It took four years to grow this church in New Zealand out of trees

(Courtesy Treelocations)

(Courtesy Treelocations)

In New Zealand, it would appear that buildings grow on trees—or, rather, trees grow into buildings. After years of careful maintenance, Barry Cox, tree aficionado, has created a lush chapel and garden in Waikato, just south of Auckland.

Continue reading after the jump.

Shanghai Talks> Watch SOM’s top sustainable engineer talk air quality, environmental design

Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza, a 280-meter-tall SOM tower Leung worked on. (© Si-ye Zhang)

Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza, a 918-foot-tall SOM tower Leung worked on. (Si-ye Zhang)

Last September, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat invited me to serve as the special media correspondent for its Shanghai symposium, entitled Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism.

I conducted video interviews with dozens of architects, developers, building managers, and others on topics relevant to tall building design and sustainable urbanism. Among the many designers, engineers and other tall building types I interviewed was Luke Leung, director of sustainable engineering for SOM.

Watch the interview after the jump.

Biomimicry guides the design of Shanghai’s new nautilus-shaped museum of natural history

Shanghai Natural History Museum (©Steinkamp Photography)

Shanghai Natural History Museum. (Steinkamp Photography)

This weekend a Shanghai museum got a new home, and its design takes a major cue from nature. The Shanghai Natural History Museum wraps 479,180 square feet of exhibition space with facades inspired by the elements, natural phenomena, and the biological structure of cells.

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Sou Fujimoto’s Outlook Tower is a Stacked Mirage in Saudi Arabia

International, Newsletter
Monday, November 11, 2013


Tokyo-based architect and creator of this year’s Serpentine Pavilion, Sou Fujimoto, has recently unveiled his latest rendering of Outlook Tower and Water Plaza, a proposal that’s part of his master plan development for the coastal resort district of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. His proposed 473,612-square-foot structure is based on a vernacular type of Islamic architecture and mirrors the shape of Bedouin tents. Seen from afar, their silhouettes are designed to form the shape of a mirage-like gateway linking the mainland to the sea.

Continue reading after the jump.

World’s Tallest Vertical Garden Planned for Sydney’s One Central Park Tower

City Terrain, International
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Rendering of Sydney's One Central Park tower. (Courtesy Atelier Jean Nouvel)

Rendering of Sydney’s One Central Park tower. (Courtesy Atelier Jean Nouvel)

Defying the standards of conventional landscaping, living walls take vegetated ground cover to the vertical extreme. For the past 30 years, French botanist and green enthusiast Patrick Blanc has made a quantum leap forward in the art of gardening by designing and building these living walls all over the globe. Blanc’s latest project—One Central Park Tower—is in Sydney, Australia, where nature’s tranquil features join forces with dynamic city life. The project is a collaborative effort between Blanc and Jean Nouvel. When completed, the major mixed-use urban renewal housing plan will boast the world’s tallest vertical garden.

More after the jump.

Pictorial> A Nature-Dominated Office in Denver

Monday, August 15, 2011
"Natural Systems Domination" in Denver. (Courtesy Tres Birds Workshop)

"Natural Systems Domination" in Denver. (Courtesy Tres Birds Workshop)

It might be the latest trend in creative modern eco-office design or, more likely, it’s a tongue-in-cheek reminder to avoid letting work take over your life. In the typical modern office with row upon row of geometric cubicles, the closest a worker might get to nature is a small potted plant, a faraway glimpse out a window, or a rainforest background on his or her computer. But a new installation in downtown Denver quite literally breaks down this man-made environment in an effort to promote outdoor activity and a connection to nature during the workday.

Continue reading after the jump. (+slideshow)

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