11th Street Bridge Park Receives Matching Gift | THEARC

Illustrations by Ed Estes with the DC Office of Planning

The 11th Street Bridge Park has very exciting news to share regarding efforts to create DCs first elevated park over the Anacsotia River! Earlier this month the 11th Street Bridge Park received a $100,000 gift to support our nation-wide design competition, lead an economic development analysis and implement a health impact assessment. Now every donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000. To learn more about the project or make a donation, click here. Additional support can assist in funding the upcoming 11th Street Bridge Park design competition, a new civic space for active recreation, environmental education and the arts!

via 11th Street Bridge Park Receives Matching Gift | THEARC.

Glassless Bottles: Ice Beverage Containers Keep Cola Cool

No amount of insulation can hope to keep your beverage quite as cold as a bottle made entirely out of ice, as found in this limited-edition container design from a marketing firm working for Coca Cola.

via Glassless Bottles: Ice Beverage Containers Keep Cola Cool | WebUrbanist.

Gallery: architecture students build ‘skyscraper for bees’ (Wired UK)

A group of architecture students have built a silver tower for honey bees in Buffalo, New York, called Elevator B.

Think of it as a skyscraper for bees — its 6.7 metres scaled up to human proportions would make the equivalent of a tower more than 1.3km high. It’s a new home for a colony of bees found living in an abandoned office building in Silo City, a run-down industrial area filled with old grain elevators.

Elevator B’s design, speckled with triangular perforations to let in light, is meant to mimic the look of honeycomb. The bees will live inside a perspex and wood box suspended from the top of the structure so that people can, if they want, walk inside and look up to see the bees building their hive in the same way an ant farm works. Beekeepers will be able to lower the box if they want to harvest the sweet, sweet honey, too.

via Gallery: architecture students build ‘skyscraper for bees’ (Wired UK).

Shipping Containers for Community: KontenerART – Design Milk

Can a community in DC discover the power of creating temporary placemaking with the use of containers, in a creative and useful way, of course?

We’ve seen shipping containers being repurposed into offices and now here’s another really interesting use for them: temporary spaces. mode:lina created KontenerART 2012 as a temporary epicenter for activities, like workshops, concerts, and exhibitions.Located in Poznań, Poland, the commune is situated by the Warta River and it’s a place “where hammock lovers meet artists.” Given the fact that the place is for seasonal use when the weather is prime, the furniture used was wooden palettes, hammocks, and beach chairs.

via Shipping Containers for Community: KontenerART – Design Milk.

Without Architects, Smart Cities Just Aren’t Smart | ArchDaily

Arguably the biggest buzzword in urbanism right now is the ‘Smart City’. The idea, although certainly inclusive of eco-friendly practices, has even replaced “sustainability” as the major intent of cities planning for positive future development. Smart City thinking has been used successfully in countries as diverse as Brazil, the US, the UAE, South Korea, and Scotland (Glasgow just won a £24million grant to pioneer new schemes throughout the city).

But what exactly are Smart Cities? What benefit do they bring us? And, more importantly, how can we best implement them to secure our future?

The answer, in my opinion, lies in the hands of architects.

via Without Architects, Smart Cities Just Aren’t Smart | ArchDaily.

Facebook asks Gehry to design “more anonymous” headquarters

News: Facebook asked Frank Gehry to “tone down” his original plans for its new Silicon Valley campus, according to a partner at the architects firm.Early proposals for the campus, which was given the go-ahead by Menlo Park City Council last week, envisioned a bold, curving facade reminiscent of well-known Gehry buildings such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.”They felt some of those things were too flashy and not in keeping with the kind of the culture of Facebook, so they asked us to make it more anonymous,” said Craig Webb, a partner at Gehrys practice.”Frank was quite willing to tone down some of the expression of architecture in the building,” he told the Mercury News, explaining that they plan to disguise the white stucco building with a rooftop garden: “Our intent is that it almost becomes like a hillside, with the landscape really taking the forefront.”

via Facebook asks Gehry to design “more anonymous” headquarters.

A Park Will Sit Atop Large SF Bay Mass Transit Hub | EarthTechling

This appears to be an outstanding multi-modal project that has definitely set the bar high for major metropolitan cities planning similar projects for the future. Hopefully they will take their cue from some of the ideas and strategies employed in the design and development of this project.

We’ve looked at drawings of a lot of splashy futuristic structures, but here’s one that’s actually underway as a grand public space in an American city: San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center, a transit hub for eleven different public transit modes.

Aside from the undulating glossy facades, the most striking feature is the roof, a green public park with native-plant gardens, footpaths, cafes, an amphitheater, playgrounds, and a fountain running most of the structure’s 4-block length. That sits on top of four levels of transit access.

via A Park Will Sit Atop Large SF Bay Mass Transit Hub | EarthTechling.

Residents Will Move Into DC’s First Passive House In January

Empowerhouse, DC’s first passive house, celebrated its completion today and will be welcoming its first residents in January.

The home was originally constructed on The National Mall by a team of students from Parsons The New School for Design, The New School for Public Engagement, and Stevens Institute of Technology during the Department of Energy’s 2011 Solar Decathalon. After the event ended, the home was moved to 4609 Gault Place NE (map) in Deanwood, where it was completed as a two-family home.

via Residents Will Move Into DC’s First Passive House In January.

D.C. seeks development team for $400M Barry Farm overhaul


D.C. seeks development team for 0M Barry Farm overhaul - Washington Business Journal

Hopefully we will hear more about other city agencies that will be engaged in the planning, programming and overall community development of this vastly important New Communities Initiative!

The D.C. Housing Authority has launched its search for a master planning and development team that will oversee the $400 million transformation of the Barry Farm neighborhood in Southeast.

Barry Farm, a New Communities project, includes 1.13 million square feet of developable area on 26 acres generally bounded by Firth Sterling Avenue, Suitland Parkway, Wade Road and the St. Elizabeths west campus. Within the boundaries currently are 432 units of low-income housing (in townhouses and apartments) all owned by DCHA, plus seven vacant lots owned by the District government.

via D.C. seeks development team for $400M Barry Farm overhaul – Washington Business Journal.