These giant animals with intense stares remind us of Earths disappearing wildlife

September 15, 2017 by  
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Earth’s disappearing wildlife is no joke — the WWF says that almost half of the wild animals have disappeared due to serious habitat destruction in the past 42 years. Mexico City-based Studio Maizz Visual continues to spread awareness about declining wildlife populations with their incredible head-turning video installation, which recently graced the trees of the Electric Zoo Festival in Randall’s Island Park, New York. Named Animal Watching, the installation projected huge animated images of animal heads onto the tree canopy, where their intense gazes watched and followed passersby. Maizz Visual’s Animal Watching installation first debuted in Parque Espana, Mexico City during the Marvin Festival earlier this year and recently wrapped up their second appearance at New York City’s Electric Zoo festival in the first weekend of September. The video installation transformed the trees into giant green 3D animated animal faces, surprising over 50,000 festival participants. “The intervention goal was raising awareness about the destruction of ecosystems and animals species,” said the studio. Related: Gigantic Leafy Faces Light Up a Forest in Wisconsin Eight different animal faces, from lions to owls , were displayed in a continuous track with post-production effects between each transition. Two video projectors with full HD and tele-zoom optics were used to create the surprisingly life-like faces and 3D animation software was used to give the faces realistic movement, particularly in the eyes. The Animal Watching video was about seven minutes long and played on a continuous loop between 8:30PM and 11PM during the festival weekend. + Maizz Visual Images via Maizz Visual

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These giant animals with intense stares remind us of Earths disappearing wildlife

Star Wars-inspired NASA observatory will offer galactic views in Cyprus

September 7, 2017 by  
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A spaceship-like observatory is set to land atop a Cyprus mountain. Kyriakos Tsolakis Architects got the green light for a space science center that will give NASA greater research coverage over the Middle East. Located in the Troodos Mountains, this Sci Fi-inspired building commands an impressive and distinctive silhouette to “inspire and excite anyone who sees it from afar or from up close.” Named Star Observatory, the spaceship-like building will be the first purpose-built observatory in Cyprus . Renderings show the structure perched atop a tree-covered mountain 1,200 meters above sea level in Troodos Geopark, a 115-hectare UNESCO-listed park in central Cyprus. The observatory will give NASA researchers the opportunity to track celestial phenomena in the Middle East, a region where there is insufficient data. “Elena and I drew inspiration from sci-fi when drawing up plans for this observatory – I was a Star Wars fan growing up,” said architects Nicodemos K Tsolakis and Elena K Tsolakis of his and his wife’s design process to Dezeen. “Of course the client didn’t know this when they hired us. They were pretty surprised with where we took it but they love the ideas.” Related: Roden Crater is a magic space for observing cycles of geologic and celestial time The spaceship-like research center features a wedge shape with a dome on one end and a cantilevered terrace on the other. The Star Observatory will include two telescopes for daytime and nighttime viewing and visitors will also be allowed bring their own telescopes. The robust observatory will be able to withstand the region’s extreme temperatures, from blistering hot summers to below freezing temperatures in winter. + Kyriakos Tsolakis Architects Via Dezeen Images via Kyriakos Tsolakis Architects , by MIR

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Star Wars-inspired NASA observatory will offer galactic views in Cyprus

Giant bamboo planters protect a Ho Chi Minh City home from the sun and rain

September 7, 2017 by  
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Vo Trong Nghia Architects worked their bamboo magic on a slender residence in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City . In a bid to add green space in the city’s increasingly dense concrete jungle, the architects installed giant bamboo-filled planters to the building’s street-facing facade. Located in the city’s colorful and bustling central urban district, the House in District 1 uses the green screens for privacy, air purification, shading, and visual appeal. From the street, the House in District 1 looks like a series of stacked and staggered planters bursting with bushy bamboo . The overgrown effect contrasts sharply with the home’s minimalist and modern design. Concrete is predominately used and is texturized to lessen its monolithic appearance. “In addition to growing bamboo on the front facade, the concrete formwork is also made by using bamboo to allow a consistent design language,” said Vo Trong Nghia Architect, according to Dezeen . “The bamboo texture also helps to reduce the intense and heavy appearance of conventional concrete wall and thus, improves the overall aesthetic quality of the house.” Related: Lush green rooftop terrace invites homeowners outdoors in the foothills of Vietnam The four-story Ho Chi Minh residence features a guest room and entry hall on the first floor with an open-plan living room, dining area, and kitchen on the floor above. The kids’ bedroom and the master bedroom with ensuite bathroom are located on the second and third floors, respectively. The top floor houses the home office that opens up to an outdoor rooftop swimming pool. The bamboo planters are on every floor and provide privacy, shade, and protection from the tropical rains. + Vo Trong Nghia Architects Via Dezeen Images via Hiroyuki Oki

