Mysterious Black Villa is to be tucked in the lush forests just outside of Moscow

June 12, 2019 by  
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There are few things we love more than dark cabins embedded into lush evergreen forests, and this tiny structure is no exception. The Black Villa in the Forest, designed by Russian architectural firm Archslon, has a certain air of mystery to it that is enhanced by its off-grid location just outside of bustling Moscow. The tiny cabin is a low-lying rectangular volume comprised of two blocks with an inner courtyard separating the two spaces. The entrance is through a small open area, which runs from the front of the house to the back. Related: Black charred-timber home embraces forest views in Zürich The front of the cabin is an elongated, open-air deck, or what the architects call a “bypass gallery,” that runs the length of one of the main blocks. The space is lined with a series of thin columns, giving a touch of modernity to the structure. The compact square footage and height was a strategic decision made to conserve as many existing trees as possible during construction. Clad in jet-black timber, the home was also designed to blend into its natural surroundings. The main living area is illumined by natural light thanks to a full wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. Along with providing panoramic views of the picturesque scenery, the glazed wall creates a strong, continual connection to the home’s forestscape surroundings. The two blocks separate the home into two living spaces: public and private. On one side of the cabin is the living room and open kitchen. On the other end is the master bedroom that is connected with another small room that can be used as a small office or library. Like the living space, the master bedroom has fully glazed walls, further integrating the surrounding nature into the cabin’s interior. + Archslon Via Archdaily Images via Archslon

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Mysterious Black Villa is to be tucked in the lush forests just outside of Moscow

Eco-friendly "treehouse" in a French pine forest boasts surprisingly chic interiors

April 3, 2019 by  
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Architectural firm Atelier Victoria Migliore may have left its home base of Paris to design a beautiful treehouse-inspired family home in northwestern France, but the company made sure to bring its Parisian sense of style with it. Tucked into an idyllic forest landscape, the rustic, sophisticated home, which features a surprisingly modern interior design, was built on stilts to reduce the home’s impact on the landscape. No trees were felled during the construction process. Located in Fréhel, in the Brittany region of northwestern France, the “ treehouse ” sits on a sloped landscape in the middle of a pine forest. As the construction began, the architects aimed to protect the idyllic natural state of the surroundings; therefore, not one tree was felled. To reduce the home’s footprint, the structure was raised between 3 feet and 9 feet off the landscape using deep screw piles. Related: A treehouse made from sustainable wood hides a luxurious interior Following the natural topography, a long, roped wooden walkway leads from a lower ground level and wraps around the home’s edge, slowly rising up to the entrance. The home is comprised of several rectangular volumes, all clad in charred timber , arranged with wide spaces in between to create several open-air terraces. Punctuated by extra-large windows, the volumes were also oriented to provide stunning views from virtually any angle inside the home. The angular windows frame incredible views but also provide a strong harmony between the living spaces and the outside world. Throughout the interior, large trees feature prominently, even up through an interior courtyard ‘s wooden flooring. In addition to its connection to nature, the home’s 900-square-footage includes any number of surprising features. In the center of the home is a central walkway that stands out with blue-and-white zigzag tiling. When the homeowners are feeling the need to truly immerse themselves in the outdoors, there is a hammock that is hung between the rooftops of two of the home’s volumes, creating a serene spot for reading, napping or just breathing in the fresh air. + Atelier Victoria Migliore Via ArchDaily Photography by Cyril Folliot via Atelier Victoria Migliore

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Edible plants surround the curvaceous Barangaroo House in Australia

