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A European hotel brand entering the South Florida market broke ground on one of its three forthcoming locations.

And more may be coming.

The Netherlands-based citizenM broke ground on Thursday at the Miami Worldcenter. The 128,000-square-foot hotel at 700 NE Second Ave. will rise up to 12 stories with 351 rooms. It will cost more than $100 million to build, said Craig Kinnon, citizenM project director.

The company will have two other hotels in the Magic City, one at the former Perricone’s restaurant in Brickell and another near the Lincoln Road Mall.

The hotel brand made its U.S. debut in New York in 2014.

“Who’s to say in time we won’t be in Wynwood?” Kinnon said about the possibility of future expansions in Miami.

The multiple spaces in Miami will allow guests to select a spot near the amenities they most want to visit, said Kinnon. “Do I want to go to the beach? Do I want to be near the buzz? Am I coming for business?”

The hotel has three other locations in New York and Boston. It will open another in Seattle in 2020, and break ground on other sites in Chicago and Washington, rounding out its U.S. locations to nine offerings.

The Miami Worldcenter location will be completed in mid-summer 2021, according to the project’s general contractor Suffolk Construction’s Project Executive Alex Suarez.

The other two citizenM projects will also be completed in 2021, said Kinnon.

citizenM is the first of three planned hotels to break ground at the $4 billion mixed-use project Miami Worldcenter spanning 27 acres. A 220-room hotel and 240 condo-hotel Legacy Hotel & Residences is in the pipeline, according to the Next Miami. A 1,700-room Marriott Marquis hotel is also planned.

The former will cater to the luxury market and the latter to the business traveler, said Miami Worldcenter Associates Managing Partner Nitin Motwani.

citizenM will cater to a wide demographic with more affordable pricing, said Motwani. The price range hasn’t been set, according to Kinnon, but prices at other citizenM locations range from the mid-$200s up to the mid-$400s.

Building a city within a city, said Motwani, it’s important to cater to as many demographics as possible.

And more lodges may be coming to Miami Worldcenter.

“Are more hotels in the pipeline? Time will tell,” he said.

Other hospitality brands are also entering or expanding in the market with spots near Downtown Miami, including Virgin Hotels and AC Hotel by Marriott alongside Element by Westin.

“It’s exciting the vibrancy in downtown with the Design District, Wynwood and Edgewater. I’m excited about the different hotel brands coming into Miami,” said Wendy Kallergis, president and CEO of the Greater Miami & the Beaches Hotel Association.
Jonathan Hillyer
To generate at least as much energy as it uses, a building may need more photovoltaic panels than its roof can accommodate. One solution is to extend the roof, as Seattle’s Miller Hull Partnership did when it designed that city’s Bullitt Center, a six-story building with a PV panel-laden trellis cantilevering beyond its exterior walls.

Miller Hull has repeated the strategy in Atlanta, where it and Lord Aeck Sargent, a Katerra company, have just completed the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at Georgia Tech. The new, 37,000-square-foot, three-story building has a large steel and aluminum trellis that reaches beyond the roof in three directions with the help of thin, cable-tensioned steel columns. About 40 feet off the ground, the trellis shelters gardens that serve as gathering places for students. The main shaded area resembles a kind of front porch, a play on the southern vernacular, says Brian Court, partner at Miller Hull and that firm’s design lead for the building. The porch opens into an atrium surrounded on three levels by classrooms, laboratories, and mechanical spaces. A lower, brick-clad extension houses a 175-seat lecture hall. The facilities are “not just for those students interested in sustainability as a career,” says Michael Gamble, director of graduate studies in the School of Architecture. Instead, Georgia Tech students from a range of departments will have “access to a building that actually teaches us something.”

The lesson is that it’s possible to build a “regenerative” building even in the hot, humid southeast. That was a goal of the Kendeda Fund (created by philanthropist Diana Latow Blank, the former wife of Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank). Kendeda paid for the $18.6 million building and provided millions more for programming.

While the building is expected to receive a LEED Platinum rating, it was designed to meet the more stringent standards of the Living Building Challenge. To be certified, a building must produce more water and more electricity than it consumes. Net-positive water will be achieved by collecting an estimated 460,000 gallons of rainwater each year (runoff from the PVs is collected in channels and fed into a cistern and filtered to potable standards). As for electricity, the building’s 900 photovoltaic panels are expected to generate 455,000 kilowatt hours annually, 40 percent more than it is projected to use. To make the building energy-efficient, its designers focused on occupant comfort rather than fixed temperature goals and made extensive use of ceiling fans, radiant heating and cooling, and a dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS), combined with a super-efficient envelope. The building met other Living Building Challenge standards; for example, products were eliminated or reformulated to avoid chemicals on the program’s “red list.”

The building will not receive its final certification until it has demonstrated that it is energy- and water-positive for a year, notes Chris Hellstern, Living Building Challenge Services Director at Miller Hull. To achieve that, says Joshua Gassman, Lord Aeck Sargent’s sustainable design director, “Everything has to work together—it’s almost like building a Swiss watch.”

Not only will Kendeda be operationally efficient, Hellstern says, but it was designed to reduce embodied energy—the energy consumed in fabrication and construction—as well. Among other strategies, sustainably harvested wood was used for the main structural elements, reclaimed wood was used for decking, and 100-percent-recycled-content brick was incorporated into the cladding. “We used excess chunks of decking to build internal stairs, both to avoid creating landfill and to show that something that would have been wasted can contribute to both the beauty and the function of the project,” Gassman says. Speaking for the entire industry, Hellstern points out, “Unless we address embodied energy, we won’t meet climate targets.”
Miran Kambič
Ljubljana-based studio Enota has replaced an outdoor swimming pool with a pool covered in a rugged landscape of geometric, funnel-like roof structures at the Terme Olimia Spa in Slovenia.

Designed to blend in with the pitched rooflines of the surrounding rural structures the pool was built as part of an upgrade of a former 1980s water park by Ljubljana-based studio Enota.

Named Termalija Family Wellness, the pool is the latest in a series of developments at the spa with the overarching aim of better connecting the centre with the surrounding natural landscape.

The new pool replaces an outdoor pool on the site that had been fitted with a retractable membrane cover to allow for use in winter in summer and winter, but had proven too complex to ever be used in practice.

While previous developments to the complex were largely underground, illuminated by cylindrical skylights and drawing on the undulating green landscape, the enclosure of the pool required a large intervention above ground.

"No longer being able to reference only the surrounding natural landscape, the solution was found in the scale and form of the surrounding vernacular structures," said the studio.

Accessed via a series of paved paths that dig down into the landscape, the centre is wrapped in glazed walls that maximise the amount of light entering the pool space.

"The large roof above the water area was divided into sets of smaller segments to prevent its scale from overwhelming the surroundings," explained the studio.

"Viewed from a distance, the shape, colour and scale of the new clustered structure of tetrahedral volumes is a continuation of the cluster of surrounding rural buildings, which visually extends into the heart of the complex."

Inside, the faceted geometry of the roof scape creates a dynamic, wood-clad ceiling structure, illuminated by skylights at the apex of the roof sections and supplemented by artificial lighting.

The geometry of the roof also allowed for the span of the roof to be achieved with minimal structural supports, minimising disruption to the pool below and further contributing to a feeling of openness and lightness.

The pool itself has been finished with sculptural concrete forms that double as containers for plants and trees, creating a space with the feel of an open, outdoor area during summer and a closed area during winter.

"Despite its size and the space it occupies, the new roof simply acts as a big summertime sunshade and does not usurp the precious exterior space," explained the studio.

Luke Hesketh via Philip M Dingemanse
Australia’s new mountain bike trails in northeast Tasmania are now more accessible than ever thanks to Dales of Derby, a contemporary, purpose-built group housing complex that is the perfect base for adventure. Local architecture and design studio Philip M Dingemanse designed the building, which won the 2019 Barry McNeill Award for Sustainable Architecture with its energy-efficient and low-maintenance features.

A former tin-mining center, the tiny Australian town of Derby was transformed in 2015 with the opening of Blue Derby, a network of mountain bike trails that traverses some of the island’s most stunning rainforest landscapes. Tapped to design lodgings to accommodate large groups of mountain bike enthusiasts, Philip M Dingemanse created a project that would double as an introductory building to the small village of Derby. Drawing inspiration from the town’s mining history, the architects created a simple gabled form and clad the exterior with Australian vernacular corrugated metal and timber in a nod to utilitarian tin miner homes. The architects also split the gabled building into seven pieces, with four sections pulled apart, to bring the outdoors in, while the interiors are lined with wood for a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Built to sleep a large group of up to 24 people, Dales of Derby includes bunk beds that accommodate 16 people as well as four rooms with queen-sized beds that are accessed via a red vaulted foyer inspired by a mining tunnel. At the heart of the building is a large common area with a wood heater and a full kitchen with a dining area oriented toward the forest. To reduce the project’s energy demands, the architects installed solar hot water heaters and followed passive design strategies for optimal solar orientation and thermal control.

“The built form is a singular functional object separated into pieces and strung out across the hill between road and river,” the architects noted. “Gaps become significant framing moments of eucalypt forest while nighttime gable lighting castes a permanent golden hue to graying timber walls; a memory of the raw timber cut, glowing on the outskirts of the township.”

Scott Judy
With Miami the setting for its 2019 convention, the American Society of Civil Engineers unveiled an initial proof-of-concept vision for a sea-based “Floating City,” one of five concepts included within the association’s Future World Vision: Infrastructure Reimagined project.

