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Joas Souza
Look back at the journey behind the creation of the award-winning Macallan Distillery in Scotland’s Spey Side, by renowned architecture studio Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Back in the summer of 2012 The Macallan – makers of luxury single malt scotch whiskey since 1824 – launched an international competition for the design of a new and architecturally audacious project. Incorporating a new factory, HQ and ‘Distillery Experience’ for visitors, the proposed building was to be situated on an existing field within 485 acres of The Macallan Estate and the listed Jacobean manor, Easter Elchies House, aka the Macallan’s spiritual home.

The client set architects and engineers a rigorous brief for a design-focused brand home that would project the vision and direction of the leading single malt whisky marque into the future. With the barley field site of the new building at the edge of Scottish countryside designated as an ‘Area of Great Landscape Value’ – a land corridor following the sweep and contours of the River Spey integral to The Macallan Estate and The Macallan Fishing Beat – any competitive proposal would have to be brave, bold and audacious while remaining sensitive to the surrounding environment of ancient Scottish earthworks, long cairns, brochs and wells. The importance of the neighbouring ancestral house had to be respectfully acknowledged but the new distillery would also be required to increase The Macallan’s production of whiskey by up to a third. Quite a challenge.

Enter Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, the London-based practice whose impressive portfolio includes One Hyde Park, the Leadenhall Building, NEO Bankside London and the Millennium Dome. Stirk provided a plan that mitigated the impact of the building; a response to the landscape as the primary context rather than the disparate nature of the existing built facilities and storage units.

But it was Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ projected roof design that offered the most compelling prospect. Said to be one of the most complicated timber structures in the world – 1,800 single beams, 2,500 different roof elements, and 380,000 individual components, almost none of them the same – the undulating canopy would be a beautiful, meticulously engineered, wood and steel wonder.

‘Whilst the roof design is described as a landscape response, the roof was never intended to disappear or be lost within the hillside,’ explains Toby Jeavons, Associate Partner and Project Architect at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. ‘As such, the roof is positioned on top of the retaining structure and not bound by it. This allows the upstanding depth of the roof structure to act as a balustrade to the grid line and to the Northern edge of the roof as it appears to meet the ground. As the roof "sails" above the retaining structures, it is freed from restraining ground pressures and loads.’

Eventually completed back in 2018, the roof structure consists of two principal parts, the primary tubular steel support frame and the rolling domes and valleys of the timber grid shell. The primary steel frame is laced through the centre of the timber beam structure and helps to resist the torsional forces. The timber domes act in compression and the interconnecting valleys are hung between the domes. All the roof beams are straight and all the cassettes are flat, double-skinned panels.

‘This provides the facetted appearance so important for the "engineered landscape",’ says Jeavons. ‘Despite the highly repetitive and rotational roof geometry, the finished structure is constructed from over 380,000 components. All of the timber beams are vertical and a constant expressed depth of 750mm which allows for considered and neat interfaces with internal partitions as well as the solid and glazed facades.’

The changeable highland weather and uncompromising Scottish elements also proved a significant factor in the building’s material construction and profile. ‘The architectural concept of the distillery allows it to thrive in the Scottish elements by reflecting the very nature that surrounds it. The profile is low and hugs the ground. The roof structure anticipates severe snow loading, and the natural green roof coverings utilise a specific, low maintenance mix of Scottish wildflowers and meadow grasses suited to the location.’

To satisfy the proprietor’s desire for increased yield, practicality and an efficiently attractive, visitor-friendly space, the architects envisaged a facility that contained a rhythm of production ‘cells’ w
Kaori Ichikawa
osaka-based architecture firm RAA has created a residence for a family of four, located within the awaji island, in hyogo, japan. the clients requested ‘a house that grows along with the family‘, prompting the architects to re-think the concept of the ideal living space.

to make use of the site to its maximum extent, RAA planned the house and its landscape at the same time. exploring a more primitive approach based on family gathering, the architects’ design resulted in a spiral, continuous plan that is in contact with the exterior at all sides, with rooms such as storage and bedroom on its fringes.

at the core of the house is a space, called ‘niha’, with a diameter of about 2.4m and a height of 7.5m. during the day, sunlight seeps through the skylight on top of the niha, while at night darkness sets, as there are no lights installed. when opened, the skylight also functions as a tunnel to which the wind ascends from the ground. as it is unassigned to a pre-defined function, the center of the house is used for miscellaneous activities, be it meditation or gathering with friends. niha’s unconventional form is a nod to awaji island’s local timber-constructed houses, clad in earth.

