Solar-powered English country house offsets all its CO2 emissions

June 13, 2017 by  
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Three generations live under one roof in this sustainably minded home that breaks from the norm of the picturesque English countryside. Macdonald Wright Architects and Rural Office for Architecture designed the multigenerational home , called the Caring Wood House, that’s powered by solar and uses as little energy as possible. Topped with angular rooflines that reference the region’s hop-drying oast towers, this modern and energy-efficient estate was created as “a carbon neutral response to climate change.” Located in 84 acres of rolling hills in Kent, Caring Wood is located on land formerly overtaken by agricultural polytunnels. “The house engages in the dialogue of critical regionalism: progressive design practice which is also infused with a spirit of local identity,” wrote Macdonald Wright Architects. “Its brief was to embody the spirit of the English country house and estate in a design which would embrace its context and landscape, while providing a carbon neutral response to climate change .” A major challenge of the new-build was satisfying PPS7, a planning document that strictly controls new housing in the English countryside and requires designs “be truly outstanding or innovative, helping to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas” and “reflect the highest standards in architecture,” among other criteria. The architects successfully won planning approval with their carbon-neutral design strategy that included planting 25,000 native trees that will absorb an estimated 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 40 years. Caring Wood also makes historic reference to the area’s traditional oast houses with its angular roofs covered in 150,000 handmade peg tiles sourced from Sussex. Related: Fabulous multigenerational home allows owners to comfortably age in place From a distance, the house appears to comprise a series of freestanding buildings, however, the buildings are actually interconnected at their rag-stone bases and are arranged around a shared central courtyard that provides passive cooling in summer. The buildings are built with cross-laminated timber structures and are powered by solar energy and heated with a ground-source heat pump. Rainwater is also collected and reused on site. + Macdonald Wright Architects + Rural Office for Architecture Via Dezeen Images by Heiko Prigge, lead by James Morris

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Solar-powered English country house offsets all its CO2 emissions

Nature-inspired Chrysalis pavilion pops up in a Maryland forest

May 18, 2017 by  
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New York-based architecture studio MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY completed an experimental amphitheater that “provides an experience around the clock.” Located in Merriweather Park of Columbia, Maryland the organic, nature-inspired venue, called The Chrysalis, comprises cascading green arches that give it a sculptural appearance. In addition to their eye-catching beauty and structural support, The Chrysalis’ arches also vary in size and function. The largest arch frames Stage A, the main area for events located next to the smaller Stage B. Other arches frame a truck loading dock, a grand staircase entrance, and balconies with views to the city. The digitally designed amphitheater was created with a self-supporting shell with an exoskeleton of steel tubing. Despite the 12,000-square-foot venue’s lightweight appearance, the sturdy structure can sustain 2,000 pounds of equipment on each of its 70 point loads. Nearly 8,000 aluminum shingles fabricated by Zahner clad The Chrysalis. Related: MARC FORNES/THEVERYMANY’s ultralight informal amphitheater in France looks like an opening chrysalis “Each shingle is painted one of four shades of green that is taken from nature and pushed to the point of artificiality,” write the architects. “Together they amount to a subtle green gradient that renders The Chrysalis an iconic signal at the same time that it is camouflaged into its natural surroundings.” + MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY Images via MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY and Zahner

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Nature-inspired Chrysalis pavilion pops up in a Maryland forest

Dreamy summer retreat built of salvaged materials sends eclectic vibes in Austin

May 3, 2017 by  
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Austin-based Andersson-Wise Architects designed a unique boathouse that blends into its surroundings and, according to the firm, “appears softly in a state of natural decomposition.” Set on the shore of Lake Austin, the Bunny Run Boat Dock is a breezy two-story building constructed from different species of wood for textured effect. Reclaimed materials hailing from different regions of the world punctuate the interior and give the boathouse an electric and worldly vibe. The 2,563-square-foot Bunny Run Boat Dock features two boat slips on the ground level and an outdoor bar and living area on the upper level. The steel frame superstructure is clad in vertically oriented cedar planks irregularly spaced to allow for views and natural light. The sense of openness and connection with the outdoors is a theme throughout the design, with only a few moveable screens dividing the living spaces from the landscape. The railing that wraps around the terrace, for instance, can be removed so the space can be used as a diving platform. Related: Gorgeous Flathead Lake Cabin is a Minimalist Home for the True Adventurer Different timber species were used in the construction, from the cedar patchwork cladding and interior cedar boards to the Douglas fir ceiling and sinker cypress flooring. The summer retreat’s fun and eclectic atmosphere comes from the selection of reclaimed materials that add texture and color. “The architectural palette is complemented by several reclaimed items: antique doors from India, a timeworn butcher block from England and a steel structure that weathers naturally,” the architects said to Dezeen . “The experience is intended to be an inviting homage to the beautiful climate and setting – a place to become connected to and surrounded by nature.” + Andersson-Wise Architects Via Dezeen Images via Andersson-Wise Architects , by Andrew Pogue

