Timber-clad modern home in New York takes a sensitive approach to the landscape

September 11, 2018 by  
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When an experimental modern dance choreographer tapped Anik Pearson Architects to design and build a legacy family compound in Upstate New York , the New York City-based firm took to the challenge by not only finding an appropriate site, but also designing the master plan, which includes the recently completed main house. Clad in timber and set on a steep slope, the spacious abode prioritizes low-maintenance care, sensitivity to the environment and energy-efficient design. In addition to the use of naturally resilient materials, the Hammersley Ridge Overlook, or House in Wingdale, uses a ventilated facade system to effectively seal the building envelope against water and air while maintaining an indoor-outdoor connection. When Anik Pearson was tasked with finding the site, she was bound by the requirements that the property be easily accessible from New York City via public transit and within easy reach of hiking trails. The answer came in a 68-acre lot in Upstate New York near the Appalachian Trail and the Hammersley Hill Nature Conservancy. The master plan, created in collaboration with a landscape architect, called for various site infrastructural improvements as well as a large family compound — including a main house, a guesthouse, a caretaker’s house and a dance studio — that would be completed in phases over the course of a few decades. Built for multi-generational use, the House in Wingdale is defined on one side by a three-story external ramp that connects the ground floor with the sleeping porches and a green rooftop terrace. The house is built from a combination of timbers with traditional materials that include whitewashed board paneling, white cedar , walnut and oak, as well as copper, granite and glazed encaustic tile. In contrast to the muted facade, the light-filled interiors feature bright pops of color inspired by the owner’s bright dinnerware. Large windows and a screened-in porch help bring the outdoors in. Related: Curvaceous Ex of In House is a solar-powered guest residence aligned with the natural world “The main house is designed to promote a connection to the land and to the outdoors through an external ramp linking balconies, porches and a terraced green roof ,” reads the project statement. “Sensitivity to the site is observed through water conservation, absorption and recapturing. On the structures, emphasis is given to energy efficiency and ease of maintenance through naturally resilient materials and assemblies.” + Anik Pearson Architects Images via Anik Pearson Architects

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Timber-clad modern home in New York takes a sensitive approach to the landscape

The Jackson House floats at the base of a canyon in Big Sur

May 9, 2018 by  
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This beautiful home located at the base of a canyon in Big Sur is made from an array of materials, including copper and concrete. Fougeron Architecture designed the Jackson House as a modern holiday house on stilts that appears to float over the site. The house was designed as a place where the inhabitants can enjoy their weekends and reconnect with nature. Fougeron Architecture worked for three and a half years with several consultants to build the modern family retreat . Related: Gorgeous staggered timber home offers panoramic views of Idaho’s wilderness The main design challenge was to create a building that would blend into the steep canyon walls, while resting gently on the land so as not to disturb the fragile environment. The home is composed of four main volumes nestled under an over-sized butterfly roof that extends out to create covered terraces . The retreat balances the relationship between communal living and privacy. + Fougeron Architecture Via Uncrate Photos by Richard Barnes

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The Jackson House floats at the base of a canyon in Big Sur

Copper-clad Copenhagen landmark boasts Denmarks most energy-efficient laboratories

January 19, 2018 by  
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Copenhagen’s recently completed Maersk Tower boasts the nation’s most energy-efficient laboratories, where waste energy is captured and reused. Designed by C.F. Møller Architects , this new city landmark is a pioneer within energy-efficient laboratory construction and boasts a variety of sustainable design elements from an innovative facade with movable climate shields to multiple green roofs. The copper-clad building was created as an extension of Panum, the University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. Seven years in the making, the 42,700-square-meter Maersk Tower sports a triangular and organic form clad in glass and copper-covered shutters that reference the city’s many copper church steeples. The vertical massing also leaves space for a new publicly accessible campus park with a zigzagging ‘floating path’ providing pedestrian and cyclist access to different parts of campus. Laboratories make up over half of the building, which also houses offices, shared facilities, an 18,000-square-meter foyer, canteen, auditoriums, and classrooms. “To create architecture for world-class health research, it is important to design a venue with many opportunities to meet—both across different professional groups and across the public domain and the research community,” wrote the architects. “This will help to disseminate the research activities, leading to knowledge sharing and inspiration for new and groundbreaking research.” To that end, all the shared facilities are grouped together in the low base on which Maersk Tower sits. An open atrium with a continuous spiral staircase joins 15 floors and promotes views of the outdoors and visual connectivity indoors. Every floor features an open “Science Plaza” that serves as natural gathering spaces. Related: Solar-powered school will teach children how to grow and cook their own food Natural light and ventilation are optimized throughout the building and views of greenery can be enjoyed from every floor. Copper shutters that adjust as needed provide protection from solar heat gain. Lush green roofs that top the tower and the low base help combat the urban heat island effect . + C.F. Møller Architects Images by Adam Moerk

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Copper-clad Copenhagen landmark boasts Denmarks most energy-efficient laboratories

