough to be carried to a location—urban, industrial, natural—and support one person’s need as a full-service shelter. At 27 cubic meters, 3 meters to a side, the design relies on portative elements. Read the rest of this entry »

mexico city architecture,sustainable architecture,shopping mall, Hyperlocalization,architecture book,

The story of Garden Santa Fe starts with a parking lot. While not usually how a sustainable project initiates, the immense underground parking structure bottoms out at 33 meters beneath the street, placing the ubiquitous automobile where it belongs, well below human and natural habitation. Set above is a typical mall, only its three stories are also subterranean. Lastly, there is the park. It is modest in scope for an urban center but as the surrounding area has been swallowed whole by development, the vegetated refuge will become a core social asset. Read the rest of this entry »

Organic light emitting diodes (OLED) has long promised to bring low energy, soft, and flexible lighting to our homes and work places but costs have been a major obstacle. Aerelight is a desk lamp which fuses in-house developed organic light emitting diode technology with a ground up design to express the viability of the technology for a mainstream market. The lamp feature an ergonomic touch control interface, wireless phone charging, and thin OLED light panel. Read the rest of this entry »

Conceived as a kind of southern hemisphere Serpentine Pavilion, the MPavilion has just opened its first work, a 12×12 meter kinetic box by the local architect Sean Godsell. Using the typically restrained massing of his homes as a template Godsell has then animated the space with a fully louvered skin. The pavilion is placed in the 18th century Queen Victoria Garden with Melbourne’s high rises serving as a backdrop. To be utilized for weddings and other occasions the pavilion can match the formalness of the event and weather with a simple adjustment.

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