Archive for March, 2012
De Kring is a private members club open to artists and art lovers since 1923. The club has 1900 members from the fields of art, architecture, film, publishing and music. Its facilities consist of a bar, restaurant and one of the most innovating clubs in Amsterdam: Club Up.
After a heated debate members of De Kring selected Verdana as the most ‘feminine’ building in Amsterdam…
Wim send us a link. The Volkskrant published an interesting article by Tonie Mudde about the future of air traffic. The increasingly high costs of fuel are a real concern. Currently fuel already makes up 30% of the operational costs. And it looks like kerosene will remain the main source for a long time to come: it produces most energy per kilogram.
Weight reduction seems to be the key. Koen de Cock of the National Air and Space laboratory (NLR) explains that it is rather inefficient to bring all fuel for the entire flight. It makes the plane unnecessarily heavy, so you need even more fuel. It is like bringing 200 liters of gasoline on a car trip from Amsterdam to Madrid… stopovers at the gas station save a lot of space and energy…
De Cock is developing a radical idea: refueling during the flight. Short distance planes, called feeders, will dock in mid-air to immense ‘mother ships’, long distance planes called cruisers to exchange fuel but also passengers! Swapping airplanes in the air will reduce transit time and might cut fuel costs by 30 percent.
But there are other possibilities too. Flying in formation for instance. For the Biennale in Venice in 2008 we created a Virtual Reality called Fly United. The Mash-up shows nine jets in the V-shape typical for migrating birds like geese. According to Tonie Mudde this now will actually become a real option. Airliners from London, Brussels and Paris for instance could gather in the sky to ‘embark’ on the collective long haul flight to NY…
The slipstream will reduce air-resistance; the airplanes will become lighter because they have to bring less fuel.
It takes really good pilots though: however useful for propulsion, the turbulence can also be very dangerous. But with the rapid evolution of drones precision flight has already come within reach. Expected reduction: 10%
Soon the skies will be speckled with flocks of airplanes…
Since Ole could not attend in person earlier, a special ‘special award’ ceremony was organized yesterday in Shenzhen.
To see our contribution to the ‘Affordable Housing for the Ant Tribe’ project please check: Hallway House
Recently a so-called ‘sand motor’ was completed near Kijkduin. In an attempt to strengthen the Dutch coastline, an artificial dune was created. In about twenty years the wind and the current will gradually disperse the immense heap of sand over the coastal area as such reinforcing the shore and protecting the hinterland against the rising sea level. “Building with nature”.
A similar process of erosion and sedimentation formed the basis for a ‘democratic’ residential project that we did together with Buro Schie, long time ago. Schie produced an optimistic flyer: “Schie Power”, a plea for increased, sustainable consumption: if you use renewable energy you might as well waste it!
In the words of Michael Speaks:
Within the context of its forward planning project, Nederland 2030, the Dutch National Spatial Planning Agency commissioned Schie to come up with an innovative, unconventional vision of the Netherlands in the year 2030, full of new emotions, provocations and uncertainties.
The spatial consequences of unbridled consumerism have been translated into five spatial strategies aimed at achieving a greater variety of residential habitats.
The “Schie Power” advertising flyer which simulates supermarket flyers, for example, offers wonderful and inventive ecological solutions to urban design problems without being too heavy handed. Part of the flyer, the spatial designs produced for Schie by NL Architects, features a haltingly clever solution for housing on a series of “wandering islands” which because of erosion and other natural forces, actually move about in the ocean. A typical solution might try and stop the erosion of the island, before abandoning it altogether. Instead, Schie and NL proposed that rows of nomadic houses be built on a grid system, and as the island loses land mass on one side, the row of houses situated there are leapfrogged over the other houses by truck to the other side, thus forming the leading edge of housing as it follows wherever the land leads. Not only are the natural movements of the island and ocean undisturbed, but sooner or later everyone will have beach front property. Ecology and the market are both satisfied.
As an architect not often you will be preoccupied with what kind of store will open shop in your building. But since we made balconies dedicated to vegetation in our project labeled C06 in Nieuw Crooswijk we were really hoping a flower shop would move in…
Now the building reaches completion, a florist actually opened its doors. Unfortunately, next door in Kollhoff’s Trapezium… But since this one is for funerals only perhaps there is room for another shop on the other side of the street, dedicated to wedding bouquets…
Our favourite read, Cobouw -the daily newspaper for the building industry- published a long article about Muziekpaleis: an elaborate description of the 3D madness of stacked music halls, designed by 4 different architects and coordinated by Studio HH.
According to Stijn Berx of CSM Steelstructures the Muziekpaleis is one of the most difficult steel structures they ever did: “Unorthodox organization, exceptional forces, large spans, extreme cantilevers, hardly any repetition”.
About the so-called Crossoverzaal, our contribution to this ‘freak building’, he clarifies: the connection to the Jazzzaal consists of two straight and two trapezoid trusses, with numerous beams, tension cables and sub structures, about 35 tons of steel. The intricacy of the structure however, is such that, in the framework of this article, it is impossible to clearly explain…