Former convent in Valencia is reborn as an ornate entertainment hub

October 30, 2018 by  
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In the heart of Valencia, Spain , the old convent of San José has undergone a sensitive transformation that has turned the historic site into a vibrant gathering space for civic events, a food market and a soon-to-be hotel. Barcelona-based interior design practice Francesc Rifé Studio was tapped for the adaptive reuse project and inserted modern updates while preserving the property’s architectural integrity. The renovation project was completed this year under the name of Convent Carmen. Built in the 17th century, the church has been modified into the main access point for the site and been remade into a multifunctional venue and “21st-century sculpture.” Metal framework was installed to give the space a contemporary edge and to house all new light fixtures and other elements in order to leave the original church walls untouched. New audiovisual technical elements, for instance, including an adjustable color lighting system with RGB, was fitted into the structure. The designers also took cues from the church’s layout and emphasized the dome with three metal circles, from which a sculptural light fixture hangs. “Through this element was intended to develop an obvious past-future connection, and as it happened in the Renaissance the dome takes an essential role,” the architects wrote in the project statement. “This space for the celebration of the religious rite now becomes a privileged place for musicians, lecturers and a multitude of actors, which will make this one of the main participatory focuses of the city. The simplicity of this intervention demonstrates the importance of holding back and making little noise when the context already expresses its memories with force.” Related: Architects convert old Dutch church into a gorgeous library Outside the church, the garden has been redeveloped into a “gastronomic market.”  Shipping containers were repurposed into small-scale restaurants offering different types of cuisines, from fried Andalusian to Japanese sushi, all coordinated by Michelin-star chef Miguel Ángel Mayor. The casual setting, illuminated by fairy lights, features shared and varied seating options built mainly of tubular metal and phenolic surface boards dyed black. The addition of palms and other trees give the outdoor space an oasis-like feel. + Francesc Rifé Studio Photography by David Zarzoso via Francesc Rifé Studio

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Former convent in Valencia is reborn as an ornate entertainment hub

An energy-efficient modern church references Utahs mining history

October 11, 2018 by  
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Salt Lake City-based design practice Sparano + Mooney Architecture  designed a church for West Valley City, Utah that’s strikingly modern yet sensitive to the existing site context. Located near Bingham Canyon Copper Mine, the world’s deepest open pit mine and a major employer in the area, the church pays homage to the working class community’s mining and construction past with its material palette. The award-winning, LEED Silver-targeted church — named Saint Joseph the Worker Church after the patron saint of laborers — was completed on a budget of $4.5 million and spans 23,000 square feet. In order to comfortably seat 800 people within a reasonably close distance to the altar, Sparano + Mooney Architecture designed Saint Joseph the Worker Church in a circular form with rounded and thick board-formed concrete walls. In addition to the new 800-seat church, the 10-acre site also includes an administrative building with offices and meeting rooms, indoor and outdoor community gathering and fellowship spaces, a large walled courtyard centered on a water feature and ample landscaping. After the architects salvaged parts of the original, now-demolished church that was built in 1965, they added new elements of steel, copper and handcrafted timber to reference the area’s mining and construction past. “Drawing from this lineage, a palette of materials was selected that express the transformation of the raw material by the worker, revealing the craft and method of construction,” the architects explained. Related: Historic Australian church transformed into a stunning family home for five “These materials include textural walls of board-formed concrete, constructed in the traditional method of stacking rough sawn lumber; a rainscreen of clear milled cedar; vertical grain fir boards and timbers used to create the altar reredos and interior of the Day Chapel; flat seam copper panels form the cladding for the Day Chapel and skylight structure over the altar; and glazing components requiring a highly crafted assembly of laminated glazing with color inter-layers, acid etched glazing, and clear glass insulated units with mullion-less corners,” the firm said. “The design harkens back to the mining history of the early parish, and details ordinary materials to become extraordinary.” + Sparano + Mooney Architecture Images by Dana Sohm, Jeremy Bittermann and Sparano + Mooney Architecture

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An energy-efficient modern church references Utahs mining history