to support the roof, timber beams follow the spiral and ‘radiate’ from the central space, exposed in the interior. every part of the timber construction was hand-carved by carpenters. the interior wall was finished with awaji island’s earth on top of interwoven lattice of bamboo collected around the site. the outer wall was scraped with a finishing of soil and mortar, while the floor was finished with sanwa technique, allowing the interior to store heat and control humidity.

the roof is planned as a spiral garden, with the ground rises towards the sky. the spiral roof offers varying sunlight exposure, height and humidity, hence able to support plants with diverse growth requirements. when it rains, the roof garden is soaked while rainwater flows towards the pond. in the summer, incoming wind will be cooled by the pond before it enters the house. by introducing natural phenomena as inseparable parts of the house, the family will be one with nature, living in a house where the earth and trees grow.

Michael Moran
When a husband and wife purchased five acres of bluff top property overlooking the Peconic Bay in the Hamptons, they knew from the beginning that landscape preservation would be a major focus of their future home. To bring their vision of an environmentally sensitive residence to life, the couple turned to Mapos, a New York-based architectural studio that they had worked with previously. By treading lightly on the site, the architects crafted a modernist multigenerational family retreat—the Peconic House—that blends into its meadow setting with a lush green roof, Corten steel exterior and timber interior.

Designed in part as a reaction against the “insensitive residential development…and reputation for showing off” that has characterized recent real estate development in the Hamptons, the Peconic House is a callback to the modernist legacy of Long Island’s South Fork. Featuring simple and low-slung proportions, the rectangular 4,000-square-foot shuns ostentatious displays and instead uses a roof of native meadow grasses to camouflage its appearance and minimize its impact on the watershed. The residence also embraces indoor/outdoor living with a 2,000-square-foot terrace that faces the Peconic Bay and culminates in a 75-foot-long infinity-edge lap pool.

In positioning the building, the architects were careful to preserve the property’s existing vegetation—particularly a 70-foot-tall sycamore located at the center of the meadow. To relate the architecture to the old-growth forest, the architects relied on a predominately timber palette that includes cedar and reclaimed ipe wood that are complemented by concrete and Corten steel. All materials are left unfinished and will develop a natural patina over time.

Inside the open-plan living area “further abstracts the bluff-top landscape, with unfinished cedar and reclaimed white oak,” note the architects. The blurring of indoors and out are also achieved with 100-foot-long walls of glass that slide open and seamlessly unite the indoor living spaces with the outdoor terrace. The cantilevered roof helps block unwanted solar gain and supports a thriving green roof of native grasses that promote biodiversity.

Adrià Goula via Guillem Carrera
In between the Mediterranean Sea and the coastal mountain range in northern Spain, Tarragona-based architect Guillem Carrera has completed Casa VN, an energy-efficient luxury home that pays homage to the region’s historic heritage. Set on a steep slope, the modern home uses terraces to step down the landscape and is faced with walls of glass to take advantage of panoramic views. To reduce energy demands, the house follows passive solar principles; it is also topped with insulating green roofs and equipped with home automation technology.

Casa VN is located in Alella, a village near Barcelona that was historically used for farming and marked by large estates and stonewall terraces. However, in recent years, changes in the economy have led to increased urbanization in the area. Given the landscape history, Carrera strove to conserve the original character of his client’s property while introducing modern comforts.

The goal was to “preserve the soul and the morphology, to preserve each one of those things that make it unique and characteristic: the terraces, the retaining walls, the different elements of pre-existing vegetation and the dry stone chapel,” Carrera said. “These elements are delimited and identified to be preserved in the plant, and once they have been delimited, a respectful implementation of housing directly on the existing land is established, so that the house coexists and interacts spatially and functionally with these elements. The resulting ensemble seeks to be a whole, timeless and heterogeneous, that is part of the place and the landscape.”

At 869 square meters, Casa VN recalls the large estates that were once typical in Alella. Locally sourced stone — the same used in the preserved stone chapel — and native Mediterranean landscaping also respect the local vernacular. Meanwhile, the residence features modern construction with a structure of reinforced concrete, steel and glass. Passive solar principles also guided the design and placement of the house to reduce unwanted solar gain and promote natural cooling.

