An adaptable timber house celebrates recycling in Ecuador

January 11, 2019 by  
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Ecuadorian architecture firm Natura Futura Arquitectura has teamed up with Frontera Sur Arquitectura to develop an inspiring example of social architecture in the town of Huaquillas, Ecuador. Dubbed La Comuna, the project is a double-story timber structure that not only provides a local family a place to live but also a safer work environment for them to continue their recycling business. The building was constructed with six easily replicable modules that take inspiration from the local vernacular with its “chazas”, or latticed screens. Commissioned by a foundation and private company, the architects were asked to create a live-work building that would also be held up as an inspirational landmark for the city, which suffers from a reputation of poor sanitation. To that end, the design studios created a two-story building with a community-facing ground floor that houses the recycling workspaces, while the upper level houses the private living spaces. The structural system is based on a 3-meter-by-4-meter module, with each floor made up of three modules. “’La Comuna’ becomes a milestone for the city, due to the transformation process it had, with a history of unhealthiness and contamination,” the team explained in a project statement. “The project communicates a discourse through its facade with a message, generating reflection between the private and the public through architecture and recycling. The wood is used by the tradition of the existing buildings in the area, the application of shafts or lattices contribute in the construction of the building.” Related: LOT-EK upcycles 140 shipping containers into an apartment complex in South Africa In contrast to the open workspace in the ground floor, the living quarters on the upper level are screened off for privacy. The operable timber latticed screens were also designed to spell out the word “RECICLA” (recycle) when closed. Inside, the home is engineered for flexibility with walls set on wheels and movable furniture that give the family freedom to reconfigure their living quarters as they please. + Natura Futura Arquitectura Via ArchDaily Images via Natura Futura Arquitectura

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An adaptable timber house celebrates recycling in Ecuador

Abandoned sugar refinery transformed into gorgeous hotel in the mountains of China

December 13, 2017 by  
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Beijing-based Vector Architects recently transformed an abandoned sugar mill located deep in the mountainous region of Guangxi into the stunning Alila Yangshuo hotel . The architects retained and repurposed much of the sprawling 1960s complex. The old sugar refinery was built in a remote area tucked into the mountainous Guangxi region, but had been abandoned for years. The original complex was comprised of a cluster of buildings that ran alongside an elongated truss used for loading sugar cane onto boats. From the onset of the project, the architects wanted to retain as much of the sugar mill’s original character as possible by repurposing the existing structures and adding new buildings that would enhance the existing industrial architecture. Related: Renovated Sugar Refinery to Provide Sweet New Homes in Brooklyn To create a contemporary addition to the former industrial complex, the architects added gabled masonry structures to the original buildings, strategically blending the old with the new. The main building now houses the hotel’s reception, a cafe, a bar, a multi-use hall, a gallery and a library. At the heart of the new hotel is a beautiful reflecting pond and sunken plaza that was formerly the sugar mill’s loading area. A series of new blocks with gabled roofs were built around the mill to create the guest rooms. Throughout the design, hollow concrete blocks and board-clad concrete with perforated surfaces pay homage to the original construction. “In order to create a sense of consistency, instead of simply copying the old materiality and texture, we try to seek this nuance where we use more contemporary materials and construction methods while retaining the tinge and masonry structure of the old.” explained the architects. “We kept the profile of the new buildings as simple as possible to avoid unnecessary distraction to the old sugar mill caused by overly expressive geometry.” People come to the region to enjoy the spectacular scenery, so the layout of the guest rooms is focused on communing with nature. A large building called the Sugar House Retreat features luxury rooms with private balconies that offer stunning views of the mountains. The Garden Townhouse has suites that face the ponds or ground floor suites that look over a serene bamboo garden. The hotel’s social spaces and guest rooms were designed by Ju Bin of Horizontal Space Design to further connect the new space with its industrial roots. Surrounding the guest rooms and winding through the complex is a series of paths that were designed to be open-air lobbies – either for private reflection or socializing. The woodsy spaces were inspired by the caves that are found in the surrounding mountain range. + Vector Architects Via Dezeen Images via Alila Yangshuo Hotel

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Abandoned sugar refinery transformed into gorgeous hotel in the mountains of China

The Elysorium is a Former Factory Turned Into a Community Space for Shared-Resources

June 3, 2013 by  
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The Elysorium is a community of like-minded individuals that share a resourceful, anti-consumption attitude and a (messy) open living space. Located in a  former factory  site in the west of  Zurich , the Elysorium hosts residents that have made a commitment to exchanging and cultivating real friendships within the space provided to them. Showing the potential of  open plan  living, the layout changes constantly, adapting to new people or needs—but always promoting community. Read the rest of The Elysorium is a Former Factory Turned Into a Community Space for Shared-Resources Permalink | Add to | digg Post tags: adaptive architecture , Architecture , co-working , community , exchange , freegan , home working , old factory , Recycled Materials , sharing , The Elysorium , Zurich        

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