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Giant bamboo planters protect a Ho Chi Minh City home from the sun and rain

Worlds tallest sandcastle rises in a German landlocked city

September 5, 2017 by  
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Great sandcastles aren’t only found at the beach. The landlocked German city of Duisburg just nabbed the official Guinness title for the world’s tallest sandcastle, beating out the previous record holder in the Indian state of Odisha. Commissioned by travel company Schauinsland-Reisen , the 16.68-meter-tall (54.72 feet) sandcastle is a magnificent sight to behold and was completed in just 25 days. Built by an international team of 19 sand artists in Duisburg North Landscape Park, the monumental sandcastle was constructed from 3,500 tonnes of compressed sand. The sculpture dethroned the previous record holder in Puri, India by 1.84 meters. The sole goal of the build was to beat the world record for tallest sandcastle—a title the city failed to secure last year due to structural collapse. Construction on this year’s sculpture began August 8 and the Guinness World Record jury officially recognized the sandcastle as the world’s tallest on September 1. Related: Sandcastle Matt builds stunning Neo-gothic structures out of sand The massive sandcastle includes references to famous landmarks around the world, from the Buddhist temples of Thailand to the Greek Parthenon. A medieval-style castle integrated with waterslides tops the sand sculpture. The sandcastle is on view until September 24, 2017 and will be complemented with a series of events and lit up at night during open-air parties. + Die Sandburg Via PR Newswire Images via Die Sandburg

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Worlds tallest sandcastle rises in a German landlocked city

Dreamy cabin is a luxurious escape in the New Zealand bush

September 4, 2017 by  
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Cabin envy is real with this gorgeous Back Country house in New Zealand’s Puhoi bush. Designed by David Maurice of LTD Architectural , this timber-clad holiday home combines backcountry tradition with beautiful contemporary design. The environmentally sensitive cabin was built with locally sourced materials and makes use of passive heating and ventilation. Inspired by New Zealand’s backcountry typology, the Back Country house boasts a simple and clean silhouette comprising a single volume for the communal activities and a lean-to annex for the lower floor sleeping and service areas. The main volume embraces indoor-outdoor living and is open fully on two sides to a large wraparound deck. The deck feels like an outdoor room with its large fireplace and twin built-in bathtubs. Related: Seascape cottage is a self-sustaining getaway made from locally-sourced materials Locally sourced bandsawn macrocarpa is used inside and out to reinforce the cabin’s connection to the outdoors, while galvanized corrugated iron strengthens the hut aesthetic. Natural light floods the open-plan living room, dining, area, and kitchen, as well as the mezzanine master suite. To add interest to the mostly white and timber palette, bright and colorful furniture punctuate the spaces. Passive heating and ventilation as well as high performance insulation keep the Back Country house’s environmental impact low . + LTD Architectural Via Contemporist Images via LTD Architectural

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Dreamy cabin is a luxurious escape in the New Zealand bush