John Gollings
With a level of subtlety that is rare in the political domain, Victoria’s gracious nineteenth-century Parliament House, which sits on Spring Street watching benevolently over Melbourne, has recently gained an exquisite, and quite unseen, addition of 102 parliamentary offices designed by Peter Elliott Architecture and Urban Design.

Built in stages between 1856 and 1893 to a design by Peter Kerr and John George Knight, Parliament House grew from the inside out in the sense that its remarkably beautiful interior spaces –the Legislative Assembly, the Legislative Council, the Library, Queens Hall and the Vestibule – all preceded the completion of the exterior facade.

Described by Philip Goad as “an unfinished masterpiece,” Parliament House was devoid of any offices for the Parliamentarians who spend many of their working and waking hours inside the building. Only the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition had offices, while dozens of others worked out the back in a temporary building known as “the chook house.”

Parliament functions on the absolute requirement that when the bells are rung – indicating that a vote is to be taken – members have three minutes to reach their chamber. Knight and Kerr’s proposed extensions to the north and south were never completed and, in recent decades, various proposals have been aired but never funded. Many of those failed schemes involved trying to add the north and south extensions, but the designs could never create sufficiently swift connections throughout the building that would enable members to race against the bells.

In what could be seen as a unique design premise, this project was designed around the ringing of the bells, explains principal Peter Elliott. The breakthrough came with a shift in thinking about how to accommodate 102 offices in a new building that was clearly linked to the two legislative chambers, in order to enable a three-minute walk. A pincers-shaped pavilion reinterprets the idea of two wings while keeping the offices in close proximity to the chambers in the main building.

A number of built and natural constraints impacted the placement of the building. Parliament House is set within an important heritage garden, which holds the oak tree planted to commemorate the Australian Federal Convention of 1890–91 and an historic bowling green. St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Peter’s Eastern Hill Church edge the garden, on which archaeological, arborist and Indigenous surveys were undertaken.

Elliott’s interest in the notions of the host city and the companion building were drivers in his approach to the commission. The host city is already built, one place worked over by multiple generations. In Elliott’s view, the architect’s role is to negotiate within an existing environment. Civic buildings in the city have a special role and a certain gravitas, and the architect works with that.

The companion building is a new piece of architecture that has to negotiate a place with pre-existing architecture. “Companion” implies some form of equivalence by weight or presence and requires that one does not dominate the other but rather that they manage to coexist. Working from the place in the landscape of the major building, various surgical strategies are tested.

The task, therefore, was to make a companion building that would co-exist with Parliament House, the important building. Peter Elliott Architecture and Urban Design and landscape architects Taylor Cullity Lethlean have adopted a topographic approach in which the building is sunken, embedded into the landform and engulfed by the fine nineteenth-century garden. The building is organized around a large central courtyard facing St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Peter’s Eastern Hill Church. The courtyard is a secure inner sanctum that looks back to Parliament House and to the city beyond. The nineteenth-century garden meets the lower roof at the eastern end of the new building, framing beautiful views of the internal garden and the surrounds.

The roof of the new building is covered with garden and bluestone paths that can be traversed, inhabited and sat on. The roof reads as a secondary landform, a meadow of low plants chosen in order to maintain views. The Australian shrubs, grasses and wildflowers that populate this meadow, selected by Paul Thompson, create a topographic architecture.
COBE and Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST
Copenhagen-based architectural firm COBE has just unveiled what are possibly the most beautiful and sustainable electric vehicle charging stations in the world. Built entirely from recyclable materials and powered by solar energy, these ultra-fast charging stations not only recharge a vehicle in just 15 minutes but also offer drivers a welcoming place to rest and relax. The first COBE-designed EV charging station was installed on the E20 motorway in the Danish city of Fredericia, with 47 more planned along Scandinavian highways: seven more in Denmark, 20 in Sweden and 20 in Norway.

Created in partnership with Powered by E.ON Drive & Clever, the COBE-designed EV charging station consists of a series of “trees” made primarily from certified wood. The tree-inspired structures feature a canopy that provides shade and protection from the elements, while also providing space for a green roof and solar panels. The modular structures are scalable so that multiple “tree” structures can be combined into a “grove.”

