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 […]
Many ecologists identify with it, but there is something sad about Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, about a tree that gives to a young boy until its bitter end. A parable about how us humans treat nature? Could there be a better kind of giving tree in store? An Israeli solar power integration company called […]
With so much conflict erupting around us, it’s hard to imagine a peaceful future, but Erdem Architects does a good job of it. The Turkish firm recently won an international design competition with their proposal to turn an area of the Italian city La Spezia, historically used to host the city’s war arsenal, into a series of serene peace islands.
How many times have you seen a big old patch of lawn in the middle of Abu Dhabi and cringed?
Majlis are the boardrooms of the Arab world. A traditional ‘place of sitting’ often adorned with cushions on the floor, they are used to receive guests and exchange ideas. In the past, nomadic desert dwellers used special tents. Intercon takes a modern approach to this special meeting room with floating Majlis that are moved daily.
There was great hullabaloo when The Shard was completed just one year ago. Not only was it financed by Qatar, but the 306 meter tower was said to have ruined the London neighborhood in which it was built. Now Renzo Piano has been commissioned to give the skyscraper a neighbor.
Beirut residents are fed up: everywhere they look there are cranes and bulldozers turning their city into a giant concrete mess and even the smallest efforts to beautify the city are destroyed. This time they are saying no to a municipal plan to demolish the iconic Massad stairs.
Albeit better than neighboring Dubai’s skyline of what renowned architect Frank Gehry calls “cheap” and “anonymous” architecture, Abu Dhabi has grown into a dense urban environment with precious few green spaces. The municipality aims to rectify that, however, starting with a 19,000 square foot green-roofed “urban oasis.”
Frank Gehry, considered one of the world’s most important architects, said in a recent Foreign Policy interview that its “cheap” skyscrapers makes Dubai look like any other “cruddy city in the world.” We’ve been dissing these skyscrapers for a while, based on their shoddy eco credentials, but it’s so satisfying to hear from one of […]
Cigarette butts are gross – whether they drift onto beaches, pollute our waterways, or endanger wildlife. But many cities in the Middle East, where smoking remains common, neglect to provide outlets for residents to discard their stinky stubs. That’s why three Lebanese electrical engineering students designed Urbin – a sleek disposal unit.
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. […]
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 […]
Starchitects OMA have won an international design competition to be the master planners for Doha’s new Airport City in Qatar. Occupying a 10 kilometer square space that will link the new Hamad International Airport with Doha, the mixed-use complex will be comprised of four circular districts connected by a “green spine.” Phase One of the 30 […]
A new bridge called ECOtainer made from recycled shipping containers will render “trash mountain” unrecognizable to residents of Tel Aviv. The Hiriya landfill just outside of Tel Aviv shut down in 1998 after becoming the repository for 25 million tons of waste. More mountain than landfill, Hiriya has since been transformed into one of the world’s […]
Exploring issues such as clean energy and air pollution, the FeliCity exhibition in Tehran focuses on the need for green solutions The environmental state of Iran is far from rosy. Pollution is amongst the highest in the world, their groundwater supplies are being overexploited and lack of food security means Iranians are turning veggie (part-time, […]
A new trend is emerging throughout the Mediterranean and we kinda like it: a growing number of food artists and restauranteurs are bringing street food indoors. There’s a new joint in Cairo that serves Egyptian classics in a fresh, contemporary setting and now there is Souk – a vibrant space in Athens, Greece that serves […]
What can graphic design do to help tackle environmental degradation? Well, these Iranian designers think a lot. Exploring the nexus where art and nature meet, Iranian designers look at the environmental problems riddling their cities and the innovative ways they can resolve them. Whether it’s reducing the use of cars, discussing the place of graphic […]
The Archaeological Museum of Rabat was first built in 1932 and is badly in need of a renovation, so Archi5 submitted plans for a new solar-powered facility that would rise in harmony with its surrounding. Comprised of a series of boxy ribbons filled in with glazing, the conceptual museum is a fluid space that provides […]
Few elements are more distinctive to Middle Eastern design than the ancient Mashrabiya screens used to keep homes cool, and now recent strides in technology have completely revolutionized how the concept is used. Commissioned to design the 25-story Al Bahar Towers on Abu Dhabi’s eastern flank, Aedas Architecture worked with Arup Engineering to create a […]
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 […]
Galmidi Yitzhar and the industrial designer Yaksein Eliran won first place in a design competition for a new underground train station in one of Israel’s most vibrant cities – Tel Aviv. Borrowing inspiration from some of the city’s most iconic features, such as its ubiquitous collection of Bauhaus architecture and the Ficus Microcarpa trees planted […]
The High Line Park built on a historic freight line in New York City (pictured below) is one of the most talked-about urban renewal programs in history. There is an entire website devoted to it, a special team maintains the verdant 23rd street lawn and another is responsible for removing ice and snow. This park […]
SOM is behind the new Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi, which will feature all kinds of “retail therapy!” The 2.5 million square foot Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi will combine three state of the art hospitals in one giant, green space. Aiming for two Estidama pearls, the new center designed by […]
The Al Hamra Firdous Tower in Kuwait City is the world’s 13th largest Kuwait is now competing with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to build the biggest, baddest skyscrapers. The recently completed Al Hamra Firdous Tower also called the “Enshrouded Figure” is 412 meters tall and is ranked by the Council on Tall […]
Avatar Architettura decks out a working space for fashion designers with chic recycled wooden pallets. Avatar Architettura has decked out a working space for fashion designers in Beirut with recycled wooden pallets otherwise destined for one of the city’s notorious landfills. Known for strategies that “privilege ecology, flexible systems, biodiversity, and recycled materials in an […]