Friday, March 30, 2012

The Perfect Airport

Barajas, Madrid, Spain

Richard Rogers’s exuberant interiors for the new Terminal 4 at Madrid’s Barajas Airport. The terminal is structurally familiar, but it is executed with a refreshing warmth and flair. There is nothing revolutionary in the terminal’s effective use of wood or in its vibrant, Almodóvaresque color scheme, but in the context of an airport it feels decidedly new. Here, the intent is to ease the transition from the air 
to the actual place.

Nice, Eh!

Leave it to the Spanish, with their rich tradition of cutting-edge architecture, to build a terminal that conjures a cathedral-like vault drenched in natural light. Two-thirds of a mile long, terminal 4 at MAD won the Stirling Prize for architecture when it opened its doors in 2006. We like the way the color-coded beams that support the undulating bamboo ceiling help passengers get their bearings when they wander off to the newsstand or to grab a bocadillo (traditional baguette sandwich).

For more information please see link bleow.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wikado Playground is Built From Recycled Wind Turbine Blades in The Netherlands

From Inhabitat:

What do you do with retired wind turbine blades? Why, you turn them into a super fun playground of course! Wikado Playground in The Netherlands is a renovation of play area in desperate need of attention. 2012Architecten handled the design and renovation of the area for Kinderparadijs Meidoorn and made use of five discarded rotor blades to create a maze-like play area with slides, towers, nets and plenty of interactive elements

click here to read the rest.

Monday, March 26, 2012

2030 Carbon Targets May Be Within Reach

from Green Source:

The Annual Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows progressively lower energy consumption predictions. 2011 projections are the most recent.

Source: Architecture 2030
The Annual Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows progressively lower energy consumption predictions. 2011 projections are the most recent.
Architecture 2030 says new energy projections from the federal government show the building sector is on its way to achieving long-term goals in energy and carbon reductions.
The organization’s 2030 Challenge asks architectural firms to meet progressively rising standards in building energy use and emissions, with the ultimate goal of carbon neutrality by 2030. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) issued a report last year showing projects in 2010 achieving energy use reductions of only 35 percent, discouragingly far from the year’s target of 60 percent. (The report also suffered from a lack of data, making the results difficult to interpret. See Despite Efforts, Many AIA Firms Fail to Meet Their 2030 Commitment.)
New projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) are more encouraging. Architecture 2030’s triumphant report on the new federal numbers says, “Improved building design and efficiency has put the 2030 Challenge energy reduction target within reach".

EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) predicts, among other things, the total energy use of residential and commercial buildings; that section of the AEO has been lower each year, with 2011 projections nearly 70 percent below estimates reached in 2005. This is due in part to revised projections about new construction rates: the 2005 AEO predicted that total U.S. building floor area would grow by more than half by 2030, with energy consumption rising by 44.4 percent and CO2 emissions by 53.1 percent. But with total floor area projected to grow by only 38.6 percent and greater efficiency taken into account, those numbers have plummeted to 13.7 percent and 4.6 percent respectively, a drop in projected energy consumption amounting to a difference of 21.3 quadrillion Btu (QBtu). Architecture 2030 predicts that energy use for the building sector would actually decrease by 2030 if “best available technology” were used—with projected energy consumption at –9. 2percent and CO2 emissions at –16.5 percent compared with 2005.

These promising results have led the organization to declare a redoubling of its efforts, including promotion of advanced building energy codes.
Copyright 2012 by BuildingGreen Inc.

Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest)


We've seen a lot of amazing concepts for urban gardens — green-roofed cities, gardens that stretch high into the clouds — but this pair of vertical forests is more than just a concept design. It's currently being built in Milan.

