Vertical Forests, A Practical Design For Humanizing Cities Again

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What on earth is a vertical forest? It’s a forest that doesn’t grow on the earth. It grows in troughs placed on the balconies of residential buildings, hotels, and parks, making huge urban green spaces that don’t take up ground space, but rise skyward.  Today’s overcrowded, denatured, polluted cities are only waiting for them. They […]

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Surf rising sea levels in a WaterNest home?

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Remember that quirky Yael Mer inflatable dress that could save your life when disaster strikes? These floating homes go to the next level: Hurricane Matthew is bearing down on the Caribbean. Would the damage be less devastating if you lived in a floating home? Perhaps, but you’ll have to serve up more than pretty renderings […]

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Un-Islamic critics want to veil “shameless” private parts of buildings in Iran

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Islamic versus non-Islamic or simply Western style architecture is an issue in many parts of the Middle East where locals, kingdoms and sheikdoms refuse or steadfastly hold onto their identity. Look at the Arab Gulf States like Dubai where giant, glass fronted skyscrapers dominate the skyline. These futuristic structures are being called cheap and anonymous by prominent architects […]

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Iraq-born Zaha Hadid’s new towers on former radiation zone in Australia

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Just about every week UK-based and Iraq-born architect Zaha Hadid unveils new plans for eloquent but often outrageous skyscrapers and building projects around the world. The latest is a $420 million trio of skyscrapers for Brisbane, Australia, in her words, with “design [that] tapers each structure to minimise their footprint and open the riverfront to the […]

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Iranian Recycled Stone Apartment #1 Among 2013 Aga Khan Architecture Award Nominees

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Every three years, the Aga Khan Architecture Award acknowledges projects relevant to Islam that are culturally, environmentally and socially superior. Accompanied by a generous $1 million prize, it is among the world’s most prestigious architecture awards. Apartment #1 by Tehran’s Architecture by Collective Terrain is one of 20 projects nominated, and though it faces stiff […]

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Nanophotonic Building Panels Beam Sunlight and Heat into Cold Space

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Finding building materials that are appropriate for hot desert conditions is one of the biggest challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa region’s construction industry. While earth used in architecture found in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere is typically considered the most effective material for keeping interior temperatures low while the sun acts like […]

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Green-Roofed Istanbul International Financial Center Breaks Ground

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Istanbul residents have been dreading this moment: construction has broken ground on an enormous International Financial Center designed to position the Turkish economy among the world’s top ten. Despite some green concessions, including green roofs, on-site renewable energy generation, and plenty of urban green space, locals who must contend with greater traffic congestion and other […]

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Nation Estate is a Massive High Rise for All Palestinians

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We are accustomed to writing about art and architecture that addresses environmental and social problems in the Middle East, but nothing as interesting as Larissa Sansour’s Nation Estate has crossed our desk before. Conceived in 2011 when Palestinian authorities appealed to the United Nations for nationhood status, the sci-fi short film and photographic series takes […]

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