Giant twisting staircase revealed in Schmidt Hammer Lassen-designed solar-powered office

January 18, 2018 by  
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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has unveiled designs of a new sustainable office campus in Oslo for the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), Norway’s largest geotechnical specialist community. Topped with green roofs and solar panels, the approximately 30,000-square-meter campus comprises two modern structures that will accommodate up to 300 employees. Both buildings will be flooded with natural light, while the larger of the two features a dramatic spiral staircase that winds its way up a light-filled atrium. Winner of a 2016 competition, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects’ designs for the new NGI campus aims to expand Oslo’s science community and increase public engagement. Approximately 20 percent of the campus will be open to the public with cafes, shops, and meeting spaces occupying the ground floor. The campus’ location at a busy intersection and the addition of a new public green space will also tie the campus in with the neighborhood. The area will also see the addition of a new cycling and pedestrian bridge in 2019. “The campus is designed with a modern expression and a strong identity with respect to its context,” said Kim Holst Jensen, senior partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen. “The campus buildings will stand prominently in the local skyline and will reciprocate the voluminous Ullevål Stadion, Norway’s national football stadium located directly across the street.” Related: Energy-conscious library that doubles as a “living room” breaks ground in Shanghai The office complex will be built to BREEAM NOR environmental certifications and draw energy from renewable sources. Ample glazing promotes transparency, optimizing natural light and views of the outdoors. In addition to the ground-floor public areas and a spacious atrium with a spiral staircase, the buildings will also include advanced laboratories, a central canteen and dining area, offices, meeting rooms, courtyards, and basement parking. + Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Images via Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Giant twisting staircase revealed in Schmidt Hammer Lassen-designed solar-powered office

Hairy micro-office teleports you to a world of calm

January 18, 2018 by  
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We’ve seen our fair share of unusual architecture , but this “hairy” building is a first. UK-based 2hD Architecture Workshop designed a surreal structure called “Mission Control” that’s entirely clad in brown bristles and appears to be mysteriously void of any doors or windows. Created as a micro-office and haven for concentration, the workspace located in a Nottingham garden is described by the architects as “an exercise in teleportation, designed to take us from the everyday hurly burly to another world, one of calm, quiet, and focus.” Built to replace a derelict glazed shed of the same size, Mission Control was constructed as a freestanding workspace extension of 2hD Architecture Workshop’s home office . Unlike the collaborative home office environment, Mission Control functions as an isolation chamber for uninterrupted concentration. The architects describe the short walk from the home office to the new micro-office—a distance of 13 feet—as an important “ceremonial commute” for leaving distractions behind and getting into the working mindset. “We built this custom-designed structure as the antithesis of a ‘contemplation space with landscape views and flowing inside-outside space’,” said the architects. “In contrast, we needed an almost monastic cell, removed from physical context and worldly distraction, where we could retreat to immerse ourselves in brain work.” Related: You can build one of these tiny backyard offices in less than a week for under $7000 Interlocking natural coco-fiber broom heads cover the outer facade of the 75-square-foot micro-office and create a visually seamless surface with a well-hidden door. The “hairy” exterior sheathes a pitched structure with a sloping roof made with polycarbonate and punctuated by an operable skylight to let in natural light and ventilation. Inside, whitewashed plywood clads the walls and ceilings that are wrapped with sheep’s wool insulation. Two back-to-back desks are placed beneath the low ceiling. + 2hD Architecture Workshop Images by Thibaut Devulder and Tom Hughes

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Hairy micro-office teleports you to a world of calm