The project, which ASCE established as a separate entity known as FWV Inc., represents a four-year commitment by the organization. In a report released earlier this year announcing early analysis from the effort, ASCE stated that Future World Visions “mapped out key trends and potential outcomes and analyzed a range of plausible future-based scenarios to model how society might interface with cities, infrastructure and operational systems, while also illustrating what civil engineers must do to develop solutions for the changing future.”

Using six key, long-term trends—climate change, alternative energy, high-tech construction/advanced materials, autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and policy and funding—ASCE created five Future World concepts: Mega City, Rural City, Floating City, Frozen City and Offworld City.

To Gerald Buckwalter, ASCE’s chief operating and strategy officer, the Future Worlds project is an important step for the engineering community to begin to plan for a rapidly changing world.

“There’s a convergence of some significantly disruptive trends occurring that, in combination, will probably cause more change to the engineering profession and to built infrastructure in the next 50 to 100 years than we’ve seen in over a thousand years,” Buckwalter told Engineering News-Record at the convention, held earlier this month. The effort will position ASCE to serve as a “thought leader” on this topic, he added.

ASCE hired Alex McDowell, of Experimental Design Inc., who previously served as production designer for the futuristic sci-fi film “Minority Report,” to lead the project’s conceptualizing. McDowell then led a team that incorporated input from dozens of subject-matter experts to create a digital model envisioning the detailed development of these city concepts up to 50 years into the future.

By creating five different prototypes, Buckwalter says, it’s possible to identify the implications for civil engineering that are common among all of the future scenarios.

“This will allow us to discover the durability of some of our tools and practices now, and some things that are just going to have to be different, and give us plenty of runway to figure that out” he says.

Surely hoping for considerable “runway” for long-term planning was Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez (R), who was on hand to offer a response to McDowell’s unveiling of the Floating City.

In news related to the trends of climate change and rising sea levels envisioned by ASCE’s Floating City concept, Suarez reported that the city had just one day prior passed a resolution supporting the concept of a “carbon dividend” tax on carbon-emitting entities.

Suarez cited Miami’s interactions with the Netherlands and New Orleans as examples of how the city is planning to survive rising sea levels. “It is possible to convert water from an enemy into an asset,” he said. “That’s what we’re going to seek to do as we move into this new future where climate is certainly one of the main factors that we need to plan for if we want to be here forever.”
P. Ravikumar/Reuters
A new WRI report on 15 cities across the Global South reveals that access to safe drinking water is often underestimated—and the challenge will only get worse.

The United Nations has long made access to safe drinking water a global priority. First, the UN began tracking each country’s progress as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—a set of eight targets aimed at improving the quality of life for the world’s poorest. Later, water access became part of the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, which replaced the MDGs when they expired in 2015. While some nations have reported improvements over the last few decades, a report published Tuesday by the World Resource Institute finds that such national-level measurements underestimate the reality of water access inside cities.

“The issues of continuous service, affordability, and how people move water in the urban built environment are not apparent from just looking at progress on SDGs,” says Victoria Beard, a fellow at the WRI Ross Center For Sustainable Cities who co-authored the report. “You need to go beyond it.” Just saying that a nation provides piped water, for example, doesn’t tell you how reliable the service is, or how safe the water is. If the population depends on privatized water sources, like local water vendors or tanker trucks, the costs may not be accounted for—especially among those living in informal settlements.

So researchers at WRI took a deeper dive into the urban water crisis by analyzing water access in 15 “emerging” or “struggling” cities across Latin America, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa—regions often referred to as the Global South. They looked particularly at informal settlements, which may not always be included in the data. “A lot of times informal settlements are not represented in public city data because they are considered illegal or they’re outside formal planning or regulatory frameworks,” Beard says. Yet in sprawling megacities like Lagos, Nairobi, or Karachi, more than half of households are inside informal settlements, according to the report.

The good news: Nearly two-third of households, on average, across all 15 of the Global South cities studied have access to piped water, according to the report. A deeper dive into each city, though, reveals that availability is uneven. In Mumbai, more than 80 percent of households get piped water, but water is available for only seven hours each day. Similarly, water is available only three hours a day for roughly 70 percent of households in nearby Bangalore, and only for three days a week. The authors also report that in 12 cities, the government struggled to provide continuous water service—often a result of water and energy shortages, infrastructure failures, or “municipal rationing.” That, in turn, affects quality and safety, as water is more likely to be contaminated when water pressure is low.

Access to piped water is even more infrequent and inconsistent for those living in informal settlements. Of the nine cities that reported medium to high piped-water access, five also reported intermittent water supply.

When piped water is absent or unreliable, residents turn to privatized water delivery services, which are not uncommon. State agencies turned to private companies in the 1980s after struggling to provide basic services to lower-income households. In the 2000s, when private companies also struggled to make a profit, cities began corporatizing water utilities, operating on an incentives model. As a result, Beard says, affordability often gets ignored.
Laboratory for Vision Architecture (LAVA) and Australian design practice Aspect Studios have won an international competition to design the new Central Park for Ho Chi Minh City. Located on the site where southeast Asia’s first train station was located, the 16-hectare linear park will pay homage to its industrial heritage with walkways overlaid atop 19th-century railway tracks. In addition to historical references, the visionary public space will also integrate sustainable and futuristic “tree” structures engineered to provide shelter, harvest water and generate solar energy.

Located in District 1, the central urban district of Ho Chi Minh City, the proposed Central Park will replace and expand the existing September 23 Park. The new design will retain its predecessor’s lush appearance while adding greater functionality to include sculpture gardens, outdoor art galleries, water features, music and theater performance pavilions, a skate park, sport zones and playgrounds.

”The site has always been about transportation,” said Chris Bosse, director of LAVA. “It was the first train station in southeast Asia, it’s currently a bus terminal and in the near future it will be Vietnam’s first metro station. Our design references this history and future mobility. Known locally as ‘September 23 Park’, it also hosts the important annual spring festival.”

The designers plan to link the redesigned park to the new Ben Thanh Metro Station and memorialize the transport history with a dramatic twisting steel sculpture at one end of the park.

To improve the energy efficiency of Central Park, three types of eco-friendly structures will be installed, and each one will be created in the image of “artificial plants” and “trees.” The “water purification trees” will collect rainwater for reuse for irrigation, drinking fountains and fire hydrants. “Ventilation trees” will reduce the urban heat island effect and generate fresh air, and the “solar trees” feature angled solar panels to generate renewable energy used for powering the charging docks, information screens and the park’s Wi-Fi system. Construction on Central Park is slated to begin in 2020.

Trent Bell
In Englishman Bay, where his relatives have summered since the 19th century, a musician builds an idyllic hideaway for his family and their three parrots.

"When I was growing up, we went to a little log cabin in Maine," says a musician now based in Colorado. "It sounds romantic, but it really was three boys stuck in a one-room cabin with a loft. Maine can be rainy, foggy, and dreary. We’d go a little stir crazy." Like many childhood summers, his was a mix of boredom and adventure. Part of the romance was his family’s deep roots in the isolated area of Englishman Bay, a two-hour drive east of the bustling seaside community of Bar Harbor. His father had been born in the cabin, and relatives had been summering in the region since the 1880s. And, on sunny days, Maine was fun. He and his brothers played in the woods and clambered over the rocks by the ocean. All the same, he and his brothers were ready to go home at summer’s end.

Englishman Bay Retreat resides on a plot of land next door to the homeowner’s parents’ property; he remembers traversing it as a child to get to the pebbled beach. Clad in hardy local hemlock and raised on galvanized steel piers with board-formed concrete wrapping the ground floor’s mechanical systems, the residence is designed to endure through the ages.

Now he, his wife, and their two daughters still visit Englishman Bay, but their vacation home is decidedly more stylish. In late 2015, they asked Whitten Architects and Nate Holyoke Builders (in Portland and Holden, respectively) for a durable, minimalist home, simultaneously rustic and Scandinavian, that would sit lightly on the land and make use of local materials whenever possible. (They knew Whitten and Holyoke’s work because the team had built a nearby Norwegian-inspired home for the musician’s cousin.) Principal architect Russ Tyson translated the family’s request into a striking, partially transparent house with simple geometries. The U-shaped dwelling comprises three primary forms: a three-story entry tower with a roof deck, a rectangular bedroom wing, and a dramatic, three-season glassed-in porch—organized around a double-sided concrete chimney—that serves as a great room.

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.

West 8
The Rotterdam, Netherlands–based firm will revitalize 11 miles of the city's shoreline.

Rotterdam, Netherlands–based urban design firm West 8 has been named the winner of the Middle Branch Waterfront Revitalization Competition, which called for submissions to restore the area's wetlands and connect the surrounding neighborhoods with recreational parks and trails. The firm's winning proposal will bring new life to an 11-mile stretch of Baltimore's Patapsco River shoreline, "recreat[ing] and redefin[ing] the blue green heart of Baltimore," according to a press release from the firm.

In the winning design, West 8 proposed reusing dredges from Baltimore's port to control the water and sediment flow along the waterfront's bay. With the expectation that this will create new marshlands overtime, the team also proposed an 11-mile ring of multiuse piers, boardwalks, and structures to create a more community-focused environment.

"A future phase of the design reimagines the iconic Hanover Street Bridge as a park which completes parkland ring and connects people from all walks of life to each other and to the Middle Branch," said West 8 design director Adriaan Geuze in the same release.

The three finalists for the competition, which included the New York-based firms James Corner Field Operations and Hargreaves Jones, were revealed in April. After the announcement, residents were invited to visit an exhibition where they could learn more about the shortlisted designs and add their own comments. A five person jury then ranked the teams on elements such as technical merit, feasibility of the ideas, ability to integrate community feedback, originality of design vision, and responsiveness to the competition's objectives.