Heritage-listed church repurposed into modern solar-powered home in Brisbane

January 16, 2018 by  
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Brisbane-based architecture studio DAHA merged old and new with the Church House, an eye-catching modern home and adaptive reuse project. The unusual combination attaches a sleek structure of concrete, steel, and glass to a brick church, known as the Church of Figuration that was built in 1924. While the church’s position wasn’t moved, the architects carefully positioned the new-build based on climatic site conditions and to optimize passive heating and cooling and conditions for a photovoltaic solar array and water harvesting. The Church of Figuration was originally purchased as part of a $2.4million AUD hillside property in Norman Park, the sale came with the condition that the heritage-listed Church of Transfiguration be preserved . Thus, the architects kept the church as the property’s focal point by retaining sight lines: the heritage building is flanked by a tennis court on one side and a manicured lawn and landscape on the other. The elevated site provides sweeping views of the neighborhood. Related: Old converted church hides gorgeous modern interiors in London “The Church House extension is a sympathetic adaptation of an existing heritage church into a unique family home,” wrote the architects, who connected the church and extension with a dark zinc tunnel. “The extension responds to the grand scale and form of the existing church through robust materiality and formal gestures, creating balance between the old and the new.” Although the church’s facade has been kept intact, the interior character was changed to serve as the family’s entertainment room with a mezzanine-level home office. The extension houses three bedrooms and bathrooms. Interior designer Georgia Cannon carried out the minimalist aesthetic of cool-toned concrete, dark timber, steel, and glass. + DAHA Via ArchDaily Photos © Cathy Schusler

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Heritage-listed church repurposed into modern solar-powered home in Brisbane

Stunning chapel in Japan brings a fractal forest indoors

December 13, 2017 by  
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Not all chapels need stained glass windows and soaring archways to take your breath away. This Japanese timber chapel in Nagasaki injects a stunning fractal-like forest indoors for an instant wow factor. Yu Momoeda Architecture Office designed the minimalist chapel with floor-to-ceiling windows to take in sweeping views of the surrounding views of the national park and sea. The boxy 125-square-meter Agri Chapel is a modern interpretation of Oura-Tenshudo, Japan’s oldest timber gothic chapel and national treasure that’s also located in Nagasaki. In contrast to its 19th century predecessor, the new-build chapel is a modernist temple of glass and steel. Seven-meter-tall windows on all sides of the building frame different views of the landscape including the sea, park, mountains, and hills. Related: Mexico’s gorgeous Sunset Chapel looks like a gigantic boulder The tree-like wooden units inserted into the interior are made up of three layers with varying thickness of cedar . Steel rods provide horizontal support. The timber installation’s fractal pattern is based off of 45-degree rotations. Simple wooden furnishings complement the vertical timber supports in the otherwise all-white building. + Yu Momoeda Architecture Office Via ArchDaily

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Stunning chapel in Japan brings a fractal forest indoors

Believed tomb of Jesus Christ is far older than previously thought

December 7, 2017 by  
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Scientists have discovered that the tomb in which Jesus Christ is believed to have been buried after his crucifixion is significantly older than previously known. According to results given to National Geographic , archaeologists tested a sample of mortar taken from a limestone tomb beneath the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and found the cave dates back 345 CE. Previous evidence had indicated that the cave, the oldest architectural structure on site, was built during the Crusader period, around 1000 CE. According to historical records, the tomb is thought to have been rediscovered, after a period of obscurity, by the Romans in 326 CE. This rediscovery occurred during the reign of Constantine, the Roman leader who converted the Empire to Christianity. The recent discovery was made possible by the tomb’s opening on October 26, 2016. Within the tomb, scientists were surprised to discover an older, fractured marble slab, which rested on the original limestone surface of the “burial bed,” where it is believed that Jesus’s body was placed. Some researchers suspected that this older marble may have been placed during the Crusader Period, while others believed that the slab may have been even older. Upon further testing, it was determined that the slab dated back to Constantine-era Jerusalem. In order to determine the tomb’s age, scientists analyzed chemicals found within the slab to determine how long it is has been since they were last exposed to light. It was also discovered that a significant portion of the tomb remains sealed off. Related: Pope Francis Officially Endorses Evolution and The Big Bang Theory The Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the caves below it have undergone great changes over the millennia. Following the discovery and reconstruction of the tomb in the 4th century, the Church was completely destroyed in 1099, then subsequently rebuilt. This destruction led scientists to question whether the site could ever be conclusively identified as the location, as determined by the Constantine-era Romans, of Christ’s tomb. While there is no archaeological evidence to suggest that the historical Jesus of Nazareth was buried in the tomb, the recent discoveries help to clarify the complex history surrounding Christianity’s holiest shrine. Via National Geographic Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Believed tomb of Jesus Christ is far older than previously thought

