Stunning ash staircase ties together an eco-conscious home in Mexico City

April 16, 2018 by  
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Located on a brownfield , the Cuernavaca House has an impressive eye for both sustainability and beauty—so much so that the project was long-listed earlier this year for the 2018 RIBA International Prize . Architectural practice Tapia McMahon designed the light-filled residence that fills out the entire plot, making room for light wells, greenery, and spacious rooms within. Repurposed materials and energy-saving solutions are present throughout the family home that’s beautifully tied together by a winding ash staircase. An aggregate of recycled materials and concrete form the Cuernavaca House’s structural walls. The walls’ high thermal mass keep the city’s heat at bay during the day. For a warmer touch indoors, exposed concrete is paired with an abundance of timber from wooden floors and large timber bookshelves to the twisting central ash staircase lit from above. Floor-to-ceiling windows open up to take advantage of cross breezes, views, and natural light. Related: This Mexico City home is built around a gorgeous vertical garden The open-plan layout helps promote the flow of natural light and breezes. The office and guest bedroom are located on the ground floor and an expansive living area occupies the first floor above, while the main bedrooms are placed on the upper levels, as is a large roof terrace with a daybed. Greenery punctuates the home, from the roof terraces to the balconies, and is irrigated with collected rainwater . + Tapia McMahon Via Dezeen Images via Rafael Gamo

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Stunning ash staircase ties together an eco-conscious home in Mexico City

Zaha Hadids only house rises like a spaceship in a forest near Moscow

April 13, 2018 by  
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Zaha Hadid’s only private house has just been completed and — to no surprise — it looks like a spaceship that has touched down on Earth. Created with a neo-futuristic aesthetic and ample glazing, the Capital Hill Residence stands in stark contrast with its leafy surroundings. The home is located at the heart of Russia’s Barvikha forest, just a couple miles west of Moscow . The $140 million project was completed for real estate developer and entrepreneur Vladislav Doronin, who runs Capital Group and OKO Group . The 36,000-square-foot sci-fi-esque house immediately draws the eye with its stalk-like tower that rises 117 feet above the ground. Hadid placed the master bedroom at the top, so Doronin could wake up to panoramic views of the tree canopy. The master bedroom connects to the lower levels with a glazed elevator and staircase. Related: New images capture Zaha Hadid’s luxury High Line condos in NYC The majority of the home is built into a slope and includes a pool, spa , gym and even a nightclub. Doronin, who met Hadid a decade ago, is reportedly very pleased with his home. “This striking and ambitious building is testimony to her genius,” he said, adding that he was sold from the moment he saw Hadid’s initial sketches on a napkin. “She created the perfect livable sculpture.” + Zaha Hadid Architects Via Dezeen Images via OKO Group

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Zaha Hadids only house rises like a spaceship in a forest near Moscow

Airstream launches its first-ever fiberglass camper for under $50K

April 12, 2018 by  
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The makers of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer just launched their highly anticipated Nest travel trailer – and it’s unlike any Airstream you’ve ever seen before. Designed as a home away from home, the Nest is big on comfort and amenities but also resilient and easy to tow — making it the ideal adventure camper . Airstream’s newest trailer also marks the company’s first departure from aluminum for the world of lightweight fiberglass – and it’s available starting at $45,000. Nest offers more than just winning good looks. Created by designer Robert Johans, who was also involved in Airstream’s in-house development, Nest blends form and function in an aerodynamic semi-monocoque structure. Ski goggles inspired the shape of the wide and slightly rounded front windshield, while five additional tempered tinted windows, a skylight , and a vertical window on the doorway come together to create a nearly panoramic view and flood the interior with natural light. Space-saving techniques create a sense of roominess inside the 16-foot, 3,400-pound Nest, which manages to pack a surprising number of amenities into its sleek and minimalist interior. When the rear doorway is opened, the eye is immediately drawn to the cozy living area and views beyond the front windshield. The bathroom and storage immediately flank the entrance, followed by a galley kitchen with a two-burner stove, sink, fridge, and microwave, and finally by the primary living space in the back. Related: 10 things you need to know about living in the 2018 Airstream Globetrotter Customers can choose between two floor plans: one with a U-shaped dinette that converts into a queen bed, and another that features a permanent queen bed with a plush Tuft & Needle mattress. “There’s really nothing else like it,” said Airstream President & CEO Bob Wheeler. “Nest acknowledges Airstream’s lasting legacy, while anticipating a new potential for outdoor adventure.” Airstream’s Nest is priced from $45,000 MSRP and will be sent to Airstream dealers nationwide this month. + Nest by Airstream Images via Airstream

