Category Archives: ARCHITECTURE

forget the cubicles, plexiglas bubbles are the future

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(image credit: Christian Pottgiesser Architects) a giant work desk dominates the general office area

when it comes to office spaces, not many designers can really think out of the box. what we usually see is the common monotonous low partition walls or at best, it will be an open concept system. however, the offices of PONS + HUOT really opens our eyes with its open-spaciousness and yet providing each employee with a personal space, less the traditional partitions.

designed by French firm Christian Pottgiesser Architects, the PONS + HUOT general workspace centers on a enormous wooden desk that links up the members of the company. providing the member the retreat of a personal space is a space-age looking clear plexiglas bubbles dotted around the enormous desk.

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(image credit: Christian Pottgiesser Architects) Pons + Huot office – chill out, anyone?

the enormous desk not only let employee has a sense of connection between them but also gives each member a good useable real estate for them to work around. something which a cubicle-bound staff would fully appreciate. like Oh Gizmo!’s Liszewski, i’m thankful that my days of cubicle are over.

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(image credit: Christian Pottgiesser Architects) Pons + Huot office – a render of the interior design

compensating for the lack of external views, the PONS + HUOT office creates its very own environment by the way of trees with high canopy littered around the giant work desk. what’s even more impressive is this huge workspace is actually located above a meeting area and a staff member chill out area. effectively, making the workspace a loft area environment which looks to be very inviting (i know, i feel kind of odd saying that).

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Christian Pottgiesser Architects (FR) via Oh Gizmo!

pre-war factory turns into a contemporary eco-centric office

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(image credit: Doepel Strijkers Architects)

we hardly post anything on interior design, but we shouldn’t shy away from this subject, which is after all, part of an architecture. here’s one impressive interior conceived by Holland-based Doepel Strijkers Architects to kick start our foray into interior design column. the subject in question is the HAKA Building, a pre-war factory which Doepel Strijkers Architects was task to convert into a “clean tech living lab” for eco-friendly water and energy institutions. the result is this stunning ultra-modernist, contemporary and eco-friendly interior.

in an effort to reduce wastage in terms of energy and transportation, both in financial dollars and environmental point-of-view, all materials used for the interior build-up are sourced locally. the team even went to the extent to savage materials from demolition sites such as those doors that were used to form the meeting room. the list of recycled materials-based furniture and decors are certainly impressive: recycled wood and planks sculptured into seatings and stage, recycled doors transformed an otherwise open space into an unique and uberly-cool meeting room, and check this out – a colorful and flexible acoustic wall created out of 17,700 pounds (about 8,000 kg) of old clothing. it is truly a sight to behold.

putting up all these together is a group of ex-convicts under professional guidance. the ex-cons provide a source of affordable labour, and at the same time, injects a sense of social consciousness into this eco-centric project. we are extremely impressed and we are sure you would too. check out more awesome images of this interior design work below and also note my personal favorite – the vertically hanging fluorescent light tubes.

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the ‘treetop’ diner is the coolest diner we ever seen

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(image credit: Inhabitat)

a treehouse is every child’s dream playground, perhaps because it offers a hideaway sanctuary for a child to play out his fantasy either in the backyard of the house or for those adventurous at heart, at the fringe of some forested area. the dream of treehouse isn’t lost when we grow up. take for example, this awesome twenty-foot treehouse in Okinawa, Japan modeled after a life-size banyan tree – albeit it not being a real tree but a concrete structure complete with a restaurant nested among its branches, an elevator within its trunk and a spiral staircase at its back for accessing the restaurant.

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the restaurant in question is the Nana Harbor Diner which specializes in locally grown and organic foods. this magnificent treehouse restaurant is located within the, what do we know? a Banyan Town shopping center! which is near the entrance of Onoyama Park.