The Fredericia charging station features a “grove” of 12 “trees” with a 400-square-meter canopy. The Danish Society for Nature Conservation helped select the plantings that surround the charging station to enhance biodiversity and create a calming, “zen-like” atmosphere radically different from a traditional gas station setting.

“Electric vehicles are the way of the future,” said Dan Stubbergaard, architect and founder of COBE. “With our design, we offer EV drivers a time-out and an opportunity to mentally recharge in a green oasis. The energy and the technology are green, so we wanted the architecture, the materials and the concept to reflect that. So, we designed a charging station in sustainable materials placed in a clean, calm setting with trees and plantings that offer people a dose of mindfulness on the highway.”

The firm’s design of the ultra-fast EV charging station won the infrastructure award of the 2018 Danish Building Awards and is being implemented across Scandinavia with support from EU Commission projects Connecting Europe Facility and High Speed Electric Mobility Across Europe.

Edmund Sumner
Why Aaron Betsky loves the new Hong Kong West Kowloon Station by Andrew Bromberg at Aedas.

Sometimes a good building that I nevertheless probably shouldn’t like for all kinds of reasons just bowls me over. That’s the case with the new Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, designed by Andrew Bromberg, FAIA, a global design principal at Aedas. It is not modest; it is not critical architecture. It swoops, it soars, it arches, rises, and spreads. Rarely in recent years have I seen a project with more expressive power than this multi-billion-dollar terminus to a line that is—for better or worse—tying Hong Kong closer to the Chinese mainland. It evokes the excitement of travel and the anticipation that comes with arriving or leaving a city.

For several years I have watched the station's design and construction, which has been hampered by delays, by ever increasing security concerns, by mediocre construction, and by worse station management. So it was a pleasure to finally see the building completed when I was in Hong Kong this spring. Visiting it on a rainy day I missed the full effect of the skylights and clerestories in the station’s main hall, and I was left to scamper around the wet pavement outside, but it was still a delight. Towards the north, the building’s arches flip up above a jagged glass façade, which opens up to a view of Hong Kong Island—a feature that has already drawn comparisons to a dragon. Even in the rain, the building seemed to be continually in motion.

The building is essentially a low-lying arch. A series of giant, stretched trusses, bundled together for strength and braced by branching columns that slot in between the tracks and the spread out, give lateral support to the main roof. But Bromberg also conceived of a simple yet clever twist. Rather than having the arches run at right angles over the main station area to the end of the tracks, the tradition in train termini ever since Euston Station in 1837, he ran them in the same directions as the trains. The result is a visual representation of this superfast mode of transport. It also leaves large openings to the east and the west, the directions in which most people entering or leaving the station will pass.

The various levels of the station undulate both up and down and forward and back to accommodate the different modes of arrival and departure (car, taxi, or bus drop off, and the subway and pedestrian paths to the nearby mega-developments). The terminal serves about 1.5 million travelers a month, who can now travel to Shanghai in a few hours and to Beijing in a day.

As an added bonus, the layers of arches also create an elevated park on top of the station; you can walk up and, more than 80 feet above the ground, enjoy a panoramic view across the harbor of Hong Kong Island. Already, the park has become a site for joggers and selfie takers; the hope is that further development in the area, including the Herzog & de Meuron-designed M+ Museum, will make the public space even more vibrant.

On the inside, Bromberg had originally designed the hall to start at the tracks themselves, so travelers could glimpse the bottom of the arches as soon as they arrived. The cost of a transparent fire barrier made that impossible, creating the same problem that plagues many airports and other transportation nodes: passengers get the best view when leaving or before going through security. After clearing customs, you can still see the some of the spectacle above while waiting for your train, but you have to remember to look up. Travelers who head directly into the subway, meanwhile, will never even enter the hall.

Soon, the station will be surrounded by apartment and office towers that will help pay for the cost of its construction. I believe that Bromberg had hoped to design these as well, but they will be put out for tender separately, so there's not much chance that he can create a large version of the fully integrated transportation hub that Ben van Berkel designed for the station in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

There is a more serious question about the West Kowloon Station that does give me pause. It successfully represents the achievements of a state that is using this very infrastructure to further suppress Hong Kong’s freedom and quasi-independence. Much in the way of Rem Koolhaas, Hon. FAIA’s convoluted design for the Chinese state’s central propaganda machine, CCTV, in Beijing, one has to ask if the project helps perpetuate social and economic injustices.

