Six exciting eco-friendly building projects from Qatar to Copenhagen
Energy saving architecture
National Convention Centre, Qatar
With 40,000 square metres of exhibition space, the newly opened Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) in Doha is the largest Congress centre in the Middle East. The building complex was designed by the renowned Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, and it impresses with construction shaped like tree trunks and monumentally uprising branches that take on a vital supportive function. Made of steel, wood, marble and glass – it has already received the 'Leadership in Energy and Environment Design' (LEED) award by the U.S Green Building Council, since it communicates closeness to nature in a "futuristic formal language in combination with a great number of groundbreaking energy concepts". The building features an auditorium for an audience of 2,500, a large conference hall for up to 4,000 participants as well as exhibition space in several halls and numerous smaller presentation and meeting rooms.
Public Utilities Commission Headquarters, San Francisco
The administrative building on Golden Gate Avenue entered the top ten 'most green projects in 2013 (AIA, as well as platinum certification LEED). The the new 277,500-square foot, 13-story Class A office building was designed to achieve a long-term cost savings to the city by accommodating the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which previously occupied private sector leased space. The city set high goals for achieving national recognition for leadership in sustainable and environmentally responsible building design and 30-year life-cycle performance.
UN City complex, Denmark
Located on the artificial 'Marble Island' by the north harbour district of Copenhagen, the new regional UN head office is the international organisation’s contribution to a more energy-efficient, sustainable world.
The state-of-the-art eco-complex, designed by top Danish design firm 3XN, was inaugurated by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon with Danish Queen Margrethe II and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Ki-moon said, “UN City is an example of how modern, energy-efficient offices can play their part in building the future we want.”
Villa Kogelhof, The Netherlands
Built on an area that was once farmland in Kamperland, The Netherlands, Villa Kogelhof by Paul de Ruiter Architects is a completely energy neutral house that is built around sustainable living. The house sits on an estate that is reached by a deserted road. Initiated by the government, the estate forms a program that aims to connect regional ecological zones throughout The Netherlands, with permission to build granted only on the condition that the land was returned to its pre-agricultural state. Parking, storage, and a workspace are situated underneath, while the living area, kitchen, bedrooms, bathroom, and a patio are encased in the floating glass box above ground, overlooking a man-made pond. Villa Kogelhof was the recipient of the prestigious Dutch ARC13 Architecture Award.
Kyushu Geibunk an, Fukouka, Japan
Architectural firm Kengo Kuma & Associates recently unveiled a striking modern museum in Fukuoka, Japan with a cool wooden pavilion on its side, capturing an origami-like aesthetic. 'Kyushu Geibunkan' (Annex 2) is a modular wooden shelter that provides outdoor space for working and experimenting with pottery. The pavilion's geometric roof is made from inverted triangles assembled into a cloud-like shape that can expand or shrink without limit.
The Community In A Cube, Middlesbrough, England
An assortment of building types appear to be stacked on top of one another at this housing block in Middlesborough, England, by London architects FAT. The Community In A Cube (CIAC) building was first conceived as part of a larger masterplan drawn up by architect Will Alsop in 2004 for a site beside the city's old docks. Other ideas for the development included a building shaped like a toaster and an apartment block resembling a stack of Jenga pieces. The crash in the economy stalled almost all of these projects, so nearly ten years later FAT's cartoon-like building is the first and only project to complete.