2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Building and Construction

Finally the citizens of North Korea can acknowledge the hotel's existence

The Ryugyong Hotel in the center of North Korea's capital city Pyongyang, must count as one of the strangest building projects, not to say one of the ugliest, in the world. Construction began in 1987 and continued until its abandonment in 1993 when the projected cost of required remedial rebuilding was simply too much for the impoverished city and state to bear. Now, twenty-four years after the first concrete block was laid, it's finally finished - kinda...  Read More

EnviroMission's solar tower: coming to Arizona in 2015

An ambitious solar energy project on a massive scale is about to get underway in the Arizona desert. EnviroMission is undergoing land acquisition and site-specific engineering to build its first full-scale solar tower - and when we say full-scale, we mean it! The mammoth 800-plus meter (2625 ft) tall tower will instantly become one of the world's tallest buildings. Its 200-megawatt power generation capacity will reliably feed the grid with enough power for 150,000 US homes, and once it's built, it can be expected to more or less sit there producing clean, renewable power with virtually no maintenance until it's more than 80 years old. In the video after the jump, EnviroMission CEO Roger Davey explains the solar tower technology, the Arizona project and why he couldn't get it built at home in Australia.  Read More

Tata is aiming to build the world's cheapest house

The same Indian company that gave us the US$2500 Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car, is now about to give us the world's cheapest house - the 20 sq meter house will cost Rs 32,000 (EUR500 –GBP440 - US$715 ), can be built in a week and is the first viable zero-cost housing package for beneficiaries of the Indira Awaas Yojana shelter rehabilitation scheme. The scheme provides for the underprivileged and with Rs 40,000 per house provided, there's even room for some cheap land in the deal.  Read More

Proposed for the Aalborg Waterfront in Denmark, a new housing development would feature 60...

This ambitious zero-energy housing proposal is the achievement of Scandinavian architectural firm, C. F. Møller in collaboration with energy consultants, Cenergia. Proposed for the Aalborg Waterfront in Denmark, the development features 60 apartments, from 4 to 12 storeys high, all supplied with a 100 percent renewable energy source.  Read More

The Project Ground-Up from Architecture Commons uses a staggered street design that create...

What started as a theoretical question posed on the obstacles to global housing-for-the-poor has reached fruition as voting closed June 15th on the 300House project. Contestants around the world were challenged to design a house that could be constructed for less than US$300. Prize money of $25,000 was shared among the top sixteen ranked ideas, with two-week prototyping workshops worth $15,000 for the first, second and third designs ranked by the online voting community, and three awarded the Jury Prize.  Read More

A Room for London - The captivating Sanzpont entry

Commissioned by Living Architecture and Artangel, the challenge of "A Room for London" was to design a one-bedroom temporary installation to be perched on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, well known to be one of London's most visible sites. The project attracted the attention of 500 architects worldwide and the winning design went to a beautifully crafted timber boat structure from David Kohn and Fiona Banne, but it was the remarkable design from Spanish architects Sanzpont which really caught our eye.  Read More

Planning has been granted for a unique zero-carbon underground house in the U.K.

There's more to environmentally-friendly architecture than solar-panels and thermal mass, it's also about designing buildings that are not at-odds with their surroundings - particularly if the building is in the middle of a picturesque landscape. This example form Make Architects ticks both boxes - it uses on-site renewable energy to achieve a zero-carbon design and blends almost seamlessly into the landscape by ignoring convention and, like the residents of The Shire, going underground.  Read More

Bolefloor floorboards follow the natural curve of the tree from which they are cut

There was also a time when wood was relatively cheap and plentiful in much of the world thanks to the number of trees just standing around waiting to be turned into useful things like floorboards. Unfortunately wood is neither as cheap nor plentiful as it once was, so it’s important to make the most of every tree. Instead of following the traditional line of straight-edged floorboards, Dutch company Bolefloor maximizes the coverage area of floorboards made from a particular tree by following the tree's natural curves.  Read More

Building a 15-story hotel in less than six days

China's impressive building credentials have been in the news regularly over the past few years, particularly those in evidence at the Shanghai World Expo and Beijing Olympic Games. The most recent example of the striking capability of the Chinese building industry took place in Changsha, Hunan province a few months ago. China’s Broad Group showcased their rapid building technology by constructing the 15-story Ark Hotel in less than six days. Using a team of 200 workers the structural framework was erected in just 46.5 hours and the external cladding and internal non-structural surfaces were completed in another 90 hours.  Read More

The New Orleans Arcology Habitat (NOAH) concept for the banks of the Mississippi

Arcologies, which are essentially entire cities crammed into a single high population density megastructure, are still the realm of science fiction – or games such as Simcity. But with the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina ongoing, a group of designers have come up with the proposal for just such a structure designed to sit on the bank of the Mississippi. Called the New Orleans Arcology Habitat (NOAH), the structure would house 40,000 residents along with all services and amenities that would allow them to live their entire lives within its walls if they so desired.  Read More

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