2009 Open Architecture Competition winners announced

Teton School

3991_01_mainboard_update 3991_07_supplementalimage_0 Winner_fullside

2009 Open Architecture Challenge: Challenge Winner

Teton Valley Community School Location: Victor, Idaho, USA Designed by: Section Eight [design]

The 2009 Open Architecture Challenge: Classroom invited the global design and construction community to collaborate with primary and secondary school teachers and students to create smarter, safer, and more sustainable learning environments.

The Teton Valley Community School (TVCS) is a non-profit independent school located in Victor, Idaho. At the base of the Teton Mountain range, Victor is 6,200 feet above sea level and is a quickly developing alpine area. The town’s eclectic mix of pioneer families and new residents from around the globe exemplify Victor’s unique history and diversity.

TVCS’s master plan is to eventually build five of the proposed classroom buildings. The design allows for flexibility in their spacing and construction. The classroom buildings can be either site built or prefabricated in two modules that can be shipped to the site. The design objectives were to create flexible spatial configurations, reduce the school’s ecological footprint, and create a strong connection to the outdoors in response to the mountain climate.

Excepting the vegetable garden areas, the landscaping will incorporate native, drought resistant vegetation to reduce required irrigation. Zen rock gardens will be created using stones removed from the building sites during excavation. Perviousness will be promoted on the site by the use of pavers with grass and sand infill for the parking and pathway areas. Play areas will utilize the natural site features like trees, rocks, and berms.

Continue reading 2009 Open Architecture Competition winners announced

Local environment groups get a $5million boost – Australia

Landcare and Coastcare community groups in Australia are eligible to receive grants of between $5,000 and $20,000 for local projects under a new $5 million program. Groups will be able to apply online for projects including coastal rehabilitation, sustainable farming, tree planting, dune rehabilitation and other projects that improve and rehabilitate the landscape.

SOURCE: Australian Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries

NY landfill parks could be open to the public next spring

New York’s two landfill parks at Fountain Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue could be reclassified as safe for public access by next spring according to a spokesperson from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The parks are currently closed as they are classified as a “significant threat to the public health or environment”.

The parks have undergone a transformation since 2004 when the first seeds were planted on the safety soil cap of the two landfill sites which were closed in 1985. Leslie Sauer, a founder of Andropogon Associates divided the parks into islands of different ecological niches with plantings representing different areas of the region with up 93% of the planting surviving.

The local residents envision various activities in the sites such as bicycle riding, performances in an amphitheater and fishing. The project has cost $200 million including the capping and planting of 33,000 shrubs and trees.

Information SOURCE: New York Times

Planting the landscape from 400 years ago

A stylised native woodland is being planted at Schwartz Plaza at New York University by George Reis, N.Y.U.’s supervisor of sustainable landscapes. The Manhatta project inspired Reis to propose the landscape using plants from before settlement of Manhattan. The design was completed by Darrell Morrison after Reis won the funds from the class of 2008 legacy fund. Recently  Reis and Morrison, along with the help of some students, began planting 2,000 plants that were all thriving on Manhattan from the 1600’s.

SOURCE: New York Times

England to recover 2000 hectares of wetland

Natural England(independent public body) has committed £4million of funding to recover close to 2000 hectares of wetland. The funds will be distributed to organisatons such as the Wildlife Trusts and RSPB who will work with the Environment Agency and English Heritage to manage re-wetting the land.

Dr Helen Phillips, Chief Executive for Natural England: said: “It may be hard to imagine, but England was once a much wetter place than it is today. Around 90 percent of the soft and squelchy bogs and marshes have been lost over the last 1000 years. Healthy wetlands are a unique and vital habitat for wildlife and provide fantastic places for people to visit.

Wetland projects to receive funding over the next two years include the East Anglian fens, Humberhead Levels, Midlands Meres and Mosses, Morecambe Bay Wetlands, the Somerset Levels and the River Till in Northumberland*

SOURCE: Natural England

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