Fruit trees grow on the roofs of this rammed earth home in Hanoi

April 18, 2018 by  
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Vo Trong Nghia Architects puts a fresh spin on the ancient art of rammed earth construction in the Dong Anh house, a modern dwelling with fruit trees growing on the roofs. Taking advantage of the property’s secure and isolated location in Hanoi, the architects applied an “open garden design” that embraces nature in, around, and even on top of the home. The thick earth walls have the advantage of high thermal mass and keep the home cool by storing heat during the day and then dissipating that heat at night. Although Vietnam has a history of rammed earth construction, particularly in the country’s northwest region, most of the country’s construction relies primarily on concrete, not earth. In hopes of promoting the advantages of rammed earth walls in a modern context, Vo Trong Nghia Architects crafted the walls of the Dong Anh house out of soils taken from a variety of land mines, all within 20 miles of the site. The soils were then filtered, ground and mixed with cement and other additives before being compacted in formwork. The diversity of soils creates a unique striation on the compacted, nearly 14-inch-thick walls. Related: Trees grow on every balcony of this Hanoi university building Designed for a large family, the spacious 5,382-square-foot home covers two stories in a roughly H-shaped plan. The first floor comprises the main communal spaces as well as the maid room, storage, and three bedrooms. The second level includes two additional bedrooms and an outdoor courtyard . The fruit trees grown in large planters are located on both roofs. “Amount of fruit trees on the roof, along with the open garden around the house is another emphasis that makes a green, cool and friendly environment to the people,” wrote the architects. “And sloping roof is also a reasonable design for tropical monsoon climate in Vietnam.” + Vo Trong Nghia Architects Images by Hiroyuki Oki

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Fruit trees grow on the roofs of this rammed earth home in Hanoi

This stunning brick "cave house" in Vietnam is open to the elements

April 17, 2018 by  
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Vietnamese firm H&P Architects has created a unique “cave” fit for human habitation. Their “Brick Cave” townhouse has three levels of brick walls, each one with apertures that create a playful atmosphere of light and shadow throughout the interior. Pockets of greenery accent the brick construction throughout the house, and a vegetable garden on the roof caps off the structure. Built on a corner lot in ?ông Anh, Vietnam, the home is nestled on the street and blends into the urban landscape. The architects chose to use brick in the construction to create not just a unique home design, but one with an ecological shade system. The multiple walls both filter natural light into the home and shade the interior from the region’s searing summer heat. Related: H&P Architects’ Bamboo Homes Float Above Rising Flood Waters on Recycled Oil Drums The idiosyncratic design is a labyrinth of walkways, stairs and angles illuminated by streams of natural light. In fact, to use the sun to the home’s advantages, the architects conducted a number of studies on the sun’s daily positions in relation to the house. Although the apertures may appear a bit random at first sight, they were strategically implemented to keep the home cool in the summer heat while providing as much natural light as possible. According to H&P Architects , the unconventional combination of bricks and greenery was essential to connect the home to its surroundings: “Brick Cave encompasses a chain of space…with random apertures gradually shifting from openness/publicity to closeness/privacy and vice versa. The combination of ‘close’ and ‘open’ creates diverse relations with the surroundings and thus helps blur the boundaries between in and out, houses and streets/alleys, human and nature.” In addition to having various openings, the walls are slanted inwards. This represents another conscious choice on the part of the architects–the slanted walls provide better viewing angles of the surrounding area and add a sense of nature to the design, letting in elements such as rain and wind. Harsh elements are commonly to blame for house flooding in this region, so the architects wanted a resilient design that would aid in protecting the home by letting the elements pass through it rather than crash into it, essentially creating a safe shelter. + H&P Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Nguyen Tien Thanh

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This stunning brick "cave house" in Vietnam is open to the elements

