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Monthly Archives: March 2009

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a 2007 project by artists Steve Lambert and Packard Jennings in which they reimagined the city of San Francisco as a city of roller coasters, wildlife preserves, underground libraries and health clubs installed inside BART cars, and, of course, zip lines across the San Francisco Bay

http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/cable-city-and-hanging-hotel.html

The tectonics of cables are admirably displayed in these drawings.

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http://www.heatherwick.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=35

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This project introduces a new form into a typical cast-iron structure.   The intention was to find a way to induce customers to come up to the second floor where the shop is located.

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http://www.heatherwick.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=21&Itemid=42

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Constructed from timber, the building is made in layers, each the height of a step, built up into a folded form, which came from extensive experimentation with different fabrics and which recalls the ceremonial cloth that the Buddha sits on.   Design by Heatherwick Studio, UK

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/skyline/2009/02/02/090202crsk_skyline_goldberger

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Article on Diller and Scofidio’s  Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.   The quote below applies to projects in general. 

Architects sometimes talk of design elements as “moves,” as if they were playing a game of chess, and when dealing with problematic older buildings the chess analogy is apt. You are more likely to succeed if you craft a strategy consisting of a lot of carefully considered small moves, not one big one. That’s one reason for the failure of Frank Gehry’s plan, a few years back, to solve Lincoln Center’s problems by putting a gargantuan glass dome over the main plaza. Move by move, you have to take your cues from the architecture that is already there, but you can’t let the older building dictate everything, either. Liz Diller, Ric Scofidio, and Charles Renfro, along with their associate architects, the firm of FXFowle, have figured out the balance. They joust with Belluschi’s architecture, but they never try to kill off the old structure.

So I was watching a show called Mega Structures on TV and I saw an episode on this project. It seems like an efficient concept. What do you think?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shimizu_Mega-City_Pyramid

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Here are some other pics

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Dubai is a burgeoning metropolis surrounded by seawater that relies on imports for nearly all of its food. Addressing the region’s lack of natural resources, Italian architects Studiomobile have conceived of a Seawater Vertical Farm that draws upon local resources to create a sustainable source of food for a cleaner, greener and more self-sufficient Dubai. Envisioned as a spire that branches off into soaring sky-gardens, the design uses seawater to create an ecosystem conducive to growing crops amid the clouds.

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Agriculture consumes nearly 70% of the world’s fresh water, which leaves many areas of the earth subject to shortages of this essential resource. Saltwater, on the other hand, is available in abundance around the globe, which makes sustainable desalination an enticing option for producing potable water for food production. Dubai’s lack of fertile soil and fresh water make it a perfect candidate for seawater farms, which stand to cut down on the emirate’s regular truckloads of goods while significantly reducing the region’s oil dependency and greenhouse gas emissions.

Based upon the design of Seawater Greenhouses in Oman and the Gran Canarias, Studiomobile’s ‘Seawater Vertical Farm’ utilizes seawater to cool and humidify the air that ventilates multiple greenhouses, while sunlight distills the saltwater into fresh water to provide life for thousands of plants. Whereas most of today’s desalination plants rely on costly and energy-intensive boiling and pumping, the Seawater Vertical Farm works in a passive manner, continuously cycling through 3 phases for a year-round supply of food.

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In the first phase, incoming seawater is evaporated to condition the air of the tower, creating a humid environment that is perfect for growing crops. Next, the air is pushed out of the greenhouse and through another evaporator that mixes the humid air with warm air from the outside. In the third phase, the hot humid air is pushed upwards due to the stack effect. On the way up, fresh water condense around tubes of cool seawater and as drops accumulate they fall into a collection tank which then waters the crops. In a city known its arid landscape and experimental architecture, the Seawater Vertical Farm offers an enticing source of sustainable agriculture, although its implementation may be quite a ways off granted the current economic climate.

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