This solar-powered floating farm combines agriculture and dining under one roof

November 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

As urban farming becomes increasingly popular, people are finding new, unexpected ways of incorporating agriculture into cities. From rooftops and community gardens, urban farming has descended to waterways and lakes – as in this solar-powered floating farm that doubles as a restaurant. Lotus is designed to grow fresh produce with a vertical hydroponic garden and then serve it in indoor and outdoor dining areas where visitors can enjoy waterside views and learn more about the production of the food. Lotus is a future-oriented farming system that aims to solve problems relating to the production, sale and distribution of crops and produce in urban areas. Its design also addresses the issue of global warming exacerbated by increased emissions of methane and carbon dioxide. Related: Could solar-powered floating farms provide enough food for the entire world? Designers Taeung Kim, Sunae Shin, Sungho An, Seungjun Lee & Mirae Park conceived the structure for client HYDROKOREA, and they were recognized by this year’s K-Design Award – an international design contest held by DESIGNSORI . Via Yanko Design

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This solar-powered floating farm combines agriculture and dining under one roof

Recycled materials make up this quirky solar-powered hotel in West Africa

November 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

A beautiful sun-soaked retreat on Cape Verde’s island of Sao Vicente prides itself on sustainability. Ramos Castellano Arquitectos designed the Terra Lodge Hotel using recycled and found materials, water recycling systems, and a rooftop solar array . The hotel draws the eye with its gridded timber frame, constructed from unfinished African wood, that partially encloses private verandas. Built predominately from lime-plastered concrete, the Terra Lodge Hotel’s five structures are rotated to optimize views and cross breezes. The hotel includes 12 rooms and a suite, a breakfast room, a lap pool, and a large outdoor terrace on the roof of an old green colonial house that now houses the owner’s tourist agency. The architects used found materials in construction, such as the recycled metals from petroleum barrels for the gate and the locally sourced rocks for the walls. Related: Hotel Shabby Shabby: Pop-Up Hotel Offers Recycled Rooms Built for Under €250 “Every solution is simplified adapting to the island lack of material and resources, simple and essential for satisfying basic needings, not for ephemeral fashion,” wrote the architects. “Almost everything is handmade, employing people from the neighborhood, from the floor finishing to the furniture, trying to distribute the economy of the building construction in the social environment.” The architects also designed the furnishings and light systems with locally handcrafted and recycled wood. + Ramos Castellano Arquitectos Via ArchDaily Images © Sergio Pirrone

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Recycled materials make up this quirky solar-powered hotel in West Africa

Vienna cocktail bar is hidden underground in an 18th-century cellar

November 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The places hidden beneath our feet are sometimes home to a city’s coolest spaces. That’s the case for the krypt.bar , a subterranean cocktail bar in Vienna , tucked away in a forgotten 18th century cellar that was only recently uncovered after renovations on Berggasse—a famed street associated with Sigmund Freud. Designed by Büro KLK , this secret bar breathes new life into a historic setting and is decorated with minimalist furniture designs of the International Style. The 18th century cellar on Vienna’s traditional Berggasse was found after workers struck upon a bricked up staircase. It let to a twelve-meters-deep cellar with handsome brick vaults . Further digging into cellar’s history showed that it once operated as a semi-legal establishment in the jazz area of the mid-20th century. Related: Historic 7th-century cellar in Spain renovated to celebrate the history of wine-making Büro KLK preserved the brick vaults and underground feel of the place, and added luxury materials and high-quality furnishings such as Knoll’s famous Platner Arm Chairs and Ubald Lug’s Sofa DS-1025. Write the designers: “The whole static structure as well as the ventilating pipes and further installations, were cladded in composition gold. The floor plate is covered with a layer of Italian nero marquina marble manually laid in a herringbone bond. The cladding of the bar counter was cut out of a massive block of Sahara noir laurent gold marble applied in a mirrored pattern, and the counter plate was crafted out of a massive European walnut.” + Büro KLK Photography: David Schreyer

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Vienna cocktail bar is hidden underground in an 18th-century cellar

