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en g li sh green building studio rob beusan

summer 2011


rob beusan

beus2173@vandals.uidaho.edu (208) 699 2942 University of Idaho college of art & Architecture


table of contents housing attractions education commercial [1] BedZED [2] Haringey Passiv Terrace [3] Eco House [4] Millenium Village

[6] Globe Theatre [7] The London Eye [8] St Pauls Cathedral [9] Kew Gardens [10] Serpentine Gallery

[12] Nottingham University [13] Jubilee Campus [14] Laban Dance Centre

cat

firm visits

Charette

[22] Introduction [23] Lectures [24] Old Shop [25] Heliodon [26] Mirror Box [27] Aberdyfi

[29] Hopkins [34] ARUP [30] RSH+P [35] NBBJ [31] Foster [36] AHMM [32] AMA [37] Grimshaw [33] Edward Cullinan

[39] Alison Kwok [40] Arup Foresight [41] Process [42] Final

transportation [44] The Tube [45] Train [46] Bicycles

OTHER travels

[48] Brussels [53]Paris [49] Antwerpen [54]Dublin [50] Rotterdam [55]Howthe [51] Amsterdam [56]Washington D.C. [52] Koln

[16] The O2 [17] Chiswick Park [18] Beaufort Court [19] East Oxford Mental Health Center [20] Sainsburys


calender July 2011 Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday 1

Saturday 2 - Arrive in London from Paris - Check into Passfield

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5

6

- St. Pauls tour - Walking tour - London Eye

- Passivhaus tour w/ Fran Bradshaw from Anne Thorne Arch

- Hopkins Office - BedZED tour

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11

12

- Arrive in Wales, check in and see CAT

- Intro to CAT, choose teams, begin Workshop

-Make Physical Model -Project mid pinup

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18- Oxford

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- Southbank, Tower Bridge, City Hall

- RES - Allies Morrison Architects

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8

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- Final presentation - Back to London

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- Eco House - Restore Strawbale - St. Catherine’s College

- Walking tour - Edward Cullinan Architects

20 - ARUP - Alison Kwok Meeting - Play @ Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

21 - Nottingham - Nottingham University tour - Jubilee Campus tour

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25

26 - Serpentine Pavillion tour - AHMM -Grimshaw

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- Hyde Park, Serpentine Pavillion

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- London 2012 Olympic Site tour

- Design Charette w/ ARUP Foresight

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7 - Laban Tour - Sainburys, Millenium Village, O2 - RSH+P

- Charette Presentations - Celebration dinner

- Chiswick Park tour - Foster + Partners

- Test Model -Seminar, lecture

- NBBJ London - Design Museum

29

- Kew Gardens

- Test Model - Skits, Concert

- Hyde Park, Serpentine Pavillion

30

- Check out of Passfield - Train to Dublin


housing attractions education commercial cat firm visits charette transportation OTHER travels


bedzed

zed factory

BedZED or is home to 220 people living in 100 homes ranging from one to four bedrooms making it the UK’s largest mixed use sustainable community. The principal of community is big here, with several shared spaces such as gardens, recreation and social areas encouraging interaction between residents. BedZED employs many sustainable techniques; of course there are the colorful rooftop cowls that work with stack ventilation and wind pressure to ventilate the spaces below. Much of the materials used were recycled, 90% of the steel was recycled from Brighton station. The residents are taught how to use their homes to maximize efficiency. Some of the planned green strategies have not worked out exactly as planned. The wood chip burner and the living machine had to be removed due to local regulations, but alternatives have been explored and the development been a success overall.

2 1 3

1) air in [+ pressure] 2) air out [- pressure] 3) rotates to catch the wind

1 housing

Sustainable Features photovoltaic windows recycled materials local materials high efficiency units natural ventilation encourages green living high efficiency fixtures


Haringey Anne thorne passivarchitects terrace As part of a housing association restoration project Anne Thorne Architects retrofitted this terrace house to try and meet German Passivhaus standards in order to maximize the homes efficiency. Due to historical preservation of the neighborhood the facade could not be modified. The front and side of the building had to be insulated on the interior, using sheep’s wool combined with wood fiber. the backside was insulated on the exterior using polystyrene blocks. The roof was ventilated to create a cold roof and insulated was added. Air tightness was big focus as well, new triple glazed windows were installed along with a 3 pane insulated door. The building did not meet Passivhaus specifications for air tightness, but the modifications lead to an 80% reduction in carbon emissions for the terrace.