Studio NAB
Waiting for the bus is usually a drag, but what if the experience could instead become an opportunity to be closer to nature? French design practice Studio NAB has reinterpreted the humble bus stop as a hub for biodiversity that offers a “hotel” for birds and insects of all varieties. Built from recycled materials and topped with a vegetated green roof, the proposed Hotel Bus Stop aims to promote the population of native pollinating insects and reconnect people to nature.

Studio NAB designed the Hotel Bus Stop to serve five purposes: to promote the presence of pollinating insects; to bring adults and children closer to nature and promote environmental awareness and education; to showcase architecture constructed from recycled materials such as wood, cardboard and stainless steel; to introduce urban greenery and improve air quality with a vegetated roof and exposed plant wall; and to create “green jobs” for maintenance around the bus stops.

“A broad scientific consensus now recognizes the role of man in the decline of biomass and biodiversity in general and that of insects in particular,” Studio NAB explained in a project statement. “The use of pesticides in intensive agriculture, the destruction of natural habitats, excessive urbanization, global warming and various pollutions are at the origin of this hecatomb. Our hegemony allied to our conscience obliges us today to fulfill a role of ‘guardian’ and to allow the ‘living’ to take its place in order to fight against the erosion of our biodiversity.”

Envisioned for city centers and “eco-neighborhoods,” The Hotel Bus Stop would provide more habitats for pollinating insects that are essential for our food system and gardens, from fruit trees and vegetables to ornamental flowers. Auxiliary insects would also benefit, such as lacewings and earwigs that feed on aphids, a common garden pest. The underside of the bus stop roof would include boxes to encourage nesting by various bird species found throughout the city.

In May, German architectural firm Ingenhoven Architects broke ground on Kö-Bogen II, a sustainable mixed-use development envisioned as the “new green heart” of Düsseldorf, Germany. Designed to visually extend the adjoining Hofgarten park into the inner city, Kö-Bogen II wraps the sloping facades of its two buildings with hornbeam hedges that total nearly 5 miles in length. The hedges and turfed rooftop spaces will also help purify the air and combat the city’s heat island effect by providing a cooling microclimate.

Located at Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, Kö-Bogen II will serve as a commercial and office complex covering 42,000 square meters of gross floor area offering retail, restaurants, office space, local recreation and a five-story underground parking garage with 670 spaces. The development comprises a five-story trapezoid-shaped main building and a smaller triangular building that cluster around a valley-like plaza. The sloping facades, which will be planted with hornbeam hedges, open up the plaza to views of the iconic Dreischeibenhaus and the Düsseldorf Theater nearby. The architects will also be refurbishing the roof, facade and public areas of the Düsseldorf Theater.

“In order to do justice to the overall urban design situation, the design of Kö-Bogen II deliberately avoids a classical block-edged development such as that along the Schadowstrasse shopping street,” the architects explained in a press release. “In addition, the idea of green architecture has been applied systematically, thus distinguishing the development from conventional architectural solutions.”

Ascending to a building height of 27 meters, the hornbeam hedges will offer seasonal interest by changing color throughout the year. The turfed surfaces planted on the triangular building’s sloped facades will be accessible to passersby, who can use the space as an open lawn for rest and relaxation. Kö-Bogen II is slated to open in the spring of 2020.

RD Architecture
Melbourne councillors have approved plans to build an urban farm atop a carpark in a rapidly transforming patch of Melbourne’s Docklands.

Melbourne Skyfarm is a project of urban farm specialist Biofilta, nature regeneration group Odonata and The Sustainable Landscape Company.

It will include a working farm, a nursery, a shop, a cafe, an event space for live music and entertainment as well as education facilities.

RD Architecture is responsible for the design of the farm, which will sit adjacent to Fender Katsalidis Architects’ upcoming Seafarers Place project and the Seafarers Rest Park, just across the road from the Melbourne Quarter development.

A concept statement from the proponents outlines how the project fits in with the City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Strategy and its five core aims: to adapt the city to climate change, to mitigate urban heat island effect, to create healthier ecosystems, to create a water-sensitive city and to engage and involve the community.

