On Earth Day, the National Children's Museum unveiled plans for a new building designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. If all goes as planned, the building will obtain LEED certification and open in 2013. The design reflects the Museum's mission to inspire children to care about and improve the world. NCM's new, 150,000 square-foot facility will be built at National Harbor with some of the following green features:
The great American architect Daniel Burnham once said, "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood." The Venus Project is no little plan — it's a proposal for a total redesign of the world. From cities on the sea to mass transit, mega sky scrapers, and even colonies in outer space, it covers every angle. Furthermore, it proposes to achieve all of this by switching to a resource-based economy and adopting radical lifestyle changes. The plan is large, thoroughly documented, and beautifully rendered. The architecture even comes with plans to build the machines needed to build these massive structures. Here's a look at just a couple of the many concepts …
This is ChargePoint, an electrical plug-in station that’s powered and monitored through a smart network. It was developed by Coulomb Technologies, who recently teamed up with Carbon Day Automotive to add a new little twist. Coulomb and CDA coupled the ChargePoint with a solar photovoltaic array to create one of the nation’s first Solar Plug-in Stations. These pictures show a Solar Plug-in Station provided for the City of Chicago. You may be interested in knowing that this Solar Plug-in Station was designed by Chicago’s own Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (you know, the Eco-Bridge and Clean Technology Tower).
We've heard about ecocities in far away lands, but now there's one planned for the Unities States. Located near Fort Meyers, Florida, Babcock Ranch will be powered entirely by solar power. It's a bold and progressive plan, and if Kitson & Partners can secure all the necessary regulatory approvals, construction will begin this year. The city includes a 75-megawatt, on-site, photovoltaic facility constructed by Florida Power & Light for nearly $350 million.
Autodesk recently completed tenant improvements at their new headquarters building on the East Coast. The company retained the services of KlingStubbins and Tocci Building Companies to design and build the interior to a LEED Platinum level of certification using LEED-CI. The result is modern office structure with abundant natural light and, of course, plenty of style. My favorite design element is the custom, prefabricated millwork explained in the YouTube video below.
Just last week, DesignBoom brought us news of this cactus-inspired design for the Minister of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture building in Doha, Qatar. It's a fascinating example of biomimicry — the skin of one of the hardiest plants of the desert is applied to the design of the facade of a desert building — with hundreds of smart shades that open and close depending on the strength of the sun.