Zaha Hadid Architects wins bid for the Port of Tallinn Masterplan

September 4, 2017 by  
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Zaha Hadid Architects just won an international competition to redevelop one of Europe’s fastest growing ports in Estonia’s bustling capital of Tallinn. The Masterplan 2030 will oversee a comprehensive and long-term redevelopment strategy for the Old City Harbor and reconnect disparate parts of the city into a more cohesive whole. Pedestrian friendly design, improved public transit access, and increased public space are part of ZHA’s redevelopment plans, as is sensitivity to the city’s historic fabric. An uptick of cruise ships and ferries to the Port of Tallinn has accelerated the demand for better passenger services as the port moves beyond just cargo needs. ZHA’s aim is to redevelop the port into a more attractive and easy-to-traverse urban space. The design will combine Tallinn’s innovative digital information technology with the charms of Tallinn’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities. “We’re honoured to work with the Port of Tallinn, developing unique solutions to create these important connections for the Old City Harbour’s long-term vision,” said Ginaluca Racana, Director at Zaha Hadid Architects. “Supported by its network of new pedestrian routes and public transport links, the masterplan reinvents a familiar space in Tallinn and reconnects the city with its harbour, enabling residents to reclaim a part of the city that is currently difficult to access and designed only for transit.” Related: Zaha Hadid Architects turn an old fire station into a sparkling port headquarters for Antwerp The new masterplan is centered on a central pedestrian promenade with branching pedestrian footpaths that connect disparate parts of the city and link the ferry and cruise terminals to the city center. In addition to the emphasis on connectivity, the design preserves the city’s urban fabric from existing vistas to the sizing of new city blocks. The flexible and mixed-use civic spaces will provide cultural, entertainment, shopping, and hotel amenities to the over 5 million visitors to the port every year. The masterplan for the Old City Harbour is expected for completion by the end of 2017. + Zaha Hadid Architects Renders by VA

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Meet the solar-powered electric motorhome we’ve all been waiting for

August 31, 2017 by  
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Tesla and Cummins are making waves right now with their new electric-powered semi trucks, but one other long-range vehicle has yet to make a significant jump to greener pastures – until now. German camper manufacturer Dethleffs has unveiled the e.home concept – a solar-powered electric motorhome. The idea of an electric motorhome would seem like a great idea, until you realize that many of the remote locations that you’d be traveling to probably don’t have the charging infrastructure you would need. That’s where the e.home concept comes in. Since it’s a solar-powered motorhome, it can use the power of the sun to recharge the motorhome’s battery pack. Related: sCarabane: a self-sufficient expanding caravan powered by the sun and wind The e.home is built on Dethleffs Iveco Daily Electric chassis. The Iveco Daily is powered by a 107-hp electric motor with several different battery options, but the largest gives it a range up to 174 miles on the European Cycle, in non-camper trim. With the extra weight of the camper, the range of the e.home concept drops to just over 100 miles. That short driving range won’t really matter, since the e.home has 334 square feet of thin-film solar panels on its exterior. The solar panels can generate up to 3,000 watts of electricity to power the 228-Ah sodium-nickel-chloride battery. Besides the solar panels and electric motor, there are other efficient tricks to the e.home concept, like a heating system that uses phase change materials to absorb heat when the outside temperature rises above 79°. The heat is then released into the cabin when the temperature drops at night. There are also infrared heating panels in the floor, walls and furniture. There are also some driver assistance technologies in the e.home, like the Mobileye-based front vehicle monitoring system and the CampConnect app. Via New Atlas + Dethleffs Images @Dethleffs

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Meet the solar-powered electric motorhome we’ve all been waiting for

Moon Hoons funky new home captures sunlight on Jeju Island

August 31, 2017 by  
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South Korean architect Moon Hoon regularly wows us with his crazy and whimsical designs—and his latest work is no exception. Set on South Korea’s stunning Jeju Island , the Simple House is a bunker-inspired house with large glazed end walls to capture sunlight from multiple angles. The sculptural house offers panoramic views of the island and was engineered to withstand the island’s weather extremes. Beautiful Jeju Island, known as the Hawaii of South Korea , is a popular vacation destination with a surprisingly varied landscape. The client originally asked Moon Hoon to design a custom 206-square-meter home with a low-lying bunker-like appearance that referenced the traditional homes of Jeju island. However, over time the initial design morphed into its antithesis; the flippantly named Simple House is an extravagant sculptural house made of cantilevered stacked blocks supported with diagonal reinforced-concrete beams. The three-story home’s board-formed concrete volumes are carefully oriented to optimize views and access to natural light. Open terraces and glazed walls at the end of each volume capture daylight from multiple angles. “The erected houses now boasted much presence, but needed something more to give it a distinct character,” said Hoon, explaining the thought process behind the stacked and rotated volumes. “Then the strong wind and rain started cracking the floors, and slowly three floored and rotating home came into existence. Too much wind gave nausea and anxiety. Something had to be done, thus the binding structures between the end points to other points.” Related: Weird but wonderful Wind House brings whimsy to Korea’s Jeju Island The brightly lit interior features a clean and modern appearance with recessed lighting, light timber surfaces, and in-built furnishings such as the recessed http://inhabitat.com/tag/bookshelves/ bookshelves along the staircase that winds through the center of the home. Simple House is entered on the first floor, which comprises a playroom on one end and a guest room on the other. The second floor, which is rotated and offset from the first, houses an open plan dining room and kitchen on one side and living area on the other. The second floor also opens out to outdoor dining built atop the first floor. The master bedroom and bathroom, outdoor jacuzzi, and outdoor garden are found on the top floor. + Moon Hoon Via ArchDaily

