Architect Turns Old Cement Factory Into His Home

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When Ricardo Bofill stumbled upon a dilapidated cement factory in 1973, he immediately saw a world of possibilities. La fábrica was born, and almost 45 years later, the structure has been completely transformed into a spectacular and unique home.

 

The factory, located just outside of Barcelona, was a WWI-era pollution machine that had closed down, and came with many repairs to be done when Ricardo Bofill and his team purchased it. After years of partial deconstruction, the determined architect proceeded to lace the exterior of the property with vegetation, and furnish the interior as a modern living and work space.

 

La fábrica is a work in progress to this day, to which Bofill likens his own life, as his visions for the future continue to change shape. The industrial chimneys that once filled the air with smoke now overflow with lush greenery, a fine example of the beautiful transformations that result from creative thinking.

 

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by boredpanda

Children’s Hospital Has A Fun Light-Emitting Wood Wall

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Multimedia design studio ENESS, together with DesignInc and Cabrini Hospital, have created LUMIS, an interactive light-emitting wood wall system at the entrance of the new pediatric’s ward of the hospital.

 

Visitors trigger the animations of landscapes and animals that bring the wall to life, with the moving graphics capturing the imagination of the children.

 

The interactive wall has a 15 different themes that are broken up into day and night themes, like grass slowly growing when you walk past, or a moon with owls. The entire wall can be filled with a variety of shapes and colors, and when not in use, the wall simply looks like any other wall.

 

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by contemporist

Hummingbird ‘Grinds Bridge Construction to a Halt’

Richmond-San-Rafael-BridgeA tiny unborn hummingbird is getting in the way of a big bridge project near San Francisco.

 

The discovery of a nest and egg in a tree is stalling a $US70 million ($A92 million) upgrade to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge about 50 km north of San Francisco, officials said on Tuesday.

 

The species, Anna's Hummingbird, is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that forbids the removal of the egg.

 

The nest - about half the size of a fist - was discovered in a tree set to be removed about a week ago.

 

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by Ahn Jae Wook | SOURCEABLE

Solar Architecture

imagenA curious multi-faceted timber box fitted with solar panels located on the quay at Marina will be in place for the next 12 months. A collaboration between the IAAC (Institute for advanced architecture of Catalonia) together with Endesa the installation is an experimental pavilion constructed under the framework of the Smart City BCN International Congress.

 

Alternative energy has not quite taken off in the way that perhaps twenty of thirty years ago we might have imagined despite the increase in the price of fossil fuels as well as the complex politics surrounding their extraction and exploitation. Collectively we know as a society that sooner or later new solutions are going to have to be found, and indeed many interesting projects are beginning to be developed such as the Plataforma Solúcar, in Seville Abengoa (see B-Guided #35, Spring 2008).

 

The ENDESA pavilion marks another step forward in this regard, open to the public during the course of one year it will be monitored and used for research purposes for the intelligent management of energy. The design is generated by its orientation with respect to the solar path, the approach is both intuitive and low-tech. A terrace opens towards the south, while the northern facing facades are hermetically closed ensuring less heat loss. The deep folds and canopies of the timber skin create both a sculpted and practical shading device.

 

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by  b-guided>

Sustainability with Modern Masonry Products

masonryIn recent years, multiple factors have converged to create increasing demand for green and sustainable buildings. Stricter building codes, along with LEED and other building performance systems, have boosted the call for more extensive engineering in wall systems.

 

Manufacturers have responded with a flurry of new products that combine distinct elements such as masonry systems and structural framing. Structural masonry and esthetic masonry have also been blended in some systems. These advances in wall systems have resulted in buildings with improved energy efficiency, structural integrity, and cost effectiveness, while also maintaining the desired appearance.

 

The systems approach supports the adoption of LEED, Green Star, BREEAM, and other building performance rating systems, enabling architects and specifiers to identify green building products that are backed by a reputable manufacturer, and that help projects stay on spec and budget.

 

Contractors and masons can more easily specify materials that save installation time, minimise callbacks, and meet some green objectives. Systems also support the needs of developers and building owners, who value LEED certification as a competitive advantage. Building owners and developers also strive to decrease expenses and increase property revenues by using durable, high-quality, and user-friendly materials.

 

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by Steve Hansen | SOURCEABLE