Archive for June, 2011

Architecture Breakthrough, Rotating Towers

Architects has to have the consideration to all aspects of their own design. Sometimes in the real world, many architects are forgotten and left something important of what a design is. A design is not only about the looks, but it is about every single thing related to a person, community, environment, landscape, economy, culture, and many aspects to think about. Well, i can say that architecture can be a ‘bridge’ which connects almost everything in this world. With every developments that we have today, architects should be more innovative and being out of the box.

Architecture always related to idea and concept of design, and they can come up from anything and become a crazy idea. Today architects are racing in the line of making more and more crazy idea of architecture design. It is of course starts from imagination, and implemented to a creative and innovative design, because everyone have their own imagination.

An idea of having different view at a time, is one of reasons of having this design. Here, I am taking examples of amazing architecture creation. David Fisher with his Dynamic Architecture. A beautiful and stunning building design which literally dynamic, the rotating tower. Simply this building has the standing core part in the middle, and every story is attached to the core. Each floor in this tower is rotating.

This video, shows the magical effect of this shape-shifting tower.

“Uniquely, each floor will be able to rotate independently. This will result in a constantly changing shape of the tower. Each floor will rotate a maximum of 6 meters per minute, or one full rotation in 90 minutes. It will also be the world’s first prefabricated skyscraper with 40 factory-built modules for each floor. 90% of the tower will be built in a factory and shipped to the construction site. This will allow the entire building to be built in only 22 months. The only part of the tower that will be built at the construction site will be the core. Part of this prefabrication will be the decrease in cost and number of workers. The total construction time will be over 30% less than a normal skyscraper of the same size. The core will serve each floor with a special, patented connection for clean water, based on technology used to refuel airplanes in mid-flight.”

The rotation on each floor of the building create different shape in the whole building as it is rotating. Behind all of the aesthetic side of the design, David Fisher also implement the solar panel to generate part of the electricity consumption. A concept of design which is having a remarkable building, with the amazing shape-shifting effect, and also sustainable to the environment.

Architects today already have all the stuff that provide them the convenience to create more and more innovative idea of design. It is the time for us to make another breakthrough to the world.

Categories: Architecture, Inspiration

The Dubai Palm Islands

The Dubai Palm Islands are man-made islands located off the coast of The United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf. The constructors are  Jan de Nul and Van Oord, famous marine constructor companies from Belgian and Germany. These artificial archipelago are named Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali, and Palm Deira. The construction of these island will add 520 kilometres of beaches to the city of Dubai. The purpose of the construction was to increase Dubai’s tourism by providing a one-of-a-kind tourist destination brimming with contemporary world-class hotels, upscale services and amenities and hundreds of more miles of Dubai beaches all in a world unique to anything anyone has ever seen before.

The constructions of the first two islands which are Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel Ali comprised approximately 100 million cubic meters of rock and sand. Palm Deira was composed of approximately 1 billion cubic meters of rock and sand. All materials to built these artificial archipelago was quarried in the UAE. Among the three islands there will be over 100 luxury hotels, exclusive residential beach side villas and apartments, marinas, water theme parks, restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities and health spas.

The process of building these islands was not easy. The sand is sprayed by the dredging ships, which are guided by DGPS, onto the required area in a process known as rainbowing because of the arcs in the air when the sand is sprayed. The outer edge of each Palm’s encircling crescent is a large rock breakwater. The breakwater of the Palm Jumeirah has over seven million tons of rock. Each rock was placed individually by a crane, signed off by a diver and given a GPS coordinate.

Palm Jumeirah is the smallest island of the three Palm Islands. Its construction was started in 2001. It is located in the Jumeirah coastal area in Dubai. Palm Jumeirah is the first island which is built in a crown with 17 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that will form a water-breaker. It has already been acclaimed a marvel of marine construction and engineering vision. Being one of newest tourism spot in Uni Arab Emirates, Palm Jumeirah has many shopping centre, recreation places, hotels, and spas. The heart of Palm Jumeirah is the trunk which is 2 km long living retail and tourism destination.

The Palm Jebel Ali Island is the middle sized island. It is located on the Jebel Ali coastal area in Dubai. The man-made palm-shaped island will consist of a trunk, a crown with 17 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that will form a water-breaker. It is very famous for the caligraphic around the crowns. The construction of Palm Jebel Ali began in October 2002 and is finished at the end of 2006. The Palm Jebel Ali is more suitable for adults and children’s recreation or family to be specific.

The Palm Deira is the largest man-made island of The Dubai Palm Islands. It is located on the Deira coastal area of Dubai. It consists of a trunk, a crown with 41 fronds and a surrounding crescent island that will form a water breaker. The construction began on October 2004 and is expected to complete in 2015. Rumors has it that the construction will consume over a billion cubic meters of rock and sand. It will be 14 kilometers in length and 8.5 kilometers in width and have an area of 80 square kilometers.

