High Flying Design

Joseph Cory looks up for inspiration. From that vertical mentality came i-Rise, with collaborator Eyal Malka, which was a runner up in the 2007 Next Generation® Design Competition.

With a new 1:20 scale model of the i-Rise on hand Cory is showing the world his vision of architecture for the future, which takes to heart issues of land use, energy efficiency, and neighbor relations. The prototype will be on view along with other pieces from Cory’s firm Geotectura at ZeZeZe Architecture Gallery in Tel Aviv from January 24 to February 21, 2008.

The i-Rise prototype begins by showing how the modular tall structure packs a lifetime of changing use onto a concentrated area. “The idea is to build on a very minimal footprint and still have the quality of a villa that is out of reach for many people,” explains Cory. “The modern villas are like the dinosaurs, they’re going to be extinct in a few years because land is getting very scarce.”

But it’s not just the footprint that makes i-Rise special. The form is designed to grow and shrink according to the needs of the user at a particular stage in life. A young family beginning to have children, for example, can build up to accommodate each new member of the household. When the children are grown and leave home, the upper floors can be dismantled, resulting in lower energy consumption for the aging couple.

“You can close those floors, like a plug and play system. You just put up or remove the four walls on the structure,” Cory says. “You can do it without even having to ask your neighbors because you’re using your own potential of vertical growth without harming or endangering your neighbors’ rights.”

Cory’s most recent high flying idea is called SunHope. It’s a system of putting solar panels a little closer to the source via balloon that he’s been working on with Dr. Pini Gurfil, an expert on aerospace engineering at Technion University. “We use helium-filled balloons coated with photovoltaic panels,” Cory explains. “Eventually what we want to achieve is making a kind of energy field. It’s a very plain, renewable energy.”

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