This bold, sustainable home will age gracefully near an Indiana wetland

October 16, 2018 by  
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Compact, energy-efficient and built with locally sourced materials, this hillside home takes a low-impact approach to its wetland surroundings in the city of Valparaiso in northern Indiana. Local design firm Bamesberger Architecture completed the home for a client who wanted a relatively small dwelling overlooking a pristine 400,000-square-foot wetland site. Named The Box after its boxy appearance, the home boasts low-energy needs and does not rely on air conditioning, even in the summer Completed in 2013, The Box spans an area of 960 square feet and consists of a main house, a screened porch and a small storage building. All three structures are slightly offset from one another to offer varied views of the landscape and are connected with two square timber decks. In response to the client’s wishes for a “very affordable” house with wetland views, the architects selected a budget-friendly yet attractive natural materials palette — including blackened steel, stone, concrete and birch plywood — to complement the property’s native trees and grasslands. “To set the house into the site, the main living space was built into the hillside,” the architecture firm explained. “Excavated rocks were reused as a base for the steel encased fireplace as well as a stepping stone inside the front door. The front door was built from a walnut tree found dead on the site.” Related: Charming home uses local, natural materials to pay homage to a chestnut tree The main dwelling includes an open-plan kitchen, dining area and living area on the ground floor. Above, a small loft offers space for sleeping and a home office. A two-story shower takes advantage of the double-height volume, adding what the architects call “a spatial surprise in the otherwise small space.” To minimize energy needs, The Box is wrapped in high-performance insulation and built into the side of the north-facing hill. Radiant underfloor heating and natural ventilation also help keep the home at comfortable temperatures year-round with minimal utility bills. + Bamesberger Architecture Images via Fred Bamesberger

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This bold, sustainable home will age gracefully near an Indiana wetland

Meat consumption must drop by 90% to avert a climate crisis

October 16, 2018 by  
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While the meat industry’s negative impacts on the environment have proved troublesome for some time, an assembly of scientists from various European research institutes have released a thorough analysis of the Earth’s food system that shows if farming practices and food trends continue unchecked, the planet’s capabilities of feeding the global population will be decimated within the coming decades, and global warming will not be able to stay under 1.5 degrees Celsius. Greenhouse gas emissions, land and water consumption, deforestation , biodiversity loss and aquatic dead zones are the central burdens of agriculture evaluated by experts. However, this year’s research study determined a new problem — food supply — to be the most concerning of all. With a booming population that is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, the environmental damages are enough that widespread food insecurity is knocking on our door. Related: Look out, meat industry – flexitarianism is on the rise “It is pretty shocking,” said Marco Springmann, lead researcher from the University of Oxford. “We are really risking the sustainability of the whole system.” The team examined precise data from every country to assemble the most comprehensive assessment of food production and global environment to date. Their diagnosis? Surviving within environmental limits requires a drastic reduction in meat consumption. “Feeding a world population of 10 billion is possible, but only if we change the way we eat and the way we produce food,” explained Professor Johan Rockström from Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “Greening the food sector or eating up our planet: this is what is on the menu today.” While the problem requires multi-dimensional confrontation from technological , governmental and social standpoints, the experts are encouraging dietary changes on an individual level. The study recommends an astounding 90 percent reduction in meat consumption and a 60 percent cut in milk consumption for people in countries such as the U.S. and U.K., as well as the adoption of more sustainable farming practices, in order to keep temperature rise under control. “There is no magic bullet, but dietary and technological [farming] change are the two essential things, and hopefully they can be complemented by reduction in food loss and waste,” Springmann said. Calling it the “flexitarian” diet, the researchers recommended a surge in bean , pulse, nut and seed consumption to replace the standard meat intake. Taking the average world citizen, the diet stresses a 75 percent cut in beef, a 90 percent cut in pork and a 50 percent cut in egg consumption to halve livestock emissions and help the planet return to sustainable levels. “Ultimately, we live on a finite planet, with finite resources,” said University of Leeds professor Tim Benton on the study, in which he did not take part. “It is a fiction to imagine there is a technological solution allowing us to produce as much food as we might ever want, allowing us to overeat and throw food away.” + Nature Via The Guardian Images via Andrik Langfield and Deryn Macey

