Layering and changeability: this is the key, the combination that is worked into most of my buildings. Occupying one of these buildings is like sailing a yacht; you modify and manipulate its form and skin according to seasonal conditions and natural elements, and work with these to maximize the performance of the building.” – Glenn Murcutt

Diogene | RPBW

"All the artificial growths of society are incompatible with happiness and morality implies a return to the simplicity of nature"

This is what Diogene of Sinope, the Greek philosopher, founder of the Cynic philosopy thought about society and life.

RPBW re-elaborates this concept creating a minimal prototype of highly technological “human living”; self-sufficient, transportable, energy efficient and sustainable.

The floor area is just 2,5 x 3 meters but the wooden envelope accommodates a living room, a biological bathroom and a kitchen powered by photovoltaic and solar panels located on the aluminium-foiled rooftop.

Hilden Grange | Hawkins\Brown

Hilden Grange is an independent preparatory school located in the market town of Tonbridge in Kent, conceived as an expansion of the original Victorian school building.

The new buildings restore views of the surrounding countryside and place landscape at the heart of the estate.

With the exception of the new assembly/dining hall, which is built from blockwork and concrete, all other new facilities are constructed from Prefabricated Cross Laminated Timber, a modern method of construction which creates well insulated naturally ventilated rooms using a sustainable material.

Tim Crocker photos

Palace of Labour | Alberto Apostoli

An interesting renovation of a partially-wrecked building at L’Aquila, Italy damaged by the 2009 earthquake.

Trough a wise use of isolation panels and other simple yet important techniques the designer has been able to achieve a volumetric movement of the four facades also underlined by colors, small ledges and volume contrasts.

Tommaso Cassinis photos

Hydro-electric Powerstation | becker architekten

The starting point of the design considerations was the symbolic representation of the water dynamics, reached trough a softly shaped concrete structure that wraps nestles against the technical underground engineering parts and creates a space of many connotations for this highly efficient hydro-electric powerstation that supports approximately 3000 households with 10,5 million KWh of environmentally friendly power per year.

Brigida González photos

Spikerverket | MAD arkitekter

Aim of this re-qualification & renovation project is to inject both urban vivacity and verdant nature into the previous grey commercial area known as Spikerverket of Oslo. Ispired by the Aker River that flows through the neighbourhood MAD arkitekten created an office/commercial/residential area that redevelop the seam that connect the two side of the area.

The sloping green roof line is continuous between the individual volumes of the snake, resulting in a fluid volumetric composition that seeks visual identity even with its simple but effective facade.

It is composed of a repeated geometric module set and shifted between the stories to give an effect that is both repetitive and seemingly random or free. This pattern of light and matt natural anodized aluminium in combination with dark, reflective glass and lacquered metal, stands in opposition to the two-dimensional facade that is often encountered in office buildings.

Jiri Havran photos

EWICON | Blade-less wind turbine

Here there is a nice and simple explanation made by Delft University on how the Electrostatic Wind Energy Converter works.

Electrostatic Windenergy Converter | EWICON
Wind turbines are a great renewable-energy-using resource but produce noise, require frequent maintenance and, lastly, during those years lot of studies have discovered that are not so eco-friendly either.
That’s why Delft University and its department of Wind Energy has developed EWICON, a blade-less wind turbine that uses the movement of electrically charged water droplets to generate power.
The rectangular-rounded-corner steel frame supports a framework of horizontal steel tubes. Within the framework, electrically charged droplets are created and blown away by the wind. Their movement creates an electric current that is then passed onto the grid. 
It doesn’t cast shadows, and because there are no moving parts, it has much lower maintenance costs than conventional wind turbines. It can be installed both onshore and offshore, or mounted on a roof.

Electrostatic Windenergy Converter | EWICON

Wind turbines are a great renewable-energy-using resource but produce noise, require frequent maintenance and, lastly, during those years lot of studies have discovered that are not so eco-friendly either.

That’s why Delft University and its department of Wind Energy has developed EWICON, a blade-less wind turbine that uses the movement of electrically charged water droplets to generate power.

The rectangular-rounded-corner steel frame supports a framework of horizontal steel tubes. Within the framework, electrically charged droplets are created and blown away by the wind. Their movement creates an electric current that is then passed onto the grid. 

It doesn’t cast shadows, and because there are no moving parts, it has much lower maintenance costs than conventional wind turbines. It can be installed both onshore and offshore, or mounted on a roof.

A Plan to Demolish Unsustainable Mid-Century Skyscrapers in New York

Re-zoning midtown would ultimately lead to the demolition of the corporate steel and glass skyscrapers, which preservationists argue are emblematic of the cutting edge American 50’s modernism.

From the other hand landlords contest that the most part are poorly copy of great landmarks such as the Seagram and Lever buildings and are not particularly significant or suited for modern needs.

The study commissioned by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority says that owners could demolish and replace these mid-century buildings with a 44% larger replacement that would consume 5% less energy and offset its carbon cost of construction within 15 to 28 years.

That goes against what conservationists have said for long times. The Preservation Green Lab published last year concluded that in almost all cases retrofitting and renovation was the better option for energy efficiency, helping 4-46% savings and immediate returns.

While Bill Browning of Terrapin Bright Green argues that these midtown New York skyscrapers can’t be adapted because “the structure of the buildings is not substantial enough to support retrofitting double or triple glazed facades”.

So the question is still on, even if the direction is getting clearer to everyone.

Xiangxiangxiang Boutique Container Hotel | Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co.

The whole hotel is made from 35 containers that reflect the design idea of “less burden on the nature” concept, developing a unique intense and “incense” experience to the guests. A concept that mixes modern sustainability principles with ancient Chinese traditions. creating its own, unique style.

Tongheshanzhi Landscape Design Co. photos

Green+Smart Architecture
EMANUELE VANNI


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