Hilarious. But in all seriousness this comic does relate to the ongoing architectural discussion of where “sustainability” is going. Will it just be assumed in the future that everything needs to be green, and so therefore you won’t need that “sustainable” label anymore? And what is the future of LEED? There’s the 2030 Challenge, the Living Building Challenge, NetZero, the list goes on and on. I also recently learned about a movement that’s supposedly really taking off in Europe called Passive House, which specifically targets energy consumption (and is much more aggressive in this category than LEED). Pretty interesting stuff. The question is, will this gain speed in the US housing market?
Snapped a few shots of the KEA materials wall on a north-facing wall of our building coming into the office this morning. Some weathering better than others. Good to have a testing ground. -BL
We recently took on a small office upgrade in the form of a deconstructed digital picture frame wall. It turned out quite well and we thought we’d share the model in case anyone out there in cyberspace wants to try it themselves.Our aim was to find a relatively cheap but informal and interesting way to present some of our projects to clients and consultants that visit our office.
Not too pleased by the alternately cheesy/generic digital picture frames available, we found the best solution was to break the screens free and use them in their raw state. We ended up using 11 NIX digital frames in three sizes to take advantage of the built-in programming.
We rigged up a mounting system using 1” metal channeling, plexi stand-offs (to keep the electrical components off the wall), a lot of hot glue, and low-profile mounting brackets.
Since not all the frames were battery powered, we needed to get the AC cords and bulky adapters to a power source that didn’t interfere with the visual impact of the screens. Enter a drill, wire cutters, and bright green screw anchors. We used the screw anchors to finish holes drilled for the AC cords to thread through into the server room behind.
Our project images play on the screen in varying intervals through built-in slideshow functions and JPG files loaded onto SD cards. We also made use of the timer function which allows you to set on-off times, making for a maintence free display.
With a little tweaking the set-up proved to be a relatively simple, playful, and visually intriguing addition to this blank wall. Leaving the frames in their raw state integrates well with the rest of our office and lets the project images speak for themselves!
Bikes and Bike Racks in Barcelona
Not just for bikes anymore … A “dog-rack” in front of a public library (left) and a “Razor-rack” in front of a school in Barcelona
On my second day in Barcelona I took a long walk along the beach from the Forum where the World Architecture Festival was happening and headed north to the Barcelona Pavilion. It’s about 13 km (8 miles) and a 4 hour walk by the time you stop to photograph all the wonderful architecture to be seen. I was not concerned about getting back as I saw all these “Bicing” bike sharing racks and thought I would ride a bike back. Alas my plan was thwarted as the bike sharing is for residents only and requires a yearly pass to use. Someone said this was so they don’t compete with bike rental shops. Oh well.
On another day Julie and I rented bikes (4-8 hours for 12euros). What a fabulous way to see the city. We rode from one architectural site to another and still got to see the stuff in between (don’t get that sense from a subway or really from a bus or tram) but at a speed quicker than walking. It was perfect. Not so perfect are the bike paths which change from running down the middle of the road to running down the sides of the same road. It makes for interesting transitions at the intersections. Also folks often ride on the sidewalk and since the pedestrians and the bicyclists are familiar with this it works okay. But of course the bike paths are preferred and allow a quicker ride.
There are also many bike racks so folks don’t chain bikes to handrails, light poles etc. and they even distinguish dogs racks so bikes don’t use these.
So hats (or Helmets) off to Barcelona for creating a bike friendly city.
If New York were really the center of the universe
In honor of the 200th anniversary of the Manhattan street grid Extend NY has released an interactive map that stretches the grid across the entire globe. The layout of Manhattan has had an immeasurable impact on the evolution of urban planning and it’s just plain cool to see LA, London, and Mumbi in relationship to 5th Ave. In case you were wondering KEA would be at the corner of S 20,104 St. and 14,653 Ave.
A visitor snaps a photo of one of the movie quotes Koning Eizenberg embedded in the surface of the Hollywood Hills Hotel Best Western parking lot
We’re always looking for ways our projects can be expressive and playful … and still practical. As part of the recently completed renovation of the Hollywood Hills Hotel Best Western in (you guessed it) Hollywood, CA we embedded some of the owners’ favorite movie quotes in the parking lot, along with small LEDs that make the phrases come alive at night. The design makes the usually banal function of a parking lot an unexpected greeting for hotel guests.
"Solid Poetry" water reactive concrete
We were excited by this concept, by Studio Molen and Susanne Happle, for water reactive concrete. Imagine the Hollywood Hills Hotel parking lot with not only the permanent movie quotes, but a library of iconic phrases that appear with the early morning dew or occasional So-Cal shower? Boring concrete becomes another way to create a feeling of discovery.
Koning Eizenberg office via Nokia Maps
We use google and bing aerial maps often and now there is another option for high-resolution, 3D satellite images. Nokia released a beta site of their 3D maps that has us pretty impressed. While the 3D functionality is currently limited to a select group of cities and landmarks around the world, in our test Los Angeles looked great and Griffith Observatory was especially fun to explore.
We found these and a handful of other artifacts from the past life of the 28th YMCA in the attic during demolition. Check out the album on our Facebook Page for more and regularly updated photos from the construction site.
While looking for inspiration for “urban plazas” I came across this beautiful use of an empty lot by LA DALLMAN architects.