Hayri Atak Architectural Design Studio
Hayri Atak Architectural Design Studio has designed a concept for a boutique hotel within a cliff edge in Norway that includes a cantilevered glass swimming pool.

Istanbul practice Hayri Atak Architectural Design Studio proposed building the hotel on a site 600-metres-high on Preikestolen – a steep cliff and popular tourist spot in the west of Norway that overhangs the Lysefjorden fjord.

It is intended to recreate the thrill of embarking on hiking trails around the cliff, and capture the feeling of "living on and beyond the edge".

"Preikestolen has been one of the most exciting places to me through the years. One day a friend of mine sent me photos of 'the rock' she captured during her Norway trip," explained the studio's founder Hayri Atak.

"Even though I wasn't there, I experienced the adrenaline of being on the edge. Then I dreamed of living on and beyond the edge. Simply, I just wanted carry this experience beyond the edge and the idea of having this experience inspired me," he told Dezeen.

Hayri Atak Architectural Design Studio's visuals imagine the entrance to the hotel on top of the cliff, which is has a naturally flat surface. This would also double as a giant public viewing platform.

Guests would then be led down inside the hotel where the studio has proposed nine guest suites and shared lounge area, which are all embedded within the rockface.

The rooms are divided over three floors, and open out onto a shared balconies that jut out from the edge to offer uninterrupted views of the fjord and surrounding mountains.

Below, the lounge has a shared balcony that extends out further from those belonging to the guest bedrooms, and has a giant outdoor swimming pool.

Designed for the "more adventurous visitors", the long, narrow pool cantilevers precariously out from the edge of the balcony and is made entirely from glass to immerse swimmers within the landscape and the sheer drop below.

"I think this is equal to swimming in gravity-free environment. The pool was one and only design element of project at the beginning," added Atak.

"The hotel can be considered a part or an extension of the cliff. I thought that experiencing beyond the edge is much more thrilling in a pool rather than a balcony".

Compass Pools also recently proposed a dramatic concept swimming pool named Infinity London. Imagined on top of a tower in London, it would become the world's first 360-degree infinity pool and would be accessed via a submarine-style door.
Casey Dunn
Texas architecture studio Clayton & Little has built a barn from reclaimed oil field pipes and weathering steel panels, topped with solar panels to provide power to a vineyard in California.

The Saxum Vineyard Equipment Barn is on the James Berry Vineyard – part of the Saxum Vineyard group – in Paso Robles, a town in central California known for its olive groves, hillsides and wineries. It has been longlisted in the business building category of this year's Dezeen Awards.

Clayton & Little created the simple barn to provide covered storage for farming vehicles, implements and livestock supplies, while also being a structure to hold solar panels to power the nearby Saxum Winery.

The studio describes the structure, which is made reclaimed oil field pipes, as a modern version of a pole barn – a type of agricultural building that began being built in the USA in the 1930s.

The structure is mostly symmetrical with an open central storage area and enclosed rooms for storage on either side. The building is clad with perforated Corten panels that protect the machinery from the sunlight, while allowing the wind to pass through.

On top of the barn's long roof, which is supported by the reclaimed pipes, are a series of photovoltaic panels. These laminated glass solar modules act as the barn's roof, reducing cost as there was no need for a separate structure.

The solar panels offset the electrical demand of the winery, freeing it from the dependence of grid-tied power. Energy from the panels also supports irrigation well pumps at the vineyard.

"Designed to harnesses the local climate to maximise cross ventilation, daylight and solar energy, the recycled oilfield pipe structure holds a laminated glass photovoltaic roof system that produces a third more power than needed [at the winery]," Clayton & Little said.

The roof is also designed to collect rainfall for irrigating trees and adjacent grazing meadow, which is stored in cylinders nearby.

This is intended to dramatically reduce the vineyards dependence on mains water, and combined with the solar panels, effectively take it off the grid.

Saxum Vineyard Equipment Barn was awarded as one of this year's AIA Small Projects and joins BIG'S Klein A45 cabin in the Catskill Mountains and South 5th Residence in Austin by Alterstudio Architecture.

Founded in 2005, Clayton & Little is led by partners Paul Clayton, Brian Korte, Sam Manning and Nathan Quiring. The studio has two offices in Austin and San Antonio, Texas.

Other barns include an oak-clad structure in the Netherlands, Swallowfield Barn in British Columbia and a blackened wood structure by Worrell Yeung in Upstate New York.
Patricia Parinejad
On the banks of Italy’s spectacular Lake Como sits Il Sereno, a five-star hotel that not only offers top-of-the-line luxury, but also boasts sustainable features throughout. Milan-based Patricia Urquiola Studio designed the building with a palette of locally sourced natural materials and an eye-catching Patrick Blanc-designed vertical garden that grows up the side of the building. The designers’ attention to energy-saving elements and eco-friendly materials earned Il Sereno Climate House certification.

Conceived as a contemporary spin on the rationalist-style Casa del Fascio by Giuseppe Terragni, Il Sereno celebrates the historical heritage of the lake and the natural beauty of the surroundings. As such, natural materials were used for construction and include locally sourced stone marble and timber throughout the sustainable hotel. Thorough site analyses informed the placement of the building and the operable facade, which allows for natural ventilation and lighting to reduce the hotel’s environmental impact. The lake is visible from every room in the hotel as well as from the common areas.

“I was inspired by the color of the Lake, and its glistening water, the nature of the dramatic mountains, and the adjacent village of Torno,” says designer and architect Patricia Urquiola in a press statement. “The color palette is the lake. It includes green, light-blue, copper, grey and natural tones. For Il Sereno we used natural materials (stone, wood, wool natural fibers) for a sustainable style and timeless elegance.”

To reinforce the hotel’s connection with nature, the architects wrapped parts of the building in full-height glazing and balconies to create a seamless indoor/outdoor living experience and commissioned renowned green wall designer Patrick Blanc to create three artworks for Il Sereno. The largest vertical garden is mounted to the facade facing the northern lakefront to soften the structure’s appearance, while the other two artworks are found near the entrance on the south side.

Trevor Mein
Architecture studio Woods Bagot has completed the latest stage of a weathered seaside house in Australia that has been 20 years in the making.

Designed as a home for Woods Bagot CEO Nik Karalis, the St Andrews Beach Villa began in 1999 as a simple shack on Mornington Peninsula.

Over the years it has gradually evolved into what is now a five-bedroom villa with a pool, cabana, glasshouse and full-width deck.

"Longevity of design in historic houses is not unusual – many European villas took 10-30 years to build," Karalis told Dezeen.

"In our case, it was a combination of increasing family needs and also a detailed understanding of place and context."

Over time St Andrews Beach Villa has been adapted and altered to deal with its challenging site.

The peninsula is subject to intense winds, constantly shifting sand-dunes and a high concentration of salt in the atmosphere, which speeds up the corrosion of materials.

"The project could not be transported anywhere else in the world," said Karalis.

"It is a building intensely sensitive to place, recognised most importantly by the locals and the surf community."

St Andrews Beach Villa is a simple steel box raised on supports with a panoramic living space facing south-west towards the sea.

A 25 metre-wide stepped deck is cut through by a passage that leads into the undercroft, slotted below to provides a more intimate, sheltered space.

The villa's entrance sits on its sheltered rear facade, where a steel ramp leads up to a reception area and also to the pool and cabana.

Bedrooms sit arranged along this more sheltered, northern side of the plan, while the glazed front provides far more exposure.

This theme of contrasts continues in the exterior finishes. The rear and sides of the villa have clad with a rainscreen of jarrah wood panels, through which north light can filter in.

Internal finishes have been created through a mixture newer elements and old, worn materials from St Andrews Beach Villa's previous iterations

"The villa's ongoing deterioration inspired the material selections, and the details celebrate the temporality of all things," said Woods Bagot.

"A deliberate juxtaposition of eroded and resilient surfaces, of mundane and exquisite materials, reflect a sensitivity of a beguiling nature."
MAD Architects
Beijing-based architectural firm MAD Architects has won a competition for Zhejiang’s Yiwu Grand Theater with a proposal that’s stunning, sculptural and site-specific. Inspired by the Chinese junks that once sailed on the city’s Dongyang River, the Yiwu Grand Theater mimics the form of a glass-walled boat floating on the river while its subtle curves echo the Jiangnan-style eaves found in the region’s ancient vernacular architecture. Its facade of layered glass sails will be semitransparent to reduce overall energy consumption through passive solar means.

As the world’s largest wholesale commodities market, Yiwu has built its reputation on commerce, not culture. In a bid to elevate its soft power, the city hosted an international competition to design the Yiwu Grand Theater, a hub of arts and culture to be located on the south bank of the Dongyang River. The building will include a 1,600-seat grand theater, a 1,200-seat medium theater and a 2,000-person-capacity international conference center. The project will also offer new and easily accessible public green space with an amphitheater and large open plaza that extends into the water on its southern edge.

“The ‘Yiwu Grand Theater’ has been designed as a monument for the city that will serve to connect inhabitants to the waterfront from a new perspective,” the architects explained. “In its completion, it will stand as a world-class venue that will attract visitors from around the globe, putting Yiwu on the map as a cultural destination. The transparency and lightness of the glass express the texture of thin, silky fabric, creating a dynamic rhythm that makes them appear as if they are blowing in the wind. They act as a protective canopy around the building, resonating with the river, elegantly floating above the water’s surface, setting a romantic atmosphere.”

In addition to giving the Yiwu Grand Theater a sense of lightness in spite of its size, the semi-transparent glass curtain wall also helps to reduce heating and cooling costs while letting in ample amounts of natural light. In winter, the glass creates a solar greenhouse effect but can be opened up in summer to promote natural ventilation. The Yiwu Grand Theater is expected to begin construction in 2020.

