BIG designs a high-end tiny house that goes off-grid

May 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Bjarke Ingels Group has revealed images for the firm’s first-ever tiny house—the A45—designed for the prefab-housing startup Klein . Inspired by the traditional A-frame cabin, the A45 takes on an angular form conducive to rain run-off and easy construction. The 180-square-foot timber cabin boasts a completely customizable interior design and can be built within four to six months in any location. Constructed in Upstate New York, the prototype for the A45 tiny house is clad in blackened pine with a triangular glazed end wall to immerse homeowners in nature even when they’re indoors. The triangular floor-to-ceiling window—made up of seven glass pieces—and the soaring 13-foot-tall ceiling help create a sense of spaciousness despite the structure’s small 180-square-foot size. The cabin is slightly elevated on four concrete piers in order to minimize site impact and to give homeowners the freedom to place the tiny home in areas without heavy machinery. “The resulting crystal-like shape gives A45 an ever-changing appearance,” said BIG in a statement about their modification of the traditional A-frame cabin. “Upon entering, the 180 [square-foot] interior space reflects a minimal Nordic abode prioritized for ‘hyggelig’ comfort and design.” The subtle natural material palette, from the exposed timber frame built of solid pine to the Douglas Fir floor planks and the space-grade insulating natural cork walls, further emphasizes the Scandinavian aesthetic. Cedar clads the compact bathroom, and the fixtures were sourced from VOLA. Related: This tiny timber cabin was built from construction waste for under $30K The A45 tiny house comprises 100% recyclable materials including the timber frame, wall modules, and subfloor. The home get all of its power from  solar panels, and the service equipment is hidden from view in the back. The cozy interior is furnished with a Morsøe wood-burning stove and handcrafted Nordic furniture including pieces by Carl Hansen and a bed fitted with Soren Rose Studio’s Kvadrat fabrics. Københavns Møbelsnedkeri designed the petite kitchen. + Bjarke Ingels Group + Klein Via AD Images via BIG

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BIG designs a high-end tiny house that goes off-grid

Lego-like kindergarten sparks creativity with a playful brick facade

May 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Brick may often be seen as boring and traditional, but that’s not the case when the material falls into the hands of KIENTRUC O . The Vietnamese architecture studio creatively used the ancient building block to breathe life into Ho Chi Minh City’s new Chuon Chuon Kim 2 Kindergarten located in the city’s District 2. The building is made entirely from bare brick arranged in patterns to form an eye-catching and playful facade that also promotes natural ventilation. Likened to a “giant Lego building,” the Chuon Chuon Kim 2 Kindergarten features perforated brick walls with sections painted vibrant yellow for a spectacular effect. While a playful atmosphere conducive to exploration was crucial in the design, the architects also wanted to create a space that felt calm and relaxed. To that end, the building is organized around a central active core that branches out to serene  classroom settings. “Instilled within the school is an openness with a spark of curiosity that allows people of all ages to venture and explore the space in a relaxing and calming atmosphere,” the architects wrote. “As we have engaged in numerous educational projects, we recognize that these experiences are equally as important as the responsibility of nurturing the kids. It invokes a sense of pride, and interests within the teacher and the staffs. It inspires and embraces them, for they have chosen to dedicate their life for the education and the well-being of the children on a daily basis.” Related: This stunning brick “cave house” in Vietnam is open to the elements Each floor features alternating patterns that encourages children to become more attuned to their surroundings. The walls are punctuated by large windows for continuous views inside and out. Access to daylight , cross breezes and a natural material palette help promote a healthful environment. A rooftop garden tops the building with panoramic views of the Saigon River. + KIENTRUC O Via ArchDaily Images by Hiroyuki Oki

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Lego-like kindergarten sparks creativity with a playful brick facade