Light-filled family home sensitively embraces a British Islands native landscape

April 17, 2018 by  
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When DLM Architects was asked to create an energy-efficient and sustainable family home in St Peter Port of Guernsey, the site’s densely planted vegetation proved both a boon and a challenge. The local planning department had imposed many site restrictions due to the number of protected trees, but after four years of negotiation the architects managed to settle on a solution resulting in a beautiful and light-filled dwelling with a sensitive environmental footprint. Named ‘The Glade’ after the its location in a clearing surrounded by forest, the new-build family home occupies a spacious 3,230 square feet of living space spread out across two floors in a roughly L-shaped plan. To preserve privacy and views from and to neighboring properties, the home is partly sunken into the site’s natural topography with the basement set into an existing swimming pool excavation from the previous build. Guernsey granite and reclaimed brick , mostly sourced on site, clad the ground floor. Cladding is split on the upper floor, with the eastern side featuring a steel-framed cantilever covered in a living wall of 4,000 plants of 13 native species to camouflage the building into the tree canopy. The living wall also doubles as an extra layer of insulation while providing a buffer from acoustic and air pollution from the nearby roads. A double-glazed link housing the staircase separates the plant-covered east wing from the west end where the second level is clad in cedar. Related: Gorgeous modern home makes stunning use of recycled and salvaged materials Open-plan living is prioritized throughout the home, as is ample glazing to maintain a fluid connection with the outdoors. A natural materials palette is also used throughout the interior. “A skin of locally reclaimed brick is coated with lime slurry, raw pigment plasters line the walls, with grey limestone to the floors, oak joinery, machined brass ironmongery, a bespoke raw steel staircase and furnishings and a reclaimed granite trough as the cloakroom sink,” wrote the architects. “Where possible local materials and fabrication has been utilised delivering a soft traditional character within a contemporary envelope.” + DLM Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Peter Landers

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Light-filled family home sensitively embraces a British Islands native landscape

Henning Larsen to revitalize Brussels region with rooftop farming and co-housing

April 6, 2018 by  
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A post-industrial region in Brussels will find a new lease on life thanks to the vision of Henning Larsen Architects . The Dutch architecture firm, in collaboration with Architects A2RC , recently won a design competition to redevelop Brussels’ Key West development with a strong focus on livability. The masterplan will introduce new housing, community facilities, and stronger ties to the waterfront and urban farming. As part of a plan to redevelop its old industrial areas, the Government of Brussels launched the Canal Plan, the biggest urban development project in the Brussels region. The Key West development, headed by Henning Larsen Architects and Architects A2RC, aims to bring greater socio-economic cohesion to a challenged region, particularly Anderlecht, a municipality with a rough reputation. The masterplan will inject new life along the canal and add 46,000 square meters of housing in addition to 17,000 square meters of community spaces including public spaces, sports facilities, and urban farming initiatives. “We were inspired by the Government of Brussels’ ambitions to tap into the spirit of the old industrial area by introducing ‘second generation industries’ ? local production facilities such as e.g. microbreweries, a cookie factory, coffee roasting facilities. As architects involved in urban planning one of our most distinguished tasks is to create the physical framework for an area like Key West to regain economic growth and community cohesion,” says Partner at Henning Larsen, Jacob Kurek. Related: Natural light floods this solar-powered business school in Frankfurt In addition to an inviting mixed-use streetscape, Key West will enjoy a stronger relationship to the canals through new waterfront infrastructure that will use biotopes to improve water quality and rainwater collection to handle impervious runoff. Residences will be stacked atop first-floor retail and restaurants and will include co-housing options that offer large 8 to 9 bedroom apartments for shared living. Rooftop urban farms will be made visible from the street and the locally grown produce is tied into a scheme for a farmers market to be located in the south-facing town square. The Key West development is slated for completion by 2022. + Henning Larsen Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Henning Larsen Architects

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Henning Larsen to revitalize Brussels region with rooftop farming and co-housing

Steven Holl Architects unveils designs for geothermal-powered Angers Collectors Museum

March 19, 2018 by  
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Steven Holl Architects and Compagine de Phalsbourg have won an international design competition for the new Angers Collectors Museum (Le Musée des Collectionneurs) and hotel in the heart of Angers , France. Envisioned as a new cultural gateway, the sculptural museum is undeniably modern yet pays homage to its historic settings and derives inspiration from the nearby historic Chateau d’Angers located across the river. Geothermal heating and cooling will be used in the museum to reduce the building’s energy footprint. Built of exposed titanium white concrete, the 4,742-square-meter museum has a striking sculptural appearance that will be set within a series of reflecting pools—filled with recycled water—in a nod to the site’s riverine history. The museum will be connected to a linear hotel clad in clear and translucent glass for a mosaic-like effect inspired by the 14th century Apocalypse Tapestry on display in Chateau d’Angers. Related: Gigantic Slugs Made From 40,000 Recycled Plastic Bags Crawl Through the Streets of Angers, France In addition to the museum and hotel’s prime riverside location on the east bank of the Maine River, their proximity to Le Quai, the city’s largest theater , further cements the buildings’ future as the cultural heart in Angers. The museum will share a rooftop restaurant with the hotel as well as a public sculptural garden at the ground level. + Steven Holl Architects Images via Steven Holl Architects