Brad Kahn
Dylan Herndon spends about three hours several mornings a week in a windowless basement room in Seattle’s 52,000-sq-ft Bullitt Center—likely the world’s most sustainable speculative office building. There, he concocts the specialty of the house—drinking water made exclusively from captured rainfall.

Bullitt’s potable-water treatment plant is the heart of the Bullitt water district. As the highest-capacity single-building rain-to-tap system, the district is “unlike any other,” says Herndon, a certified water treatment specialist for Water & Wastewater Services. W&WS, which manages 200 water and wastewater utilities in Western Washington, has a service contract with Bullitt’s building manager, Unico Properties.

Herndon was the first one to sip Bullitt’s water. “I have been very surprised at the consistency of the raw water quality and how easy it has been to treat,” he says.

Bullitt is groundbreaking. No other spec office building is a water district. No other water district is six stories, complete with roof rainfall catchment and a vertical, rather than a horizontal, distribution system.

Herndon has been serving his beverage to Bullitt’s 175 regular occupants since 3 p.m. on Nov. 1. The moment, which arrived 51⁄2 long years after the building opened in 2013, was cause for celebration, especially for Denis Hayes, president of Bullitt’s owner-developer-occupier—the Bullitt Foundation. Hayes is the mastermind of Bullitt’s living laboratory, developed to demonstrate the viability of sustainable buildings (ENR 2/7/14 p. 28).

Hayes attributes the protracted and arduous approval time for Bullitt’s water system to inexperience—and offers lessons learned to others. Bullitt’s cautionary tale has already aided five on-site water projects, including one for the 50,200-sq-ft Santa Monica General Services Building, on course for completion next April.

For one of Bullitt’s seven tenants—the International Living Future Institute—Nov. 1 was also a watershed day. ILFI is the steward of the world’s most demanding sustainable-building certification program, called the Living Building Challenge. Jason McLennan, ILFI’s chairman, received ENR’s 2016 Award of Excellence for creating the LBC (ENR 4/11/16 p. 42).

Bullitt Center, the first, largest and tallest office building to achieve full LBC certification, is ILFI’s poster Living Building (LB). Certified in 2015, Bullitt is “critical to us,” says Amanda Sturgeon, ILFI’s CEO. “It was the first building to get us beyond environmental centers and into the urban context.”

Bullitt’s water saga—and the outright rejection by regulators elsewhere of other rain-to-tap systems—has altered ILFI’s mind-set. “Water, not materials, is now the biggest challenge,” says Sturgeon. Teams have been dropping out of the LB program because the water imperative takes too much, often fruitless, effort, she adds.

In response, ILFI has revamped its water rules to focus more on conservation. And for an LB, though a team must design a rain-to-tap system and try to get it permitted, construction is no longer required.

Most Challenging
Hayes agrees that implementing Bullitt’s water system was the most challenging part of a very demanding development. “Public health officials take safe drinking water very seriously, as they should,” he says.

One obstacle was the absence of a clear path to create a “new public water system in the middle of an existing public water system” that already has adequate supply and conforms to regulations, says Steve Deem, regional engineer in the office of drinking water of the Washington State Dept. of Health. WSDOH is the regulatory body for the Bullitt water district.

Under state regulations, Bullitt is considered a Group A nontransient, noncommunity system, with surface catchment, because it serves more than 25 people in a nonresidential setting who use the building for more than 180 days each year. The system is tied into the city water system, in case of a disruption in service, and has a city fire-sprinkler connection. For Bullitt’s first 5½ years, it drew city water for potable uses. The on-site potable water system was used for nonpotable needs.

About two years before the building’s groundbreaking, Bullitt’s team met with WSDOH and, according to Deem, was given requirem
Interior Design Media
These bright and modern beach houses are the perfect spot to enjoy a long holiday weekend. We wish we were at any one of them right now—don't you?

1. Max Núñez Arquitectos Embraces the Topography in an Avant-Garde Beach House

Building a house with Max Núñez is like climbing a peak in the Andes with a seasoned guide. The summit looms and the rocky terrain feels treacherous to the novice, but the leader inspires enough confidence that hikers suddenly take real risks, no longer worried about a fall. That was certainly the case for the owners of a property in Cachagua, Chile, a remarkable but precarious Pacific bluff with a 25-degree pitch. Like an expedition leader, Núñez encouraged his clients to go bold and tackle the topography head-on.

2. MODE Interior Designs and CCS Architecture Infuse a Hamptons Retreat with West Coast Sensibilities

Mode Interior Designs founder Sharon Bonnemazou and her husband had purchased a secluded waterfront lot in Water Mill, New York, even though the house there was a teardown. The sketch she handed to CCS Architecture's Cass Calder Smith showed a house she describes as “rustic, low-key, quietly luxurious.” That vision was partially informed by the modernist residences she had encountered in Southern California. The resulting collaboration is a look Bonnemazou has nicknamed, "Tomboy Chic."

3. Bates Masi Brings Sophistication to Amagansett Beach House

A New York City city couple purchased a 1950s cottage on a mere 1/7 acre in Amagansett, New York with neighbors on one side and a 16-acre preserve’s huge sand dune, billowy beach grass, and windblown coastal pines on the other. The couple and their young son had spent a few summers in the cottage before hiring Bates +Masi Architects to build a new house there. Although zoning would allow only 1,700 square feet, the Interior Design Hall of Fame members made the effort worthwhile.

4. Kingdom of Light: A Modern Beach House in Scotland

Replacing a clunky 1970s bungalow in Elie—a harbor town in a part of Scotland traditionally known as the Kingdom of Fife—the 3,000-square-foot house’s straightforward form was designed to pay tribute to “the big, pale, southern sky,” WT Architecture principal William Tunnell says. In the main wing, the downstairs centers on an open living-dining area with a window wall that frames views of the Firth of Forth, a lighthouse, and Edinburgh on the opposite coast. “As the tide flows in and out, colors reflect off the golden beach and the water,” Tunnell says. To capture those reflections, he rendered everything inside “as clean and simple as possible,” he says. Read more about the project

5. Steven Harris Architects and Rees Roberts + Partners Wins 2016 Best of Year Winner for Beach House

Simplicity itself. Practically monastic. This house by Interior Design Hall of Fame members Steven Harris and Lucien Rees Roberts is a 4,500-square-foot board-formed concrete box set on top of two piers. One pier is faceted, tapering to its smallest possible footprint. The other, partially embedded in the natural fall of a sand dune, is large enough to contain the garage. To ascend from the ground-level breezeway, the owners walk up a delicate staircase suspended on steel cables. Read more about the project

Lauren Nassef
As flooding increases across the country, architects and policymakers are strategizing ways to contain the deluge.

Flooding, long dismissed as a problem that happens to someone else, has risen in our national consciousness over the past 15 years thanks to such names as Katrina, Rita, Sandy, and Harvey—a set of the worst houseguests you could ever imagine. Recent flooding has been driven by a variety of causes: hurricanes whose landfall wasn’t in perennially threatened areas, as well as intense rains and snowmelt—manifestations of climate change and malign coincidence.

One linked fact is that flooding has afflicted far more than the usual geographic suspects, with New England and the Gulf Coast experiencing intense onslaughts. The impact has been highly destructive, and the only silver lining might be a greater awareness among architects and experts—and the public—of the need to take action.

Resilience, which until recently was represented by academics or the occasional forward-minded planner, is in the process of vaulting into mainstream consciousness as a result.

Illya Azaroff, AIA, founding principal at +LAB Architect PLLCs and a professor at New York City College of Technology (City University of New York), notes, “Before Hurricane Sandy, every time there was a resilience meeting, we all knew each other. Since then, I’m in meetings all of the time, and I don’t know a majority of the people. That’s a great thing.” (Azaroff ’s #HurricaneStrong home in Breezy Point, Queens, is the subject of the 2019 AIA Film Challenge seed film.)

Among architects and policymakers, a more acute awareness of the risks of flooding is developing—not only because of its increased geographic dispersal, but also because flooding has started to serially outstrip the bounds of outdated flood maps in surges of Neptunian irredentism. While this is an obvious shock to anyone whose home or business has been deluged, it is often chased by a second one: the fact that no one will pay for the damages.

FEMA flood maps, which classify sites into different levels of risks, have been irregularly funded, and many homes and businesses within their current boundaries lack insurance anyway. Prospective changes to FEMA flood insurance policies could prompt considerable changes in the nature of future construction and repairs in vulnerable areas. Assessments to date have been based on comparatively broad classifications of risk; FEMA’s Risk Rating 2.0 update, set to be implemented in 2020, will apply a finer-grained set of evaluations to individual properties, including the elevation of ground on the property, the elevation of a structure’s first-floor distance to water, and potential rebuilding costs.

“If property ownership costs are going to dramatically increase, that will have an affect on architects and the kinds of buildings they design,” says Rachel Minnery, FAIA, the senior director of resilience, adaptation, and disaster assistance at AIA. “Design is not the leader here, economic loss is.”

When it comes to the work of influencing and guiding where to build, how to build, how to protect what’s built, and how to reduce overall flood risks, architects have a vital role to play.

David Waggonner, FAIA, a principal at Waggonner & Ball who has been active with New Orleans flood planning, notes that architects are often merely responding to client specifications and may not have ultimately persuasive capacities, but that it is becoming necessary to take a stronger stance. “Architects are needed,” he says. “If we stay out of this, God help us.”