A storage shed is transformed into a bespoke light-filled home in London

May 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

London-based architecture firm De Rosee Sa has given an old storage shed a new lease on life by converting it into a bright, bespoke family home. Sandwiched between terraced gardens and a row of 16 West London garages, the shed — renamed the Courtyard House — was brilliantly renovated, despite challenging regulations that included height limitations and the requirement that any new form must match the existing gable outline. Divided into two floors, the Courtyard House organizes the communal areas and the first bedroom on the ground floor, while the basement level houses a second bedroom that opens up to a private external courtyard . The architects solved the challenge of bringing light into the narrow 121-foot-long site by adding three external courtyards accessed through Crittal-style steel and glass doors. The home achieves its bright and airy atmosphere with crisp white walls, balanced by timber floors and black steel framing. Related: Fairytale-inspired lakeside cabin is made from locally felled and milled timber Western red cedar battens line the internal walls of the courtyards in a nod to the site’s history as a timber yard. The wood is also used inside to frame small spaces including the bathroom, study and utility room. “We worked very hard in the initial stages to convince the clients that developing this house was a risk worth taking,” said Max de Rosee, Director of De Rosee Sa Architects. “The most satisfying aspects of the project is the top light that pours into the interiors and the long views through the courtyards. Once inside, you forget that this house is in London.” + De Rosee Sa Via Dwell Images by Alex James Photography

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A storage shed is transformed into a bespoke light-filled home in London

Aperture-like windows maximize shading in this stunning Vancouver residence

May 16, 2018 by  
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When Arno Matis Architecture was tapped to help reshape the identity of Vancouver’s Cambie Street, they designed Aperture, a beautiful site-responsive residential development. The city-block-sized structure derives its name from its striking aperture-like openings with glass-and-wood veneer walls angled in response to each facade’s unique solar exposure. Built to LEED Gold specifications, Aperture maximizes passive shading and is topped with green roofs. Created using Arno Matis Architecture’s “Responsive Density Design” strategy, Aperture emphasizes “social porosity” and urban connections. In response to the site context, the 98,000-square-foot building steps down from two six-story mid-rise blocks located along a busy street down to four two-story villas more in scale to the single-family neighborhood in the north. Two courtyard axes bisect the development to allow for the penetration of natural light and mountain views. Related: LEED Gold UBC Aquatic Center takes an innovative approach to water recycling “Stratigraphic architectural themes echo the area’s mid-century modern architectural vocabulary,” wrote the architects. “ Cantilever decks and strong horizontal lines create a sense of lightness and lower the massing profile.” The angled walls that frame each aperture, made of mahogany veneer sandwiched between two encapsulated UV glass layers, lend the building a sense of warmth. The insulated glass also increases thermal resistance and reduces solar gain. + Arno Matis Architecture Images © Michael Elkan

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Aperture-like windows maximize shading in this stunning Vancouver residence

Artist upcycles discarded cassette tapes into eco-friendly MusicCloth

May 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

When Singaporean artist and founder of Rehyphen®  Jessica Chuan Yi Xin stumbled upon a stash of forgotten cassette tapes in her room, she brainstormed a way to reuse the material rather than contribute to the growing problem of e-waste. A bit of ingenuity and experimentation led her to develop MusicCloth®, a handwoven textile made from upcycled magnetic tapes. According to the United Nations , nearly 45 million metric tons of electronic waste was generated in 2016 — an increase of 8 percent from just two years prior. As an advocate for the environment, Chuan created MusicCloth® to raise awareness for upcycling and the global problem of e-waste. Chuan developed the innovative textile after nine months of research and development using cassette tapes donated by friends and family. In 2016, she launched a successful  Kickstarter  campaign for MusicCloth® tote bags. The campaign not only raised the funds needed to take the project to the next level, but it also allowed her to collect cassette tapes from donors around the world. Chuan weaves MusicCloth® by hand in a simple yet labor-intensive process. In addition to tote bags, the malleable material has been used to create art , wallets, notebooks and dresses. Chuan and her team at Rehyphen® also expanded to offer workshops through Airbnb’s “Experiences” platform to teach visitors in Singapore how to weave MusicCloth® creations. The globally recognized textile has even found a place in New York City’s Material ConneXion library and has also been recognized by the University of Pennsylvania and Red Dot 21. The material was recently entered in the Golden Pin Design Award’s new Integration Design category. Related: This jewelry is made with upcycled gold from Dell computers “We hope to encourage people to see waste with fresh perspective, and get curious about how things are made,” Chuan said. “We throw things away for they are broken, no longer useful or having lost their charm. We, however, elevate everyday objects to a work of art, and to show that up-cycling art is not an environment movement but instead is a reminder that observing the other side of existence is the essence of art.” + Rehyphen® Images via Rehyphen®

