What would you say if I tell you: yes, there is a way to live in a comfortable mobile home; yes it is easy to transport, yet it is relatively cheap; and yes it is GREAT simply because it has a minimal foot print?
Dia Haifei, a 24 year old architect from Beijing has found what seems to be relatively simple solution to one of the main problems the young generation faces: the mega-polis high living cost. The structure is build from bamboo and wood chips for insulation, it features a solar powered interior, and living-growing exterior. All the finances needed were 1000$. The pictures below would give you a clear idea of what it feels to own your own egg shaped sustainable mobile home.
Dream on or Go Crazy over IT? What do you think life in a city will be without the presence of the CAR. How it will feel to wake up in the morning, look outside and do not see any side of parking lots, any stop lights, and mainly knowing you have no transportation in the manner you are so used to.
This article compiles information on cities around the globe that relay completely on public transportation including but not limited to horse carriages, gondolas, small canoes, or simply by foot.
The first city I found information about on the web was Giethoorn. Located in the northwest part of Holland it is considered from some a rural village. Water canals are very typical for the overall country landscape, and here they are no exception. Located on an edge of a national park, Weerribben-Wieden, the village is home for no more than 3000 people. Most of the homes are built on what looks like small private islands. 180 wooden bridges create an intriguing web that is pleasing for the eye as well as it provides friendly pedestrian walking opportunities. Many of the visitors as well as the residents will however use small boats and canoes to reach their destination in the summer. As for the winter, numerous of the small lakes and ponds some of them not deeper than 3-4 feet freeze completely and create a winter ice-skating wonderland. By choice or not everyone either walk or boat, and that is what the residents consider a main factor for the affluence of the community.
A couple months back I was fortunate to be able to visit and have a tour of the Copenhagen Center for Cancer and Health in Denmark. To know a little bit about why my interest of seeing such a place it is enough to say I have lost my grandmother to a cancer. Being diagnosed with cancer of any kind is like an opening a That door you hoped never to need crossing trough, simply because no case is as any other, and even with today advanced knowledge and technology there is still so much of unknown.
Designed by NORD Architects with an area of 2,250 sq.m. the center is located close to the City Hall, walking distance to the Rigshospitalet- the Copenhagen University Hospital. What makes the winning design iconic is its human scale, warm tonality, sustainable and renewable materials, as well as the ground philosophy of caring for those in need without stigmatizing. By now it is neither a question nor a secret anymore the positive effect which design can have on human health. The center is constructed of multiple low scale buildings, combined together in one, circling an outdoor courtyard. Joining elements in each of the individual pieces are the triangular raised roofs, and as what it seems randomly positioned windows (touring the inside I have understood the purpose for their different height was to accommodate a possibility of all age visitors to have a eye view to the outside).
Multiple rooms with various shapes and sizes are available at the center, allowing for one on one meeting, group exercise, comfortable rest, team games or simply an hour for yourself with a favorite book. Atmosphere of ease is accented by the seemingly unnoticed personal and volunteers which blend well with the one stepping trough the door in a search for hope. Possibility to sit on a wooden carved table and share small bites over an occasional talk while still being able to receive a valuable information concerning your recovery, possibilities for improvements, new research studies, etc.
Many of healthcare facilities still function on the principle of centralized institutions (which is financially beneficial, it is supported by knowledgeable professionals, utilizes the already build structures), however it is the sterile atmosphere along with the mental stamp which associates hospitals as places for sick and unhealthy are often the negative recovery factors. The Cancer Center in Copenhagen is a simple example of how human scale architecture, physically separated from the central hospital could infuse fresh hope in a fight with a life taking illness such as cancer.
image courtesy of: Australian design review
image courtesy of: kaspernoergaard.com
image courtesy of: www.pinterest.com
Lush Lounge is a café/wine bar concept with boutique like design. Holistically inspired it is the “Other” place which provides new alternative for a good night out.
Environmentally conscious design solutions have been implemented to create soothing, tranquil atmosphere. Behind the idea is the desire to develop a hybrid between the traditional coffee shop and the night lounge, ultimately inviting a wider clientele. Overall it is the bar in town where you can find organic coffee, small food bites, and a variety of selected wines, all wrapped in uniquely relaxing surrounding.
Awareness of fast changing trends and new social demands have created the opportunity for such unexpected commercial venues to become the hearth of city life.
Östra Sjukhuset is part of the public healthcare system
and is managed by Västra Götalands Regionen. In the
regions vision for the Good Life it is stated that all decisions
must take into account the long-term social, environmental
and economic consequences. When working
with social sustainability Östra Sjukhuset have turned to
human rights, being already legally binding rules. As a
hospital and a part of the public sector they are not only
striving towards but are also obligated to create a hospital
and hospital surroundings where the right to the best attainable
health for all are respected, protected, promoted
The common understanding for a Universal Hospital is:
one build upon acceptance of patient’s variety and diversity.
Its definite perception is always colored by the local
characteristics, traditions and enriched with specific social
values. A common principle implemented is “form
follows function”, and quite often the function is weaved
in the complexity of heavily institutionalized system.
Often hospitals should be quite large to be financially
justifiable and preferably small to be human oriented.
They are wanted in the city centers so they can be easily
accessible, but concerns for epidemics and availabilities
of proper building sites push them quite often in the outside
boundaries. Hospitals should be quite flexible and
accessible to all; as well as create the sense of security and
privacy. All these contradicting to each other factors create
complicated decision making processes which directly
affect the final architectural outcome.
In many cases the health care building stocks we see today
is part of an era of massive building production which has
occurred 30-40 years ago. Quite common past practice is
that little or non attention was given to a hospitals social
aspects and influential factors such as rapidly aging population,
higher lobar professional expectation, demand
of multi- tasking, flexible designed spaces, and changing
social communication demands. Today these become the
hospital design ruling factors.
The Senior Citizens Green House is a representation of human-nature interaction. One of the initial idea is to explore the relationship between design science and architecture. The Senior Green Home is created with the mind of allowing healing property of nature to take over physical and psychological state of senior citizens.
Essential to underline is reviling the opportunities of alternative holistic life and self awareness for the elderly.
The Senior Green house was strategically positioned on a lot in the main campus of University of Illinois in Chicago. Close enough for a short walk it will give an opportunity for its residents to sign for free classes attend some activities at the university fitness centre and use the library.
Being part of the campus life the senior home will present a perfect opportunity for volunteers, as well as study and research. The project is a representation of newer alternative care for the growing elderly population.
Reinventing the traditional nursing care, implementing humanity along with familiar home base living conditions resulted in a social cultural changed design.
Who and what determines the space planning of a new hospital. Is it the type of facility the main mark to look after or the practice expectation, the technological demands or the users wishes and requests.
I have found out that there should be at least two main criteria considering space linking. First one by functional use, second one by sanitation levels.
Presented under are two schematic drawings clarifying different connections.
possible space relationships by functional use
possible space relationships sanitation