Many of the most unpleasant aspects of urban life are caused by cars.
Large sweltering expanses of tarmac in cities contribute heavily to urban temperatures. Cars also become unbearably hot in summer sitting in these urban deserts.
Optimizing the heliostatic photovoltaic panels ultimately evolved into their leaflike shape. Though the concept did not intentionally look to mimic the form of a tree, the panels rotate to follow the path of the sun throughout the day – much like sunflowers – absorbing light whilst also providing optimal shading for cars. Although all parked cars can benefit from shading, electric vehicles can directly charge their batteries by plugging into the solar trees.
Solar Tree is unique among anti-auto pollution designs in that it empathizes with the automobile, but particularly with the electric car, providing a place for overworked, spent cars to regain their lost torque, to relax beneath the trees, to gain back their juice in an optimal stress-free environment.
Produce: solar tree
Designer: neville mars
philippe starck, creator of high-tech lamps, modern-style furniture, and chic hotels, has revealed two highly-anticipated wind turbine designs for home use. “Revolutionair,” the sleek turbines were officially debuted after a lengthy 2 years of research and work.
images from presentation
The “Revolutionair” turbine is “revolutionary” because they’re designed for homeowners. That means wind turbines in yards, gardens, or on roofs to generate power for their households. The clear quadrangular 400W WT model has a power output of 400W and the helicoidal 1KW WT one will be able to generate 1 KW of power.
The designer turbines will be produced by Italy’s Pramac and will sell for around $3,800 USD (quadrangular) and $6,000 USD (helicoidal).
“We have to help people to produce energy, to be part of the fight,” Starck said at the unveiling in Milan. “Energy should not be a punishment, we should create a desire (among people to produce it).”
Designer: philippe starck
snack-itecture. hungry writer meets deadline. food for thought.
above: london olympic aquatic center, being constructed for 2012 looks like a pringle
above: bergisel ski jump in innsbruck, austria looks like a cheeto
more analysis from john seabrook/new yorker
more on this menu from alissa walker/fastcompany
Nearly seven weeks late, Zaha Hadid’s pavilion for the Burnham Plan centennial was worth the wait.
Thomas Gray’s film “Chicago: Past, Present and Future,” plays inside architect Zaha Hadid’s pavilion during the public opening that is part of the centennial celebration of Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago in Millennium Park.
Chicago architecture critic, Blair Kamin reports that the Zaha Hadid pavillion is not up and running yet and a new contractor has been hired. There is an August 1 deadline to complete fabrication or delay penalties kick in. What may come out of this is simply the initial contractor was not up to the task. Or the architect’s concept is just that.
See feature article for more details on the Burnham Plan Centennial events.
Chicago’s Burnham plan is 100 years old.
above: image from the 1909 publication ”Plan of Chicago” by Daniel Burnham. Burnham was famous for the dictum “Make no little plans,” and Jules Guerin’s alluring watercolor renderings in the published “Plan of Chicago” gave this vision an ethereal cast.
above: daniel hudson burnham.
above: This view from the Plan of Chicago shows Grant Park and a proposed harbor in the lake. Much of Daniel Burnham’s plan for the layout of the city was implemented. In addition to being an important planning document, the 1909 plan was a beautiful work of art. (Photo courtesy Chicago Historical Society)
above: River intersection, from Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett, Plan of Chicago. note: the building depicted on the far right is now merchandise mart which was built in 1930.
above: Guerin, Jules. “Proposed Boulevard to connect the north and south sides of the river; View looking north from Washington Street.” (artwork courtesy of Newberry Library) note: in 1909 no one appears to have envisioned the “sky scraper” though “invented” by William Le Baron Jenney (1832–1907) with his ten-story Home Insurance Building on the corner of La Salle and Monroe streets in Chicago in 1885.
above: Burnham Pavilion by Zaha Hadid Architects, a temporary pavilion in Millennium Park, Chicago.
above: The pavilion, along with another designed by UNStudio (see below), will celebrate the Burnham Plan Centennial events and will be open to the public from 19 June to 31 October.
above: The temporary pavilion from Ben van Berkel of UNStudio.
above: The Chicago Architecture Foundation putting together a scale model of Chicago at its headquarters on Michigan Avenue in celebration of the centennial of the Burnham Plan.
