Twisting brick facade fronts an innovative courtyard house near Chicago

June 12, 2019 by  
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In a Chicago suburb full of traditional gabled rooflines, California-based architectural firm Brooks + Scarpa has inserted a modern dwelling that puts a sculptural twist on a humble and overlooked building material: Chicago “Common” brick. Historically considered unattractive and only fit for unseen areas such as chimney flues, Chicago “Common” brick is given renewed attention in a recently completed courtyard house , dubbed the Thayer Brick House. Not only does the contemporary home use the brick for almost its entire facade, but it also shines the spotlight on the local resource with a sculptural, street-facing facade that’s made with twisting columns of stacked brick. Made from indigenous Michigan clay, Chicago “Common” brick has long been considered undesirable and cheap due to its variations and irregularities. Instead of the classic red color, the prosaic material takes on a more yellow hue and has been traditionally used for areas hidden from the street, such as the side and back walls, chimney flues and structural support behind the facades. In making Chicago “Common” brick highly visible in the Thayer Brick House, Brooks + Scarpa is celebrating a local material and inviting passersby to reconsider unexpected uses for everyday materials and concepts. Related: A mountain refuge in Spain is brought back to life with brickwork “By using the familiar in an unfamiliar location and application, the material becomes perceptually both old and new at the same time,” the firm said. “This makes one more aware of not just the building, but also our sense of place. There is a sense of discovery, something spontaneous and unexpected. The object is important, but it’s the experience that has a profound impact and leaves something that lasts well beyond the mere physical and visual existence of the building. This gives us the opportunity to not only learn about design but also about ourselves, our collective cultures and our place in society.” The use of Chicago “Common” brick helps contextualize the building and gives the building an unexpected appearance. The street-facing facade is made up of columns of brick rotated at varying degrees to make the courtyard look open or closed depending on where the viewer stands. Passersby can see the full effect of the facade, which has a moire-like pattern that appears to move as one walks past it. The sculptural facade also has the added benefit of reducing glare and providing privacy to the fully glazed interior volume. + Brooks + Scarpa Photography by Marty Peters and Brooks + Scarpa

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Twisting brick facade fronts an innovative courtyard house near Chicago

Cooling breezes blow straight through a low-energy brick house in Indonesia

May 9, 2019 by  
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In the city of Depok in West Java, Jakarta-based architectural firm DELUTION architect has completed the Flick House, a two-story home with a brick facade and a contemporary design that stands out from its more conventional neighbors. Created to follow sustainable and low-energy principles, the house features cooling microclimates and is optimized for natural ventilation . Daylight is also maximized in the house to reduce reliance on artificial lighting while a second “skin” facade helps buffer unwanted solar gain. When the clients approached DELUTION architect with the commission, they asked for a large home that would feel “humble and warm.” In response, the architects suggested a brick facade, which they said can create a welcoming atmosphere no matter the size. The warm and inviting character is carried through to the light-filled interior, which features an open layout conducive to large family gatherings. Energy efficiency was also a major design objective for the architects. To keep the spacious, 3,326-square-foot house naturally cool, the architects added four gardens — Main Garden, Private Garden, Floating Garden and Innercourt — and a fish pond to create cooling microclimates . The cooled air from the gardens is swept into the rooms through the sliding doors and windows that promote airflow throughout. Perforations in the brick facade also allow for natural ventilation while blocking unwanted solar gain. Related: Rammed earth addition brings light and energy savings to a Melbourne home “Besides applying the green architecture concept, Flick House also has quite unique architectural and interior details,” the architects added. “Some parts of the walls even seem to be floating. On the first floor, bathrooms are hidden behind the mirrored closet, and on the second floor, the bathroom has a semi-outdoor concept so that if the curtain is opened it can be seen from the outside.” + DELUTION architect Photography by Fernando Gomulya via DELUTION architect

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Cooling breezes blow straight through a low-energy brick house in Indonesia

