A climate-sensitive concrete home is carefully embedded into hilly terrain

March 22, 2019 by  
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When Medellín-based architecture studio Juan Manuel Peláez Arquitectos (JUMP Arquitectos) visited its client’s property in nearby Colombian town of La Ceja, the team was so impressed with the landscape that they resolved to minimize alterations to the site. To that end, they adapted the built forms to the uneven terrain by splitting the residence — dubbed the C47 House — into three gabled volumes united by two glazed bridges. Built of concrete, the homes take advantage of the material’s thermal mass to absorb heat during the day and release warmth during cool nights. Covering an area of 3,831 square feet, the C47 House consists of three connected buildings. To the north is the single-story garage with service quarters that connects to the central second-story building via a short glass-walled  bridge  and outdoor walkway. This middle building houses the kitchen and dining area on the ground floor as well as two bedrooms on the upper floor. A long glass bridge stretches out to the west and connects with the third building, a single-story volume comprising the living area and lounge. Each building is strategically laid out to minimize site impact. “The natural slope and ditches where the water runs in the rainy season were the morphological characteristics that would not be modified, on the contrary, it made us think that the spatial scheme of the house should be from three volumes connected by bridges so the terrain would remain the same,” the architects explained. “Once this path was found, we did several explorations to work the architectural program according to the volumetric fragmentation. For the inhabitants of the house, this idea of having spaces connected by bridges, but at the same time totally independent, they found it very interesting, above all, to change the relationship with the landscape and space in very short distances.” Related: Rammed earth ties a contemporary home to the rocky New Zealand landscape The positioning of the homes were also informed by the region’s climatic conditions, particularly how cold the temperatures in the area turn at night. The concrete walls help harness solar gain during the day, which is then dissipated as passive heating at night. Large windows flood the interiors with natural light and are carefully placed to frame select views of the neighboring hills and nearby forest. + JUMP Arquitectos Via ArchDaily Images via JUMP Arquitectos

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A climate-sensitive concrete home is carefully embedded into hilly terrain

Solar protective glass gives the iceberg-like Hercule home a mirrored finish

January 31, 2019 by  
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Modern, monolithic and minimalist , Hercule is a single-family home designed like an iceberg — the bulk of the building is hidden while the visible portion emerges out of the ground like the tip of an iceberg. Named after local hero John “Hercule” Gruen for its “robust strength,” the house located in Mondorf-les-bains in the south of Luxembourg is the recently completed work of local architecture practice 2001 . Embedded into the sloped terrain, the concrete dwelling further immerses itself into the landscape with a massive wall of solar reflective glass that mirrors the surroundings. Located on residual land between an old farmhouse and a suburban villa, the project site had a sloped terrain that the architects decided to turn into a design attribute rather than an obstacle. The natural context determined the layout of the home’s three floors, which step down the slope from west to east. Covering a built footprint of 446 square meters, the home appears deceptively compact from street level because of the spacious basement level. The main living spaces as well as the technical rooms are all located on the basement floor, which includes a two-car garage, a fitness and spa area, a wine cellar, storage and the open-plan living room, kitchen and dining area that open up to an enclosed outdoor courtyard through full-height glazed sliding doors. The dimensions of the open-plan living area — measuring 14 by 6 meters — is repeated on the two floors above ground that house the bedrooms and bathrooms. Related: Mirrored pavilion all but disappears into nature Minimalism is stressed throughout the design, with the main structural elements visible and enhanced through formwork and sanding.  Solar protective glass clads the east and west facades, which are oriented toward the street and the garden. To the south, a blind béton brut wall serves as a beam for the upper two floors to ensure a column-free living area below, while the north side is punctuated with garden-facing openings. + 2001 Photography by Maxime Delvaux via 2001

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Solar protective glass gives the iceberg-like Hercule home a mirrored finish

