Tag Archives: Sydney

Five examples of vertical gardens – including a preview of the world’s tallest

As cities become denser and buildings continue to shoot up, the number of gardens is also on the rise – literally.

The vertical garden is not a new concept, but in recent times it has certainly become more popular. Referring to a wall partially or completely covered with vegetation, a vertical garden includes a growing medium, such as soil, and usually features an integrated water delivery system.

‘Invented’ by Patrick Blanc, the emergence of more and more vertical gardens is in direct response to the growing population in cities.

“The amount of space in these cities is increasingly at a premium, so vertical gardens can provide a welcome oasis,” Blanc tells The Wall Street Journal.

“There is also a growing alarm about things like climate change and deforestation so anything that evokes nature is becoming increasingly sacred.”

This certainly rings true for Australia, where a draft policy by the City of Sydney is calling on residents and businesses to green their roofs and walls as a way of improving air quality, supporting biodiversity, and creating new spaces in the heart of the city for food production and relaxation.

There is at least 96,000sqm of green rooftops and walls across the city of Sydney – roughly equal to 230 basketball courts. The City furthermore receives around one new development application that includes a green roof or wall each week.

To date, Sydney’s most popular vertical garden is probably One Central Park.

One Central Park by architect Jean Nouvel and Patrick Blanc

Located in Sydney, residential tower One Central Park has been billed as the world’s tallest vertical garden. Botanist and garden designer Patrick Blanc sheathed two 380 feet tall buildings in green, with plants and vines climbing up the building’s glass façade.

The greenery is meant to extend the nearby park onto the buildings, creating a verdant district that replicates the natural cliffs of the Blue Mountains. Altogether, there are 450 different types of plants, 250 of which are local species.

The building is specifically designed to redirect light to parts of the vertical garden. The tallest tower features a large cantilever, with a heliostat of motorised mirrors underneath that direct sunlight down onto the surrounding gardens. After nightfall, the cantilever is used as a canvas for a LED light installation by artist Yann Kersalé.

Clearpoint Tower by Milroy Perera Associates and Maga Engineering

Looking to give One Central Park a run for its money is the Clearpoint Tower by Milroy Perera Associates and Maga Engineering in Sri Lanka, which is set to be the world’s tallest vertical garden.

The 46 storey building will be entirely covered in foliage so that not an inch of the glass surface will be exposed to direct sunlight, therefore minimising solar heat gain and acting as a natural cooling system.

The plants will also act as sound and heat buffers, and are expected to provide cleaner air. The vertical garden will be watered using an automated drip irrigatin system that saves water and works independently from the occupants.

One Bligh Street, Sydney by Ingenhoven Architekten and Architectus

Also in Sydney, One Bligh Street in the CBD features a 377m2 green wall – the largest vertical green wall in Australia. Fytogreen was commissioned to deliver the project, with the green wall requiring both shade and wind tolerant plant species.

The project was specified by the architect to be ‘uniform green’ with ‘simplicity rather than celebration’ as its theme. The 40 metre long green wall presents its own site challenges due to its solar orientation.

Park Royal on Pickering by WOHA

Winning big at the 2013 World Architecture Festival is WOHA Architects’ Park Royal Hotel in Singapore, a building overrun with gardens, water features and green pathways.

Occupying a long and narrow plot in the city’s CBD, the 12 storey tall building does not strictly have a green wall, but features cascading planter terraces and waterfalls. A ‘C- shaped’ vegetation sits between glass-walled boxes, and the planted, contoured projections give the impression that the park continues up the building. The contoured undulations and vertical green extends into the interior, uniting the indoor and outdoor realms.

According to WOHA partner Wong Mun Summ, Park Royal had replaced 200 per cent of the green space, therefore acting as precedents for literal green living.

Palacio de Congresos Europa by Urbanarbolismo

The green façade of the Palacio de Congresos Europa in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, was created by Spanish design firm Urbanarbolismo. Embedded into the vertical garden is 33,000 native plants, which range from wetland plant life on the south façade to the vertical orchard at the centre, and plants from the forests in the mountains of Vitoria at the northern end of the building.

A metal rod construction runs across the building’s exterior, branching off at the northern end into streams. This river is lit up by low power LED lights at night, evoking a bird’s eye view of a natural riverbed that highlights the plant life it runs through.