“Melbourne Skyfarm is driven by these ambitions and proposes a hopeful vision for Melbourne’s future through a productive urban rooftop farm integrated with strong social and community ties,” the statement reads.

“With education being a central ambition of the Melbourne Skyfarm project, the site is woven with environmentally conscious learning opportunities, ranging from native food gardens to solar energy, and bee-keeping to biodiversity and composting.”

Skyfarm has been granted $300,000 from the City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Fund and is supported by the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre.

The proposal has not been without controversy, with council receiving 30 objections during a public exhibition period, and one letter of support. Much of the concern related to potential noise impact, light spill and overshadowing.

Council has approved the project on the condition that the built form be amended to prevent overshadowing of Seafarer’s Rest park, which the proponents agreed to.

The council found the provision of amplified live music and entertainment in the event space only would “not have an unreasonable noise impact on surrounding residential properties.”
Luc Boegly
In steady progression, tiny ecosystems rich with flora and fauna are changing the face of our built environment. From reducing storm water runoff and city dust to energy-efficient cooling, the benefits of green roofing go beyond beautification. In less than a decade, the green roof movement has experienced a major boom—and as costs lower and technology makes installation easier, this environmentally conscious trend is increasingly defining the facades of both existing and new buildings.

Most recently, lawmakers in France passed a law requiring all rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones to be partially covered in plants or solar panels. The legislation joins similar already instated in cities including Toronto and countries including Switzerland.

Here, Interior Design spotlights six recent projects with spectacular green roofs, from an art storage and research center that nearly disappears into the landscape, to an addition to a high school sunk below a football field, to a youth center with dramatic triangular green roof geometry that melds with an adjacent medieval castle, and more.

1. Firm: SAALS

Project: Zeimuls, Centre of Creative Services of Eastern Latvia

Location: Rezekne, Latvia

Standout: A triangulated green roof is the dramatic defining aspect of a competition-winning youth center, built around this Latvian town's main tourist attraction, a medieval castle. Despite the geometry of the facade, rooms in the plastered concrete 65,000-square-foot-structure are spacious rectangles soaked in natural light, drawn in from a ground-level interior courtyard and windows of assorted shapes and sizes.

2. Firm: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Project: Storage and Conservation Facility for the Musee du Louvre

Location: Liévin, France

Standout: The entire sloping roof of this 215,000-square-foot storage and conservation facility, housing 250,000 pieces of art, will be covered in vegetation. Set to break ground in 2017, the $65.4 million project 120 miles north of Paris will also feature a glazed facade, light-filled work spaces, and the latest technology in climate control and flood protection.

3. Firm: Bjarke Ingels Group

Project: Gammel Hellerup High School

Location: Hellerup, Denmark

Standout: Sections of a new two-story arts building, part of a 27,000-square-foot addition to this high school, are sunk below the football field. Conceived to provide a direct route to the front entrance, BIG's design plan allows students to walk from the adjacent multipurpose hall and sports complex, sunk 17 feet below ground, to classrooms, cafeteria, and to the street. Informal seating on the roof of the arts building provides a view of games underway.
Vincent Callebaut Architectures
The defunct National Baths of Aix-les-Bains will receive a vibrant and sustainably minded revival in the hands of the Paris-based practice Vincent Callebaut Architectures. Selected as the winner of a competition following the popular vote, the firm’s proposal — dubbed “The Foam of Waves” — will not only restore the ancient thermal baths, but also introduce a sustainable, energy-producing paradigm that follows the carbon-neutral guidelines as recommended by COP 21. The project will adopt a mixed-use program that incorporates residential, commercial, tourist, educational and urban agriculture spaces.

The Foam of Waves focuses on the renovation of the Pellegrini, Revel and Princes buildings while staying respectful of the existing Roman remains. To inject new energy into the space, the architects have created a mixed-use program designed to attract locals, tourists and business investment. The scope includes a tourist office, a Center of Interpretation of Architecture and Heritage, a wellness center, a teaching space for the Peyrefitte School, a wellness-focused shopping center with restaurants, coworking spaces, 185 “green apartments” and parking. An urban educational farm integrating permaculture and aquaponics will be located on the green roof.

