Architecture News | Green Walls and Vertical Gardens

A new study by Syracuse University, the State University of New York Upstate Medical University and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reveals that green buildings are not only healthy for the environment, but also for their inhabitants – both mentally and emotionally. Findings from the research affirm that occupants of green buildings sleep better, get sick less frequently and benefit from increased cognitive abilities. Essentially, a win for the Earth is a win for everyone!

In celebration of this study, we’re spotlighting some of the greenest of the green structures around the world – and in the visual sense of the word: those with vertical gardens. The vertical garden and green wall trend has been taking off worldwide since the 1980s, with success stories including residential towers, hotels, and outdoor parks. 

1. Nanjing Green Towers

Image Courtesy Stefano Boeri Architects
Image Courtesy Stefano Boeri Architects

This pair of towers will stand as Italian architect Stefano Boeri’s third installment of his Vertical Forest model and the first of its kind in Asia. Sporting a total of 1,100 trees and 2,500 cascading plants and shrubs along their facades, the Nanjing Green Towers will form their own microclimate, producing humidity and oxygen while absorbing CO2 and dust particles. Boeri’s original mission behind the projects was to incorporate as many plants onto the buildings that would otherwise have grown from the open ground they replace. When presented with the criticism that the amount of concrete needed to support the plants may negate the buildings’ sustainable reach, Boeri acknowledged that this prototype isn’t the only way toward improving urban environments. Rather, according to Digital Trends, the architect hopes the “project will positively influence the architectural trend”. And, from an aesthetic standpoint, Boeri’s Vertical Gardens serve to counteract “the excessive amount of glass on facades and the thermal effects that it has in our cities.”  

2. One Central Park

Image Courtesy Inhabitat
Image Courtesy Inhabitat

Now complete, One Central Park reigns as the world’s tallest vertical garden. The living, breathing building stands in Sydney, Australia, soaring 166 meters into the air with design by Jean Nouvel and Patrick Blanc. Described wonderfully by Bertram Beissel as “A flower for each resident, and a bouquet to the city,” the dual towers host 38,000 indigenous and exotic plants. With a unique cantilevered panel of mirrors, the development also reflects sunlight onto its lower levels to completely maximize the potential natural light

3. Oasia Hotel Downtown

Image Courtesy Best Singapore Hotels
Image Courtesy Best Singapore Hotels

Singapore’s response to the glass- and steel-adorned skyscrapers of NYC is the tropical Oasia Hotel Downtown. Designed by WOHA, the 30-story tower is now complete and features a red aluminum façade, soon to be overtaken by a bursting green plant presence. The designers carefully selected 21 different species of green plants and flowers to cover the façade and additionally planted several sky gardens that serve to naturally cool the structure.

4. Liberty Park

Image Courtesy DNAinfo
Image Courtesy DNAinfo

We would be remiss not to mention a relatively new livable green wall in the heart of NYC. If you haven’t checked it out already, Liberty Park opened this past summer as a part of the World Trade Center redevelopment. Developed and constructed by The Port Authority of New York, the park rises 25 feet tall and offers views of the 9/11 Memorial, as well as a place for patriotic and personal reflection. Inspired by the High Line, the elevated park extends one acre and leads to a 336-foot-long Living Wall at its northern end. The lovely garden features a gorgeous array of plants ranging from periwinkle and Japanese spurge to winter creeper and Baltic ivy.

Green Architecture | The Passive House in NYC

Ever so slowly but surely, the “Passive House” philosophy has worked its way into the forefront of the sustainability dialogue surrounding New York City real estate. The term stems from passivhaus, a German-born building standard designed to drastically reduce the energy usage of a given structure. Since the first successful retrofit of a Park Slope apartment to adhere to the standard in 2012, New York City has seen an increasing interest in the creation of larger, ground-up Passive House buildings. 

What it is
To achieve Passive House certification, a building must employ proper airtight insulation, eliminate thermal bridges, utilize Heat Recovery Ventilation systems, and include triple-paned windows. Experts also take into consideration the orientation of the building in order to maximize sunlight or shading potential. The ultimate result is a 90% decrease in heat energy usage and a 75% decrease in overall energy usage.

