New York, New York

New York, New York, a helluva town. The Bronx is up, but the Battery’s down. The people ride in a hole in the groun’. New York, New York, it’s a helluva town!!

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Houston Ballet Center for Dance by Gensler

Photo © Nic Lehoux/Gensler

Program: A six-story, 115,000-square-foot home for the Houston Ballet and its academy, located in the city’s theater district. The project includes nine dance studios, a dance laboratory, dressing rooms, a common room, and offices. An open-air pedestrian sky bridge connects the new steel-structure building to the ballet’s performance space next door, the Wortham Theater Center.

Design Concept and Solution: Imagining the center as a living billboard for dance, Gensler wanted to create a building that would showcase the activity of the dancers within. The architects drew inspiration from the proscenium stage, stacking double-height rehearsal studios atop each other so that passersby below see the studios framed by the center’s black granite facade. The architects continued this framing effect on the inside by surrounding the studios’ interior-facing windows with walnut planking. They kept the fixtures and finishes minimal and neutral-toned to further emphasize the activity of the dancers: long, lean lighting strips and clear glass railings (along with the lines of the walnut planking) provide a static backdrop for the movements of the dancers.

Total construction cost: $46 million

Architect:
Gensler
711 Louisiana, Suite 300
Houston, TX 77002
Phone 713.844.0000


The 2030 Challenge for Planning @Arch2030

The built environment is the major source of global demand for energy and materials that produce by-product greenhouse gases (GHG). Planning decisions not only affect building energy consumptions and GHG emissions, but transportation energy consumption and water use as well, both of which have large environmental implications.

In 2008, Architecture 2030 issued The 2030 Challenge for Planning asking the global architecture and planning community to adopt the following targets:

  • All new and renovated developments / neighborhoods / towns / cities / regions immediately adopt and implement a 60% reduction standard below the regional average for fossil-fuel operating energy consumption for new and renovated buildings and infrastructure and a 50% fossil-fuel reduction standard for the embodied energy consumption of materials.
  • The fossil-fuel reduction standard for all new buildings, major renovations, and embodied energy consumption of materials shall be increased to:
    • 70% in 2015
    • 80% in 2020
    • 90% in 2025
    • Carbon-neutral in 2030 (using no fossil fuel GHG emitting energy to operate or construct).
      These targets may be accomplished by implementing innovative sustainable design strategies, generating on-site renewable power and/or purchasing renewable energy (20% maximum).
  • All new and renovated developments / neighborhoods / towns / cities / regions immediately adopt and implement a 50% reduction standard below the regional average for:
    • Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) for auto and freight and
    • water consumption.
Seattle 2030 District
White House Challenge’s Partners
Activating the District

Click here for more information on Architecture 2030.

What is The 2030 Challenge? @Arch2030

Architecture 2030, a non-profit, non-partisan and independent organization, was established in response to the climate change crisis by architect Edward Mazria in 2002. 2030’s mission is to rapidly transform the U.S. and global Building Sector from the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a central part of the solution to the climate change, energy consumption, and economic crises. Our goal is straightforward: to achieve a dramatic reduction in the climate-change-causing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the Building Sector by changing the way buildings and developments are planned, designed and constructed.

Buildings are the major source of global demand for energy and materials that produce by-product greenhouse gases (GHG). Slowing the growth rate of GHG emissions and then reversing it is the key to addressing climate change and keeping global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

To accomplish this, Architecture 2030 issued The 2030 Challenge asking the global architecture and building community to adopt the following targets:

    • All new buildings, developments and major renovations shall be designed to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 60% below the regional (or country) average for that building type.
    • At a minimum, an equal amount of existing building area shall be renovated annually to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 60% of the regional (or country) average for that building type.
    • The fossil fuel reduction standard for all new buildings and major renovations shall be increased to:
      • 70% in 2015
      • 80% in 2020
      • 90% in 2025
      • Carbon-neutral in 2030 (using no fossil fuel GHG emitting energy to operate).

These targets may be accomplished by implementing innovative sustainable design strategies, generating on-site renewable power and/or purchasing (20% maximum) renewable energy.

Click here for more information on Architecture 2030.