“The whole architectural project is the carrier of the new paradigms of our society,” the architects said. “It offers future residents and visitors the opportunity to adopt new lifestyles that respect the environment, health and urban well-being in order to simply live better. It is a resilient architecture, innervated by nature. It is an ode to biodiversity, renewable energies and the circular economy that advocates the construction of post-carbon, post-fossil, post-nuclear and even post-insecticidal cities.”

In addition to an expansive green roof, the buildings will feature updated wave-like facades with balconies large enough to accommodate trees and private garden spaces for residents. The building envelopes will be also be optimized for airtightness, insulation and passive solar conditions. The project aims to produce more energy than it consumes and will include a solar photovoltaic and thermal roof, a mini-biomass plant on-site and a co-generation system with rapeseed oil. Rainwater harvesting systems and gray water recycling will also be implemented.

Dale Antiel, Edina Realty INC.
Interiors surprise with skylights and terrazzo floors

Earth-bermed architecture isn’t for everyone. But if you’ve dreamed of your own hobbit hidey-hole, check out this affordable two-bedroom, two-bath house on 3.4 acres of forest in River Falls, Wisconsin. When we originally reported on the listing in mid-January, it was asking $275,000. A recent price drop now has the bermed house at $190,000, making it a value for an “adventurous buyer.”

Designed and built in 1972 by architect Mike McGuire, the exterior of the home features two arched glass openings set into the rolling countryside. McGuire constructed the 2,236-square-foot home as an energy-efficient type of “sod house” that uses arching steel culverts as its structural system.

The two culverts are side by side—linked by a laundry and mechanical area—and the home also boasts masonry brick fireplaces in each room. Because brick heats up quickly and retains heat for long periods of time, the fireplaces keep the structure warm and disperse the heat thanks to pipes under the terrazzo floors.

Because the home is built into the earth, the surrounding soil helps to maintain a stable moderate temperature and saves on heating and cooling costs. Numerous skylights bring in light, and long built-in benches provide seating in many of the rooms.

If this looks like the hobbit home of your dreams, N8064 975th Street is on the market now for $190,000.
albert lim k.s
‘cornwall gardens’ by CHANG architects is created to accommodate a family of four generations in singapore. the concept behind the project looks to enhance livings spaces within a tropical climate through the implementation of well-designed communal spaces, connecting family members. the resulting house creates a tropical haven, bringing greenery and light into every space.

the house commands a large site of 1494 sqm which the client intended to become a ‘tropical paradise’ for the entire family, from the retired parents to future generations of children. in response to the brief, the original L-shaped plan was extended to form a U. in order to create a harmonious living environment, CHANG cleverly incorporated a combination of private and public spaces, to facilitate both quiet moments and interaction between family members.

the architecture is characterized by the use of natural, darker finishes, which was preferred by the client as it reduces glare from the harsh tropical sun. an abundance of greenery is also implemented at every opportunity, creating a house that directly connects to nature and brings a certain vibrancy to the indoor and outdoor spaces. the central pool space is framed by cascading planters and green stepped decks. these plants and pool of water are part of the overall planning and are used for passive cooling to create a healthier living environment.

the street facing front façade is composed of charcoal logs that serve as filter from noise and air pollution. upon entering the foyer, you are greeted by an old retaining wall that has been transformed into a waterfall feature. materials such as timber, old light fittings, window and door panels have been recycled from the client’s former home to construct the new house. the use of these materials connects new with old and brings past memories to the new dwelling.

3XN has been selected to complete a multipurpose sports arena in germany. to be built on the site of the former cycling track stadium in munich’s olympic park, the indoor venue will host ice hockey and basketball games in front of a capacity of up to 11,500. meanwhile, to improve the local sports infrastructure for schools, amateur clubs, and young talents, three additional canopied ice rinks will be built next to the arena as training facilities and for recreational use.

developed in collaboration with latz+partner, 3XN’s winning design was presented by the city of munich, FC bayern basketball, software company SAP, and energy drinks brand red bull. once open in 2021, the arena will be home to ice hockey club munich red bulls and basketball team FC bayern munich. topped with a green roof, the oval-shaped building has been designed to fit into the context of the park — which features the distinctive olympic stadium designed by günter behnisch and frei otto.