Sustainable Features super insulated triple glazing green materials

housing 2


ecohouse

sue roaf

In 1995 Sue Roaf designed the Ecohouse as her own home becoming the first low energy house in the U.K. one of the most interesting things to me was the the mass wood heater, or kackle oven that was used to heat the house. It was centralized with a central mass chimney that went up through the house. Sue even installed a canvas “heat trap� near the heater to funnel the warm air underneath her sons bedroom to make sure that he stayed warm durning the cold months.

pv/solar water solar gain room

heat trap kackle heater

3 housing

Sustainable Features

mass wood heater triple glazed windows solar water heatingphotovoltaic pannels thermal massing daylighting low energy fixtures and appliances rainwater collection


millennium village Millennium Village is located in the London Borough of Greenwich. It is a mixed use village, with many parts still under construction. The site was once home to an industrial gas works facility. The village provides an interesting array of modern architectural styles framing a pedestrian friendly environment. Intermingled with the residents and commercial there is also a primary school. A park and wetland were placed on the edge of the site complete with walking and cycling paths.

Sustainable Features brownfield restoration manufactured wetland

housing 4


attractions education commercial cat firm visits charette transportation OTHER travels


the globe theatre The original globe theatre was built to house Shakespeare’s plays. It was destroyed in one of London’s great fires; the one that stands now is a replica of the original. It is the only building in London that has been allowed to have a thatched roof. The Globe is a very popular place to go see a play, and has an important place in the local culture. We got to experience the building in the original sense by seeing “Much Ado About Nothing” and standing as one of the groundlings in front of the stage right out in the open exposed to the elements.

ATTRACTIONS 6


the london eye The London Eye, one of the world’s biggest Ferris wheels, is one UK’s most popular tourist attractions. The massive wheel looks very similar to a bicycle wheel with tensile cables stretching from a central hub to the outer wheel. The hub is linked to a supporting A-frame that cantilevers the wheel out over the Thames River. The loading area for the Eye is located in a riverside park area with venders and street performers creating really fun atmosphere. The trip around the eye lasts about 30 minutes and provides great views of the surrounding cityscape.

7 ATTRACTIONS


st pauls cathedral

christopher wren

St. Paul’s Cathedral was designed by Christopher Wren. The cathedral has long been a sought after destination for religious followers and tourists alike. Today it sits in the heart of London’s downtown. It is a iconic landmark rising above the neighboring buildings and providing a stark contrast from the modern architecture around it. Walking into the cathedral you enter the nave, a long tall space where services are held, further on is the dome, stretching up almost two hundred feet. Further on is the quire, home of the choir, and then behind the quire is the American Memorial dedicated to the Americans that died in the World Wars. The memorial contains the only stained glass in the cathedral that contains crests from each state. The crypt below the main floor houses tombs and memorials to famous and influential figures such as William Blake, Winston Churchill and of course Christopher Wren.

1) crypt 2) whispering gallery [100’] 3) stone gallery [175’] 4) golden gallery [275’]

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ATTRACTIONS 8


Kew botanical gardens Kew Botanical Gardens encompasses over three hundred acres including interior and exterior gardens and a treetop walkway. I enjoyed the Waterlily house, the Xstrata Treetop Walkway, and the Princess of Wales Conservatory the most. The Waterlily house was a small greenhouse that covered a lily pond filled with lilies and giant lily pads. The 60 foot high Treetop Walkway was quite the experience; the footbridge brought you right through the trees canopy. It also had a little sway to it and steel mesh flooring that added a little edge to the experience. The conservatory was my favorite part of the gardens. It houses ten different climatic zones including everything from cacti, to carnivorous plants. Each zone was like walking into a different part of the world, reflecting the climate and vegetation of each.

9 ATTRACTIONS


serpentine peter pavilion zumthor This year’s Serpentine Pavilion was designed by Peter Zumthor who sought to create a ‘hortus conclusus’, or an “enclosed garden.” The program called for items such as performance, restaurant, and dining areas but Zumthor wanted to design for the people and ignored the commercial spaces. The building was originally designed to be stacked brick, but due to the temporality of the structure a lower impact material had to be chosen. Instead the pavilion is constructed of a wood frame wrapped in a burlap type material to add texture, then painted black. Personally I did not like the end material, its too bad that the bricks couldnt have been used. I did however really like the sequence of spaces that the pavilion provided. From dense city to open park then a dark hallway to an open air garden that is boxed in from its surroundings. An overhang covers walkway surrounding the garden and provides areas for seating.

