Monday, October 20, 2008

Flip This Strip...

Perhaps the timing is perfect amidst our current economic downturn - the award winners have been announced for the very interesting Flip a Strip competition sponsored by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (smoca). These entries expand the conversation and definitely deliver in potential opportunities and visions for these zones of urban and sub-urban blight, such as this example from Phoenix (see below), and their potential for adaptive reuse.

:: image via Flip a Strip

From the competition site: "This competition, Flip a Strip, asks how we can reject numbness. How might we re-think and newly envision the potential of the Strip Mall (a building stock of which we have a cross-continental abundance)? With collective energy and creative design expertise, we know there are many ways to transcend the non-descript status quo of the Strip Mall—ways that are aesthetically compelling, economically feasible and communally smart. What models, complementary mixed-usages and social experiences might result?"

The winning entry by MOS from New Haven, CT definitely takes the approach of visible verticality, particularly with a curtain of algae filled pockets (via Bustler): "...Urban Battery is a physical structure similar to a power station, vertical greenhouse, and a billboard, all rolled into one. ... Urban Battery acts as an energy producer, filtering air, housing oxygen regenerating plants, providing bike paths, public gardens within the structure, and stores bioproducts."

:: images via Bustler

More on the technical side, via Treehugger: "A 300’ by 300’ lightweight structure supports a series of thin glass channels housing a net- work of pipes, tubes, and algae to produce ļ¬ltered, clean air and gases for biofuel."

:: image via Bustler

Definitely check out Bustler for the full range of winners... such as some of my favorite selections below, including a great one mentioned previous by Seattle firm MillerHull which uses some inventive rooftop ag for solar shading and economic productivity... More on this soon.

:: AEDS, New Orleans - image via Bustler

:: Miller Hull Partnership - Seattle - image via Bustler

:: Gould Evans - Phoenix- image via Bustler

:: Marlene Imirzian & Associates Architects, Phoenix - image via Bustler

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