Architect Jim Olson spent 55 years renovating this breathtaking Puget Sound cabin

April 5, 2017 by  
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It would be safe to say that architect Jim Olson from Olson Kundig Architects is an incredibly patient man. In a world where architects strive to build skyscapers at record-breaking speed , the award-winning architect took his time with the construction of his own lake house, as in 55 years. Olson began to build the cabin, located in Longbranch, Washington, in 1959. What began as a mere 14-square-foot bunk house has been patiently and lovingly transformed over the years into a breathtaking lake-side cabin . Starting the cabin construction when he was just 18-years-old, Olson has worked on the structure for decades, always adding new features to the design. However, the word “renovation” doesn’t adequately describe the cabin’s decades-long transformation; rather it was a creative layering process that always incorporated the cabin’s past features into its more modern present. Related: Enproyecto Arquitectura’s Spanish Coastal Stone Cabin Holds More Than a Few Surprises Details hidden among the modest cabin mark each remodeling stage, architecturally revealing the cabin’s design history. Distinct textures and color schemes make up the impressive living space which lies under the exposed glulam beams. Steel columns mark the living space divisions and impressive floor-to-ceiling windows allow for incredible full-frame views of the Puget Sound. In addition to the architect’s sophisticated design features, there are various signs of Olson’s love of nature within the home. Fir flooring extends throughout the living room onto the exterior deck, seamlessly connecting the interior with the exterior. The outdoor deck was also built around three large trees that grew up during the long construction period. Olson wanted to make sure that they were able to continue to grow uninterrupted no matter what new construction may come to the house. + Olson Kundig Architects Via Gessato Images via Olson Kundig Architects  

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Architect Jim Olson spent 55 years renovating this breathtaking Puget Sound cabin

The brickwork inside this beautiful Tehran community center will blow your mind

March 3, 2017 by  
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Kalout Architecture Studio ‘s Imam Reza Cultural and Religious Complex in Tehran, Iran is a vibrant urban space that locals of all ages and social groups enjoy. To make the building’s ethos absolutely clear, the architects built the roof in the form of interlocking fingers, symbolizing “unity and social cohesion”. The beautiful 7000-square-meter center, which is located in the cultural zone of the capital, houses a mosque , an art gallery, a bookstore coffee shop, an amphitheater and an IT center. The building’s various functional zones are organized around the central glass-paneled dome in stone-clad wings. Related: Mosque for All: BIG Wins Competition To Design Inside-Out Albanian Cultural Center The dome arches over a traditional shabestan – an underground space typically found in Iranian houses, mosques, and schools. According to the architects, the unique design was influenced by both tradition and functionality, “The main form of the shabestan, with the grandeur of a religious space, provides the opportunity for a unique experience to fulfill the immemorial ambition to connect with the creator and feel the symbolic form of the dome. Following this main form, the side wings of the building with the supplementary functions rise from and rest on the ground to create an innovative form visually.” The dome is composed of handmade glass carved with the various words for god. On the exterior walkway, bricks are laid in an intricate pattern that runs the length of the walls. According to the architects, the two materials were used to represent the “ascending movement from earth to light”. Additional traditional features found in the complex include a sunken courtyard with a small reflecting pool, and a cedar statue that symbolizes “constancy, life and freedom”. + Kalout Architecture Studio Via Dezeen Photography by Parham Taghiof

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The brickwork inside this beautiful Tehran community center will blow your mind

Mid-century modernism and sustainable design meet in two desert homes

February 28, 2017 by  
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Two new residences in Palm Springs by o2 Architecture  combine the best of mid-century modernism  and 21st-century sustainable design. The team brought to life an unbuilt project by Arizona modernist architect Al Beadle designed in 1970s, while combining mid-century modernism and sustainable design in the o2 House, located just a few steps away. The two structures, each in its own way, fit into the rocky desert landscape of Arizona . Originally named Palisades Dos, the Beadle House is built primarily out of steel, concrete and glass. Originally designed by modernist architect Al Beadle, the house stays true to the late architect’s meticulous drawings and schematics. Lance O’Donnell of o2 Architecture worked with Mike Yankovich of local design-build firm Better Built to bring Beadle’s work to the modernist community of Palm Springs. The house features a large, gravity-defying second floor that cantilevers over the desert landscape. Related: Midcentury modern ranch is renovated into a spacious energy-efficient home The second building, o2 House, is a 3,664-square-foot sprawling residence that celebrates mid-century modernism and marries it with contemporary sustainable design practices. Natural ventilation and a solar energy system complement the interior design. Both houses were part of the architect’s Miele Chino Canyon Project. + o2 Architecture + Better Built Via Architizer

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Mid-century modernism and sustainable design meet in two desert homes

