This is a Norman Foster talk done in Munich in January 2007 and was just posted now, over a year ago, but nevertheless is important. ”The green agenda isn’t about fashion, it’s about survival.” Hopefully more big studios will take on the sustainable design because it truly is not just another trend. Click on the image above to view the video.
Studio Nicoletti Associati and Hijjas Kasturi Associates won a recent contest for the Precinct 4 sustainable housing masterplan design in Putrajaya, Malaysia, 30km south of Kuala Lumpur. The city has a very unique shape. Water and land form a dynamic terrain that determined the serpentine course on which the buildings are positioned. The idea for the buildings came from a fleet of ships and blends splendidly with the tropical, Islamic environment. Green space is integrated within the buildings, there is plenty of natural ventilation, shading suitable for the extreme conditions and the complex will source from alternative energy. I love projects like this, it’s really refreshing to see a different design. It reminds me of the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in New Caledonia, one of my favorite architecture projects ever built. I wish more projects today would connect with the cultural landscape like this.
Published March 18, 2008
Tags: sustainability, urbanism
Sir Richard Rogers wrote an article at The Guardian on modern urbanism. This caught my attention: ”…all too often public space has been an afterthought – literally the space left over after planning.” Instead of patching small weird empety places with bushes and small trees, why not just incorporate the idea of adding real greenery to the plan in the firts place? You know you’re leaving the annoying task of fixing the badly designed space to your children. A lot of architects just do the building. And it should never be just about the building, your responsibilities are always greater.
/read his article at The Guardian
I wrote about Abu Dhabi before and since they’re going absolutely nuts over sustainable building, they diserve yet another post. Masdar headquarters is getting a new building designed by AS+GG Architecture that will be the first energy positive building in the world. How? The roof is entirely covered by solar panels. And I’m not talking about a few square meters of panels- the roof covering a 1,4 million square feet (=130000 m2) building is absolutely gigantic. The building will also have integrated wind turbines, solar-driven cooling and de-humidification will consumpt 70% less water than other building of its size. They even decided to make the building process as green as possible by building the solar roof first – that way it alone will produce enough energy to power the rest of the construction. It’s very encouraging to see progress like this in the sustainable building field but I find it hard to believe that other countries will be able to follow its example – the building will cost over $300 million. Ugh. It’s somehow funny to see all the oil giants building green buildings, it’s nice, just funny. That, and steam must be coming out of Coop Himmelblau’s ears for the design (BMW Welt, wink wink).
(via: Eco Geek)
The Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom Neft chose this high rise building, designed by the UK based RMJM Architects, that is to be built in St. Petersburg and will serve as the new Gazprom headquarters. At 396m tall, it will be the tallest building in Europe and the greenest skyscraper in the world. RMJM are working together with consulting engineers Battle McCarthy to make the building as energy efficient as it can possibly get in an environment where the temperatures fluctuate throughout the year and fall as deep as 30°C below zero. The building is wrapped into two layers of glazed glass and consists of an inner core and an outer atrium that will serve as a buffer zone, providing the building with enough natural ventilation, thermal insulation and light. The project will also have specialized water, heating and ventilation solutions and an intelligent facade. As you can probably imagine, this proposal was and remains very controversial. Tall buildings and slums seem to be inevitable in modern urbanism. But as the undertaking of this project will surely start soon, I can only say it’s better than building the monster pillow theater building ‘designed’ by Eric Owen Moss – are you joking, this isn’t Disney World. Those who have been at the ORIS conference in Zagreb should know what I’m talking about. Never in my life have I felt so utterly bored in a lecture. I thought the chair was going to get the munchies, close in on itself and start digesting me. And I wouldn’t even resist.
Richard Saul Wurman, the founder of TED conferences, made this slideshow revieling interesting data about supercities and their rise throughout history. 19.20.21 will be a ”five-year study that will encompass all aspects of the phenomenon of supercities”. The study will cover comparative and statistical analysis based on the following subjects (bare with me): health, education, transportation, demographics, energy consumption, growth patterns, water sources, use and quality, waste management, economics and the cost of living, infrastructure, quality of life and standard of living indices, crime dynamics, calamity risk, culture and art.
Thanks to their immense effort, the whole world will have access to all the information listed above and changes to the urban hubs (including urban design and strategies) could be done more effectively because of the project’s transparency.
Click on the image above to view the slideshow.
Published January 21, 2008
Tags: sustainability, urbanism
The city of Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates will soon get an astonishing add-on designed by Foster & Partners – an eco-town/district called Masdar. The Masdar Initiative is ”a global cooperative platform for open engagement in the search for solutions to some of mankind’s most pressing issues: energy security, climate change and truly sustainable human development.” The city itself will be formed inside of a 6x6km2 square-shaped floor plan and will provide homes for some 50.000 people. The city will be zero-waste, zero-carbon and car-free.
– cooling: concentrated solar power
– electricity: photovoltaic (solar) panels
– water: solar-powered desalination plant
Continue reading ‘Masdar Development | Foster & Partners’