Category Eco-Urban Design

Gleneagles Community Centre

West Vancouver, Canada

Patkau Architects Inc.
www. patkau. ca

West Vancouver is located on the north shore of the Burrard Inlet in British Columbia. The waterfront district is defined by its dramatically rugged coastline, with Howe Sound to the west and the Caitano river marking the eastern boundary. Development of the northern boundary will be limited to an elevation of 1,200 feet, with the ascending Coast Mountain wilderness above the Upper Levels Highway continuing to be preserved and forested. These south facing slopes facilitate essential watershed, open space and recreation. An Environmental Strategy, adopted in 2005, outlines the Community Plan policies for the West Vancouver District. The guiding policy shaping principle is the continued absence of industrialisation...



Philadelphia, USA

Croxton Collaborative Architects P C.
www. croxtoncollaborative. com

The Philadelphia Police Department Forensic Science Center is located in a formerly derelict and abandoned school building (Fig. 1). The art deco style facade was constructed in 1929 from a concrete frame infilled with brickwork facades and industrial style fenestration (Figs. 5, 6, 7).

The challenges facing the design team were numerous. The City of Philadelphia and its project partners demanded that the Forensic Science Center should provide a model for sustainable design and construction within the city. The project was to be competitively tendered with limited financial resources, supplemented by grants. Furthermore, the existing 2...


Green Dot E. 27th Street. Charter High Schools

Los Angeles, USA

John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects
www. jfak. net

The challenge of providing inner city youth with a college preparatory education has long been a major concern for parents in South Los Angeles. Population growth and a lack of new high school buildings has led to chronic overcrowding in the public school system.

The Los Angeles International Charter High Schools (LAICHS), provides parents with a viable alternative to the traditional public schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District. The Charter High Schools aim to provide a safe, supportive learning environment with a high teacher to student ratio. Within this framework students apply their classroom learning to the wider world through local business internships and community service programmes.

The Green D...


Bay Educational Center

Providence, USA

Croxton Collaborative Architects P C.
www. croxtonarc. com

The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is the smallest state in the Union and yet has the longest name. This is not the only paradox, as Rhode Island is one of the most densely populated and heavily industrialised for its size. It is also remarkable that a state measuring only 37 miles wide and 48 miles long should have a shoreline of 400 miles. The “Ocean State’s” Atlantic coast meanders north east from Connecticut, along Block Island Sound, via Narragansett Bay, before eventually reaching the state of Massachusetts in Rhode Island Sound. Presiding over these waters the monumentally opulent mansions of Newport have historically provided architectural interest...


Cesar Chavez Library

Phoenix, USA

Line and Space, LLC
www. lineandspace. com

Phoenix, the capital city of Arizona, is home to a population currently counted as the sixth largest in America. The Cesar Chavez Library was constructed to serve the village of Laveen, a fast growing area of dense housing in the south of the city.

The 25,000 square feet library houses approximately 140,000 volumes, (Fig. 2) including books, periodicals, CD’s and DVD’s. 60 computers with internet connection are provided for public use, with an integrated computer training facility. Teenagers are accommodated in a dedicated area which includes audio and visual facilities to promote reading, relaxation and rejuvenation. Younger children are catered for with quiet areas for story reading and homework help...


California Academy of. Sciences

San Francisco, USA

Renzo Piano Building Workshop / Stantec Architecture (San Francisco)

www. rpbw. com

The Pacific Ocean’s cool currents combined with the higher temperatures of the California mainland, produce the fog and mist which clings to San Francisco’s famous hills in spring and summer. These landmark hills of Twin Peaks, Nob Hill, Pacific Heights and Russian Hill are now to be rivalled by the newly formed mounds presiding over the verdant roof of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

The new Academy’s mission statement is “To Explore, Explain and Protect the Natural World”. A major component of this philosophy was to incorporate a sustainable design, construction and operational policy into the project...


To achieve Leed Gold certification, the

To achieve Leed Gold certification, theproject’s Construction Management policy and use of materials was closely scrutinised and implemented.

Construction waste was reduced through recycling. Fly-ash was used in the concrete sections of the building. Additionally, glass tiles, steelwork and carpets all included recycled material.

Renewable materials included cork floors, bamboo wall panels and doors made with rice hull cores. All wood-based materials were certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council’s principles and criteria. A regional sourcing policy on materials was also adopted in an attempt to reduce transportation as far as possible.

The development of the EPA’s eco-roof (Fig. 11) was implemented by the designers, Zimmer Gunsal Frasca, in consultation with the EPA’s own experts in this field.

In the...


Environmental Protection. Agency Region 8. Headquarters

Denver, USA

Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP
www. zgf. com

The year of 1858 saw prospectors from Georgia begin the tenuous gold rush to Pikes Peak, Colorado. In the subsequent land grab the South Platte River formed the basis of aspirational claims on both banks. Confusion reigned, tension rose and violence was threatened by the rival prospecting camps. Eventually, a whisky fuelled agreement was brokered at Cherry Creek Bridge resulting in Denver prevailing as the predominant city in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.

The topographical combination of mountains to the west, the Great Plains to the east and an elevation of 5,280 feet ensures that Denver has a semi-arid steppe climate with four distinct seasons.

Denver’s weather is generally mild, with around 300 days of prolonged sunsh...


Eco-Urban Design

Mankind’s original primitive habitat, the cave, provided shelter from wind and rain, shade from the sun, and natural ventilation. Fuel for heat, light and cooking was found locally from sustainable sources. Successive generations of cave dwellers left minimal impact on the environment. However, since the moment early man was compelled to venture further afield in search of food and shelter for a multiplying population, subsequent building activity has gradually impacted on the resources of the planet. We have now reached the point where these resources have become seriously depleted.

The challenge now facing 21st century mankind is to provide evolved buildings that no longer endanger the Earth’s fragile ecological systems...