The ideas of Hassan Fathy, Egyptian architect whose views on sustainable architecture and social justice were scorned in his time, is inspiring modern opinions today.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
Luca Curci architects studio presents Desert City, a project proposal for a sustainable way to live in the desert. It surely beats the maze of crazy unsustainable cities we see in regions in the United Arab Emirates, save for Masdar the zero energy city outside Abu Dhabi. The architects say that their theoretical project was born from […]
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 […]
There’s something so compelling about this minimalistic villa shanghaied on the edge of a rocky Mediterranean landscape. One of five small villas conceptualized for varying landscapes by Italian design studio LAD, Villa Minima #3 is a distorted parallelepiped structure envisioned for a private residence in Turkey.
Daydreams can catalyze real change. Look to the far-reaching influence of designers who choose to work in the hypothetical, where unrestricted creativity is unfettered by cost, resources, and environmental impact. If only most of the Middle East’s fantastical architecture stayed imaginary.
Residents of the world’s tallest building in Dubai are being punished over unpaid maintenance fees – some of them unjustly. In order to pressure property owners who have defaulted on their annual payments, developers Emaar warned residents that air-conditioning and elevator service would be cut until they receive their money.
Bob Hale, of Rios Clementi Hale Studios, wrapped his house in LA’s Cheviot Hills neighborhood in a perforated-metal screen like the Arabian screens the mashrabiya, which provide shade and privacy. But Hale’s home is punched with “ahava” – the Hebrew word for love.
It began as a goofy Instagram project. Malaysian artist and architect Red Hong Yi went on a month-long mission, creating a piece of edible art every day. The result is an incredible visual feast.
It was the first time that a team from Israel participated in a Solar Decathlon intercollegiate architecture competition but the group, which represented several higher education institutes, recently took fourth place overall in China.
Public transportation is not wildly popular in Saudi Arabia since fuel is so cheap and many households have private drivers to escort them from place to place, but the government is trying to shift public perception of this mode of movement by developing a brand new metro system. And Zaha Hadid has recently won a bid […]
Turkey’s Taksim square protest flared up last week when police took drastic measures to clear activists from Gezi Park- slated for destruction to make way for yet another shopping center. But that’s not the only unsustainable project the government is pursuing in the name of economic growth. We list 5 of the major ones.
Whether or not a 100,000 square meter office complex could possibly come with even a net environmental benefit is debatable, but the fact that a design wrapped in green won an international competition for such a complex signals a potential shift in Turkey’s urban planning.
Refrigeration is perhaps one of the greatest inventions of modern man, but it has come at a price. Not only do they require a great deal of energy to stay cool, but they also rely on ozone-depleting chloro-fluorocarbons (CFCs), or freon (though some countries have phased these out.) As an increasing number of people walk […]
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 […]
Like many countries in the Middle East/North Africa region, Turkey is undergoing rapid expansion and that’s not necessarily a good thing, especially since so many developers are perpetuating an archaic building model that involves a lot of concrete and glass and often completely disregards the need to preserve existing vegetation or plan for climatic concerns. […]
We have to admit that this isn’t anything particularly “green” about this see-saw, but it does harvest the movement of people to make music. And that’s just downright cool. A temporary installation designed for last year’s Marrakech Biennale, The Rise and Fall blends architecture and art to question how people occupy spaces and how those spaces […]
Although the Sahara desert used to be a green retreat for giraffes and hippos 5,000 years ago, it is now a giant, sometimes rolling landscape of sand. A lot of sand. In fact, roughly two thirds of Algeria is made up of sand, according to the authors of a study published in the Arabian Journal […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
If there’s something that the Israelis do as well as or even better than clean tech, it is agriculture. When the state was established in the mid 20th century, the first pioneers faced large swaths of dry and barren land. It is part of the country’s legacy that they then proceeded to transform this wasteland […]