Just last week, DesignBoom brought us news of this cactus-inspired design for the Minister of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture building in Doha, Qatar. It's a fascinating example of biomimicry — the skin of one of the hardiest plants of the desert is applied to the design of the facade of a desert building — with hundreds of smart shades that open and close depending on the strength of the sun.
If you've ever been to Taiwan, you'll probably agree that this design for Chinatrust Bank's headquarters is spot on for the region. Taiwan is so lush and green — the extensive allowance for green roofs, vertical courtyards, and open space in the central plaza likely blends right in to the terrain. Designed by the LA office of NBBJ, with the assistance of local firm Fei & Cheng Associates, the development includes a 30-story headquarters building, 21-story commercial office building, 10-story hotel, and four-level retail center. The development just broke ground earlier this month and will end up with 2.5 million square feet by about 2012.
This is Gwanggyo Power Centre, a concept design for a new town located roughly 20 miles south of Seoul, South Korea. MVRDV won a competition with this design, which consists of skinny, hill-shaped buildings that contain housing, offices, parking, retail, leisure, and educational spaces. Although the concept plan is currently under review for feasibility and cost estimations, if everything moves forward, Gwanggyo Power Centre will become a self-sustaining town of 77,000 inhabitants.
A couple weeks ago, New York Magazine showcased Daniel Libeskind‘s proposal for his first New York building. The design features prominent sky gardens — an element some pragmatic developers might shy away from for fear of losing usable square footage. But by including the sky gardens, apartment occupants will have access to balconies and greenery and oxygen. They’ll have the opportunity to welcome nature right at the back door.
Last summer, it was the ceramic rod curtain wall. Now, it’s the lighting system. Various green aspects of the New York Times Building continue to make high profile news and it’s only been a year since the modern building opened. Here’s the deal: The Times Company installed Lutron’s Quantum solution, a total light management system that includes daylight, occupant, target set point, time clock, and emergency lighting controls. Although the building was originally designed to use approximately 1.28 watts per sf of lighting power, with the Lutron technology, it’s actually using only 0.38 watts per sf of lighting power — a 70% reduction in lighting use. That means, based on New York City electric rates, they’re saving ~$315,500 and preventing the emission of 1,250 metric tons of CO2 annually. These are some serious numbers. Here’s where they recognized the most in terms of lighting energy savings:
Rødovre, an independent municipality of Denmark, was looking for a new residential tower and MVRDV, with co-architect ADEPT, rose to the challenge. On Monday, it was announced that their "Sky Village" concept won a design challenge to create the next Rødovre skyscraper. The 116 meter (~381 foot) tower will feature apartments, retail, offices, an hotel, as well as a public park and plaza. The architects’ contemporary design is based on a flexible grid of boxes, or "pixels," which are ~646 square feet each and arranged around the building’s central core.