Modern aluminum addition blends seamlessly in with 19th century rowhouses

July 17, 2017 by  
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It’s never easy to blend new buildings into traditional neighborhoods, but Toronto-based Aleph-Bau , has skillfully managed to fit a wonderfully modern aluminum-clad home – called Twelve Tacoma – into a section of 19th century rowhouses in Toronto without encroaching on the historic neighborhood’s charming character. From the outside, Twelve Tacoma’s sophisticated white paint and corrugated aluminum cladding certainly stands out from the colorful brick rowhouses, but its subtle design and neutral tones manage to quietly blend into it surroundings. Additionally, certain details such as the simple front railing and plexiglass door awning – although more contemporary – mimic its neighbors in a respectful nod to the area’s vernacular. Related: Swedish architect surprises mum with dazzling corrugated aluminum home The upper floor of the home is the only section visible from the front of the rowhouses , but the home’s beautiful design is best seen from the back. To squeeze the contemporary addition into the established architecture, the architects used a steel structure to create the frame of the house in between the existing wooden parameters. The finished product is a series of stacked volumes that create a very modern and open home. According to Delnaz Yekrangian, Aleph-Bau’s director, the home design relied on a number of elements to blend it into its natural and manmade surroundings, “Architectural elements disappear in favor of the atmosphere – one that is an amplified reflection of the outside; light, the sky, the clouds, the neighbors’ tree, the sound of rainfall and the shabby structures in the laneway are inside now.” On the inside, the home is open and airy, with a minimalist interior design scheme. Modular sliding storage units are found throughout the home in order to avoid clutter.  Numerous floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors on every level allow for optimal natural light, also adding a sense of transparency to the home. Further connecting the home to its surroundings is the large rooftop terrace , which, thanks to its many asymmetrical shapes, provides a fun and private space for the homeowners. + Aleph Bau Photography by Tom Arban  

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Modern aluminum addition blends seamlessly in with 19th century rowhouses

Worlds tallest skyscraper design hangs off an orbiting asteroid

March 24, 2017 by  
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What if your daily commute involved parachuting down to earth rather than being stuck in vehicular traffic? That’s the vision in Clouds Architecture Office’s incredible proposal for a skyscraper suspended off an orbiting asteroid. The design, called Analemma, would be powered by space-based solar panels and capture water in a semi-closed loop system that draws from the moisture in clouds and rainwater. While some may write off Analemma as an early April Fools’ Day joke, we think the unusual design is a fun and unconventional thought experiment worth exploring, if only to get our creative juices flowing. The conceptual design begins with the placement of a large orbiting asteroid set on a figure-eight geosynchronous path that moves between the north and southern hemispheres on a predictable daily loop. The skyscraper , suspended from the asteroid via a high-strength cable, would allow residents to parachute down to work when the orbit slows down and gets closest to midtown Manhattan. The proposed building is split into four main areas: business activities at the lower end of the tower, sleeping quarters placed approximately two-thirds of the way up, prayer rooms at the very top of the building, and surface transfer points at the bottom. The tower would be prefabricated in Dubai —which the architects say is “a specialist in tall building construction at one-fifth the cost of New York City construction”—and the modules transported and assembled above earth. Related: This 3D-printed space igloo just won NASA’s Mars habitat competition “Analemma Tower is a proposal for the world’s tallest building ever,” writes CAO. “Harnessing the power of planetary design thinking, it taps into the desire for extreme height, seclusion and constant mobility. If the recent boom in residential towers proves that sales price per square foot rises with floor elevation, then Analemma Tower will command record prices, justifying its high cost of construction.” + Clouds Architecture Office Via Dezeen Images via Clouds Architecture Office

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Worlds tallest skyscraper design hangs off an orbiting asteroid

This timber kindergarten is embedded into the hills of small Northern Italian village