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Steven Holl Architects unveils designs for geothermal-powered Angers Collectors Museum

New images capture Zaha Hadids luxury High Line condos in NYC

March 16, 2018 by  
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Photographers Hufton+Crow have captured new images of 520 West 28th, the Zaha Hadid -designed luxury condos that loom large over New York City’s High Line Park. Completed last year, the LEED-seeking curvaceous building is a stunning sculptural triumph that’s equally impressive indoors with its wealth of high-tech amenities. The building’s expressive steel facade has an undeniably futuristic feel, yet its handcrafted elements pay homage to Chelsea’s industrial past. Located in a community home to over 350 art galleries, 520 West 28th boasts a sculptural facade complementing the public art punctuating the High Line . The sinuous facade comprises 900 pieces of hand-rubbed steel woven like a continuous chevron ribbon between panoramic curved glazing. For a greater industrial feel, the steel pieces were brushed and tinted by hand for a blackened finish. Related: Zaha Hadid launches her High Line-hugging, LEED-seeking 520 West 28th Street residences The 11-story building houses 39 units with split levels that, according to the architects, “define varied living spaces and echoes the multiple layers of civic space on 28th Street and the High Line.” All residences feature 11-foot-tall coffered ceilings and sumptuous interiors fitted with Boffi kitchens by Zaha Hadid Design as well as a slew of high-tech perks from automated valet parking to mechanized storage. Many residences even boast a private elevator lobby and all residents have access to a wellness level with spa and 25-yard sky-lit lap pool , sculpture garden, and entertainment suite with an IMAX theater. + Zaha Hadid Architects Images by Hufton+Crow

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New images capture Zaha Hadids luxury High Line condos in NYC

Incredible glass home stays comfortably snug even in extreme temperatures

March 6, 2018 by  
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OFIS Architects tackles the ultimate indoor-outdoor living experience with Glass Pavilion, a retreat with full-height glass structural walls that provides total comfort even in extreme desert conditions. Initiated by Guardian Glass , this thermally efficient prototype home will operate off-grid and offer lucky guests stunning and uninterrupted views of Spain’s Gorafe desert. Completed this year, the compact 215-square-foot Glass Pavilion is part of OFIS Architects’ ongoing collaboration with AKT II structural engineers , where the firms test the structural possibilities of glass and timber in extreme climates. “This project is a response to the local, desert climate conditions,” wrote OFIS Architects of Glass Pavilion. “Instead of focusing only in ‘a glass as a window element’ the concept explored its advanced potentials, e.g. transparent but shading element, a thin but thermally efficient envelope that is also the sole structural support.” Related: Exceptional prefab alpine shelter overlooks mind-boggling mountain views Triple-glazed walls create a thermally efficient envelope, while near-invisible coatings, operable shades, and roof overhangs protect the interior from solar gain . The Y-shaped interior is evenly split between a living area with a kitchenette, a bedroom with storage, and the bathroom. All three rooms open out to a wraparound terrace deck. “The Glass Pavilion will be the setting of a 1-week retreat for a single person or a couple,” added the architects. “The guests will be selected from different tourist sharing platforms.” + OFIS Architects Images @ Jose Navarrete

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Incredible glass home stays comfortably snug even in extreme temperatures

Wave-inspired Rainbow Bridge in Long Beach is covered in mini gardens and twinkling LED lights

