Sunday, November 29, 2009

4 Awesome Works of Conceptual Architecture

All four of these works were found via

1) The Plantagon Greenhouse

The Plantagon Greenhouse is an enormous urban greenhouse with spiraling agricultural land that is designed to sit right in the middle of a city, cutting costs and environmental damage by eliminating transportation and deliver directly to consumers.

2) The Harvest Green Tower

The Harvest Green Tower is a winning design by Romses Architects for Vancouver's 2030 Challenge, which would allow for the farming of vegetables, fruit, and livestock in an urban environment. A vertical farm such as the Harvest Green Tower would also have other benefits beyond greening a skyline. Power generated from methane emissions, collected rainwater and wind turbines could also be given back to the grid if it produces more than it uses. Harvest could also provide space for agriculture students and scientists to study animals and seeds.

3) The Bering Strait Project

The Bering Strait Project asked participants to create a massive spanning element connecting Russia to America. Paris-based OFF Architecture’s team of Manal Rachdi, Tanguy Vermet, Mathieu Michel, Takanao Todo, and Lily Nourmansouri was awarded second place in the professional category of the competition. Their project “does not simply concern itself with the construction of a commercial or railway link, nor a bridge connecting one continent to another. The amplitude, siting, geopolitical context as well as the global ecological conscience entails a proposal far more audacious, an active project sensitive to the conditions of the site.” Working in compression, the structure’s 10 meter wide parallel walls are held with bracing, which at times is habitable. The enclosed space “becomes an interface for human passage and exchange, providing visitors and inhabitants the opportunity to traverse the Strait by foot, as was originally intended by primary civilizations.” As the Strait’s relatively shallow water levels allow the proposed structure to descend to the bottom of the ocean, users can experience constant views of the entire marine landscape. Perforations in the main structure allow the marine animals to move through the spaces while adjacent laboratories provide an excellent research space for scientists. Other perforations in the structure act as marine current turbines, accelerating water movement and currents. Because the water level in the Strait is relatively shallow, flows tend to be faster, generating more energy. The project includes large turbines to provide energy for the residential areas and laboratories; yet the turbines move at such a slow pace that no animals would be harmed. Residences, theaters and cultural centers are dispersed among the 400 meter high island. Such hermitic structures create a new mode of living. Due to the innate thermal mass of the subterranean rock, the diverse program is attributed natural heating and cooling qualities.

4) Window of Dubai

ICE (Ideas for Contemporary Environments) shared their proposal for the ThyssenKrupp Elevator Architecture Award in Dubai. The ‘Window of Dubai’ WOD captures an ever changing picture of the city’s development. The project lies in the vision corridor between airport and new city and the desert and the old city of Dubai. The spatial experience of WOD covers all the extreme viewing conditions of the city throughout the process of travel. Compared to a linear lift, the cyclic elevator reduces waiting time through the chained cubicles and the potential to enter at any time into the lift. It forms a much more continuous connection between two points, which makes it ideal for public vertical circulation. The change from the vertical travel to the horizontal slows down the speed of the lifts, to make the entrance more comfortable. It accelerates again, once the lift has left the platform.

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