After years of witnessing the ravaging effects of China's rapid transformation from a rural to an urban society, the Tsao brothers decided to devise an alternative. It's no easy feat in a country that has been destroying evidence of its past at an unprecedented rate. At a lecture at the Architectural League last April, Wang Shu, China's most prominent architect, bemoaned the "crazy change" sweeping his homeland, noting that 90 percent of traditional buildings have been destroyed in recent years. — online.wsj.com
Danish non-profit organization Realdania Byg commissioned Vandkunsten architecture studio to design a holiday house that combines the most up-to-date construction techniques with local traditional materials. The architects designed and built a traditional house clad in seaweed—a material that was once used in hundreds of homes on then Danish island of Læsø, of which only 20 remain today. — Inhabitat
The City of Melbourne has been certified carbon neutral, an important step toward its goal of becoming one of the world’s most sustainable cities.
In a carbon constrained economy, councillor Arron Wood said the certification by Low Carbon Australia against the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) “was a solid demonstration of the City of Melbourne’s commitment to a more sustainable Melbourne.” — DesignBuild Source
A growing number of small urban spaces are creating landscaped gardens that stretch beyond floor pots, with greenery growing upwards along walls and fences.
This new trend toward ‘vertical gardens’ is renewing apartments, offices and restaurants inviting greenery to flourish in small spaces. — DesignBuild Source
The Land Art Generator Initiative just announced the winner of its 2012 design competition moments ago in New York City. "Scene Sensor", designed by artists James Murray and Shota Vashakmadze, is a striking piezoelectric energy-generating art project designed to be installed above and below the surface of the Staten Island park. — Inhabitat NYC
So, to re-pose the question: what is the radical aesthetic consequence of the cultural desire for sustainable performance? Is it something that expresses itself in a set of formal rules, like the Modern response to the development of the steel frame? Or is it something — because it is essentially about performance — requiring entirely different means to fruition? Well, as with uncharted territory: here there be dragons. — Places Journal
In his latest essay for Places, David Heymann asks, "What is the 'radical aesthetic potential of sustainable design?" Drawing on examples from Leonardo to Duchamp to Peter Zumthor, Heymann explores the still unmet challenge — the "uncharted territory" — of developing a new aesthetic...
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, entering its second century, is hardly a novice at branding, but at the new Visitor Center it is exercised with comprehensive aplomb. … the green roof is no small engineering feat. With a pitch of up to 27 degrees, it requires complicated networks of special soils held in place with cleats and geo-nets involving drip irrigation systems woven into capillary fabrics, and other impressive techniques with specialized vocabularies known only to au courant gardeners… — Wall Street Journal
The Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE) – an NGO based in Nigeria – is almost finished with an incredible two-bedroom bungalow entirely out of plastic bottles. Although many in Kaduna were dubious when the project began construction in June this year, the nearly-complete home is bullet and fireproof, earthquake resistant, and maintains a comfortable interior temperature of 64 degrees fahrenheit year round. — Inhabitat
It’s official — the Empire State Building has been awarded LEED Gold certification. Thanks to a massive green overhaul that took more than two years, the landmark is now the tallest building in the United States to receive LEED certification. — Inhabitat
The 2011 Solar Decathlon is heating up as 20 teams of students from around the world construct stunning, energy-efficient homes at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. The competition officially opens on September 23rd, but Inhabitat offers a first look at each of this year's solar-powered homes. — Inhabitat
Raumlabor just completed construction on "The Big Crunch" - a recycled building made from a heap of discarded objects. The mound of materials is condensed in a theater plaza from all over the area, seemingly to move like a small wave cresting on the Georg-Büchner-Platz grounds in Darmstadt, Germany. — Inhabitat
Diawa Lease just sent Inhabitat the first photos of their new transforming EDV-1 shelter, which can be set on any terrain, doubles in size with the flick of a switch, and can sustain itself without any outside resources for up to a month by catching and reusing water and generating electricity with a huge built-in solar array. —
Built from a decommissioned Boeing 747, the home features a floating roof made out of the plane's wings that results in a curvilinear home with large floor-to-ceiling windows to take in the sights of the Malibu mountains and Pacific Ocean below. — Inhabitat
This retired Soviet Iluyshin IL-14 plane has found new life as an incredible restaurant and bar in Zurich, Switzerland. The vintage plane and its hangar, located across from the Zurich International Airport, have been converted into a unique dining experience, called Runway 34. The aviation-themed restaurant offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy meals, stiff cocktails, cappuccino and cigars inside the renovated aircraft and its environs. — http://www.inhabitat.com
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