October 8, 2018 by  
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Completed just last year, the eye-catching Barangaroo House has already become a visual landmark for the inner-city suburb of Barangaroo in Sydney, Australia. The competition-winning design is the work of Australian architecture firm Collins and Turner , which created the sculptural building to house a contemporary restaurant and bar of the same name. Located near the waterfront in a high pedestrian-trafficked area, the curvaceous building mimics the appearance of three stacked bowls rimmed with edible and ornament plants for a touch of greenery. Set on a 750-square-meter corner site overlooking waterfront views, the Barangaroo House marks the southern entry point to the Barangaroo South urban regeneration project that was headed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners . In contrast to its angular neighbors, the three-story restaurant and bar features curved facades made with concentrically steam-bent timber dowels that have been charred black to improve the material’s resistance to the elements and as a reference to the “primeval act of cooking.” Ringed with vegetation, the rounded balconies are cantilevered  over the landscape and provide a stellar outdoor dining experience for guests. “The ambition of the project is the creation of a welcoming, timeless, convivial structure, that over time becomes a much loved part of the city ,” the architecture firm said. “The key urban design agenda of a ‘building in the round’ dictated the curvilinear form, which projects curved perimeter balconies outward in each direction. Structural cantilevers up to 8.5 m permit a uniquely outdoor atmosphere to a series of dining spaces on each level of the multi-tiered building.” Related: An urban farm and restaurant flourishes in Utrecht’s “circular” pavilion Frameless glazing was installed on the north and west facades of the ground floor, providing a seamless connection between the streetscape and the indoor bar. Operable glazing also wraps around the upper levels and is shielded from the intense sun by the cantilevered balconies. + Collins and Turner Via ArchDaily Images via Rory Gardiner

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Edible plants surround the curvaceous Barangaroo House in Australia

Recyclable House is an eco-getaway that celebrates the circular economy

July 25, 2018 by  
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A recently completed environmentally friendly retreat has opened for bookings on AirBnB in the picturesque countryside near Beaufort, Australia. Designed by  Quentin Irvine , the Recyclable House is an experimental modern home that stays true to its name with its use of recyclable materials and passive solar construction principles. Conceived as a “prototype house for the circular economy,” the four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath rental comfortably fits 10 guests and promises “sensational indoor air quality.” Inspired by Australia’s iconic galvanized steel woodsheds, Irvine designed the Recyclable House with a gabled farmhouse aesthetic. Three sides of the building are clad in durable Z600 galvanized steel. The fourth facade is covered in timber planks charred using the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique. All components in the home were selected for durability and are either biologically or technologically recyclable. Even the walls, which are built with plasterboard, are fully compostable. Passive solar principles and highly effective insulation create comfortable indoor temperatures year-round, with extra heating provided by a Pyroclassic wood-burning stove and a solar hot-water system; no air conditioning has been installed. Natural finishes used throughout ensure low toxicity. Related: Australia’s amazing Upcycle House is made from the ruins of an old home “Whilst learning the building profession I identified and became frustrated with the fact that most Australian homes are essentially built with/for rubbish whether they were promoted as eco friendly homes or not,” explains Irvine, discussing the impetus behind his project. “Even though materials were often coming to site as quality recyclable materials , they would be destined for landfill the minute that they were installed due to the building practices and installation methods used. I found solutions to many of these problems by researching older building methods as well as thinking creatively about the problem.” Completed in December 2015, the Recyclable House was recently made available to rent on AirBnB starting at $95 a night. + Recyclable House AirBnB Images by Nic Granleese

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A modular extension boasts a seamless indoor-outdoor living experience

July 25, 2018 by  
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Modular architecture and sustainable strategies blend together in the Ivanhoe Extension, a bold and contemporary addition to a suburban home in Melbourne. Designed by Australian practice Modscape , the two-story extension not only creates more space for the clients’ growing family, but also offers a new way to embrace their beautifully landscaped backyard. The house is equipped with many energy-efficient solutions such as solar passive heating, rainwater harvesting and double glazing with thermal break frames. Located behind a weatherboard house, the Ivanhoe Extension is a handsome structure clad in sustainably sourced blackbutt timber and Colorbond Diversaclad. The ground floor is fitted with full-height glazing for a seamless indoor-outdoor living experience, while the upper floor is wrapped in a curved battened screen to ensure privacy and protection from the sun. The new addition houses an open-plan living space, dining area and kitchen on the ground floor, and the master suite is found on the upper level. The original house has been turned over to the “kids domain.” “A new double?height entrance space has been created in the middle of the house providing a clean separation and demarcation between existing and new,” Modscape explained. “As soon as you walk in the front door, your eye is drawn up to the circular skylight, which casts directed light to the open stairs below. To accommodate for the sloping site, the extension is terraced down the block with a slight change in levels between the original house (which has now become the kids domain), the entrance way and the new modular living area. This helps to subtly define different zones, while the same oak flooring used throughout provides continuity and flow.” Related: This highly insulated modular home is completely self-sustaining The modular components were prefabricated offsite within a factory so that the clients could continue living in their house free of disruptions. Demolition and site preparation took approximately three weeks — the clients moved out four weeks prior — and installation of the modules took only one day. + Modscape Images by John Madden

