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Home-grown: Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner Takes on the World
Berlin: "Export" at the German Center for Architecture shows off home-grown talent exporting their architectural finesse around the world.
March 15, 2005
If you’re in Berlin between now and May 1, it will be worth a visit to DAZ/Deutsche Architektur Zentrum (German Center for Architecture) to see “Export,” an exhibition of 50 projects by 15 German architectural firms whose works have been “exported” to Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa.
Among of the firms in the show whose international profile – and portfolio – has seen rapid growth in the last few years (primarily by taking first prize in a number of high-profile competitions) is Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner. The Stuttgart- and Los Angeles-based firm is represented by seven projects that particularly demonstrate the architects’ attention to environmental issues and green building – as well as cutting-edge design.
Senscity Paradise Universe
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Senscity Paradise Universe combines elements of a typical theme park including a toy gallery, a theater, auditoria, and restaurants, with landscape and garden features, exhibition spaces, and a series of playgrounds.
The architects have designed an energy-efficient and enjoyable environment, rising like a green oasis form the Nevada desert. The “architectural landscape” is a central feature of the design, formed and modulated using “natural” barriers to separate and protect the park from its surroundings. A variety of spatial links – green areas, plazas, an artificial lake, and meandering paths – will make the complex easy to navigate.
The park’s signature will be iconic “desert flowers” – light-weight metal structures (similar to those used in the airplane industry) up to 120 feet high and 300 feet wide – that will protect the landscape (and visitors) from the desert sun. Evaporating water on the structures’ expansive “leaves” will cool the air; their enormous height will generate a down-draft airflow bringing cool air streams into the public spaces, creating a very comfortable environment. In addition, the “leaf” surfaces will be cooled down by cold air on the inside, adding radiant cooling.
The leaves can also be used as energy collectors. Photovoltaic cells or solar collectors can transform radiation into electricity or heat. A vertical axis wind turbine in the center of a flower could transform wind into electricity. Transsolar Energietechnik of Stuttgart, Germany is the Energy Concept Consultant.
The project is currently in design development and could break ground as early as next year.
Senscity Paradise Universe, Las Vegas, by night
Senscity main concourse
Senscity evaporation/cooling diagram
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