Whoa: I want to live somewhere like this!

Posted: April 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Whoa: I want to live somewhere like this!

Let me first say, I’m a big fan of Daniel Libeskind’s work.  After having read his autobiography in 2004, I started looking more and more at his buildings.  While I still greatly admire the work of Gehry, Libeskind’s book cemented the concept of organic buildings and cities in my mind.  Plus, a lot of press about Gehry is often only about Gehry, where as Libeskind is usually in connection to something; the new World Trade Center, the Holocaust Museum, promoting other architects, etc.

So when I saw this piece on INHABITAT the other day, I was understandably blown away by how great it looks.  Sure, it’s in Singapore, so I’ll never live there, but I really wish Phoenix, and the people with the money to develop Phoenix, would throw their weight behind projects more like this and less like the “condo-conversions” craze of a decade ago.

Give me buildings with style, no more glass boxes.  Thanks

(This is Day 11 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, be sure to check out the other participants at #30DayBC)

Bold Innovation in Building

Posted: March 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Bold Innovation in Building

I’m always happy when someone puts the money behind projects that make sense.

So when I saw this article in INHABITAT, I was pretty psyched.

Just like the first person to write a check for a Bauhaus building cemented modernism, the person who green-lighted The Strata in London could one day be known as the person who made self-reliant buildings a reality.

The Strata - London

Whoa, that is NOT a glass box.  How could someone have finally paid for one of these to be built?  Oh yeah, it’s in London.  (side note, here’s what we’re building for our new embassy there.  Shameful, I know)

But beyond it’s looks, there’s a great practical side, too.  The building comes with three wind turbines build in. Here’s how INHABITAT described it:

Nicknamed “The Razor”, the 148 meter-tall Strata tower is topped with a trio of turbines that will produce enough power to meet 8% of its energy needs.

We’ve seen skyscrapers studded with wind turbines before, but the Strata is the first building to integrate turbines directly into its facade.

Measuring in at 42 stories tall, the Strata tower has enough height to eclipse the buildings surrounding it, allowing it to take full advantage of the area’s 35mph wind speeds. The tower is also designed to utilize the Venturi effect created by nearby structures to force wind through the turbines at accelerated rates, generating an expected 50MWh of electricity annually.

According to The Guardian, each of the building’s 19KW turbines will have 5 blades rather than 3, which will reduce noise during operation. The skyscraper will also boast other green building strategies such as the exclusive use of natural ventilation, high-performance glazing, and other energy efficiency measures that will keep the building’s power use 6% below current building requirements.

The Strata tower cost £113 million and is set to complete construction this April. The skyscraper’s revolutionary design makes bold steps towards meeting the UK’s requirement that all new buildings be zero-carbon by the year 2019

So while it’s not carbon-neutral, this building is great looking and will require 14% less power than normal.  Considering the size of the building, that is a huge benefit to us all.  Good job.


Posted: June 3rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: | Comments Off on WOW!!!

Zaha Hadid continues to amaze me with her genius.

Perhaps someday soon she will knock Frank Gehry and Daniel Libeskind off the top of my “Favorite Architects I really wish I was” list.

(btw, when you’re done reading about Hadid below, click the Gehry link and read about Atlantic Yards. I fo’ shizz want to live there, ASAP!!)

Zaha Hadid Does a Green Roof in Seoul

by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 06. 2.09


I have sometimes thought that starchitects like Zaha Hadid give not quite as much attention to social or environmental concerns; Cameron Sinclair has used much stronger language. But Hadid has started construction on a 850,000 square foot design museum, library and educational facility in Seoul that appears quite green and social.


Hadid is quoted in archinnovations:

“A fundamental aim of the scheme is to bring delight and inspiration to the people of Seoul by establishing a cultural hub in the centre of one of the busiest and most historic districts of the city” says Zaha Hadid. “The design has been governed by the belief that architecture must enable people to think beyond existing boundaries to reach innovative design solutions. This combined investment in education and research, together with the city’s public cultural programmes will inspire new generations of designers, helping to maintain Korean industry’s reputation as a leader in innovation.”


More from Archinnovations:

The form of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park revolves around the ancient city wall, which forms the central element of the composition, creating a continuous landscape that physically links the park and plaza together. The fluid language of the design, by inference and analogy, acts as a catalyst by promoting fluid thinking and interaction across all the design disciplines, whilst also encouraging the greatest degree of interaction between the activities of the Plaza and the public.


The integration of green roofs and the surrounding landscape is a new phenomenon that I wrote about before in Are Green Roofs the New Mirrored Glass?– what would these aerial shots look like if their roofs were not green?

Green roofs are wonderful things, and they are introducing a whole new design aesthetic where roof meets grade, and a whole new presentation style where we look down at buildings instead of up. If only we had wings.