The brainchild of architect Stefano Boeri, Bosco Verticale (simply "vertical forest") is currently under construction in the form of two residential towers. The goal of Bosco Verticale is not only to beautify the cityscape, but also contribute to the creation of an artificial microclimate and improve air quality:

The Bosco Verticale is a system that optimizes, recuperates and produces energy. The Bosco Verticale aids in the creation of a microclimate and in filtering the dust particles contained in the urban environment. The diversity of the plants and their characteristics produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles, producing oxygen and protect from radiation and acoustic pollution, improving the quality of living spaces and saving energy. Plant irrigation will be produced to great extent through the filtering and reuse of the grey waters produced by the building. Additionally Aeolian and photovoltaic energy systems will contribute, together with the aforementioned microclimate to increase the degree of energetic self sufficiency of the two towers.

It's so lovely to see one of these projects actually coming to fruition. Perhaps this sort of preplanned urban landscaping will start a trend.

Bosco Verticale [Stefano Boeri via This Big Cityvia The Awesomer]

Friday, March 23, 2012

Artist turns Hirshhorn’s exterior into ‘world’s greatest screen’

The continuous visual loop will fracture images, swirl, swoop and transform the modernist cylinder into a 360-degree panorama.

Doug Aitken had made multimedia spectacles out of modern landscapes before. His mesmerizing images of solitary lives playing across the glass of the Museum of Modern Art exterior created a singular urban mood, experienced by thousands of passersby. A more recent piece playing on screens on dark, slow-moving barges in the Aegean Sea was seen by far fewer.

When Kerry Brougher, the Hirshhorn Museum’s deputy director and chief curator, saw the 1999 Aitken installation that won him the International Prize at the Venice Biennale, he invited him to do a piece in Washington.

“He stepped out the taxi and looked up at the building and said, ‘This is the world’s greatest screen,’ ” Brougher recalls.
“I really had this visceral response to it, ” Aitken says of the Hirshhorn’s famous round building on stilts.

“I was impressed by its enormity. I thought it was just a fascinating architectural structure. It’s very rare to find a continuous curved plane like that.”

He knew at that moment that “the museum itself should really become a work. It felt like there could be a way possibly to activate it,” he says.

After two years of discussion and planning by the 44-year-old California artist, “SONG 1” will be projected onto all sides of Gordon Bunshaft’s striking modernist cylinder beginning Thursday at sunset and running from dusk to midnight through May 13.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

the Rising

From SoldSmack:
At first you may think these are structures you lay on the ground and hide under. You wait for children (or old people) to walk by, then with one quick motion rise up like a life-size pop-up book bringing delight and enchantment (or horror) to the children. Architect and Designer Robert van Embricqs is bringing such enchantment with his flat-folding design. Among the mix are tables, chairs and building that begin from a perfectly flat surface then extend into the unimaginable.

Robert van Embricqs

The pieces are practical, useful and hold an elegance that can only be created by such intricate, yet simple, patterns. Taking his inspiration from nature, the furniture literally rises from the ground and comes to life like only folded wood can.
“During the design process, I made a point of sticking as close to nature as possible. Using natural design concepts for inspiration, I studied the various ways in which transformations take place in nature without the cumbersome involvement of man. This inspired the incision pattern in the flat surface of the wood that resulted into the creation of a latticework of ‘woven’ wooden beams that make up the center of the table.”

original Article Here:


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Creative Process of a Mad Man

from lettersofnote:

British-born David Ogilvy was one of the original, and greatest, "ad men." In 1948, he started what would eventually be known as Ogilvy & Mather, the Manhattan-based advertising agency that has since been responsible for some of the world's most iconic ad campaigns, and in 1963 he even wrote Confessions of an Advertising Man, the best-selling book that is still to this day considered essential reading for all who enter the industry.Time magazine called him "the most sought-after wizard in today's advertising industry" in the early-'60s; his name, and that of his agency, have been mentioned more than once in Mad Men for good reason.

With all that in mind, being able to learn of his routine when producing the very ads that made his name is an invaluable opportunity. The fascinating letter below, written by Ogilvy in 1955 to a Mr. Ray Calt, offers exactly that.

April 19, 1955

Dear Mr. Calt:

On March 22nd you wrote to me asking for some notes on my work habits as a copywriter. They are appalling, as you are about to see:

1. I have never written an advertisement in the office. Too many interruptions. I do all my writing at home.

2. I spend a long time studying the precedents. I look at every advertisement which has appeared for competing products duringthe past 20 years.

