The city of Madrid soon plans to add a striking new structure -Air Tree pavilion- that will “climatically transform” its urban architecture. It also produces oxygen like a tree, hence the name. The Air Tree pavilion is to be built from recycled materials and will be 100% energy self-sufficient. Using photovoltaic cells, the Air Tree produces a substantial amount of energy, which is then sold back to the local electric companies, and, of course oxygen - hence the name Air Tree. It's a completely unique idea and one that, unlike most out-of-the-box ideas, is actually being made a reality.
The innovative Da Vinci Tower (also known as Dynamic Architecture Building), a proposed 68-story tower in Abu Dubai, United Arab Emirates, will have unique independently rotating floors, which will result in a constantly changing shape of the tower. Each floor will rotate a maximum of one full rotation in 90 minutes.
The entire tower will be powered from turbines and solar panels, and five other buildings in the vicinity will also be provided with electricity. The turbines will be located between each of the rotating floors.They will generate 1,200,000 kilowatt-hours of energy from the movement of the floors, and the solar panels will be located on the roof. Construction of the Da Vinci Tower is expected to be completed in 2009. The video is about 7 minutes.
"A few weeks ago, my wife and I flew from New York’s Kennedy Airport to Singapore. In J.F.K.’s waiting lounge we could barely find a place to sit. Eighteen hours later, we landed at Singapore’s ultramodern airport, with free Internet portals and children’s play zones throughout. We felt, as we have before, like we had just flown from the Flintstones to the Jetsons. If all Americans could compare Berlin’s luxurious central train station today with the grimy, decrepit Penn Station in New York City, they would swear we were the ones who lost World War II."
There are the words of New York Times pundit, Thomas Friedman, writing yesterday about America's decline in a world of emerging technology and science titans: India, China, Korea, Singapore. Friedman sounded the clarion call for a era of nation building -rebuilding the United States.
Buildings are great. They keep you warm, you don't get wet when it rains, and they're chock full of electrical sockets you can plug your Wii into. But after thousands of years of construction it seems that architects have gotten bored of the "four walls and a roof" idea. Experiments in leaving some of those parts out didn't work too well, so they've resorted to increasingly big and bizarre ways of arranging them instead. Here's a peek into the future landscape of the unfolding century.
It happened quietly, on the other side of the world. Creeping ever upward, a skyscraper under construction in United Arab Emirates neared, tied, and recently surpassed Toronto's CN Tower as the tallest structure ever built. When completed, Burj Dubai will be somewhere between 2,300 and 2,700 feet tall (I love the varying estimates-- it's as though its architects and engineers have poured solution on Magic Rocks, but won't know the results until morning!)
Many of China's ancient cities are racing to become new regional urban centers with almost other-worldy futuristic building booms. One of these cities is the new mega-city of Shenzen (image), a centre of foreign investment and one of the fastest growing cities in the world. It is also the busiest port in China.
Some of you may be aware of the architect Steven Holl, famous for some of the world's most unique building designs including the Linked Hybrid in Beijing which features several raised residential towers connected by bridges. Well now he’s lowering his sites a little, and turning what we all know on its side.
Ancient cities that rise on the banks of the Yellow River tlike Yinchuan, Luoyang and Zhengzhou – places few Americans have ever heard of – are racing to become China’s next new regional urban centers with almost other-worldy futuristic building booms.
Yinchuan, a modest, ancient capital, is building an entire city district for a vast government complex and is adding 20 million square feet of construction every year through 2011 near historical sites including mosques, pagodas, pavilions, temples, and imperial tombs as well as natural scenery such as Helan Mountain. Luoyang, once the capital of the Zhou dynasty, has built a cluster of futuristic sports stadiums that look like a grounded armada of metallic, alien spaceships.
Four full years before that day when New York’s Freedom Tower swings its doors open for business, the Burj Dubai Tower (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) continues its lofty climb into the sky. Earlier this year the skyscraper had eclipsed the Empire State Building in overall height. As of this writing, it has trumped the former twin towers of the World Trade Center. Very soon it should surpass America’s tallest building, Chicago’s Sears Tower, as it continues its bold, unprecedented push into the sky.