‘during the design process, we continually thought about the park’s original design and asked ourselves how günter behnisch would have approached the task,’ explains jan ammundsen, 3XN architect’s head of design. ‘it was important to us to create a flexible, multipurpose arena with a strong identity while respecting the history and vision of the original olympic park and fitting in quite naturally. we want to create the perfect backdrop for a fantastic fan experience.’

training areas are partially underground and modeled to form a green hill, picking up the topography and enabling a coherent continuation of the pathways and landscape design of the park. the groundbreaking ceremony is planned for winter 2019, provided the construction permit and building preparations are obtained in time. the inauguration of the new arena is planned for late summer 2021.

SAP has secured the arena’s naming rights. however, the software company has launched a naming competition for the stadium where future fans and spectators are invited to help find a name for the venue and can enter their suggestions online. the deadline for entries is march 4, 2019. a jury consisting of representatives from red bull, FC bayern basketball, and SAP will then select a shortlist of names before members of the public get to vote for their favorite name online.

James Meyer Company
The Wharf brings to the nation’s capitol a mixed-use development including retail shops, office space, hotels, residences and a 140,000-square-foot concert hall. Spanning nearly one mile of what was once a stretch of dilapidated and unused space, The Wharf resulted from a coalition of private and public partnerships and helped to transform the District’s smallest quadrant into a vibrant neighborhood where people live, work and enjoy waterfront activities.

Providing experiences along the shore of the Potomac, The Wharf offers 14 acres of parks and public space along with water activities including kayaking, paddle boarding and water taxis. A network of vegetative roof assemblies provides yet another level from which to take in breathtaking views of the Potomac and several national landmarks while gathering or enjoying a cocktail.

The vegetative roofs throughout The Wharf also support sustainability efforts. Efforts to support sustainability began at the master planning stage. The Wharf was designed to achieve LEED ND Gold while targeting LEED Gold or Silver for several individual buildings.

Developed in phases, Phase One of The Wharf took nearly 15 years to complete, opening on October 12, 2017. The building has endured the Great Recession and other challenges along the way, but the final phase is scheduled for completion in 2022. Eventually, The Wharf will include 1,375 residences, 945,000 square-feet of office space and 800 rooms in four hotels. Beyond its size and scale, The Wharf represents an aggressive effort to reinvent the once neglected Southwest quadrant’s waterfront as a destination public space.

At first glance, The Wharf does not appear to be a “planned community” but a “riverfront neighborhood.” Glass and steel are adjacent to cobblestones and rooflines rise and fall. Narrow streets and alleyways contribute a sense of old world charm but presented challenges for teams completing Phase One against an aggressive schedule. Nine different architects designed the first nine buildings, which may help contribute to the sense of diversity. A unifying element in The Wharf is the Promenade, a central walkway tying the community together.

District Codes Call for Vegetative Roofs
The District of Columbia Department of Energy notes there are currently more than 3 million square-feet of vegetative roof in the District. Notable roofs featuring vegetative roof assemblies include MGM Casino,
Dutch architecture firm MVRDV has unveiled plans to redevelop a post-industrial city block in Kiel, Germany, into an eye-catching, mixed-use complex that matches the creative spirit of the site’s current tenants. Dubbed “KoolKiel,” the 65,000-square-meter redevelopment project will include the adaptive reuse of the existing single-story W8 Medienzentrum building as well as the addition of a new zig-zagging plinth, office tower and hotel tower. The buildings will also be equipped with rooftop solar panels, rainwater catchment systems, green roofs and other energy-efficient features.

Located near the southernmost tip of the Kiel Fjord, the project site is currently home to W8 Medienzentrum, a large, single-story building that was originally used for storing chains for ships and has been converted into an office space housing mostly companies in media and the creative industries. Inspired by the influence of these tenants on the area’s “unique and charismatic” identity, MVRDV has drawn inspiration from the existing community of companies for the KoolKiel design. The proposal will remake W8 Medienzentrum’s existing structure into a mix of commercial units with apartments above, while the new buildings will offer additional office space, a 250-room hotel, more residences, retail and a public event space. Dynamic exterior spaces — from a public courtyard with street furniture to a rooftop park — will connect the various buildings.

Creative community input will be key to the project. For instance, the facade, made from fiber reinforced concrete panels, will display icons inspired by creative local businesses and individuals. The flexible design system also gives the community the choice to change many of the interior and exterior elements of the buildings, from the number of cantilevered units on the hotel tower to the size and layout of apartments stacked above the existing W8 building.