Sometime in 2011, three twisting towers are set to shoot up along a man-made creek in the desert sheikhdom of Dubai.
Bent at the waist, the Signature Towers will be the work of the Pritzker prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, who, with fellow Pritzker winners Norman Foster and Frank Gehry, is leading an architect rush to the Emirates.
“We are trying things out for the first time which we wanted to try out, but couldn’t,” said Patrik Schumacher, a partner at Zaha Hadid Architects. “We have found an unusual degree of receptiveness to new ideas in the Gulf.”
The Persian Gulf is home to more than $2 trillion worth of construction projects, fueled by a quadrupling of oil prices over the last five years. As the Gulf states – home to about 40 percent of the world’s proven crude-oil reserves – seek to diversify away from hydrocarbons, their appetite for landmark buildings is growing.
Read more at the Source: Hadid leading architectural rush to the Emirates International Herald Tribune.
Building on Foster + Partners’ pioneering work in the region and consolidating the practice’s long-term commitment to further development, HRH The Duke of York is to open a new Foster + Partners office in Abu Dhabi on April 3rd. The practice has been working in Abu Dhabi for the past two years, during which time it has developed an appreciation for and understanding of the specific design challenges faced by the local climate and culture.
Foster + Partners’ projects in the area – led by Senior Partner Gerard Evenden – include the design for Aldar Central Markets, a reinterpretation of the traditional market place and dynamic new quarter for Abu Dhabi, as well as the design for the Abu Dhabi World Trade Center, part of the Al Raha Beach Development. As a result of the Masdar Initiative, the Foster masterplan for Masdar will provide Abu Dhabi with a new sustainable city, a centre for new ideas for energy production and a sustainable urban blueprint for the future. Foster + Partners also won the international competition to design the new Sheikh al Zayed National Museum, an ambitious project to honour the legacy of the late ruler and founder of the nation.
Source: Foster + Partners
Barren landscapes of concrete and broken glass first inspired landscape architecture professor Carl Smith’s interest in sustainable residential design. “Pit houses” – cheap housing marooned in a sea of cement, built in the late 19th century for coalmine workers – helped him to appreciate the hedges, trees and plots of land that graced his own suburban neighborhood in Sheffield, England.
“Even as a small boy I could see that the design of housing has a pretty direct impact on people’s lives,” Carl Smith said. “We’ve got to provide a healthy environment where people can live and bring up their kids.”
Smith has made a major contribution towards that goal with the recent publication of his book, Residential Landscape Sustainability: A Checklist Tool (Blackwell Publishing, 2008). Coauthored with Andy Clayden and Nigel Dunnett, the book draws on extensive research to summarize a complex topic, and promises to be the go-to guide for landscape architects, architects and planners who want to design sustainable housing. The book’s clear prose, numerous charts and photographs make it an accessible text for students as well.
Source: University of Arkansas – Daily Headlines.
Image Source: University of Arkansas
Buy Carl Smith’s book @ Amazon
April 1 will not only be another April Fool’s Day but also the start of Landscape Architecture Month with events being organised by Landscape Architecture organisations around the world.
Check with your local organisation about what is going on in your city or area.
As landscape architects and design professionals we try our hardest to be green in our designs with water sensitive design, plants from the local ecology and materials from close to the project. And we also try to bring that green environment to our offices and work places with recycling bins, energy efficient lighting and providing bike racks for staff. But we often forget about the things that we have over the years become more and more reliant on – our computers and printers.
Over the last few years we have swapped our energy sucking CRT monitors for LCD panels and changed to digital format of pdf and dwf. However we always use the printers day in and day out and now Xerox has created the Sustainability Calculator to help us truly find out how green our office is by calculating all our office printers – Energy, Greenhouse Gas and Solid Waste use.
Xerox have also provided a few tips on how your office could be greener.
Source: Xerox North America
Have you ever taken your innovative ideas to the extreme? Now is your opportunity. If you have the ingenuity to create affordable, energy efficient housing that minimizes climate change emissions and withstands temperature extremes.
Judged by some of the leading architects around the world, total prizes and honoraria is €100,000, with the winning design being awarded €50,000. The winning architects will have the opportunity to utilize the exceptional qualities of steel to construct their design in Cherepovets, Russian Federation, known for its extreme temperature ranges.
Last year there was 3 winning firms – one for Brazil, UK and China.
Go to the Living Steel website for more information
Fee guidelines for professionals working within South Africa’s built environment are set to come under scrutiny over the next few months, when fee and work-reservation proposals for professionals operating in the sector will be presented to the Competition Commission.
Read more @ Competition body to apply its mind to new fee schedules for professionals operating within the built environment.