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.
It looks like the 100k House idea has migrated overseas because a similar prototype just popped up in Italy last year. Mario Cucinella Architects has conceived Casa 100k, which is a prototype home for Є100,000 that prioritizes three main elements: style, sustainability, and affordability. It's billed as a low-cost, dream home with zero bills and zero emissions. And as you can see from available renderings, the method of accomplishing such goals is primarily through prefabrication and passive and active design strategies.
We've seen some interesting living walls and green roofs, but this goes beyond these applications and into the realm of being a complete living house. Referred to as the Lost in Paris House, the structure took five years to complete and was designed by R&Sie architects. The unique living envelope comprises 1200 ferns (or Dryopteris filix-mas) in a hydroponic system – the plants are not sustained by soil but by a chemical mixture of bacteria, nutrients, and rainwater.
Following in the footsteps of Dongtan and Masdar, the Danish firm of Bjarke Ingels Group has just released details of their masterplan for a zero energy resort and entertainment city on Zira Island, which is located within the bay of Baku, Azerbaijan. The plan calls for roughly 10.8 million square feet of architectural landscape based on the natural landscape of Azerbaijan. Indeed, Zira Island will feature seven residential developments, each in the shape of one of seven peaks of Azerbaijan, and 300 private villas with views over the Caspian Sea.
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.
This building in Cambridge, England is not only called “Creative Exchange,” but it functions as one, too. Designed by 5th Studio, the structure has a purposely small footprint and smart design that allows natural light to flood into interior spaces. The interior spaces are open and function more flexibly than a typical office so occupants can collaborate and share ideas. Similarly, the top floor has a working garden that also facilitates congregation and interaction among the occupants. Other than the few private workspace areas, everything is quite open and communal at Creative Exchange.