GREENinc’s February Newsletter

I rather neglectfully didn’t post a newsletter last month. There would have been things to report on, mainly because James was galivanting down under and posting things as he went.

Like the Rainbow City installation, which he didn’t find down there, did he? And this anti-drinking-and-driving campaign – mmm, Spanish, not New Zealand either. And another interesting installation, a roof this time – wait a minute, “het dak dat opgaat in rook”? That can’t be Australia. It looks like he spent his whole trip surfing the net. Maybe he didn’t go at all?

Then Anton got in on the act, he posted this restaurant in an old banking hall and a pic of the benches that we will be using in Sharpeville. He also raved about the design review process undertaken by Places Matter in the UK, and posted a link to a Sunday Times article on green roofs in which he is (extensively!) quoted. In fact, some representatives from a German green roofing company visited us here in the office yesterday to investigate green roofing opportunities here. They mainly install green roofs on existing buildings not necessarily designed to have them in Munich, where any new building larger than fifty square metres must have a green roof. The use a much thinner growing medium layer than we have used for buildings designed with a green roof in order to save weight.

Annamari posted a link to a site that gives you a 720 degree view of the interior of the Sistine Chapel. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the view you see here is that there are no tourists in sight!

Anton has posted interviews with SHoP Architects and Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, so visit the Facebook site for those.

Oh, and James got around to posting a link to Ballast Point Park in Sydney by McGregor Coxall. I’m always showing people images of this inspirational project to illustrate everything from brownfield development to how great gabions can look.

December Newsletter

Welcome to the last newsletter of 2010. Of course things have reached a fever pitch of craziness round here, as usual at this time of year.

Luckily, it seems that the GREENinckers still make time to post the stuff that inspires and amuses them on the Facebook site. Like a link to an article on the hobbits’ houses and their latest tenants. And one on underwater sculpture in the Caribbean. And maybe the thinnest house front in the world. And a really cool interactive video that lets you send postcards from it. And a tree sculpture in Singapore. And a proposal for EXPO Milan 2015. There are also updates on some of our projects, including those at the Sharpeville Cemetery, an office park in Mbabane, the Rosebank open space project and the Botswana Innovation Hub.

Another day’s work has been done on the deck. This is good. Just one day, though.

The office will close on the 15th, and I’m sure we’ll have a lot to say between now and then on the Facebook site. Let me take this early opportunity to wish you a wonderful break and a fantastic and green 2011.

November Newsletter

Well, it took us longer than a week to announce it, but a post did go up on our facebook page that we have launched our new website. I think this site is more about our work and less about the site. It’s much quicker than the old site and as a result a lot more fun to navigate. Have a look. In fact, go wild, post a comment.

What else did we post in the last month? See how a Japanese architect made his housing project stack up. We posted an item on another project that we’re working on in Sharpeville. Check out a thingymabob by an kinetic sculptor (never ask “what is it?” about an artwork). And a quirky artwork in a park in Belgium. At least you won’t have to ask this time!

You will be pleased to hear that work is progressing in GREENinc’s own small patch out back, which is evolving slowly. The long-awaited deck has started to take shape, currently in the form of a matrix of stumpy wooden posts. It’ll be great when it’s finished…

October Newsletter

Candace has left us to become a mom – we wish her the best and much joy from her new arrival. Is this becoming a pattern? Someone complained that GREENinc is getting too male-dominated, but it’s not our fault, honestly. It’s something about the air in our office obviously, Annamari is the only one holding out – it just gives her sinus problems, but we have been talking about an air purifier.

Since the last newsletter, GREENinckers have got excited about shopping bags, urban transformation in Braamfontein, the Cape Town Stadium precinct and extensions to the Cape Quarter, a graffiti artist with a pole penchant, the South African Institute of Architects Awards of Merit, an old reservoir that was converted into a park, a peer-review organisation for development in the UK, an animation made from sand, a collage artist and the fact that we turn 15 this month. Yes, we are downplaying that last one because we haven’t organised a party yet. But watch this space, we do have something exciting to announce next week. And maybe we’ll get around to a party too.

GREENinc’s September Newsletter

The GREENinc facebook page is crammed with stuff this month.

There’s news of two of our projects, the June 16th and Sharpeville Memorials. There are book reviews. There are several video downloads. Are you living as if your mother-in-law were the only woman in your life? Find out on the presentation by Jaime Lerner. There are a couple of posts on the our Emmarentia Environmental Education Centre project, which got an Urban Green File inspiration award. There’s an amazing green-roofed school. There are photos of arbitrary things that have intrigued or amused Anton on his rounds. There’s a light that powers itself from wind or sun power. There is an artist who aims to capture the mystery of natural processes. There is news of the Architect Africa Film Festival. And there are lots of other links, some of them to news sites that feature our projects, which we especially like of course. Here are a couple – check out Freedom Park on the urbarama site and the Fairlands Office project on World Architecture News.

What do think of this new newsletter format? Maybe you haven’t been able to access any of the stuff I’ve been writing about because of some kind of information suppression, so I’m still going to put links in. And you can comment on it more easily. Let us know!

Arbour Week 2010 Launched at GREENinc’s Orange Farm Park

I attended the launch of Arbour Week 2010 this morning at the Orange Farm Regional Park. Arbour Week has grown out of Arbour Day (ha ha) and this year’s theme is “Plant for the Planet – Grow Green”. A worthy sentiment. Arbour Week is promoted by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries which has partnered with our client Joburg City Parks in tree planting intitiatives.

There were many compliments for the park but actually, to tell the truth, it was almost invisible, transformed into an marquee city. Even the olive tree at the entrance to the park found itself squeezed into a marquee! The minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries was to address the crowds (and crowds there were), but couldn’t make it today so her acting DG Mr Peter Thabethe did so instead. No matter, he did a good job, and so did our mayor. The speeches focused on global warming and value of planting trees to mitigate it and they were interspersed with some cultural entertainment, the perfomers including the Soweto Gospel Choir. The whole event was brilliantly MCed by PR Councillor for the Environment, Ms Salphina Mulauzi.

Sharpeville Memorial

In the past few months our team lead by the GREENinc office has made great strides in the process of building a commemorative space in sharpeville honouring the fallen heroes of the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre. This poem by Bra Syd captures the spirit of the time and we hope to introduce it somewhere in the project.

Here… is a pic of the construction taking place. The project will be complete in November 2010. Cant wait!

‘I Remember Sharpeville”

Sipho Sydney Sepamla

On the 21st March 1960

on a wrath-wrecked ruined-raked morning

a black sea surged forward
its might ahead mind behind

it had downed centuries-old containment…

it sucked into its core the aged and the young…

into a solid compound of black oozing energy

in a flash of the eye of gun-fire…

they fled they fell…

our heads bowed
our shame aflame
our faith shaken

we buried them for what they were

our fallen heroes and our history

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