AIA Survey Shows that Non-Residential and Sustainable Construction Are Increasing

A set of reports by the AIA show an expected increase in spending on non-residential design for 2016 and 2017, as well as an emergence of more sustainable building technologies.

“Emerging technologies are becoming the dominant force in how buildings are being designed,” said AIAChief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Buildings in their own right are becoming far more energy efficient, and certain technologies are increasing both the efficiency of the people using the buildings and the project delivery methods in which buildings are being designed and constructed.”

Some of the top trends in the next ten years for nonresidential design include an increasing prevalence of water conservation, and solar or wind power generation; more specified innovative building materials, such as composites or new glazing technology; and increase use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software to increase the efficiency of building design.

The non-residential market also saw growth in 2015, with particular demand for hotels, offices, manufacturing facilities and recreation spaces continuing into 2016. The AIA’s semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast – a survey of leading American construction forecasters – predicts an increase in spending of just over 8% in 2016, and roughly 6.7% in 2017.

Read more about emerging sustainable technology here, and about the increase in non-residential building design, including full statistics here.

News via AIA and ArchDaily.


Toshima Ecomusee Town

Architectural Lighting Group (ALG), the firm behind the lighting design at Toshima Ecomusee Town, frequently works collaboratively with architects to develop architectural lighting that is fully integrated with structures. This time, ALG joined forces with Kengo Kuma, an architect that the firm has worked with many times in the past, cultivating the relationship between lighting and architecture through projects such as Ginza Onsen Fujiya, Nagasaki Prefecture Art Museum, and Forest/Floor.

In designing the lighting for Toshima Ecomusee Town, ALG president Takeshi Konishi and his colleagues interpreted their role as connecting people, nature, and architecture in a public space. The design is rooted in the concept of “coexistence between nature and architecture” and represents an environmentally conscious, innovative approach to illumination. We asked Konishi about the project, which exemplifies the firm’s continued search for new possibilities in lighting design.


What was most important for you during the design process?

We pursued an integrated architectural lighting design, responding to the architect’s concept of “a building like trees” by designing an oasis of light like you might find in the midst of wilderness. We also kept energy conservation in mind and proposed a lighting environment that would be both calming and dynamic, serving to unite ward residents, ward office, and the surrounding urban area in a single light space. Another priority was bringing out the beauty of greenery and nature in the landscape. For example, we incorporated lights into the structure’s iconic ecoveil rather than installing pole lighting on the site, thereby illuminating the surrounding area with architectural lighting.

What challenges did you face in the project? How did you respond to them?

An atrium called the “ecovoid” extends from the first to the tenth floors, creating a path for air circulation and serving as a symbolic space at the center of the building. Deciding how to light this large space was one of the issues that arose for us. We devised a strategy for both brightly illuminating the floor of the first story—the origin point of the atrium—and wrapping the entire atrium space in light. On the first floor, uplights in both the ceiling and floor, along with linear and surface lighting, create a clean, elegant ambiance. The supplementary lights on the top floor are hidden from view, suggesting that the first-floor uplights may be shining all the way to the apex and thus lending a feeling of freedom to the space. The reflected light also illuminates the ivy hanging from the top floor, completing the calm and peaceful light space of the atrium as a whole.

077_iaLeIiaCACEAnaA_w800How does this project fit into current architectural trends such as sustainability, social function, or technology? 
This project represents a new type of public architecture in which ward residents and ward office are linked in a mutually trusting and secure relationship through a newly created “forest.” Since the 3.11 earthquake and tsunami, people have dealt with subconscious unease and nervousness about the possibility of more unexpected events, and in particular they have become more sensitive regarding disaster prevention. Toshima Ecomusee Town was designed within that context to serve as a symbol of harmony and a safe, secure community where people could enjoy nature. By highlighting the beauty of the plantings integrated throughout the architecture, the lighting contributes a feeling of calm to the building and adds interest to the daily lives of people in the community. We believe the project embodies a new type of architectural lighting that creates an oasis of light within the urban space.


Toshima Ecomusee Town

Lighting Designer
Architectural Lighting Group (ALG)

Lighting Design Principal
Takeshi Konishi, Miho Konishi

Nihon Sekkei
Kengo Kuma & Associates

Structural Engineer
Nihon Sekkei,  Taisei Corporation

MEP/FP Engineer
Nihon Sekkei

Landscape Designer
Landscape Plus/Tatsuya Hiraga

Taisei Corporation

Lighting Fixture
EPK, Toshiba, Panasonic

Site Area
8,324.91 ㎡

Building Area
5,319.74 ㎡

Total Floor Area
94,681.84 ㎡

Kawasumi・Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office

Read more at Japan-architect

AME-LOT / Malka Architecture

Stephane Malka, of Malka Architecture has shared his project AME-LOT, a material reuse, found material, restorative proposal. Further images of the project as well as a narrative from the architect are available after the break.

