muselet collection by incipit models the form of champagne cork wires

constructed from food safe painted terrocotta and wheel bent wire, this collection can double both as a display piece and serving vessel.

The post muselet collection by incipit models the form of champagne cork wires appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.


Jeppe Hein creates 18 whimsical installations for Brooklyn Bridge Park

Sculptural park benches and a maze constructed of mirrors are among the pieces created by Danish artist Jeppe Hein for an outdoor exhibition in New York (+ slideshow). (more…)


Houzz Tour: Former Train Car Now a Cozy Beach Home (24 photos)

Not many people can count a train car as their ideal place to get away from it all, but when Mark Hampshire and Keith Stephenson want to escape, they head to their converted Victorian guard’s carriage, or train conductor’s car, on the Dungeness headland in Kent, in southeast England. In the early 20th...


Dust Melbourne by Sibling

Integrating online aspects with a physical reality in this Melbourne store was the vision of design studio Sibling (photo: Tobias Titz). The interior architecture for this Melbourne concept label was conceived as a celebration of the senses by the design studio Sibling.

Green architecture

Katherine Houston

One clear and perhaps most cost-effective choice for green architecture is the installation of a green roof. By definition a green or living roof encapsulates a rooftop intentionally housing vegetation to aid the environment. A green roof can range from a basic, lightweight turf to an entire biodiversity garden with wildlife. Through felling rainforests and over fishing the oceans we have continued to increase the impact on the environment, by opting for green architecture solutions such as green roofs, we can augment biodiversity.

Today's society has an advantageous opportunity to implement a multitude of positives for the environment such as green design. Some of these benefits include: increasing biodiversity, insulation, decreasing rainwater run-off volumes, providing green space and more.

Vegetation-adorned buildings have been around for many years, comprising of basic soil and plant roofs, however the contemporary green roof initiated in Germany during the early 1970s and since has made huge advances. Many cities are either trialling or implementing green architecture to help achieve a brighter and more eco friendly future.

Even in harsh climates such as Australia, urban planning professionals in Melbourne have introduced greener initiatives to grow plants off larger buildings in the metropolitan like the Eureka Tower. A native South American plant called a Tillandsia was placed on multiple floors including the very top floor (92nd) to observe their liveability. The plants positioned on the top floor and in the most hostile environment flourished the greatest, and results have shown that they have been not just surviving but thriving for many months. Essentially nocturnal plants, Tillandsia's greatest attribute and finest contributor to green architecture comes from growing at night which vacuums up pollution from the city's peak hour traffic. They also don't require soil or watering, making these plants the next big step to more eco-friendly green roofs in Melbourne. Melbourne is already home to approximately 50 green rooftops, and this modern concept could be the solution for overcoming challenges such as the severe conditions atop high-rise buildings, which essentially reflects the environment of a cliff edge.

Due to these small plants, a city's air quality can improve greatly because this will help decrease the amount of air pollution, by reducing carbon dioxide from the increased oxygen production, also reducing the heat island effect, which has been shown as the main cause of damage to the ozone. The urban heat island effect refers to cities that have a higher average temperature than rural areas; it is a consequence of decreased green space and the large amount of hard surfaces that lead to high thermal mass.
There are initially additional costs for installing a green roof; however the long-term effects of extending the life of a roof's membrane (a roofing system preventing leaks and allowing water run-off) and decreasing both the heating and cooling maintenance costs of the building will outweigh the construction costs.

Green roofs produce excellent insulation as well as a greater external aesthetics to a building's design. These positives have a knock on affect internally by creating a lower demand for expensive and non-eco friendly air conditioning during the summer months and a reduction in heat loss during the winter to ensure the building fabrics has a part to play in the overall efficiency of the building and its environment impact.