Image Courtesy https://passipedia.org/basics/what_is_a_passive_house
Image Courtesy https://passipedia.org/basics/what_is_a_passive_house

 

Ideally, in a temperate climate, a Passive House would eliminate the need for any heating or cooling system whatsoever. In New York however, small radiators and air conditioning units are typically included in the design plan – still yielding an ultimate reduction of overall energy usage by 75%, and a drastic reduction of energy costs as well.

Originally designed by Dr. Feist in Austria in 1991, the Passive House has since come a long way. Developers indicate that the cost of building in adherence to the sustainable standard has largely decreased since the Passivhaus Institut’s projection a few years ago, which was an added 6% of the average building cost. And, those who live in Passive House units overwhelmingly sing its praises: drastically lower energy costs, an impressively fresh air quality, and a consistent indoor temperature despite outdoor conditions. Plus, the ventilation system has proven to reduce allergies and asthmatic symptoms among those residents usually affected. 

The Passive House in NYC
The first certified Passive House to come to New York was a retrofit in Brooklyn at 23 Park Place. Design firm Fabrica718 successfully renovated a 110-year-old brownstone to use 90% less heat energy. Dubbed “Tighthouse,” the airtight building’s drastic effect is visible through thermal photography.

Image Courtesy http://ny.curbed.com/2013/4/19/10251890/nycs-first-certified-passive-house-is-super-cool-literally
23 Park Place, Image Courtesy http://ny.curbed.com/2013/4/19/10251890/nycs-first-certified-passive-house-is-super-cool-literally

The red glow of the neighboring buildings reveal heat leaking out of the windows and facades. Perfectly airtight and expertly insulated, the all-blue building lets nothing out.  

The trend continued in the borough with many further retrofits, including 338 8th Street in Park Slope, 154 Underhill Avenue in Prospect Heights, and 228 Washington Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The last, designed by Loadingdock5, rents out rooms on Airbnb so those interested in the standard can experience the results first-hand.

Image Courtesy http://ny.curbed.com/maps/mapping-new-york-citys-booming-passive-house-movement
228 Washington Avenue, Image Courtesy http://ny.curbed.com/maps/mapping-new-york-citys-booming-passive-house-movement

The standard also worked its way into Queens and Manhattan with retrofits at 45-12 11th Street in Long Island City by Thomas Paino and 25 West 88th Street on the Upper West Side by Baxt/Ingui Architects.

In 2014, the first multi-family Passive House opened in Bushwick, designed by Chris Benedict. Standing at 424 Melrose Street, all twenty-four affordable units were designated for senior citizens.

424 Melrose Street, Image Courtesy http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/affordable-passive-house-apartments-open-article-1.1761553
424 Melrose Street, Image Courtesy http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/affordable-passive-house-apartments-open-article-1.1761553

The Future
Now gaining more traction in the real estate market, the coming years will see increased Passive House ground-up development. PERCH Harlem, a 7-story, 40-unit building also designed by Chris Benedict, is nearing completion, racing (passively!) against the 6-unit 11 West 126th Street to gain the title of Manhattan’s first certified Passive House.

Image Courtesy http://synapsed.com/portfolio/perch-harlem/
PERCH Harlem, Image Courtesy http://synapsed.com/portfolio/perch-harlem/

PERCH Harlem’s exterior will feature a mixture of glass squares and rectangular shapes strategically chosen to maximize the building’s solar gain. Smaller operable windows will allow for fresh air and gorgeous views of the George Washington Bridge and beyond. Inside, Me and General Design will outfit the residences with sustainable materials all around, from the 31% recycled wallpaper, triple pane windows, and individually-controlled energy-recovery ventilators.

Also on deck is a ground-up Passive House in Brooklyn, set to be the first NYC building to achieve both Passive House and Net-Zero capable certifications. The building has even a name sounding like a thing of the future – R-951. It will host three 1,500-square-foot units, each with their own private outdoor space.

Image Courtesy http://www.r-951.com/photos/
Image Courtesy http://www.r-951.com/photos/

On the grandest scale, another exciting development is Cornell University’s new campus tower for its applied sciences school on Roosevelt Island. In development by Hudson Companies, Cornell Tech, and Related Companies and due for completion in 2017, the 26-story, 270,000-square-foot tower will reign as the world’s tallest and largest Passive House. (The title is currently held by the 30-story Raiffeisenhaus Wien 2, a Vienna office tower completed back in 2012.) The Cornell building will house 530 students, faculty, and staff; using up to 70% less energy than typical high-rises. In line with ever-increasing technological advances, the projected extra cost of building the high-rise in adherence with Passive House standards is 2 to 3%.

