6 impressive structures built around living trees

February 28, 2017 by  
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Treehouses hold a special magic. They hint at escape, and an opportunity to transcend the busyness of life; connect with nature. An example of man-made structures that harmonize with the environment , treehouses have inspired architects and designers around the world to build homes and offices that do the same. We’ve rounded up six examples of architecture influenced by treehouse design: four homes , one office, and one tearoom. All are designed around living trees , allowing inhabitants to breathe easy surrounded by greenery. Uncle’s House by 3 Atelier The living area of this light-filled home in Vietnam centers around a flourishing tree that is large enough for children to climb. The architects at 3 Atelier built this home for their uncle and his family, using materials reminiscent of the parents’ childhood homes. Not only does Uncle’s House inspire kids to engage with nature, they can even grow vegetables in the dirt around its base. Related: Snøhetta’s luxury cabin with Aurora Borealis views opens at Treehotel Inside Out House by Takeshi Hosaka One tree wouldn’t suffice for the Inside Out House by Takeshi Hosaka in Tokyo, Japan . From the outside, the cubic home is simple and modern. Inside, multiple trees and plants bring the outdoors inside. Sliding glass doors offer flexibility, and natural light permeates the home through skylights , creating a serene sanctuary in which humans and cats coexist. Symbiosis office by Cong Sinh Architects New developments are increasingly crowding out green spaces in the southern part of Hue, Vietnam. So Cong Sinh Architects designed Symbiosis, a peaceful office rooted in the environment in the midst of the bustling city . Expansive windows on both floors of the office overlook a green oasis full of vines and a tree. The shade from the greenery even helps regulate the office temperature. Tree House by A. Masow Design Studio A. Masow Design Studio unveiled astounding plans for the ultimate treehouse: an entire tree wrapped in a glass facade in Kazakhstan . A spiral staircase would allow the owner to move between four levels, circumnavigating the tree as they moved from floor to floor. The glass allows natural light to stream in and provides an unobstructed view of the surrounding woods. House in the Trees by Anonymous Architects This cantilevered Echo Park home takes the treehouse concept to new heights. House in the Trees by Anonymous Architects rests on a hillside overlooking Los Angeles , and was carefully constructed so as not to harm neighboring mature cypress trees, one of which extends through a bedroom in the home. Fire-treated Western red cedar siding, reclaimed chestnut floors, and walnut cabinetry add to the woodsy , natural feel of the cozy California dwelling. Bird’s Nest Atami by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP A 300-year-old camphor tree in Japan now includes a tiny teahouse nestled among its branches. Bird’s Nest Atami, designed by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP with the help of Takashi Kobayashi , is part of the country’s largest treehouse. Inspired by how crows utilize coat hangers in nests , Nakamura designed the freestanding teahouse to rest among the 22-meter-tall tree on light structural elements without harming the tree. The earthy interior also includes wood furnishings, inviting tea drinkers to relax in nature . Images via Quang Dam , © Koji Fujii by Nacasa & Partners Inc., Hiroyuki Oki , A. Masow Design Studio , Anonymous Architects , and Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP , by Koji Fujii/Nacasa and Partners Inc.

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6 impressive structures built around living trees

New material made from fiber-reinforced hydrogels is 5 times tougher than steel

February 28, 2017 by  
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Researchers at Hokkaido University in Japan have created a flexible, eco-friendly material that’s five-times stronger than carbon steel. The “fiber-reinforced soft composite” made by combining polyampholyte hydrogels with woven glass fiber fabric creates a bendable material that’s extremely durable. The material’s uses are manifold, but perhaps most exciting is for bearing the load of artificial ligaments and tendons. Hydrogels have been used for a variety of applications in the past , from wound dressings to soft robots, but up until recently the hydrophilic polymer chains have been too soft for much else due to the fact that they’re largely made up of water. But when woven together with glass fiber fabric, they create a material that’s not only stronger than steel, but according to researcher Dr. Jian Ping Gong, also environmentally friendly. Related: Harvard team creates extremely stretchy gel to replace damaged cartilage in joints “The fiber-reinforced hydrogels, with a 40 percent water level, are environmentally friendly,” says Dr. Jianinnovation. “The material has multiple potential applications because of its reliability, durability and flexibility. For example, in addition to fashion and manufacturing uses, it could be used as artificial ligaments and tendons, which are subject to strong load-bearing tensions.” While the material is made largely from water and glass, it gains its strength from the dynamic ionic bonds between the fiber and hydrogels. The team found that a combination of polyampholyte gels, a type of hydrogel they developed earlier, and glass fiber fabric with a single fiber measuring around 10?m in diameter produced a strong, tensile material. Testing revealed that the material is 25-times tougher than glass fabric, 100-times stronger than hydrogels alone, and five-times stronger than carbon steel. Via Hokkaido University Images via Hokkaido University

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New material made from fiber-reinforced hydrogels is 5 times tougher than steel

Single cypress tree grows through a Los Angeles hillside home

October 31, 2016 by  
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Elevated off the ground and into foliage like a treehouse, The House in the Trees is cantilevered over a steep hillside and overlooks views of the valley. The 2,400-square-foot single-story building is wrapped in fire-treated Western red cedar siding and topped with an angled steel roof. The use of timber on the facade—and in the interior in the form of walnut cabinetry and reclaimed chestnut floors—helps the building blend into its wooded environment. Related: Contemporary ski chalet boasts gorgeous panoramic views and a low-energy footprint Large windows pour natural light into the interior, which is split into two portions: a two-bedroom main unit and a secondary unit with a kitchen, living room, office, extra bedroom, and bathroom. A wooden deck wraps around the living area to extend the building footprint to the outdoors. The mature cypress tree that grows through the home is exposed in the bedroom. “Waterproofing a tree in this situation proved to be very challenging but the system works to keep water out of the house,” write the architects. + Anonymous Architects Via Dezeen Images via Anonymous Architects

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Single cypress tree grows through a Los Angeles hillside home

Skinny Eel’s Nest Home and Office in LA Takes Cues from Impossibly Narrow Japanese Lots

March 13, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Skinny Eel’s Nest Home and Office in LA Takes Cues from Impossibly Narrow Japanese Lots Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: anonymous architects , BIG & small house , Daylighting , Echo Park , Eel’s Nest , green design , hollywood sign , Japanese design , Los Angeles , minimalist design , narrow home and office , natural light , sustainable design , Urban design

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Skinny Eel’s Nest Home and Office in LA Takes Cues from Impossibly Narrow Japanese Lots

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