Friday, August 22, 2014

Making Our Cities "Just Green Enough"

Waterway Greenway Perspective 2 courtesy of the blog Space Observatory.
The cycle of gentrification is all too common in America as redevelopment improves amenities and the number of people choosing urban life over the suburbs grows. A neighborhood with low average incomes and lax economic activity finds itself the focus of urban planners, businesses and developers. Key investments are made, the neighborhood becomes trendy and desirable to newcomers, and often the original neighborhood residents get pushed from their community due to rising rent and property assessments. Gentrification is a constant challenge to cities that try to serve their residents while maximizing economic activity and revenues.

What about environmental justice and gentrification? The following article discusses tactics to make improvements to the green spaces in communities without triggering the cycle of gentrification.

Read more about the "just green enough" concept here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Solar Powered Charging Tables Installed in NYC's Bryant Park

Solar Powered Charging Tables Installed in NYC's Bryant Park

Note from Erin: Okay guys, at first I was like, "Why are they enabling us to be even more tied to our electronics!!"  But the reality is, when I travel, I need the outlet.  At the end of the day, it is my responsibility to get my eyes off the screen and my toes in the grass.  Keep powered y'all, but don't forget what powers you!!

Thank you to John Fennell for this post!

CityCharge is an urban project in which solar powered charging stations were placed throughout New York City's Bryant Park. Gone are the days of having to buy an expensive coffee in order to use an outlet to charge your smartphone!
These free, innovative stations are a collaborative project between Bryant Park Corporation, solar companyGreen Barrel Energy Inc., and high quality street furniture manufacturer Landscape Forms. Each table has six different charging cables that can fit most electronic devices. The stations are set on five swiveling wheels with locks so that they can be moved around the park as needed to make space during public events. Additionally, the solar panel overhead can be manually rotated to point directly towards the sun.
“The design was inspired by people and how they use public spaces,” explained CityCharge Industrial Designer Ignacio Ciocchini. “It is round, easy to move, and has a communal table that encourages social interaction.” Currently in the prototype testing phase, the plan is to install six more machines in Bryant Park and then to expand throughout New York City and the United States.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Guess that Interchange!!

Guess that Interchange!!
TGIF to the viewers!
This week’s YEOW takes a look at highway interchanges in the Washington metro area and the large (pun intended) impact they have on our built environment. In honor of this modern marvel YEOW invites you to play a quick game of “Guess that Interchange!!”

I.                 Please note that all images are at the same scale. For scale comparison here are two local areas you are probably familiar with:
 1.      The United States Capitol & Capitol Grounds

                  2.   The Smithsonian National Zoological Park

II.               Now it is time to play “Guess that Interchange!!” There are seven interchanges shown below and each interchange matches up with one of these choices:

A.     I-295 and I-95/I-495 - Oxon Hill, MD
B.     I-395, Route 1, and George Washington Parkway – Arlington, VA
C.     Dulles Access Road (Route 267) and I-495 - Tysons Corner, VA
D.     I-95, I-395, and I-495 – Springfield, VA
E.      Route 1 and I-95/I-495 - Alexandria, VA
F.      I-95 and I-495 - Beltsville, MD
G.     I-66 and I-495 -Fairfax County, VA

Answer Key: (highlight the white lines below, or copy and paste into your web browser’s web address bar, or paste into Word)
Interchange 1 – D, Interchange 2 – E, Interchange 3 – A, Interchange 4 – G, Interchange 5 – C, Interchange 6 – F, Interchange 7 – B


Interchange 1:

Interchange 2:

Interchange 3:

 Interchange 4:


Interchange 5:


Interchange 6:

Interchange 7:

For further reading on road construction and traffic congestion check out some of these articles:

Friday, August 1, 2014

FOGO Island Inn

Island fit for Architecture

Canadian-born, Norway-based architect Todd Saunders returned to Newfoundland to design a 29-room inn on tiny Fogo Island. His client, the nonprofit Shorefast Foundation, employs local craftspeople and workers to establish a new economic base for an “outport” community once dependent on fishing and shipbuilding. The inn combines green-design strategies and vernacular forms to create a dramatic retreat that makes a profound connection to a rugged place.
Fogo Island Inn By Saunders Architecture 23 450x300 Fogo Island Inn / Saunders Architecture
  • The Fogo Island Inn is the culmination of a major community revitalization project. The building’s rugged minimalist architecture balances traditional influences with a contemporary sensibility, which architect Todd Saunders has made and built just for Fogo.
  • A cultural destination in its own right where visitors and locals meet, the Inn includes an art gallery, heritage library, cinema and rooftop sauna. Each of the 29 guest rooms is unique, with every detail chosen with purpose and handcrafted by locals.
Fogo Island Inn By Saunders Architecture 03 450x298 Fogo Island Inn / Saunders Architecture
The Fogo Island Inn is an architectural gem that was born of Fogo Island, Newfoundland. It is a home for intrepid, curious and discerning high-comfort explorers. Designed and crafted as a cultural and ecological hub, the Inn is a place to experience the old and the new — through the fishery, through art, through architecture and design and through food.
Embracing the emotional resonance and quiet beauty of everyday life in Newfoundland’s outport communities, the Inn is a venue for dialogue between guests and the island’s people, places and things. In this way, it acts as a direct conduit to the culture, traditions and stunning beauty of this most unexpected place at the edge of the world.
All twenty-nine of the Inn’s spacious guest rooms and suites have stunning panoramic views of the North Atlantic from floor-to-ceiling windows. The custom-made king-size beds are designed to be separated into two super twins; all rooms are individually decorated with bespoke locally hand-crafted furnishings and textiles, and most have wood-burning stoves.
Northern European-style wood-fired saunas and hot tubs are located on the roof of the Inn — a perfect place for stargazing and a brilliant way to restore after a long, happy day of adventure on the island.
The Fogo Island Contemporary Art Gallery, the Inn’s fine dining restaurant, lounge and bar, and the Dr. Leslie A. Harris Heritage Library, specializing in literature of the region are all located on the ground floor, while the Fogo Island Cinema, a partnership with the National Film Board of Canada, and the gym are located on the second floor.
Fogo Island Inn By Saunders Architecture 06 450x254 Fogo Island Inn / Saunders Architecture
Building Features:
  • wood is the primary construction material used, reflecting the vernacular traditions it also leaves a certain respect to the landscape that
  • in many ways holds a much larger significance than any structure built on it could ever have. the massing consists of two oblong
  • rectangular volumes, stacked at a slightly different angle to form an X. this greatly reduces the direct impact on the site while still providing
  • the necessary area without creating a massive construct that sits completely out of scale with the context. the ground floor is reserved for
  • a restaurant led by one of canada’s highest ranked chefs, the main lobby, library, movie theater and independent art gallery, followed by
  • four levels of individual rooms, and a spa and sauna facility on the rooftop enjoying views over the sea and island.
Fogo Island Inn By Saunders Architecture 09 450x300 Fogo Island Inn / Saunders Architecture
Rooms Features and Services:
  • Each guest room is a contemporary expression of traditional outport design and decor: “handmade modern”
  • Spectacular views of the North Atlantic
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows with swing-open sections
  • Natural wood floors with in-floor heating
  • Exceptional sound proofing
  • Custom made, organic, natural fiber beds
  • Heated towel racks, and heated toilet seats with built in bidet
  • Full wireless, complimented by discreetly hidden technology
  • Custom designed, locally crafted furniture and textiles
  • Wood burning stove featured in many rooms
  • Room amenities include: robes, slippers, books, locally sourced toiletries and an array of creature comforts, all provided with resting, lounging and “being” in mind
  • All suites are offered on a full-board basis, each one includes: daybreak tray, breakfast, dinner (lunch), afternoon tea, snacks, supper and non-alcoholic beverages
  • All gratuities and service charges, excluding the standard 13% HST are included
  • Nightly turn down service and 24 hour room service
  • A completely smoke-free environment
  • Full use of all facilities within the Inn: cinema screenings, sauna, rooftop, hot tubs, contemporary art gallery, gym and heritage library
Fogo Island Inn By Saunders Architecture 14 450x300 Fogo Island Inn / Saunders Architecture
Geotourism – Jonathan Tourtellot of National Geographic coined the term “geotourism”. In his words, “geotourism is tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place – the environment, heritage, aesthetics, food, culture and well-being of a local people”. We believe that these geographically and culturally unique islands are extremely well suited to visitors wanting to experience this. We plan to add the necessary infrastructure to catalyze this industry on Fogo Island and Change Islands and to do so in a manner that engages the local people as masters of their own destinies. To support the goal of helping Fogo Island become a leading geotourism destination, Shorefast is creating The Fogo Island Inn.
Fogo Island Inn By Saunders Architecture 15 Alex Fradkin 450x337 Fogo Island Inn / Saunders Architecture