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A modular extension boasts a seamless indoor-outdoor living experience

Charred timber cladding and a green roof connect this Victorian-era home to nature

May 31, 2018 by  
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To embrace indoor/outdoor living, this Victoria-era house in London is outfitted with a handsome new extension wrapped in Shou Sugi Ban cladding. Designed by Neil Dusheiko Architects , the Black Ridge House provides a modern contrast to the original home’s Victorian brickwork. Inspired by biophilic design principles, the new-build was constructed with several energy-saving features — such as a green roof and underfloor heating — and sustainably sourced timbers to connect the home to nature. Inspired by the rooflines of the area’s early Warner houses, the Black Ridge House features gabled volumes clad in Kebony , a sustainable and durable alternative to tropical hardwood. The engineered wood was charred using the Shou Sugi Ban technique to create a beautifully blackened finish that’s also weatherproof. “The extension forms a contrast to the Victorian brickwork so that the two elements of the house are distinct and a separate visual language is used,” the architects wrote. “Our design embraces the philosophy of Biophilic design principles, addressing our innate attraction to nature and natural processes. By constructing the extension out of a natural product [timber] whose surface is formed by a natural process [fire] — we celebrate nature. The design also includes ideas of wabi-sabi — a world view that is based on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. Beauty is seen as being ‘imperfect, impermanent and incomplete’.” Related: Norway farmstead receives a gorgeous modern renovation with Kebony wood The extension includes an open-plan kitchen, dining room and living area on the ground floor, while a new master bedroom and skylit bathroom are located on the upper floor. The building opens up to the garden through large double-glazed metal windows. Airtight detailing, underfloor heating, ample access to natural light and an insulating green roof keep energy demands to a minimum. From the sliding door made with reclaimed timber panels to the oak worktop and cupboard doors, the light-filled interior utilizes natural materials. + Neil Dusheiko Architects Images © Tim Crocker

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Charred timber cladding and a green roof connect this Victorian-era home to nature

LED lighting company aims to bring a little ‘friluftsliv’ into our hectic lives

May 31, 2018 by  
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No matter what stresses you deal with on a daily basis, the practice of reconnecting with nature is always beneficial. Scandinavians call this connection ‘friluftsliv’ (pronounced free-loofts-liv). Literally translated to “open-air living,” the term refers to the value of spending time in remote natural locations in order to rejuvenate ourselves, mentally and physically. Of course the problem is that our daily schedules are not always conducive to taking a nature-based break. As a solution, a forward-thinking lighting company, Festive Lights , has unveiled a line of LED-based lights geared toward bringing  friluftsliv into your home. With little effort, you can incorporate Festive Lights’ products into your day-to-day atmosphere, so even when you can’t get outside and connect with nature on a deeper level, you can still convert a little outdoor deck or garden into a peaceful oasis. Related:These dazzling zodiac lamps let you bring the heavens indoors The lights are specifically made to provide discreet lighting around greenery and create a warm, pleasant environment. The line includes various lights that use LED bulbs or solar energy. The Solar Bluebell Flower is a beautiful lantern with an integrated solar panel that brings a touch of romance to any garden, without wasting energy. String Dragonfly Fairy Lights, which have various settings, can light up any indoor or outdoor space. Even if you have little to no outdoor space, there are plenty of ways to bring nature indoors. Festive Lights offers a series of Rose Gold Metal Lantern Fairy Lights that use LED bulbs to emit a soothing light. The Nordic Rectangle Frame made from twig and filled with warm white LEDs is a unique accessory that welcomes nature into any room. With just unique lighting and a few plants here and there, you can easily begin to embrace  friluftsliv , even in your hectic everyday life. + Festive Lights Images via Festive Lights

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LED lighting company aims to bring a little ‘friluftsliv’ into our hectic lives