ATTRACTIONS 10


education commercial cat firm visits charette transportation OTHER travels


laban dance Herzog& centre deMeuron Laban was designed with the motion of dance in mind. The sweeping facade reflects the activity through the combination of colors and mirrored glass. On the interior the brightly colored hallways lead to dance studios with views into courtyards and some of the dance studios themselves. The corridors act as interaction zones, where students will rehearse, stretch, and hang out. The construction was part of an urban revitalization, which has lead to construction nearby. The courtyards and glazing help to daylight the nearby spaces, but electrical lighting was still used anyways.

Sustainable Features daylighting urban revitilization community building

education 12


nottingham university Nottingham University has introduced a carbon plan to reduce 24% of their total campus CO2 emissions by 2015. The plan includes upgrading insulation, solar thermal and photovoltaic panels, lighting controls, a proposed wind farm, a waste and a recycling plan. The university has constructed several test houses on the campus where they can experiment with different building styles and see how they react to sustainable applications. In the 1930’s House one of their test houses is an uninsulated brick house and how people react while living in it and what rooms they chose to heat. Another is the BASF house which was designed to test Pasivhaus materials and ideas. They combined a large southern curtain wall with heavily insulated concrete walls. Living areas were placed close to the glazing allowing for natural day lighting. 1) solar thermal 2) sun room 3) ventilation 4) living spaces

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13 education


jubilee hopkins campus +make Jubilee Campus is a recent addition to the Nottingham University campus. Jubilee was constructed on a brownfield site that was once home to a bicycle factory. The first phase of the addition was designed by Hopkins Architects. This portion is characterized by its timer clad siding and giant wind cowls that help to naturally ventilate the buildings. The library is a particularly interesting building with its inverted conical shape and expansive green roof. The campus has 6000 square feet of green roofs and a constructed wetland that create a diverse habitat for wildlife. The pond also houses a water sourced heat pump system. The second phase includes several buildings by make, unlike the common timber cladding on the first phase the second seems to be less unified. The most notable being the pair of giant “multi colored cheese� buildings. The wedge shape is designed to collect rainwater.

Sustainable Features water collection photovoltaics daylighting constructed wetland natural ventilation water sourced heat pumps brownfield restoration

education 14


commercial cat

firm visits charette transportation OTHER travels


the 02

roger stirk harbour + partners

Formerly known as the millennium dome the 02 was constructed as part of a millennium celebration. After which the building was repurposed into an event arena and has become one of the most popular musical venues in the world. The dome also houses a shopping center along with restaurants and bars. The structure of the building consists of the 12 giant towers that suspend the Teflon coated glass fiber roof. The towers can be seen from the interior of the building creating a direct connection with the structure. The dome channels all water runoff into drains to be collected. The North Greenwich tube station is directly adjacent to the 02.

Sustainable Features water collection encourages public transportation

commercial 16


chiswick rogersstirk park harbour+partners Chiswick Park redefines the traditional office park environment and emphasize their “Enjoy Work” ethos. Everyone in the park is referred to as a “guest”, the “guests” take part in a number of quirky and engaging events with everything from dancing sheep to lunchtime yoga and bbq’s in the massive green space at the heart of the park. The 12 buildings on the site are essentially glass boxes with louvers and overhangs providing shading but still letting in lots of light into the narrow floor plates. The electrical lighting has motion sensors but does not have daylight sensors, so the lights will stay on even if adequate lighting levels are met naturally. A central core provides circulation. The floor plans are very flexible, even the floor mounted HVAC vents and power outlets can be moved to accommodate different office arrangements. The newer buildings have been improved by adding more efficient glazing along with photovoltaic and solar water heating panels.

17 commercial

Sustainable Features daylighting photovoltaics solar hot water heating manufactured wetland encourages public transportation encourages community brownfield restoration


beaufort renewable court energysystems Beauford Court is the home of RES (renewable energy systems) who offer a range of sustainable energy generation systems including solar photovoltaic and hot water, biomass, ground source heating, cooling, along with water and wind power. Beaufort Court was the first zero carbon building in the world. It was a former Ovaltine Egg Farm that was refurbished, turning the old farm house into a modern office building. It acts as a display for many of the products that RES produces. They also have many educational aspects as part of the building to help everyone from kids to adults understand green technologies.