Storm-Related Ocean Flooding in Boston

There is no single way to foil flooding, and understanding the geographic variables is key. Some parts of New England, unexpectedly ravaged during Hurricane Sandy, feature safe land close to where any building is sited—even next to the ocean.

“The geologic structure of Connecticut is like the fingers of your hand; some of the geological ridges stretch out into the sea. You don’t have to retreat out of the area; you just have to retreat upland to the ridges,” says Donald Watson, FAIA, principal at EarthRise Design in Trumbull, Conn. This means that flood-vulnerable neighborhoods can migrate to higher ground nearby, possibly within the same town.

“Greenwich has done this [by allowing] developers to increase densities in safe zones and decrease densities in unsafe zones,” he says. New housing is permitted in the flood plain if
ZGF Architects
The Portland Historic Landmarks Commission voted Monday to approve plans for a five-story office building intended to be the city’s first certified living building.

Commissioners voted 4-0 in favor of the PAE Living Building, a 54,000-square-foot mixed-use office building planned for a quarter-block parcel at the corner of Southwest First Avenue and Pine Street in the Skidmore/Old Town Historic District.

The project received design advice in January, at which time commissioners praised the concept and asked for a few small changes in the fifth-floor window layout to better match the classic 19th century Italianate style found throughout the district.

Designers with ZGF Architects responded with changes including establishing a more clear delineation between floors and extending golden ratio proportions to the top of the building.

The response from commissioners was ultimately what the project team was looking for.

“I really love the building,” Commissioner Ernestina Fuenmayor said. “I think it’s a great addition; if you push yourself you can get great results and I think this is a very good example of that.”

Other small changes included the addition of larger ground-floor canopies and additional details added to the tops of ground-floor windows.

The project team includes PAE Consulting Engineers, which will occupy three floors of the building, as well as developer Gerding Edlen and general contractor Walsh Construction. The structure will feature cross-laminated timber framing and will contain ground-floor retail space along the frontages of Southwest First Avenue and Pine Street. The second through fifth floors will contain office space.

The building will be clad primarily in textured brick veneer, with custom finished aluminum panels, aluminum storefronts at ground level and fiberglass windows above.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has selected four major civil-works projects as candidates for a new public-private partnership (P3) pilot program, which aims to speed up project construction and reduce costs.

The program is part of a broader Revolutionizing USACE Civil Works effort to accelerate project starts and completions. One goal is to cut the Corps' huge backlog—approaching $100 billion—of congressionally authorized but unfunded projects.

Decisions on whether the four projects will advance as P3s will not come quickly, however. The Corps says it will be at least six months and as many as 24 months before it determines whether a P3 approach will work for the projects.

The selected projects, which the Corps announced on June 21, include two in Texas—levee raising and other storm protection work from Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay and deepening the Brownsville ship channel.

Also on the list are an environmental restoration project for the Los Angeles River and a new second lock at Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan.

The Corps says the four projects were chosen from among eight submissions and “will be further developed and validated” to see if they should move forward as P3’s. Lauren Leuck, strategic communication lead for Revolutionize USACE Civil Works, says,"We're in the very early stages" of these projects' development.

Project details

The largest of the four projects is the $3.9-billion Sabine Pass-Galveston Bay flood protection plan. It will draw on “private entities” for the nonfederal share, the Corps says. Nonfederal sponsors include the Texas General Land Office, the Special Purpose Vehicle and Trust, two local drainage districts and Orange County, Texas.

The Brownsville ship channel project would involve dredging the waterway to 52 ft from 42 ft and carries an estimated cost of $288 million. The Brownsville Navigation District is the nonfederal sponsor. Nonfederal revenue would come from “private sources,” according to the Corps

The L.A. River ecosystem improvement plan is pegged at $1.4 billion. Besides federal funds, it will involve grants from state and local government and private foundations, along with ‘”usage revenue” tax assessments and “general funds,” according to the Corps.

The new second Soo Lock in Michigan is estimated to cost $922 million. The Michigan Dept. of Transportation is the nonfederal sponsor and state appropriations and user fees are listed as the nonfederal revenue sources.

A fifth project, highway bridges over Massachusetts' Cape Cod Canal, also was apparently going to be selected, but “has been put on hold,” Leuck says. She says that the Corps and the Federal Highway Administration “are exploring a variety of options to fund that project.”

Although decisions on the four projects will not come for a while, the Corps is committed enough to the P3 idea that it plans to make a request for P3 proposals an annual occurrence.

It has high-level support within the civil works program. Last September, R.D. James, assistant secretary of the Army for civil works, sent a memorandum to the Chief of Engineers, Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, outlining policies for the P3 program.

For example, to be eligible, a project's construction cost must be over $50 million, must use some combination of design, build, finance, operation and maintenance and be able to produce revenue or use nonfederal funding.

Industry observers react

Many questions remain to be answered about the potential P3 projects. John Doyle, special counsel with law and lobbying firm Jones Walker LLP, says, "Conceptually, if this can be made to work over the long haul it could have a very substantial positive effect on at least parts of the civil works program."

But Doyle, a former senior Army civil works official, adds, "That’s a long-term outcome that depends on being able to demonstrate in the near term that it is in fact workable in the water resources world."

Jim Walker, American Association of Port Authorities director of navigation policy and legislation, noted in emailed comments that in general, "The federal government as a whole has had difficulty developing and executing P3s."

The big exception is the Dept. of Transportation, which has provided funds for many P3 highway and bridge projects. It is the stat
Art Gray
Far from an add-on, pools are the very centerpieces of these splashy residences. From a Manhattan roof deck and a Hudson Valley escape to a tranquil multilevel playground that brings the outside in (in the canniest way), here are three aquatic arrangements that beat the heat.

Designer: Oculus Architecture & Design

Site: San Mateo, California

Standout: Rising out of board-formed concrete is a site-sensitive green-roofed aerie with a hot tub that juts dramatically over lush landscaping and a 40,000-gallon lap pool serviced by a terrace doubling as a diving platform. Completing the sybaritic assemblage is a sauna lined in Western red cedar and glass-wrapped alfresco entertaining areas accessed via stacked sliders.

Designer: TBD Architecture & Design Studio

Site: New York, New York

Standout: A block-long, skylit penthouse near Union Square has as much living space outside as in. Its 6,000-square-foot rooftop nestled among water towers features a 25-foot current-generating exercise pool with mahogany deck left unfinished to weather under the sun’s rays.

Designer: BarlisWedlick Architects

Site: Chatham, New York

Standout: Sited on a 115-acre rural estate, a board-and-batten pool house designed to recall local agricultural buildings sports a rustic oak-trunk colonnade, a birch-log accent wall, and tropically minded Paul Frankl rattan loungers for taking in views of the Catskill Mountains through 18-foot windows—triple-glazed to help keep the structure a balmy 88 degrees year-round.
Andy Macpherson
A thoughtful response to its unique setting and climate in the Gold Coast’s Sanctuary Cove, this house, by Justin Humphrey Architect, embodies principles of subtropical modern architecture to create a textured home for living and entertaining.

Frank Sinatra and Whitney Houston headlined the Ultimate Event at Sanctuary Cove in 1988. The five-day festival heralded the grand opening of the Gold Coast canal estate, which had been ratified under its own legislative act, the Sanctuary Cove Resort Act 1985 . Over time, the secure, gated community has, for better or worse, resulted in an enclave of architectural expression. Set amongst all of this, Cove House by Justin Humphrey Architect is a visual delight, poised to make a valuable contribution to its surrounds for many years to come.

Director Justin Humphrey worked closely with the client to deliver the distinctive visual identity of Cove House. The client’s previous home had subscribed to the estate’s typical aesthetic and, in engaging Justin, she sought to make a defined departure from that vernacular. The result is a house that speaks to a much broader context, beyond the confines of its gated community. In addition to providing a beautiful home environment for living and entertaining, Cove House embodies a thoughtful response to its unique setting and climate.

Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of the site was the need to contend with three outlooking interfaces – one to the canal, another facing an easement for a public path, and the street front – positioning the house very much at centrestage. The covenant required that the facade facing the pathway be built on the boundary and therefore fire rated. Rather than see this as a constraint, Justin used this wall as an opportunity to express the materiality of the house with board-formed concrete, articulated by powdercoated metallic louvres that cleverly assist in naturally ventilating the interior.

The home’s street front employs the external cladding materials to communicate its internal functions. The board-formed concrete continues around to express the public areas within the home, while the delicate timber battens proffer contrast and convey the private spaces, such as the bedrooms and bathrooms. Separating these two domains is a central axis that draws visitors inward from the entrance to the canal. The floating roof, with finely tapered edges, ties all of these elements together and gives lightness to the form. Many of these formal elements are propositions unique to tropical and subtropical modern architecture.

A further nod to tropical modernism exists in the sequence of internal gardens and courtyards. The large entry courtyard garden at once fulfils alternate definitions for the homograph “entrance” and performs several functions in the planning of the house, providing for entry to two bedrooms, designed for guests and adult children, and framing a view through the living areas to the water beyond. Smaller, open-roofed courtyard gardens, enclosed by sliding glass doors, work to visually demarcate circulation paths. They are seam-lessly integrated into the plan, adding light, texture and acoustic sensations reminiscent of those qualities found in Geoffrey Bawa’s domestic architecture.

The gardens are, collectively, a response to the client’s desire to work with honest materials, which extends to the refined materials palette chosen for the interior finishes. Most pronounced of those finishes are the timber battens used for screening and as a continuous element that ties the internal spaces together. When applied to sliding doors, they assist in providing cross-ventilation and passive cooling to the house. Each batten’s concave profile creates a seductive tactility through shadow and depth. The smart detailing evident in the screens represents so much about the project – most significantly, a collaboration between architect, fabricator and builder as a bespoke solution.