Charred timber home perched above Silicon Valley takes cues from nature

January 15, 2018 by  
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High above Silicon Valley sits a striking home with a two-story volume clad in blackened cedar. Schwartz and Architecture designed the residence, named Shou Sugi Ban House after the traditional Japanese method used to burn the wood to wrap it in a layer of carbon highly resistant to water, fire, and mold. The charred timber volume is an extension to an existing one-story home, the interior of which was also substantially remodeled by the architects. Located on the crest of a hill in Los Gatos, California, Shou Sugi Ban House is a 4,350-square-foot renovation and expansion project that takes inspiration from the surrounding landscape, including the texture and look of boulders, bark, and leaves. “Enlarging an existing home that has an already strong and complete architectural character can be challenging,” wrote the architects. “Here, we anchor the existing one-story home with a new two-story independent volume, using it both as punctuation mark and counterpoint to the existing composition. We clad the addition in traditional Japanese Shou Sugi Ban burnt cedar siding both to anchor home with site and to create the visual weight necessary to anchor the existing exuberantly-roofed horizontal building.” Related: Stunning Lake Michigan home is built from dying ash reclaimed onsite In contrast to the extension’s dark facade, the airy interior features whitewashed walls with natural textures applied throughout. A family room occupies the lower level while a bedroom is placed upstairs. Views of the outdoors are framed through large full-height glazing making it feel as if the interior is open to the outdoors. A particularly beautiful feature of the new extension is the minimalist floating staircase made of painted-steel and cantilevered walnut treads that the architects liken to leaves growing on a branch. + Schwartz and Architecture Images via Matthew Millman

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Floating sauna with charred timber cladding boasts minimal site impact

October 27, 2017 by  
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When Milan-based Small Architecture Workshop was asked to design a tiny sauna for a bed and breakfast in Åmot, Sweden, they wanted to do so with minimal environmental impact. The result of their efforts is this dreamy floating sauna on a lake wrapped in blackened timber to blend in with its forested surroundings. The architects built the compact structure in the span of two weeks as the first in a series of new amenities for the nearby bed and breakfast set in the middle of the forest. Located a three-hour drive from Stockholm , the bed and breakfast and accompanying sauna are an idyllic nature retreat for city dwellers. To minimize site impact , Small Architecture Workshop built the sauna on an existing wooden pier that they fixed up, thus avoiding digging and damaging the shoreline. The traditional Japanese technique of Yakisugi—more popularly known as Shou Sugi Ban—was applied to the sauna’s exterior cladding to make the timber resistant to weather, rot, and bugs. Related: Gigantic golden egg sauna warms up residents of Sweden’s northernmost town In contrast to the dark facade, the sauna is lined with light-colored alder wood. Visitors access the sauna through a covered space that serves as a dressing room and firewood storage room. Full-height glazing fronts the sauna, which can comfortably accommodate eight, to frame unobstructed views of the lake. + Small Architecture Workshop Via Dezeen Images via Small Architecture Workshop

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Stunning Lake Michigan home is built from dying ash reclaimed onsite

October 2, 2017 by  
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This stunning timber home by the lake sensitively embraces its Midwestern landscape with its design and use of local, reclaimed materials. Designed by Desai Chia Architects in collaboration with Environment Architects (AOR) , the Michigan Lake House boasts stunning lake views and a striking folded roof. The site-sensitive home features a native plant palette and stormwater management in addition to locally sourced and salvaged materials. Located on a woodland bluff, the 4,800-square-foot Michigan Lake House comprises three offset structures: one for the communal areas, including the living room, kitchen, and covered terrace; and the two others that separately house the master bedroom suite and three children’s bedrooms. A dining area breezeway connects the three structures. The undulating roof takes inspiration from the natural rolling terrain as well as the vernacular architecture of nearby fishing villages. The roof also cantilevers over the south end of the home to provide shade for the lakeside-viewing terrace. Related: Exquisite Shore House is a modernist triumph that embraces nature Shou Sugi Ban timber—charred to protect the wood from rot and pests—clads the exterior to blend the home into the landscape. The use of dark timber continues inside the home but is offset by light-colored ash, which was inhabitat.com/tag/reclaimed-materials reclaimed onsite and milled into custom furnishings, flooring, ceiling panels, and trim work. “The interiors of the house embody the indigenous landscape that once thrived with old growth ash,” wrote the architects. Locally sourced stone was used for the outdoor seating areas, pathways, and steps. + Desai Chia Architects + Environment Architects Images via Desai Chia Architects

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