Innovative Architecture, Infrastructure & Design

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TollandRCR
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#26

Post by TollandRCR »

Regents Park, central campus, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. [link]The cube,http://annarbortalks.com/keller-william ... -all-ages/[/link] was designed by University of Michigan Alumnus Bernard (Tony) Rosenthal (1914-2009). Tony Rosenthal is known as the Sculptor of Public Art and his work is displayed in many large cities across the country.The cube’s artistic name is “Endover” and was commissioned by the U-M Class of 1965 and installed in 1968. The cube weighs 2400 lbs. and is made out of painted CorTen Steel, stands 15-feet tall, and is easily pushed by even a young child into a smooth spin on point.
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#27

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

This is interesting. Taking a humble shape and giving it not only a different viewpoint but also something tactile to do with it.Compare to the "charging cube" on the prior page of this thread: ugly, sterile and totally unimaginative.

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#28

Post by TollandRCR »

This is interesting. Taking a humble shape and giving it not only a different viewpoint but also something tactile to do with it.Compare to the "charging cube" on the prior page of this thread: ugly, sterile and totally unimaginative.I suspect that the solar cube could be mounted in a similar way, although for conductivity and protection of the solar panels it might have to be rigid.The cube at UM gets a push every few minutes during the day as students walk by. Young kids love to play around it. The Rubik's Cube installation was done in a respectful way so that the color sheets could be removed without lasting marks.There are lots of interesting public sculptures in Michigan, including Calder's La Grande Vitesse in Grand Rapids, the first public sculpture funded by NEA. La Grande Vitesse - the great swiftness - the Grand Rapids.[link]Frank Lloyd Wright's Meyer May house of 1909,http://www.meyermayhouse.steelcase.com/[/link]Then there was the LipDub in response to some dying magazine's declaration that Grand Rapids is a dying city.[BBvideo 425,350:10mceux5][/BBvideo]
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#29

Post by Chilidog »

[link]Frank Lloyd Wright's Meyer May house of 1909,http://www.meyermayhouse.steelcase.com/[/link]I like FLW's prairie style, but not all of his works. For instance, "Fallingwater" is an awful house.

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#30

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

Most of FLW's houses are beautiful to look at and horrible to live in.On the whole, and by the yardstick of livability, FLW was a failure as an architect. But no one wants to admit it.

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#31

Post by TollandRCR »

Wingspread in Racine, WI, is a triumph. It is now a foundation headquarters and conference center. Some of the furniture was designed by Wright. The central fireplace is amazing. I don't know whether the roof leaks or the windows whistle as in some other Wright buildings. If you get an invitation to go there, accept.
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#32

Post by chancery »

This is interesting. Taking a humble shape and giving it not only a different viewpoint but also something tactile to do with it.Compare to the "charging cube" on the prior page of this thread: ugly, sterile and totally unimaginative.Tony Rosenthal created a similar and much-used rotating cube for New York's Astor Place. Astor Place is a kind of gateway to the Village, with its promise of arts and excitations, and it's very much a done thing for a group of pilgrims to pause for a few spins, both when rushing forward to the evening's revels and when staggering back from their conclusion.float-lefthttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Just_another_Alamo_afternoon.jpg[/img]

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#33

Post by ZekeB »

Wingspread in Racine, WI, is a triumph. It is now a foundation headquarters and conference center. Some of the furniture was designed by Wright. The central fireplace is amazing. I don't know whether the roof leaks or the windows whistle as in some other Wright buildings. If you get an invitation to go there, accept.In my younger days I would drive past Taliesin about once every six weeks on my way home when Uncle's schedule would give me a four day weekend. I've never been in the place. I've heard it doesn't offer much for livability either, Stern. I believe it is in some state of disrepair at present. Perhaps that's just a Donate Now scheme. I dunno.
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#34

Post by Addie »

[link]Atlantic Cities,http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighb ... yard/8670/[/link]





How New York Is Building an Entire Neighborhood on Top of a Rail Yard





The phrase "only in New York" is probably overused, but there are times when it still applies. A plan to build an entire 26-acre neighborhood with 17 million square feet of buildings atop two platforms suspended over an active rail yard serving America's busiest train station is one of those times.





The neighborhood will be known as Hudson Yards, and construction officially began today on the first of those platforms — over the eastern part of the rail yard. That platform will ultimately hold two office towers, two residential towers (one of which will have a hotel), a million square feet of retail, and about five acres of open public space. And it will all come together as 30 Long Island Railroad tracks remain in operation to serve commuters through Penn Station. ...





The key to it all will be the platforms. Jim White, the engineer in charge of the platform construction, says 3D modeling helped identify places in the rail yard where caissons could be drilled all the way into the bedrock without disrupting the tracks. These 300 caissons, each installed with 90-ton cores encased in concrete, will serve as a foundation for load-bearing support columns. At the "throat" of the yard, where the 30 tracks converge into four to enter Penn Station, long-span bridge trusses will shoulder the weight. ...