Cornell Roosevelt Island building, Image Courtesy http://ny.curbed.com/2016/6/21/11990416/cornell-tech-passive-house-roosevelt-island-tour
Cornell Roosevelt Island building, Image Courtesy http://ny.curbed.com/2016/6/21/11990416/cornell-tech-passive-house-roosevelt-island-tour

Architecture News | International High Rise Award

Every two years, the City of Frankfurt, in conjunction with the German Architecture Museum, awards the International Highrise Award. Winners are chosen based on the structure’s exemplary sustainability, external shape, and internal spatial and social qualities.

 What the Award Signifies

This prestigious award recognizes outstanding innovation in design and building technology, integration into the urban landscape, and functionality, sustainability and cost-effectiveness in the construction of tall buildings. It is unique because it acknowledges the collaboration between architects and developers that can result in outstanding modern buildings. It awards projects that are architectural achievements and also enhance the lives of the people in and around them.

2016 Award – VIA 57 West

Image courtesy archdaily.com/798590/bigs-via-57-west-wins-the-2016-international-highrise-award
Image courtesy archdaily.com/798590/bigs-via-57-west-wins-the-2016-international-highrise-award

The International Highrise Award has been bestowed seven times since 2004, and this year, New York’s residential high-rise VIA 57 West was the honored recipient.

This unusual “courtscraper,” envisioned by the architectural firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) and built by The Durst Organization, faced many site challenges.

Image courtesy archdaily.com/798590/bigs-via-57-west-wins-the-2016-international-highrise-award
Image courtesy archdaily.com/798590/bigs-via-57-west-wins-the-2016-international-highrise-award

The site, in Hell’s Kitchen, is bound on four sides by problematic constraints:

  • To the west, the site is separated from the Hudson River by a multilane highway.
  • To the north, there’s a historical electricity plant.
  • To the south, a newly built waste-sorting center creates noise and odors.
  • To the east stands a conventional 130-meter-high residential tower, and its view of the Hudson River could not be obstructed.

The architects responded with a building that rises from three low corners to one high point, transitioning between the low-rise structures in the south and the high-rises in the north. Their solution to preserving the view of the nearby tower was to incorporate a courtyard that also brings afternoon sun deep into the building and extends the greenery of the adjacent Hudson River Park.

Image courtesy archdaily.com/798590/bigs-via-57-west-wins-the-2016-international-highrise-award
Image courtesy archdaily.com/798590/bigs-via-57-west-wins-the-2016-international-highrise-award

When presenting the award, architecture critic and curator Bart Lootsma described the foundational basis of BIG’s design this way: “The quality of the projects by Bjarke Ingels and BIG in large part does not stem from the way they look, but rather from how they are created and what they achieve.” The defining achievement of VIA 57 West is its unparalleled blending of a stunning high-density building with human elements that encourage interaction between residents and passersby.

Green Architecture | Five of the Most Sustainable Buildings Around the World

As companies grow increasingly aware of their impact on the environment, many are learning to evolve into more sustainable, eco-friendly businesses. One way this is being achieved is through architecture. With a constructive overhaul, businesses can make their space energy efficient and less wasteful, thereby lessening their environmental impact. Read on to learn about five such sustainable buildings and how they are shaping the future of architecture.

1. The Edge, Amsterdam

Image courtesy thinkmarketingmagazine.com/edge-amsterdam-innovative-office-building-world/
Image courtesy thinkmarketingmagazine.com/edge-amsterdam-innovative-office-building-world/

Hailed as one of the most sustainable constructs in the world, The Edge office building is truly remarkable. Its outer construction is almost entirely glass, making it brim with natural lighting to keep energy costs low. Additionally, the building uses a combination of solar and aquifer thermal energy to heat, cool and provide for other energy needs. Employees can even control the lighting and temperature in their workspaces using an app on their phones, so that nothing goes to waste in rooms that are not in use.

2. The Bullitt Center, Seattle

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When done correctly, going green should cut costs considerably, and that’s exactly what The Bullitt Center has proven. This Seattle office building actually creates more energy than it uses, with its super-efficient geo-thermal wells and solar panels that provide all the energy the structure could ever need – and more. The center even uses composting toilets to reduce water use, and recycles its runoff water from sinks.