The internal finishes are also used to zone rooms within the open, public areas of the home. Individual spaces are sculpted using height and volume changes, the arrangement of garden courtyards and changes in ceiling finishes. This approach to creating rooms within the larger volumes encourages flexible inhabitation, from a quiet night in, to a large sprawling party. The capacity to entertain a small crowd was stipulated in the brief and, undoubtedly, Cove House will delight many party guests now and into the future.

Sanctuary Cove sits within the booming region of the northern Gold Coast, an area that is a growing hub for family entertainment. Cove House has the potential to play an influe
Simon Devitt
Two thick, wooden sleds allow this 430-square-foot beach hut to be relocated along the white sands of New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula.

Placed on the dunes of New Zealand’s idyllic Coromandel Peninsula, Hut on Sleds by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects makes the most of its 430 square feet. Despite its petite stature, the timber-clad cabin is a relaxing retreat for a family of five, framing picturesque beach views.

Given that the Coromandel beach site lies within a coastal erosion zone where all buildings must be removable, the New Zealand–based architects have designed the home to rest on two thick wooden sleds, which allows for easy movement—whether it be back inland or across the beach and onto a barge.

With a brief from the clients requesting a small, simple, and functional design, the team have created the home to enable the family to explore the real essence of holiday living. "The normal rituals of daily life—cooking, dining, sleeping, and showering—are all connected to the outside," explains the firm. "Within, every available space is used: there are even secret cubby holes in the children's bunks."

A large, two-story shutter on the front facade opens up to reveal double-height, steel-framed glass doors, which instantly creates an intimate indoor/outdoor connection with spectacular seaside views.

When not in use, the holiday retreat can be completely closed up, protecting the structure against the elements. The home’s rough macrocarpa cladding blends harmoniously into the landscape.

The building's modest size and primary use of timber cladding embodies the client's desire for sustainability. "Apart from food delivery and non-recyclable waste removal, the hut functions as a self-sustaining organism with rain-catchment tanks, a worm-tank waste system, and separate potable and gray-water tanks," describes the firm.

Cyrille Weiner
Balconies fan out like leaves from the mixed-use L'Arbre Blanc tower, which Sou Fujimoto has completed in Montpellier with Nicolas Laisné, Dimitri Roussel and OXO Architectes.

Modelled on the shape of a tree, the curved 17-storey building contains 113 apartments with cantilevering balconies, alongside publicly accessible facilities on the ground floor and rooftop.

This layout was designed by Fujimoto, Laisné, Roussel and OXO Architectes to "reinvent the tower block".

According to the studios the shape facilitates interaction and encourages residents to embrace the outdoors – nodding to Montpellier's tradition of outdoor living.

"To reinvent the tower block, by designing it on a human scale, we wanted to give everyone the chance to take ownership of it. We created public spaces at the top and bottom of L'Arbre Blanc," explained Fujimoto.

"The large number of balconies and pergolas really do promote outdoor living and enable a new type of relationship between residents."

L'Arbre Blanc, which translates as White Tree, was the winning design of Montpellier city council's Folie Richter competition in 2013 that asked for a "modern folly" to "enrich the city's architectural heritage".

Fujimoto, Laisné, Roussel and OXO Architectes chose to collaborate on the design in recognition of their shared belief that architecture should evoke natural forms.

"What we have in common is that nature inspires us, but we translate that very differently into our work. So we thought there would be great value in comparing our takes on this competition," explained OXO Architectes founder Manal Rachdi.

"The concept was so finely-honed that the final look of L'Arbre Blanc is not dissimilar to the first models, in terms of its form in particular but also its large outdoor spaces, an idea on which we rapidly agreed after telling Sou how the people of Montpellier lived," added Laisné.

The 113 apartments in the L'Arbre Blanc tower each face a different direction, and all have their own balconies.

Some of the balconies cantilever to over seven metres, and the duplex flats feature two that are connected by stairs. Intended for use as external living space, these encourage residents on different floors to interact.

"These exceptional outside spaces are fully-fledged living rooms which are connected to the dwellings in such a way as to allow residents to live inside and outside," said the studios.
Ronny Soh
Confounding complexity, turf tension, head scratching and horse-trading. Inspiration, compromise, exhilaration and, ultimately, enchantment.

The team that shaped a mall to end all malls—Singapore’s all-but-complete Jewel Changi Airport—quashed myriad conflicts during the job. The architecture of the 135,700-sq-meter land-side mall, camouflaged by a vast atrium garden with a record-tall waterfall, divided, united and energized its creators.

“It’s devilishly complex and it’s amazing,” says Meredith Davey, a director of the garden’s London-based indoor-environment consultant, Atelier Ten.

The project, masterminded by design architect Moshe Safdie, would have been difficult enough, considering the busy airport, limited site access and a congested location, with an active elevated train slicing through the center. But the usual constraints of airport expansions don’t hold a candle to Jewel, which is no ordinary mall—airport or not. Its retail levels are hidden by a five-level forest under glass, complete with canyons, a valley and a 40-m-tall waterfall.

“The whole building is a new-scale experience,” says Safdie, founder of the 85-person Safdie Architects, Boston. “When that water comes down, it’s powerful,” says the architect, best known recently for Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands complex, with its surfboard-shaped rooftop park that spans and joins three towers.

Obsession with Gardens
For the more than $1.25-billion Jewel, Safdie, who turns 81 on July 14, combined his lifelong obsession with gardens, water features and human habitat. The 5.6-acre Gardens at Jewel, sited before airport security yet linked to three of the four terminals, not only draws travelers, but is a magnet for the community.

“It’s a new typology,” says Jaron Lubin, Safdie’s principal-in-charge.

“There was a lot of horse-trading” to work out equipment locations, says WET’s Freitas. “Eventually, we came to a mutually unsatisfactory agreement,” he adds. The goal was for “everyone to be equally unhappy,” he says, only half joking.

The group functioned like a bridging design-build team, taking documents through design development and then handing them to the design-build contractor, the Woh Hup-Obayashi Joint Venture. RSP Architects Planners & Engineers Pte Ltd. is both executive architect and structural engineer. Mott MacDonald is the mechanical-electrical-plumbing engineer.

Though not the architect of record, Safdie insisted, as always, on staying involved through construction. “We worked very closely with the contractor,” says Charu Kokate, the Safdie principal who led four other architects on site. “It was hard to tell who was the architect and who was the contractor,” she says.
Adam Mørk / International Olympic Committee
Copenhagen studio 3XN has completed Olympic House, a new headquarters for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland.

3XN collaborated with Swiss architecture office IttenBrechbühl to create the building, which has been designed around the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) principles.

"We designed the building around five key objectives that translate the Olympic movement's core values into built form: movement, transparency, flexibility, sustainability, and collaboration," Kim Herforth Nielsen, co-founder of 3XN, told Dezeen.

Built within a public park on the shore of Lake Geneva, Olympic House stands next to 18th-century castle Château de Vidy. Created as offices for the organisation's 500 staff, many of the building's elements reference the Olympics.

"Every part of the building has a meaning," said Jan Ammundsen, head of design at 3XN.

"From the dynamic glass facade that mimics the high-powered athleticism of an Olympic athlete, to the central staircase that references the iconic Olympic rings and the spirit of international collaboration that they represent."

The five-storey building is wrapped in a glass facade, which was created using parametric design – a digital process that allows you to test various design iterations.

Appearing differently from all angles, it is intended to represent the energy of an athlete. It also allows visitors to the park to see inside the building and observe the workings of the Olympic organisation.

"The visual transparency of the building is a metaphor for the new direction of the IOC as they strive towards a greater organisational transparency, reflected in the overall structural changes initiated by the Olympic Agenda 2020," explained Nielsen.

"The glass facade allows the daily work of the building’s inhabitants to be visible from the outside, and aThe headquarters is arranged around a central atrium, with all five storeys connected by the Unity Staircase.

lso celebrates its particular location by providing stunning views of the lake beyond."

This oak staircase, which has been designed to references the five rings on the Olympic flag, is surrounded by a meeting rooms and exhibition spaces, with a cafeteria on the ground floor.

"The staircase is designed to be visual expression of unity and collaboration within the organisation and the Olympic Games," added Nielsen.

Around the central atrium the offices have been designed to follow the Olympic core values of collaboration, flexibility and movement.

"At 3XN we believe that architecture shapes behaviour – thus, we have designed the interior with as few structural constraints as possible, in order to facilitate interaction and communication among the staff," added Ammundsen.

"The offices can be easily moved though the open spaces, and workspaces can be modified to suite the ever-changing needs of the organisation."
decaARCHITECTURE and George Messaritakis
On the southern coast of Crete, Greek architectural firm decaARCHITECTURE has turned a commission for a modern residence into an opportunity for land preservation. Named the Ring House for its rounded shape, the house was created to follow the existing topography and looks like an extension of its hilltop location. The site had been scarred by environmentally insensitive infrastructural development but has now recovered its original morphology and has been replanted with native flora.

Located in the seaside village of Agia Galini, the Ring House is surrounded with beautiful sea views, yet suffers hot summers. To create a cooling microclimate, the architects built part of the structure into the earth and added several protected shaded areas, as well as an inner garden planted with a variety of citrus trees and edible plants. The resulting effect is one that the architects liken to an “oasis within an intensely beautiful but physically demanding environment.”

“At a broader scale, the house is a landscape preservation effort,” explain the architects. “In the past, the topography had been severely scarred by the random and informal carving of roads. The excavation material extracted during the house’s construction, was used to recover the original morphology of the land. Furthermore, a thorough survey of the native flora was done in order to understand the predominant biotopes in the different slopes in the plot. During the spring, prior to construction, seeds were collected on site and cultivated in a green house to grow more seeds. These were then sowed over the road scars for the regeneration of the flora.”