Today, architects and engineers can measure the sustainability of their projects with BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environment Assessment Method), which is an internationally-recognised measure for the standard of sustainability design best practice, rating a building's environmental performance. Working with contractor Sir Robert McAlpine, Fletcher Priest Architects and more*, in 2009 Watermark Place, a London office and retail group, achieved a high BREEAM rating with their two floors of greenery and photovoltaic panels installed on a sedum roof. For London as a whole, the main benefits of implementing green architure would be the decrease of storm water run-off velocity and volumes, thus reducing the risk of (flash) flooding plus, and increasing a cooling effect during the summer. The City of London have already in place a biodiversity action plan that supports green architecture in the city.


Read how photovoltaic systems are aiding developing coutries here.

*Watermark Place:
Client: UBS Global Asset Management; green roof supplier: Frosts Landscape Construction Ltd.; Fletcher Priest Architects; Townshend Landscape Architects; contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine


5 Cities Get Funding to Promote Civic Engagement

Seattle is one of five cities chosen for the City Accelerator program. (Photo by Manleyaudio)

Five U.S. cities received great news this week from the Citi Foundation and Living Cities. Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, New Orleans and Seattle have been chosen to join City Accelerator, a $3 million initiative to promote municipal innovation. Each city will receive up to $170,000 in funds and/or support services to improve citizen engagement in local issues like health care, urban planning and entrepreneurship.

According to a press release, here’s what the mayors had to say about the designation.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake: “In order to make our communities safer and effectively reduce recidivism, we need to be able to partner with people who are rejoining society and support them on their path to success.

The recent death of Freddie Gray in police custody in Baltimore exposed more than problems in the city’s police department. Those gathered for protests also talked about high unemployment, neighborhood investment and widespread inequality.

Rawlings-Blake intends to use the Accelerator opportunity to help people coming out of prison gain access to services they need to rebuild their lives.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu: “From murder reduction to blight, we’ve engaged residents to improve service delivery and achieve results. Now, with City Accelerator’s help, we will be able to engage our city’s most vulnerable populations, because every life matters.

Although 50,000 people in New Orleans qualify for free healthcare, many don’t take advantage of the services. Landrieu intends to engage residents to determine what the existing barriers are and increase access.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray: “Seattle is one of the fastest-growing cities in America. People come here every day in search of jobs, opportunity and a better quality-of-life. And as we plan for the next 20 years, we want to be sure Seattle works for everybody — and that’s why it’s important we continue to try new ways to ensure everyone is engaged in the conversation.

Murray is using the Accelerator nod to focus engagement around the city’s long-range Seattle 2035 plan on everything from affordable housing to transportation planning.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry: “This is an extraordinary opportunity for Albuquerque to bring our tremendous local leaders together with significant resources to address challenges and seek solutions right here at home.”

The New Mexico city is aiming to give a boost to immigrant entrepreneurs.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed: “This initiative gives us an incredible opportunity to build upon the philanthropic and corporate partnerships established with the Westside Future Fund, which supports improvements in the health, education and welfare of residents who live in the historic Westside communities.”

The public-private Westside Future Fund targets investment in several historic Atlanta neighborhoods.

This group is the second round for City Accelerator, and Ben Hecht, president and CEO of Living Cities, hopes they’ll learn from each other and the first group (Louisville, Philadelphia and Nashville). Each set gets a different challenge. The first looked to embed a culture and practice of innovation in local government. A third cohort and a new topic will be announced in the fall.


12 Decorating Scenarios When You Should Do Nothing at All (13 photos)

A lot of interior design is about finding beautiful items to fill a space. But a huge part is knowing when to stop. Negative space is often the element that goes forgotten in a home — and it’s easy to forget, since you can’t even see it. If you feel an obsessive need to overfill your home, here’s my...


Minneapolis Planners Are Weighing BRT vs. Streetcar

In Minneapolis, the Metro Transit is considering streetcar and BRT options with property value increases, new development and jobs in mind. (Photo by Randy Stern)

If you believe the wisdom popularized during 2014’s streetcar backlash, BRT is a more-bang-for-less-buck equivalent to the cute but costly trolley. Its oft-cited drawback is that buses in right-of-ways lack the redevelopment potential of anything with tracks.

