If you’ve watched the videos on my right sidebar, then you’ve heard San Francisco Mayor Newsom talk. He’s a big time supporter of going green and doing it for all sorts of reasons: it’s good business, good living, good for the city. Right now, according to SustainLane, San Francisco is the #2 greenest city in the United States. Well, SF is putting on a major campaign to be the greenest city in the United States and there’s a new green website to support the cause. www.letsgreenthiscity.com. Simultaneous to the roll-out of the website, letsgreenthiscity placed a total of nine couches throughout the city in various places (City Hall, Alamo Square, Ferry Building, Justin Herman Plaza, in the Castro, etc.). People, including Mayor Newsom, were provided the opportunity to get their picture taken on the couch, have it printed with soy-based ink, and frame it in recycled cardboard. The entire deal is being sponsored by Pacific Gas + Electric Company (PG+E) and ReadyMade Magazine. Oh yeah, and guess what, yours truly is a content partner for the website (unfortunately, my content says it’s posted by "anonymous"). Exciting times!
Being Texas-OU weekend, I thought I would bring it back to Austin for a little environmental action. Back in late September, an environmental organization called Austin Green Art created "Cup City" for the Austin City Limits Music Festival. The enormous temporary art installation was sponsored by Starbucks. Cup City should be noticed not for what it is, but what it illustrates.
The project was designed by architect Legge Lewis Legge and incorporated 41 fence panels (6 x 15 foot), zip ties, and approximately 25,000 pieces of recyclable garbage. Rent-a-fence provided the fencing. And from what I understand, the project included solar powered lighting to illuminate the temporary behemoth at night.
The project became a temporary, shaded lounge area where people gathered and interacted during the festival. But even more importantly, the project illustrates how people need to change the way they consume. Where talking about massive amounts of water bottles, plastic, paper, coffee cups, etc., that just gets thrown away everyday. In recycled form, this stuff can be put to use. Oh, and as a side note, Starbucks donated $1 for every beverage sold at the festival to Austin Green Art, so it’s certain that more of these types of projects are in store for the future.
Well, I’ve decided to hit my readers with a little environmental, architectural eye candy. I like to get political every now and then, but I really like to throw in some skyscrapers, prefabs, or dream houses here at Jetson Green (check the category cloud on the left). Of course, everything has a sustainable approach to it. Today’s post is a little different, if not impractical, but it’s deceptively time consuming–when you go to this website, you’ll find yourself gazing at all the different projects and fighting within as to whether such structures can actually work. I did for about 45 minutes and the only thing that stopped me was the sound of Colbert’s voice. Here it goes:: enter Michael Jantzen and his Portfolio.
He’s really into wind, if you can’t tell: wind shaped pavilion, wind shade roof, wind turbine observation tower, + wind tunnel footbridge. That’s good, though, because buildings that integrate environmental design into the structure can be effective. If you haven’t heard, such a building was designed to be zero energy by SOM called the Pearl River Tower (China). So these Jantzen renderings should, at a minimum, get us thinking about design, sustainability, and the endless possibilities.
The wind shaped pavilion, pictured top, is a large fabric structure with six slowly rotating segments that can be used as a public or private pavilion. <I’m thinking wedding bells, maybe?> Each segment’s rotation generates electricity for nighttime illumination. And logically, the shape and design lends itself to natural light and ventilation. Having the ability to rotate segments provides the convenience of optimizing shade when the sun starts to beat down. I think this type of creative design is necessary so people can have living and working spaces that are nimble, comfortable, healthy, and effective.
Translucent, shimmery, membraneous, sustainable. When I saw the look of this tennis court in Architectural Digest, I was blown away…and I don’t even play tennis. (By the way, October 2006 AD is chock full of modern + sustainable architecture!) At Jetson Green, I talk a ton about residential green spaces or commercial skyscrapers, etc., but I haven’t spent that much time on sustainable structures crafted specifically for sport, hobby, or play. Architect Robert Rhodes put together a striking, modern tennis court/spa/attached residence for a client that I need to share.
Just a short skip down a slate trail from the main residence is this tennis court embedded in a New York investment banker’s 8 acre, well-wooded property. The goal for the architect was to conform to the local zoning requirements, apply sustainable building principles, and keep consistent with the surrounding flora. I think they did a phenomenal job.
The client + architect wanted the court to "look like trees." Here’s what they did to keep it green + sustainable. First, they built the tennis court into the ground so that the structure wouldn’t stick out. The same principle applied when they decided to use tennis-green, transparent polycarbonate-panels; the panels allow enough light inside for day use and keep out the harsh sunlight for cooling purposes. Second, the court’s energy is supplied by two geothermal wells. And third, they used an ipe deck (economic + ecologic) between the attached residence and court. Also note, there is a subterranean spa below the deck that connects the guesthouse and court. Investment banker Cribs anyone?
The laminated-wood beams stretch vertically, almost as if they are the actual trees that surround the court. Aesthetically, the panel and beam design finishes out the structure so that it blends and matches the surrounding environment. And while I think this investment banker won’t be able to practice his lob, he surely will be able to relax, spa, and play tennis in a court fit for English royalty!
This isn’t just some ordinary, run-of-the-mill furniture, slapped together with no thought for the environment, comfort, or design. Andy Gregg founded Bike Furniture Design in the 90s with the seminal, original bike chair. Since then, his collection has grown to include bar stools, high-quality tables, loveseats, and more chairs. While his furniture is made primarily from recycled steel and aluminum bicycle rims, handlebars, and frames, his collection has grown to include parts from other transportation industries such as trains and planes.
Again, this stuff isn’t slapped together, it’s pretty darn close to artwork. Upholstery options include leather, rubber, cork, clear + colored acrylic, and vinyl. And his business is starting to reach a tipping point. In 2004, revenue picked up enough to allow Gregg to focus on the business. Growing demand has pushed him to explore the use of new materials, and he keeps coming up with great pieces. This can be attributed to his art and mechanics background. So if you have an idea in mind, I’m sure he’d be able to crank it out (no pun intended).