Wow, Why Didn’t I Think of That?

Here at KWA, we stay deep in the trenches of building multifamily housing projects, but we still find the time to stop and smell the roses; well in this case it’s pretty genius craftsmanship that we appreciate.

“Wow, Why Didn’t I Think of That?” is our selection of unique buildings, chosen by our employees, that meet the following criteria:

1) Innovative

2) Inspirational

3) Makes you say, “Wow, why didn’t I think of that?”

 Monolithic House in Tokyo, Japan

Because space is so limited in Japan, the client approached Atelier Tekuto to design a home that will accommodate a small three-level home for the client as well as a pair of compact studio apartments for rent. The geometric shapes that comprise the skylight serve as a frame to view the sky.

The architects agree that polyhedron homes are an effective use of space for cramped urban residential districts, such as Tokyo. The angular surfaces help rainwater to drain off the walls. In constructing this home, it was important to “design the sky” because it is such an important element in the urban environment of the building.

Source: Dezeen

 Hearst Tower in New York City

As the first “green” high rise in New York City, Hearst Tower is easily recognizable in its surroundings. The symmetrical jagged silhouette comprised of triangulated steel frame was designed to use 21 percent less steel than traditional buildings of its type. Approximately 90 percent of the 10,480 tons of steel used is derived from recycled material.

Fosters and Partners, the architect for the project, pushed the envelope with the list of environmental considerations. This dedication eventually lead to the designation of Hearst Tower as New York City’s first LEED Gold certified skyscraper. When it rains, water is collected on the roof and then stored in the basement.  This becomes key in the floor tubing, irrigation and the water sculpture in the lobby.

Source: ArchDaily

 Sequis Centre Tower in Jakarta, Indonesia

This mixed-use tower will be Indonesia’s first LEED Platinum building. Sequis Centre Tower will include office space, executive zones, trading floors, boutique retail, restaurants, conference centers, health facilities and concealed parking.

A gradation of shading fins and panels are arrayed across the tower’s curtain wall, which is optimized on each side to compensate for façade-specific solar radiation levels. High-efficiency systems and the use of locally-sourced and recycled materials reduce the amount of energy used and embedded in the tower.

Source: Architectural Record

 Clearpoint Residences in Kotte, Sri Lanka

Set to open in late 2015, the 46-story Clearpoint Residences condo tower will be the world’s tallest vertical garden. All 164 units in the building will come with a spacious garden terrace complete with lush vegetation and a self-sustaining, automatic drip irrigation system. The goal: to give all residents a first-floor living experience.

The building’s water will be recycled for use as flushing water and drip irrigation for the vertical garden. This approach will slash water consumption by more than 40 percent.

Source: Build Design + Construction

 OTIS (Optimal Traveling Independent Space)

What started as a class project for students at Green Mountain College turned into an incredibly innovative way to live nomadically. Students in Professor Lucas Brown’s Renewable Energy and Ecological Design (REED) class created a 70-square foot pod-shaped house that includes a sleeping loft, rainwater collection, and a 300-watt solar powered electrical system.

This mobile home was constructed using reclaimed materials and costs less than $2,000 to build. To cut down on the waste stream, the students also installed a composting toilet and rainwater catchment system that independently supplies the bath and kitchen.

Source: Inhabitat

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