"When you walk up and down Park Avenue, you're not aware you're on a platform over all the trains going into Grand Central," says Cross. When Hudson Yards is completed, he hopes to be able to say the same thing. "People will have no idea there are even trains underneath."
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#35

Post by Dolly »

How New York Is Building an Entire Neighborhood on Top of a Rail YardNice. Reminds me of Freeway Park in Seattle.


The first park built over a highway, Freeway Park sits perched above Interstate 5 in downtown Seattle, where it uses the air rights of the interstate. The park is defined by a series of irregular, linked plazas that are intertwined and enclosed by board-formed concrete planting containers and walls.


[/break1]org/landscapes/freeway-park]http://tclf.org/landscapes/freeway-park to see photos
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#36

Post by Whatever4 »

How New York Is Building an Entire Neighborhood on Top of a Rail YardNice. Reminds me of Freeway Park in Seattle.


The first park built over a highway, Freeway Park sits perched above Interstate 5 in downtown Seattle, where it uses the air rights of the interstate. The park is defined by a series of irregular, linked plazas that are intertwined and enclosed by board-formed concrete planting containers and walls.


[/break1]org/landscapes/freeway-park]http://tclf.org/landscapes/freeway-park to see photosThere's [link]a major project,http://www.meredithmanagement.com/1kenmore.php[/link] building over one million sq. ft. of space over the Mass Pike just down the street. The job is complicated by Red Sox parking (a couple of lots had to be exchanged), an MBTA commuter rail station, Boston University, the real estate and investment market, etc. Building between 2 bridges over an eight-lane major highway, next to Fenway Park. It's going to have one of the largest private solar power plants in Massachusetts, enough to power the building and the train station.





Assuming they ever actually start it. :lol:
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#37

Post by Addie »

[link]Nation of Change,http://www.nationofchange.org/world-s-f ... 1396707225[/link]





World’s First Self-Cleaning Solar Park Debuts in Israel





One of the biggest challenges to increasing solar panel efficiency is keeping panels clean, especially in locations where there is much sun to be harnessed. Now, in Kibbutz Ketura, an arid desert in Israel, a huge solar farm has increased its sun-gathering power by 35 percent utilizing 100 robots that nightly wash panels clean.





These robots have peaked interest in the sun as an energy source again in a time when cheap natural gas found off the coast of Israel, temporarily shaded the need for cleaner power.





The sun-powered robots are timed to clean a 20-acre solar farm jointly owned by Siemens AG and solar energy pioneer, Arava Power. Cleaning the dust from solar panels results in better energy capture, and facilitates the creation of 9 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Every night they roll down the panels, brushing off dust and debris, powered themselves by the sun.





The ‘soiling’ of solar panels, an industry term that refers to panels losing their efficiency over time due to grime accumulation, is a big problem since often where there is lots of sun, there is also lots of sand. Normally, panels must be cleaned with water – a commodity which is hard to come by in the desert. Keeping huge solar arrays clean is one of the hurdles the solar industry has been seeking to overcome to be more competitive with other energy sources.
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#38

Post by Addie »

[link]New York Times Mag,http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/magaz ... world.html[/link]: How to Think Like the Dutch in a Post-Sandy World
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#39

Post by Whatever4 »

[link]New York Times Mag,http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/magaz ... world.html[/link]: How to Think Like the Dutch in a Post-Sandy WorldGreat article. BTW, I live at 16 ft. above sea level, surrounded by fill but on actual land ourselves.
"[Moderate] doesn't mean you don't have views. It just means your views aren't predictable ideologically one way or the other, and you're trying to follow the facts where they lead and reach your own conclusions."
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#40

Post by Addie »

[link]Atlantic Cities,http://m.theatlanticcities.com/commute/ ... city/8924/[/link]: Tearing Down an Urban Highway Can Give Rise to a Whole New City
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#41

Post by Whatever4 »

[link]Atlantic Cities,http://m.theatlanticcities.com/commute/ ... city/8924/[/link]: Tearing Down an Urban Highway Can Give Rise to a Whole New CityAbsolutely. Boston tore down the old elevated expressway and created a whole new vibrant urban park. Plus the North End isn't in shadow anymore.
"[Moderate] doesn't mean you don't have views. It just means your views aren't predictable ideologically one way or the other, and you're trying to follow the facts where they lead and reach your own conclusions."
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#42

Post by Addie »

[link]Guardian,http://www.theguardian.com/global-devel ... ution-smog[/link]: Can Mexico City's roof gardens help the metropolis shrug off its smog?
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#43

Post by Addie »

[link]Atlantic Cities,http://www.theatlanticcities.com/techno ... d-it/9048/[/link]





A Billboard That Purifies the Air Around It





http://cdn.theatlanticcities.com/img/up ... argest.JPG





Last year, scientists at University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Peru came up with an ingenious billboard that produced drinkable water. Now they’re at it again, this time giving billboards a different superpower: the ability to purify surrounding air.





