Muji Hut: Designers team up with minimalist retailer for three small but mighty prefab homes

Hut of Wood. Courtesy Muji Hut Facebook

Hut of Wood. Courtesy Muji Hut Facebook

Japanese retailer MUJI teamed up with well-known designers Naoto Fukasawa, Jasper Morrison, and Konstantin Grcic to create Muji Hut, a collection of three prefab homes. The minimalistic-inspired homes made their debut during Tokyo Design Week, which took place October 24 to November 3.

More after the jump.

KieranTimberlake demonstrates best practices for a prototypical new commercial building

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Building 7R's brick screen and translucent glazing panels (image courtesy Michael Moran/OTTO)

Building 7R’s brick screen and translucent glazing panels (image courtesy Michael Moran/OTTO)

The facility will serve students, building operators, building energy auditors, and will be used to support the development of new business ventures in energy efficiency.

The Consortium for Building Energy Innovation (CBEI)—formerly the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub—at Philadelphia’s Navy Yard, is a research initiative funded by the Department of Energy and led by Penn State University that seeks to reduce the energy usage of commercial buildings to 50% by 2020. KieranTimberlake, a Philadelphia-based firm located three miles from Navy Yard, was selected by Penn State to renovate a 1940’s Georgian-style brick building to be a living laboratory for advanced energy retrofit technology. Included in the brief was an addition to the building, which evolved into a new stand-alone building across the street on Lot 7R, which aptly became the name of the building.
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Seven lucky California architects selected for 7x7x7 design and drought initiative

(WRNS Studio)

El Niño may be predicted, but life in the west is still parched. With an eye towards climate change, California’s State Architect has enlisted seven noteworthy architecture firms to develop seven case studies in sustainable school design, for seven representative school campuses.

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SOM’s gravity-defying floating glass cube in DTLA

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(Courtesy SOM)

The building’s pleated glass envelope contains 1,672 energy efficient panels that uniquely responds to its location.

SOM has floated a glass cube above a large stepped civic plaza negotiating a sloped site in downtown Los Angeles for their United States Courthouse project, scheduled to open July, 2016 with an anticipated LEED Platinum rating. The 633,000 square foot, 220 foot tall facility includes 24 daylight-filled courtrooms and 32 judges’ chambers.

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Philadelphia’s Healthy Rowhouse Project helps low-income residents weatherize their homes

Philadelphia's Healthy Rowhouse Project prevents abandonment through home repair assistance (Courtesy Jukie Bot/Flickr)

Philadelphia’s Healthy Rowhouse Project prevents abandonment through home repair assistance. (Courtesy Jukie Bot/Flickr)

For many homeowners and landlords, big ticket repairs can leave gaping holes in the budget. For many low income homeowners, mending a leaky roof or weatherizing an older home can be prohibitively expensive. Vital repairs go unmade, damaging the structure and exposing residents to mold and weather extremes. Responding to this challenge, the Design Advocacy Group, a coalition of planners, architects, and activists, founded the Healthy Rowhouse Project (HRP) in 2014.

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This tangle of highways in Providence, Rhode Island, could give way to a green boulevard

The 6/10 Connector today. (Courtesy Moving Together)

The 6/10 Connector today. (Courtesy Moving Together)

According to Moving Together Providence has the potential to be a “world model for urban design.” That is of course, if the city decides to go ahead with their ambitious proposal of tearing up the 6/10 connector which joins Routes 6 and 10 between Olneyville and the interchange with Interstate 95, replacing it with a bicycle- and bus-friendly green boulevard.

Continue reading after the jump.

AECOM Urban SOS: All Systems Go Competition winners announced

The Winning Submission Plan (Courtesy AECOM and Van Alen Institute)

The Winning Submission Plan. (Courtesy AECOM and Van Alen Institute)

Three graduate design students at the University of Pennsylvania—Daniel Lau, Joseph Rosenberg, and Lindsay Rule—have claimed the top spot in AECOM’s sixth annual Urban SOS competition. Their project, called The THIRD Reserve, is an urban landscape concept that would, in theory, allow Singapore’s food production system to become self-sufficient. The team takes home $7,500 in prize money and has access to up to $25,000 to support the project.

More after the jump.

The sun shines on SURE HOUSE as it triumphs in the Solar Decathlon

(Courtesy SURE HOUSE)

(Courtesy SURE HOUSE)

The Stevens Institute of Technology‘s SURE HOUSE has won the biennial United States Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon for 2015, beating out 13 other teams. Showcasing aesthetics, serious sustainability, and financial viability wrapped in a tiny and efficient solar house, the winning dwelling scored consistently well in all ten of the competition’s categories. Read More

Along the Gowanus Canal, dlandstudio’s Sponge Park will soon be ready to soak up polluted water

Rendering of Gowanus Canal Sponge Park (Courtesy dlandstudio)

Rendering of Gowanus Canal Sponge Park (Courtesy dlandstudio)

You won’t be able to drink from it anytime soon, but the fetid, toxic shores of the Gowanus Canal will soon be graced with a new park that filters stormwater as it enters the canal. Designed by Brooklyn’s dlandstudio in partnership with the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, the Gowanus Canal Sponge Park will be an 18,000 square foot public space on city-owned land, where Second Street meets the canal.

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SOM’s Neil Katz on parametric modeling in facade design

Parametric model of structural system for a very early version of Tower One of the World Trade Center project, New York. (Courtesy Neil Katz)

Parametric model of structural system for a very early version of Tower One of the World Trade Center project, New York. (Courtesy Neil Katz)

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) associate Neil Katz describes his approach to crafting facades as involving a “computational design” methodology.

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NYC Retrofit Accelerator to help building owners reduce greenhouse gas emissions

East, Environment, News, Sustainability
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
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(Courtesy David Tan / Flickr)

(Courtesy David Tan / Flickr)

To avoid total inundation and more of those hot, sticky summer days, New York City is trying hard to forestall the impact of global warming. While tackling coastal resiliency, the city is turning its focus to buildings, the source of 75 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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Learning from AMIE: a look into the future of 3d printing and sustainable energy management

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(image courtesy SOM)

(image courtesy SOM)

A high-performance building prototype which shares energy with a natural-gas-powered hybrid electric vehicle.

A cross-disciplinary team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have designed an innovative single-room building module to demonstrate new manufacturing and building technology pathways. The research project, named Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE), leverages rapid innovation through additive manufacturing, commonly known as ‘3d printing,’ to connect a natural-gas-powered hybrid electric vehicle to a high-performance building designed to produce, consume, and store renewable energy.
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