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Meat consumption must drop by 90% to avert a climate crisis

Studio Puisto transforms an old bank into a modern hostel in Finland

August 23, 2018 by  
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Helsinki-based design firm Studio Puisto Architects has turned an old bank building into the new and chic Forenom Hostel Jyväskylä in the heart of Jyväskylä’s downtown pedestrian precinct. Completed in December 2017, the adaptive reuse project imbued the dated building with a modern refresh that oozes warmth and comfort with its predominate natural materials palette. During the renovation process, the architects carefully preserved elements of the original design, such as the vault, as reminders of the building’s history. Commissioned by Scandinavian real estate company Forenom, the modern Hostel Jyväskylä spans an area of 1,043 square meters and includes 49 beds with rooms ranging in size from five to 18 square meters. The ground floor houses the reception and includes space for retail and restaurant use, while the lodgings are located on the second, third and fourth floors. The basement level holds a larger restaurant as well as the hostel’s spa and sauna facilities. The Jacuzzi space is inside the former bank vault, which is lined in alder. In keeping with modern Finnish design, the interiors are minimalist and dressed in simple natural materials with plywood furnishings throughout. Boxy plywood volumes were constructed for the bedrooms, of which there are three types on each floor. The compact bedroom volumes open up to a shared central space, kitchen and bathrooms. Related: Derelict property transformed into a vibrant, sunny hostel in Portugal “In all parts of the building, the same simplified colors and materials are repeated: black, white and wood,” Studio Puisto said. “The history and spirit of the building also oozes from its interior. The walls and furniture are covered with domestic birch plywood and the floors in the lobby and bedrooms are linoleum. The hostel’s ecological choices, efficiency and communality make up for a fresh type of accommodation that is an interesting new addition to the service structure of the center of Jyväskylä.” + Studio Puisto Architects Images by Pauliina Salonen and Henri Juvonen

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Studio Puisto transforms an old bank into a modern hostel in Finland

Neubau converts a shipping container into a light-filled porters lodge

August 1, 2018 by  
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Cambridge-based architecture practice Neubau has turned a shipping container into a porters’ lodge and reception center for Hughes Hall, a college that had, until recently, been the only college of the University of Cambridge in England to not have a porters’ lodge. The architects turned to cargotecture as an architectural solution to the client’s brief for a fast and temporary solution that wouldn’t detract from the neighboring Grade II-listed building. Completed in just a little over a month’s time, the repurposed container has planning permission to remain on site for the next five years. The Hughes Hall porters’ lodge is split into three main areas laid out in a linear format: a glazed entrance opens up to a waiting area with a table and chairs and a full-height wall of 476 pigeon holes for the students’ mail; the office and reception is located in the middle; and a spacious storage area for storing parcels is located in the rear. The cargotecture design was selected over initial proposals for a rented modular Portakabin because of the container’s dimensions that fit perfectly at Hughes Hall’s entrance gate. The interior footprint measures approximately 323 square feet. Sections of the converted shipping container were cut out for glazed openings that let in plenty of natural light and views of a newly landscaped garden. The existing doors of the shipping container were preserved and can be opened for easy storage access. The unit is lined with insulation and birch plywood , and the floor is covered in blue vinyl that matches Hughes Halls’ official color. Related: Old shipping container repurposed as a 40-foot-tall parking booth “A shipping container is a ready-made, self-supporting structure that doesn’t require any foundations and is easily customizable to allow for bespoke design,” Alexander Giarlis, Neubau co-founder, told  Dezeen . “It makes a quick to deploy, non-permanent structure that is highly adaptable to a very specific use, responding directly to the client’s brief.” + Neubau Via Dezeen Images by Nick Guttridge

