G8 Updates; 2200 & 2400 Amber Construction

G8 is swiftly progressing through the construction of its newest construction projects at 2200 and 2400 Amber Street in the New Kensington section of Philadelphia.  The homes are turning out beautifully with framing and water proofing complete, and windows installed on both buildings.  Plumbing and electrical work are currently being installed at 2400 and the exterior stucco work is being prepared at 2200 Amber.  Both homes should be complete within in a few months!  Check out the updated photos below!

2400 Amber Residence

2200 Amber Residence



2nd Floor Hall

Front Bedroom

Hall Threshold Window


Mojave Desert Container Home

A container hybrid house prototype, also known as The Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain, is a 2nd generation pre-fab design for a residence and workplace developed by ecotechbuild.  Located in the Mojave Desert in California this kit-like housing product is being offered for the first time to homeowners who want more than what is currently available with pre-fab and manufactured housing, even custom construction.  This hybrid house consists of cargo containers and pre-engineered steel building components that can be erected and combined together at the site, often in less than an hour.

The home boast several sustainable features like a Hybrid House Design; All Recycled Steel Construction; Solar Home Shading System; Living Roof; Water Conservation; and Reduced Construction Costs.

“By combining high-efficiency and mass-produced modular construction methods with innovative design in one of the harshest climate zones in North America, we have developed a low-cost, sustainable, housing system that can be transported and quickly erected anywhere in the world,” explains Architect, Walter Scott Perry, AIA, and Principal of ecotechdesign.


GSI Tower in Cancun

The GSI Tower designed by Sanzpont Arquitectura, is a mixed-use development complete with a shopping mall, offices, and a hotel.  The stunningly bold 20 story double-tiered tower caters to the nature lovers of the world sporting fantastic views of a lush forest and adjacent golf course, and the Caribbean Sea beyond. The energy-efficient building uses passive design techniques and special materials for the eastern and western facades.  The designers were set on creating a transparent urban environment full of air and light.

The western facade is built with alucobond in the form of fish scales in order to circulate air and light between the horizontal louvers. The eastern facade is comprised of serigraph, sandblasted and transparent glass which block excess solar gain without disturbing the incredible views.  The double-tiered tower is connected by two high bridges that are also habitable, allowing for a fun bending shape and solar shading. Flora has been incorporated throughout the building, creating a fluid extension of the natural surroundings at the bottom level and a pleasant urban roof. 


Denmark's Bella Sky Hotel

The new Bella Sky Hotel designed by 3XN could mirror anything from an ultra modern Leaning Tower of Pisa, to sprouting leaves, or parting wings.  The impressive geometries and consistency throughout from the building angles to the cut of the windows or the interior lighting are impressive inside and out.  It is the largest hotel in Scandinavia boasting an intense 15 degree lean, by comparison the Leaning Tower of Pisa Leans at just under 4 degrees.  The interior tells a story of its own.  The furnishings are all natural, the lobby is covered in a monumental living wall, and a massive LED centerpiece subtly changes the inside to mimic the shifting Danish sky.  3XN designed the building to evoke Northern Europe's connection with the natural world.

Race Street Pier Is Open for Exploration!

A small step but huge accomplishment in implementing the Civic Vision for the Central Delaware was successfully executed last thursday on the waterfront. Race Street Pier is now here sporting contemporary landscaping and an interactive design, this premier park is a testament of what's to come!

The one-acre pier-park, formerly a commercial shipping berth that recently served as a parking lot, is an early project in the development of the Central Delaware into a welcoming urban place with continuous connections to center city and beyond.  The Delaware River waterfront Corp. is making incremental progress on providing public access to the river, with the creation of a no-frills, interim trail along the water's edge from Lombard to Tasker streets, and a pop-up park at Pier 53 south called the Washington Avenue Green.

Some factoids: Courtesy of Plan Philly
Trees:  The 37 large caliper Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor) trees were cultivated for four years at a nursery in Millstone, N.J for the World Trade Center Memorial at Ground Zero in New York City.

Grasses and Perennials:  Almost 10,250 individual 4 inch pots of shade tolerant grasses and perennials were planted in weathered steel planters to increase diversity and add texture, color and seasonal interest.

Lighting: The park’s setting under the Ben Franklin Bridge is spectacular at night; therefore the park was designed to be enjoyed in the evening as well as during the day with extensive lighting including 200 LED Solar Light Blocks embedded into the paving.

Paving: The paving on the upper level ramp is Trex, a sustainable synthetic decking material made out of reclaimed plastic and wood, representing one of the largest public installations of Trex decking in the country.

Railings:  The perimeter railing leans at a 65 degree angle towards the pier, further accentuating the forced one-point perspective of the ramp rising along the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Lights are incorporated into railing on the lower level.

Seating Steps: Tiered seating terraces link the upper and lower levels and create a destination at the end of the pier for viewing, gathering, and contemplation.

Wharf Drops: 2 wharf-drops on the lower level originally used to unload cargo for shipping were retrofitted and integrated into the new park.  They are covered with transparent metal grating and a portion of one has been left open for users to experience the river in an unusual and authentic way.

Fill:  Over 2,015 cubic yards of geofoam were used to form the sky promenade on the upper level.

Tides: The Delaware River is tidal, fluctuating an average of six feet in elevation a day.  At mean high water level, the lower level of the pier will be approximately 4.5 feet above the river, making the Race Street Pier one of rare places where you can get close to the water. The Race Street Pier is also a tidal register, where you can find out the forecast for high and low tides for the City of Philadelphia.

Hours: Race Street Pier will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. during the upcoming summer season. Park rules will prohibit the use of skateboards, skates or recreational scooters.  Motorized vehicles, commercial activity or solicitations, special events, assemblies, performances and amplified sound, as well as drinking alcohol will all require special permits.  Dogs will be required to be on a leash and owners will be asked to pick up after them.