Mobile Laboratory

The BMW Guggenheim Lab is a mobile laboratory that will travel to nine major cities worldwide over six years. Led by international, interdisciplinary teams of emerging talents in the areas of urbanism, architecture, art, design, science, technology, education, and sustainability, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will address issues of contemporary urban life through programs and public discourse. Its goal is the exploration of new ideas, experimentation, and ultimately the creation of forward-thinking solutions for urban life.

Part urban think tank, part community center and public gathering space, the BMW Guggenheim Lab is conceived to engage public discourse in cities around the world and through the BMW Guggenheim Lab website and online social communities.

Over the six-year migration of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, there will be three distinct mobile structures and thematic cycles. Each structure will be designed by a different architect, and each will travel to three cities around the globe. The theme of the first two-year cycle of the BMW Guggenheim Lab is Confronting Comfort, exploring notions of individual and collective comfort and the urgent need for environmental and social responsibility. Cycle 1 of the BMW Guggenheim Lab launched in New York and ran from August 3 to October 16, 2011, before continuing on to Berlin and Mumbai. The Berlin presentation, which ran from June 15 to July 29, 2012, was organized in collaboration with ANCB The Metropolitan Laboratory. Cycle 1 will conclude with an exhibition presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2013. Two additional two-year cycles will follow, each with a new mobile structure and theme, concluding in the fall of 2016.



CO2-reduction with airconditioning (2)

Carrier Installs 400th CO2OLtec® Refrigeration System with Carrefour

LYON, France, July 25, 2012 – Carrier has reached a significant milestone with the 400th installation of its CO2OLtec® refrigeration system in a new Carrefour Confluence hypermarket in Lyon, France. The environmentally sustainable CO2OLtec concept uses a natural refrigerant and reduces CO2 emissions. To date, Carrier´s 400 CO2OLtec installations have reduced CO2 equivalent emissions by 102,000 tons – the equivalent of removing 29,900 cars off the road.
Carrier´s innovative CO2OLtec refrigeration system was chosen by Carrefour as part of its initiative to limit CO2 emissions and reduce the store’s environmental impact.
“The CO2OLtec project is consistent with Carrefour objectives to validate new technologies enabling significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This innovative refrigeration system is a key contributor to the very low global warming impact of the shopping center in which the Carrefour Hypermarket is located,” says Mr. Fleury, Carrefour Group asset director, strategic projects.[tt_news]=282&cHash=0ecafadf71f97471571fdce2fb6a94ac


CO2-reduction with airconditioning

According to the Economist it is the 110th anniversary of airconditioning.”Precisely 110 years ago in Brooklyn, on July 17th 1902, in the middle of a warm and wet summer, (Willis) Carrier signed off on the final drawings of what within a few weeks became the world’s first modern air-conditioning unit.” New developments in airconditioningunits could help to filter CO2 from our cities. “The industry is in the process of rediscovering CO2. Nowadays, diesel engines and other piped systems are built to withstand pressures substantially higher than those which caused carbon dioxide to fall out of favour. Like CFCs and HCFCs the gas is non-toxic and non-flammable. It is also all too abundant. John Mandyck, a vice-president of modern-day Carrier, says the company has already begun rolling out its first CO2-based products. They extract the gas from the air, making them carbon-neutral and easy to replenish in the event of a leak…”Plenty of homes still rely on HFC-based units for now. But that will begin to change as the devices reach the end of their useful life and regulators insist on switching over to greener alternatives”.


Wild Raingardens

The 11th of July The Committee of Climate Change (CCC) published their report ‘Climate Change – is the UK preparing for flooding and water scarcity?’. One of their key messages is the one on the managment of surface water flows. ‘Flooding in urban areas is already increasing as a result of paving over green spaces in towns and cities’. Last decades towns and cities have been using ever less permeable surface materials. As a result of this heavy rainfall causes flooding in the city. This is a widely known problem within many European cities. This could be reduced by making cities greener and using more permeable surface materials in public space and private space. In many cities an old-fashioned sewer systems have been designed to handle the drainage of rainwater. With more soft and green surfaces in the city the overcharge of this system could be prevented. Another less obvious factor in the flooding of cities is the private garden. As the CCC explains: ‘Indicators show that in towns and cities the proportion of gardens that   have been paved over increased from 28% of total garden area in 2001 to 48% in 2011. Total garden area in towns and cities has remained roughly constant at around 340,000 hectares of the 1.3 million hectares of total urban extent in England.’ Having a paved garden is easy and have been fashionable too for a long time. But a new trend in gardening could offer a solution. The ‘wild garden’ offers a new approach to gardening. A leading Dutch writer on gardening ‘Romke van der Kaa’ just published the book:’Naturalize, let the plant do the work’. As a Dutch internet bookseller describes: the book …’offers the adventure of plants that go their own way, whether or not directed by us. It delivers beautiful flower meadows, fields or prairie gardens, however small the garden is. An approach that fits comfortably with our current lifestyle, in which there is hardly any time for labor-intensive gardening.’ If the urban populations take up this trend it will contribute to flood prevention in the city.

Let the Wild Raingarden do the work.



Loft Project Etagi

Loft Project Etagi in the heart of St. Petersburg is a good example of how to intensify the inner city. Two St. Petersburg architects took up the initiative to converse the former Smolinsky Bread Factory into an urban meeting point and creative space.The conversed factory houses three galleries, two exhibition spaces, a couple of design- and bookshops, a hostel and the cafe-bar. Café Green Room has a great summer terrace on the roof of the factory. One floor below you find a huge loft space which offers workspace for numerous free-lancers and small businesses on demand. Hidden behind a small door at the street the programmatic ensemble makes use of a potential space which is all over the city in the courtyards of the typical Petersburg building block. Key feature of this complex is the combination with attractors like the hostel and the summer terrace. The kitchen prepares good food and drinks without any profit but is an important driver behind the liveability of the whole.

For a Bike-City

Sunday July 1st more than 1200 cyclists cycled the streets of St. Petersburg to show that the demand for the popularization of bikes exists in the city. The cyclists gathered included people from all ages. Riding among others the infamous Nevski Prospekt should encourage the Governor to impove the infrastructure for cyclists in the city. Although the winters might be too cold to ride your bike, the spring and summer offers endless white nights to cycle. The bike gains popularity worldwide as a convenient way of travelling around the city. Yet not a lot of urban societies have developed a bike-culture and the necessary infrastructure for it. Bike infrastructure should be on top of the agenda of any city. Using the bike for transport reduces carbon emissions, keeps people fit and more over is simply the fastest way to travel within the city. The city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands is maybe the best known example of a bike-city. Within the innercity more than 55% of the daily journeys is done by bike. Giving priority to the bikes means creating bikelanes and creating spaces to park bikes on the streets. Above all it requires a change of urban culture where no longer the car is the dominant consumer of public space. In the Smart City the car will inevitably loose ground.