This highly insulated modular home is completely self-sustaining

January 16, 2018 by  
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Going off grid isn’t just for solo meditative retreats—nowadays you can comfortably bring the whole family along. Australian firm Modscape recently completed their latest custom modular build called Franklinford, an off-grid residence in Victoria, Australia. Shared between two families, this four-bedroom home is completely self-sustaining with its own solar system and 80,000-liter water tank. Set in an open farmland in Victoria’s Central Highlands, Franklinford takes design cues from nearby agricultural buildings with its no-nonsense metal and timber palette. Its east-facing facade seen from the approach is faced with radially sawn timber board-and-battern siding. Durable Colorbond steel clads the rest of the exterior that’s accented with Vitrabond aluminum. Oriented to capture winter sun, the low-lying rural retreat’s highly insulated shell is constructed from SIPs and thermally broken, low-e glazing to minimize temperature fluctuations. Related: Solar-Powered Modular Cabin Exists Completely Off-the-Grid in Australia The interior features whitewashed walls set against dark oak timber floors for a clean and minimalist effect. A large living wing forms the home’s focal point and is wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glazing that opens up to a north-facing L-shaped timber deck. The communal area leads to the four bedrooms via a long hallway. A nearby metal-clad shed houses the solar system and a large 80,000-liter water tank. + Modscape Images by John Madden

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This highly insulated modular home is completely self-sustaining

Heritage-listed church repurposed into modern solar-powered home in Brisbane

January 16, 2018 by  
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Brisbane-based architecture studio DAHA merged old and new with the Church House, an eye-catching modern home and adaptive reuse project. The unusual combination attaches a sleek structure of concrete, steel, and glass to a brick church, known as the Church of Figuration that was built in 1924. While the church’s position wasn’t moved, the architects carefully positioned the new-build based on climatic site conditions and to optimize passive heating and cooling and conditions for a photovoltaic solar array and water harvesting. The Church of Figuration was originally purchased as part of a $2.4million AUD hillside property in Norman Park, the sale came with the condition that the heritage-listed Church of Transfiguration be preserved . Thus, the architects kept the church as the property’s focal point by retaining sight lines: the heritage building is flanked by a tennis court on one side and a manicured lawn and landscape on the other. The elevated site provides sweeping views of the neighborhood. Related: Old converted church hides gorgeous modern interiors in London “The Church House extension is a sympathetic adaptation of an existing heritage church into a unique family home,” wrote the architects, who connected the church and extension with a dark zinc tunnel. “The extension responds to the grand scale and form of the existing church through robust materiality and formal gestures, creating balance between the old and the new.” Although the church’s facade has been kept intact, the interior character was changed to serve as the family’s entertainment room with a mezzanine-level home office. The extension houses three bedrooms and bathrooms. Interior designer Georgia Cannon carried out the minimalist aesthetic of cool-toned concrete, dark timber, steel, and glass. + DAHA Via ArchDaily Photos © Cathy Schusler

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Heritage-listed church repurposed into modern solar-powered home in Brisbane

Charred timber home perched above Silicon Valley takes cues from nature

January 15, 2018 by  
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High above Silicon Valley sits a striking home with a two-story volume clad in blackened cedar. Schwartz and Architecture designed the residence, named Shou Sugi Ban House after the traditional Japanese method used to burn the wood to wrap it in a layer of carbon highly resistant to water, fire, and mold. The charred timber volume is an extension to an existing one-story home, the interior of which was also substantially remodeled by the architects. Located on the crest of a hill in Los Gatos, California, Shou Sugi Ban House is a 4,350-square-foot renovation and expansion project that takes inspiration from the surrounding landscape, including the texture and look of boulders, bark, and leaves. “Enlarging an existing home that has an already strong and complete architectural character can be challenging,” wrote the architects. “Here, we anchor the existing one-story home with a new two-story independent volume, using it both as punctuation mark and counterpoint to the existing composition. We clad the addition in traditional Japanese Shou Sugi Ban burnt cedar siding both to anchor home with site and to create the visual weight necessary to anchor the existing exuberantly-roofed horizontal building.” Related: Stunning Lake Michigan home is built from dying ash reclaimed onsite In contrast to the extension’s dark facade, the airy interior features whitewashed walls with natural textures applied throughout. A family room occupies the lower level while a bedroom is placed upstairs. Views of the outdoors are framed through large full-height glazing making it feel as if the interior is open to the outdoors. A particularly beautiful feature of the new extension is the minimalist floating staircase made of painted-steel and cantilevered walnut treads that the architects liken to leaves growing on a branch. + Schwartz and Architecture Images via Matthew Millman