3. The NuOffice, Munich

Image courtesy newatlas.com/nuoffice-sustainable-office/
Image courtesy newatlas.com/nuoffice-sustainable-office/

The idea behind having a green office is defeated if its workers are creating a massive carbon footprint to get there, so NuOffice sought to solve this problem. They encourage public transportation use and provide electric car charging stations for those with environmentally-friendly vehicles. The building itself has been rated one of the world’s greenest. Its entire roof is a solar construct to provide energy, and its LED lights sense how much daylight is in the room at a given time and turn on and off accordingly.

4. 41 Cooper Square, New York City

Image courtesy arch2o.com/41-cooper-square-morphosis/
Image courtesy arch2o.com/41-cooper-square-morphosis/

Innovative in both design and sustainability, 41 Cooper Square has a plethora of green features. The unique building collects rainwater for reuse, utilizes 75 percent natural lighting, and controls temperatures via the perforated stainless steel exterior. These aspects combined with its creative visual aspect make 41 Cooper Square an amazing contribution to the realm of green architecture.

5. The Crystal, London

Image courtesy www.thecrystal.org/about/press/
Image courtesy www.thecrystal.org/about/press/

Aptly dubbed The Crystal for its geometric, mostly-glass construction, this center for Siemens research and development doesn’t let any energy to waste. It generates electricity from solar panels, and any excess is funneled into battery storage for later use. This center also collects rainwater to convert to drinking water, and uses natural ventilation from carefully-placed vents in the building.

 

Green Architecture News: Innovative Self-Sustaining Village to Break Ground in 2016

For the Dutch who want to adhere to a diet of locally grown food, a new settlement breaking ground this summer in Almere, Netherlands, could be their ideal destination. The first project of ReGen Villages, a self-sustaining community designed in partnership with Effekt Studios, integrates attached greenhouses with a series of buildings where families live and grow food. Using a fully sustainable model, they will also create their own power and recycle their waste.

Image courtesy regenvillages.com
Image courtesy regenvillages.com

The project uses existing technologies to create integrated, self-reliant communities completely off the grid but with the luxury of modern conveniences.

Investing in Green Technologies
Startup funds for the villages are coming from wealth funds seeking to divest of fossil fuels and transition into impact investments, according to Gizmag. State investment is also an important part of the business model. Pilot communities are planned for Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, with possible expansions into the UAE, China and African countries. The Almere settlement will start with 100 homes.

Image courtesy dw.com
Image courtesy dw.com

Part of the focus is on renewable energy creation using photovoltaic solar panels and natural ventilation. The prefabricated homes make heavy use of glass because of the material’s unique ability to manage a range of weather conditions. The village’s communal areas will feature electric car charging stations. Food will be grown organically in vertical aquaponic and aeroponic systems, adhering to a model of doorstep food production.

ReGen Villages also have sustainable water and waste management systems. Composted household waste feeds flies, who then feed fish. This fish waste provides fertilizer for food plants. Household waste that is not compostable can be converted to biogas to generate power. The cycle approach is used throughout the village’s sustainable design.

Long-Term Management
ReGen Villages have established blueprints that are modified to suit the local community. The company runs the village once it is functioning and inhabited, managing and improving on the village infrastructure. Public squares for community gathering are part of the plans. In addition, residents take on community roles, relieving strain on existing municipal governments.

While food production and transport causes massive environmental damage, projects as innovative as ReGen Villages might become a model of new developments to come, in all corners of the world.

Neighborhood News: The Gowanus Arts Building’s Rooftop Farm

A community hub for the last three decades, The Gowanus Arts Building at 295 Douglass Street between Third and Fourth avenues is getting a big, beautiful makeover that will see its third-floor theater moved to the ground floor and a garden pop up on its roof. The renovation is being executed by the Civic Architecture Workshop. Contractors aim to start work June 1 on a $1.5 million remodeling, and the project is expected to take around six months. Some artists who rent space in the building will be displaced during the renovation, but will be welcome to return upon the work’s completion.

