ScottWhitbyStudio transforms a shipping container into a pop-up cinema

March 21, 2017 by  
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We’ve seen shipping containers repurposed into everything from homes to museums , but ScottWhitbyStudio’s recent cargotecture creation marks the first pop-up cinema that we’ve heard of. The London-based architecture and creative consultancy converted a single container into Caution Cinema, an immersive and funky movie theater as part of the ‘Beyond Zero’ health and safety campaign. The mobile cinema plays instructional videos to promote vital dockside safety information to port employees up and down the country. Working together with a major UK port operator, ScottWhitbyStudio was asked to create an engaging pop-up cinema that provided an immersive viewing experience that would block out the hectic and noisy port surroundings. In choosing the commonly found shipping container as the cinema structure, the designers introduced an element of surprise by dramatically transforming the windowless container interior into a “dark and mysterious realm, which challenged expectations.” Attendees to the Caution Cinema enter via a disorienting zigzagging path to the cinema, where all external light and sound are blocked out. Related: The epic Creative Co-Op Is a Multi-faceted Film Studio Made from Shipping Containers “Using this multi-sensory experience, visitors are forced to take extra care and to proceed with caution—as promoted by the safety campaign,” write the architects. “It is hoped that the memory of this multi-sensory experience and intervention will be embed[ded] in the user’s memory for a long time to come.” All internal surfaces, from the entrance path to the cinema and seating, are clad in over a thousand pyramidal acoustic foam pieces laid out in a checkered pattern of black, blue, and red. The resilient foam pyramids create a soundless chamber so that attendees can focus on the video presentation without external distraction. + ScottWhitbyStudio Images via ScottWhitbyStudio © Osman Marfo-Gyasi

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ScottWhitbyStudio transforms a shipping container into a pop-up cinema

Norwegian cabin weathers a harsh climate for breathtaking views

March 15, 2017 by  
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Norway’s Lofoten archipelago is famous for its spectacular scenery with dramatic mountains and views of the northern lights—but its remote location up north also means a bitterly harsh climate in winter. Architect Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk was asked to create a summer retreat on a coastal Lofoten island that would be strong enough to withstand the harsh climate, particularly high-speed winds and rain. He and his team of architects completed the Summer House Gravråk, a renovated timber structure with a new addition and beautiful modern interior. The 25-square-meter Summer House Gravråk began with the rehabilitation of an old “Nordlandshus,” a kind of a traditional northern Norwegian home with a gabled roof and timber structure. The architects extended the building’s existing footprint with an addition towards the west that matched the original structure’s design. The exterior is clad in untreated spruce, which developed a gray patina after exposure to the elements. Standing seam zinc roofing tops the building. Related: Norwegian Mountain Cottage Stands on Stilts to Preserve Native Reindeer Moss The extension is constructed with prefabricated pine glulam and is wind-anchored to an encapsulating concrete slab that serves as a stabilizing counterweight, while the existing building is guy-wired to the ground. “The addition is a pure extension of the existing building, and re-uses the geometrical principle with asymmetrical dormer windows to let in light and give a view from the loft,” write the architects. The windows are constructed with aluminum frames on the exterior and wood on the interior to match the interior birch plywood cladding. The interior is minimally furnished and the abundance of windows keeps the focus on the landscape. The architects also constructed a small green-roofed annex separate from the main building. + Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk Images via Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk

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Norwegian cabin weathers a harsh climate for breathtaking views

Solar-powered Rotterdam home wraps around an olive tree

March 15, 2017 by  
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Don’t be fooled by this Rotterdam home’s deceptively plain street-facing facade—the backside of the property reveals a strikingly sculptural home with a glazed facade that wraps around an olive tree. MVRDV designed the contemporary home, called Casa Kwantes, for a client who valued privacy and seclusion but also wanted maximum access to daylight and open living spaces. To minimize its environmental footprint, the home includes several energy-efficient systems and aims for self-sufficiency. Tucked away on the corner plot of an old hospital, the 480-square-meter Casa Kwantes is entered through an indent on its windowless, mysterious street-facing facade built with white Celosia brickwork. Upon entering the curvaceous living spaces, visitors are bathed in natural light and views of the outdoors. The full-height south-facing windows wrap around the courtyard and the focal point of the house: the olive tree . The library and the open-plan living room, dining room, and kitchen are located on the first floor, while the sleeping areas are placed on the second level. Curtains provide privacy and shade. The upper floor cantilevers slightly to provide solar shading to the living spaces. Extra storage is tucked away in a small basement and an outdoor suntrap patio at the bottom of the garden offers extra paved barbecue space. “When balancing municipality requirements for a retro style architecture, the home became a contemporary take on 1930s modernism with its long, cream, shallow brickwork, full-height glazing, and the contrasting integration of the flat and fluid, open and enclosed, flexible and defined,” wrote the architects. “As the newly built homes in the vicinity are more vernacular in their modernist approach, this variation on a more avant-garde architecture has the been subject of discussions with the municipality.” Related: MVRDV unveils futuristic Y-shaped house with a rooftop pool in Tainan In addition to ample access to natural light, Casa Kwantes minimizes its energy footprint with a ground-source heat pump , heat exchange system, and rooftop solar system. The solar panels generate enough energy for the home to run entirely on renewable energy. MVRDV expects to home to be entirely self-sufficient on energy and will monitor the home for testing over the next year. + MVRDV Images © Ossip van Duivenbode

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Solar-powered Rotterdam home wraps around an olive tree

China approves massive new park for endangered leopards and tigers

March 15, 2017 by  
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China just approved a massive new national park to help protect endangered big cats . The 5,637 square mile park – which will be 60 percent bigger than America’s Yellowstone National Park – will serve as a sanctuary for Siberian tigers and Amur leopards. Big cats have struggled in northeast China, where the park will be built. Excessive logging deteriorated the ecosystem and caused the population of wild Siberian tigers to plummet dramatically. A field survey by scientists from the United States, Russia, and China found signs of just six to nine of the tigers in the area in 1998. A 2015 northeast China logging ban may have helped; now experts estimate there are around 27 Siberian tigers there. Meanwhile Amur leopards are critically endangered , according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which said there are only over 60 of these animals still alive in the world. Related: Russia built a critical wildlife corridor to help save endangered big cats Small habitat areas have prompted Siberian tigers and Amur leopards to roam into residential areas looking for food, according to EcoWatch, which quoted a Jilin Forestry Department spokesperson as saying to ease conflict between humans and the big cats, they will relocate some communities and factories currently inside the area for the park. China’s new national park will be in the provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang, bordering Russia . The park will include a monitoring and rescue center for wild big cats, along with research facilities. WWF Beijing’s Species Program Director Fan Zhiyong said the initiative could help improve cooperation between the two countries to conserve wildlife . Jilin Forestry Department Director Lan Hongliang also said they expected the national park to act as a channel for international interchange on protecting wild animals. The Jilin government said they will start preparing for national park management by the end of this year. According to Xinhua, a plan and pilot park could be finished before 2020. Via Xinhua and EcoWatch Images via Tambako The Jaguar on Flickr and PublicDomainPictures.net

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China approves massive new park for endangered leopards and tigers

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