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Charred timber home perched above Silicon Valley takes cues from nature

Deli-turned-distillery renovated using materials reclaimed on-site

January 12, 2018 by  
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Architecture studio tres birds workshop used reclaimed and locally available materials to turn the former Mancinelli’s Market in Denver into a modern distillery and cocktail lounge that emphasizes the relationship between distiller, chef, bartender, and guest. The designers paired industrial elements with rich wood details in order to create a gathering place that feels familiar and cozy. A large wooden door made from reclaimed  materials sourced on-site is the entry point into The Family Jones Distillery dominated by low-slung seating, deep blue booths, and soft lighting. During warmer months, the door can slide open to facilitate a seamless transition between the interior and the patio. Related: World’s Greenest Whisky Distillery Unveiled in Scotland Two-story wooden louvers flank the Osage Street glass facade, offering passive temperature and lighting control while drawing attention inside to the well-lit copper still which acts as the focal point of the project. This element, perched above the central bar, sits in an oculus flanked by wooden mashers. Concrete walls line the space and feature extrusions that house a combination of herbs used in spirit making, as well as light fixtures that illuminate the tables below. + The Family Jones Spirit House + tres birds workshop

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Deli-turned-distillery renovated using materials reclaimed on-site

Seattle’s new Angle Lake Transit Station looks like a long-exposure photo of a dancer in motion

January 11, 2018 by  
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Architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa just completed construction on the new Angle Lake Transit Station and Plaza at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The building’s design was inspired by dance, and the architects wrapped the structure an undulating transparent envelope that mimics the motion of the human body. The team drew inspiration from an improvisational dance piece by famous contemporary dance choreographer William Forsythe. In it, dancers connect their bodies by matching lines in space that could be bent, tossed or otherwise distorted. Thanks to the use of ruled surface geometry and straight aluminum elements, the architects were able to achieve complex curved forms that look like a long-exposure portrait of a dancer. Related: Brooks + Scarpa completes forest-like kinetic sculpture ringed with rain gardens The seven-acre 400,000 square foot mixed-use complex features a seven-story cast-in-place and post-tensioned concrete structure. Its exterior façade is composed of over 7,500 custom-formed blue anodized aluminum panels. Brooks + Scarpa segmented each element into standardized sizes for the most efficient structural shape and material form, while maximizing production, fabrication and installation cost efficiency. This made it possible to install the façade on-site in less than three weeks without the use of cranes or special equipment. + Brooks + Scarpa Lead photo by Benjamin Benschneider

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Seattle’s new Angle Lake Transit Station looks like a long-exposure photo of a dancer in motion

The world’s first vertical forest for low-income housing is coming to the Netherlands

January 10, 2018 by  
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Stefano Boeri has designed and built vertical forests across the globe, but his latest project, slated for Eindhoven in The Netherlands, will be unlike anything that has been done before. That’s because, for the first time ever, the forest tower has been funded by a social housing project, and the tower will provide low-income housing. The Trudo Vertical Forest looks to be an example of how good architecture can tackle both climate change and urban housing issues. Stefano Boeri has constructed vertical forest projects in Milan , Utrecht, Nanjing , Tirana, Paris , and Lausanne, but the Trudo Vertical Forest will be one-of-a-kind. Built to provide low-income housing, the tower will have 19 stories with 125 units, all covered in a luscious vertical forest that features a wide variety of plants and trees. “The high-rise building of Eindhoven confirms that it is possible to combine the great challenges of climate change with those of housing shortages. Urban forestry is not only necessary to improve the environment of the world’s cities but also an opportunity to improve the living conditions of less fortunate city dwellers”, said Stefano Boeri. Related: Bosco Verticale: World’s First Vertical Forest is Finally Complete in Milan Stefano Boeri Architetti was retained by Sint-Trudo to complete the tower, which will be an urban home to 125 trees and 5,200 plants. The 246-foot tower covered in a rich, biodiverse environment will help control urban pollution and provide homes for a variety of animals and insects. “The Trudo Vertical Forest sets new living standards. Each apartment will have a surface area of under 50 square meters and the exclusive benefit of 1 tree, 20 shrubs and over 4 square meters of terrace. Thanks to the use of prefabrication, the rationalization of technical solutions for the facade, and the consequent optimization of resources, this will be the first Vertical Forest prototype destined for social housing” states Francesca Cesa Bianchi, Project Director of Stefano Boeri Architetti. + Stefano Boeri Architetti