8 tips to make your exercise routine more eco-friendly

May 9, 2019 by  
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For most people, getting in a good workout on a daily basis is hard enough, let alone making sure it is also beneficial to the environment. While combining the best of both worlds seems difficult, there are ways you can create an eco-friendly exercise program without too much trouble. From working out at home to enjoying the splendor of the outdoors, here are eight ways you can improve the environment and your health. Go Outdoors Taking your workout to the great outdoors is one of the best ways to go green with your fitness. There are plenty of ways to get in a good eco-friendly workout under the sun such as walking, running and cycling. Walking is a good option if you do not want to put a lot of stress on your joints, while running a mile everyday will keep you in top shape. Whenever you exercise outdoors , remember to keep hydrated and always bring along some water. You can also explore various outdoor trails in your area if you want to mix things up. Related: 7 Ways to live an eco-friendly life while staying healthy Yoga Yoga is a total body workout that improves your mind, strength and flexibility. If you have never meditated before, yoga is a great way to introduce yourself to the practice of focusing your thoughts. You can do yoga in the comfort of your home or take your mat outdoors to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of nature. When it comes to buying a good yoga mat, consider purchasing one that is eco-friendly . There are a few companies that sell mats that are completely biodegradable and made from recycled materials. These products, which are usually made out of TPE, are also easy on your wallet. Home Fitness If you live in an area that is not conducive to outdoor activities or if the weather is bad, you can always move your eco-friendly workout indoors. All you need is a little space to stretch out and a good plan. If you do not know where to start, there are plenty of exercise programs online that are tailored to every experience level. Apart from keeping you in shape, working out at home has several benefits. For starters, your home workouts will save you from paying a monthly gym membership. You also use much less electricity at your home than you would at the gym. Recycling Workout Gear Recycling is one of the easiest ways you can improve the environment. If you work out on a regular basis, you will likely burn through several shoes over the course of a year. Instead of throwing away those old sneakers, consider donating them to a local charitable organization. For instance, Nike have their own recycling programs that turn old shoes into playground materials. You can also consider purchasing worn workout gear, such as shorts, t-shirts and other accessories. Ditch The Plastic Plastic waste is a growing concern around the world and plastic bottles are a big part of the problem. Three-quarters of plastic water bottles are thrown away in landfills every year instead of being placed in recycling facilities. You can help curb this waste by investing in some reusable water bottles. Not only will this help cut down on plastic waste , but it will also save you from buying bottled water every week. Gym Tips Sometimes, going to the gym is your only option. If you have to go to the gym or prefer it to a home workout, there are still plenty of ways you can be more eco-friendly. For starters, try and stay away from machines that use electricity. If you need to get some cardio in, for example, run on the track or do routines that combine lifting and cardio. If you have to run on a treadmill , incline the machine so that it using less electricity. You should also consider looking in your area for gyms that promote eco-friendly workouts. These establishments usually rely less on electricity and even have machines that generate energy as you work out. Change Your Commute Switching up your commute to work can give you a great workout while helping the environment. If it is feasible, consider walking or biking to your place of employment instead of driving. This will help cut down on air pollution, even if you only do it a few times per week. It will also get your fitness routine out of the way so that you can focus on other things throughout the day. Eater Greener Working out, of course, is only part of living a healthy life. While it is tempting to refuel with a post-workout protein bar or drink, consider opting for a more sustainable option. Eating organic fruits and veggies is a great way to replenish the body and give you all the nutrients you need to recover in time for your next workout. If you need to infuse more protein into your diet, consider investing in a good protein powder. You can find organically produced powders at your local supplement store, which are great for morning smoothies. For example, hemp powder is packed full of protein, has a delicious nutty flavor and requires less water than other sources of protein. Via Best Health Magazine.   Greener Ideal Images via Shutterstock

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Emojis become modern-day gargoyles on a Dutch mixed-use building

April 13, 2018 by  
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Emojis have worked their way into our everyday lives—and now they’ve infiltrated the built world as well. Over 20 expressive emojis have been cast in concrete and used as modern-day gargoyles on the facade of two mixed-use buildings in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. Designed by Attika Architekten , “Emoji Architecture” taps into the world of social media to create a subtle and unusual embellishment to otherwise ordinary brick-and-concrete architecture. Set on a street corner in Vathrost, the Emoji buildings are mostly residential with shops located on the ground floor. To match the surrounding architecture, Attika Architekten designed the two connected buildings with a traditional brick design gridded by white concrete. Hoping to inject a bit of whimsy to the staid structures, architect Changiz Tehrani of Attika Architekten enlisted the help of masons at Millro to cast 22 emojis (from the WhatsApp messaging app) in concrete . “In classical architecture they used heads of the king or whatever, and they put that on the façade,” Tehrani told The Verge . “So we were thinking, what can we use as an ornament so when you look at this building in 10 or 20 years you can say ‘hey this is from that year!’” The expressive ornaments were left unpainted and are only installed on the building facades that face the town square, which includes a library , theater, and school. While some architecture critics may be dismissive, Tehrani says the response from the community has been mostly positive, with perhaps the most enthusiastic support coming from social media-savvy students of the nearby school. + Attika Architekten Via The Verge Images © Bart van Hoek

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Emojis become modern-day gargoyles on a Dutch mixed-use building

Renovated 1970s brick beach house in Australia gets new life with an elegant timber screen