3. I am helpless without research material—and the more "motivational" the better.

4. I write out a definition of the problem and a statement of the purpose which I wish the campaign to achieve. Then I go no further until the statement and its principles have been accepted by the client.

5. Before actually writing the copy, I write down every concievable fact and selling idea. Then I get them organized and relate them to research and the copy platform.

6. Then I write the headline. As a matter of fact I try to write 20 alternative headlines for every advertisement. And I never select the final headline without asking the opinion of other people in the agency. In some cases I seek the help of the research department and get them to do a split-run on a battery of headlines.

7. At this point I can no longer postpone the actual copy. So I go home and sit down at my desk. I find myself entirely without ideas. I get bad-tempered. If my wife comes into the room I growl at her. (This has gotten worse since I gave up smoking.)

8. I am terrified of producing a lousy advertisement. This causes me to throw away the first 20 attempts.

9. If all else fails, I drink half a bottle of rum and play a Handel oratorio on the gramophone. This generally produces an uncontrollable gush of copy.

10. The next morning I get up early and edit the gush.

11. Then I take the train to New York and my secretary types a draft. (I cannot type, which is very inconvenient.)

12. I am a lousy copywriter, but I am a good editor. So I go to work editing my own draft. After four or five editings, it looks good enough to show to the client. If the client changes the copy, I get angry—because I took a lot of trouble writing it, and what I wrote I wrote on purpose.

Altogether it is a slow and laborious business. I understand that some copywriters have much greater facility.

Yours sincerely,


Monday, March 19, 2012

Open Doors, From Open Minds

From New York Times Article:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation headquarters in Seattle was designed by NBBJ, an architecture firm whose largest operation is also in Seattle. The structure is a culmination of ideas about the 21st-century workplace.

Less space per worker may be inevitable for cost-effectiveness, but it can also enhance the working environment. The favorite working space of Martha Choe, the foundation’s chief administrative officer, is a long, narrow table in the building’s vast atrium.

Ron Bundy, chief executive of the Russell Index Group, said the office environment had helped eliminate the office as a status symbol. Some employees don’t even claim permanent workspaces; they call themselves free-deskers, and they simply take whatever is available each day — with a preference for good views and proximity to their teams.

Russell Investments’ new home has saved the company money. The 1,000 employees used to occupy a 16-story building. Now, they’re folded into just five floors.

In good weather, hundreds of workers migrate outside to varied landscapes in the courtyard designed by the Seattle landscape architecture firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wickstead Lodge

Thank Goodness Its Friday!

For today, we'll be looking at Wickstead Lodge by Baynes & Co.
Check it out!

Wickstead Lodge by Adrian Baynes

A electronically controlled stone wall slides across the facade of this house in Warwickshire, England, to conceal a large window.

Wickstead Lodge by Adrian Baynes

The moving wall was created to overcome a planning requirement stating that the new house should have only small windows, like its predecessor.

Narrow gaps in the stonework let light pass through the wall into the dining room behind.

Wickstead Lodge by Adrian Baynes

The whole of this lower floor was also set just below ground level so that the two-storey house wouldn’t be taller than permitted.

Wickstead Lodge by Adrian Baynes

To see the rest of the photos and information:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Las Vegas City Hall, JMA - Latest Project Completion

Mayor Carolyn Goodman, from right, stands with Thomas Perrigo,
deputy director of administrative services for City Hall's sustainability office,
Eric Louttit, vice president of real estate services for Forest City, Terry Murphy,
a consultant for Forest City, and Michael Crowe with JMA Architecture Studios,
during a tour of the new Las Vegas City Hall on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012.