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The world’s first vertical forest for low-income housing is coming to the Netherlands

Smart Home targets affordability and eco-friendly design in Australia

January 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Green Sheep Collective aimed to create an affordable and highly energy efficient home with the design of Smart Home, a renovation and extension in Melbourne , Australia. Built for approximately $200 per square foot, the home is by no means a low-cost home but the price is impressive given the inclusion of high-level environmentally sustainable principles and components. In contrast to Melbourne’s many McMansions, the Smart Home is a site-specific compact home that boasts low to zero emissions, recycled materials, and connection to the outdoors. Smart Home is an expansion and renovation of a two-bedroom single-fronted Victorian cottage in inner Melbourne. Passive solar design principles guided the design and the home’s openings and room layout are optimized for natural light and ventilation. Recycled materials were used wherever possible as was ethically sourced materials like the radially sawn timbers and Flexo recycled rubber flooring. Water saving impacts were addressed with EcoVerta water saving units. Careful design and clever storage solutions with built-in furniture created 20% more usable indoor space within the 140-square-foot addition. Related: Beautiful Northcote Solar Home shows off modern energy-efficient family living “This project faced a number of critical challenges that had to be overcome in order to meet these sustainability and design targets,” wrote the architects. “The constraints included overshadowing, poor orientation, and a small 7.5 metre wide east-west block built close to the boundary. The existing home was dark and leaky with a lean-to at the rear.” The architects demolished the lean-to and added a mezzanine . “Our response creates interesting volumes for architectural beauty, and minimises idle space by ensuring the floor plan is utilised to its full capacity through clever storage solutions and split level living. The single storey addition includes open plan living, dining and kitchen opening via large openable glazed doors to an outdoor deck.” + Green Sheep Collective Images by Shae Parker McCashen

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Smart Home targets affordability and eco-friendly design in Australia

London architects infuse dated Victorian townhouse with tons of modern personality

January 9, 2018 by  
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This refurbishment project in North London emphasizes the home’s history while infusing it with modern personality. Architecture firm LLI Design enhanced and restored features of the Victorian townhouse to honor its past, and completely redesigned the rear kitchen extension with a new contemporary aesthetic. The original layout of the house had nicely proportioned rooms, a delightful garden and a handsome exterior which the design team enhanced by stripping out some of the dated features and reinstating others to bring out more of the Victorian feel of the property. Related: Jewel-like glass box deftly extends a Victorian house in London’s Mile End The ground floor of the 2500 square-foot house has a generous hall leading to 2 connecting reception rooms. At the end of the hall sits an extended kitchen that juts out into the garden. The team decided to leave the cellar as it was and use it for additional storage and reinstate the stained glass in the fanlight window above the front door and side window. They re-tiled the entrance hall in crisp black and white period tiles with a border pattern, which lightened and visually expanded the space. A dramatic copper and glass pendant light by designer Nigel Tyas now hangs from the top floor ceiling down to the ground floor. The living and dining rooms were refreshed with bespoke pale grey lacquer joinery and asymmetrical shelving lit with individual accent spotlights. The designers installed folding sliding doors in dark grey aluminium in the kitchen extension in order to give it a stronger connection to the garden. Upstairs, re-designed dressing room and master suite feature elegant new finishing and fixtures with delicate lighting solutions. The nursery suite was redesigned, with playfully illustrated roman blinds and colorful watercolor dot wallpaper. + LLI Design

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London architects infuse dated Victorian townhouse with tons of modern personality

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