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Neubau converts a shipping container into a light-filled porters lodge

Skinny micro-home creates illusion of space with natural light and materials

March 2, 2018 by  
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Space-saving furniture and ample glazing are key in making this skinny timber house welcoming and livable despite its tiny footprint slightly larger than the average parking space. Dutch practice Ana Rocha Architecture designed the micro-home, named Slim Fit, in Almere Poort, the Netherlands. The home comprises 538 square feet of living space across three floors. Clad in vertically oriented Ayous hardwood that appear to emphasize height, the 172-square-foot Slim Fit avoids a monolithic appearance thanks to the heat-resistant glass windows of varying sizes punctuating the facade. The windows also allow for cross-breezes and fill the interior with natural light. Tall ceilings, birch plywood paneling, and a minimalist design add to the illusion of spaciousness. Related: Rotterdam couple lives in a skinny house built from 15 tonnes of industrial waste The three-story skinny home includes a kitchen and dining area on the first floor, while the living room is placed on the second level. The bedroom with a bathroom and wardrobe is located on the top-most level. Custom space-saving furniture and elements constructed from birch offer subtle but effective ways for creating a bright and airy appearance, from sliding doors to an open-tread staircase that connects to open shelving. + Ana Rocha Architecture Via Dezeen Images by Christiane Wirth

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Prefab CLT pavilion cleverly encourages dialogue at a Vancouver TED conference

January 11, 2018 by  
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An experimental pavilion popped up by the waters of downtown Vancouver for the TED2017 conference . Selected as the winning entry in the PAUSE international design competition, this interactive prefabricated timber structure explores the concept of personal space and interaction. Competition hosts nonprofit DBR | Design Build Research and the Vancouver TED2017 conference chose Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering student Alsu Sadrieva’s submission from over 60 submissions represented by 21 different countries. PAUSE pavilion was designed to encourage passersby and conference attendees to reflect, gather, and interact. Structurlam donated the cross-laminated timber panels used for the prefabrication of the walls, while Interfor contributed dimensional lumber for the pavilion’s roof. The pavilion was weatherproofed with shrink-wrap. Related: Twin warming huts for TED conference evoke the Great Canadian Wilderness Approximately 150 stools were constructed and made from CNC-milled birch plywood topped with cushions of either preserved moss or wool felt donated by Filzfelt. The stools are inserted in the walls, making the perforated facade look as if hundreds of rods were sticking out. “The pavilion represents the thorny, challenging problems of the world today,” wrote DBR. “Chairs adorn the walls of the structure, giving it a jarring appearance. The exterior can only be smoothed by the removal of a chair – in effect solving a problem through gathering and dialogue.” The pavilion was designed for reuse after the TED2017 conference for different events in Vancouver. + DBR | Design Build Research Via ArchDaily Images via DBR | Design Build Research , © Ema Peter

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Prefab CLT pavilion cleverly encourages dialogue at a Vancouver TED conference

