8/30/2012

NYC Lowline Park Exhibit


Arch Daily reports New York Cities Lowline proposal is going public.  After much international support, the Lowline founders are launching a public exhibition to showcase their innovative technological approach to creating the world's first underground park on the Lower East Side of New York City.  The full scale exhibition will take place in the Essex Market Building D, an abandoned warehouse just above the proposed Lowline Park, from September 15-27.



The challenge of the underground park is providing sunlight, fresh air, and the feeling of openness to an isolated section of rail tracks.  James Ramsey, Co-Founder of the Lowline and owner of Raad Studio, has embraced this challenge and is excited to share the team's innovative solar technology.  Part of the solution is creating remote skylights would concentrate natural sunlight at street level, and then channel it underground, generating enough light to support photosynthesis.


The exhibit will feature the installation of a solar collector, a canopy distributor, and a small-scale green park to help the community envision the technology and its aesthetic elements.  The exhibition will showcase innovative research proposals on mobility for a new kind of public space in New York City with special attention on the potential of transportation systems and underground spaces.  Nine student proposals from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation will be presented along with a 50-foot-long suspended model of Manhattan's subway grid that contextualizes the Lowline within the city's huge inventory of underground spaces.

8/24/2012

VM Houses, Copenhagen, Denmark


The VM Houses are two residential blocks formed as the letters V and M.  Designers at BIG+JDS architects designed the blocks as such to allow for daylight, privacy and views.  The V-house is lifted to create a permeable block with a semi-private public court for residents.  The pedestrian landscaping flows from from the street, under the V-house and into the courtyard forming a spatial unity and sense of community between the two buildings.  The courtyard also accommodates a play area for the kindergarten in the base of M-house, along with than interactive learning area beneath the V-house.



The logic of the diagonal slab utilized in the V-house is broken down in smaller portions for the M-house.  In this project the typology of the Unite d'Habitation of Le Corbusier is reinterpreted and improved: the central corridors are short and receive light from both ends..  The building volumes provide optimal air, light and views for all flats.  All apartments have a double-height space to the north, and wide panoramic views to the south.





The VM housing project also makes use of practical sustainable planning tenants.  The V & M shapes of the buildings in plan also help the solar orientation of the building, allowing proper solar gain for heating and cross ventilation for cooling.  The heavy construction system also helps minimize heat loss.






8/20/2012

Troll Wall Restaurant, Norway


The Troll Wall Restaurant and visitors center is a unique addition to the landscape, located at the foot of the Troll Wall, the design takes its cue from the surrounding landscape and impressive mountain wall.




Troll Wall is Europe's tallest vertical, overhanging rock face in the Romsdal Valley.  The Romsdal Valley has some of the tallest, sheerest cliffs in Europe and is a popular place for BASE jumping including "birdmen" jumping off cliffs in Wingsuits.  The location set the tone for the new service and information center.





The design by RRA is carefully planned in relation to the Troll Wall.  At the same time it is building a character and identity which in itself will be an attraction in the region. The building has a simple, though flexible plan, with a asymmetrically pitched roof that borrows its movement from the surrounding landscape.  The simple design gestures give the building its character and identity that makes the Service center a premier attraction in the region.



Images Courtesy of Reiulf Ramstad Architects

BOXPARK, London


BOXPARK Shoreditch is the world's first pop-up mall, based in the heart of East London for the next five years.  The concept strips and refits shipping containers to create unique, low cost, low risk, 'box shops'.  The refitted containters were paired with a unique mix of international fashion and lifestyle brands, galleries and caf├ęs.  The idea is that these moveable shipping containers will pop-up anywhere in the world.  It is not meant to be invasive.  Wherever it pops up, it fits in, joins in and contributes to the community.  BOXPARK aims to become part of the fabric of local life by adding color, creativity and life of its own.





BOXPARK is a living, fertile community of brands packed with talent, innovation and attitude that puts creativity and fashion back where they belong: on the street.  Its a place to not only shop, but to drop in and hang out, people watch and enjoy friends.





Vendors are selected by invitation only, of ground-breaking brands to create a revolutionary mix, and simply create products.  Its philosophy is to give innovative retailers space at affordable rates and on unbeatably flexible terms.  Some shops will be offered to local creative industries and organizations at preferential rates to ensure BOXPARK always involves and enhances every community it joins.




8/14/2012

Contemporary Social and Affordable Housing Around the World


The Hatert Housing project was completed in 2011, designed by 24H architecture for the city of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.  I the Hatert district at the edge of the city, the housing corporations Portaal and Talis organized a great renewal operation.  Much of the current housing options in the city do not comply with contemporary standards or needs a complete overhaul.  The city of Nijmegen worked in cooperation with the office of Khandekar towards a master-plan in which most of the present houses are renovated or renewed.  The open areas in the neighborhood will be filled with several new housing projects.




24H Architecture's design consist of a sturdy tower with free formed balconies at its four corners, making a recognizable sculpture from all directions.  The parking is located underneath a raised deck that will function as a new public space for the citizens of Hatert.  Underneath the housing program the ground floor will be used as a community health center.



The Hegeman/ Cook + Fox, Brooklyn NY


The Hegeman, designed by Cook + Fox Architects, is a residential community in Brownsville, brooklyn that provides housing for low-income and formerly homeless individuals.  The Hegeman Residence will also provide a range of on-site social services in a model known as supportive housing.  It is also part of a Common Ground's Green Campaign, emphasizing healthy living through health and indoor air quality, restorative and biophilic design, and best practices to save tenants money on energy bills.

Social Housing In Granada, Spain



Honeycomb Apartments/ Izola, Livade/ Slovania







DPU Social Housing/ Paris, France





Can Travi- Senior housing and public facilities/ Barcelona, Spain