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Shigeru Ban Creates Urban Oasis with Greenery

Swatchgroup

Just a quick little post on the new headquarters for Swatch Group Japan in the heart of Tokyo’s Ginza District.  The building was designed by Shigeru Ban and houses seven of Swatch’s luxury brands on each of the first seven floors.  Floors eight through thirteen are used as office space and the top floor as an event area.  You’ll notice the interior green wall, which, as Jean Snow describes it, has "so much greenery that you almost feel as if you’ve stepped into an urban oasis."  I think this represents another example of greenery permeating all aspects of design, both inside and out. 

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American Olean, an Easy-to-Find Eco-tile

American Olean

I was incredibly excited to discover that American Olean, a large well-known tile company, is offering products made of recycled materials.  As we all know, there are a lot of great eco-friendly building materials out there, but it can be a challenge to access them, especially if you don’t live on the West Coast.  Well, here is a product that you can find at virtually any store that sells tile and certain styles are even available at Lowe’s.  Not that I would suggest Lowe’s over your neighborhood tile store, but it’s there as an option, if you need it. 

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3form Chroma, a Solid Surface Product

Moss - Chroma

3form has a line of great eco-friendly materials.  One of their products, Chroma, is a solid surface material suitable for countertops, tabletops, vanities, and anything else your imagination can dream up.  The best part about the Chroma line is the color choices.  There is a beautiful palette of brights, bolds, neutrals, and earth tones to choose from.  The bright colors are candy-like and would make a truly unique and bold statement in an otherwise neutral room.  The fascinating thing about Chroma is it’s reclaim potential.  Chroma can be sent back to 3form and they can change the color of the material — and this can be done over and over again.   

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Manifestation of Green in a Building

Ann Demeulemeester

The look of this building is incredible.  I’ve seen living walls and how the growth can devour structures, but I like the look here.  Asia is so moist, what with the rainy season in the summer, etc., that I’ve seen walls growing a sort of perma-algae.  So, I think the design here in Seoul, Korea works and I like how the windows break through the calm chaos of green. 

The Mass Studies-designed building houses an Ann Demeulemeester store on the first level and restaurant above.  The design relies on a trifecta of colors:  deep green, coffee brown, and minimalist white — all of which blend and dance nicely.  I’m not sure as to whether anything else is green (i.e., materials, systems, etc.), but nonetheless, I really like the manifestation of green. 

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[Video] Container Home Design from Single Module

[RSS - Click Here to View] I found this video on YouTube of Jason Steele’s vision for a shipping container building.  The idea in the video shows two sides being taken off to expand the floor area by 50%.  He also has bamboo landscaping to create shading on the sun-exposed southern part of the home (Phoenix, Arizona).  Looks pretty cool, but let’s see if it gets made, because in the world of container and prefab design, reality counts for something

mkPURE + mkISLAND, Modern Green Surfaces

Mkpure

It looks like Michelle Kaufmann is extending her successful prefab business into green interior products.  Her newly designed website now lists a couple green surface designs that are pretty stunning.  In collaboration with Concreteworks, MKD is offering mkPURE, a super-modern sink, and mkISLAND, a modern island/table.  Both the mkPURE and mkISLAND come in three finishes: (1) WHITE, made of concrete with fly ash and recycled porcelain, (2) LINEN, made of concrete with rice hull, and (3) GRAY, made of concrete with fly ash and rice hull. 

Pricing on the mkPURE starts at $1,950, unless you buy in bulk.  Similarly, the mkISLAND starts at $5,250.

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