Rammed earth and bamboo cultural center keeps naturally cool in Senegal

January 30, 2017 by  
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In the remote Senegalese village of Sinthian rises a culture center that twists and turns like a sinuous sculpture. New York-based Toshiko Mori Architect designed this eye-catching building, called Thread, as an artists’ residency and cultural center commissioned by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation . Constructed from local materials, the building’s rammed earth and large thatched openings help promote natural cooling. Winner of a 2017 AIA Honor Award , the Thread Artist Residency & Cultural Center comprises two artists’ dwellings and studio spaces for local and visiting international artists, but also serves as a greater community hub for Sinthian and the surrounding villages. Shared between twelve local tribes, the socio-cultural center provides agricultural training as well as an exhibition space, kindergarten , children’s play area, library, performance space, and a center for charging mobile homes. “It is a hub for Sinthian and surrounding villages, providing agricultural training on the area’s fertile land and a meeting place for social organisation which is, in rural Senegal, the crucial mechanism for sustainable development,” says a statement from the Aga Khan Award for Architecture about the project. “The success of its atypical plurality proves why art and architecture should be the right of all people.” Related: Off-grid earthen abode in Senegal gets all its energy from wind and solar Constructed with a team of 35 local workers over the course of a year, Thread is topped by an undulating thatched roof designed to facilitate rainwater collection, provide shade, and promote natural ventilation. The building structure was built from a bamboo framework fitted with rammed earth bricks that help absorb heat during the day and dissipates warmth at night. Site-specific solar conditions were taken into consideration when orienting the building spaces to minimize glare and unwanted solar heat gain. + Toshiko Mori Architect Via Dezeen Photographs © Iwan Baan

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Rammed earth and bamboo cultural center keeps naturally cool in Senegal

Is giraffe milk the latest superfood?

January 30, 2017 by  
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Call us crazy, but it seems like you can’t sling an acai quinoa bowl these days without slamming into some healthful new “superfood” we should all be eating. Never mind that actual scientific corroboration tends to be scant, or that a balanced diet, chock full of fruits and vegetables, will outperform even the most faddish of nutritional panaceas on the best of days. The ability to reduce the complexities of calorie counting, ingredient-label translating, and consistent clean living to a trite “eat this, not that” has undeniable appeal. Bonus points if it adds a dash of exoticism or mystery to our otherwise quotidian existence. The latest bandwagon-in-making, according to Metro ? Giraffe milk. By way of evidence, the British rag pointed to a 1962 study that claimed that giraffe milk has almost four times the fat content of full-fat cow’s milk and 12 times that of skim. Giraffe milk contains comparable amounts of riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamin B6 as cow’s milk, the study continued, but higher levels of vitamins A and B12. It’s the excess fat that we desire, Metro insists. A Tufts University study that followed some 3,000 people over two decades found that people who had the most dairy fat in their diets had a 46 percent lower risk of diabetes that those who ate the least. Related: Giraffes are on the verge of going extinct While it was “too early to call whole-fat dairy the healthiest choice,” Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the study’s author, also called for a national policy that was more neutral on dairy fat until additional data presented itself. But even Metro admitted that the idea of giraffe milk on supermarket shelves would be unlikely. “When it comes to a giraffe, it would be almost impossible to get one to stand still long enough to be milked—let alone enough to set up a profitable business,” it wrote. “The giraffes that have been milked have been milked under controlled conditions by scientists.” There’s also the fact that giraffes are on the brink of extinction . The IUCN Red List reported a 38 percent decline in the giraffe population since 1985, plus a “high risk of extinction” in the wild if the trend continues. The culprit, of course, is humans. Illegal hunting, habitat loss through agriculture and mining, and growing human-wildlife conflict could soon spell the irretrievable loss of the world’s tallest land mammal. The last thing giraffes need is someone chasing after them with a bucket and a stool. Photos by Pixabay and Andrew Magill

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Is giraffe milk the latest superfood?

Fortress-like house in Portugal hides a surprising light-filled courtyard inside

December 1, 2016 by  
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The fortress-like exterior of this house in Portugal provides no clues about the open, light-filled interior it hides. In order to provide an optimal amount of daylight, without having to compromise privacy in an densely built area, architect António Costa Lima designed a house that looks inwards and toward the sky, enveloping itself in seclusion without sacrificing views of the outdoors. The house is located in Estoril, a small picturesque town on the Portuguese Riviera. Its densely built surroundings, narrow streets and small plots made it difficult for the architect to engage the street-facing facade and create a strong dialogue with its neighbors. In fact, one of the main design obstacles was the blind wall of a neighboring building. Related: This charming home in Portugal is insulated with soil The architect decided to create an inward-looking, undulating building, that wraps around a central courtyard like a blanket. While the exterior walls feature few openings, the openings looking into the courtyard are continuous full-height glazing  that draws ample sunlight into the interior and create visual connections throughout the residence. + António Costa Lima Arquitectos Photos by Francisco Nogueira

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Fortress-like house in Portugal hides a surprising light-filled courtyard inside

Sprawling Bracketed Space House frames views of forests and rolling hills in Austin, Texas

