A few days ago, Foster + Partners released design details of their newest mixed-use project in Astana, Kazakhstan — Abu Dhabi Plaza. This clustered matrix of multi-level buildings will include retail, leisure, hotel, office, and residential uses. David Nelson, Senior Executive and Head of Design at Foster + Partners said, "We are extremely excited to be working on this important project for Astana that will provide a new urban destination – visually and functionally. The design has resulted from a rigorous analysis of the city’s extreme climate, which has generated the unusual cluster diagram and has determined a façade that is both distinctive and highly efficient." In this geography, the temperature can get as cold as -40 degrees Celsius, and Foster + Partners found that the compact situation of buildings helped to maximize thermal insulation during the harsh winter months. The development also includes a series of temperate, year-round gardens with a network of sheltered pedestrian routes throughout the site. Light shafts between the blocks will have laminated glass panels that shower colorful light, shadows, and patterns on the lower levels.
Update 4/23/09: Celadon Eco Townhomes Now Complete!
This is a development by Origin Development called Celadon. Celadon has 24 units of minimalist, modern, eco-friendly townhouses, and the good people of Charlotte are dang close to snatching up the entire lot. Only two left. Celadon was designed by a LEED accredited architect, so it looks to be green with a luxury twist (certification will be through the NC HealthyBuilt Homes Program). Green features include bamboo floors, natural skylights, recycled glass tiles, low-emitting cabinetry, energy-efficient appliances, fly-ash mixed concrete, unit submetering, high-efficiency HVAC, and xeriscaping, etc.
To use the words of Bouroullec Design: the Floating House is a studio for resident artists and authors invited by the Cneai, national contemporary art center for publication. Initiated in 2002 by a public commission and finished in 2006, this habitable barge was realized in collaboration with architects Jean-Marie Finot and Denis Daversin. The simple lines of the structure are a pragmatic and poetic answer to the thin budget dedicated to this challenging project. An aluminum skin enveloped by a wooden trellis delimits the long alcove laid onto the rectangular platform of the boat (23mx5m) …
I love these chips. Oregon-based Kettle Foods just received the LEED Gold certification for their new 73,000 sf chip facility in Beloit, Wisconsin. As you would expect with a LEED certified building, it has a lot of green aspects, including energy-efficient equipment, water filtration and conservation equipment, and low-VOC, healthy materials. They also installed 18 wind turbines on the roof, which, according to a press release, will generate enough electricity to produce 56,000 bags of chips every year.
Today, Michelle Kaufmann Designs officially announced their newest home, the mkLoft. MkLoft is a townhouse loft home with 2 bedrooms, 1 loft, and 2 bathrooms, all wrapped up in a modern package. The home has double-height living space, comes solar-ready, and has all the wonderful, green materials and interior details that come standard in MKD homes: high-performance mechanical systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, fsc-certified cabinetry, etc.
One of the cool things about mkLoft is its scalability. Units can be 2-story or 3-story, live/work or residential, and the lower level can be parking, retail, or studio. You name it. You can have one or one hundred units, depending on your project needs. Developers can rely on the expertise of MKD for predictability in time and cost. mkLoft prices out at $130 – $140 psf, and you’re in the lower price range if the project calls for +40 units. mkLoft is the ultimate multifamily solution for developers wanting to go green.
There’s an interesting podcast with architect Thom Mayne, principal at Morphosis, and Andrew Blum (contributing editor at Metropolis and Wired). This article at Treehugger explains the building’s green features and striking exterior. Notably, it’s designed to use about half as much energy as a similar-sized office building. Via Andrew Blum.