Concrete beams that follow the existing topography of the hill and frame the inner garden define the Ring House. The entrance sequence begins from the parking pad to a long, curved walkway that wraps around the inner garden and provides access to the bedrooms on one side of the home and the open-plan living areas on the other side. The house is powered with rooftop solar panels.

Getty Images/Pier Marco Tacca
AD sat down with the artist ahead of the U.S. release of the documentary Walking on Water, about the installation of floating piers on Italy's Lake Iseo

There are few artists in the world whose work can be likened to architecture the way world-famous Bulgarian artist Christo’s can. Since the beginning of his career, in the early 1960s, he has created monumental installations in public spaces that are mounted for a short period of time and then disappear forever. For decades, Christo and his late wife and collaborator, Jeanne-Claude, executed seemingly impossible projects, like wrapping Berlin’s Reichstag and Paris’s Pont Neuf in yards of billowing fabric or building a 24.5-mile fence made of fabric that ran across Sonoma and Marin counties in California. Ahead of the U.S. release of the documentary Walking on Water about Christo’s 2016 installation the Floating Piers on Lake Iseo in Italy and his talk at the 92nd Street Y in New York on May 22, AD caught up with the artist to discuss his process.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

Architectural Digest: How did fabric become so important in your work?

Christo: The projects have many other materials, but the fabric is the principal material to translate this nomadic character of the project. The projects have this nonstop energy, but we have all kinds of material—steel, cable—but the fabric gives this fragility and temporary movement that will be gone forever and never come back. This material can be folded, can be installed very fast, can be removed very fast. We know that it’s very fragile, very sensual, and very free and can be installed in a few hours.

AD: You once said you’re not a painter, a sculptor, or an architect. Do you consider architecture a form of art?

Christo: Yeah, it is a form of art. Certainly some works, of course, they’re directly architecture. The wrapping of the Reichstag is like architecture; the wrapping of the Pont Neuf is like architecture. They’re structures wrapped with moving fabric. Some projects are closer to urban planning. They’re temporary by only the decision that we want to keep them 14 days, but if you have an enormous amount of funds and money to maintain it, you can keep it that way. They’re not performance; they’re really built by the necessity that we get permission. And because they’re also built by professional people, they’re not built by performance artists. They’re built by real engineers who build bridges; they’re done by construction workers. They’re not artists or some kind of nonprofessional.

AD: So is the decision to keep them ephemeral a practical decision?

Christo: An aesthetic decision because they’re also designed for the particular season of the year. You know, like "The Gates" project in the winter because in the winter we have no trees. In the summer, Central Park is like a forest. And each of these projects are designed with the way I like to use the landscape. Like for example, "The Floating Piers" was a project in the summertime [because] we have the longest day of the year in late June, so this is when the project was realized.
Earthship Media
An earthship is an accommodation with low environmental impact. The design of an earthship incorporates natural and recycled materials in the architecture and decor. It is built with conservation of natural resources in mind so that it produces its own water, electricity and food. Most earthships reuse discarded tires, cans and bottles for wall construction, and mud is common for wall plaster and floors. The energy savings through self-heating and cooling properties are remarkable. Most earthships rely on solar and wind energy as well as rain and snow harvesting for water needs.

The Phoenix Earthship is a prime example, located completely off the grid with its own garden. Available as a short-term rental through Airbnb, the Phoenix sleeps up to eight people in the 5,300-square-foot structure near Tres Piedras, New Mexico, so you can try out earthship living. Like most homes, the Phoenix has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large kitchen and a living room, and then there’s a jungle — inside.

The architectural and decorative details are incomparable with the building creating its own microclimate. That means plants and animals thrive in a space that is basically a greenhouse surrounded by the dry, sage-brush covered mesa surrounding it. The greenhouse and jungle areas feature a fish pond, birds, turtles, a food garden, banana trees and even a chicken coop that can provide fresh eggs during your stay.

The water process functions as a semi-closed unit, beginning with water runoff collection. After use, gray water feeds into the indoor plants that both drink and filter it, where it is stored and then pumped to the toilets as needed. From the toilet, the water heads to a traditional sewer where overflow is consumed by outdoor plants.

The entire structure looks like it was carved out of a hillside, with rounded walls and alcoves making up each space. Natural glass, clay, wood and rock can be found in every nook and cranny. Dubbed a “work of sustainable art,” the Phoenix Earthship provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy the actual nature outside the glass with a fire pit and seating, views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and spaces for unparalleled stargazing.

In contrast to the remote feel and off-grid design, the Phoenix provides solar-powered modern amenities such as Wi-Fi, television and a cozy indoor fireplace with a water fountain feature.
Henning Larsen Architects
Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects has won an international competition for the design of the Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City, a new district in the southern Chinese city spanning 5.5 million square meters. Working alongside two other local firms, Henning Larsen’s green and sustainable master plan will help cement Shenzhen — often likened to China’s Silicon Valley — as the innovation center of the country.

A critical part of the Shenzhen Bay Headquarters City is reconnecting the business district with the waterfront and emphasizing the pedestrian urban realm — something that Chinese planning authorities have long overlooked in favor of vehicular traffic. In Henning Larsen’s approach, cars will be relegated to an underground network of roads and highways so that commuter cars will rarely be seen aboveground in public areas. Moreover, the master plan’s central organizing axis will consist of a linear waterway that visually and physically connects the district to two larger bodies of water.

“Our design aims to make Shenzhen the waterfront city it should always have been,” said Claude Godefroy, partner and design director of Henning Larsen’s Hong Kong Office. “To create an attractive waterfront, we brought commercial and cultural facilities meters away from the seashore, so citizens will finally be able to enjoy the atmosphere of Shenzhen Bay in an activated urban environment, like in Sydney, Singapore or Copenhagen.”

Dianna Snape
On the east coast of Tasmania, Liminal Architecture has designed a series of sensitive and masterfully crafted accommodation pods that amplify the experience of the distinctive landscape of Freycinet National Park.

For anyone who has ever visited, or seen photos of, Freycinet National Park on the east coast of Tasmania, the landscape is all-powerful. The crescent arc of the Wineglass Bay beach, from the lookout above, is one of the most recognized landscape images of the state. The coastline here is remarkable, all granite boulders, dusted in orange lichen or submerged in the ocean, hemmed by the changing colours of the cliffs, with Mount Amos rising behind the tree line. The scale of the landscape is heroic and rich, yet full of beautiful, detailed textures.

For a long time, the area has been served by limited accommodation options – camp sites in the national park; Freycinet Lodge, which was built in the early 1990s; and a more recent (but extremely high-end) Saffire complex that is a large and prominent organic steel-clad form in the landscape.

When the client, the Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania, purchased the lodge, it took ownership of a tired resort with a “bush hut” aesthetic, painted in peach tones. The organization tasked Tasmanian tourism developer Brett Torossi with delivering a new premium layer of accommodation. Initially, it was assumed that this venture would require an extension to the lease into the adjacent national park. But public consultation, led by Torossi, delivered a strong message that further expansion would not be supported by the community and she concluded that a more appropriate idea was to create new a ccommodation at the front line of the existing cabins.

Torossi decided that the best team to bring the idea to life was Liminal Studio. This group, comprising a number of different disciplines, works on projects around the world from its Hobart base and prides itself on collaborating with other firms. The practice had previously been lauded for a lot of its work and had produced rich interiors, but had little experience in the hotel domain. The result demonstrates what a fresh mind and approach can bring to a much-photographed genre.

The new work, Freycinet Lodge Coastal Pavilions, takes the form of a series of pods that sit gently in front of the previous offering (now some twenty years old, of the park cabin variety) and are accessed through and between these older buildings. They are almost invisible from the waterline, nestled as they are into the landscape, and exude an individuality that defies their number and the size of the resort.

The approach to the pods is quite masterful in its management of expectations and a gently increasing sense of delight. A simple boardwalk between older cabins leads between the trees to a series of angled timber walls, charred black. Each building has a concealed porch, perfect for finding unfamiliar key fobs in a daypack and for concealing services and guest amenities.

This porch is the first of a dramatic sequence of dark and light experiences. On entering the suite, one is amazed to find only sky above, seen through clear glass, with a pristine water view through a full-length window only a few steps away. It is a completely different experience from entering a normal hotel room, fumbling in the darkest recess of a suite before working forward to eventually find natural light and a view of sorts. This wondrous idea is achieved by bifurcating each pod into two parts. On one side of the entry is a cosy, curved bedroom pod. On the other side, guests squeeze through a timber-lined corridor (with concealed toilet and shower) to a living room suite that opens out toward the water.

The place feels like a crazy, fabulous cubbyhouse from a child’s imagination. There isn’t a straight wall in the place, the water side has extravagant floor- to-ceiling curved glass and the furniture is all clearly customized. An exquisitely playful, custom-designed sofa is made of parts that can be moved around into different organic configurations. A simple table nest – designed in collaboration with pakana Aboriginal elder Vicki West – includes a component of woven basket in an otherwise minimal metal form. These pieces complement the room and allow different ways of experiencing the views. They play perfectly into the joy of being shacked up in a room for a few days – one almost hopes for solid rain, if only to fully enjoy the nuance of the spaces and fittings in these pods.

Nestled between the two embracing arms of the pods is a private deck, with an outdoor bath as well as furniture for outdo
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.”
Building Science Corporation
The ways in which liquid and vapor move through our building envelopes are complex, and even today not completely understood; but the fact that lots of water can (and does) move through porous building materials is a phenomenon that rules over so much of the way we build.

