Archive for the ‘sustainable development’ Category

Therapy Garden Nacadia

Many of us know that a walk through the woods and along the beach works well on our mood and health. We might do not know how it works but all of us can feel it. Some green places are made to investigate how different green spaces can cut the stress level and eventually prevent stress condition, and help to get on track after illness. The places are known as therapy gardens.

In this post I describe a new therapy garden Nacadia that was open in 2011 in Hoersholm, a town north from Copenhagen. I have been in Nacadia in May, with my colleagues that work on the idea to set up a therapy garden in Copenhagen. We all want to see this new green area to get inspired, talk to founders and enjoy the nature. It took us around 30 min by bus to get there but nature surrounding us has changed remarkably. From the dense noisy city we arrived to peaceful fresh smell environment. And I think pictures will speak for it better than words.

Welcome to the green!

Some facts about the place.
Therapy garden Nacadia was designed in the context of research and experience about natural healing. Stress sufferers can take part in a 10-week treatment in the Nacadia to meet an improved quality of life and return to normal life.
The societal direct and indirect costs of the Danish mental health problems cost many billions every year, therefore prevention of the stress is very important. The Nacadia garden can also function as a stress prevention place.

The Nacadia garden was established in the existing arboretum in Hoersholm, where new glass buildings were built and old building was renovated with nice walking terrace around. The place in the unique environment gives great opportunities to shape several rooms with different experiences of nature and natural conditions for many nature based activities. For example there is outdoor fire-place, lake, small river, tree houses, compost station etc.
Inside of the glass houses are different places with nature elements, water and activities that help to relax and feel closer to the nature.
Some pictures around the area.

Inside of the glass buildings.

Here you can sit in silence, listening to the sound of the creek, or digging in the earth, or to meditate by the fire.

Outside on the walking terrace with a splendid view.

Artificial lake that was made in a clearing surrounded by dense trees.

Fire place.

 All in the Nacadia garden made with high quality design and with knowledge of detail.
Personally, I have inspired by special benches that have integrated box with a soil around, so  plants and flowers grow around the seat. It could be a brilliant idea for a city environment as well. 

Nature in the Nacadia garden is very various and gorgeous, and it is possible to experience trees in a different way due to specifically adjoined elements.

I do not know how stressed I was before our visit to the Nacadia garden, but I left the place completely happy:)


Peter Stutchbury

Yesterday I went to the Danish Architecture Center for a lecture by australian architect Peter Stutchbury.
I was so much impressed by his works! In my opinion it is the best combination of sustainable and contemporary architecture I have ever seen! With a high level of quality in every single detail. Amazing work with water surfaces on top and around the buildings. Very inspiring work with climate adaptation of every house he made.
You can see his houses here.

The picture is taken from

Sustainable Eco District BO 01 in Malmo _Part 2

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

I have promised you guys to write more about BO 01 district in Malmö, so I do it now.

The first post about BO 01 was more emotional about my feelings of the place. This part will be more informative and include some opinions of the local residents, that I have interviewed in the spring 2011. And many pictures!

Here on this picture you can see wind protection at balconies, this type of removable glazing is quite popular in Scandinavia.

So from the beginning BO01 area was planned as a housing exhibition of 2001 with aim to create environmental oriented housing district.

There are many ecological principles in buildings, area layout and infrastructure. For example all building were built with no hazardous materials used in the building process, and the building materials should be reusable when the buildings are demolished. The construction companies were directly involved in negotiating the quality program with its environmental targets and requirements.

Catwalk is a very season dependent place: empty in the cold season and overcrowded in the summer. Actually the catwalk functions as a city scale public place where people can take a swim, enjoy the sun, sail around, have a coffee with a friend, take family dinner or just seat by the seaside. It takes 10-15 min by walk from the city center, or 2-3 min by bus, or even faster with a bike. The bus service which connects with several of the main central points in town run in seven minute intervals. However the parking space is quite limited at the area. There is only 0.7 parking space per household that aim to rank pedestrian and bicycle. There is also an electrical car pol available for the residents.

Green elements plays an important role in the area. The area was planned according to the green space and green points factors. First one was developed to require the construction companies to find solutions to increase the amount of rain water infiltration into the ground locally, and the second one aiming to increase biodiversity in the area. Green point factor is basically a list of approx. 30 different measures, such as the planting of rare species, putting up of bird and bat boxes, creation of different habitats for animals and insects in the area. Together with the implementation of an open rain water management system it is resulted in a very high level of biodiversity, especially with regard to equally densely populated city areas.

The quality program of BO01 area implied the construction companies to use different architects for different plots of land, resulting in an interesting and stimulating, diverse city district which invites for walking and spending time in the area.

Energy issue in BO01. An important part of the concept is low energy use in the buildings. Each unit is only allowed to use 105 kWh/m²/year,
including household electricity and is equipped with a meter that displays the electric and caloric consumption. This target was however not achieved in most of the houses, which is mainly due to the fact that the theoretically calculated energy consumption did not prove
realistic in practice since it included a lot of unknown and before not used assumptions.