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Airstream launches its first-ever fiberglass camper for under $50K

New Zealand bans new offshore oil and gas exploration permits

April 12, 2018 by  
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New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, set a goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050 — and she’s taking action now. This week, she said the country will no longer grant new offshore oil and gas exploration permits, Reuters reported . Ardern said in a live Facebook video , “The whole world is going in this direction. We all signed up to the Paris Agreement that said we were moving towards carbon neutrality and now we need to act on it.” Ardern surprised the oil and gas industry with her announcement, which won’t impact the 22 existing exploration permits, Reuters said. She said in the Facebook video in making this decision, she considered ensuring security of supply; job security, especially for places where jobs center around the fossil fuel industry; and meeting their obligations and ambitions around tackling climate change . (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); A few details on the big oil and gas announcement we made today A few details on the big oil and gas announcement we made today… Posted by Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 Related: New Zealand plans to power its grid with 100% renewable energy by 2035 Not everyone is happy about Ardern’s decision. Neil Holdom, mayor of New Plymouth in the Taranaki region, which Reuters said is energy -rich, described the move as “a kick in the guts.” Taranaki Daily News quoted Energy and Resources spokesperson for the opposition party Jonathan Young as saying, “What will replace gas as the demand for more electricity rose with electric vehicles and we don’t have enough renewables . It will be coal — good one government.” Ardern said permits can last for years, and “that’s why we have to make decisions with really long lead times about what we do in the future.” She said the country will “continue onshore block offers” for three years and then review again. Environmental organization praised the move. Greenpeace New Zealand executive director Russel Norman told The Guardian , “Today’s announcement is significant internationally too. By ending new oil and gas exploration in our waters, the fourth-largest exclusive economic zone on the planet is out of bounds for new fossil fuel exploitation…Bold global leadership on the greatest challenge of our time has never been more urgent and Ardern has stepped up to that climate challenge.” + Jacinda Ardern on Facebook Via Reuters , Taranaki Daily News , and The Guardian Images via Thomas Hetzler on Unsplash and Depositphotos

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New Zealand bans new offshore oil and gas exploration permits

Green-roofed Argentinian home boasts a thermally efficient envelope

April 12, 2018 by  
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Buenos Aires-based IR arquitectura crafted a home that feels as if it grew out of the landscape. Set in a clearing in Tortuguitas, Argentina, the timber-clad AA House embraces nature with its green roof, inner courtyard with a polycarbonate roof, and large openings framing the outdoors. Thermal efficiency was a guiding design principle that informed everything from site orientation to material decisions. Built of locally sourced wood , AA House appears as a cluster of pitched timber boxes framed on each side by forest. The main living areas and bedrooms are laid out linearly on an east-west axis and face north to “guarantee the best solar incidence range,” wrote the architects. The common areas and greenhouse-like courtyard occupy the heart of the home and separate the master bedroom on the east side from the children’s bedrooms on the west end. Related: Award-winning renovation slashes mid-century home’s carbon footprint by 80% Earth walls finished with clay fill the spaces between wall studs and lend the advantage of high thermal mass by absorbing heat during the day and dissipating it at night. Vertical strips of timber clad the facade with matching vertical timber louvers installed over most of the glazed openings save for the large glazed wall on the north side of the living room that’s shielded by a deep overhang and left open for uninterrupted views. + IR arquitectura Via ArchDaily Images © Federico Cairoli

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Green-roofed Argentinian home boasts a thermally efficient envelope