Tiny homes made of concrete pipes could be the next big thing in micro housing

January 10, 2018 by  
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The micro-housing trend has really taken off over the last decade, and a new age of tiny urban homes is now upon us. Created by James Law Cybertecture , the Opod Tube House is made from a repurposed concrete pipe and designed as an affordable home for young people who struggle with housing costs in the world’s major cities. Unveiled recently in Hong Kong, the tiny tube houses are created out of repurposed concrete water pipes that measure a little over eight feet in diameter. The tubes are designed to accommodate one or two people and come with approximately 1000 square feet of living space. The interiors are equipped with the standard amenities, including a living room with a bench that converts into a bed, a mini-fridge, a bathroom, a shower and plenty of storage space for clothes and personal items. Related: Totally Tubular TubeHotel In Mexico Offers Up Accommodations In Recycled Concrete Pipes According to the architect behind the design, James Law, the inspiration behind the tiny tube homes is practical, both for young people looking for homes as well as city governments trying to provide affordable options. Although the structures are far from being lightweight at 22 tons apiece, they require little in terms of installation and can be easily secured to one another, which reduces installation costs. The tubes are easily stacked and can be installed in any small unused spaces commonly found in cities. The architect envisions entire tube communities installed in alleyways, under bridges, etc. Law explained in an interview with Curbed , that the concept is feasible for any urban environment , “Sometimes there’s some land left over between buildings which are rather narrow so it’s not easy to build a new building. We could put some OPods in there and utilize that land.” + Opod Tube Housing + James Law Cybertecture Via Apartment Therapy Images via Opod Tube Housing Facebook

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Abandoned sugar refinery transformed into gorgeous hotel in the mountains of China

December 13, 2017 by  
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Beijing-based Vector Architects recently transformed an abandoned sugar mill located deep in the mountainous region of Guangxi into the stunning Alila Yangshuo hotel . The architects retained and repurposed much of the sprawling 1960s complex. The old sugar refinery was built in a remote area tucked into the mountainous Guangxi region, but had been abandoned for years. The original complex was comprised of a cluster of buildings that ran alongside an elongated truss used for loading sugar cane onto boats. From the onset of the project, the architects wanted to retain as much of the sugar mill’s original character as possible by repurposing the existing structures and adding new buildings that would enhance the existing industrial architecture. Related: Renovated Sugar Refinery to Provide Sweet New Homes in Brooklyn To create a contemporary addition to the former industrial complex, the architects added gabled masonry structures to the original buildings, strategically blending the old with the new. The main building now houses the hotel’s reception, a cafe, a bar, a multi-use hall, a gallery and a library. At the heart of the new hotel is a beautiful reflecting pond and sunken plaza that was formerly the sugar mill’s loading area. A series of new blocks with gabled roofs were built around the mill to create the guest rooms. Throughout the design, hollow concrete blocks and board-clad concrete with perforated surfaces pay homage to the original construction. “In order to create a sense of consistency, instead of simply copying the old materiality and texture, we try to seek this nuance where we use more contemporary materials and construction methods while retaining the tinge and masonry structure of the old.” explained the architects. “We kept the profile of the new buildings as simple as possible to avoid unnecessary distraction to the old sugar mill caused by overly expressive geometry.” People come to the region to enjoy the spectacular scenery, so the layout of the guest rooms is focused on communing with nature. A large building called the Sugar House Retreat features luxury rooms with private balconies that offer stunning views of the mountains. The Garden Townhouse has suites that face the ponds or ground floor suites that look over a serene bamboo garden. The hotel’s social spaces and guest rooms were designed by Ju Bin of Horizontal Space Design to further connect the new space with its industrial roots. Surrounding the guest rooms and winding through the complex is a series of paths that were designed to be open-air lobbies – either for private reflection or socializing. The woodsy spaces were inspired by the caves that are found in the surrounding mountain range. + Vector Architects Via Dezeen Images via Alila Yangshuo Hotel

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Abandoned sugar refinery transformed into gorgeous hotel in the mountains of China

