Solar retreat in the Liwa Desert: futuristic functionality or lipstick-on-a-pig?

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An unnamed client hired London-based Baharash Architecture to design a luxury home that could fully function off the energy grid. That’s a tall order for any residence in Abu Dhabi, now consider the challenges for one sited in the punishing clime of the hyper-arid Liwa Desert where summer temperatures top 100°F. The star-shaped structure is modestly […]

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Shipping container “cargotecture” not all it’s stacked up to be!

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Shipping box homes make sense where containers are available and alternate resources scarce, but it’s still cheaper and less energy consuming to build a structure using traditional framing or concrete block. Jump onto “cargotecture”  if you want to make an architectural statement.  But if you want to build sustainably, aim small, use local materials, and insulate.

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Studio Cheha’s awesome optical illusion makes flat LED lamps look 3D

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Studio Cheha’s Nir Chehanowski has designed an extraordinary flat LED lamp that looks three dimensional. Called Bulbing, the lamp is made of high quality materials and manufactured locally in Tel Aviv. It looks like a bulging three dimensional bulb, but actually it’s only 5mm thick and 100 percent flat. Studio Cheha uses a laser cutting process to cut out […]

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Cliche Arab references in Libyan bank design by Henning Larsen Architects

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We don’t mean to pick on any one firm here, but a string of repetitive competition proposals has culminated most recently in the Central Bank of Libya design for Tripoli by Henning Larsen Architects. Although they and other foreign foreign firms are making an effort to be culturally relevant, how many desert-like “flowing facades” do we need?

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