November 28, 2016 by  
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The house is located on a sloped site in Austin, Texas. It reaches out to embrace the surrounding landscape and blur the line between the interior and the exterior spaces. The wings of the house are topped with flat roofs and are connected by a glazed volume that establishes a visual connection between the front and rear of the house. Related: Architect Miguel Rivera’s Daylit Residence in Austin is a Renovated 1917 Bungalow Open-plan interior spaces are oriented towards the c ourtyard with an infinity pool that overlooks rolling hills and forests. Cedar , steel, natural stucco , concrete and glass create a mixture of textures and colors. + Matt Fajkus Architecture Via D ezeen Photos by Charles Davis Smith, Spaces & Faces Photography

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Sprawling Bracketed Space House frames views of forests and rolling hills in Austin, Texas

Repaired sinkhole in Japan is sinking again

November 28, 2016 by  
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Earlier in November a sinkhole that ravaged a five-lane intersection in the city of Fukuoka, Japan was rapidly fixed and reopened in just a week. But now part of the repaired street has shown signs of sinking again. Around a 30 square meter, or 322 square foot, area, on the roadhttp://inhabitat.com/tag/road/”> road> sunk seven centimeters, or 2.7 inches. The sinkhole in Japan, which was near the JR Hakata Station, was repaired in around 48 hours , filled in with cement and sand. Only a week after the sinkhole closed the road, officials reopened the street. Fukuoka mayor Soichiro Takashima said the repaired road was 30 times stronger than it had been previously. Experts said new subway construction had likely led to the large sinkhole. Related: Japanese fix massive city sinkhole within 48 hours But over the weekend, officials discovered the road sunk 2.7 inches across 322 square feet. No one was injured by the newly sinking road, nor were there any gas leaks or power outages caused by the new sinking. Officials closed the road at around 1:45 AM local time, but reopened the area almost four hours later at 5:30 AM local time, according to Channel NewsAsia. Authorities determined the small sink wasn’t dangerous for people walking or driving on the road. Officials told CNN they had expected some movement after the sinkhole was fixed, and Takashima apologized on Facebook for not letting locals know that the road could sink once more. He said officials would continue to monitor the area. A government spokesperson told local news that when the cement mixed with special soil compressed, the motion could have caused the small sinking. The original sinkhole was 98 feet long, 88 feet wide, and almost 50 feet deep . No one was seriously hurt, yet the sound of a ” loud boom ” startled locals as the sinkhole opened. Fukuoka is home to around 1.5 million people, and is the fifth biggest city in Japan. Via CNN and Channel NewsAsia Images via Soichiro Takashima Facebook ( 1 , 2 )

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Repaired sinkhole in Japan is sinking again

Ecocor starts production on groundbreaking new prefab passive homes

November 21, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvRvvkXcfaQ The Goldenrod design is 1,051 square feet, and preliminary pricing is around $330,000. The original design comes with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, but Scott wanted extra space for a workshop . Scott’s Goldenrod will be one and a half stories tall. Ecocor was able to increase the size of the house through the use of an Ecocor Passiv Roof, which draws on the same materials as the Ecocor Passiv Wall. According to Pedranti , the roof increases home size “by capturing the area directly under the roof typically used for attic insulation.” The Ecocor Passiv Roof is the sole opaque roof in America to obtain certification from the Passive House Institute in Germany. Related: North America’s first fully prefabricated passive houses could revolutionize the housing market Scott grew up in a passive solar house built in 1979 by her parents. She said she was drawn to Ecocor and RPA’s Solsken Line because of their use of advanced technology and quality materials like cellulose insulation instead of foam insulation. The home will be complete in an estimated six to eight months. Customization took six weeks, and it takes an additional four to six weeks to manufacture the panelized roof and wall pieces. The panels will be shipped via trucks to Scott’s 8.7 acre site. Once there, the panels can be assembled in a snappy two weeks. After plumbing and electricity are put in, and the house is finished, Scott could move into her home in Spring 2017. + Ecocor + Richard Pedranti Architect Images via Ecocor

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Ecocor starts production on groundbreaking new prefab passive homes

Polands National Museum in Szczecin wins World Building of the Year 2016

November 21, 2016 by  
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Hidden underground so as not to obstruct views of the neighboring Philharmonic Hall (the 2015 winner of the Mies van der Rohe Prize ), the National Museum in Szczecin was built below an undulating public square, named Solidarnosc (Solidarity), a physical expression of the community’s response to the atrocities of the Second World War. The aboveground plaza that doubles as the museum roof is organized along an arced circulation path with a raised open amphitheater on one side and a softer, more rounded raised mound on the other. The raised surfaces hide entrances to the museum. The popular public space helps heal past wounds with play, dialogue, and community activities. The subterranean building was constructed from pre-cast concrete. Related: These are the world’s best buildings “This is a piece of topography as well as a museum,” said the WAF judging panel, led by architect David Chipperfield . “To go underground is to explore the memory and archaeology of the city, while above ground the public face of the building, including its undulating roof, and be interpreted and used in a variety of ways. This is a design which addresses the past in an optimistic, poetic and imaginative way.” The annual WAF awards are held to showcase the best architecture of the last 12 months. + World Architecture Festival + KWK Promes Via Dezeen Images via KWK Promes and WAF

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Polands National Museum in Szczecin wins World Building of the Year 2016

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