Architects Create Giant Gingerbread City in London

A gingerbread house in the making. (Photo by Don LaVange CC BY-SA 2.0)

When architects trade out concrete and steel for gingerbread and licorice, they make our half-hearted attempts at holiday decorating pale in comparison.

This year marks the third year that London’s Museum of Architecture has sponsored Gingerbread City, a tasty way to envision the city of the future.

More than 60 buildings designed and created by architects, designers and engineers made entirely of gingerbread and candy grace the space at the V&A Museum in London. This city, like many non-edible ones, is master-planned: the firm Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design planned Gingerbread City, and architecture and design firms filled it in.

Reuters says the city features a high-line-esque Sugar Loop, complete with (working) licorice cable car and sugar-dusted pedestrian and bike lanes. There’s also a pub, movie theater and sports stadium, the Evening Standard said, and a rooftop vegetable garden with candy vegetables. There’s even a homeless shelter for any candy people without a roof over their heads, designed by architects Holland Harvey. The city takes up a massive amount of space, filling a whole room.

It’s a lighthearted way to end the year, but it’s also serious business for these firms. Robert Nolan, an architect at APT, told Reuters that his firm makes a lot of models at gingerbread scale, so it wasn’t all that hard to switch media — except for accidental munching of gingerbread pieces.

“We had to be very careful when making it that suddenly you might be halfway through making something and then be like ‘oh, wait, where did that piece go? Oh, we’ve actually gone and eaten it’,” Nolan said.

Another design was built by a robotic arm, showcasing Foster & Partner’s high-tech construction techniques.

Tibbalds said in a statement that the exhibition is “intended to get people who don’t normally spend much time looking at their environment to think more about the kind of places they live, work and play in, how these are created and how they impact on us all.”

“For Tibbalds, this isn’t about some dystopian vision about the future but about how real places can work for all of us and how we can live in well designed, attractive and lively places — and ideally that are a bit more long-lasting than these gingerbread ones,” Tibbalds director Hilary Satchwell told the Mirror.

 

The “New Handle-Free SieMatic” SieMatic presents a new concept for purist kitchen design

When it was first presented in 1960, it revolutionised kitchen design and function: the handle-free SieMatic. In 1988, it was once again celebrated as an avant-garde vanguard. Today, the handle-free kitchen has become the design standard. Have all th…
 

NASA’s voyager 2 probe has reached interstellar space


after 41 years journeying through space, the voyager 2 has passed beyond the sun’s influence.

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California Will Require Solar Panels on All New Homes

In this photo file taken Monday, May 7, 2018, solar panels are seen on the rooftop on a home in a new housing project in Sacramento, Calif. California is the first state in the nation to require homes built in 2020 and later be solar powered. The Building Standards Commission voted unanimously Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, to add the energy standards to the state building code. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file)

California is officially the first state to require newly built homes to come with enough solar panels to offset their electricity use. The state Building Standards Commission voted unanimously to add the requirement to the state building code last week, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The new code takes effect in 2020 and covers all single-family homes as well as multifamily buildings up to three stories high. There are exceptions for houses with too-small roofs or those in the shade. An average home is expected to use 53 percent less energy under the new code than one built under the previous standards.

Solar panels can cost up to $10,000 upfront, but are expected to save at least $19,000 in reduced electricity bills over 30 years, the state energy commission executive director Drew Bohan said.

The changes adopted also beef up energy efficiency standards, requiring more insulation, more efficient windows and doors and improved ventilation, and incentivizing developers to add battery storage and more efficient water heaters to units.

Both environmentalists and industry representatives endorsed the changes, the Mercury News said.

“Six years ago, I was very fearful of this,” Bob Raymer, technical director for the state building association, told the paper. But after a compromise — in that new homes must produce enough power to offset electricity used but not natural gas — the association decided to support the move, he said.

Also supporting were members of the solar industry as well as Tesla, whose Powerwall battery is designed for home solar energy storage.

Of the 113,000 housing units being built in California a year, about 15 percent of them are being built with solar today, Vox reports, so it’s a huge boost to the industry.

Not everyone supported the new rule. Some energy wonks have pointed out that rooftop solar is a very expensive way to reduce carbon emissions; watt for watt, rooftop solar is from 2-6 times more expensive than an industrial-size solar farm, and far more expensive than building more densely near transit, toughening vehicle efficiency standards, or “almost anything else, really,” Vox said. And since California has already agreed to a statewide mandate to reach 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, mandating rooftop solar is just shuffling around what actually gets built, the site said.

On the other hand, if California more than quintuples its solar industry, prices will likely come down — making rooftop solar more attractive in other sunny states. And at the same time, California utilities are about to switch to new pricing schemes that charge customers more for using electricity during peak times, UtilityDive reports. Homeowners who delay, say, running a load of dishes or laundry until off-peak periods — typically late at night — can get significantly cheaper electricity than if they use energy during the peak early evening periods. If electricity is about to get more expensive for those homeowners who will not or cannot shift their energy use, then solar power suddenly looks a lot more attractive.

Further, homeowners aren’t necessarily on the hook for the $10,000 price tag of a new solar install upfront. They can buy the panels outright, but they can also lease them or enter into a power purchase agreement, where they get a lower monthly electricity bill but the bulk of the savings is passed on to the owner of the panels (usually a developer or solar installer).

The move could eventually set policy throughout the country. Anne Hoskins, chief policy officer of Sunrun, the nation’s largest residential solar installation company, told The Verge in May that she doesn’t believe that states would immediately follow suit, “but I think with this example from California, policymakers across the country can see that these new homes can be efficient and cost-effective, so it’s going to be an example that will be used as a model in other states.”

 

bjarke ingels and heatherwick studio further revise plans for google mountain view campus


first announced in march 2015, this latest update includes provision for affordable housing and more green spaces.

The post bjarke ingels and heatherwick studio further revise plans for google mountain view campus appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

 

gwenael nicolas captures versace’s complexity and diversity in new miami store


the store proposes a journey to discover — or rediscover — the icons of the brand from a different perspective.

The post gwenael nicolas captures versace’s complexity and diversity in new miami store appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

 

if the legendary air jordan XI sneaker was a ducati motorcycle it would look like this


every part of the ducati 916 has been extravagantly tailored or recreated using 3D-print technology to fit the air jordan XI design concept.

The post if the legendary air jordan XI sneaker was a ducati motorcycle it would look like this appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

 

architects turn bangkok townhouses into modern multilayered office


the interiors take advantage of the industrial look of the raw concrete structure, adding glossy elements and green lively splashes to contrast the strict mood.

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pico colectivo stacks shipping containers to make cultural center in venezuela


the architect has transformed an existing vandalized building, to create the 'cultural production zone' for local communities.

The post pico colectivo stacks shipping containers to make cultural center in venezuela appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

 

TOP 10 art exhibitions of 2018


from tom sachs issuing swiss passports for 24 hours, to gelitin's monumental sculptures of giant turds, we look back at the 10 most intriguing exhibitions of 2018.

The post TOP 10 art exhibitions of 2018 appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

 



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