January 5, 2017 by  
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Austrian architects feld72 to have unveiled a stunning timber-clad kindergarten building located in the small village of Valdaora di Sotto in South Tyrol. The contemporary structure’s subtle presence is encased by a solid wall and tucked into the hilly landscape, blending in respectfully with the more traditional buildings in the village According to the architects’, the building’s design was inspired to be “an embracing gesture between tradition and modernity”. Although contemporary in nature, the design of the 950-square-meter building manages to be a quiet addition to the adjacent historic parish church and elementary school, in no way overshadowing the village’s existing architecture . Related: Playful nursery in Japan invites children to frolic among the clouds The kindergarten’s design and layout is characterized by its natural boundaries. The elongated and asymmetrical volume follows the uneven terrain, strategically using the space to its advantage. The existing landscape this way enables the architects to give the children optimal outdoor space with a protective barrier. The open green courtyard is enclosed with a tall circumferential fence that provides both privacy and security. On the interior, large windows provide optimal natural light into the inside play areas. Stone masonry and wooden accents were used to bring a soothing modest atmosphere and the rooms were equipped with partition furniture and walls to give flexibility to the space. The assembly room and multi-function rooms can be adapted as one large space or separated to be used as individual functions. + feld72 Via Platforma Arquitectura Photography by Hertha Hurnaus

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This timber kindergarten is embedded into the hills of small Northern Italian village

Contemporary library melds into the landscape thanks to locally-sourced materials

December 28, 2016 by  
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There are few things as joyous as curling up with a good book while snow lightly falls outside the window. Local bibliophiles in Canada’s La Malbaie region can now get cozy and enjoy the city’s picturesque snowy landscape from the sophisticated Laure Conan Library and City Hall, built by Bisson Associés and ACDF Architecture using locally-sourced materials . Located on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, the La Malbaie region was one of Canada’s first resort towns. According to the architects, the contemporary design of the library pays homage to role the stunning landscape has played in the area’s history, “The project’s main narrative focuses on the value of the site’s historic landscape as it symbolizes the reconciliation between the present city, and the historical landscape closely linked to the St. Lawrence River.” To further pay respects to the local community, the architects chose to implement a strong eco-conscious focus from the start, concentrating on creating a compact and energy efficient design as well as using locally-sourced materials and resources. Related: Spectacular library in Chile built with locally-sourced wood from earthquake-stricken town The library, which was built on the dramatic slope leading to the river, stands out visiually for its contrasting exterior of wood, stone and glass. Dark timber siding from Quebec was used to clad the exterior, including the cantilevered library space, which sits on top of a concrete volume housing the City Hall. The extended form provides a covered outdoor space underneath, which is used as event space as well as a rest area for cyclists and pedestrians exploring the river’s walking and biking trails. + Bisson Associés + ACDF Architecture Via Architizer

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Contemporary library melds into the landscape thanks to locally-sourced materials

World’s tallest and longest glass bridge closes after only 13 days

September 6, 2016 by  
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The hype surrounding the world’s tallest and longest glass bridge was was intense when it opened on August 20. Located in China , the record-breaking Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge is 984 feet high and 1,410 feet long. But only 13 days after opening, the bridge has closed due to “the volume of visitors” – and there’s no word on when it might open again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFoWV8malws A spokesperson told CNN , “We’re overwhelmed by the volume of visitors.” Around 800 people can be on the bridge at once, and 8,000 can visit a day, but according to the spokesperson, 80,000 people had tried to visit the glass bridge every day. The spokesperson said there were no “accidents,” and that “there was no problem” when asked about the glass breaking or cracking. According to a statement on the management’s Weibo account, the government decided to close the bridge because of the “urgency to improve and update.” Related: World’s highest and longest glass bridge in China whacked with a sledgehammer Designed by Haim Dotan , the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge is part of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. The bridge is comprised of a steel frame with glass panels that offer dizzying views of the ground below. When it opened, Dotan referred to the bridge as the “Bridge of Courageous Hearts.” He said , “The Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge was designed to be as invisible as possible – a white bridge disappearing into the clouds. As the designer of this bridge located in an incredible and magical national park, I believe in nature, harmony, balance, and beauty. Nature is beautiful as is. One wants to make the least impact upon it.” There were plans for the bridge to include three swings and a bungee jump. In addition to being a destination for tourists and thrill-seekers, there was talk of the bridge serving as a runway for fashion shows. Via CNN and Dezeen