Categories: Architecture

The Strata SE1 ‘The Razor’, Sky Scrapper with Wind Turbines

Located in the London Borough of Southwark in London, England. The Strata SE 1 building become the center attention to the architecture world. Not just about revolutionary design of form and structure. With the development of technology and importance to keep the environment, the Strata SE1 building or well known as The Razor has unique concept of building.

This residential sky scrapper has the source of energy as the consideration of design, since it will be home to more than 1.000 residents. Strata SE1 is one of the first buildings in the world to incorporate alternative source of energy, and installed within the structure. Equipped with 3 wind turbines at the top part of the building, The Razor would generate 8% of its energy needs.

The Razor designed by BLFS and the Brookfield Construction as the main contractor. With development of technology nowadays, this idea of design surely can be implemented, as this building finished in the year 2010. Not only about the beauty of the design, but also the consideration of keeping the sustainability side. Maybe at first, this design is a kind of crazy idea, but in the end with all the preparation and calculation, The Strata SE1 building established with all innovative idea.

Justin Black, director for Brookfield, the developer, said the decision to choose wind was a “conscious decision to experiment”. He pointed out that the entire southern facade of the building would have had to be covered in solar photovoltaics to generate the same amount of energy. “The brief we gave to Hamilton’s Architects was we wanted a statement, we wanted to create benchmarks for sustainability and urban living. We wanted something bold, we wanted remarkable. It’s what I term Marmite architecture – you either love it or you hate it, there’s no in between,” Black said.

Nowadays, we already have the advanced technology and advanced engineering that allow us to implement these to the building since now it is the right time to consider about the environment. Today, it is up to the architect and the constructor how the future environment will be affected by the building because now the world needs more creative ideas.

Reinterpreting Sustainable Architecture by Helen Pangestu

In this article, I would like to share with you six alternative logics of ecological design which have in competing conceptions of environmentalism, and explores the ways in which each logic prefigures technological strategies and alternative visions of sustainable places.

1. Eco-technic Logic This logic explains how you can make a building that in the technical way is environmental friendly. The architect’s design strategy is adaptive to nowadays high-technology system, they maximize efficiency of building in spatial, construction and energy terms. In this system, the architect tends to use all of the materials and they also make a construction that environmental friendly. For example, energy-efficient lighting, passive solar design and daylighting, the use of natural and mixed-mode ventilation, more efficient air conditioning and comfort cooling, combined with sophisticated energy management systems are all part of the High-Technology approach.

2. Eco-centric Logic This point challenges us on how you can make a sustainable building that is not against the environmental. There are assumptions that sustainable building is too complex, the unnatural form of the building sometimes interrupting the natural cycles of nature. In terms of building materials, preference is for renewable, natural materials such as earth, timber, and straw combined with a reduction of the use of virgin building materials through reuse and recycling. This is a new perception of making buildings, we can reuse all materials that the earth already gave us, so instead of making a ‘green’ building with a fine architectural, we can also help to reduce the waste that our earth have.

3. Eco-aesthetic Logic This logic represents the adaption of the architectural design from the natural shape. This is like the new paradigm or the new concept of architecture, which emphasizes spiritually in social and environmental relations that lead to the establishment of whole new civilizations and cultures because today’s concern is more to nature. Beside this aesthetic way can emphasizes nowadays technology like advances in structural engineering, the ability of making curved forms use the computer technology and another improvements, this new concept of architecture that based on the natural shape hoped can be deliver the environmental messages to the people surrounding.

4. Eco-cultural Logic
This point emphasizes a fundamental reorientation of values to engage with both environmental and culture concern. Eco-cultural means that we don’t follow the universal development, but we do preservation for the diversity of our culture. This also means that we use local architecture, local materials and of course local architect. Because local architect knows well about the weather, the contour and the psychological side of local people. Local materials is genuinely can adapt the local weather. So this logic, advise to keep the local architecture with the local materials.

5. Eco-medical Logic
This logic symbolizes the sustainability concerns about appropriate form and wider cultural context of design towards humanist and social concern for the sustaining human health. How building can effects the health of the human that live in the building for example some health issues such as quality of air, water and urban space. A wrong concept of a building can impacted the built of environment and the causes of stress that endanger health, both physical and psychological.

6. Eco-social Logic
This point talks about the social agenda of sustainability that concern the ecological crisis seeing from the social factors. A building can also control the social life of its resident. Social means communication between people, so for example if in one house they have three bedrooms inside but the distance between each room is too far or maybe the distance between the family room and the bedrooms, people tend to stay inside their rooms and refuse to walk and gather with others outside. Another example is the decreasing of natural communication, its like no communication between people with nature. One more time, a wrong architecture can make bad impacts.