In reality, ecological strategies often generate an over-production of materials, becoming energy-vores and clients of factories, the polluters of the world. The real ecological combat is within the re appropriation of materials and experimentation with ready-made objects, far from the so-called benevolence of subsidized agencies.

ame16The student housing on rue Amelot is a project that inserts itself into an urban interstice: the thickness of a blind wall. It’s within the thickness of these walls that this thin building is constructed. The urban form is an extension of the blind walls, which houses using the existing.


No building is destroyed, and no pollution generated. The skin consists of an existing module: the wooden pallet. Held using horizontal hinges, the pallets contract towards the top, allowing privacy or large openings. The modularity of the various palettes creates varied geometries, which are based on use and constantly regenerated.

ame06The re appropriation of materials recycles the existing without additional processing, which would cost energy in terms of production and create byproduct pollution. The real environmental approach consists not in destruction, but in superimposing interventions upon our built heritage. It consists of a new land strategy, unreferenced on a parcel, constructed in a de facto “ecology” of means.


Photo courtesy Malka Architecture

Read more at ArchDaily and Malka Architecture

Next Tokyo 2045

US-based firm Kohn Pedersen Fox has envisioned a new district in Tokyothat includes a mile-high skyscraper and infrastructure elements that will protect the city from natural disasters.

Called Next Tokyo 2045, the conceptual plan was featured in the Japanese documentary series Next World and was recently published as a research paper by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats.


Billed as a megacity adapted to climate change, the district would accommodate half a million residents and would be built on “resilient infrastructure”, said KPF, which has offices in New York, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Abu Dhabi.

The scheme was partly inspired by a visionary 1960 masterplan by the Metabolist architect Kenzo Tange, in which a sprawling megastructure spans Tokyo Bay and connects coastal communities.

next-tokyo-2045-kohn-pederson-fox-mega-city-proposal_dezeen_936_4“Next Tokyo introduces the spirit of Tange’s unrealised plan to the year 2045 by merging it with new engineering technologies and a strategy for high-density vertical development,” said KPF.

“Occupying the bay, but in a far smaller footprint, Next Tokyo explores future urban growth moving upward, rather than outward.”

next-tokyo-2045-kohn-pederson-fox-mega-city-proposal_dezeen_1568_3KPF’s scheme calls for constructing the new 12.5-square-kilometre district on a manmade archipelago, in an area where development is already occurring. It would sit between the coastal communities of Kawasaki and Kisarazu, which are situated on opposing sides of Tokyo Bay.

“Next Tokyo is a linear district strategically situated at a bottleneck in the bay, where multiple phases of land reclamation encroachment along the east side have reduced the waterway passage to only 14 kilometres across,” said the firm.

“By continuing this narrowing progression, Next Tokyo creates a protective border across the bay between the engineered edge of Kawasaki and the naturally protruding shoreline of Kisarazu.”

The development aims to help protect low-elevation areas in the Tokyo metropolis from rising sea levels, earthquakes and typhoons. It would accomplish this through various infrastructural elements, including faceted breakwater bars and operable floodgates.

The plan also features hexagonal rings ranging from 150 to 1,500 metres in width that will lessen the strength of waves while still allowing for the passage of ships.


The smallest rings would support the high-density development, while the medium rings would largely be used for water storage. Rings on the perimeter would support low-density development, including open spaces and pedestrian routes.

The district would contain several high-rise buildings, with the centrepiece being the Sky Mile Tower. Rising over 1,600 metres, the 420-storey skyscraper will contain apartments that can house up to 55,000 people.


Four sky lobbies, spaced every 320 metres, would feature space for retail and public amenities.

The tower’s form consists of multiple sets of three building “legs” that are interconnected to fit within a hexagonal footprint. The number of floors in each set varies from 60 to 90.

“One building leg set overlaps with another set rotated in plan from the first, and the sequence continues moving up the building,” the firm explained.

Revenue generated from the tower and neighbouring buildings would help pay for the municipal infrastructure needed to support the district, said the firm.

Next Tokyo 2045 is intended to serve as a mid-bay transit hub and will run parallel with the existing Aqua Line, which consists of a bridge and tunnel combination.

The new district would contain tunnels for multiple forms of mass transit, including regional rail lines and a new vacuum-tube transportation system similar to Elon Musk’s Hyperloop.

Energy would be generated on-site through photovoltaic solar cells, wind turbines placed within the skyscaper, and the capture of kinetic energy from trains traversing the bay.

next-tokyo-2045-kohn-pederson-fox-mega-city-proposal_dezeen_1568_0The development would also feature urban farming, including the growth of algae to be used as a clean fuel source.

“Industrial-scale agriculture is integrated into the tall tower facades, while more localised community gardens and rooftop farms are introduced as added amenity,”said the firm. “By providing local crop production on a variety of scales, a more secure food distribution system is created.”

KPF emphasised that Next Tokyo 2045 is a hypothetical proposal intended for research purposes.