There are 1,400 m² of solar collectors, placed on top of ten of the buildings complement the heat produced by the heat pump to supply the area. A large wind power station (2 MW) placed in Norra Hamnen (the north harbour) and 120m² of solar cells produce electricity for the
apartments, the heat pump, fans and other pumps within the area.

Waste treatment program in BO01 implies the transformation of the organic wastes into biogas (through a system of the vacuüm
waste chutes where the waste is taken to the biogas plant). The biogas is then used to heat homes and power vehicles.

Copenhagen Design Week 2011

October 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Copenhagen Design Week took place at the 1st – 6th of September in Copenhagen. I got a chance to work as volunteer there and can say now there was very inspiring and rich atmosphere. The event had motto Think Human and it was the main message of every single product presented. Designers presented their ideas not only having human in mind as a customer, but also trying to solve the major social challenges in both national and global scale.

The whole event was driven by The Danish Design Centre and was organised as  sequence of exhibitions, talks, master classes and Index Award ceremony.

The main event at the Copenhagen Design Week was the Index: awards ceremony “Design to improve life”. Index: is a world known design award which is the largest cash design prize in the world 500 000 euro covering the five categories: Body, Home, Play, Work and Community. Many of the finalists works were presented directly at the open air exhibition by the Royal Danish Playhouse, in special designed boxes-pavilions by Greg Lynn & Christian Ditlev Bruun. Inside of the pavilion was a transparent box with one or other product. Among those works were a number of major trends, by that i mean the finalist projects was showing a proven impact and were not just creative ideas but already operational and implemented designs. Main areas of design works were at the educational, healthcare and community scale level.

So let us see the winners and think about how that creative ideas can help to save the world.

Body Category_ The Body Category comprises all designs related to the human body, such as: dress, shoes, different devices and appliances used in treatment and care and body-related technology, and online services. Some of the nominates: Pure Water Bottle, Lung-on-chip, Janma the clean birth kit, 21st century nursing bag, adjustable glasses and others. And the winner is..SEE BETTER TO LEARN BETTER! – free eyeglasses program  for school children in Mexico. It is a collection of customizable eyeglasses for children ages 6-18 years. The glasses are very stylish and by its design change the child’s attitude from  wearing glasses and being drilled as handicap towards a very fashionable and personal choice to break that stereotype. The designer Yves Behar used an engineering plastic with a hyper-flexible property to make the glasses practically unbreakable and suitable for a child’s constantly changing needs. Glasses help kids to see better and give them a better chance to succeed in school and in further life. All states of Mexico are expected to get 400 000 glasses this year.

Collage is made of pictures taken from and

Home Category_The Home Category includes all design works related to theme Architecture, Interior Design, Furniture, Tools, Utility systems and online services. Some of the nominates: Biolite home stove (a cooking stove that cuts emissions by 95% generating off-grid electricity), Bware water meter (a small device that show how much of running water are in use), Evacuation Shelter (a vital place for survivors in a natural disaster situation) and others. And the winner is…ELEMENTAL MONTERREY! – 70 incremental housing complex in Monterrey. Social housing complex provides 70 basic housing with bathrooms, kitchens and staircases – living areas for people who have under middle-income standard. The housing complex will be placed in growing cities that face growing slum challenge. The important thing is to build a house in two steps: first half (36 sq.m.) is built with a public money support and it is a basic construction part that requires coordination (basic utilities and infrastructure). By using the old 70’s incremental housing an open system was suggested, that allows further growth to occur within the structure and at the time when people can afford it. This approach is seen to solve the problem of social housing that is unable to accommodate the diversity of people needs and preferences.

Collage is made of pictures taken by Ramiro Ramirez.

Play Category_The Play Category includes all design works related to sport, play, leisure and culture. Some of the nominates: a Solar powered media player and radio, The Learning Landscape (an educational playground where children can be physically active and learn while they play), The dream ball project (footballs made by recycling famine relief packaging), Un Global Dilemma game (the game that helps businesses to understand relevant issues through the role-play complex situations). And the winner is…HOVDING! – a bicycle helmet that is practical, ergonomic, safe and support you’re wearing style. Designed by Anna Haupt & Terese Alstin (Sweden) the Hovding is a collar that has a folded up airbag that inflates in case of accident. The airbag is deployed by sensors – accelerometers and gyros – that pick up a bicyclist’s abnormal movements in the event of an accident. The sensors then send a signal to the gas inflator to inflate the airbag.  The collar is not only can protect against serious skull injuries, but also is fashionable because of its shape like a hood around the neck. The shell surrounds the collar can change its look when you feel like it. It can appear in different design, color, patterns and fabric that makes Hovdning more like a fashion accessory. Moreover it is easy to carry around, it is washable and it will save your life!

