August 9, 2014

Solar Decathalon 2002: Trojan Goat

Trojan Goat - by Pakesh Patel
From 2000 to 2002, architecture and engineering students at the University of Virgina worked on the first Solar Decathlon held on the National Mall in Washington D.C. sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Fourteen team designed and built homes powered entirely by the sun. The house won 1st place for architecture (by judges that included Glenn Murcutt) and 2nd place overall. The team also tied for 1st Place in the Energy Balance category, and received several other awards.

August 7, 2014

BIQ House

BIQ House Rendering - src
Hamburg, Germany - The 15 unit Bio intelligent Quotient (BIQ) House, part of the 2013 International Building Exhibition, was built to test the world's first "bio-adaptive" facade, which uses micro-algae to shade the building as well as generate energy, designed by Arup, SSC Strategic Science Consultants and Splitterwerk Architects. As the world's first building powered by algae, the facade's bioreactors use photosynthesis to grow the algae, which is then harvested and converted to biomass for energy generation. This process for generating sustainable, renewable energy creates a shimmering, dynamic green facade for the building. The micro-algae, about the size of bacteria, are generated in reactor panels that are supplied with nutrients and carbon dioxide in order to grow. These panels are the secondary skin of the building envelope covering 2,150 square feet of the southeast and southwest facades.

August 6, 2014

P.F.1 (Public Farm 1) by WORK Architecture Company

Designers: Amale Andraos, Dan Wood
P.F.1 - © Elizabeth Felicella
Public Farm One, by WORK Architecture Company, was the winner of the Young Architects Program, run by the New York Museum of Modern Art and the PS1 Contempoary Art Center, to design a temporary installation in the courtyards of PS1 in Queens, NY in 2008. This temporary installation was a shift from the previous 40 years concept of the Urban Beach into a new leisure revolution, one that created a new symbol of liberation, knowledge, power and fun for the city. The Urban Farm became the symbol for their "generations' preoccupations and hopes for a better and different future." Since cities have become accepted as having superior benefits to the suburbs, including quality of life and environmental impacts, they now have become the place of experimentation. Public Farm 1 (P.F.1) "is an architectural and urban manifesto to engage play and reinvent our cities, and our world, once again." 

January 12, 2014

Walkie-Talkie Building: Melting Cars and Starting Fires

20 Fenchurch Street - src
London, England - The skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street, nicknamed the Walkie-Talkie and the Pint due to its odd shape, is causing issues on the surrounding London streets. Local business owners and motorists confronted the building's developers in September of 2013 blaming the building's unique shape for starting fires and other damage due to the building reflecting the sun's rays.