Unveiled>Amanora Apartment City by MVRDV

International
Friday, March 25, 2011
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Phase one of MVRDV's Amanora Apartment City in Pune, India (all images courtesy MVRDV).

Like its neighbor to the northeast, India is urbanizing at break-neck speed. Much of the resulting development takes the shape of monotonous towers and slabs designed to house the maximum number people as quickly as possible. The innovative Dutch firm MVRDV’s project Amanora Apartment City punches through, twists, and slices off pieces of a monolithic superstructure, to create a new park-side landmark within a largely undifferentiated urban field.

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BIG’s First Step into the Final Frontier

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
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Courtesy BIG

A reflective sphere floats above a highway outside Stockholm in BIG's winning "Energy Valley" master plan (Courtesy BIG).

BIG won’t let its ambitions be impeded by the laws of physics–namely, gravity. For a competition to plan and design the area around the Hjulsta Intersection, a massive highway infrastructure project just north of Stockholm, BIG teamed up with firms Grontji and Spacescape to create “Energy Valley,” and their winning master plan addresses not only the area around the highway interchange but also above it. The plan’s surreal defining feature is “a reflective, self‐sustaining hovering sphere mirroring Stockholm as it is, new and old, creating a 180 degree view of the area for the drivers on their way in or out of the city.”

Covered with photovoltaic film and tethered to the ground, this mysterious giant orb would supposedly generate enough solar and wind power to keep itself aloft while also providing power for over 200 surrounding houses. Read More

Unveiled> INABA′s Norwegian Skylight

International
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
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Courtesy INABA

Courtesy INABA

INABA has won a competition to design a permanent art work for the new concert hall in Stravanger, Norway. Called Skylight, the approximately 43 foot tall helix-like form will be visible to city through the transparent glass cladding of the five story great hall. At night colored, artificial light will animate the form and indicate cues like curtain calls. During the day it will reflect natural light throughout the space.

Read more and check out a gallery after the jump.

Plumen Light Bulb Wins Design of the Year

International
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
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If one of the main complaints lodged against the compact fluorescent lightbulb is that it’s ugly, all that’s about to change with the Plumen 001. The energy efficient bulb has been hailed as one of the first major re-designs of the CFL, and today, it won Brit Insurance Product Design of the Year 2011.

Created by product designer Samuel Wilkinson and British electronics company Hulger, the Plumen is made out of two interwoven glass tubes. The curved design has a new silhouette from every angle. In addition to radiating warm white light, it uses 80% less energy and lasting eight times longer than incandescents. Read More

Video> Subterranean City of Ants Unearthed

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
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Unearthing a giant ant colony (Still from video)

Unearthing a giant ant colony (Still from video)

Architecture built by other species can be just as fascinating as our own. Take this excavation of a giant ant colony covering 50 square meters and descending 8 meters into the ground. Researchers filled the (hopefully abandoned) insect city with ten tons of cement and proceeded to excavate the surrounding dirt, revealing hidden tunnels and fungi farms. According to the film, the ant colony was also designed with good ventilation in mind. In all, it’s estimated that the ants moved some 40 tons of earth to create their metropolis. (Via Swiss Miss.)

Watch the video after the jump.

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Swooping Bridges of Google Earth

Millau Bridge (Google Earth via Clement Valla)

Millau Bridge (Google Earth via Clement Valla)

Brooklyn-based architect and designer Clement Villa has collected a series of Google Earth views of bridges that appear to have melted, succumbing to gravity, and hanging languidly across their respective terrains, offering a surreal nod to Dali’s Persistence of Memory. (Via Notcot.)

Check out a few more examples after the jump.

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Mixed Media> SHoP Talk: Botswana Innovation Hub

International
Monday, March 7, 2011
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The roofscape of the SHoP-designed Botswana Innovation Hub.

With over 270,000 square feet and costs projected at $50 million, the Botswana Information Hub is ambitious on many levels, both literally and figuratively. The winner of an international competition, the SHoP-designed research campus brings green technology to the Gaborone, Botswana.

