You may think that once winter hits and no one wants to go swimming, you’ll have less pool maintenance to do and can give your automatic pool cleaner a rest. Preparing your pool for winter is not difficult, but it is something that must be done, not just once but regularly over the winter months to ensure your pool water does not turn green.
Fortunately, in areas where the water doesn’t freeze, winterising the pool is much easier. If you have a pool blanket installed it will be even easier, but it still needs to be done, so there’s no getting out of it.
The first thing to do before covering your pool is to make sure the water is still of good quality.
Add a long-lasting algaecide so your water doesn’t turn green over the winter months.
Remove all the sticks and leaves as they’ll stain the floor of the pool if left over the winter. This will need to be done regularly all winter if you don’t have a blanket.
Exile’ is Cuban artist José Ángel Vincench’s current art installation at the 11th Havana Biennial Art Exhibition which is held every two years in Cuba, and is aimed at promoting “Third World” contemporary art, giving voice to unheard and ignored artists.
Vincench’s five mobile homes spell out the word ‘exile’, and the empty trailers symbolically represent individuals who live outside of their own country either due to politics, censorship, or just for personal reasons such as income to support families left behind in their home country.
German artist and designer Heike Bottcher turned an old blue farmhouse into a hydro-driven symphony.
Dubbed the Court of Water, and located on the Dresden’s Kunsthof Passage farm collective, the innovative art installation uses water to turn the building, complete with a series of funnels, pipes and tubes, into a living hydro-powered concert. With no two performances ever the same.
The E-Scape Personal Workspace is US-based architect Michael Jantzen’s creative solution for a lightweight, modular and prefabricated office space that can be reconfigured for added privacy.
The E-Scape modular components are made from sustainably grown wood products, and eco-friendly fabrics. Curved wood support frames are prefabricated into different lengths and shapes. Bolted together, these support frames can form many different shapes and sizes depending on workspace availability and how office colleagues want to interact – privately or via a more open plan design.
Jazzing up today’s boring (beige or grey) open plan offices, is made easy with the innovative E-Scape design, using different colored, textured, and/or patterned fabrics, sewn together and attached to the support frame sections. The fabric can also be woven through the support frames, easily changing the color, texture, pattern, and/or opacity of the structure.
The fabric can also be dyed using eco-friendly products and the entire structure can be easily remodeled and added to, or transported to another location. The versatility of E-Scape will prolong its use in a workspace, recycling office furniture and keeping precious resources out of landfills.
Mimicry is the ultimate form of flattery. The Fibrous Tower from Austrian SOMA Architects, won second place in the Taiwan Tower International Competition by applying biomimicry to their entry and advanced design techniques.
The Austrian architecture firm, with offices in Vienna and Salzburg, modeled their creation on a plant-like, zero-emissions design that responds to its surroundings like a living plant. The building also generates its own electrical power with piezo-electric mechanisms to generate voltage from structural movement plus a building façade-mounted flexible photovoltaic skin, and high efficiency rigid solar panels on flat surfaces. The total available area is an incredible 25,000sq.m (269,000sq.ft) for solar power generation.
The building has a museum, tower lobby, green spaces and a network of paths that intertwine with the building lower levels that mimic tree roots. The towers reach skyward like flower stamens with elevators and public observatories. SOMA Architects used genetic algorithms to optimize the design, evaluating over 2,500,000 design alternatives, before finalizing their concept design and performing a structural analysis.
Designed to explore the potentials of a large winery but also function as a solar electric generation power plant, the Solar Vineyard Winery, from designer Michael Jantzen, utilizes solar electricity produced through a large bank of curved photovoltaic solar cells that are elevated above the winery roof.
The solar electricity powers the entire winery and the excess is sold to the local utility. The cells also shade the structure below, and symbolically refer to giant rows of grape vines planted on a hillside. Shaded space beneath the solar panels is used by visitors for picnics and special events.
Rainwater is also collected off of the curved roof and stored for use in and around the winery. All of the water used at the winery is recycled and is used to water the grape vines.
Most of the utilitarian portion of the Solar Vineyard Winery is placed under the main structure, which references the surrounding rolling hills of the wine country in which the structure is situated. The above ground portion of the winery is used for the retail part of the business, which includes wine tasting and sales, a shop, a cafe, rest rooms, etc.
Large glass windows are recessed into the south side of the structure to shade the interior in the summer, and provide passive solar space heating in the winter. Natural ventilation is used throughout the winery for cooling, along with an extensive system of earth pipes that cool the air as it is drawn into the structure.
“My hope with this design is to demonstrate ways in which alternative energy gathering systems like solar cells, can be integrated into the built environment without appearing to be an afterthought,” explains the designer. “In this case, the solar cells become an integral part of the esthetics of the design in addition to having the potential of producing a large amount of solar electrical energy for many years.”
A single person mobile ice-fishing hut, with cleverly designed walls made from ice, is the latest creation from Norwegian designers Gartnerfulgen Arkitekter.
Using a folding wooden frame and chicken wire, the ice walls allow light while keeping the bitter winter wind out. The ice walls weighs down the structure and helps maintain stability, but breaking the ice walls reduces the hut’s weight and it can then be relocated.
This innovative design idea makes use of natural physics to create a lightweight, mobile and protective shelter.
The Solar Winds Cultural Arts Center is a design proposal from artist Michael Jantzen for a large solar and wind powered structure dedicated to being used for a wide variety of cultural arts activities.
“The center is composed of seven conical shaped modular structures that are merged together at their bases. Each of the seven are fitted with a large vertical axis wind turbine designed to be integrated into the shape of the apex of each of the conical shaped forms,” explains the designer. “Four of the south facing cone shaped structures are fitted with large, integrated photovoltaic solar cell arrays. These solar cell arrays are backed with specially designed solar heat extraction systems.”
The wind turbines, solar cells, and solar heat extraction systems provide all of the electricity, space heating, and water heating energy needed to operate the center. Whenever there is a surplus of energy generated by the structure, it is distributed to the local community energy grid.
The tall conical shaped segments of the structure also function to naturally ventilate the center as air is drawn in at the base of each segment and vented out through uniquely designed air exhaust ports at the top. Each of the seven conical shaped segments of the structure are also equipped at the top with skylights, which naturally illuminate the spaces below.
The clustering of the seven conical structures created an enormous cavernous space that is ideal for cultural arts events. The perimeter of the structure, and in-between the seven conical shaped segments, includes a multitude of flat shaped shade roofs and bridges between several of the segments in order to form platforms for outdoor events.