Based on the old "hippy" classic VW Westfalia camper, Alexandre Verdier has completely redesigned the Westfalia into a modern, green camper with major appeal. This camper is powered by a 200 hp hybrid (fuel or diesel) + electric engine. Some other features include solar panels on the camper roof (40 watt – 12 volt), GPS navigation, wireless internet, and a sink with 4 spots for cooking. Priced at $69,000, I’m thinking there’s market for something like this. Don’t you? Video + images below; via Modern Flat.
There’s a lot of talk about prefab revolutionizing the world of residential living, but when it comes down to it, prefab could be used all over the place. This post shows how successful prefab could be in the commercial context. Just as a little background, there’s a mall in San Diego, California, called Westfield University Towne Center, or Westfield UTC. The mall has been around for some 30+ years, so it’s in the middle of an upgrade. As part of the upgrade, Westfield UTC wants to incorporate environmentally friendly designs, so they retained kitHAUS to create a Visitors Center pavilion to showcase the "UTC Experience." Basically, it’s a place for the community to interact with Westfield on design ideas for the mall remodel.
Ultimately, the kitHAUS design used two customized K2 structures. The first unit is the "lounge pavilion," and it’s designed to be open to the elements with louver doors for shade. It houses a lounge and interactive display. The second unit is the "Gallery," and it is enclosed with glass doors on all sides. The Gallery houses a model of the potential mall design, large plasma screens, and interactive displays. Notice the incredible looking straight lines of the deck, buildings, and trellises. It’s so clean and modern, it’s hard not to glare at every element of construction.
This is incredible. It would be nice if someone here in the U.S. would put something like THE ORB into production. According to the company’s website, The Orb "is a new generation of mobile structures created specifically to fire the imagination of a younger, style conscious generation. It has been designed to appeal across three distinct markets: commercial show units, holiday park homes and adaptable home offices. Built to a standard far beyond that of comparable structures using marine technology, it is both incredibly durable, lightweight and transportable." Appeal? Done.
Now, the website reveals some details on how The Orb is built (and Treehugger suggests that using GRP may not be that green), but I think one could use green materials to get it built. Plus, you could toss up a few solar panels on a separate pole and provide renewable energy for it too. Another positive aspect of The Orb is that it’s small by design, but chances are, this will not be a primary dwelling, so size is not an issue. Regardless, I dig it and think it could be used in a variety of applications. Plus, it’s kind of similar to Dasparkhotel (and we know that’s been successful). More images below. Via CubeMe.
Our built environment should integrate clean tech and renewable energy generation of all forms and this is an example of that concept. Michael Jantzen proposed a design for California State University at Fullerton that would turn the everyday gathering pavilion into a discussion on sustainability. The pavilion could serve as the gathering place for up to 300 people. From the images, notice the wind turbine and the solar panels on the roof. Towering into the air at 150 feet tall, any energy harvested from the turbine and solar panels could be used by the university. Inside, there’s a cylindrical digital projection display screen, roof-mounted fogging nozzles to cool the interior, and benches that can be stored inside the floor when not in use. I think it’s an excellent idea, especially because students always want a place to gather and hang. Why not here? Via WAN + HumanShelter.org.
Sanya is a tropical oasis located on the Southern peninsula of Hainan Island. A Chinese developer, Tiafeng, has teamed up with Kevin Kennon Architect to design a healthy, luxurious development for Sanya. Check out some of the eye candy renderings below the fold…this is going to be a nice resort. Matter of fact, I feel healthier just imagining myself there. Slated to open in mid-2008, Sanya will include 350-room, 5-star Shangri-La Hotel, an 18-story apartment building, and a fluid, ribbon-like complex of 23 apartment and condo buildings. All the structures will have roof gardens. KKA specifically designed the development with privacy in mind, but opened up the architecture to the surrounding green space. The buildings are meant to flow and blend into the environment, as opposed to standing out in contrast to the natural surroundings. I can’t wait to see more specifics on this project. Via.
This is a pretty popular photo of the O2 student village at the Technical University of Munich. In addition to being sponsored by O2 Germany, the community of seven micro-compact homes (posted about previously here) is also sponsored by Siemens. Six students and one professor stay in the homes for an entire school year. Each home includes a plasma screen, high-speed internet, a bed, and state-of-the-art kitchen and bathroom appliances (although you probably wouldn’t want to powder your nose and cook at the same times as these are only about 76 sf big).
"F2" is short for "Flickr Friday," a weekly short posted on Friday with an image from Flickr and a quick description. Feel free to email me your F2 ideas.