Emerald City

Other
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
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Entangled Bank incorporates such sustainable features as a green screen, vertical wind turbines, and solar panels. (Courtesy LIttle)

Named after a line in Darwin's On the Origin of Species, Entangled Bank incorporates such sustainable features as a green screen, vertical wind turbines, and solar panels. (Courtesy Little)

What if one block in Texas became the sustainable model for the world? Such was the question posed recently by Urban Re:Vision, a California-based group bent upon creating better cities through rethinking the components that make up a city block. Earlier this month, the organization unveiled the three finalists in one of its latest design competitions: Re:Vision Dallas. Contestants were asked to create proposals for a mixed-use development near downtown that would do “no harm to people or place.” Find out more about the finalists after the jump:

Each of the three winning proposals boasted strong themes of nature and working the land. Entangled Bank, by the Charlotte, North Carolina, architecture firm Little, features a “sky pasture”, where livestock would graze, and a vertical farm. The multi-phased development includes both podium and tower elements, each outfitted with energy-producing technology such as solar panels and vertical wind turbines. The project was also programmed sustainably, including such community resources as a nutrition center, an organic culinary institute, and daycare.

Forwarding Dallas was modeled on hills and valleys. (Courtesy Atelier Data & MOOV)

The design of Forwarding Dallas was based upon hills and valleys. (Courtesy Atelier Data & MOOV)

Forwarding Dallas, by the Portuguese firm Atelier Data & MOOV, is morphologically inspired by the natural landscape of hills and valleys. The buildings would boast trees and “luxurious” plants in the gullies, and more sturdy vegetation at the higher elevations, with the tops of the promontories bedecked with solar panels and wind turbines.

As with each of the three finalists, Greenways Xero Energy incorporates urban farming into its design. (Courtesy David Baker and Partners Architects)

Last but not least, Greenways Xero Energy, by David Baker and Partners Architects and Fletcher Studio of San Francisco, California, rides the line between a public market and a barnyard. Broken into three separated masses, the project would engage its residents as well as its neighbors with public orchards, community gardens, and locally supplied restaurants. Equipped with solar panels, though no wind turbines, Xero also features such energy saving devices as solar hot water, a ground source heat pump, and hybrid desiccant cooling system.

While many Urban Re:Vision competitions and projects have been strictly theoretical, Re:Vision Dallas will put the ideas it generates into bricks and mortar. Dallas has already purchased the land for the development and the mayor is backing the plan to bring a paragon of sustainability to Texas.

One Response to “Emerald City”

  1. What an incredible display of ingenuity on all accounts although I would have to say that I am partial to the second design- hills and valleys. It just seems to be intuitively the most natural in design and function. We could learn alot about sustainability by studying and duplicating elements of nature
    -Isaac
    http://www.builditgreenconcepts.com

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