IBUKU unveils modular bamboo homes for garbage collectors in Bali

December 7, 2017 by  
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Bali-based IBUKU explores the fantastic potential of bamboo as a sustainable building material – and we’ve featured several of their beautiful buildings in the past. The team’s most recent undertaking is a series of modular bamboo homes for garbage collectors in Denpasar, the capital of Bali and the main gateway to the island. IBUKU was commissioned to develop healthy, well organized homes that would provide a means for social transformation. The project is designed for people who earn their livelihood by collecting and selling recyclable waste . Related: Ibuku founder Elora Hardy on creating incredible buildings with bamboo The project comprises 14 housing units of 193 square feet, and it also includes bathrooms, storage, kitchens and common areas to meet the needs of its inhabitants. Each house is modular, with main living spaces on the first floor and a mezzanine sleeping area above. Room for the safe storage of recycled materials was also integrated into the design. Related: Brilliant bamboo house uses ground water for natural cooling The floors and walls are made of bamboo and prevent wind from penetrating the building. Recycled bottles and tetra pack packaging was used for the roofing and insulation . The houses are meant to provide temporary shelter so that their occupants can increase their income and return to their hometowns. + IBUKU Via Archdaily

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IBUKU unveils modular bamboo homes for garbage collectors in Bali

France is the world’s most sustainable food country

December 7, 2017 by  
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Thanks to proactive measures put in place to curb food waste, France now ranks #1 in the world when it comes to food sustainability . In 2016 , the country became the first globally to require supermarkets to donate unsold food to charity, and for restaurants to provide doggy bags when requested, or be subject to fines of up to €75,000 ($82,324) and two years in jail. The  Economist Intelligence Unit graded 34 nations based on food waste, environment-friendly agriculture, and quality nutrition as part of a newly launched Food Sustainability Index . Several other European countries broke the top five, including Germany, Spain, and Sweden, while Japan ranked second. Despite being a highly developed country (high-income countries tend to rank better) the U.S. sits in a much less desirable 21st place, thanks to its over-consumption of meat, sugar, and saturated fats. Poor management of soil and fertilizer in agriculture were additional reasons it was downgraded further. Related: Study finds that cutting food waste could feed one billion hungry people Interestingly, the very wealthy United Arab Emirates ranked last. Food waste in the country is nearly 1,000 kilos (2,205 lbs) per person per annum. The UAE is experiencing an increase in obesity rates and an agriculture sector that is straining water supplies. Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, called the waste “unethical and immoral” in a statement, especially since hundreds of millions of people go hungry each day. According to Reuters , 815 million people are afflicted by global hunger, which is more than one in 10 persons on the planet. Food waste also produces incredible amounts of greenhouse gases in landfills, making it the third largest source of emissions after China and the U.S. As Inhabitat previously reported , over 1.4 billion tons of food is thrown out across the globe each year, which the World Bank estimates to be  between one-quarter and one-third of all food produced . In France alone, 7.1 million tons were being trashed before the 2016 food waste bill was passed. Now it loses just 1.8 percent of its total food production annually, and there are plans to half that figure by 2025. Via Reuters Images via Pixbay

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France is the world’s most sustainable food country