World’s largest botanical garden to bloom in the desert of Oman

November 15, 2017 by  
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Perhaps the dry desert landscape of Oman may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of lush forests, but the Arabian nation is getting a massive infusion of greenery with the world’s largest botanical garden . Showcasing the country’s rich bio-diversity, the Oman Botanic Garden – designed by Arup, Grimshaw and Haley Sharpe Design – will be a whopping 1,037 acres of land filled with native flora, with two beautiful biomes housing the country’s most unique plant species. Located in the foothills of the Al Hajar Mountains in the Sultanate of Oman, the botanical garden’s site is one of the few locations in the world where the ancient sea bed is still visible after the landscape was elevated by tectonic activity. Working with this unique landscape, the architects designed a complex that would blend into the Mars-esque environment. Related: INFOGRAPHIC: 7 best botanical gardens from around the world Visitors to the gardens will enjoy open walkways that run through the undulating landscape, winding through the wadis, mountains and desert plains as they enjoy the impressive botanic diversity. Inside the two biomes, which house the most unique or sensitive flora, the interior environments were carefully designed to mimic the natural temperature and humidity of the plants’ native climate. Along with the visitors center, the complex will have additional spaces for education and research facilities dedicated to protecting the region’s ample bio-diversity. The garden’s buildings and the landscape architecture were all designed to meet the standards of LEED Platinum . Making the design sustainable was quite a challenge given the region’s water scarcity. Thanks to advanced systems, the entire complex will operate with a grey water irrigation system that works in collaboration with sustainably-sourced water. + Arup + Grimshaw + Haley Sharpe Design Via World Architecture News

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World’s largest botanical garden to bloom in the desert of Oman

Larch-clad extension breathes new life into an old hunting lodge in Canada

November 15, 2017 by  
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This quaint hunting lodge in Canada  has had several different lives before being turned into a cozy family home nestled in the woods. The new owners commissioned architect Anik Péloquin to design an extension that would echo the architecture of the original building, while blending in with the stunning surroundings. The resulting two-volume structure is clad in larch wood fits in perfectly and breathes new life into the lodge. The small house, located on a secluded lakeside lot in La Malbaie, Canada, was used as a hunting lodge for the first three decades, before becoming the summer home for the Sisters of Charity. Instead of renovating the house, the new owners decided to build an additional space and use the existing structure as a guesthouse . Related: Extraordinary treehouse is a climber’s dream with its own indoor climbing wall The two volumes as referred to as siblings, with the new house–“the little sister”–housing two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and lounge areas. Modest in size, the structure keeps with the general look of its “big sister”. It is clad in larch and features a steep shed roof that harmonizes with the existing structure and the landscape. The roof overhang on the west and south sides keep the outside walls low and consistent with the scale of the old house. The steep roof pitch rises on the east and north side and reminds of a church steeple, thus evoking the history of the site. + Anik Péloquin architecte Via V2com Photos by Louis Prud’homme

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Larch-clad extension breathes new life into an old hunting lodge in Canada

Cards Against Humanity buys land on the US-Mexico border to block Trump’s wall

November 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

You may have gotten some laughs from the irreverent Cards Against Humanity game in the past, but now the people behind the “party game for horrible people” have a higher objective: stop Donald Trump’s border wall. The company bought land on the border and worked with a law firm to make it harder for the Trump administration to act on its plan – and they asked fans to chip in $15 for a piece of the land in their new Cards Against Humanity Saves America campaign. Cards Against Humanity doesn’t want to see a United States-Mexico border wall erected, so they’re working to thwart Trump with their recent land purchase. On their campaign page, they said, “Donald Trump is a preposterous golem who is afraid of Mexicans. He is so afraid that he wants to build a twenty-billion dollar wall that everyone knows will accomplish nothing. So we’ve purchased a plot of vacant land on the border and retained a law firm specializing in eminent domain to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built.” Related: Provocative street art installation shows baby peering over US-Mexico border wall Those who gave Cards Against Humanity $15 earned “six America-saving surprises” during the holidays. The company has been quiet about most of the surprises, but they did say backers could expect an illustrated map of the land they purchased, new cards, and a certificate of their promise to battle Trump’s border wall. Other surprises are set to be delivered in December. The campaign seems to have resonated with Americans – The Washington Post reported it sold out in hours. This isn’t the first time Cards Against Humanity has gotten political , using humor to draw attention to current issues. For example, earlier this year they created a Weed Pack and donated proceeds to the Marijuana Public Policy Project to fight for legalization. They also sent potatoes to Republican Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson to persuade him to hold a town hall about the Affordable Care Act. + Cards Against Humanity Saves America Images via Cards Against Humanity Saves America and Anthony Albright on Flickr

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Cards Against Humanity buys land on the US-Mexico border to block Trump’s wall