LEED Gold UBC Aquatic Center boasts innovative water recycling

April 11, 2018 by  
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A striking aquatics center on the University of British Columbia Vancouver Campus melds elite-level swimming facilities with impressive eco-credentials. Designed by Canadian architecture firm MJMA , in collaboration with Acton Ostry Architects , to achieve LEED Gold certification, the UBC Aquatic Center is awash in high water demands with its three pools, hot tub, steam and sauna, drinking fountains, and 34 showers. To meet water efficiency regulations set out by UBC and LEED Gold, the architects employed an innovative water management system that includes water recycling and an underground cistern tank that can store 1.3 million liters of rainwater at a time. The 85,000-square-foot UBC Aquatic Center is more than just a recreational facility for UBC staff and students. Envisioned as a community resource, the swimming center was also created to provide a high-performance training and competition venue for Olympians and includes separated sections for Community Aquatics and Competition Aquatics. In a fitting response to the demanding brief, the architects topped the mostly glazed building with a white angular roof for that gives the facility a sense of eye-catching drama and helps facilitate rainwater collection. Combined with a long skylight that bisects the building, the continuous ceramic fritted glazing that wraps around three elevations brings in copious amounts of natural light . Sensors for zoned lighting control help reduce electricity demands. Healthy indoor air quality is promoted with an air flow system that replaces chloromine-contaminated air from the top of the water surface with fresh air. Related: Flussbad Berlin Wants to Build an Enormous Natural Swimming Pool in the City’s River Water is captured from the roof and reused for plumbing, landscape irrigation and pool top up. Rainwater collection provides the facility with around 2.7 million liters of water each year—an amount equivalent to an Olympic-sized pool. Renewable materials were also used throughout the build with approximately 30% of materials sourced from British Columbia and Washington State. + MJMA Via Architect Magazine Images by Ema Peter

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LEED Gold UBC Aquatic Center boasts innovative water recycling

This tiny timber cabin was built from construction waste for under $30K

April 2, 2018 by  
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Transportable, versatile, and low-cost, this tiny timber cabin shows how crafty use of local and recycled materials can lead to impressive results. UK architecture firm Invisible Studio designed and built this mobile prototype using a combination of construction waste and locally grown unseasoned timber for just £20,000 ($28,105 USD). Called Trailer, the multifunctional structure follows in the footsteps of Invisible Studio’s previous projects, such as the Ghost Barn and their own studio space , both of which were built from timber sustainably grown and managed on site. Located in the woods near Invisible Studio’s workspace, the 430-square-foot Trailer project gets its name from the trailer the built structure sits on. The architects designed the building so that it can be legally transported on a public highway and added a removable wheeled “bogey” beneath the steel chassis for ease of use. “The project aims to provide a super low cost, versatile, useable space that could act as a kit of parts for any self builder to improvise around or easily adapt,” wrote Invisible Studio. “While conceived as a domestic space, it could easily function as a workspace or something else.” Related: Ghost Barn built of locally felled timber glows like a lantern at night Corrugated fiberglass and steel clad the building, while high-performance interlocking polycarbonate panels cover the two gabled ends to allow an ample amount of natural light indoors. The interior is lined in used shuttering plywood and all the joinery, including the two staircases, is crafted from plywood offcuts. Leftover blue rope, sourced from a previous project, is used for the handrails. The doors and insulation were also reclaimed and the roof lights were purchased as factory seconds. To reduce milling costs, the architects used timber of the “same section,” meaning timber was cut into 125 millimeter-by-50-millimeter pieces and then laminated up into the structural sections for the cross frames. + Invisible Studio Via Dezeen Images by Piers Taylor

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This tiny timber cabin was built from construction waste for under $30K