Striking green-roofed house cantilevers over a cliff in Japan

November 30, 2017 by  
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This striking concrete house extends from a cliff above a river in Japan , providing spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. The two-floor green-roofed structure, designed by architecture firm Planet Creations , establishes a delicate balance between rugged and warm materials, with raw wood contrasting against stark concrete walls. The villa is located in Tenkawa village, and it cantilevers over the Tenokawa River, 56 feet below. It’s built into flat bedrock, and the layout is split along the length of the structure. A bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom occupy one side, while the master bedroom, living room and deck area occupy the other. Related: Organic Japanese Shell Residence Wraps Around a Centenarian Fir Tree The steep slope dictated the design of the house and constrained the flatland space to only 64 square feet – enough to accommodate two cars and not much else. In order to ensure structural stability, the architect decided to “submerge the building near the rock so as to melt into this surrounding environment.” + Planet Creations Via Ignant Photos by Masato Sekiya

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Striking green-roofed house cantilevers over a cliff in Japan

Trees grow on every balcony of this Hanoi university building

October 20, 2017 by  
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This university building in Hanoi weaves Vietnam’s tropical landscape into its checkerboard facade, with trees growing on every balcony. Designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects , the recently completed FPT University administrative building is the first phase in a greater masterplan to convert the campus into a “globally competition environmentally conscious university.” The university is part of Vietnam’s largest technology park, the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park, on the outskirts of Hanoi. Completed early this year, the administrative building serves as a campus gateway and will welcome students, staff, and visitors with its tree -integrated envelope. “The building acts as a gateway to the campus and the green facade clearly dictates the future direction of the campus,” wrote the architects. The nature-infused project is characteristic of the architecture firm’s world-renowned style for bringing plants into buildings. Related: Giant bamboo planters protect a Ho Chi Minh City home from the sun and rain Built of concrete , the asymmetric building is clad in prefabricated facade modules to cut down on waste and construction time. Building orientation and large windows optimize the flow of natural ventilation and daylight into the building, while trees on the balconies minimize solar gain. Accessible green roofs top the structure. + Vo Trong Nghia Architects Via Dezeen Images via Vo Trong Nghia Architects , by Hoang Le

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Trees grow on every balcony of this Hanoi university building

Earthquake-resistant Torre Reforma skyscraper is a beacon of sustainability in Mexico City

July 22, 2016 by  
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Arup collaborated with L. Benjamin Romano Arquitects (LBRA) to design Torre Reforma’s eye-catching triangular form that rises as the second tallest building in the city. The striking appearance was achieved with pre-tensioned double-V hangers that support the glazed facade. Concrete poured in 70-centimeter increments show off striations and variations in color. To make the most of Torre Reforma’s stunning panoramic views , the architects created a column-free interior with soaring ceiling heights. The egress stairways and 35 elevators—Torre Reforma is the building with the most elevators in Latin America—are located in the corner, or “apex,” of the triangular plan. “Because Torre Reforma is triangular in plan, the building has an inherent tendency to twist when subjected to lateral loads and wind, not to mention earthquake forces,” says a press release. “Arup applied a comprehensive time-history analysis to establish the performance of the structure under extreme seismic conditions and engineered a solution that is both locally appropriate and consistent with international best-practice designs for tall buildings.” Related: Green-roofed LEED Platinum CENTRO University offers an idyllic study oasis in Mexico City Torre Reforma is expected to attain LEED Platinum Core and Shell certification. The building boasts rainwater collection as well as a graywater and blackwater recycling systems. Automated and passive ventilation moderate interior temperatures, while concrete walls shield the interior from unwanted solar gain. + Arup + L. Benjamin Romano Arquitects Images © Torre Reforma

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Earthquake-resistant Torre Reforma skyscraper is a beacon of sustainability in Mexico City

Sophus Søbye Arkitekter’s parkside meetings spot in Copenhagen changes with the seasons

September 22, 2015 by  
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Japan’s Eco Thon Chapel is a giant instrument that plays when the wind blows

February 6, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Japan’s Eco Thon Chapel is a giant instrument that plays when the wind blows Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: artificial pond , chapel , concrete architecture , Eco Thon Chapel , glass facade , Japan , Japanese architects , Ryuichi Ashizawa , zigzagging facade

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Japan’s Eco Thon Chapel is a giant instrument that plays when the wind blows

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