Prefab timber chapel pays homage to Chernobyl disaster victims

February 28, 2017 by  
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A chapel made almost entirely of timber has been completed in Finchley, north London in memory of the victims of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster . Designed by Spheron Architects , the Belarusian Memorial Chapel will serve the estimated 5,000 people in the UK’s Belarusian diaspora community. The chapel was prefabricated offsite from timber to follow Belarus’ wooden church tradition and to reference the mostly rural areas affected by Chernobyl radiation. The 75-square-meter Belarusian Memorial Chapel is the first wooden church built in London since the Great Fire of 1666. Set in a tranquil garden belonging to the Marian House, a community and cultural center for the UK Belarusian community, the church’s natural and unfinished timber facade complements the thirteen statutorily protected trees that surround the building. The chapel was prefabricated off-site with a Douglas Fir structural frame and assembled with pine cross-laminated panels manufactured in Spain. Canadian cedar shingles clad the roof and cupola. The chapel accommodates 40 people at a time within the nave and raised altar in the apse. Related: Copper-clad chapel is a beacon of unity in one of Helsinki’s most multicultural districts Spheron Architects’ Tszwai So spent time in rural Belarus to research the country’s wooden architectural heritage. The final design features a domed spire and timber shingle roof common to Belarus’ traditional churches, but also includes contemporary elements like the undulating timber frill on the church’s exterior sidewalls. Strips of frosted glazing let in natural light but are positioned to limit views. Soft lighting makes the building appear to glow at night. Historic icons set into a timber screen separate the nave from the altar. + Spheron Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Joakim Borén

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Prefab timber chapel pays homage to Chernobyl disaster victims

1,000-year-old UK cathedral is likely world’s oldest cathedral to go solar

October 31, 2016 by  
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A 1000-year-old UK cathedral is joining the solar power revolution. UK solar company Mypower just installed the first panel of around 150 on the roof of Gloucester Cathedral in England earlier this week. When the installation is complete, Mypower says the cathedral will be the oldest in the UK and maybe even the world to have a ” commercial size solar panel system on the roof .” The solar panels will adorn the roof of the cathedral’s South Nave, and due to the building design probably won’t be visible from the ground. They will provide the cathedral with 40 kilowatts of clean energy . In true British fashion, the cathedral said the solar panels would reduce power costs by about a quarter, “enough to make 2,000 cups of tea every day of the year!” Related: Philip Johnson’s Iconic Christ Cathedral to be Renovated With Thousands of Heat-Combatting Metal Petals Installing solar on a cathedral is trickier than placing panels on modern buildings; Mypower Managing Partner Ben Harrison said they’ve had to work around twists and spots where the roof has sagged over time. He said they’ve worked closely with the cathedral’s structural engineers and architect to ensure the work is completed correctly. Harrison said in a statement, “At times it’s been extremely tight in terms of maneuverability around parts of the site, particularly when the work required us to work just inches away from centuries-old gargoyles, but we put strategies and measures in place to protect the building from any damage.” Reverend Canon Celia Thomson was on hand to help install the first panel. The Church of England is running a Shrinking the Footprint campaign, and the solar array will help Gloucester Cathedral work towards the campaign’s goal of slashing carbon emissions ” by 80 percent by 2050 .” King Henry III had his coronation at Gloucester Cathedral, and King Edward II is buried there. The historic building also provided a location for three Harry Potter movies. Via BusinessGreen Images via Wikimedia Commons and Mypower

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1,000-year-old UK cathedral is likely world’s oldest cathedral to go solar

Tom Dixon transforms a 17th-century London church into a chic co-working space

May 27, 2016 by  
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The motivation behind the project began with Baughen’s desire to make the church more available to the daytime residents and creative workforce of Clerkenwell, an area in central London. The temporary intervention also gave Dixon the opportunity to display his new lighting and furniture products against a stunning historic backdrop with soaring ceilings and huge stained glass windows. “As the Church evolves and adapts to the new conditions of the 21st century, the opportunity of opening up to new audiences and unexpected collaborations becomes a necessity,” says Dixon. “For the design audience and the more permanent residents of Clerkenwell, we hope that a contemplative and spiritual space becomes more comfortable and accessible thanks to our small intervention.” Related: Tom Dixon’s dazzling Lens pendant lamps are made from 60 lenses The most eye-catching of Dixon’s pieces are the silver-coated CURVE lights that hang like a chandelier in the church’s main space and offer a sharp contrast with the colorful stained glass windows. The designer’s easily recognizable geometric chairs and tables have been added to an upstairs co-working space , while other furnishings populate the area close to the altar. The chandelier, along with a few other furnishings, has been donated to the church as gifts. + Tom Dixon Via Dezeen Images via Tom Dixon

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