New Mekkah Mega-Scheme On The Way

Makkah-scheme-581x400.jpg

A German company has just secured the contract for a mega project in Mekkah which will house around 160,000 inhabitants Despite reassurances that Mekkah would take a more considered approach to construction, a new mega-scheme for the city has just been given the green light. Following the horrendous Mekkah Clocktower and the growing sprawl surrounding […]

Read more

Turkish Furniture Store Transformed by Curvy Brick Wall

OrfiSera-Yerce-Architecture-2.png

When commissioned to transform Izmir’s Orfi furniture store into an inspiring and atmospheric new space, Turkish designer Nail Egemen Yerce was presented with three concepts that needed to be incorporated: the garden, the plaza and the street. The existing office was endowed with an incredible excess of daylight, which needed to be diffused without shutting out […]

Read more

The Shard is Qatar’s London land grab

The-Shard-Renzo-Piano-3.jpg

When Britain’s own financing institutions staggered under the weight of the 2008 economic crisis, a Qatari consortium stepped in to finance The Shard in London- it’s a sleek pyramidal skyscraper designed by Italian starchitect Renzo Piano. Officially inaugurated amid great pomp and circumstance, the building is small when compared to Dubai’s 2,717 foot Burj Al-Khalifa, but at […]

Read more

Beirut Bulldozers Tear Down Ancient Phoenician Port to Build Skyscrapers

Phoenician-port-gone.jpg

Bulldozers in Beirut tore down remains of a 2,500 year old Phoenician port on Tuesday with blessings from the Culture Minister. Eventually, three new skyscrapers will be built in its place, further blighting a once-beautiful city. The former Culture Minister Salim Wardy thwarted efforts by Venus Construction to proceed with the demolition in Mina al-Hosn and activists […]

Read more

Qatar’s Msheireb Regeneration Project Will Be Largest LEED Cluster in the World

Msheireb-Properties-Qatar-LEED-LEAD.jpg

Qatar is targeting 76 Acres of LEED Certified Buildings When complete, the Msheireb regeneration project in the heart of Doha’s historical district will feature the world’s largest collection of LEED-certified buildings. Projected to cost $5.5 billion, the city’s new heart will eventually comprise 100 new buildings, all of which will target either Gold or Platinum […]

Read more

Qatar’s Temporary Rio +20 Pavilion is Shaped Like a Soaring Falcon

Grimshaw-Architects-Qatar-Temporary-Pavilion-1.jpg

Everyone who constructed pavilions for the recently-completed Rio +20 conference in Brazil was required to source their materials locally and to employ members of the Rio de Janiero community to build each structure. But the New York-based industrial design firm Grimshaw Architects distinguished Qatar’s pavilion from the crowd by modeling its shape after the wingspan […]

Read more

Gaza’s Water Too Dangerous To Drink

gaza-water-contamination.jpg

According to a recent report by charities, Gaza’s only source of fresh water is contaminated with fertiliser and human waste The water and waste infrastructure in Gaza has been slowly deteriorating for years now. War damage, political conflict and dwindling resources are all part of the problem – however, the most troubling aspect is that […]

Read more

Israeli Site Advertises Moon Dwellings

IsraMoon.jpg

Amid soaring real-estate prices that sent scores of protestors to the streets last year, an Israeli company recently ran a marketing campaign for affordable lunar homes. According to a report published in the Times of Israel, an email circulated among local press promised that intrepid home seekers could purchase “Beautiful apartment towers … built in plastic bubbles” and “apartments […]

Read more

Acre Father Aims to Make His Capital Green

acco-akko-acre-israel1.jpg

Ilan Suisa, a father of four from Akko (Acre), aspires to make his ancient hometown the environmental activism capital of Israel. According to news reports he has even changed his name to “Ilan Green-Suisa.” Over time, Green-Suisa convinced the Akko municipality to place forty recycling bins throughout the city: “Akko won the first place in Israel for recycling,” […]

Read more

Qatar’s GSAS Turns Other Rating Systems Green

eco-villa-qatar.jpeg

Step back, LEED. Back off, BREEAM. Easy there, Estidama: Qatar’s developing a new building standard and it’s called GSAS. Qatar’s revamped its QSAS green building rating system.  Re-launched under a new name, the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) is muscling in as Middle East- North Africa’s green standard. Developed by the Gulf Organization for Research and […]

Read more

Istanbul Court Annuls Almost-Finished Roma Project

sulukule.jpg

The district of Sulukule has been home to Istanbul’s Roma community since Byzantine times, but many of its residents were displaced to make way for a development project that started three years ago. Sulukule was declared a target area for “urban transformation” by the Turkish cabinet in 2006. Six years, four lawsuits, and many evictions […]

Read more

Lily Pad Roof to Shade and Power Kuwait’s Sabah Al-Ahmad City Culture Center

Sabah-Al-Ahmad-City-Cultural-center-BDP-lead.png

Kuwait is planning to build a city in the desert for 2,500 residents, and the Sabah Al-Ahmad Culture Center will be its nucleus. Albeit materially extravagant, BDP. has proposed a design that takes energy conservation very seriously. And in this relentlessly hot and humid seaside environment along the Gulf, that won’t be easy. Integrated with photovoltaic […]

Read more