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Artist upcycles discarded cassette tapes into eco-friendly MusicCloth

This tiny cabin on the Greece-Turkey border generates 100% of its own energy

May 14, 2018 by  
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Istanbul-based studio SO? Architecture & Ideas has completed a tiny off-grid cabin perfect for reconnecting with the outdoors. Located in a village on the Turkish-Greek border, the Cabin on the Border is a prefabricated and transportable unit constructed of laminated wood and polycarbonate. As a modern take on the traditional cabin vernacular, this tiny, sustainably minded structure is equipped with solar panels and a rainwater catchment system as well as an adaptable interior design. Designed to capture the “back-to-nature” aesthetic, the 194-square-foot Cabin on the Border is set in a field of mustard greens and raised off the ground to minimize site impact . “We tried to envision the nature not only as a picturesque background but also as a protagonist of the scenes we will create,” said the architects, who cited the challenges of living with Mother Nature – including mosquitos and storms. To mitigate the ever-changing weather, the architects designed the off-grid cabin with operable facades that can adapt to different climate conditions. Related: This prefab movable house can be assembled anywhere A drawbridge-style door at one end of the cabin tilts outwards to form a patio, while the polycarbonate window can pivot upwards to form a glazed canopy, effectively opening up the living area to the outdoors. The plywood-lined interior includes three sleeping spaces—one next to the drawbridge-styled opening and the others tucked above—as well as a bathroom and open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living space. Solar panels cover the roof of the off-grid unit. + SO? Architecture & Ideas Images via SO? Architecture & Ideas

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This tiny cabin on the Greece-Turkey border generates 100% of its own energy

Off-grid island home in Florida hits the market for $1M

May 14, 2018 by  
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Near the southern tip of Florida , a breezy and 100% self-sufficient island home has hit the market for a cool million. Located along the Intracoastal Waterway just east of Keewaydin Island, the 5.3-acre property on Little Marco Island is an idyllic private getaway with a custom-built cottage and a front-row view of waterfront wildlife, from dolphins to gopher tortoises. Keep reading for an inside look at the off-grid island home currently listed on Premier Sotheby’s International Realty . Built in 2000, the two-bedroom, one-bath home comes with an adjacent cottage set on 1.8 acres. The 1,968-square-foot main property is set on 3.5 acres of land with a private beach frontage and a boat dock. Only accessible by boat, the off-grid property feels completely secluded despite the fact that its only minutes away from Marco Island, Isles of Capris and Naples. Related: Florida power company scraps nuclear project, will pursue solar power instead Built largely of timber to complement the island setting, both properties stay naturally cool with long eaves , tall ceilings, and large openings that admit cross breezes. On days of unbearable heat however, air conditioning always remains an option in the main home, which is powered entirely by solar energy. The property is equipped with a backup generator, while water is harvested in cisterns and treated through a four-part filtration system. + 11781 Little Marco Island Images via Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

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Off-grid island home in Florida hits the market for $1M

Foster + Partners DJI HQ will be a creative community in the sky

May 10, 2018 by  
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Foster + Partners have unveiled designs for the new headquarters of DJI, the makers of the world’s most popular commercial drones . Currently under construction in Shenzhen, the new building will comprise twin towers linked by a sky bridge that will be used to showcase the latest drone technology. The headquarters, conceived as a “creative community in the sky,” will not only include research and development spaces, but will also engage the public with exhibition spaces and even robot fighting rings. Envisioned as the “heart of innovation” for DJI, the new Shenzhen headquarters takes inspiration from drones with its glass-enclosed forms that evoke lightness. Large steel megatrusses anchor the twin towers and allow for large, column-free spaces throughout. Floating volumes are cantilevered on all sides of the building and comprise offices, R&D space, and other public functions. Related: Foster + Partners’ Bloomberg HQ opens in London as “world’s most sustainable office building” “Our aim is to create a unique workplace environment that embodies the spirit of invention and innovation that has allowed DJI to lead the world in robotics and technology,” said Grant Brooker, Head of Studio of Foster + Partners. The building is optimized to test and showcase the latest drone technology, from the unique quadruple-height drone flight testing labs to the ceilings and floors that slide open for the deployment of drones outdoors. The ground floor will house a public exhibition space and a new theater for product launches. + Foster + Partners

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Foster + Partners DJI HQ will be a creative community in the sky

UNStudio unveils Danube bridge for sustainable transit in Budapest

May 10, 2018 by  
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UNStudio has swept the competition for the New Budapest Bridge, a much-needed bridge over the Danube in the south of the city. Coated in a reflective white paint, the landmark bridge will serve as a gateway between Ujbuda and Csepel, and help spur further development in the surrounding post-industrial area. The multi-use bridge “enables sustainable transportation” and will accommodate road, tram, pedestrian, and cycle crossings. Created in collaboration with Buro Happold Engineering , the New Budapest Bridge proposal was selected by the Municipal Government of Budapest in the first international bridge design competition in Hungary for over 120 years. Conceived as a welcoming symbol, the contemporary cable-stayed bridge features angled pylons that mimic the “inviting gesture of hands,” said Ben van Berkel. “It was essential that the bridge would be in harmony with Budapest – which owes much of its configuration to the surrounding landscape – and its future vision. It was also important that the bridge enable unobstructed views below and above the bridge deck.” Related: Unusual Dutch bridge embraces flooding in a thought-provoking way With a main span of 711 feet, the bridge stretches over 1,600 feet from shore to shore. The white paint finish will reflect the surrounding environment and give the bridge an ever-changing appearance. In addition to catalyzing nearby development, the project aims to make the area around the Budafoki interchange more human and urban friendly. + UNStudio Images by VA Render

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UNStudio unveils Danube bridge for sustainable transit in Budapest

Escapods rugged Topo trailer lets you go off-road in style

May 9, 2018 by  
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Taking your adventure off-road—and even off-grid —is now easier than ever thanks to the all-terrain Topo trailer. Escapod recently launched the off-road-specific teardrop trailer, which clocks in at 1,200 pounds dry weight and is crafted from the ground up in Warship, Utah. The Topo features a minimalist and stylish weatherproof build with a hand-welded, powder-coated steel tube frame and lightweight aluminum cladding. Built to last, the four-season Topo is constructed from a durable pressure-treated frame with 1.5-inch insulation . The trailer is elevated on 17-inch Mickey Thompson wheels with Goodyear Wrangler Trailrunner AT Tires, resulting in a standard ground clearance of 18 inches. To tackle even the most technical of terrain, the trailer also comes with independent suspension rated to 3,500 pounds. For extra functionality, Rhino Rack crossbars and a Sunseeker Awning are installed on top. In contrast with the rugged exterior, the interior is a warm cocoon of pre-finished birch ply , equipped with four cabinets, three cubbies, and a closed compartment behind the sleeping space, which is furnished with a 5-inch memory-foam queen mattress. Despite its compact quarters, the Topo feels expansive thanks to a 9-by-41-inch stargazer window and the two glazed doors on either side. There’s also room for food prep with counter space in the rear. The LEDs , USB ports, 3-speed fan, and optional water pump run off a 12v series 27 deep-cycle RV battery. The Escapod Topo starts at $13,800 and can easily be customized with tempting add-ons—like the solar array or shower—or with special request equipment. Interested buyers not quite ready to take the plunge will also be pleased to know that the team will soon offer rentals in Utah, with more details to be revealed on their website . + Escapod Via New Atlas

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Escapods rugged Topo trailer lets you go off-road in style

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