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Going Batty: Animal Architecture

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It could be said that architecture is one of the most humanist pursuits, existing solely to make humans happy.

The always clever BLDGBLOG this week features the Bat Spiral, a project by UK architecture firm Friend and Company which shows that animals can get just as much enjoyment from architecture.

Based just outside of London, the Bat Spiral is designed to provide a roost (cave?) for the 17 bat species that are native to the UK.  The 45 square metre structure can house about 330 bats who are attracted to the structure for its dark spaces, and for the warmth generated from the black timber walls.

It is also surprisingly beautiful with its simple, reed-like support columns raising it above the swamp, and its graceful painted timber curves.

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Posted by on August 6, 2009 in architecture, building

 

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Louisiana, Denmark: Green Architecture for the Future

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You’ve heard of Paris, Texas.  But Louisiana, Denmark?

This sleepy satellite suburb on the outskirts of Copenhagen is home to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, a stunning seaside building established in 1958 as a showcase for many of the world’s finest contemporary artworks and sculptures.

The museum is currently exhibiting Green Architecture for the Future, a multidisciplinary exhibition examining the pending, fundamental changes to three areas of design: The City, Climate & Comfort, and Metabolism.

The City examines the global population drift towards urban living, and various responses to this, both current and future.  It includes an ambitious Foster + Partners design for Masdar City – a purpose-built, sustainable city in the United Arab Emirates – as well as a Sarcozy-sponsored redesign for Paris by MVRDV, and the tree-like Tower of Tomorrow by William McDonough & Partners.

Climate & Comfort and Metabolism explore themes of renewal, rebirth and reappropriation, such as a building made from empty water bottles (now there’s an intelligent solution, Mr Rees).

Via Arcspace.

Masdar City

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Tower of Tomorrow

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United Bottle

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Elok House: It’s a Jungle Out There

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Orchard Road is known for being one of the world’s finest shopping destinations.  But, deep in the urban jungle of Singapore, it is also the site of a remarkable new piece of residential architecture.

The owners of the small site gave Chang Architects one brief: to incorporate as much natural life as possible.  They wanted  home that was light, breezy and sustainable, with at least 40% landscaping.  The architect came up with clever ways to incorporate living plants and other natural elements such as waterfalls and pebbles into the home’s fabric, including a central atrium to feed light to the plants on the ground floor; a retractable roof to protect the house during Singapore’s legendary storms; and plants literally growing through the kitchen roof, reaching up to the sky above.

The house is featured in this month’s Habitus and won several gongs such as the Singapore Institute of Architects’ 2008 Design Awards (for its low cost – under $1m – construction) and the President’s Award for Design of the Year 2008 (Singapore’s highest design award).

This jungle home is a unique, site-specific and incredibly fun response to its urban setting.

Pics via World Architecture News.

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Posted by on July 18, 2009 in architecture, building

 

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