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Dreamy summer retreat built of salvaged materials sends eclectic vibes in Austin

Studio Gang designs massive paper tube Hive for the National Building Museum

April 19, 2017 by  
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The National Building Museum has welcomed giant ball pits , mazes , and icebergs into its historic Great Hall, and this year the Washington, D.C. museum will welcome yet another imaginative creation: the Hive. Architecture firm Studio Gang designed the latest installation for the Museum’s Summer Block Party series that commissions larger-than-life temporary structures. The massive Hive will be built from thousands of recyclable paper tubes stacked to reach 60 feet in height. Built with over 2,700 wound paper tubes , the Hive will soar to the uppermost reaches of the museum and take on a curved form reminiscent of Saarinen’s Gateway Arch in St. Louis and even a spider’s web. The tubes, which vary in size, are interlocked to create three interconnected domed chambers, the largest of which has an oculus over 10 feet in diameter. The tubes will have a reflective silver exterior and a bright magenta interior. “When you enter the Great Hall you almost feel like you’re in an outside space because of the distance sound travels before it is reflected back and made audible,” said Studio Gang founding principal Jeanne Gang. “We’ve designed a series of chambers shaped by sound that are ideally suited for intimate conversations and gatherings as well as performances and acoustic experimentation. Using wound paper tubes, a common building material with unique sonic properties, and interlocking them to form a catenary dome, we create a hive for these activities, bringing people together to explore and engage the senses.” Related: ICEBERGS immerse visitors in a beautiful underwater world in Washington, D.C. The Hive will open to the public July 4 until September 4, 2017. A full schedule of concerts, tours, talks, and programs will be hosted alongside the installation . + Studio Gang Images via National Building Museum

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Studio Gang designs massive paper tube Hive for the National Building Museum

Air-purifying pavilion uses plants to absorb harmful toxins in Hanoi

April 19, 2017 by  
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A green oasis has popped up in Hanoi , a city choked by smog. Hung Nguyen Architects designed and built the Pavilion of Origins, a greenery-draped structure that uses living plants to purify the air. Set on the terrace of a three-story house in Hanoi, the pavilion is minimal and modern with a simple palette of green leafy plants, white upcycled steed frames, and a light gray pebble floor. Hanoi ranks among the worst in the world for air pollution with traffic congestion blamed as the leading cause. In an attempt to bring a breath of fresh air to the city, Hung Nguyen Architects created a pavilion covered with a wide variety of plants, including the peace lily and snake plant, selected for their air-purifying and decorative qualities. The plants are arranged inside and around a collection of simple white cuboid frames of varying sizes built of upcycled steel. A translucent polycarbonate roof allows natural light to pour through while reducing solar radiation. The white frames and light-colored pebble floor keep the focus on the plants, which grow and spread on multiple levels. White netting on the tops of the larger cuboid frames can be used as hammocks for relaxation. Related: 7 indoor plants that purify the air around you naturally “In Pavilion of the Origins, trees and plants play a role as the main users for the amount of time they spent in this space, while the pavilion owners act as the servants who have the duties to take care of those main users and subsequently be paid in clean, fresh air, as well as experiencing the vivid beauty of the natural origins,” wrote the architects. “This slender structure is just a minimal intervention of human to nature. Architecture, in this sense, acts as a rope to tighten up the interaction and connection between humans and nature.” + Hung Nguyen Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Hung Nguyen Architects

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Air-purifying pavilion uses plants to absorb harmful toxins in Hanoi

This garden house grows enough food for three generations of one family

April 14, 2017 by  
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Vietnamese firm Vo Trong Nhia Architects are no strangers to bringing green space indoors, but their new Binh House can actually grow enough food for three generations of one large family. The architects were charged with creating a comfortable home with greenery on every level, and they responded with a lush design that balances communal family areas with individual spaces, all right in the middle of a busy neighborhood. The concrete home, which is located in a high density neighborhood in Ho Chi Minh City , is a large space that houses a family of three generations. Further challenging was the fact that many heavily populated cities in Vietnam are destroying natural tropical green spaces to meet the needs of the population . As part of the architect’s ongoing “House for Trees” series, Vo Trong Nhia Architects used the Binh House design to reconnect the family space with nature, creating a veritable jungle inside the home. Related: Abandoned greenhouse transformed into gorgeous glass office filled with trees The home is a multi-level design stacked lush green spaces on every floor. Large sliding glass doors allow for optimal natural light throughout the home. The glass separations also help create an open space at the inner core of the home where family members can easily interact between the rooms. The home is filled with green plants and large trees that shade the interior spaces, providing a nice, even temperature throughout the home. Additionally, the green spaces, many already vertical, offer flexible growing options for the large family. To further reduce energy consumption , the service areas including the kitchen, bathrooms, stairs and hallways are located on the west side of the home. This strategy blocks the family areas from excessive heat radiation, helping cool the home during the hot summer months and reducing the need for air conditioning. Along with the greenery and specific layout strategies, building with sustainable materials such as natural stone, wood, and exposed concrete also help create the home’s pleasant microclimate. + Vo Trong Nhia Architects Via Archdaily Photography via Hiroyuki Oki, Quang Dam