Two major modes of moisture travel—gravity and capillary action—are related to bulk water management, which is essential to the longevity of any building envelope assembly consisting of porous materials.

Two other major modes address how water vapor can work its way through a building envelope assembly. Managing vapor drive is a critical damage function of a building envelope assembly. Building science professionals, designers, and engineers have long debased solutions for managing how vapor may diffuse through an assembly and pose a condensation risk. The bottom line with regard to diffusion is to understand seasonal vapor drive and afford an assembly the opportunity dry. Trapping moisture in an assembly may lead to major problems.

Air infiltration poses a greater condensation risk than diffusion—and it's not even close.

Project teams will pore over issues related to permeance, condensation risks, and strategic placements of vapor retarders in hopes of managing vapor-related moisture issues. However, controlling the flow of air infiltration is far more important than controlling vapor diffusion.

According to a classic analysis by Building Science Corporation, as offered in their Builder's Guide for Cold Climates, during a the heating season in a cold climate region, vapor diffusion through a solid a 4-foot by 8-foot sheet of gypsum board may result in about 0.3 L (1/3 quart) of water being transmitted to the interior. By comparison, the air leakage through a 1-square-inch hole in the middle of the gypsum board over the same period of time may result in approximately 28.4 L (30 quarts) of water being transmitted to the interior—90 times more water than through diffusion.

Infiltration can account for over half of the annual heat exchange through a poorly sealed building envelope; and with that air potentially comes a great amount of vapor. A leaky envelope can undermine even the most optimized vapor diffusion strategy. This underscore the critical need for tight building envelopes as standard practice.

SHoP Architects
New York City has just welcomed yet another gem to its growing number of waterfront parks — Pier 35, the long-awaited East River Waterfront project designed by Manhattan-based firm SHoP Architects in partnership with Ken Smith Workshop. Built to anchor the north side of the East River esplanade, Pier 35 consists of a new eco-park that not only offers a passive recreational space for the local community but also an innovative habitat restoration section, called Mussel Beach, that will encourage the growth of water-filtering mussels. The park also features a massive folded wall of mesh metal that will be covered in climbing vines to create a “green” billboard visible from afar.

Opened this month, the 28,000-square-foot park stretches two miles along the waterfront between the Battery Maritime Building and Montgomery Street in the Lower East Side. Created in collaboration with the local community, Pier 35 revitalizes an often-overlooked section of the East River esplanade with a landscaped lawn and dunes; a raised porch with custom swings overlooking the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges; and an inclined, folded green screen that rises to 35 feet in height and over 300 feet in length and will be overlaid with vines. Built of metal and weathered steel wall panels as a nod to the East River’s industrial history, the screen wall was installed to hide views of the adjacent Sanitation Department shed at Pier 36.

Thanks to a grant from the New York Department of State’s Division of Coastal Resources, Pier 35 also features Mussel Beach, an ecological prototype that mimics the historic East River shoreline and creates an inclined space that not only offers visitors a close look at the daily rising and falling of the tides but also a specially designed habitat for mussels, which naturally filter and clean the water.

“As we work toward finalizing community-led resiliency plans along the East River, I am thrilled to see active open space come online at Pier 35,” said councilwoman Carlina Rivera. “Along with ecological projects, this section of the waterfront is a much-needed amenity what will someday be part of a continuous and protective esplanade along Manhattan’s East Side. We’ll be improving our coastline in the years ahead and much of it will be inaccessible during renovation, so the community needs as much alternative open space as it can get. I thank my colleagues in government that championed this project.”

Danish architecture firms Lendager Group and TREDJE NATUR want to prove that building tall doesn’t need to come at the cost of the environment or human comfort. That’s why the two firms teamed up to design CPH Common House, a proposal for the world’s first upcycled high-rise in the Ørestad area of Copenhagen. Draped in greenery, the stepped building would be built from upcycled materials “to an unprecedented extent” for an estimated 1,174 tons of carbon emission savings in the building phase.

Designed to raise the bar for sustainable high-rises in the future, the CPH Common House is a proposal commissioned by SOLSTRA Development – Bellakvarter A/S, but it was not chosen for construction. The conceptual project serves as a springboard for eco-friendly developments in the future. “With CPH Common House, we propose the world’s first upcycled high-rise building,” the architects explained. “We show how to build high and dense without losing the connection to the history, context and human scale. Strategies on sustainability and circularity are incorporated in the project from the first sketch.”

To create connection with the existing urban fabric, the CPH Common House draws elements from the traditional perimeter block and activates the streetscape with 30,000 square meters of commercial space located at the building’s base. The landscaped terraces and the expansive courtyard near the base of the building create communal meeting spaces for the community, while residents would also enjoy access to private roof terraces from their apartments. Rainwater would be harvested and reused for irrigation.

Anand Jaju, Jino and Midhu via Wallmakers
When Ramanujan Basha decided to build a modern, eco-friendly home in Kerala, he turned to Wallmakers, a local design practice with a decade’s worth of experience designing sustainable architecture. Unlike its more conventional neighbors, the house, dubbed Chirath, is built primarily of mud, recycled elements and natural materials. Passive solar principles were also applied to the design to let in light and much-needed natural ventilation for relief from Kerala’s tropical climate.

In addition to wanting a sustainable home, the client told the architects that he wanted to steer clear of the traditional Kerala home system. To combat the heat and the monsoon rain, most conventional homes feature sloped roofs with thick overhangs that protect against the elements but also lead to an undesirably dark interior. Moreover, the client felt that the traditional architectural systems’ delineation of space promoted gender inequality.

“Thus during the early days of the project, the client had made a point that the house should be a symbol of a new light, or a new outlook to our age-old systems and beliefs,” the architects said. “‘Chirath,’ which denotes a traditional lamp in Malayalam, is the name given by Mr. Ramanujan Basha for his house at Pala, Kerala. The client thus asked for a solution by throwing away the bad and utilizing the good. We decided to break the roof, split it open and let the light flow in, all while using waste and mud to build the house. This is the concept of Chirath.”

Clad in locally sourced earth, Chirath’s structural walls were constructed with a mix of cement, soil and recycled coarse aggregate for strength, while ferrocement was used for the roof and partition walls. Other recycled materials include waste wood repurposed to make furnishings, such as the beds and kitchen cabinets, as well as unwanted steel given new life as beautiful window grills and ventilators. Locally sourced tiles were assembled into the terracotta tile jali that lets in cooling breezes and light. For added passive cooling, the architects installed a pool in the living area that connects to a rainwater harvesting tank, which collects runoff for reuse in the home.

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of its seventh annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a national competition that engages college students in the design of on-campus green infrastructure solutions to address stormwater pollution.

“EPA’s Campus RainWorks Challenge encourages students to transform classroom knowledge into innovative ideas to solve real-world environmental problems,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “I congratulate this year’s winners, and it is encouraging to see how contestants worked closely with their local communities to develop ways to protect water resources from harmful stormwater pollution.”

Stormwater runoff is a significant source of water pollution in America. Managing runoff remains a complex environmental challenge for local communities across the country. EPA’s Campus RainWorks Challenge asks students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the country to apply green infrastructure design principles, foster interdisciplinary collaboration, and increase the use of green infrastructure on the nation’s college campuses.

Through this year’s Challenge, EPA invited student teams to compete in two design categories: the Master Plan category, which examines how green infrastructure can be broadly integrated across campus, and the Demonstration Project category, which focuses on how green infrastructure can address stormwater pollution at a specific site on campus. With the help of a faculty advisor, teams of students focused their expertise, creativity, and energy on the challenges of stormwater management and showcased the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure.

The Challenge winners are:

University of Oregon (1st Place Demonstration Project Category) – The team’s project, titled “Good Drainage Good Vibes,” redesigned a local high school campus to incorporate a variety of green infrastructure practices. Extensive stakeholder engagement within the community led to a practicable design capable of not only managing stormwater runoff onsite, but also providing hands-on education for students and connecting the local community their watershed. Watch the team’s video about their project: https://youtu.be/3QkKMIUBRhs

"The challenge was meaningful for our College of Design students because it created a chance to collaborate on tackling an urgent environmental design problem while working with local high school students on connecting the community with their watershed,” said University of Oregon College of Design Dean Christoph Lindner.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette (1st Place Master Plan Category) – Titled “The Ripple Effect,” this project’s ambition reached beyond the borders of its own campus. Located in low-lying Southern Louisiana, the community of Lafayette often experiences extreme weather events that cause flooding and threaten infrastructure. With the support of the university’s Department of Sustainability, the team redesigned their campus to incorporate realistic, replicable green infrastructure practices that engage with the broader community to cultivate regional resiliency. Watch the team’s video about their project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6qMrIi7sLc

"The Ripple Effect is designed to improve infrastructure at UL Lafayette, and to provide a framework for using campus as a ‘living lab’ for researching and developing green infrastructure strategies that will benefit the entire community and region,” said Gretchen LaCombe Vanicor, director the Office of Sustainability at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

University of Arizona (2nd Place Demonstration Project Category) – Their project titled “(Re)Searching for a Spot,” this team proposed to transform a parking lot to manage stormwater runoff onsite, reduce local flooding during Arizona’s monsoon season, and create a multi-functional space that yields educational and ecological benefits. The design’s proximity to relevant research departments on-campus inspired the students to incorporate monitoring installations into the design to provide quantitative information on the environmental benefits of green infrastructure practices. Watch the team’s video about their project: https://youtu.be/UUxH6zG51kY

“We are so thankful to the EPA for providing this opportunity t
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.