The base of the building consists of benches, where locals can sit among the greenery of the vertical park.

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These Are The World’s Safest Cities

Asian and European cities come out on top. At number 10, New York City is the safest in the United States.

In 1990, homicides in New York hit a record high of 2,245—an average of six per day. In 2013, the city recorded only 335 murders for the entire year, despite adding 1 million more residents.

In other words: “the safety of cities can ebb and flow,” as a new report puts it. Meanwhile, the type of threats change too. Twenty-five years ago, nobody was worried about climate change, and the term “cyber-security” had barely been invented. Now they’re more serious challenges than some traditional crimes.

For a snapshot of current risks to cities and a ranking of which are the safest, see the Economist Intelligence Unit‘s Safe Cities Index 2015. Bringing together 40 data indicators, it offers a multifaceted view of 50 cities worldwide across four areas: digital security, health security, infrastructure safety, and personal safety.

It’s no surprise that, generally, richer cities are safer. Tokyo and Singapore top the list, while Jakarta, in Indonesia, comes out on the bottom. The top-10 is full of well-off comfortable cities like Stockholm (4th) and Zurich (7th). But the rich-safe link isn’t always there.

Some wealthy Middle Eastern places score low down, for instance. “Four of the five Middle Eastern cities in the Index are considered high income, but only one makes it into the top half of the Index: at 25 Abu Dhabi is 21 places above Riyadh at number 46,” the report says.

Tokyo, the world’s most populous city, scores well for digital security, personal safety, and infrastructure safety, despite the risk it faces from earthquakes.

Many European cities score relatively poorly for digital safety, but dominate the top-10 list for health security, with Zurich, Brussels, Barcelona and Frankfurt all appearing. Asia dominates the top-10 for personal safety with the very safe (and dull) Singapore coming out best of all.

Interestingly, the safety of cities isn’t necessarily reflected in how safe citizens feel. That’s particularly true of U.S. cities, where people often feel less safe than perhaps they should (Chicago has the widest divergence between safety perception and reality, according to the data).

That may be a hangover from the homicide highs of the ’70s and ’80s and perhaps a certain mythologizing of crime through TV and movies. Actually, many American cities are relatively safe these days, though New York is still only in 28th place for personal safety.

The Largest Passenger Plane in the World Will Fly the Longest Route in the World

SYDNEY — Sorry Dallas, you are going to be seeing a lot more Aussies flooding in. Today, Australia’s national airline Qantas made aviation history by launching the longest flight in the world with the world’s largest passenger plane.

The Airbus A380 super-jumbo will fly six times a week on the massive 13,800 km journey between Sydney, Australia and Dallas / Fort Worth, U.S. You can expect to be in the air for around 15 hours.

The upgrade of the plane from the Boeing 747-400ER, which previously flew the route, means 10 per cent more Australian travelers get to check out the cowboys of Texas.

“Not only will the A380 increase seats on the route by more than 10 per cent each week, it will also provide us with greater fuel efficiency and the range to operate the return service direct back to Sydney,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said at a media conference on Monday.

The route between Sydney and Dallas has been active since 2011, yet stretched the 747 to its capacity when head winds were strong. The double-decker A380 is expected to handle the trip more easily.

“This aircraft is a longer-range aircraft so it is a better payload range than the 747s which were operating on the route previously,” Joyce said. “We believe that over the last four years we have experienced a lot of information, a lot of knowledge on how to operate these long sectors. And we believe this aircraft will operate very successfully on this route.”

There are 41 Qantas services a week from Australia to North America.

After the Sydney to Dallas route, Delta’s flight from Johannesburg to Atlanta takes second place at 13,582 km, while Dubai to Los Angeles with Emirates will see you in the air for 13,420 km.

The longest flight title was held by Singapore Airlines up until November last year, with Flight 21 from Newark, New Jersey to Singapore coming in at a ridiculous 15,343 km and taking around 19 hours. Qantas now holds the gong.

Miley Cyrus bares her crotch and SPITS on stage as outrageous show returns

We’re used to seeing Miley Cyrus riding giant inflatable genitals and twerking all over the stage – but it seems her outrageous antics are not over yet.

The Bangerz star took to the stage in Sydney, Australia, where she was determined to make her leotards tighter, her dancing dirtier, and her outfits more bizarre than ever.