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This garden house grows enough food for three generations of one family

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

Nature-inspired gallery celebrates Taiwans aboriginal cultures with cargotecture

March 31, 2017 by  
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A shimmering wave-like roof mirroring the Pacific Ocean tops this stunning new structure that celebrates Taiwan’s aboriginal cultures with eco-friendly construction. Bio-architecture Formosana recently completed the Taitung Aboriginal Gallery, a 1,921-square-meter exhibition center that draws inspiration from nature just as the architects of Austronesian culture did for centuries. With Taitung’s rich and varied landscapes as well as its seven different aboriginal tribes, the architects drew on a wealth of cultural and environmental resources for their design. The Taitung Aboriginal Gallery was created to celebrate the artistic and nature-inspired architectural elements of Austronesian culture. Thus, the architects created a large steel-framed roof with an undulating shape that mimics the topography and ocean, and is decorated with diamond shapes that symbolize the eyes of the ancestral spirits. The shape allows for access to natural light and ventilation throughout the building while providing much needed shade and cooling from the tropical sun. The sloped sides also facilitate collection of rainwater , which is stored in five small ponds in the plaza. Related: Mecanoo wins competition to design the Tainan Public Library with natural materials As an island with several major ports, Taiwan collects approximately 10,000 shipping containers from the ocean every year. The architects recycled a number of the containers into rooms within the Taitung Aboriginal Gallery. The repurposed and repainted shipping containers are individually air-conditioned and serve as aboriginal handicraft shops. “In Taitung’s tropical climate, individualized air conditioning reduces the refrigerating ton by 50%, and the electricity use by 60%,” write the architects. + Bio-architecture Formosana Via ArchDaily Images by Lucas K. Doolan

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Architects transform an old hay barn into a stunning minimalist home

February 28, 2017 by  
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OFIS Architects have converted an old hay barn in Slovenia into a gorgeous living space. The barn was originally used to house cattle on the first floor and store hay on the upper level, but had been left empty for years. To convert the space into a comfortable loft space without sacrificing the building’s local vernacular, the architects were determined to use as much as the existing structure as possible. The Slovenian countryside is full of decrepit barns that serve as symbols of the country’s rural lifestyle. To pay respects to the local vernacular, the architects made impressive strides to use what they could of the barn’s original materials . Related: Architects transform 18th century barn with seamless contemporary extension Surprisingly, the renovation team was able to maintain almost all of the external wooden cladding and concrete roof slates. A few strategic renovations were made to include windows and an opening for the front porch to let in natural light to the home, and a ramp that previously led animals into the barn was also fixed to serve the same purpose for the new, human inhabitant. https://youtu.be/cBDAeyO7WC0 Inside, the home has an open floor plan with minimal furnishings and exposed wooden beams. The interior floors, walls and furniture are covered in locally-sourced spruce panels, resulting in a homey cabin feel. The open living and dining area make up the main volume, and a raised bedroom was installed in the back. The kitchen, sauna, fireplace and bathroom are all strategically placed out of sight behind a wall of sliding vertical planks to further open the living space. + OFIS Architects Via Ambienti TV Photography by Tomaž Gregori?

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Beautiful cabin pops up in ten days with minimal landscape disturbance

February 20, 2017 by  
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BIO Architects recently completed a modern modular cabin, proving yet again how beautiful homes can be affordable with the help of prefabrication . Commissioned by a young couple that desired a cost-effective home on the lake, the prefabricated cabin is the latest iteration in the Russian firm’s line of modular Dubldom homes. The dwelling, located at Pirogovo Lake in the suburbs of Moscow, was installed in roughly ten days with minimal site impact. The lakeside cabin, named DublDom 2.110, is the client’s second Dubldom commission following BIO Architects’ completion of a compact 40-square-meter Dubldom house in 2015. Since none of the firm’s standard prefabricated models were suitable for the site, the architects created a custom design that still retained the Dubldom’s iconic gabled shape and full-height glazing . To keep costs at a minimum, the new 185-square-meter build was constructed with natural and affordable materials that help blend the home into the forested environment. “Most of the individual decisions are based on a simple technology and inexpensive materials, so we managed to follow one of the basic principles of DublDom company—quality of architecture at an affordable pricing,” wrote BIO Architects. “The front facade with the maximum number of glazing was dictated by location of the house on the site. All the technical and utility rooms are located along the rear facade, and the children’s room, office, main entrance and the living room with fireplace look at the site with a wonderful view on the water.” Related: Affordable DublDom prefab home pops up in just one week The modules were prefabricated in Kazan and were delivered with the interior trim, utilities, furniture, and electrical equipment pre-installed. Installation on-site took roughly ten days to complete. + BIO Architects

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Beautiful cabin pops up in ten days with minimal landscape disturbance

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