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via Inhabitat

Lilypad is a floating city ready to fight the rising tide

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(image credit: Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

it is said that the global water level will continue to rise, putting those residing in low-lying areas at risk of being displaced, thus becoming refugees of climate change. it may sound like something that will only happen in a movie like 2012, but this unpleasant prospect might well be very real. it is certainly not too late for us to think into the future and crack our brain to think of how we will cope with such calamity. one, and possibly the only solution to counter such rising tide scenario would be a floating island or city and Vincent Callebaut Architectures‘ concept, Lilypad, is a completely self-sustainable floating Ecopolis that is intended for such purpose.

capable of housing up to 50,000 people within its 500,000 m2 surface and sub-surface area, this stunning floating architecture of the future drew its inspiration from the highly ribbed leave of the great lilypad of Amazonia Victoria Regia. Lilypad is designed to be a zero carbon emission city through the integration with all forms of renewable energies such as solar, thermal, wind, tidal energy et cetera. the double layer skin of this amazing architecture is made of polyester fibers covered by a layer of Titanium Dioxide (TiO2), which would react with ultraviolet rays and absorb atmospheric pollution via a photocatalytic effect, thereby purifying the air.

we have not seen a lot of floating city but from the few concepts that we have witnessed, the Lilypad is perhaps the most breathtaking and phenomenal concept to date. needless to say, this won’t be happening anytime soon as Callebaut has designed the Lilypad with a vision set in 2100 which, judging from the recent drastic climate changes in recent years, could be a little too late. nevertheless, we hope this stunning work would receive the attention from designers, architects, private and government institutions from around the world and hence, set forth to provide a practical solution to the climate change refugees.

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via Inhabitat

BIG puts a ski slope on a waste incineration building

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(image credit: BIG)

skiing down the side of a waste incinerator might not be a dream of every avid skiers but this particular building unveiled by Bjarke Ingels Group or BIG integrates a ski slope into a waste incinerator building which brings skiing vacation right into the urban landscape. the building, dubbed the Amagerforbraending or AMF in short, is expected to be located between the industrial and residential sectors of Copenhagen.

the AMF looks a mountain itself and would features ‘recycled synthetic granular’ materials in place of snow and there’s no ski-lift here, instead, the skiers would take a ride in an elevator which runs along the smoke stack to reach the summit. while on their way up, the skiers will be treated to a view of the interior workings of the waste incinerator which wouldn’t be a pretty sight. but what do i know? remember what we said about mountain? well, the facade is wrapped in modular grid of planters and windows that are accented with greeneries, making the architecture looks like a mountain in the city.

the roof will supports three slopes of different gradients and therefore, accommodating skiers with a broad range of experiences. the AMF will features more than 1500-meters of ski runs, which includes a terrain park.

having personally been involved in waste incinerator in the past, i can’t help but to wonder how the foul smell that usually associated with a waste incinerating plant, will be curbed. while concept is limited by our imaginations but the practicality, in this case, presence of foul smell remains a gargantuan task to be dealt with. even if, as the concept touted to be, carbon dioxide and water vapor would be the only two elements being discharged into the atmosphere.

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via Inhabitat

France could have the world’s fanciest fire station

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(image credit: Jean Marc Ibos Myrto Vitart)

French fire fighters could soon be residing in the world’s fanciest fire station while standing by for their call of duty. aside from the pleasing sight of a brightly lit contemporary architecture, the Porte Pouchet housing a fire station and the municipal motor transport, will come equipped with bedrooms, a restaurant, a glass-fence terrace featuring a running track and a full size soccer field for those sporting leisure time. designed by French architects Jean Marc Ibos Myrto Vitart, this concept building is definitely a great shift from the perceived boring fire stations of red bricks and dull grey concrete. from the visual presented, one would never guess that it is in fact a fire station. i bet the French fire fighters are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping this would be realized.

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via Fast Co. Design

Spiral Garden System is the garden of the urbanized future

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(image credit: IIDA)

we see future in two aspects: concrete and steel structures replaced greeneries, and physical socializing becomes whole lot lesser. i don’t know about the rest of the pops but i see bleakness in the future. something has to be done to encourage a little more greens and more real socializing instead of Facebook. well, presented here is the vision of four designers, Benet Dalmau, Saida Dalmau, Anna Julibert & Carmen Vilar that could prevent the human of the future from being zombiefied.

introducing the Spiral Garden System which is a self-sufficient, sustainable public garden. the people of future, who has sudden craving for greeneries, could just head on to this beautiful light structure where within lies native vegetation coexisting with urban orchard along a walkway that spirals skyward. these greeneries are shared and planted for the neighborhood and thus encouraging them to be involved in the creation and up-keeping of this garden, which no doubt will improved the social relations greatly.

the funny thing is, people tend to associate this type of social gathering with older folks but maybe, that will not be the case for the people of the future. socialization will be great, at least not until some neighbors started vying for the fruits of the labor. nevertheless, at least there’s some sight of light in the bleakness. however, i just don’t see the ‘self-sufficient’ part, though. we also noted that people of the future probably won’t be able to do frisbee throw in there.