It's not all function, though, as architects and designers who worked on the structure made sure to include plenty of symbolic features in the form of the building.
Michael Crowe, co-president and director of JMA Architecture Services, pointed out a raft of design features flowing from the outer shell and into the center of the structure aimed at highlighting the past, present and future of Las Vegas.
For example, undulating walls on the outside of the council chambers and 52 vertical feet of smooth, tan Italian marble in the main entrance represent the canyons early explorers would have found near Southern Nevada springs.
LED-lined vertical fins on the building's south face represent water flowing over Hoover Dam, a main source of energy in the region.
The statements start in the plaza on the building's south side before visitors even get to the entrance.
That's where 33 solar trees, small towers covered with power-generating solar panels, sprout from the desert landscaping.
The trees, along with more solar panels on the roof, are expected to generate 10 percent to 15 percent of the power needs in the 310,000-square-foot building.
Between the solar power and other high-efficiency features such as reflective exterior surfaces and an interior lit largely by the sun and LED lighting, the building is expected to cut energy costs from as much as $700,000 annually in the 39-year-old city hall on Stewart Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard to as little as $300,000.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman talks in the council
chambers of the new City Hall while final work is done Thursday on the ceiling.
City Hall will open for business for most of the public at 10 a.m. Tuesday.       

For more information see link below:

a more environment friendly meat

A cow awasits milking in the mountain pasture of "Theraulaz d'en bas" 1295m high near Albeuve, Switzerland on August 29, 2011.

from NPR:

Imagine that one day you will go to your local supermarket and find, along the usual cuts of sirloin and pork chops from the usual cows and pigs, lab-grown sirloin and pork chops. Further down the counter, you will find chicken breasts, natural and lab-grown, and, across the hall, natural and lab-grown tilapia fillets. A yellow label is all you have to tell the difference between the two: natural vs. lab-grown meat. Which one would you choose? At least today, my bet is that the vast majority of people would choose the "natural" meats, as opposed to the lab-grown ones, even if scientists guarantee that there isn't any obvious difference between the two at the hormonal, nutritional, or molecular level.

Why is that?

I can hear echoes of what I call the Frankenstein Syndrome, the irrational fear of science going where it hasn't gone before. If we grow vegetables, why can't we grow meat?
If this sounds like something from a scifi movie, think again. Dozens of laboratories around the world are pursuing the elusive feat of producing lab-grown meat, as Michael Specter explored in his somewhat recent New Yorker article "Test-Tube Burgers."

from reuters:

(Reuters) - Scientists are cooking up new ways of satisfying the world's ever-growing hunger for meat.
"Cultured meat" -- burgers or sausages grown in laboratory Petri dishes rather than made from slaughtered livestock -- could be the answer that feeds the world, saves the environment and spares the lives of millions of animals, they say.

Granted, it may take a while to catch on. And it won't be cheap.

The first lab-grown hamburger will cost around 250,000 euros ($345,000) to produce, according to Mark Post, a vascular biologist at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, who hopes to unveil such a delicacy soon.

Experts say the meat's potential for saving animals' lives, land, water, energy and the planet itself could be enormous

 read the rest here:

also see the related articles below:

Dutch scientist Mark Post displays samples of in-vitro meat, or cultured meat grown in a laboratory, at the University of Maastricht November 9, 2011.    REUTERS-Francois Lenoir
Dutch scientist Mark Post displays samples of in-vitro meat, or cultured meat grown in a laboratory, at the University of Maastricht November 9, 2011.
REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Samples of in-vitro meat, or cultured meat grown in a laboratory, are seen at the University of Maastricht November 9, 2011.     REUTERS-Francois Lenoir
Samples of in-vitro meat, or cultured meat grown in a laboratory, are seen at the University of Maastricht November 9, 2011.
REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It Looks Like a Giant Bird’s Nest but it Actually is a Horse-riding Arena – Stork Nest Farm


Designed by Prague studio SGL Projekt, the Stork Nest Farm is located on the site of a former farmstead and distillery that now accommodates hotel, conference and leisure facilities. The Stork Nest Farm was both inspired by and named after storks that resided in the roof of the distillery long after it fell into disuse. An eight-metre-wide skylight at the roof’s peak lets natural daylight down into the centre of the timber-framed building, while concrete-framed entrances lead visitors inside.

click here for the rest of the article.