  • The Fogo Island Inn is scheduled to open in spring 2013. It is intended to become one of the world’s great rural inns and will be a showcase for local culture as well as being an economic engine for the islands. All of the surpluses from the Fogo Island Inn belong to the Community. The Inn is also intended to be a focal point for social life on the island. In addition to its 29 guest rooms, the Inn will house a gallery, a heritage library named for Dr Leslie Harris, and in partnership with the National Film Board, Canada’s first English language e-cinema.
  • The Fogo Island Inn is designed by Gander native Todd Saunders who has been named one of the world’s top architects under 40. Jim Case of Sheppard Case Architects based in St. John’s, is the managing architect on the project. In addition, a Fogo Island based team of architects and other professionals are dedicated to bringing the Inn to life. The Inn is being built by local carpenters who are bringing their traditional talents and local building techniques to bear on this very contemporary wooden structure.
Fogo Island Inn By Saunders Architecture 12 450x300 Fogo Island Inn / Saunders Architecture© Fogo Island Inn
Sustainable EDGE:
The Fogo Island Inn is a 29-room high-end eco-tourism facility on the island of Fogo, off the north-east coast of Newfoundland. In addition to providing accommodations the Inn will also house a community library and art gallery, an e-cinema and a five-star restaurant. The project is and initiative for community economic development by the Shorefast Foundation, a social enterprise.
A goal of the project was to make the Inn as energy and cost efficient as possible so that maximum revenues could accrue to support the community and be re-invested in “Finding new ways for an old continuity,” as noted by Zita Cobb, founder of Shorefast Foundation.
Sustainable EDGE provided sustainable engineering consulting which included facilitating an Integrated Design Charette, high performance building envelope design and consulting on high-efficiency mechanical systems. Systems include radiant heating from solar thermal and wood boilers, solar domestic hot water for rooms and laundry, displacement ventilation with heat recovery, demand ventilation and summer outdoor air cooling with dehumidified outdoor air and kitchen exhaust air cleaning to avoid cooking odours.
Sustainable EDGE provided green building consulting throughout the project’s design and construction phase.
Fogo Island Inn By Saunders Architecture 19 450x298 Fogo Island Inn / Saunders Architecture
A five star inn for the Shorefast Foundation on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada. Using wood as the main material, Saunders designed the 29 rooms Fogo Inn as a means towards the island’s economic and cultural survival, but also as a timeless piece of architecture, which would be ‘made just for Fogo’. The Inn includes a restaurant, directed by one of Canada’s best chefs, together with a lobby, a library, a small movie theatre and an independent art gallery on the ground floor; four floors of rooms above ground level; and a sauna and spa facility on the top of the building.
Fogo Island Inn By Saunders Architecture 11 431x650 Fogo Island Inn / Saunders Architecture
  • The Fogo Island Inn provides us with space to breathe in inspiration and we wanted to share this possibility with our friends. So we created presents that could only be made by us — dream boxes.
  • Each box is handcrafted, unique and made with care by our community. Those who unwrap their gift and peek inside will find a most unexpected space filled with wonder. This is where there is room to dream.
  • The Fogo Island Inn is committed to sustaining local traditions by finding new ways with old things.
  • The Fogo Island Inn is the culmination of a major community revitalization project. The building’s rugged minimalist architecture balances traditional influences with a contemporary sensibility, which architect Todd Saunders says was, “made and built just for Fogo”.
Fogo Island Inn By Saunders Architecture 34 450x300 Fogo Island Inn / Saunders Architecture
- For more info see link below: