This super-insulated concrete "cabin" hides a surprisingly cozy interior

May 15, 2018 by  
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Brutalist-inspired architecture is usually not the first thing that comes to mind when imagining cozy countryside cabins, but two daring designers have created a 900-square-foot house — made primarily of concrete blocks — in the Catskills. The homeowners, architect Jason Shannon and designer Paola Yañez of J_spy Architecture , created the contemporary home with a cluster of three cubic volumes and a white metal box for the roof. The result is a high-end, modern and eco-friendly retreat that sits on six acres of beautiful grassy landscape. The house was designed to be a serene getaway, a place to escape the city and return to nature. While many people choose to “nestle” their country homes into natural surroundings, this design stands out among the expansive fields thanks to its modern, bold aesthetic. The three cubist volumes made of concrete blocks and large white top floor create a fun juxtaposition to the flourishing, organic background. Related: Prefab Pyrenees cabin minimizes site impact and building costs The interior of the home is contemporary with a welcoming feel. Large windows and doors framed in mahogany provide an abundance of natural light and stunning views. Although the concrete walls were left unfinished on the exterior, the interior blocks feature a polished facade. The main living space has a beautiful 14′ ceiling clad in birch plywood that is interlaced with fabric to help absorb noise. With concrete as the primary building material, the home is extremely energy efficient . A geothermal heat pump is connected to the home’s concrete radiant floor, which emits both hot and cool air. The upper floor, which is clad in white metal, hangs over the dimension of the house for two reasons: to provide passive solar heating and to create high ceilings. In addition to the concrete blocks and radiant heating, the home also has a tankless hot water system and a condenser clothes dryer. To create a tight envelope that reduces energy loss, the house was insulated with a spray foam in the walls and ceilings. According to the architects, the efficient home is not only a reflection of how they live their personal lives, but also depicts their work ethos. Shannon explained, “This was our chance to say, ‘Let’s design the house as modern as we think we would like to be in the rest of our work.’” + J_spy Architecture Via Dwell Photography by Amanda Kirkpatrick

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This super-insulated concrete "cabin" hides a surprisingly cozy interior

A cluster of wooden cabins create a serene weekend retreat in Norway

May 10, 2018 by  
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Norwegian firm Stinessen Arkitektur built this cluster of wooden cabins that peer out over the picturesque fjords of Norway. The weekend retreat is designed to provide the ultimate in relaxation, and it features extra-large glazed facades, minimalist interior design, and a serene spa. The private vacation home is located on Malangen Peninsula and it overlooks a beautiful fjord. The main entrance leads through a sliding oak door into a covered central courtyard , which connects the main building and the annex. This courtyard serves as the heart of the home, and it comes complete with a fireplace and an outdoor kitchen. Related: Cantilevered holiday cabins boast stunning coastal views in Norway According to the architects, the courtyard “functions as a protected and semi-tempered zone (without particular heating) between the main part and the annex . . . It also provides an additional layer to the natural ventilation during summertime, even on windy or rainy days.” The main building consists of two living areas. The master bedroom and bathroom are on one side of the structure, and a bedroom and secondary living room are on the other. The open kitchen, dining and living areas are located between the bedrooms. Various “in-between” spaces, with concrete floors and wood-slatted ceilings, connect the individual cabins . In order to create a cohesive connection to the exterior wooden cladding , the interior walls are covered in knot-free oak panels. Minimal furnishings and bare walls put the focus on the incredible scenery that surrounds the home. Each room has a large glass wall that offers amazing views. + Stinessen Arkitektur Via Dwell Photography by Steve King and Terje Arntsen, via Stinessen Arkitectur

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A cluster of wooden cabins create a serene weekend retreat in Norway

These timber tiny houses use bold pergolas to shade against the glaring sun in Israel

April 13, 2018 by  
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These beautiful tiny houses designed by Israeli-based Ron Shenkin Architecture provide relief from the glaring sun thanks to their dynamic pergolas. Located on the northern coast of Israel, the Dor Holiday Bungalows offer a serene seaside retreat for those looking to get away from it all. The cabins are built with horizontal timber slats and they feature pergolas that provide shade from the hot summer sun. The open-air decks offer views of private gardens and the sea in the distance. Related: Charming timber-clad bungalows blend into Portugal’s bucolic landscape From the deck, large sliding glass doors lead into the interior, which is illuminated during the day with an abundance of natural light. Inside, a spacious living area leads to the kitchen. The bathroom, complete with a hot tub, is located in the back. The timber bungalows are available in various sizes with studio layouts or separate bedrooms. Cozy furnishings make the living spaces quite comfortable and welcoming. Behind the bungalows, guests can enjoy a shared pool and lounge space. The compact cabins were prefabricated off-site and built on concrete slabs to reduce their footprint on the landscape. + Ron Shenkin Architecture Via Uncrate Photography by Albert Adot via Ron Shenkin Architecture

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These timber tiny houses use bold pergolas to shade against the glaring sun in Israel

This serene mobile cabin lets you roam as you like in the Bavarian forest

March 6, 2018 by  
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This tiny house in an idyllic valley at the foot of the Bavarian mountains takes full advantage of the incredible landscape. It’s fitted with wheels, so guests can rent the cabin and choose its location within the Wild-Berghof Buchet nature reserve – from an expansive green meadow near a pond to the park’s game reserve. The HYT mobile hotel room – which was designed by Architekten GbR – is just a mere 8 x 20 feet on the inside, but it can accommodate up to 5 people and has all of the basic needs for an amazing back-to-nature getaway. The park is located just outside of Deggendorf at the foothills of the lush green Bavarian forest. The tiny wooden cabin is clad in grey panels, paying homage to the many rural barns found in the Bavarian region. Designed to be a movable hotel room, the structure is located on wheels and can be transported by tractor according to the guests’ preferred destination. This allows visitors to the park to enjoy a variety of landscapes from a breathtaking green meadow to the park’s natural game reserve. Related: Escape Traveler is a tiny cabin on wheels that can be moved anywhere The interior of the cabin is bright white, which, along with the many windows, opens up the space to provide a calming retreat-like atmosphere. The living space is a mere 160 square feet but can sleep up to five people. Additionally, there is a small bathroom, a seating area, as well as a mini kitchen with a wood-burning stove. The cabin design is so beautiful that the mobile cabin was recently recognized as one of 15 outstanding projects among the German Design Award winners. + Architekten GbR Via Holiday Architecture Photography by Johannes Nagl and Hausfreunde via Architekten GbR

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This serene mobile cabin lets you roam as you like in the Bavarian forest

Crescent moon-shaped home on Chilean coast inspired by traditional boat-making techniques

February 19, 2018 by  
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Chilean studio Pezo von Ellrichshausen has created an incredibly sophisticated cylindrical home that blends in seamlessly with its natural surroundings. Located on the Chilean coast overlooking the sea, the Rode House is a wooden structure shaped in a unique curved form that not only provides stunning views from any angle, but also protects the home from the area’s notoriously strong winds. Located on Chiloe island, the building site has dramatic views of the ocean, inspiring the architects to create a nature-inspired home design with a strong connection to the surroundings. Accordingly, the home’s dynamic shape is threefold: aesthetically vernacular, the low-lying structure blends into its environment, nestled into the rising prairie grass. Secondly, the cylindrical structure, which includes several angular forms, is a protective strategy that blocks the strong winds that blow in from the shore. Thirdly, the home’s materials and construction, along with its form, were all inspired by traditional woodworking techniques found in the region, especially prevalent in boats and churches still found in the area. Related: Chilean Folding House allows owners to control the temperature to adapt to the season The architects explain that their inspiration for the home’s curved shape came from the region’s long tradition of carpentry: “Knowing that the island is not only well known for the exuberant myths and legends but for a refined artisanal carpentry knowledge expressed both in churches and boats, accepting that something of that local knowledge would inform our project,” they said, “we preferred to have in mind that delicate artlessness of a totally forgotten wooden padlock.” The curved roof, covered in traditional thin wood shingles , was strategically angled to allow optimal natural light into the living space. This slanting volume continues through to the interior where double height ceilings add a sense of airiness to the interior. Inside, the walls are clad in light wooden panels, also adding to the serene cabin-like atmosphere. + Pezo von Ellrichshausen Via Ignant Photos via Pezo von Ellrichshausen

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Crescent moon-shaped home on Chilean coast inspired by traditional boat-making techniques

Antony Gibbon’s minimalist wooden Jutt House appears to float above the earth

February 5, 2018 by  
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UK-based architect Antony Gibbon just shared his latest nature-inspired design with Inhabitat – and it’s a stunner. The Jutt House is minimalist wooden home designed to bring its occupants closer to serenity of the natural environment. Thanks to a glazed front facade and a “floating” entryway, the home blends into virtually any environment. The Jutt House is part of Antony Gibbon’s Inhabit treehouse series, and it’s specifically geared towards clients looking for an affordable, yet visually pleasing home. The building is strategically designed for an affordable and simplified construction process. The home sits flat on the ground, with a one or two meter overhang at the front, and it requires very little structural engineering. Related: Antony Gibbon’s Ventt House is a minimalist retreat embedded into the rocky landscape The home’s “floating” entryway allows it to be set on virtually any landscape, and amazing views are all but guaranteed with the home’s fully glazed front wall. Inside, natural light floods the living space. The home’s elongated volume has an efficient open layout with a second floor sleeping loft accessible via a spiral staircase. + Antony Gibbon Designs + Antony Gibbon on Instagram Images via Antony Gibbon

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Antony Gibbon’s minimalist wooden Jutt House appears to float above the earth

Sweden is putting stressed-out people in tiny glass ‘chillout cabins’

September 12, 2017 by  
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Can nature really be the cure for stress? Sweden wants to find out – so it’s sending five people in extremely stressful professions to spend three glorious days in beautiful glass-enclosed “ chillout cabins ” on an idyllic island. The 72 Hour Cabin program seeks to investigate the effects of nature on people’s well-being. Led by researchers Walter Osika and Cecilia Stenfors from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, the case study explores how Allemansrätten (freedom to roam) affects people’s mental and physical health. The aim of the study is to spread awareness of the unique relationship the Swedish population has with nature , and encourage people around the world to spend more time bonding with Mother Nature. Related: Artist builds incredible stained-glass cabin in the middle of the woods “Year after year, Sweden takes first place in international rankings of countries with the best life quality. Swedish nature, which is clean, vast and easy to take part in, is a part of the secret.” the 72-hour website reads. “The Swedes’ unique relationship with nature is an important part of their well-being, which is why Sweden has created ‘The 72 Hour Cabin’. With the initiative, Sweden wants to acquaint visitors with the special bond that Swedes have with their natural environment, and invite the world to experience it themselves.” The lucky participants include a London broadcaster, a Parisian taxi driver, an event planner from New York, a German police officer, and a British travel journalist. Each will spend three days in their own cabin located on Henriksholm island in West Sweden, experiencing the Swedish “close to nature” lifestyle. All communication with the outside world will be forbidden. For the most part, the participants will be able to hike, fish, cook, swim, and generally enjoy their peaceful surroundings. Researchers will be on-site to measure their well-being based on stress levels, problem-solving ability, and creativity. The results of the study will be presented in October. The glass cabins were designed by Jeanna Berger and built with the help of Fridh & Hells Bygg AB Construction Company . Berger grew up on the island and used the beautiful area as inspiration for the design. The wood-framed structures – which are placed on pillars in order to leave a light footprint – were inspired by the traditional barns found in the area. + 72 Hour Cabin Via Apartment Therapy Photography by Maja Flink  

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Sweden is putting stressed-out people in tiny glass ‘chillout cabins’

Lakeside cabin made out of reclaimed wood is as idyllic as it gets

August 29, 2017 by  
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Seattle-based architects, Hoedemaker Pfeiffer  just unveiled a contemporary cabin-style home built on the banks of beautiful Lake Chelan. The architects used planks of reclaimed wood to build the stunning home, which sits overlooking incredibly scenic views. Think they have a guest room for us? The lake house design is a contemporary take on the traditional wooden cabin , with plenty of carefully cultivated rustic charm included throughout. The 3,300- square-foot structure – which is clad in reclaimed lumber and roofed with corrugated galvanized steel – sits on a heavily-wooded lot with front slope of natural stone. The interior is a bright and airy space with wooden flooring and exposed Doug Fir beams in the kitchen and living room. Related: Architect Jim Olson spent 55 years renovating this breathtaking Puget Sound cabin However, it’s clearly the lake view that inspired the beautiful home’s design. Large windows in virtually every room flood the interior with natural light as well as offer breathtaking views of the picturesque surroundings. The heart of the home is the open-air terrace that sits adjacent to the lake’s edge. Covered with a chunky wooden pergola , the outdoor area is complete with a glass-enclosed fire pit and plenty of comfy seating. + Hoedemaker Pfeiffer Photography by Thomas J. Story  