Sustainable Features daylighting photovoltaics solar hot water solar thermal storage tanks historical restoration wind turbine biomass production field chalk aquifer water cooling chilled beams rain water collection

2 1) tower 2) blades 3) nay cell 4) yaw motor

3 4 1

commercial 18


East oxford mental health center The East Oxford Mental Health Center “Restore� straw bale building was a community built addition to the health center. It houses activities such as gardening, woodworking, ceramics, and cooking for the patients. These activities have been found to be very therapeutic for those suffering from mental health issues.. The structure is load bearing straw bale coated in a lime based render. The foundation is made of rammed earth tires. There are polycarbonate skylights in the roof, which combined with poor roof insulation have lead to problems with heating in the colder months.

Sustainable Features community interaction daylighting strawbale construction recycled materials

19 commercial

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1) polycarbonate skylights 2) structural strawbale 3) rammed earth foundation


sainsburys The Sainsburys grocery store in Greenwich is far from your typical big box grocery store. On approach its immediately different, with a large green roof visible from the parking lot. In front of the building are vertical wind turbines, although they don’t always function properly they make an impression on the public. The interior of the building is very well day lit even on the rainiest of days eliminating the need for electrical lighting. A bus stop in the parking lot helps to encourage the use of public transportation.

Sustainable Features daylighting wind turbines manufactured wetland encourages public transportation

commercial 20


cat

firm visits charette transportation OTHER travels


cat

introduction+ background

CAT, The Center for Alternative Technologies is a learning center that teaches alternative technologies by showing them first hand. They have a large learning center that focuses on community education, and also a graduate school for higher education. The facility is way off the beaten path, outside the small Welsh town of Machynlleth. The village that we stayed at, Corris, was even smaller. The area surrounding CAT was really beautiful. The tree covered mountains and rivers running through the valleys were a huge contrast from the cities that I had been in for the last month. It felt like a breath of fresh air, literally and mentally. The people there were so friendly and accommodating and it was a really great experience.

cAT 22


catlectures The week we were at CAT we attended many lectures. Duncan Roberts from CAT was the first lecture, he spoke about self build houses. Most of the CAT buildings were self build projects teaching the students hands on techniques. Duncan told us how he managed to design and build his own house. Neighbors and friends helped out with the construction, due to the simple techniques there was no need for special equipment or skilled laborers and because he built it in stages he built his own house without taking out any loans. Another lecture was by Judith Thompson, she spoke about water use. Some of the things she said were really interesting, for instance newer homes use more water due to the fact that they have nicer bathrooms, so people spend more time in them. She also explained how burning wood is carbon neutral, something that I didn’t quite understand. The trees trap carbon dioxide, which negates the carbon dioxide that is released when it is burnt.

23 cAT


cat

old shop renovation

At CAT I chose to participate in the “Daylighting & Delight� workshop. My group deciced to take a look at one of the CAT buildings. The Old Shop was once long ago a slate cutting shop, but currently acts as a project display area. The space is really dark and gloomy inside without the assistance of electrical lighting, so we decided to see what we could do to improve daylighting. We began by measuring the existing daylight levels in the shop. We then built a model of the shop and surrounding areas to perform experiments on. We looked at several different modifications. [1]First we removed the mullions on the front, and only glazing. [2]Next we looked at adding openings on the southern side, and leaving the existing covered walkway. [3]Then we looked at adding skylights to the walkway in addition to the new openings. We modeled the scenarios and tested them in the light box and on the heliodon.

cAT 24


cat

heliodon testing

The heliodon acts as an artificial sun, it can be dialed in to simulate different latitudes, times of year, and times of day. We tested our three models at various times and dates to see how far the light would get into the Old Shop. We cut a camera hole in the model and recoreded existing shop the different variations.

openings

25 cAT

mullion removal

openings and skylights


cat

MIRROR BOX

The mirror box creates a perfectly diffuse artificial sky and allows for constant daylight measurements to be taken. Light meter readings were taken at grid points across the model floor. The different variations were tested and recorded.

conclusion Through our testing we found that a combination of all three methods would result in the best daylighting, with a new mullion free facade, new punched openings on the southern side, and skylights added to the walkway cover. However by simply changing the existing facade to reduce or eliminate the mullions they could greatly increase the amount of light that gets into the space.

cAT 26


cataberdyfi

The most memorable thing we did at CAT was the trip to the beach at Aberdyfi. One of the guys at CAT ordered up a charter bus to take us to the beach. They threw firewood into the luggage carrier under the bus, stopped to get some beer in town, and we were off to the beach. It was amazing! We played beach cricket, had a campfire and explored the beach. Several of the CAT students brought instruments and played around the campfire and everyone huddled around to enjoy the music, the fire, and the experience.

