Living Wall at Nova Scotia Community College [VIDEO]

Dartmouth, NS – A living, breathing example of innovation is growing at Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC) Centre for the Built Environment at the Waterfront Campus in Dartmouth.

Earlier today, NSCC president Dr. Joan McArthur-Blair helped students complete the first, permanent, exterior “living wall” east of Vancouver. “This living wall demonstrates the capacity of the Centre for the Built Environment to help Nova Scotians study the renewable energy and green technologies that are essential to our sustainable future,” said Dr. McArthur-Blair.

Living walls combine the natural and built environments. They filter the air, create habitats and add vitality to a building’s design. In 2007, Centre for the Built Environment architects, Barrie & Langille, hired Sue Sirrs, owner of Outside! Planning and Design Studio, to study the feasibility of an exterior living wall that would thrive in a cold climate. Horticulture students and faculty from NSCC’s Kingstec Campus in Kentville helped to plan then design and build the living wall.

The 7,000 plants that make up NSCC’s living wall offer a variety of colours, textures, flowers and berries, providing a living piece of art that will change with the seasons.

Urban SOS – AECOM student ideas competition

AECOM has launched for its second year, an open student ideas competition for 2010 – Urban SOS.

The competition seeks to engage students in the design, planning, architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, engineering, environmental and related fields, with the urban conditions that are now facing the majority of the world’s population.

This year, AECOM are exploring the topic of ‘Transformations,’ looking at seven cities in particular that are in the midst of a change or collection of changes that represent both challenges and opportunities to the shared futures of each city. Entrants must submit a site redevelopment plan that addresses specific issues in one of the following seven cities:

  • Beijing, China
  • Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Phoenix, USA
  • Port au Prince, Haïti
  • São Paulo, Brazil

The top four finalist/teams will travel to Barcelona to attend the World Architecture Festival from 3-5 November, 2010, with $20,000 in prize money at stake.

To learn more and download the brief go to the competition website

SOURCE: AECOM

World Landscape Architect is not involved with the organisation of this design competition please contact the organisers AECOM  via the competition website

Ecological Urbanism Book Launch Reception at Harvard GSD

Ecological Urbanism book launch will be on the night of May 3  at Back Yard 6:30pm – 8:30pm

While climate change, sustainable architecture, and green technologies have become increasingly topical, issues surrounding the sustainability of the city are much less developed. The premise of the book is that an ecological approach is urgently needed both as a remedial device for the contemporary city and an organizing principle for new cities. Ecological Urbanism approaches the city without any one set of instruments and with a worldview that is fluid in scale and disciplinary approach. Design provides the synthetic key to connect ecology with an urbanism that is not in contradiction with its environment. The book brings together design practitioners and theorists, economists, engineers, artists, policy makers, environmental scientists, and public health specialists, with the goal of reaching a more robust understanding of ecological urbanism and what it might be in the future.

With contributions by Homi Bhabha, Stefano Boeri, Chuck Hoberman, Rem Koolhaas, Sanford Kwinter, Bruno Latour, Nina-Marie Lister, Mohsen Mostafavi, Matthias Schuler, Sissel Tolaas, Charles Waldheim, among others

For more information visit: Ecological Urbanism on Lars Muller Publishers site

Marsa Al Nejoum unveils master plan

Marsa Al Nejoum has unveiled the master plan for its waterfront Nujoom Islands project in Sharjah.

The master plan of phase one has been approved by Department of Survey and Planning, Sharjah. The developers have completed a major part of the infrastructure including the dredging works and all water canals for the Nujoom Islands, a cluster of natural islands located strategically on the coastline of Al Hamrya in Sharjah, and outside the residential area of the emirate.

Nujoom Islands is considered the northern gateway to the emirate of Sharjah, spanning an area of over 60 million square feet.  95 percent of the landmass including the islands is natural. The blue sea water flow and circulation will give a unique 36 kilometers of waterfront ambience for resident and visitors to the Nujoom Islands.

[SOURCE: Albawaba.com]

The New Bund in Shanghai

With only 12 days to the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai you have probably seen images of the new Expo site with its amazing pavilions. But there is more going on in Shanghai in the last 2-3 years than the construction of Expo. Last month the main promenade in Shanghai known as the Bund or Waitan was recently reopened after a two years of renovation which involved removing the main elevated expressway onramp and constructing a new traffic tunnel under the fill length of the road and the pedestrian promenade was widened and extended.

The Bund is a historical piece of the city that has dramatically changed from in the last century from a mud flat riverbank with wooden planks for baording boats and ships whilst overlooking the opposite bank of farmland to becoming a thriving pedestrian promenade in front of buildings dating from 1880’s to 1930’s now overlooking a modern metropolis of contemporary architecture; most of which was built in the last decade.

The renovated Bund is 2000 metres long (1.25 miles) with three levels – roadside, promenade and lower level plazas beside the river. The new Bund has done away with the concrete upstand walls replaced with a curved balustrade which is more comfortable to lean against and watch the ships, barges and ferries go by whilst looking across at Lujiazui, the modern financial district.

The new expansive bund is accessed by long ramps that  create dramatic sense of arrival to the promenade which is paved in light coloured large unit granite paving and timber paving replacing the small sized pink ceramic tile (installed in a 1993 renovation). The new design also includes some new wave like glass sculptural roofs that give a different architectural dynamic although they are placed at the south end to ensure an unobstructed view of the historical buildings.

The renovation of  the Bund also includes renovated and new ferry terminal & jetties, a renovated weather station, thematic lighting and water sprays into the river. The lower roadside promenade and plazas are to include commercial shopping and restaurant areas.

The slideshow above can be enlarged to full screen by clicking on the four-arrow button (right side)

If you are coming for Expo or the 2010 IFLA Congress in Suzhou – the Bund is an interesting place to visit and take in the city. We will be featuring other posts about the changes that Shanghai has undergone in the last few years including Expo.

by Damian Holmes (Resident of Shanghai for almost 5 years)

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