This prefab cabin is designed to take you off grid in the Scottish Highlands

March 30, 2018 by  
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A new piece of prefab architecture will soon bring artists, researchers, and travelers closer to the spectacular Scottish Highlands. Artist Bobby Niven and architect Iain MacLeod designed the Artist Bothy, a multipurpose cabin prefabricated in Scotland from sustainable materials . Conceived as an artist residency space, the gabled hut promises a low-impact and off-grid immersion in nature. The Artist Bothy was born from the Bothy Project , a network of off-grid artist residency spaces that aims to support artist mobility and access to the Scottish landscape. To withstand the elements, the 178-square-foot cabin was constructed from cross-laminated timber panels clad in Corten corrugated metal and Scottish larch. Insulated with 100 millimeters of wood-fiber insulation, the gabled structure frames views through double-glazed windows. Surface water drainage is handled by concealed downpipes. Related: Solar-powered seaside cabin blends prefab design with traditional building techniques Each Artist Bothy can be installed on site in less than a day. While the structures were envisioned for off-grid use, they can also be connected to electricity and water services. The compact interior features a mostly wooden interior and a mezzanine level for sleeping. Optional extras for added functionality include a kitchenette, bench bed, shelving units, tables, a wood-burning stove , and outer decking. The Artist Bothy is available to purchase starting from £39,000 ($54,731 USD) . + Bothy Project Images by Johnny Barrington

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This prefab cabin is designed to take you off grid in the Scottish Highlands

Sprawling nets suspended mid-air turn a forest into a climbing wonderland

March 30, 2018 by  
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You don’t need to know how to climb a tree to enjoy this marvelous climbing maze suspended in a Guangdong forest. When the school affiliated to the Luofu Mountain Chinese Classics Institute wanted to encourage children to pursue more physical activity, the school tapped Chinese design studio unarchitecte to design a place conducive to play in the forested valley. Taking inspiration from nature, the designers created the Climbing Park of Luofu Mountain, a system of white nets and climbing areas elevated into the air that promotes a closer connection with nature. Careful consideration was taken to protect existing healthy trees during the construction process, while precautions were also taken to avoid damaging tree growth. Metal posts were installed to provide extra support. Hundreds of white triangular nets were pieced together to form an undulating surface with dips and rises evoking the surrounding topography. Related: Green Treehouse Provides an Incredible Learning Playground Children can explore the Climbing Park from multiple entrances, while adults (who are also invited to play up above) can supervise down below. In addition to the nets surface, the designers also included other net structures like spiral tubes and hemispherical tents . “A forest can become a place for children to return to nature, to explore and to think, to sweat and to sit still alone. In the nature, they can forget themselves and can also search for their inner selves,” wrote the architects. “Building a climbing system, architects connect all the trees in the valley by hundreds of diverse white triangle nets to constitute a combination of various topological folding surfaces like a “white sea” for children to swim carefree.” + unarchitecte Via gooood Images by Zhang Hetian

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Sprawling nets suspended mid-air turn a forest into a climbing wonderland

Foster+Partners unveil design for first-ever Vatican Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale

March 29, 2018 by  
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For the first time ever, Vatican City will be represented at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Curated by Francesco Dal Co, the Pavilions of the Holy See will comprise 10 temporary chapels each designed by a different architect. Foster + Partners , chosen to design a chapel on the Venetian island of San Giorgio Maggiore, just unveiled their chapel design set in a quiet wooded space. Created in collaboration with Italian furniture manufacturer Tecno, Foster+Partners’ Vatican City pavilion was largely informed by the landscape. The architects started the design process with a visit to San Giorgio Maggiore and the site selection of a quiet green space framed by mature trees close to Palladio’s magnificent church and the Teatro Verde. “It was like a small oasis in the big garden, perfect for contemplation,” said Norman Foster. “Our aim is to create a small sanctuary space diffused with dappled shade and removed from the normality of passers-by, focussed instead on the water and sky beyond.” Related: Vatican City Crowned the ‘Greenest State In the World’ Timber was chosen as the temporary chapel’s primary material. Three large crosses provide the supporting beams for the pavilion, which will take visitors down an angled timber walkway that culminates with lagoon views and seating. Porous timber latticework covers the pavilion’s sides and to obscure views and create a dynamic play of light and shadow. The pavilion’s opening ceremony will be held on May 25 and will remain open to the public between May 26 and November 25, 2018. + Foster + Partners Images via Foster + Partners , sketches by Norman Foster

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Foster+Partners unveil design for first-ever Vatican Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale

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