ArchiWEB Explorer: Architecture

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Civitas Designs Water Resiliency into Denver North Stapleton Open Space Plan

With the catastrophic storm flooding in Houston and Florida again sounding the alarm about development patterns and ever-expanding impermeable urban surfaces in cities across the U.S., the sustainable design strategies for one Denver neighborhood stand out. Denver-based urban design and landscape architecture firm Civitas has been instrumental in the design of Stapleton, a 4000-acre mixed-use brownfield redevelopment on the former Stapleton Airport site, since the community’s inception in 1988, particularly in the articulation of its beloved parks and greenways. Now as final developable acreage in Stapleton is being graded for construction, most of the parks system has opened, even as the North Stapleton Open Space Plan for the newest neighborhoods north of I-70 has won Civitas an ASLA Colorado merit award. A final centerpiece of the plan—Prairie Meadows Park—is scheduled to open spring of 2018.

Fractal Chapel: Tree-Inspired Columns Branch Out to Open Up Interior Space

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

A series of stacked tree-like supports seem to abstract the nature in this Japanese chapel, bringing a small geometric forest inside this otherwise minimalist space to serve a contemporary congregation.

Designed by architects of Momoeda Yo, the square pillars were made using traditional Japanese woodworking methods. They stack on top of each other, forming different forest layers and growing smaller as they go up — a fractal-style repeating pattern.

Four reasons you should choose laminate flooring

Giving your home a makeover isn’t always easy, or cheap for that matter. One of the main things you need to consider, that often gets overlooked, is the floor.

This should be one of the first things you take care of, mainly because it’s the very foundation of the house and isn’t cheap either! For this reason it is understandable that you expect something to last, be practical and of course look nice. So, why not to think about laminate flooring as one of the options? Here are four reasons why we highly recommend laminate floors.


Tikku: Three-Story Minimalist Micro Apartment Fits in a Single Parking Space

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

Proponents of our supposed driverless car-sharing future say the system could lead to a dramatic drop in the number of vehicles in our cities, so does that mean we’ll be able to fill our sudden abundance of parking spaces with micro houses like this one? The Tikku by Marco Casagrande is a three-story structure with a footprint that fits perfectly within a single parking spot and can be erected overnight. Wherever a car can go, “the Tikku can grow,” says the architect.

Stoned in Scotland: Modern Home Shrouded in 17th Century Ruins

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Without touching a single stone in the ruins of a 17th century farmhouse in Scotland, two architects managed to incorporate it exactly as it is into a modern, ultra-efficient, solar-powered family home. Lily Jencks Studio and Nathanael Dorent Architecture collaborated on a project that literally builds upon history, opting to adapt the ruins for a new usage in a way that highlights their history instead of trying to recreate what the farmhouse looked like once upon a time.

Mies Makeover: Artists Cover Barcelona Pavilion’s Marble Walls with White

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

A minimalist icon by Mies van der Rohe is becoming even more minimal thanks to a series of vinyl screens installed over its ornate marble walls, making the full-size building look like a blown-up miniature model.

Spanish architects and artists Anna and Eugeni Bach are behind this temporary Mies Missing Materiality installation at the Barcelona Pavilion, installing white vinyl screens to compliment the simplicity of the steel-and-glass structure.

Like the marble panels, dividing lines in the applied surfaces create a ‘mirroring’ effect, evoking a sense of symmetry across the horizontal axis like a reflective plane floating in space.

Living Lights: Grid-Free Lamps to Illuminate Cities Using Plant Photosynthesis

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ]

Microorganisms in this Living Light project convert chemical energy from photosynthetic processes into electric current, making these lamps perfect for off-grid and other green, cost-reducing applications.

Dutch designer Ermi van Oers envisions this approach working at scale and used to power smart cities, starting with things like street lamps but eventually providing energy for other applications as well. Plans are already in place with Rotterndam to illuminate a city park unique this process and technology.

“The potential is huge,” the designer says. “Street lights could be connected to trees. Forests could become power plants. Rice fields in Indonesia could produce food and electricity for the local population.”

Architects for Animals: 13 Designer Cat Houses Auctioned for Feline Charity

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Furniture & Decor. ]

Giant balls of twine, complex tunnel systems and integrated scratching posts are some of the features on offer in this series of deluxe architect-designed cat houses created by Los Angeles architects for a charitable auction.

Architects for Animals, a local charity, uses the Giving Shelter fundraiser to collect donations and support services for help feral, stray and abandoned cats in a city with an estimated 3,000,000 such animals.

Creative Ideas to Brighten up Your Office Space

When we think about brightening up an office space, we tend to think about lighting and splashes of colour. Fair enough. However, as many people find, growing space issues and clutter can turn any place into a stressful mess and become a drab interior. Have you ever noticed how bright your office looks just by clearing surfaces? Whether you work from home or in a corporate environment, there are creative and workable solutions that you can integrate into an office setting.

Colourful Canvas Art


Ok, yes, we are talking about the “splashes of colour” part. Purchasing a canvas print IS a great way to brighten up a drab office instantly. In fact, why stop at one? You could switch a print to a different one every couple of months or sooner. Who says that you have to look at the same picture time after time? Go further! With services that can take your pictures to a new level, you can have custom, lightweight artwork that can work well on your walls. These can be pictures that motivate you to work harder, such as pictures of your children, or a beautiful shot of a desired travel destination. Have a new goal? Switch up your wall art.

NASA Green

Disfiguring a PoMo Icon

On Monday Snøhetta released renderings of their proposed renovation of 550 Madison Avenue, better known as the AT&T Building, designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee and completed in 1984. The main rendering reveals that a section of the pink-granite base facing Madison would be removed in favor of a wavy glass wall exposing the innards of the lower floors, including diagonal steel bracing located just behind the facade.

[Rendering: DBOX, courtesy of Snøhetta]

The main argument for what is effectively a disfigurement of a Postmodern icon is, in the words of Snøhetta, that "the recognizable top of the tower will remain a fixture of the New York City skyline." Even though the oft-called Chippendale top of the AT&T Building is its most recognizable feature, it is not a separate entity from the base. Base and top are two parts of a total composition, one that emphasized weight and aperture at a time when glass and skin were the norm.