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Moon Hoons funky new home captures sunlight on Jeju Island

Build your own BIG-designed LEGO House with LEGO Architectures newest kit

August 30, 2017 by  
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As if playing in a LEGO wonderland wasn’t enough, we just got wind of another reason to get excited over the BIG-designed LEGO House’s grand opening next month. The iconic toy company just unveiled official images of a new LEGO Architecture kit that’ll let you build your very own LEGO experience center at home. The 774-piece model replica of the nearly complete LEGO House in Billund, Denmark will be sold exclusively at the center when it opens on September 28. The new LEGO House, also known as the “House of the Brick,” will be an experience center where fans can learn about the history of the company, the philosophy of LEGO play, and interact with LEGO through a wide variety of hands-on experiences. Starchitect Bjarke Ingels , an enthusiastic LEGO fan, was tapped to design the LEGO House project and drew inspiration from the modularity of the toy brick. Related: BIG’s LEGO House tops out with opening date in September The nearly completed LEGO House was created as “a cloud of interlocking LEGO bricks…a literal manifestation of the infinite possibilities of the LEGO brick,” said Ingels. The 774-piece LEGO Architecture kit is a small-scale replica of the stunning building that, when assembled, will form 21 stacked white bricks complete with the classic eight-knob LEGO brick-shaped Keystone, colorful surfaces, glazing in the form of translucent bricks, and an interior public square. The kit takes 197 steps to complete. Full instructions and product description can be found here . + LEGO Architecture Via ArchDaily

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Build your own BIG-designed LEGO House with LEGO Architectures newest kit

sCarabane: a self-sufficient collapsible caravan powered by sun and wind

August 29, 2017 by  
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Green camping is about to get a lot more glamorous. Green Cat Technologies from France -has designed the sCarabane, a self-sufficient caravan with several fancy clean technologies: you’ll find solar cells but also a solar concentrator to generate hot water, and a telescopic wind turbine . The foldable caravan can rotate 360 degrees to follow the sun – and provide incredible views. The sCarabane folds up for easy travel, and one person can do the job in around half an hour. It can then be towed as a standard caravan. Once in place, it unfolds into a futuristic getaway that rests on a circular stand so it’s able to rotate and make the most of the renewable technologies on board. Related: Live off the grid and rent-free in the charming Wohnwagon mobile caravan A parabolic mirror atop the sCarabane tracks the sun. A telescopic vertical axis wind turbine can generate 500 watts of clean power. Solar cells supplement the renewable energy generation, providing another 500 watts. The bright space includes fold-out components to connect the indoors and outdoors. A hatch can open to connect the kitchen with a full-length deck outside. There’s a 77.5 square foot master bedroom, with a 59 square foot children’s bedroom next door. Each of these opens to the outdoors with a full-size door. The dining area in the kitchen also doubles as an extra bed. A bathroom area includes a toilet, sink, shower, and compact washing machine. A rotating bubble window offers a fun way to look outside, and rose windows on the bedroom roofs let those beneath control the sunlight’s intensity inside. Green Cat Technologies notes the sCarabane may not be completely self-sufficient anywhere a person could travel – that depends on weather and geographical location. They said right now, users still need a bottle of propane to cook. They are still developing the caravan – including rainwater harvesting and water filtration systems – so don’t yet have a date for when it will be on the market (or what it will cost). + Green Cat Technologies Via New Atlas Images via screenshot

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