Collage is made of pictures from

Work Category_The Work Category comprises all design works related to work environment, such as Architecture and Interior Design, work tools, education, manufactory machines, online services etc. Some of the nominates: AskNature Biomimicry Website (free open source website that catalogs nature’s survival strategies by biological function), MycoBond (a sustainable alternative to styrofoam, grown using mushroom roots), Puma: Clever little bag (bag and box system that is easy to assembly and completely recyclable) and others. And the winner is…

DESIGN FOR CHANGE! – a method (or a design process) that gives children all over the globe an opportunity to express their own ideas and to create their own future. The process got children to Feel, to Imagine, to Do and to Share with a help of a toolkit that include guidelines, teacher tips and possible examples of a change story. Design for Change aims to help children change their life situation and improve the quality of life. By learning how to act and change their life condition children become more competent and less helpless. In countries where children are forced by life condition to work, to get married and to get birth under 15-16 years old, the Design for Change will allow them to design the future that they wish.

Community Category_The Community Category includes all design works that made to share by community, such as roads, public spaces, parks, infrastructure, means of transport, services and concepts for societies, design strategies, networking etc. Some of the nominates: Refugees United (a global database centralizing information on separated families), T.27 (a pure electric vehicle), Shokay (a sustainable source of employment and income in Tibet region), Watair (dew and rainwater collectors with clean water supply and treatment) and others. And the winner is…DESIGN SEOUL! – the first coherent design based approach to improve city life in a very large city. The design approach has people-oriented solutions to solve social, environmental and public health problems. Design Seoul has five principles: Airy, Integrated, Preserving, Collaborative and Sustainable Design. It was implemented in public spaces, buildings, facilities, visual media, outdoor advertisement etc. Some examples of urban revitalizing in Seoul: the Gwanghwamun Square Project that has transformed part of 16-lane road without a walkway into a new public space, the Dassan Call Center, which is a telephone service that has revolutionized city services in Seoul, the reconstruction of the Mount NamPark District into a public accessible tourist venue and others. Design Seoul is a good example of how the use of design solutions make city more healthy, more ecological, more fun place to work and live in.

Collage made of pictures from and

Gosh, there were so many very talented designs at the Copenhagen Design Week ! Hope you also enjoy to read about some of them:)

Bo01 – eco-district in Malmo, Sweden

April 18, 2011 2 comments

Part 1

Malmo is located on the south of Sweden, and it’s just 35 min away by train from Copenhagen. You just take a train, cross the Oresund (sound between Denmark and Sweden) and you are in Sweden. Take a 15min walk towards Western Harbour and here it is – Sustainable Development Bo01 – the famous eco-district.

BO01 eco-district in Malmo, Sweden

View from Bo01 at the bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden.

I’ve been there 2-3times before, but I like to come there anyway. This time I did some interviews with locals and tourist to find out what is it for them to live in such a place? Tourists were asked basically about their experience of the place. I also talked to the owner of the restaurant Salt&Brygga, that is part of the district. This description of Bo01 is mostly based on my personal experience and things I’ve heard from people.

I’ve got there in a cloudy windy day and was almost blown by the wind. It was the end of March, but with a cold wind it felt like November. There were few people, just locals that were in a hurry to run some meters from the car to the house door, or quickly taking a short walk with a dog. In such a day it’s better to stay inside.

The plant works as a wind indicator. By the way the wind is extremely harsh only by the water promenade, where is no protection from the seaside. However inside of the area is quite windless, because buildings were designed and placed in the way to stop the wind and create protected environment.

Calm environment inside of the district.

To continue I’ll say some facts about the area.

Shortly, Bo01 was build in 2001 (the name is consist of word Bo -“to live” in Swedish and 01 – the 2001 is the year of foundation). Bo01 is a first step of the Western Harbor Development (former shipyard area), that is for ten years got housing, school, offices around BO01 area. The development started as a house exhibition, with aim to show the new way of living. All buildings were supposed to have low-energy consumption with local energy produced by “green energy sources” wind mills, photovoltaic cells and burned waste. In combination with diverse architecture and special green program it meant to be a model of future housing district.

Every house made by different architect is its special manner and unique style.

There are many thoughts behind BO01 development about how to make buildings and urban living  environmental friendly. For example the organic waste gets transformed into biogas, that is used after for heating and for driving vehicles. The rain water goes to collecting system, and all of the grey water is treated at the purification’s post. I have to admit that organic thinking seems quite normal in Sweden, people for example consider to sort their waste so natural , so it’s hard to believe that 10 years ago it was new way of thinking.

The rainwater channels are used as bike parking feature by locals.

One of my questions to local people was: do you know how much energy you consume? All of them didn’t know the figures, but said that they supposed to know, and hope that it will be possible to monitor energy consumption in the future. May be there were some measure devices in apartments from the beginning, but not anymore.

The waterside of Bo01 is popular among locals and guests.

This place is known as a Catwalk, and it’s full with people in warm days. But in cold windy days Catwalk is quite empty. The design of this wooden deck and landscape around is made by Danish architect Jeppe Aagaard Andersen.

Green Program is very important in Bo01. Birds, bats, butterflies are welcome to leave here, because courtyards provided by nests and feeders. Buildings have also some features for climbing plants.

Wooden ladder on the façade helps climbing plants.

Water, trees, bushes + high esthetic architecture made this place unforgettable.

The building at the right corner is Turning Torso, the 190 meters high building (mix of dwelling and office) designed by Santiago Calatrava. This tallest in Scandinavia high scraper became the icon of Malmo.

To be continued…