Kids with special illnesses, disabilities, and other challenges received a new toy this summer at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, Georgia. Designed by Amy Leathers, senior associate at Lord, Aeck & Sargent, the treehouse serves as a play area and educational space for learning about nature and sustainability. It's wheelchair accessible and outfitted with a number of environmentally-sensitive features.
Chicago has a new 82-story tower on its skyline that is due for completion in the Spring of 2010. But in a city of grids and rectilinear forms, the AQUA tower has a distinctive character with a more fluid appearance coming from the deep projecting balconies which are reminiscent of geologic rock formations. Designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, AQUA is also currently the tallest structure designed by a woman-led firm.
Modcell, a company in the UK that makes prefabricated panels from staw and hemp, this year completed a two-story straw bale home on the campus of the University of Bath. The home, referred to as Balehaus@Bath, was designed by White Design. Over a year, the Balehaus will be monitored in thirty-second increments with 12 sensors inside and 66 sensor in the walls, measuring such things as thermal performance, acoustics, air tightness, and relative humidity.