27 cAT


firm visits charette transportation OTHER travels


Hopkins At the Hopkins Office visit they talked a lot about their building. It had been built for ease of construction and designed for a variety of uses such as a green house, an industrial building or as in this case, an office. The same uniform panels create the entire envelope, the walls and roof. An exterior structure supports the whole thing. They had two of these pre fab buildings, a model shop, and a courtyard area, all connected with a PVC membrane walkway. They also showed us one of the roof panels from the Portcullis House. The panels were constructed of an aluminum bronze material that was welded to steel to create one structural panel. The welding of the two required a special process due to the different material makeups.

29 FIRM VISITS


rogers stirk harbour + partners The RSH+P office is located right on the bank of the Thames River giving a great view for the employees. They refered to the lunch canteen area as the “heart of the office�because of the social interaction that happens there. The encouragement of social interaction comes through in their work. The example of the Pompidou Center was given. Their competition submission was picked because they dedicated half of the site for public gathering space. They put an emphasis on giving back to the public. Another commonality between their projects is flexability, efforts are made to get things like the mechanical systems out of the way so the interior can be reconfigured and repurposed.

FIRM VISITS 30


Foster + partners Foster and Partners gave an interesting view on outlook on drawing types. They don’t do true renderings until the final presentations or even after the building is under construction. They use more sketchy drawings for presentations, or hidden line drawings. The thought behind the concept is that renderings can hide flaws that other drawing types will reveal. The firm has in house mechanical engineers, structural engineers and urban planners. They also do a significant amount of product design, something that I didn’t really expect to find in an architecture office.

31 FIRM VISITS


Allies and morrison architects Allies Morrison Architects had a sort of unique building situation. They had designed many of the neighboring building as part of an urban development plan and ended up building their own office as part of it. The office is in an interesting configuration that tiers down on the backside to allow for right to light for the building across the ally. The tiers create opportunities for rooftop gardens. The main staircase was really interesting. It connects all the levels and was inspired by an apple peel, cut in a spiral and lifted. Paul Appleton a partner said that the main focus of the firm was the creation of the “public realm” and that “spaces are as important as forms.”

FIRM VISITS 32


edward cullinan architects Edward Cullinan Architects was a smaller firm with a different outlook as to how a firm should work. Instead of a few partners, all of their 35 architects are partners that form a cooperative. They believe in good passive design over “gismos�. One of their buildings that really stood out to me was the John Hope Gateway Building in Edinbourough. The structural system was really interesting. The columns were made out of four pieces of angle iron and seem almost impossibly thin. The tapered glu lam beams above seem to be floating. The connection points of the beams were great too, the circular bolt pattern is really original.

33 FIRM VISITS

http://arcindo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47:tab-arsitektur


arup ARUP is an interdisciplinary design studio with about half architects and half engineers. The firm was started by Ove Arup with an aim of working toward a “total architecture” since then it has grown greatly and now has 2000 employees across the UK and Europe. ARUP donates their services every year to help engineer the Serpentine Pavilion, so couple of their engineers gave us a behind the scenes look at the Serpentine Pavilion. Zumthor’s original design had called for the pavilion to be constructed of brick, but because the pavilion was a temporary building they had to explore other options. They eventually set on a wood frame with a textured surface applied to it. They explored many different options for the finish. First they tried roofing felt, but it failed fire safety tests. Next was a paint with sand added for texture, covering a burlap type wrapping. This also failed the fire tests. Eventually they were able to come up with a burlap type wrap covered in black paint that was able to meet code.

first design

final design

Pavilion finish

FIRM VISITS 34


nbbj At NBBJ we met up with Krista who was a former University of Idaho student. It was fun to talk to someone from a similar background and get her take on living in London. One of the main projects that she had worked on was the University of Southampton Life Sciences Building. The site was adjacent to an existing building so instead of placing the new building right against the existing one they created pockets of space between them, creating public spaces. The building is clad in western red cedar that is treated with a special sun care that uses microtechnology to protect the wood. The cladding is combined with interior blinds to prevent overheating.

create pockets of space between buildings provide better views by creating window separation

http://arcindo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47:tab-arsitektur

35 FIRM VISITS


allford hall monaghan morrison AHMM earned their name through winning competitions. They were awarded the title of Sustainable Practice of the Year for 2011. They have a dedicated sustainability group that works with architects to employ sustainable techniques. Throughout their office they had some really remarkable models, the architects work closely with the model makers to create models for each stage of design from small scale massing through formal development and final models.

