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Chaouat & Vrielink via Vimeo

This Building Acts as Its Own Air Conditioner

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Chaouat & Vrielink via Vimeo

Anyone who has paid an electric bill during the summer knows how much energy air conditioners consume. Instead of giving up the relief of cool air indoors, one designer has figured out a way to air condition an entire hotel building using no electricity at all.

Ben Bronsema’s all-natural concept is based on the principle of climate cascade: Wind turbines and solar panels on the roof draw air into a chute that runs through the building’s center. That air is then sprayed with streams of water to cool it; after reaching the bottom, the air is distributed throughout the building. 

This same system is also capable of generating heat. The air leaves the building through a solar chimney, which, as the sun heats it, draws warmer air out of the building. This heat is extracted from the air and stored in the soil beneath the building until winter.

Bronsema has a lot of experience working with AC systems. For most of his career in the Netherlands, he designed and installed them in large spaces like government buildings, corporate headquarters, and airport terminals. When he reached his seventies, he came up with a less conventional approach to solving the same problem. He worked on the idea for his “Earth, Wind, & Fire” cooling system for five years, and gave a TED talk on the system back in 2013.

Now, the Amsterdam developer Dutch Green Company is planning to implement his concept in the construction of a new hotel scheduled to open in the city in 2017. The Breeze hotel will cost an estimated $15 million to build, and if all goes according to plan, it could be one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world. For a better look at how the technology works, check out the video below. 

[h/t: Fast Company]

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iStock
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architecture
One Photographer's Quest to Document Every Frank Lloyd Wright Structure in the World
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iStock

From California’s Marin County Civic Center to the Yokodo Guest House in Ashiya City, Japan, Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence spans countries and continents. Today, 532 of the architect’s original designs remain worldwide—and one photographer is racking up the miles in an attempt to photograph each and every one of them, according to Architectural Digest.

Andrew Pielage is the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s unofficial photographer. The Phoenix-based shutterbug got his gig after friends introduced him to officials at Taliesin West, the late designer’s onetime winter home and studio that today houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

Higher-ups at Taliesin West allowed Pielage to photograph the property in 2011, and they liked his work so much that they commissioned him for other projects. Since then, Pielage has shot around 50 Wright buildings, ranging from Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, to the Hollyhock House in Los Angeles.

Pielage takes vertical panoramas to “get more of Wright in one image,” and he also prefers to work with natural light to emphasize the way the architect integrated his structures to correspond with nature’s rhythms. While Pielage still has over 400 more FLW projects to go until he's done capturing the icon’s breadth of work, you can check out some of his initial shots below.

[h/t Architectural Digest]

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Made.com
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Art
What the Homes of the Future Will Look Like, According to Kids
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Made.com

Ask a futurist what the house of tomorrow will feature and she might mention automatic appliances and robot assistants. Ask a kid the same question and you’ll get answers that are slightly more creative, but not altogether impractical. That’s what Made.com discovered when they launched Homes of the Future, a project that had kids draw illustrations of futuristic homes that served as the basis for professional 3D renderings.

According to Co.Design, the UK-based furniture retailer recruited children ages 4 to 12 to submit their architectural ideas. The doodles, sketched in pen, marker, and colored pencil, showcase the grade-schoolers' imaginations. Paired with each picture is concept art made with a 3D illustrator that shows what the homes might look like in the real world.

The designs range from colorful and whimsical to coldly realistic. In one blueprint, drawn by Ameen, age 10, a neighborhood of rainbow buildings and flowers float among the clouds. Another sketch by Ellis, age 7, shows a “home built to last” with titanium, bricks, a steel roof, and bulletproof windows. Some kids seemed less concerned with durability than they were with the tastiness of the infrastructure. Cherry-flavored bricks, candy windows, and a giant jelly slide were just some of the features built into the future homes. Sustainability was also a major theme, with solar panels appearing on two of the houses.

Check out the original artwork and the 3D versions of their ideas below.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future drawn by kid.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

House of the future.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Made.com.

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