WGN: video of scale model
Chicago was lucky to have an urban visionary who not only had credibility but social clout amongst Chicago’s elite. Planning for this Centennial has been going on for over a year and there are fortunately
above: proposed Eco-Bridge will serve as a breakwater in the Monroe Harbor and create recreational space for residents and visitors.
above: to give a modern and sustainable twist to the original idea, wind turbines will also be incorporated in the project to add economic value and show Chicago’s dedication to sustainability. An observation tower will be placed at the center of the bridge, providing spectacular views of the lake and city.
Chicago hopes that the Eco-Bridge will further enhance their bid for the 2016 Olympic Games – they hope the observation tower will be used to house the Olympic flame.
Chicago is also lucky to have a visionary with all kinds of clout who is inspired by Europe, loves all things green, bikes all over the city, likes scale models and the Olympic Games. Thank you mayor Richard M. Daley.
The Burnham Plan: the plan for chicago
Chicago Architecture Foundation: burnham plan centennial events
The Art Institute of Chicago: without bonds or limits
Wikipedia: daniel burnham
Wikipedia: burnham plan
The Urbanophile: what made the plan successful
Paul Goldberger: toddlin’ town
Unbeige: excited mayor leads to scale model
10 Anni Con Ettore, exhibiting limited-edition works that Ettore Sottsass made the last ten years of his life for Galleria Clio Calvi Rudi Volpi.
top image Akub, 2003
above: architettura romantica, 2004
Architect Dietmar Koering of Arphenotype has designed these electricity pylons for a competition to envisage a new power transmission network in Iceland.
Each pylon to be between 17 and 32 meters tall, with the shape of each varying according to its
longitude and latitude.
Adaptability is an distinction of evolution, but today’s instant variations in [virtual] extended phenotypes call for something stronger: adaptability of nature! In nature material is used with optimum efficiency. Cells continually adapt to precisely fulfill their function.
Through researching organic forms and their production methods the intelligence of the material itself should support the design language, the lightness and stiffness. Fibrous systems and computation is the answer for this new task. Fibrous system in biology: inspiration! Like in the evolution through phenotypes, the production is based on a clear code; where the evolution part and the random variation is bounded to the specific landscape and site.
Architectural form and its relationship to nature, environment and society has rich antecedents to the human body. The idea is that the power net is building one main spine of nowadays society which enables living on a high standard in an age of communication; therefore the spines of the power net reflects an organic language.
The organic structure is covered with a high reflective “lotus-effect” color. It will be cleaned through natural weather conditions and will reflect the nature itself, which strengthens the idea of a graphical integration to the landscape. The final tower will blend into its environment physical and virtual. It creates a feedback loop in the observed system.
Each transmission tower is shaped in height between 17m and 32m by computer-driven equipment according to its site / longitude and latitude. This approach permits the structures to be modeled and easily fabricated translating into a reasonable cost.
For maximum strength and stability the construction method is based on the idea of a Tripod. Once the parameters are set, it is just the location of tower by latitude and longitude, which will result in unique towers.
The main material used for the towers is an aramid-fibre-matrix bounded with eco resin through thermosetting, which gives the material stability to degration, UV, weathering and wind. The main structure will be built through filament winding and resin transfer molding. This material allows also in computer aided manufacturing an organic design language without much more costs. The thickness of the material will change through the whole system, calculated by software to adapt the stiffness to site + location and natural forces like wind.
The towers will be prefabricated and mounted on site on concrete foundation, which will support the idea of natural material on site.
Today’s pursuit to build lightweight for economic, material engineering and environmental reasons is the logical response to today’s changing society where flexibility is the prime survival quality.
Once the system is set up it will be a leading manufacturing site for fibrous systems. The high tech environment makes it hard to copy the design language and production method, which leads to a unique company.
The competition’s organizers Landsnet the Association of Icelandic Architects.
If wind turbines are a turn-on for you… (more…)
Some water fountains are really people magnets. Observing human interaction, the kinetic creativity of the Jaume Plensas fountain in Chicago the past three years has inspired this post.
( above ) designer, jaume plensas, chicago, USA. water and digital video.
( above ) designer, armand vallancourt, san francisco USA. concrete tubing.
( above ) fountain clock, kanazawa JP. fountain clock.
( above ) designer, unknown, location unknown. the waterboard, not exactly a fountain.
( above ) designer, lotta hannerz, paris, FR. water mobile venus.
( above ) designer, unknown, seattle US. variable pressure fountain.
( above ) designer, unknown, zacatecas MX. a fountain inside a silver mine.
( above ) designer, william pye, sunderland UK. water vortex.
Is there a difference between an older, more traditional fountain vs modern? Do you have a favorite you frequent or fond memories of one?