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via Yanko Design

concept theme park goes the vertical way, right in the middle of the city

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(image credit: Ju-Hyun Kim)

theme park is land intensive and often, far away from city centers. it not only takes up huge land mass and visitors have to travel long distances just to experience the theme park. it is no coincident that traveling, usually by automobile, chalked up carbon emissions. what if we could have a theme park that doesn’t take up huge land mass and it is near to majority of the population? apparently, this is what New York-based architect Ju-Hyun Kim has in mind and the concept? it’s an urban vertical theme park right smack in the middle of New York City.

this vertical theme park scape like any other skyscrapers in the city comes complete with thrill rides, children rides and amenities that you would expect of a typical theme park. going skyward not only reduce the land required significantly, and being in right in the city means less traveling and accessibility via public transportation systems to the theme park is possible. indirectly, this will reduce our carbon emissions and less gas being used by the visitors for those who still do drives to the theme park. admittedly, we do have enough land space but it is the traveling which contributes to the carbon emissions and also the gas used to reached this places that impact the environment. not to mention, walking around the park to get from ride to ride could be an extremely tiring activity.

having a skyscraper as a theme park seems like a logical way, since we already have some on top of buildings. so why not take a bolder step? don’t let the prospect of vertical theme park scares you off. it will have rides and amenities that are on par with any typical theme parks. the vertical theme park will includes favorite thrill rides such as the Flume Ride, Roller Coaster (that scales down the peripheral of the building), kiddie rides such as the Vertical Carousel, Ferris Wheel and family spots such as the Sky Promenade and Space Theater. for extreme thrill seekers, there’s the City Diver – bungee jumping, the city-style, from 550 feet above ground.

of course, staples such as eateries and other service facilities will not be left out. now, as a side advantage (of being in the city), everyday white collar workers can hit the theme park any time of the day to relief themselves of the stress they had accumulated in their offices. in business point of view, it will be more business everyday and not just during holiday seasons. certainly an interesting concept that theme park lovers will love to see it becomes a reality someday. concept design is out, now it is time for some bold company (with excellent engineering brains) to take on the challenge. anyone?

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via Inhabitat

2012? not to worry when you have The Ark floating dwelling

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(image credit: Remistudio)

the idea of self-sustaining, floating dwelling is nothing new but the Ark floating dwelling is conceptually impressive, at least on the design front. if the myth on 2012 is true, then this concept might just be able to keep us alive. designed to be self-sustaining, the shape of the Ark allows convenient installation of photovoltaic cells to take advantage of the solar energy and the is capable of drawing warm air, gathers them in seasonal heat accumulators to provide continuous energy supply to the building.

if this becomes a reality, i suspect that it will be reserved for the super rich. you know how it is. pay a tidy sum for those just-in-case situation. however it is, on one end we are trying to conserve our natural resources, protecting the Mother Earth and on the other end, we could prepare ourselves for the worst with such Ark. hmm, an Ark huh? what an appropriate name… i guess we earthlings just got ourselves covered pretty good.

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via Inhabitat

self-powered house can even charged up two electric cars

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(image credit: ILEK)

the concept of solar powered house isn’t new, but it never quite took off due to the immense cost for solar panelings, and the little returns in term of usable electrical power. not to mention the bulk and ugliness the panels will bring to the house. however, this scenario is set to change with the concept house designed by Institute of Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design (ILEK). the concept house, dubbed the Plus-Energy house, is cladded in a shell of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal systems which generates both electricity and hot water.

special considerations were given in making it energy efficient which includes clever interior layout to maximize the use of natural lighting and also use of selective materials to improve insulation. all which could contribute to reduce in energy consumption. the Plus-Energy house is said to be able to generate enough electrical power for its own consumption, charges up to two electric cars at the same time and have energy to spare, enabling it to contribute to the grid. this would make the would-be dwellers of this eco-friendly house, a true-blue tree-hugger.

i am a believer of solar energy, and any other form of renewable energy. partly, because it will do some good to the environment, and also it really means cost saving to me. ok, i am practical person. but the prospect of not having to pay the grid for electrical power really excites me. so i say, this Plus-Energy House is wicked cool.

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(image credit: ILEK)