Town June Neighborhood News 1
Image courtesy Civic Architecture Workshop

Currently, the third-story theater is not ADA compliant because it is accessible only by stairs. The theater’s move to the ground floor will remedy that, and it will allow for the theater to expand and offer retractable seating. The theater then can be configured for a variety of uses and performances. Windows will be enlarged on the ground floor as well, allowing pedestrians a chance to see the theater and the adjacent art gallery, which will also be shifted to that level from an upper floor.

Town June Neighborhood News 2
Image courtesy Civic Architecture Workshop

The new rooftop farm will be designed by Brooklyn Grange. It will be built in part with money granted from the city’s Department of Environmental Protection. Vegetables will grow on the “Gowanus Sky Farm” — as it’s been dubbed — and the area will also host educational programs for students.

According to a press release, architect Severn Clay-Youman of Civic Architecture Workshop said, “The owners of the Gowanus Arts Building hope to create a local community center which champions community, sustainability, diversity and health through art.”

Town June Neighborhood News 3
Image courtesy Civic Architecture Workshop

Youman-Clay, who worked in theatrical design before becoming an architect, says, “The interesting thing to watch has been how the arts organizations in the neighborhood are very much supported by their educational activities now. … This little area – with Spoke the Hub, Brooklyn Boulders, the Brooklyn Music Factory – has become sort of a nexus of the Park Slope child-industrial complex. It’s an interesting turn for the arts down here toward education and community outreach.”

 

TOWN Green Architecture News: The Futuristic Open Ocean Pavilion of South Korea

In late March, the New York Times reported that an ice sheet in Western Antarctica is melting more rapidly than previously thought. Scientists speculate that sea levels can rise 6 feet if this one ice mass continues to melt at its current pace over the course of the next 85 years.  These predictions put cities set adjacent to the ocean in tremendous danger of flooding. The article listed New York, London, New Orleans, Miami and others among the major cities facing the highest flood risks. (One quote pointed out that New York has existed for 400 years, but the chance of it lasting another 400 is “remote.”) The same evening the New York Times article was published, a panel of experts gathered at the welcome center of the Miami Design Preservation League on Ocean Drive, to discuss ways Miami can save its buildings should sea levels continue to rise. One solution is to raise them three feet or more “above flood,” though cost estimates for such an undertaking involving a 2,000-square-foot home can reach six figures.

Town Miami Green Arch News 1
Image courtesy DanielValle.com

In an effort to raise awareness of the constant changes in sea levels as a result of global warming, Daniel Valle Architects designed “Water Pavilion,” a construct that allows visitors to walk either on the water’s surface or below it, depending upon the current level of the water.

Town Miami Green Arch News 2
Image courtesy DanielValle.com

Water Pavilion made its debut at the 2012 South Korean design expo called Yeosu. Originally intended for construction in Seoul, the project spans 30,000 square meters, which equates to nearly 323,000 square feet. According to the architect’s website, the concept of the project explores fluidity, buoyancy and constant change. “The pavilion stands on the unstable limit of sea level, changing its configuration according to various uses during the expo.”

Town Miami Green Arch News 3
Image courtesy DanielValle.com

The pavilion can actually float above the sea and host large gatherings or sit below it, facilitating up-close-and-personal marine observation exhibits or intimate events. The generated environment is deliberately unstable, meant to call attention to the changing sea levels resulting from global warming.

Town Miami Green Arch News 4
Image courtesy DanielValle.com

A cross section of the construct reveals that water runs through its “veins,” helping it shift positions. Tech Insider, which likens the structure’s functionality to that of a submarine, reports that the pavilion would also contain a purifying system that would turn saltwater into freshwater.

Town Miami Gren Arch News 5
Image courtesy DanielValle.com

The pavilion could become a pop-up attraction at any city waterfront, as its design allows it to undock from a port and travel elsewhere across the sea.

 

Town Green Architecture News: The Amazing Residences’ Forest of Paris

Town March Green Arch 1
Image courtesy oxoarch.com

A “growing” trend in real estate development has been the incorporation of green spaces into a building’s design, either residential, mixed-use or office. The people at Sou Fujimoto Architects and Manal Rachdi’s OXO Architects are hoping to take that concept to a whole new level.

Town March Green Arch 2
Image courtesy oxoarch.com

In an enormous, glassy development design they recently proposed for a Paris street, the two teams envision a forest engulfing a futuristic, ship-like building.