Wrecking Ball songstress Miley rocked a bright orange one-piece as she romped all over the bonnet of a car.

And if that wasn’t controversial enough, she then got super cosy with a female backing dancer while giving herself the world’s biggest wedgie.

Miley Cyrus performs live on stage for her Bangerz tour at Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia.

The former wholesome Hannah Montana star entered on a giant tongue slide wearing a marijuana leaf necklace.

She then covered the song Jolene – we wonder what her godmother Dolly Parton will think of that.

Miley also has a liking for fake body parts – and showed off a pair of giant bare boobs.

This was all while she was sticking her tongue out, naturally.

Australian Authorities Say Terrorists Planned To Drape People In ISIS Flags And Behead Them In Public

australia terror raid

Police have confirmed Australia’s largest ever counter-terrorism operation targeted a group planning “random acts of violence” against a member, or members of the public, on the streets of Sydney.

News agencies are reporting court documents, to be released later this morning, are expected to reveal the terror group planned to behead a member of the public in Sydney, or potentially engage in a random mass shooting.

A man being arrested following the execution of search warrants across in the north-west suburbs of Sydney

Australian Federal Police and intelligence officials launched the “largest counter-terrorism operation” in Australia across a number of suburban areas in Sydney and Brisbane this morning.

Authorities say behaviour will be closely monitored on the streets of the NSW capital today with police on alert for retaliation following the raids.

Police stand outside a house that was involved in pre-dawn raids in the western Sydney suburb of Guilford September 18, 2014.   REUTERS-David Gray

AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin and NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione addressed the media at a press conference in Sydney this morning and confirmed 25 warrants had been executed and 15 arrests made.

Colvin said the group was planning violent acts, particularly “random acts against members of the public” and that one person has been charged with terrorism-related offences.

The individual is expected to appear in central court later today and Scipione said, “It will be very apparent what was going to happen once the facts come out in the next couple of hours.”

“What we can indicate is the violence was to be perpetrated on a member of the public on the streets,” he added.

Australian police spokesman

Of the 15 people apprehended, three were said to have resisted arrest. There were 800 police officers involved in the NSW operation alone, with at least one weapon seized and multiple properties and cars raided and searched.

Scipione said NSW Police will today implement Operation Hammerhead to deal with any “trouble makers” planning to “take retribution or create trauma within our communities.”

In the early hours of Thursday morning Federal and State Police officers and officials from Australian security agency ASIO conducted raids throughout 12 Sydney suburbs.

The suburbs of Beecroft, Bellavista, Guildford, Merrylands, Northmead, Wentworthville, Marsfield, Westmead, Castle Hill, Revesby, Bass Hill and Regents Park were targeted.

Tony Abbott

Three search warrants were also carried out in Brisbane’s south – in Upper Mount Gravatt East, Logan, and Underwood.

Police released video and photos showing heavily armed officers entering homes before dawn this morning.

Monash University’s acting Director of the Centre for Islam and the Modern World, Greg Barton told Business Insider after the federal government raised the terror threat to “high” on Friday the biggest question has been “what do authorities know about it and what are they doing about it.”

The 10 Best Urban Islands

The Île aux Cygnes in Paris is approximately 36 feet across at its widest point.

  • Île aux Cygnes (Paris, France)

For a quiet stroll in Paris, head for the artificial yet lovely Île aux Cygnes (Isle of the Swans). This narrow, tree-lined strip, half a mile long and barely wider than its central path, is in the middle of the Seine near the Eiffel Tower. Facing New York like a ships’s figurehead is a Statue of Liberty, a quarter the size of the original and a gift from the French community in the United States.

Georges and Spectacle Islands (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
  • Georges and Spectacle Islands (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Fort Warren, built in 1847 as part of Boston’s defenses, is the landmark on Georges Island in Massachusetts Bay. A Frisbee is not essential, but a lot of them get thrown in the fields here. Currents are too strong to swim, but you can have a dip on Spectacle Island, which has five miles of trails, fine views over Boston Harbor, and free jazz concerts in the summer.

Ilha de Paquetá, in Rio de Janeiro, is an auto-free zone. (Photograph by claudiotebaldi, Flickr)
Ilha de Paquetá, in Rio de Janeiro, is an auto-free zone. (Photograph by claudiotebaldi, Flickr)
  • Ilha de Paquetá (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

In the middle of Rio’s Baia da Guanabara, this romantic tropical island is a local favorite that fills up on weekends. On weekdays, though, it can seem a long way from the clamor of the city. Its colonial buildings are part of the well-worn charm, while the absence of cars ensures a leisurely pace: Horse-drawn carts and bikes are the way to get about.

