Mark Meyer of Austin-based designSTUDIO recently pointed us to one of his newest projects, la Boite. La Boite is a green, environmentally sensitive cafe with locally baked goods, sandwiches, and coffee. It was built from an old shipping container, and if you’re interested in details of the transformation, read more about it on designSTUDIO’s blog. For the project, DesignSTUDIO used Rainwater HOG’s for greywater collection, biobased spray foam insulation, and Forbo linoleum for the floor and one wall. You can find la Boite on 1700 South Lamar Boulevard in Austin, Texas. Looks fun, doesn’t it?
Chicago has a new 82-story tower on its skyline that is due for completion in the Spring of 2010. But in a city of grids and rectilinear forms, the AQUA tower has a distinctive character with a more fluid appearance coming from the deep projecting balconies which are reminiscent of geologic rock formations. Designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, AQUA is also currently the tallest structure designed by a woman-led firm.
Yesterday, First Lady Laura Bush, architect Robert A. M. Stern, and landscape architect Matthew Urbanski unveiled the design of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. Located on the east side of SMU's campus, the design will complement the consistent Georgian architecture of the rest of the university. And when complete, the $250 million building will be LEED Platinum certified.
By looking at these pictures, you probably can’t tell that an old, two-story, under-performing industrial building was converted into a beautiful modern suite of office spaces. The Koll Company hired LPA Inc. to transform the old facility and transform they did! (You can see a before photo below.) The LEED Silver building, now referred to as the Koll Airport Professional Center for its location near John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, is a fine example of adaptive reuse with new green elements:
Green building certification is an interesting phenomenon. It’s meant to convey a message about the building’s level of “green” or “sustainability,” but the message is only as strong as the system that creates it. If you push beyond that message, you might ask: how many of these certified buildings are, say, positive energy? That’s the goal of Elithis Tower recently opened in Dijon, France. It has 1,600 sensors that examine energy and emissions. This information is then displayed on a special public sign in full transparency for everyone to see. The sign is both dynamic and clear.
Earlier this year, the OC Register highlighted one company's efforts to transform unused warehouse space in Santa Ana, California. Orange County based Marketing Via Postal Group, Inc. needed offices for their new warehouse and decided to reuse 10 twenty-foot shipping containers as offices and a kitchen. MVP's employees did the work and the container spaces now have porthole windows, office furniture, plants, and bathrooms/sinks.