This human-sized birdhouse for two is perched among the treetops

November 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

If you’ve ever wished you could make like a bird and roost in the trees, you’ll love this charming birdhouse-shaped hideaway nestled in a British Columbia forest. Calgary-based design firm Studio North recently completed Birdhut, a cozy nest for people and birds alike. Built of reclaimed pine felled by a recent fire, the tiny 100-square-foot structure uses locally scavenged materials to mimic a bird’s nest-building process. Accessible via a bridge to the hillside, the cozy one-room Birdhut sleeps two (and a dog). Salvaged lodgepodge pines were used for the cross-braced structure, while planks reclaimed from a cabin deck are used for the platform and cladding. Western Red Cedar rounded shingles clad the facade and 8-millimeter clear polycarbonate panels top the roof, letting ample natural daylight into the cabin. Two circular windows let in natural ventilation. Related: Enchanting birdhouses inspired by famous architecture Twelve smaller circular holes punctuate the facade, each designed for different native birds . “The pileated woodpecker for instance, is a larger bird that seeks out a nesting space 15 to 25 feet above ground, with a 4” entry hole and an 8”x8”x24” cavity,” wrote the designers. “The warbler, on the other hand, is a smaller bird that typically nests 9 feet above ground with a 1 1/8” hole and a 4”x4”x6” cavity. Considering both the largest and smallest varieties of local birds, the hut sits 9 feet off the ground, with its peak at 20 feet above the ground and birdhouses scattered in between.” + Studio North Images by Mark Erickson

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This human-sized birdhouse for two is perched among the treetops

Red Mountain Retreat captures the essence of the rugged Icelandic landscape

November 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The Red Mountain Retreat captures the mystique and mystery of the Icelandic landscape. Johanners Torpe Studios designed the proposal for a spa and wellness retreat that offers an escape from the stresses of everyday life and provides stunning views of a nearby glacier. The resort is located on the Western peninsula of Snæfellsness, where the river meets the sea. It faces a majestic glacier covered stratovolcano and references old Icelandic tales that celebrate the union between man and nature. The design explores the interplay between nature and architecture and aims to facilitate a journey of self-discovery. This is done by exposing the guest to nature in various ways, whilst maintaining a sense of protection and basic principles of shelter. Related: The world’s first 100% solar-powered five-star resort has opened The spa sits at the heart of the resort and captures several natural elements to create wind tunnels, fire baths and ice pools. The outdoor lagoon looks like a natural extension of the river and features shallow passages, areas with currents, and still water pools . Concrete reinterprets the rocky landscape of the surroundings, creating contrasting rough and smooth textures, as well as patterns inspired by those found in the layers of the turf houses. Green roofs references traditional building techniques and intensify the connection between the architecture and nature. + Johannes Torpe Studios [galley]

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Red Mountain Retreat captures the essence of the rugged Icelandic landscape

Stunning green-roofed office harmonizes with the Washington landscape

November 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Stunning, award-winning architecture can be found in unlikely places, even in neighboring areas to industrial processing yards in Yakima, Washington. That’s where you’ll find the Washington Fruit & Produce Co. Headquarters, designed by Graham Baba Architects who describe the project as “an oasis amidst a sea of concrete” that takes cues from the rural landscape. Surrounded by board-formed concrete walls and earthen berms constructed from soil excavated onsite, the light-filled, green-roofed office is filled with natural materials and feels more like a welcoming modern home than a dreary cubicle world. Inspired by the appearance of an aging barn, the 16,500-square-foot Washington Fruit & Produce Co. Headquarters design combines the rural vernacular with a contemporary aesthetic. Exposed trusses and soaring ceilings evoke airy barns, while the 18-foot-tall scissored glulam structural columns—located on the outside for a column-free interior—reinforce the building’s agricultural roots. Full-height glazing wraps the facade to let in light and views of the distant hills while large south-facing overhangs mitigate solar gain. Related: Bloomberg’s new London HQ rated world’s most sustainable office The relatively minimalist interior with its palette of natural materials helps keep the focus on the outdoors, from the berm-wrapped courtyard and accessible green roof to Yakima Valley’s basalt formations and hills. A separate structure houses a 30-foot-long table for communal meals. The Washington Fruit & Produce Co. Headquarters in Yakima won a 2016 Northwest and Pacific Region Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. + Graham Baba Architects Images via Graham Baba Architects and Kevin Scott/em>

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Stunning green-roofed office harmonizes with the Washington landscape

Crazy new building in China looks like a giant crab!

November 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

China may have decided to steer away from “weird architecture” , but bizarre new buildings continue to pop up throughout the country. The new Ecology Center in Kunshan is one of the strangest we’ve seen – it looks a giant crab, complete with hairy claws and white pincers! The building is located on Yangcheng Lake’s eastern shore and it references the area’s famous crab-based delicacy. The outer shell is crafted from dark stainless steel , with pincers and claws resting on the ground. The crab’s durable exterior can supposedly withstand strong winds and typhoons . Related: 21 of China’s Quirkiest, Craziest and Most Fantastical Buildings Work is still underway on the building’s interior, which is expected to open to visitors in 2018. Via Archdaily

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Crazy new building in China looks like a giant crab!

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