Therefore we may conclude that it is possible to  reconstruct sustainable architecture, although this six logics are competing with each other, but it is practical in order to make a sustainable and eco-friendly building. To make an architectural plan for a building we must see from every aspect, considering all the problems from previous architecture and learn from all the mistakes. This is a challenge for every future architects to study what sustainable building is and how they can make one of it in the middle of the high-level of development.

Categories: Uncategorized

Sustainable Architecture II by Helen Pangestu

Sustainable urban architecture is actually about a sustainable environment as a whole. It is not just only about one building or architecture. It is about the whole ensemble such as a village, city, or even a country. We should not only think of how to make a sustainable area, but also how to achieve a more sustainable area. Green building often takes advantage of renewable resources like using sunlight through passive or active solar devices or using the plants and trees for increasing the water system, etc. Green buildings are identical with efficiency and effectiveness. The designs are all about how to make an efficient and effective building. This starts from siting and structural design efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency, materials efficiency, indoor environmental quality enhancement, operations and maintenance optimization, and water reduction.

Moreover, architecture relates to the positive and negative spaces. Architects do not only think about the object or the building, but also the spaces created by the buildings, the flow that is created by the existence of the architecture. Sustainable urban architecture is about the connection between one building and another, the flow and the movement of the humans living in the architecture. Sustainability is about how effective and efficient the urban area is as a whole, in all aspects, and about how people living in the city enjoy urban architecture and the environment. Nevertheless, there are plenty of things that we as architects and urban planners can do in order to achieve a more sustainable urban architecture. Below is the list of technical things that the urbanist must plan in order to achieve a more sustainable city

– Design sustainable urban drainage systems, then the city will require less input of water and less output of waste water
– Respect the Genius Loci (the protective spirit of a place) and use local materials. Then the city will require fewer import of construction materials.
– Orientate buildings correctly and design with microclimate. Then less energy will be required for heating and cooling.
– Make greater use of native and local plant materials. Then the planting schemes will require less irrigation, less maintenance and less input of chemicals.
Design beautiful and convenient paths then people will walk more and cycle more. When people get more exercise, they will have better health, so that the costs for healthcare will also be reduced and there will has less medical problem.
– Design buildings with vegetated roofs. Then the buildings will be better insulated, and will therefore require less heating in winter and less cooling in summer.
– Design beautiful sky parks and sky gardens. Then the city will be more compact because there will be fewer roads, fewer parking lots and more green spaces.

In conclusion, a more sustainable environment can be created through making a more sustainable urban architecture. Our environment is architecture. We live in architecture. Our job as a future architect is to make architecture and the urban environment more sustainable.

Categories: Uncategorized

Sustainable Architecture I by Helen Pangestu

Sustainability, in general, is the capacity to endure.  Our environment logically needs to be enduring to make a better life, both for the sake of humans and our earth.  Urban architecture is our environmental challenge. In order to create a more sustainable architecture, this action equals creating a more sustainable environment. To create a more sustainable urban architecture, this equals creating a more sustainable environment. We live in a world full of architecture, whereas architecture dominates our environments in today’s oil-powered life style. Therefore, this essay is about sustainable urban architecture and sustainable architectural environments.

Sustainable architecture can be defined as a general term that describes environmentally conscious design techniques in the field of architecture. In the broad context, sustainable architecture seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space.

The Bruntland Commission may have set back sustainable urban design by half a century with a definition: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. This statement is a basic concept of sustainability. Sustainable development means that the current generation uses only what it needs and does not borrow from future generations. Basically, sustainability is a relative concept, we have no absolute definition, like big or small. The earth is big enough for humans, but the earth is small in comparison with the universe. We should think about how to make a ‘more sustainable’ city instead of making a ‘sustainable’ city. In order to achieve that, architects should think of designing a city with fewer inputs and fewer outputs.

The role of individual architecture in the urban environment is quite important. Before creating a sustainable urban architecture, we should design the lower level of sustainability, the sustainable architecture. Sustainable architecture means sustainable energy use. That is probably the main consideration. The most important and cost effective element of an efficient heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is a well-insulated building. A more efficient building requires lower heat generating elements. More ventilation capacity is required to expel polluted indoor air. There are alternative devices that help us create a sustainable architecture by making renewable energy generation such as solar panels that help to provide sustainable electricity. Wind turbines help circulate the air. Solar water heating may be a cost-effective way to generate hot water for our house. Heat pumps can act as a reversible air conditioners. Therefore, green buildings are needed in order to design a sustainable urban architecture. Green buildings aim to reduce the environmental impact of buildings and human health. Buildings generally require a large amount of land use, energy and water consumption, and air and atmosphere conditioning.

Categories: Uncategorized