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Lakeside cabin made out of reclaimed wood is as idyllic as it gets

Norway’s Fleinvaer cabins offer the ultimate in off-grid living on a remote island

June 13, 2017 by  
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These isolated cabins built on a remote island in Norway take off-grid living to new heights. Located on the country’s Arctic archipelago and only reachable by ferry, the Fleinvaer Cabins offer the ultimate in solitude. The retreat consists of four cabins designed for sleeping, plus bonus accommodations in a nearby cave. The island’s cluster of cabins are supported by four dedicated structures that house a kitchen, studio, sauna, and a bath. The rest of the cabins are built for sleeping. For those looking to go a step further into nature, there’s also a cave near the sauna’s pier that can be slept in. Technically, the cabins offer enough space for 12 people, but according to the Fleinvaer website, the experience is really designed for those looking for true solitude, “Here are no shops, and no cars. Here is no stress, and no dangerous animals.” Related: Rugged eco-friendly cabins offer off-grid lodging in Norway’s wilderness To get to the island of Fleinvaer, guests must take a ferry from downtown Bodø. Basic necessities like food are organized with the hosts before arrival because there are absolutely no shops on the island . Additionally, guests are encouraged to pack few items – just some wool clothing and a pair of shorts. The cabins are also a welcome retreat for creatives . Every year, the island hosts six, week-long “Artist in Residences” programs in collaboration with the Nordland county council’s culture department. + Fordypningsrommet Fleinvaer Cabins Via Uncrate Photography by Kathrine Sørgård & Fredrik Asplin via Fordypningsrommet

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Norway’s Fleinvaer cabins offer the ultimate in off-grid living on a remote island

This T-shirt changes colors in response to water pollution

June 13, 2017 by  
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Ocean acidification isn’t something that most folks lose sleep over. As a side effect of climate change , it doesn’t present a striking image the way a crack in the Antarctic ice shelf or a hurricane-battered coast might. But some problems need to be seen to be believed, so David de Rothschild, founder of the lifestyle brand The Lost Explorer , and Lauren Bowker, the alchemist-cum-designer behind The Unseen , took it upon themselves to draw out the visually indiscernible. They did this by creating a special kind of T-shirt, one that changes colors in response to a water’s pH. No toxic chemicals were used to create the effect. The secret, as it turns out, was cabbage—lots of cabbage. De Rothschild and Bowker dyed their cotton-and-hemp tee using red cabbage, a leafy green that is rich in a class of water-soluble pigments known as anthocyanins . Anthocyanins respond to changes in pH by cycling through a spectrum of hues, which range from red-pink to blue-green. Related: Color-changing syringes can save the lives of millions “Red cabbage juice contains anthocyanin and can be used as a pH indicator,” Bowker explained . “It’s red, pink, or magenta in acids, purple in neutral solutions, and ranges from blue to green to yellow in alkaline solutions.” Changes in the pH of water can happen for a raft of reasons. The more carbon dioxide we spew, the more carbon dioxide the oceans absorb. And since some of the carbon reacts within the water to create carbonic acid, the more acidic they become. Sulfur-dioxide and nitrogen-oxide emissions from factories, automobiles, and electric power plants contribute to acid rain, while certain detergents can cause wastewater to become overly alkaline. “So the T-shirts, by changing color, are a really good way of figuring out the state of the local water,” Bowker added. Related: Beautiful Collision tableware uses red cabbage dye to create unexpected pigments The duo didn’t design the shirt to shame people. Neither are they under the delusion that a color-changing garment will save the world. “I like creating experiences that disarm people because if it’s insane, magical and unexpected enough, they might feel safer about asking questions. It’s this convergence of art and activism and creativity and design. It hopefully isn’t telling people what to do,” de Rothschild said. “T-shirts have always been a billboard to say something. In a funny way, the T-shirt doesn’t need to say anything in this instance. Products won’t change the world, people will! What you do as an individual that matters.” + The Lost Explorer + The Unseen Via Dezeen

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This T-shirt changes colors in response to water pollution

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