  • Matiu/Somes Island (Wellington, New Zealand)

Set at a strategic point in Wellington Harbour, Matiu Somes Island has been a Maori fortified settlement, the site of New Zealand’s first lighthouse, and a military fortification. Now, under theRoyal Forest and Bird Protection Society, the island has returned to nature. Bird life includes the cute Little Blue Penguin.

  • Kampa Island (Prague, Czech Republic)

By day or night, this is a delightfully tranquil corner of the Czech capital. Slip down the double steps from the Charles Bridge, and you will find yourself on an island on the River Vltava where “the Devil’s Stream” once powered flour mills. Sova’s Mill is now a museum of modern Czech art. Mellow Renaissance and baroque houses surround a central square of cafes and restaurants.

  • City Island (New York City, New York, USA)

A touch of New England in New York City, this 1.5-mile-long island in the Bronx has a nautical air, with marinas and seafood restaurants. Yachts competing in the Americas Cup have been built here, and you can hire sailboats or set out on a fishing trip. The small lanes of late 19th-century wooden mansions have made City Island a backdrop for many films.

  • Pulau Ubin (Singapore)

The last rural refuge in this modern city-state, Pulau Ubin is home to fishermen and prawn farmers. The 5-mile-long granite island has areas of jungle and mangrove swamps with abundant wildlife, and mudflats where endangered flora and fauna flourish. There are mountain bikes for hire.

  • Bowen Island (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

A 20-minute ferry ride from West Vancouver brings you to this wooded island where life is friendly and unhurried. There are no hotels or campsites, so a bed-and-breakfast will bring you into contact with locals. You can enjoy the beaches, lakes, and Bridal Veils Falls, or rent a bike, kayak, or sailboat.

Margaret Island was dominated by nunneries, churches, and cloisters during medieval times.
  • Margaret Island (Budapest, Hungary)

When the mighty Danube reaches Hungary’s capital, it is divided in two by Margaret Island (Margitsziget), named for a 13th-century princess. Caught between the two halves of the ancient city, the island provides escape and recreation, with a jogging path, restaurants, theater, and thermal springs. Ruined monasteries add to the romantic air that has inspired writers.

  • Cockatoo Island (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia)

Where else can you pitch a tent by the water in the heart of a city and watch the sun rise and set over its skyline? As a former penal colony and the largest shipyard in Australia, Cockatoo Island has a legacy of dry docks, industrial buildings, and warehouses that provide ideal venues for art and performance.

Urban office architecture envisions a rising city at parramatta square

urban office architecture envisions a rising city at parramatta square

the city of parramatta, australia held a competition calling for two commercial high rises with an emphasis on energy efficient design. in response, urban office architecture have proposed ‘the city rises,’ which fuses two towers to begin as one unified entity and diverge as they rise. carlo enzo’s new york-based office has envisioned the building to serve as an asset to the public realm, extending from parramatta square to the north. glass boxes at the outermost layer of the structure contain vertical circulation allowing pedestrian access to upper levels. throughout the ascent, visitors are able to access programmed ‘floating rooms,’ which provide various urban functions.

urban office architecture parramatta square designboom
‘floating rooms’ connected by glass circulation volumes

the building’s specific twisting and projection to the south is prompted by performative efficiency in regards to heat loss/gain and structure. the result simultaneously offers improved interior configurations for office layouts. as the structure rises, offices have a close relationship to public areas, allowing for a healthy and enjoyable working environment.

urban office architecture parramatta square designboom
curving form responds to efficiency of building systems such as structure and solar gain

located near sydney, australia, ‘the city rises’ relates closely to its climatic conditions. oriented towards the north, black and glass boxes are able to collect and circulate water, light, and solar energy. the curving and aerodynamic form reduces wind loads and sun glare. multiple layers of glass treated with a photosensitive film lessen the solar gain, while remaining nearly transparent.

urban office architecture parramatta square designboom

urban office architecture parramatta square designboom

multi-layered glass skin treated with photosensitive film to reduce heat gain

urban office architecture parramatta square designboom

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