Town March Green Arch 3
Image courtesy oxoarch.com

The project, called Thousand Trees, is intended to stand on Boulevard Périphérique in the Pershing section of the city.

Town March Green Arch 4
Image courtesy oxoarch.com

Surrounding social housing, a community center, school and playgrounds, the residences’ forest will form a natural, inhabited ecosystem and infuse some biodiversity into the urban area. The trees will also act as a buffer against pollution.

Town March Green Arch 5
Image courtesy oxoarch.com

Set atop triangular concrete slabs, Thousand Trees would also include offices, a four-star bed and breakfast hotel, restaurants and a bus station. The plan won first prize in its category at the recent “Reinventing Paris” architecture and design competition.

For more information, visit OXO Architects’ official website

 

Town, Miami Green Architecture News: Miami’s Most Green Bungalow

Town Miami Green Arch News 1
Image courtesy ChristianWassmann.com

A Miami bungalow built in the 1930s has gotten the modern, green treatment from architect Christian Wassmann and his studio in a unique, environmentally conscientious extension.

Town Miami Green Arch News 2
Image courtesy ChristianWassmann.com

Called “The Sun Path House,” the dynamic three-story structure is made of concrete and features spiraling walls, a solarium, abundant natural light, greenery and open spaces. The intention behind the design was to create a serene living environment with subtly playful qualities as well.

Town Miami Green Arch News 3
Image courtesy ChristianWassmann.com

Though considered the new main living area on the property, the design studio’s website says the extension is “in dialogue” with the bungalow. There’s an expansive, open kitchen operating as a spatial connection to the original structure. Located at the top of the building, the solarium’s curved wall maps the path of the sun on the summer solstice, reflecting sunlight onto the surface of the adjacent deck all day.

Town Miami Green Arch News 4
Image courtesy ChristianWassmann.com

A spiraling wall, with structural, functional and aesthetic purposes, acts as the spine of the building, spanning all three floors, optimizing exposure to natural light and facilitating the growth of all the greenery. So as to face north, the top edge of the curved wall is rotated—in respect to the existing building—11.25 degrees. The middle of the wall, where the master bedroom is located, is parallel to the established house. On the ground floor the curvature is 11.25 degrees towards the middle of the garden, and the rotation point of this 22.5-degree twist is the central staircase leading to the top sundeck.

Town Miami Green Arch News 5
Image courtesy ChristianWassmann.com

The curved concrete wall also does a great job of deflecting wind, maintaining calm inside the structure. The sizable windows and outdoor spaces throughout offer the residents a sincere connection with nature. 

For more information and renderings, visit Inhabitat.com and ChristianWassmann.com

 

Green Architecture News: The Tallest Wooden Building in the U.S.

Green Architecture News: The Tallest Wooden Building in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced the winners of the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition at a New York City press conference. One of the teams honored was LEVER Architecture for their design of what will be the tallest wooden building in the country—a structure they call “Framework.”

Image courtesy leverarchitecture.com
Image courtesy leverarchitecture.com

Designed for mixed-use purposes and set in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon, the construct will rise 12 stories and was already in its development stages prior to LEVER’s recognition from the USDA. The renderings of Framework are reminiscent of any contemporary building one might find in the most highly developed urban areas, but the building will be constructed primarily of cross-laminated timber, some of which will be exposed in the ceilings, while wood columns and beams of glue-laminated timber will sure to draw attention at floor levels throughout.

Image courtesy leverarchitecture.com
Image courtesy leverarchitecture.com

Incorporating residential, office, and commercial spaces, as well as a community area that will feature an exhibit on tall-wood construction, the 130-foot Framework building will be set atop a reinforced concrete foundation laid in a formerly industrial segment of the city that is serviced by a public streetcar. LEVER’s design also takes social interaction into account as well as resource consumption. Both will be optimized thanks to smart organization of building circulation and services.

Image courtesy leverarchitecture.com
Image courtesy leverarchitecture.com

Based in Portland, LEVER Architecture’s mission is to strengthen communities in part by blurring the boundaries between public and private spaces. Much of their work can be found in Portland, but some of their most famous work has been completed in Los Angeles. The team was responsible for the recent renovations of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences building and the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, home to the Academy Awards’ nominations announcements.

For more information and renderings, visit Inhabitat.com and LeverArchitecture.com