FIRM VISITS 36


Grimshaw The Grimshaw office was quite interesting. The interior of the building had been remodeled leaving the facade but changing the interior layout completely. They had a great atrium space that housed their kitchen area where they had tea time and could socialize. On Fridays they opened the kitchen up into a bar and hold presentations in the atrium space. There was also a gallery space that showcased some of their work. Adjacent to the gallery space were a couple little nooks that could be used for informal meetings. Another thing that was really interesting was the fact that they held open design reviews, where everyone could give feedback.

37 FIRM VISITS


charette transportation OTHER travels


design alison charettekwok To start off the design charette we met with Alison Kwok, a professor from the University of Oregon. We came up with a number of issues that we thought were important, such as timeline of design/ construction, materials, site conditions, energy usage and many more. This charette meeting led us to several initial concepts including the creation of social democratic spaces that were an interactive product of the user’s inhabitation

39 CHARETTE


design arup charette

foresight

For our design charette our group met with ARUP Foresight, a branch of ARUP that researches and raises awareness about major challenges and how they may affect the built environment. To start off the charette we looked through their Drivers of Change cards. The Drivers of Change cover the themes of energy, waste, climate control, water, demographics, urbanization and poverty. Then within each theme various questions are asked followed by some information about the subject. We went through the cards and picked out some that we thought that were important in planning the pavilion. We narrowed them down to four, personal carbon, deforestation, mitigation vs. adaptation and carbon finance.

CHARETTE 40


design charetteprocess With the Drivers of Change, namely the Mitigation vs. Adaptation, we began to work throught some designs. We decided to incorporate our original ideas from the Alison Kwok and persued an interactive space that reflected the users and how that might work. We also examined sustainable strategies that we could incorporate into our pavillion such as the re-use of excavated sod for inhabitable green roofs, and rainwater collection.

41 CHARETTE


design charette final Our final design was based on a fluctuation of space that responds to the user’s actions and reactions. The program was broken down into two main areas; adapt and mitigate. A movable wall in between the two could be adjusted to accommodate the addition of people into the mitigation zone, causing the reaction zone to become compressed. Those in the mitigation zone make an effort to increase their area by moving the wall, making reference to the mitigation of climate change. The people in the adaptation zone feel the compression of the others action and are forced to adapt to the situation, reflecting a different take on climate change.

adapt mitigate

CHARETTE 42


transportation OTHER travels


subways + trolleys Subways and trolleys are much more common throughout Europe. The population density allows for them to be practical and it cuts down on a lot of vehicular traffic. It is also very expensive to own a car in a place like London due to taxes and parking. In London I rode the tube just about every day it was great for journeys outside of walking distance. When possible though I chose to walk, partly because of the commotion of the stations with people everywhere, and also because the tube fares seemed to add up really quickly. Most of the other cities that I visited in Europe had a subway system, trolley or light rail.

TRANSPORTATION44


trains Trains are a great way to get across Europe. They are another great alternative to automobiles for out of town trips. We rode trains from London to places like Oxford and Nottingham for just a couple pounds. We also chose to take trains from country to country instead of flying because it was generally cheaper and a lot less hassle. There is no baggage check or going through security, you just arrive at the station, scan your ticket, and hop on the train. Even with our big backpacks we had no troubles finding room for luggage. The quality of trains varied greatly though. Some were dirty, some were really cramped with standing room only or zero leg room. Others had first class style seats with room to stretch out and bar cars to socialize in.

45 TRANSPORTATION


bicycles I was blown away by the amount of bicycles that I saw while in Europe. They are a very cost and space efficient way of transportation. Several places like London and Paris had bikes that you could rent from machines located throughout the city, using a credit card or transit card such as the Oyster. In Rotterdam we rented bikes from a shop and cruised around the city. In many places they had dedicated bike lanes that were separated from the vehicular traffic with a curb or something similar. Scooters also got to share the bike lane as well, which was a bit scary at times. The bikes allowed us to see a lot more of the city than we would have otherwise, and they were a ton of fun. The locals pile two or three on a bike, I remember seeing a guy riding with one of his children in a seat on the handle bars and another on a seat in the back. They even use them to go out for a night on the town, I saw several couples riding two up. The guy pedaling while the girl sits side saddle on a rack over the back tire.

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OTHER travels


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antwerpen b

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rotterdam n e t h e r l a n d s

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amsterdam

n e t h e r l a n d s

other travels 51


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English Green Building Studio  

a journal covering my trip to europe this past summer

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