This prefab Escape Pod rotates to catch the suns rays

November 21, 2017 by  
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Dreaming of your very own backyard escape? The cozy Escape Pod may be just what you’re looking for. UK-based firm Podmakers designed and crafted the Escape Pod, a cedar shingle-clad prefabricated unit that can be tailored to suit a variety of uses, including garden room and writer’s studio. The spherical unit takes inspiration from nature, from its round organic shape to the extensive use of timber inside and out. Designed to meet local UK planning laws, each 7-square-meter Escape Pod is built offsite in a Gloucestershire workshop and then delivered and installed using a forklift or crane. The pod is elevated half a meter off the ground and can be rotated to optimize natural light and views through European Oak-framed windows. An aircraft-style plug door opens up to a snug adaptable interior outfitted with insulation, electrical wiring, and heating (choice of a wood-burning stove or underfloor heating). “The organic nature of the Escape Pod’s materials contrasts with the engineering employed in its design,” write Podmakers. “To achieve its curved form, the pod’s design exploits innovative CNC milling and making techniques. This enables it to be fabricated with precision in the workshop, entirely from wood. Birch plywood , chosen for its strength and aesthetic qualities, forms the structure. It is exposed internally; from the pod’s framework to the bespoke laminated door hinge.” Related: Archipod’s Spherical Garden Office Pod The base price for the Escape Pod starts at £19,800. Podmakers developed four recommended layouts—garden room, office, snug (bedroom), and work studio—however the pod can be customized to meet different needs. + Podmakers Via ArchDaily Images © Tim Brotherton

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This prefab Escape Pod rotates to catch the suns rays

Norwegian cabin weathers a harsh climate for breathtaking views

March 15, 2017 by  
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Norway’s Lofoten archipelago is famous for its spectacular scenery with dramatic mountains and views of the northern lights—but its remote location up north also means a bitterly harsh climate in winter. Architect Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk was asked to create a summer retreat on a coastal Lofoten island that would be strong enough to withstand the harsh climate, particularly high-speed winds and rain. He and his team of architects completed the Summer House Gravråk, a renovated timber structure with a new addition and beautiful modern interior. The 25-square-meter Summer House Gravråk began with the rehabilitation of an old “Nordlandshus,” a kind of a traditional northern Norwegian home with a gabled roof and timber structure. The architects extended the building’s existing footprint with an addition towards the west that matched the original structure’s design. The exterior is clad in untreated spruce, which developed a gray patina after exposure to the elements. Standing seam zinc roofing tops the building. Related: Norwegian Mountain Cottage Stands on Stilts to Preserve Native Reindeer Moss The extension is constructed with prefabricated pine glulam and is wind-anchored to an encapsulating concrete slab that serves as a stabilizing counterweight, while the existing building is guy-wired to the ground. “The addition is a pure extension of the existing building, and re-uses the geometrical principle with asymmetrical dormer windows to let in light and give a view from the loft,” write the architects. The windows are constructed with aluminum frames on the exterior and wood on the interior to match the interior birch plywood cladding. The interior is minimally furnished and the abundance of windows keeps the focus on the landscape. The architects also constructed a small green-roofed annex separate from the main building. + Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk Images via Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk

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Norwegian cabin weathers a harsh climate for breathtaking views

Beautiful ergonomic stools feature a bike saddle-inspired seat

December 16, 2015 by  
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Turin-based design firm Bibi studio designed the Sella / Sellino, a beautiful and minimalist stool crafted from birch plywood . Winner of a 2015 A’design Award , the lightweight stool features a flat seat in the shape of a bike saddle. The structure uses interlocking elements for easy assembly. + Bibi studio The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Beautiful ergonomic stools feature a bike saddle-inspired seat

The MOVA Cube solar-powered globe brings the Earth into your home

December 16, 2015 by  
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For all you Earth lovers out there, you can bring the serenity of the planet into your home with the MOVA Cube. The newest addition to MOVA International’s line of solar-powered decor products, the MOVA Cube uses their proven motion technology to recreate the motion of the Earth in space. The MOVA Cube contains a globe rotating on its own while floating perfectly centered inside a cube. Advanced solar cells hidden inside the globe and the Earth’s magnetic field provide torque for the globe to turn continuously and silently on its own, while a mixture of optical fluids create the mesmerizing floating effect. Built to last, the sustainable design requires no batteries or wires. Simply place the cube in ambient light and it comes to life to add a soothing kinetic ambiance to any room. The MOVA Cube represents a future of eco-friendly homes where things can act without any apparent force and people can enjoy home decor without energy and product waste. Its eco-conscious design and innovative twist on home decor make it stand out from any other item on the market. + MOVA The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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