February 26, 2018 by  
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California-based SPF Architects just unveiled a beautifully breezy pedestrian bridge connecting two major Long Beach venues. The Rainbow Bridge – whose wavy form was inspired by the local beaches – is an elegant 600-foot walking path interspersed with mini garden spaces. The bridge’s canopy features 3,500 color-changing LED nodes , which can be programmed and synced with music to create a beautiful light show as people wander cross. The pedestrian bridge was designed to help people move from the Long Beach Seaside Way Convention to the Performing Arts Center. Previously, guests to the area had an uncomfortable journey walking between the two sites, including having to climb numerous flights of stairs and crossing a busy intersection. Related: Colorful rainbow bridge pops up to brighten a gloomy Monday in London The Rainbow Bridge will now offer visitors a beautiful walkway surrounded by 76 custom-welded bent steel ribs, which create the tunnel-like shape, but open the walkway up to natural light and ventilation. The base of the bridge is made of poured-in-place concrete, interrupted by a serene garden area planted with trees. There are wide cutouts in the bridge’s canopy so that the trees have enough space to grow upwards and outwards. Drainage for the walkway plantings is concealed in the concrete spine of the flooring. Initially called Riptide, the bridge ‘s wavy form and hull-like girth was inspired by the area’s beaches. Attaching the LED nodes to the cables enabled the architects to convey a net-like structure or the rigging of a ship. Stretching the length of the bridge, the thin ribs are installed with 3,500 color-changing LED nodes , 100 downlights and 70 floodlights, all of which can be programmed and synced with music. The lights on their own give the bridge a beautiful glow in the evenings. + SPF Architects

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Wave-inspired Rainbow Bridge in Long Beach is covered in mini gardens and twinkling LED lights

Unusual Dutch bridge embraces flooding in a thought-provoking way

February 19, 2018 by  
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Modern bridges are typically built at least a foot higher than the expected 50-year flood, but that’s not so for this unusual bridge built on the floodplains in the flood-prone Dutch city of Nijmegen. NEXT Architects and H+N+S Landscape Architects designed the Zalige Bridge, a footbridge that becomes partly submerged when the water levels rise, forcing people to use the exposed concrete blocks as stepping-stones to traverse the water. The playful, thought-provoking design exemplifies a Dutch relationship with water as one that embraces seasonal flooding rather than seeks to control it. Completed in March 2016, Zalige Bridge recently caused a stir earlier this year on January 10 when water levels in the Waal River rose to its highest in 15 years. Locals eagerly went down to the submerged river to experience the dynamic river firsthand; the benches lining the then-submerged path become temporary stepping-stones. The flooding also eventually rose above the bench height and rendered the bridge temporarily inaccessible. Such flooding typically happens a few days a year. Related: This pop-up rainwater pavilion in Edinburgh is designed to raise awareness about water “As a crest above the river, the bridge emphasizes the dynamic character of water by letting people see and experience the changing river landscape,” wrote NEXT Architects. “Within the river park, the spatial quality of the water is made visible in a poetic way.” Zalige Bridge was commissioned as part of Room for the River , a nationwide, government-sponsored project that sought proposals for flood prevention. The project aims to provoke discussion of how communities can learn to live with water. + NEXT Architects + H+N+S Landscape Architects Via ArchDaily Images via NEXT Architects , © Rutger Hollander

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Unusual Dutch bridge embraces flooding in a thought-provoking way

Scottish self-build home on a tight budget oozes cool utilitarian vibes

February 6, 2018 by  
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When Rural Design Architects was approached by clients looking for a self-build on a very tight budget, the local firm knew they’d have to get creative. Armed with experience from previous self-build projects, the architects designed the Black House, a three-bedroom home with an artists’ studio and study on the Isle of Skye. The rugged and simple-to-build home sits lightly on the land and, in contrast to its mostly black facade, bursts with textures, colors, and art inside. Though breathtakingly beautiful, the landscape on the Isle of Skye can be quite hostile, a challenge that shaped the Black House design. Rural Design Architects nestled the triangular building between two small mounds and brought the south side of the home, where the strongest winds hit, closer to the ground while raising the northwest side to take in views of the Loch and summer sunsets. Black corrugated metal clads the home and was chosen for durability and as a nod to the local agricultural vernacular. The envelope is well insulated to weather temperature extremes. The light-filled interior has a raw and utilitarian feel thanks to the oriented strand board wall panels, low concrete wall, cement floor finish, unfinished concrete stair, and exposed metal ductwork of the whole-house ventilation system. These elements are playfully tempered with the addition of color and modern art that punctuates the space—bright pops of color can also be seen on the outside of the home as well. The bedroom, studio, and bathroom are placed at a lower elevation than the main living area. Related: Green-Roofed Turf House Uses Natural Materials to Disappear into the Scottish Landscape “The house is truly a “Black House”, not only by its colour but by its very spirit. It draws parallels to the can-do attitude of the original occupants of “blackhouses”, heroically self-built using basic materials and skills to create a shelter for the family,” said the architects. + Rural Design Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Rural Design Architects by Nigel Rigden

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