The sinuous structure merges into the landscape, with various levels seeming to kinetically lift from the earth. An “energy blanket” roofscape blends solar and water re-use systems into the sweeping composition. Gregg Pasquarelli tells AN all about it.

Check out the interview after the jump.

Unveiled> SOM-Day in Danang

International
Friday, March 4, 2011
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Courtesy SOM

Courtesy SOM

SOM Chicago has been selected to master plan a new technology, university, and residential city outside Danang, Vietnam. FTP City, named after a growing telecommunications company, will cover 445 acres, and included buisness districts, a town center, residential neighborhoods, and a university campus. Unlike nearby single communities being developed nearby, the SOM plan calls for a diverse, mixed-use community, according to a statement from the firm.

Read more after the jump.

Revealing A City′s Hidden Digital Landscapes

International
Monday, February 28, 2011
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Immaterials: Light painting WiFi (Courtesy yourban.no)

Immaterials: Light painting WiFi (Courtesy yourban.no)

Ever hit a WiFi dead spot when moving about the city? A new visualization project called Immaterials: Light painting WiFi by Timo Arnall, Jørn Knutsen and Einar Sneve Martinussen reveals the hidden landscape of digital signals though long-exposure photography and a stick equiped with a WiFi sensor and LED lights. Here’s more from YOUrban.no:

The city is filled with an invisible landscape of networks that is becoming an interwoven part of daily life. WiFi networks and increasingly sophisticated mobile phones are starting to influence how urban environments are experienced and understood. We want to explore and reveal what the immaterial terrain of WiFi looks like and how it relates to the city.

Looks like this project could feel right at home with the upcoming MoMA exhibition, Talk to Me, exploring the feedback of our environments. (Via information aesthetics.)

Watch a video of the project after the jump.

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Biennale for the People: Landscape Urbanism in Israel

International, Newsletter
Thursday, February 24, 2011
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“On the way to the sea” 121 Ben Gurion Rd., Bat Yam.

“On the way to the sea” 121 Ben Gurion Rd., Bat Yam. Project by Derman Verbakel Architecture.

Biennales have proliferated in recent years marking the redistribution of culture and also its global consumption. Once wed to the rarefied setting of Venice, they can now be found in Barcelona, Rio, Lisboa and… Bat Yam.

“Bat Yam?” you ask. In this unknown and unlikely Israeli town, the curators of the Bat-Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbanism have fashioned a wonderful new genre of biennale that is more “urban action” than exhibition. A rather poor, largely Russian immigrant “outer borough” of the elegant white city of Tel Aviv, Bat Yam calls to mind Brighton Beach with palm trees. The city constitutes a frayed but dignified modernist fabric built from an amazing array of gemütlich variations on the Maison Citrohan with a sensitive implementation of the tenets of open space, light, air, and the hierarchy of ways.

Read More

MoMA/P.S. 1 Young Architects Program Winner Announced

East, East Coast, International, Newsletter
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
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Interboro's design for MoMA P.S.1 (Courtesy Interboro)

Interboro's design for MoMA P.S.1 (Courtesy Interboro)

P.S. 1 and the Museum of Modern Art have just announced that Brooklyn-based urban design and planning firm Interboro Partners are the winners of the 2011 Young Architects Program. Now celebrating its 12th year, the honor means designing what by now is widely recognized as the liveliest party space of the summer, the outdoor plaza of P.S. 1 in Queens.

Read more after the jump.

Japanese Architect′s Midget & Giant House

International
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
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Midget & Giant by Ryuji Nakamura

Midget & Giant by Ryuji Nakamura

Japanese architect Ryuji Nakamura has designed a very small house to fit over a computer’s webcam for a design workshop called Design East 01. The miniature is called Midget & Giant, and, well, you can see the results. [via Today & Tomorrow.]

Another view after the jump.

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