Eclectic Curiosity

Posted on May 7th, 2003, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Uncategorized. No Comments

This is what you get when you combine postmodern architecture, environmental principles, sychronized technologies and multinational product engineering. It Takes Tech to Tango.

Peter Söderholm pays two or three times the market rate for the 850-square-foot apartment he and his wife moved into last year in the Swedish city of Malmö, an apartment about half the size of their previous home. That’s quite a premium for a unit located on a contaminated former Saab factory site, even if it sits by the sea and on a clear day offers a view of the Danish coast 10 miles away. But Söderholm and his wife, Gunvor, are happy to pay: They live in Tango, a green-and-wired 27-unit complex that decontaminates its own soil, recycles its water into a rebuilt marsh ecology, generates power from renewable sources, uses roof space to put oxygen back into the environment and, through sensors and broadband Web access, allows owners to re-motely monitor and control everything from energy use to electronic key access. Söderholm can sit on his balcony, survey the Øresund like a sea captain, and know that he lives in a showcase for the convergence of home technologies that, piece by piece, are popping up in developments in Europe and the United States. Tango won an important building-of-the-year award in Sweden last year and in January won an American Institute of Architects award for its progressive integration of technology, sustainability and lifestyle-focused design. …

None of Tango’s features are in themselves revolutionary, but together they represent a benchmark. “It’s the thoroughness of the application,” says John Ruble, a principal designer at MRY. “Our building is a mix of highly ambitious sustainable measures—the green roofs, the energy-efficient glass—plus the electronics and information technology. We went very far with these things, but it’s still experimental.

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