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.
About a year and a half ago, we mentioned a project designed by seed architecture studio called the SIPs House in Portland. Built by Kaya General Contractors, the home is now complete. Since it hasn’t sold yet due to market conditions, the developing partner is going to move in.
The all-electric home is one of the first homes in Portland to be built with SIPs and features a number of green features: