Sustainable design firm Mithun just updated their website with details of an interesting farmworker housing pilot project in Washington state. With the sponsorship of the Seattle Archidiocesan Housing Authority and a grant from Enterprise Community Partners, Mithun designed three prefabricated modules to provide a model for affordable housing for farmworkers and their families. According to Mithun, the state has tens of thousands of farmworkers who are forced to compete for scant affordable living options, and these prefab 580 square foot homes may change life for a lot of them.
A couple months ago, we mentioned Blue Sky Homes, as well as the prototype project of the Blue Sky Homes’ Building System. As the story goes with prefab, a short eight (8) weeks after installing the footings, the prototype is now complete. Dave McAdam, owner of the Yucca Valley prototype, sent me these images of the completed home — it’s a stunning example of clean, efficient, contemporary, desert architecture.
Remodeling is big these days, and Boulder-based VaST Architecture has a knack for transforming rundown places into vibrant spaces (as they did with a co-work space called the Candy Shop). VaST recently helped Gregg Olsen convert his Boulder, Colorado, 1960s, split-level home into an efficient abode with modern interior design. The interior and exterior renovation was completed at a cost of $107 psf.
Chicago's Hotel Felix, formerly known as Wacker Hotel, re-opened its doors in April 2009. Felix is a 225-room, boutique hotel that's been designed (not yet certified) to receive LEED Silver certification. The lodging also received four out of five Green Eco-Leafs, which indicates that the hotel has been audited and complies with 38 (of 70) unique eco-initiatives. Some of these green features and initiatives include the following:
Today, the Holcim Foundation honored four projects with Global Holcim Awards – a nod to projects that improve lives, reduce environmental footprints, and lead the way to a more sustainable future. I thought the “Innovation” project was quite interesting. The $50k Innovation prize went to Liz Ogbu and John Peterson of San Francisco-based Public Architecture for their design of an informal station where laborers can meet and wait for casual work. If you haven’t already seen the self-contained, off-the-grid station, check it out below:
The Henry Miller Theatre on 43rd Street in Times Square is pursuing LEED Gold certification. The broadway theater is located inside Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park and will have 1,055 seats. But what's interesting about it is how the facade was braced from the front while everything behind it was demolished (see below). The 1918 Georgian facade fronts a brand new 50,000 square-foot facility with 95% air filtration, FSC-certified wood products, locally-sourced marble, and waterless urinals, etc.