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.
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.
Tom Konrad is an Analyst at Alternative Energy Stocks, where he writes about investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency companies. This article is a guest post for Jetson Green.
The December 6 Technology Quarterly from The Economist profiles a Dutch office building that is both heated and cooled using heat (or cold) from the asphalt of the road outside the building, as opposed to the more conventional use of solar thermal panels on the building’s roof. The article optimistically ends:
The result is cheap heating in winter and cheap cooling in summer. And there is a bonus. Summer heating softens asphalt, making it easier for heavy traffic to damage the road surface. Dr de Bondt’s system not only saves electricity, but also saves the road. Expect to see more examples of it, in other countries, soon.
The renderings in this article are of BaleHaus by ModCell. This UK concept springs from the three positions that we need to: (1) live within our environmental means, (2) maintain a healthy and comfortable quality of life, and (3) build strong communities. Stated otherwise, the BaleHaus is meant to provide good, comfortable living with a guilt-free eco-conscience. BaleHaus is super-insulated, boxy and functional, and geared towards communal living. More renderings below …
The original website for this house by Architekt Kuczia is not in english, so here’s a quick synopsis of some of the details: "The construction costs of this simple house were low and the lifecycle costs will be reduced. The built form is designed to optimize the absorbance of solar energy. 80% of the building envelope is directed towards the sun. “Black box”, a three storey structure clad with dark fibre cement panels, is warmed by the sun and offers a view on the lake." Notice the living roof? Via WAN.