December 6, 2016 by  
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A 1970s modernist brick beach house in Noosa, Australia , received a modern makeover that transformed it into a gorgeous subtropical retreat. In charge of the renovation , Teeland Architects retained as much of the existing building as possible, while making sure to take best advantage of the amazing site that backs into a rainforest. The architects modernized the existing brick house, created better relationships with the surroundings, and replaced the unflattering rough dark brown brick facade with a more elegant design. They rendered the brick in a natural cement finish and designed a beautiful timber screen for the street-facing facade. Related: Modern Renovation of an 1850’s Australian Farm House They carved out a series of new openings in the rear wall so that bedrooms and bathrooms have unobstructed views of the gorgeous subtropical landscape. One of the most unique design elements are the semi-outdoor bathrooms that overlook the national park . These reference the original shower units that sat on the back deck. + Teeland Architects Via Archdaily Photos by Jared Fowler

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Renovated 1970s brick beach house in Australia gets new life with an elegant timber screen

House of Food Culture in Copenhagen will bring together food lovers and cooking aficionados

November 25, 2016 by  
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The L-shaped building will occupy a prominent location on the tree-lined Frederiksberg Alle, one of the most significant historic avenues in the Danish capital. It will comprise two levels of public spaces dedicated to culinary experiences and food, and 30 new housing units above. Different types of housing for families, students and singles will be distributed across five brick townhouses, including that accommodating the House of Food Culture. Related: Copenhagen’s Tietgenkollegiet Dorm is the Coolest Circular Housing Complex on Campus This project – to be built on top of a new metro station in the city – will be realized in collaboration with Union Holding and NRE Denmark, who previously worked with COBE on transforming a tall historic grain silo in Denmark into housing and exhibition space . + COBE Architects

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House of Food Culture in Copenhagen will bring together food lovers and cooking aficionados

Social housing project with two "faces" channels Parisian duality

October 25, 2016 by  
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The design of the building reflects the dual nature of its surroundings and uses different materials to eliminate borders. It channels the dynamism of the urban development zone of Batignolles and connects two different urban conditions. Its southwest facade reflects the numerous brick buildings of Clichy-la-Garenne, while the southeast facade with perforated metal and louvered shutters echo the activity of the city. An array of ornamentation on the brick facade connects the two expressions of the city-its center and the suburbs. Related: Modern Green Social Housing Complex Rises East of Paris Large glass surfaces dominate the ground floor dedicated to commercial spaces. The hall acts as a transition between the exterior and interior, establishing visual connections from the sidewalk into the garden at the heart of the lot. The 38 social housing units have double exposures thanks to balconies and loggias either hidden behind perforated metal or cut into the brick facing the street. + Avenier Cornejo Architectes Photos by Takuji Shimmura / Avenier Cornejo

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A pottery studio in Vietnam sheltered by a perforated cube of clay bricks

July 20, 2016 by  
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The three-story building, inspired by traditional Vietnamese architecture and the surrounding ecology, is located next to Thu Bon river in Vietnam’s Quang Nam Province. With the natural light changing the atmosphere of the interior spaces during the day, the building aims to mimic the constant flow of the adjacent river. The perforated facade provides an optimal level of privacy for the artist, while bringing natural elements indoors to retain a strong connection with the outdoors. Related: Passively-cooled Termitary House in Vietnam is wrapped in perforated brick walls The three-story wooden frame creates smaller spaces that act as shelves for the finished terracotta works, a hallway and stairs. Visitors can observe the artist at work from different points in the interior, including the mezzanine level that offers a clear view of the round void at the center. + Tropical Space Via Archdaily Photos by Hiroyuki Oki

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A pottery studio in Vietnam sheltered by a perforated cube of clay bricks

Flanagan Lawrence Architects transform a crumbling 1923 building into a four-star London hotel

March 11, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Flanagan Lawrence Architects transform a crumbling 1923 building into a four-star London hotel Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , Art Deco , brick facade , Flanagan Lawrence Architects , green renovation , hotel design , London , london architecture , UK architects

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Flanagan Lawrence Architects transform a crumbling 1923 building into a four-star London hotel

Artist Alex Chinneck’s Mind-bending Building Facade Slides to the Ground

November 27, 2013 by  
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London-based artist Alex Chinneck creates spectacles that combine illusion , humor, and design. In his work entitled “ From the knees of my nose to the belly of my toes “ he fabricated a facade that appears to be sliding off an apartment building! The work explores themes of urban decay, and it’s certainly a head-turning addition to an otherwise ordinary street. Read the rest of Artist Alex Chinneck’s Mind-bending Building Facade Slides to the Ground Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alex chinneck , brick facade , cliftonville , dezeen , from the knees of my toes to the belly of my toes , Kent , London , margate , melting exterior , optical illusion , sliding brick wall , UK , urban decay        

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Artist Alex Chinneck’s Mind-bending Building Facade Slides to the Ground

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