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This Stunning Church Was Grown From Live Trees

“The Tree Church” is more than just a unique place of worship, it’s a serene combination of form and function.

image via treechurch.co.nz

Tell someone that a building was built out of wood, and you’re likely to get a blank “so what?” stare right back in your face. After all, a building made of lumber is hardly a new or noteworthy development in the thousands of years of human architectural progress. While lumber construction might not be so eyebrow-raising, living-tree construction is something altogether different.

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Hamburg Now Has an Algae-Powered Building

A microorganism-fueled facade also fuels a debate about energy efficiency.

Photo by NordNordWest/Wikimedia Commons

Last spring, Arup, the design and engineering firm that brought the world the Centre Pompidou and the Sydney Opera House, unveiled their latest hypermodern architectural creation in Hamburg. From the outside, the surface of the 15-unit apartment building just looks like a bubbling green lava lamp stretched over an entire building. But those moving bubbles serve a function: they help to feed and order the living algae embedded within the Bio Intelligent Quotient (BIQ) building’s exterior skin. In turn, the 8-foot by 2-foot glass panels of green scuzz—the building’s $6.58 million bioreactor façade—power the entire structure, making it the world’s first algae-powered and theoretically fully self-sufficient building ever.

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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Landscape Architecture But Were Afraid to Ask

This new series excels at explaining the exciting work happening in this field.


For the average person, landscape architecture = gardening. But while the field remains relatively unknown, landscape architecture is often at the forefront of developing design approaches to pressing social, environmental, and economic challenges.

Until now, the neophyte had few resources to turn to for learning about increasingly important concepts like bioremediation (which uses microbes and plants to restore the health of soil), or new approaches to stormwater management. But thanks to the efforts of the American Society of Landscape Architects, professionals and the general public alike can get up to speed on the latest in sustainable landscape design concepts by watching a series of clear and clever animations on subjects such as "From Industrial Wasteland to Community Park" and "Designing for Active Living" (narrated by yours truly).

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