So how does it work? The billboard sucks in dirty air nearby and filters it through a water-based system, a process that traps 99 percent of the pollutants present. Clean air is then sent back out to the surrounding areas. The filtering system uses 100 percent recyclable water and consumes 2.5Kw of energy per hour.





The first air-purifying billboard has been installed near a busy construction site in Lima, a city already notorious for having the worst air quality in South America. According to UTEC, their new billboard can do the work of about 1,200 trees, purifying 100,000 cubic meters of air daily. The clean air reaches a 5-block radius, which is surely good news for both construction workers and nearby residents.
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#44

Post by Addie »

[link]Slate,http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_eye/2014 ... c=upworthy[/link]





Can These $20,000 Houses Save the American Dream? ...





Rural Studio launched its affordable housing program in 2005. We were eager to make our work more relevant to the needs of west Alabama, the Southeast, and possibly the entire country. We looked at the omnipresent American trailer park, where homes, counterintuitively, depreciate each year they are occupied. We wanted to create an attractive small house that would appreciate in value while accommodating residents who are unable to qualify for credit.





Our goal was to design a market-rate model house that could be built by a contractor for $20,000 ($12,000 for materials and $8,000 for labor and profit)—the 20K House, a house for everybody and everyone. We chose $20,000 because it would be the most expensive mortgage a person receiving today’s median Social Security check of $758 a month can realistically repay. A $108 monthly mortgage payment is doable if you consider other monthly expenditures. Our calculations are based on a single house owner, because 43 percent of below-poverty households in Hale County are made up of people living alone. That translates to a potential market of 800 people in our county.





A contractor building 20K Houses for 800 people under a rural development grant would put $16 million into the local economy. Financing would come from a commercial mortgage or a Department of Agriculture rural loan program. We figure that since we design 20K Houses so that they can be built in three weeks, a contractor could build 16 houses a year. Assuming a workforce consisting of a contractor and three workers for each house. The contractor would earn $61,000 a year and the workers $22,200 (based on
 a wage of $11.57 per hour, well above the current minimum wage of $7.25). Our expectation is that commercial success will create a new cottage industry, bringing new economic growth to the region. ...





So far Rural Studio has designed 12 versions of the 20K House. The houses that we build each year are academic experiments, given away to local residents in need. We find the clients for 20K Houses the same way we do for our client houses. We hear about people in need from mail carriers, church pastors, local officials, and others. In deciding who to choose, we trust our gut. Our clients are always down on their luck and often elderly, and our homes add immensely to their quality of life. As with our client houses, the 20K House instructors maintain strong relationships with the new homeowners. In order to improve the 20K Houses each year, we observe how our clients inhabit and use their new homes. Their homes, as with client houses, carry their names.http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/ ... iginal.jpg
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#45

Post by Volkonski »

[link]Slate,http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_eye/2014 ... c=upworthy[/link]





Can These $20,000 Houses Save the American Dream? ...





Snip---------Very interesting. There may be some zoning problems in some places. One of Mrs. V's many cousins owns a small rental house on Long Island. For the past several years he has been renting it to people through a county program where part of the rent is paid by the county. His current tenants are a family of three (two adults and a toddler). The town just changed the law so that in a rental property every bedroom has to have a closet. Without a closet a room can't be a bedroom. HIs rental house's bedrooms do not have closets. So the town has declared that his rental house can only have one occupant not three. He is now in court evicting his tenants so as not to be fined by the town.





This is silly because the house is more than large enough for three people and quite a bit larger than the $20,000 houses in the article. Mrs. V's cousin already had to do many improvements to the house to qualify for the county program. The area has a lack of affordable housing.





I don't think that the town was aiming this law at families. I think they were going after migrant workers. Trouble is, a lot of the older houses there do not have closets in every bedroom. So the county now has to deal with a soon to be homeless family and Mrs. V's cousin is losing his rental income. He is trying to find out if there is a way he can add small closets to meet the law's requirements.





Many business owners in that area complain about a lack of workers but they elect governments that pass laws that drive working class people away. :(
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#46

Post by SueDB »

In the misguided rush to penalize immigrants, some governments screw the very folks they should be helping.
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#47

Post by Addie »

[link]Tech Crunch,http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/25/the-cr ... -roadways/[/link]: The Crazy Genius Behind Solar Roadways





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#48

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

Solar freakin roofs would do pretty much the same thing.

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