Other ambitious conceptual schemes of recent years include a utopian floating city by WORKac and Ant Farm, and Vincent Callebaut’s proposal for underwater “oceanscrapers” made from plastic waste.

Project credits:

Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC
Structural engineer: Leslie Earl Robertson Structural Engineering and Leslie E Robertson Associates
Wind engineer: RWDI Consulting Engineers
Vertical transport consultant: Thyssen Krupp
Rendering: MIR, 3D Focus
Architectural design team: David Malott (design principal), Michael Greene (managing principal), Gera Feigon, Jordan Feinstein, Keisuke Hiei, Yeonmoon Kim, Muchan Park, Albert Wei, Heidi Werner, Luc Wilson and Xing Xiong
Structural engineering team: Leslie E Robertson, SawTeen See, Edward J. Roberts, Irwin La Montagne

Read more at Dezeen

Capita Green Singapore


CapitaGreen is an ultra-modern 40-storey Grade A office tower under construction at the site of the former Market Street Car Park. With a net lettable area of about 700,000 square feet, it is the only CBD office building completing in end-2014 in Singapore’s Downtown Core.


Designed by internationally-acclaimed Toyo Ito, founder of Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects, the proposed 40-storey office tower breaks away from conventional office building designs and seeks to reintroduce lush greenery which once covered the city. The architecture is a conceptual expansion of the earth’s surface through the building’s functional and aesthetic features, and would be a dramatic addition to Singapore’s Central Business District skyline upon completion.


The ground floor will feature a sheltered public plaza with art sculptures. The building is clad with an energy-efficient façade comprising double-skin high-performance glass and extensive vertical greenery.

Total net lettable area
No. of floors
Typical floor area
Core location
Core to window depth
Raised floor to ceiling height
Floor to floor
Raised floor system
No. of car park lots
Air-conditioning system
Security/maintenance system
Approx 700,000 sqft
Approx 22,000 sqft
Centre core
Approx 10m/ 13m/ 16m/ 32m
3.2m (office floors)
180 lots and 4 lots for handicapped
Central chilled water air-conditioning system
Integrated security management, CCTV & card-access

 The tower with net lettable area of about 700,000 square feet will have office space of floor-to-ceiling height of 3.2 metres, one of the highest in office towers within the CBD. The high floor-to-ceiling height allows for larger windows, enabling more natural lighting to come through and a feeling of spaciousness.


The typical floor plate ranges from 20,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet. Among its unique features will be greenery on every floor, sky terraces on two levels, and a roof garden with a restaurant nestled among the trees for a “sky forest” dining experience.



With the inclusion of numerous state-of-the-art energy-saving features, the completed office tower is designed to achieve the Green Mark Platinum award, the highest accolade in recognising environmentally-friendly buildings from the Building & Construction Authority of Singapore.

Read more at CapitalGreen

One Central Park / Ateliers Jean Nouvel


The story behind One Central Park starts with two artists who shared the same vision – architect Jean Nouvel, and French artist and botanist Patrick Blanc.



The Parisian design star is the winner of architecture’s Nobel Prize – the Pritzker, and a host of other architectural awards. Nouvel creates unforgettable skyscrapers, opera houses, museums and universities that grace city skylines from Manhattan to Tokyo.

Some of his other prestigious projects include: the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, and a limited edition perfume bottle for Yves San Laurent. His innovative work is technically cutting-edge, but conceptually poetic.

One Central Park offered Nouvel and Blanc a canvas of an entirely new scale. Here they built an integrated experience for living in harmony with the natural world.

The public park at the heart of the precinct climbs the side of the floor-to-ceiling glass towers to form a lush 21st century canopy. Using 250 species of Australian flowers and plants, the buds and blooms of the vegetation form a musical composition on the façade. Vines and leafy foliage spring out between floors and provide the perfect frame for Sydney’s skyline.


Just like Central Park New York, the 64,00sqm park is a lush tranquil meeting place where you can unwind and relax with friends and family. Wander or cycle through its tranquil groves or simply sit on the lawns for informal al fresco dining. There are also chessboards and an open-air cinema, as well as occasional markets and music festivals.


A hovering cantilever crowns the pinnacle of One Central Park. This contains the tower’s most luxurious penthouses.

Here there are a beguiling assembly of motorised mirrors that capture sunlight, and direct the rays down onto Central Park’s gardens. After dark the structure is a canvas for leading light artist Yann Kersalé’s LED art installation that carves a shimmering firework of movement in the sky. This brings a new starlit architectural shape to the One Central Park design.

  • Architects
  • Location
    LOT 1 Broadway, Central Park, Chippendale NSW 2008, Australia
  • Design architect
    Ateliers Jean Nouvel.
  • Architect of Record
    PTW Architects
  • Green Walls
    Patrick Blanc
  • Project Year
  • Photographs
    Murray Fredericks, Simon Wood, John Gollings

Read more at ArchDaily and One Central Park