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World’s tallest and longest glass bridge closes after only 13 days

Climate change is pushing Earth’s clouds higher and towards the poles

July 13, 2016 by  
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A new study published in Nature warns that climate change is pushing Earth’s clouds higher and towards the poles. Why do these cloud patterns matter? For starters, there isn’t much solar radiation near the poles, so the clouds won’t reflect as much heat back into the atmosphere. Also, when cloud tops are higher they act similar to greenhouse gases, trapping radiation on Earth. These patterns only serve to bolster climate change . As scientists work to understand how climate change will affect our planet, one of the biggest uncertainties has been how warming will impact clouds . In the past, it was hard to obtain reliable observations; satellites gathering data typically weren’t designed to collect long-term records. Scientists at institutions in California and Colorado scrutinized ” corrected satellite records ” from as far back as the 1980’s. They found cloud patterns similar to those described by climate change simulations. These patterns predict that some clouds will move towards the poles, and some cloud tops will stretch higher into the sky. The scientists tried to account for natural variations by looking at models that incorporated elements like volcanic eruptions and increasing greenhouse gases, and models that didn’t incorporate those elements. Study lead author Joel Norris of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said , “The pattern of cloud change we see is the pattern associated with global warming.” Related: World’s largest fog harvester produces water from thin air in the Moroccan desert The study doesn’t provide all the answers we need; it doesn’t look at low subtropic clouds, which some scientists speculate will be more important, and the cloud shift patterns could be due to erupting volcanoes in addition to greenhouse gas emissions. However, the study is another step on our path towards understanding how climate change will impact Earth. Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology director Bjorn Stevens said, “This study reminds us how poorly prepared we are for detecting signals that might portend more extreme (both large and small) climate changes than are presently anticipated.” + Nature Via The Guardian Images via PublicDomainPictures.net and Wikimedia Commons

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Climate change is pushing Earth’s clouds higher and towards the poles

Sprawling green roof keeps Sag Harbor home cool in summer

May 23, 2016 by  
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The 5,000-square-foot residence includes four bedrooms, TV den, home office and a screened porch. The first floor houses an open-plan living space while a two story, glass curtain wall and bridge connect the bedrooms on the second floor. Sliding panels of the floor-to-ceiling glass wall that open up onto a wooden deck integrate indoor and outdoor spaces. Related: Aviator’s Villa Built From Salvaged Airplane Parts Simulates Life in the Clouds The second floor roof deck features a green…

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Sprawling green roof keeps Sag Harbor home cool in summer

Eerie cityscape floating in the clouds above China captured on video

October 20, 2015 by  
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Onlookers in the city of Fochan, in China’s Guangdong province, witnessed a bizarre sight last week when an eerie cityscape appeared to be floating among the clouds right above everyone’s heads. The strange vision reportedly lasted only a few moments before vanishing, but not before a video was captured. Potential explanations of the sight are ranging from the scientific to the downright bizarre. Read the rest of Eerie cityscape floating in the clouds above China captured on video

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Eerie cityscape floating in the clouds above China captured on video

Playful nursery in Japan invites children to frolic among the clouds

October 13, 2015 by  
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U.S. dentist will not be prosecuted in Zimbabwe for killing Cecil the lion

October 13, 2015 by  
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A month after returning to work at his Minnesota dental practice, big game hunter Walter Palmer is likely breathing a sigh of relief as officials in Zimbabwe have decided not to prosecute him for killing Cecil, the beloved lion, earlier this summer. Others involved in the slaying have been charged – an indication that government authorities believe some wrong-doing did occur. Read the rest of U.S. dentist will not be prosecuted in Zimbabwe for killing Cecil the lion

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