Sustainable Cities

written by Cathe Reams

The challenges presented by sustainable urban development are immense. Today, more than half of the world’s population already lives in cities and the numbers are rising. Cities are responsible for around 75 percent of all energy used, 60 percent of all water consumed and 80 percent of all greenhouse gases produced worldwide. To face the multitude of challenges arising from urbanization and demographic change, cities are looking at ways to improve the efficiency of their infrastructures. With the right technology cities can become more environmentally friendly, increase the quality of life for their residents, and cut costs all at the same time.

For a real-world look at how our solutions can be implemented today, please download “Smarter Neighborhoods, Smarter City”. This report contains detailed recommendations on how to help America’s largest urban area – the City of New York – plan for more sustainable growth.

Sustainable development & urban infrastructure

Cities continue to grow as more and more people move into urban areas and with this shift towards urbanization, cities are experiencing an increasing strain on their current infrastructure systems. Roadways, power grids, telecommunications lines and public transportation are all systems which rely on a strong infrastructure to handle demand. Optimizing these infrastructural networks is an immense task which requires public and private cooperation.

Power generation and distribution

To meet the growing demand for power, an intelligent and flexible grid infrastructure, is essential. An overloaded power grid can cause the kind of blackout which swept through New York City and much of the Northeast corridor in the US in 2003. Blackouts like these can be prevented with a modern, reliable, environmentally friendly, and affordable energy grid system which works to match the supply and demand balance of our energy systems.

Siemens offers components and solutions for the entire energy conversion chain. This starts with power generation in highly efficient combined gas and steam turbines, solar power plants and wind turbines. The electrical power generated there can be transported to cities with little loss via high-voltage direct current lines which help maintain and efficient transmission on energy through the country.

Sustainable transportation

How do we get from point A to point B in the most efficient manner possible? How do we get people out of gridlock and on the move again? For starters, intelligent traffic control systems contribute to helping traffic flow. They reduce fuel consumption, air pollution, and noise by allowing cars to stop less frequently. Additionally, particularly in cities where space is limited, public transportation systems become increasingly important network for connecting people. Trains in particular are an environmentally friendly alternative to cars and airlines. The Siemens Velaro is a good example. This fourth generation high-speed train consumes only 0.14 gallons of fuel per seat per 100 miles.

Sustainable healthcare infrastructure

In healthcare, too, a shift in thinking about the use of energy and raw materials has set in. Both ecological and economical requirements must be considered when faced with the challenge of creating sustainable infrastructure solutions. Siemens helps hospitals to pave the way for the future – with green hospitals. With its modular Green+ Hospitals concept, Siemens is firmly gearing its healthcare portfolio towards environmental care and sustainability.
The most decisive factor for protecting the environment and minimizing costs in hospitals is power consumption. Energy costs can be reduced through energy optimization, building automation, and the use of energy-saving equipment. A smooth and safe workflow with structured clinical pathways, short examination times, and the comprehensive use of IT is also key to the economic efficiency of a hospital. And with more comfort and gentle treatment for patients, Green+ Hospitals can attain greater competitive appeal and also ensure a better quality of life. 

Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

What’s a green city to you, how is your city green, how can it be more sustainable?
Include the hashtags #GreenCity and #AIANJ & share your thoughts on Twitter.


City of Culture by Eisenman Architects

I love Architectural design theory and I love skate boarding; Peter Eisenman combined them both when he designed the 173-acre site on Mount Gaiás.  The project neighbors Santiago de Compostela where the cathedral houses the remains of the apostle St. James, brought to Spain from Jerusalem after his death in AD 44. Since the eighth century, pilgrims have trekked to the medieval town to pay homage to his shrine.

Photo © Duccio Malagamba

Eisenman Architects’ winning scheme, folded into the earth and seductively represented by a molded wood model, beat out varied proposals by ten finalists: Steven Holl Architects, OMA/Rem Koolhaas, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Gigon Guyer Architects, Dominique Perrault Architecture, Studio Daniel Libeskind, Juan Navarro Baldeweg, César Portela, Ricardo Bofill/Taller de Arquitectura, and José Manuel Gallego Jorreto.

Click here for more info.


Time to Celebrate