Friday, February 23, 2007

"ubiquitous" firm spotlight: zoka zola

zoka zola from chicago, illinoise.
this post got its inspiration from john hill's archidose blog.
zoka zola will also be added to the 'firm' favorites list on the right. among many projects in the US and UK, there are some fantastic diagrams of new chicago zoning proposals for residences here. enjoy.

fastracks budget cut

source: denver post

according to planners, construction costs for the anticipated west line light rail are suffering from bloated estimates, and therefore the project scope must be cut by $113M. more on the "healthy" budget cuts here.
fastracks has an overall budget of $4.7 billion to build 5 new light rail corridors over 12 years-one of the largest public transportation expansion projects in the usa. Some facts about fastracks:
-rather than constructing one corridor at a time [typical] which takes decades to accomplish, fastracks is comprehensive regional-wide approach to transit development.
-40 miles of light rail
-79 miles of commuter rail
-18 miles of bus rapid transit improvements
-base bus services to increase by 1% per year between 2006-2020, and 1.5% from 2021-2025
-from 2003-2025 bus service hours will increase by 30%
-financed by voter approved 0.4% tax increase in regional sales and use tax
-$815.4 million in federal discretionary new grant funding; $110 million in other federal grant funding

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

kuelap 2006

every year, arquitectum international agency sponsors a competition based upon "cooperative or particular clients interested in carrying out an architectural project."
last year the highlighted project was a landscape competition called "kuelap 2006". kuelap is an ancient mayan ruin located in northern peru, south america. despite its appearance, archaeologists believe that it was not primarily used as a fortress, but as a warehouse for grain storage and emergency shelter. the competition called for a design of a new lodge-museum that would honor the existing context in a more natural scenario, rather than a theme park-hotel.

"The proposal had to present an up-dated and accurate image that represented the actual spirit of the present times, but taking into consideration the usual economics of resources and the most suitable materials. It also had to signify the lowest physical investment possible. Furthermore, the project needed to include issues such as an ecological conscience, as well as respect for the landscape and the environment."

the winners are as follows [click hyperlink to go to enlarged image]:

first prize
second prize

third prize

honorable mentions:

first mention

second mention

third mention

fourth mention

fifth mention

sixth mention

seventh mention

eighth mention

for january-march 2007, the agency has selected san isidro: loft buildings in lima, peru as the next private competition initiated by the real estate company arquia. the arquitectum site has an extensive brief about the competition and the city of lima on their flash site.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

mile hi modern

for all those modern home fetishists [oneself included], check out the Distinctive Properties Ltd. sect specializing in modern homes: mile hi modern. for better or worse, here is a list of modern properties for sale, ranging from $315K to $2M, and a short history about modernism in denver.

on thursday february 22nd, there will be a grand opening house for russia 43: 2540-2550 WEST 43RD AVENUE from 4.30-7.00pm. cocktails and food stuffs provided.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

greenprint denver

in july of 2006, mayor john hickenlooper introduced a list of initiatives called "greenprint denver" as a way to set goals in improving the sustainable practices within denver communities over the next 5 years.

plan highlights:

1] Reduce Denver per capita greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2011.

2] Work in partnership with other local governments, universities and the business community to develop and implement effective strategies to reduce the risk of and potential consequences of global climate change.

3] Plant thousands of new trees annually in our parks, natural areas and on private property, thus increasing Denver's tree canopy from 6 percent to a total of 18 percent tree cover, as identified in the Denver Parks Game Plan.

4] Increase Denver's residential recycling by 50 percent in the next year and reduce total landfilled household waste by 30 percent (130,000 tons) over the 2004 baseline by 2011.

5] Construct solar and methane power plants capable of powering/heating the equivalent of over 2,500 homes, and generating revenues to help support other Greenprint Denver programs.

6] Increase the incentives for energy-efficient affordable housing to $1,250,000 within five years. Increase the funding available for energy efficiency improvements for low-income residences.

7] Require that all new city buildings and major renovations be certified under the U.S. Green Building Council's
LEED® Silver standard and meet the EPA's Energy Star® guidelines.

8] Expand the city's "
Green Fleet" by ensuring that when replacing light-duty vehicles (excluding patrol cars), they are replaced with hybrids or the highest-efficiency vehicles available. Continue the recent progress made in shifting all diesel vehicles to biodiesel B20 fuel.

9] Decrease reliance on automobiles through increased public transit access and use, transit-oriented development, and bike and pedestrian enhancements. Boost mass transit use by city employees by 10 percent within one year, and increase by 20 percent the new development located within a half mile of existing transit stations by 2011.

10] Significantly improve water quality in the South Platte River by 2011 through a combination of activities, including maintenance and repair of sanitary and storm sewers, education and outreach, and enhanced data collection, analysis and tracking. Use recycled water for parks and public areas, and promote water conservation in both building and landscape use.

11] Partner with the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation to advance high performance building and energy efficiency in the private sector. Help revitalize 35 acres of formerly polluted lands in Denver (Brownfield redevelopment) to support urban development and environmental equity. Position Denver as a regional center for balanced and renewable energy and green industries by creating 1,000 new training and job opportunities in these areas for metro Denver residents by 2011.

to learn more about the entire action agenda, you can download it in PDF form here.

in more recent developments, senator ken gordon-d is outlining a bill which would require all state funded buildings and renovations to be LEED certified.

Monday, February 12, 2007

ds+r website

not major news, but dillier scofidio + renfro finally have some substance on their website. for those that do not remember, they were a part of the clyfford still museum architect selection process here in denver. the url will be added to the links located on the right.
to make this post worth somewhat more than the text it is printed with, here is the flickr page for the ica [pictured above].

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

high rise denver

in case you haven't been doing anything since christmas from playing your new z-box 350 or whatever - denver is BooM-ing. here is a medley of proposals for skyscrapers in downtown within the next 5 years.

"the murano"-14th & lawrence

residential & retail

50 stories

$160 million

completed 2008

architect: solomon cordwell buenz and associates

"El Jebel Tower"-18th & sherman

hotel & retail

60 stories

cost unknown

completed 2009

architect: tryba architects

"The Spire"-14th & champa

residential, retail & parking

40 stories

$110 million

completed 2009

arhcitect: rnl design

"one lincoln park"-20th & lincoln

residential, retail & parking

30 stories

cost unknown

completed 2008

architect: byg

"1800 larimer"-18th & larimer


20 stories

$150 million

completed 2009

arhcitect: rnl design

"four seasons" private residences-14th & arapahoe

hotel, residential, retail, & parking

50 stories

$135 million

completed 2009

architect: carney architects