But several case studies suggest that BRT can spur investment, and in Minneapolis, researchers are currently assessing the mode alongside a streetcar line for that purpose: to see which will more effectively encourage transit-oriented development on underutilized land, improve access to jobs and sync up the citywide system.

The area being studied is a stretch of West Broadway — a corridor that has long served as Main Street to the city’s northernmost districts. Since the ’50s, however, dwindling public transportation and the rise of the suburbs helped to isolate the street and neighborhoods around it from downtown. Now incomes and property values in the zip codes surrounding West Broadway are some of the city’s lowest.

“Historically there’s been a lack of wealth invested in this predominantly African American area,” says Shaina Brassard with the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition.

But though local press reports tend to paint West Broadway as a rundown throughway full of fast-food joints and car dealerships (an area “still waiting for a revival to take hold”), Brassard sees the community empowering and rebuilding itself.

“A lot of the redevelopment has been on a smaller scale; it’s been more grassroots and community owned,” she says, pointing to new housing, school buildings and several thriving businesses. “It’s not the case that nothing is happening. We’ve been here working hard.”

Still, while the area may not be waiting for some outside force to spur “revival,” Brassard sees public transportation investment as an important next step for West Broadway. The economic portion of the study, prepared for Metro Transit by SRF Consulting, has yet to be finalized and presented; when it is (a deadline is slated for fall of this year), it will compare the two modes for three outcomes: property value increases, new development and jobs supported. But based on community feedback, Brassard voices most support for the last.

“The overall consensus is that people just want transit improvement,” she says. “They don’t care what form it takes; they just want an efficient, safe, affordable system to get to job centers. This is an area of the city that has a much higher rate of households without access to a vehicle.”

As is, she says, bus frequency is low and none of the stops is heated.

Rob Hanson, the West Broadway coalition’s programs and outreach corridor, sits on the West Broadway Transit Study’s policy advisory committee. When asked how improvements will spur investment, he too, points back to the community.

“People will be spending less time on transit and more time with their jobs,” he says. “They’ll be spending less money on transit and being without a car will be more viable.”

Both modes would work with West Broadway’s layout and structure, according to Charles Carlson with Metro Transit. Because the agency wants to stay within financial reach of Small Starts funding, train-like buses were floated alongside streetcars.

“We’ve been looking at some case studies,” he says, citing Cleveland’s much-touted HealthLine.

But though that project supposedly generated $5.8 billion in new development, Carlson questions whether a building boom was already underway. As the authors of this 2013 study on BRT note, untangling the development effects of new infrastructure from pre-existing factors (public subsidies, basic geography) can be tricky. Because economic development is another priority for West Broadway, planners want to see a detailed, site-specific analysis of each alternative — with a clear baseline — before going forward.

For now, several alternatives for each mode have been identified, and planners are working (and soliciting feedback) to winnow them down. According to Carlson, two or three will reach “full concept development phase” later in the year, with cost projections and ridership info.

Of course, as Hanson points out, there’s also an economic argument for whichever alternative can go in soonest.

“From a business perspective we’d like to see something sooner rather than later,” he says. “Whether it’s streetcar or BRT is up to Metro to decide, but there’s a lot of need for transit improvements.”


Grays Work Well With Many Interior Styles

Recently gray has been called the new neutral. Before that, many considered it to be bland and perhaps boring. Now, gray color palettes have been embraced as chic and stylish and the perfect shade of gray is much sought after–perhaps obsessed over. And no wonder, there are enough shades of gray to boggle the mind [...]

jeppe hein asks brooklyn installation visitors to please touch the art

an exhibition of 18 interactive sculptures includes 'social' benches for sitting, rooms made of jetting water, and a dizzying mirror maze.

The post jeppe hein asks brooklyn installation visitors to please touch the art appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.


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Architect Mahmood Fallahian

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