Wild grasses grow atop an Icelandic homes folded roof

December 12, 2017 by  
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Wild grasses and heather temper the hard lines of this striking modern home in Iceland . Reykjavik-based Studio Granda designed B14, a villa partially built from the recycled remains of the clients’ former dwelling. The undulating landscaped roof appears to mimic the nearby Bláfjöll mountain ridge, while the roofline’s valleys and folds help collect rainwater that tricks down the walls in open copper channels. B14’s unusual fan-like roof takes inspiration from the site’s trapezoidal shape that widens on the south side. The 592-square-meter abode tucks the smaller rooms of the home, including the bedrooms, bathrooms, and laundry room, towards the north beneath sharply pitched roofs. The roof gently ripples out towards the south side where the spacious open-plan dining room, kitchen, and living area overlook the lava field through floor-to-ceiling windows. Related: Red Mountain Retreat captures the essence of the rugged Icelandic landscape In-situ concrete is the main material seen from the outside. In contrast, the interior predominately features rich kampala timber with exposed steel beams, and a host of other luxury surfaces like polished black granite and calacatta marble. A stairway built of sawn basalt and illuminated by a skylight leads down to a small basement workshop and storage space. + Studio Granda

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Wild grasses grow atop an Icelandic homes folded roof

Brazilian federal judge blocks move to destroy huge swath of Amazon forest

September 4, 2017 by  
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Brazilian president Michel Temer recently attempted to open up a national reserve to mining companies, but a federal judge put a stop to that plan. The National Reserve of Copper and Associates, or Renca, is a 17,760-square-mile area of the Amazon forest that’s been protected since 1984, and Temer’s move was met with outcry from activists. But with the decision of judge Rolando Valcir Spanholo, the president’s bid won’t move forward – at least for now. Campaigners and activists criticized Temer’s recent endeavor to dissolve the national reserve; one opposition lawmaker said it was the “biggest attack on the Amazon of the last 50 years.” Now a federal judge approved an injunction requested by public prosecutors. Spanholo says Temer went beyond his authority when he issued the decree to abolish the protected area. He said only the country’s Congress can dissolve Renca. Related: Colombian town turns down $35B gold mine – prefers a clean environment Renca is thought to possess gold, manganese, copper, nickel, tantalum, and iron ore – and The Guardian said the judge’s decision may only offer a temporary respite for the forest. The attorney general appealed the decision. But the injunction could help put pressure on Temer, who has been criticized more than once for prioritizing economic interests above the environment . Temer withdrew his original decree. He then re-issued it including clarification on safeguards for conservation areas and indigenous territory. But environmental activists said the decree would still open up 30 percent of the region to mining companies, and was simply a marketing ploy. The New York Times described Temer as an unpopular leader who has reduced protections for the environment and cut back on the budgets for agencies that fight illegal deforestation and implement environmental laws. He’s also slashed the budget of the agency that guards indigenous communities’ rights. Via The Guardian Images via Rafael Vianna Croffi on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Brazilian federal judge blocks move to destroy huge swath of Amazon forest

1-acre permaculture farm in Australia feeds 50 families

September 4, 2017 by  
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This family in Australia completely shifted the way they source their food – with remarkable success. When wife Nici suffered an illness, the Coopers decided to start growing their own produce at home in Newcastle, and now their one-acre Limestone Permaculture Farm supplies dozens of families with fresh food . They also offer permaculture education and internships, sharing what they’ve learned with the greater community . The Coopers have been farming at Limestone Permaculture Farm for close to a decade. They grow organic produce , and raise sheep, goats, and chickens. They also keep bees and build with recycled materials , and The farm is powered by energy from wood, water, and the sun – pretty much every greenie’s dream come true. TreeHugger said co-owner Brett suggested they can feed 50 families from the one-acre farm . Related: Man leaves rat race to grow dream permaculture farm – and it’s flourishing after 3 years Swales, a chicken tractor, and self-seeding edible ground cover are among the permaculture techniques the Coopers employ at Limestone Permaculture Farm. Brett discovered permaculture over a decade ago. He told the Newcastle Herald , “I was a builder and had done architectural drafting. When I found permaculture, it was less about one form and more about following nature’s design . It blew my mind.” The Coopers offer farm tours, workshops, internships, and a permaculture design certificate at their New South Wales farm. They still have jobs and only work the farm part-time, but are hoping to transition to permaculture farming full-time. “We feel there has been an awakening across our beautiful country, self-reliance is on the rise again; urban and rural homesteading has people taking their food and energy supply back into their own hands,” the Coopers say on their website. “With each passing day we are transitioning to a more wholesome life, creating a more fulfilling and positive future, not just for ourselves but also for our family, friends, and community.” + Limestone Permaculture Farm Via Happen Films and TreeHugger Images via Limestone Permaculture Farm Facebook

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1-acre permaculture farm in Australia feeds 50 families

Copper-clad chapel is a beacon of unity in one of Helsinkis most multicultural districts

January 9, 2017 by  
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In the long, dark, and cold winters of Helsinki , the Suvela Chapel shines bright as a welcoming, multi-faith space for one of the most multicultural districts in the metropolitan region. Located in the Suvela neighborhood of Espoo, where roughly a third of the residents are of foreign descent, the recently completed chapel was designed by architecture firm OOPEAA to serve as a multifunctional center that a diverse community can use together regardless of religious affiliation. The striking building is entirely clad in gleaming copper to emphasize unity; the material was also selected for its durability and recyclability. Commissioned by the Espoo Parish Union, the Suvela Chapel is used jointly by the Espoo Parish Union, the Swedish Parish of Espoo, and the City of Espoo to serve a diverse community. OOPEAA was tasked to create an eye-catching building with a strong identity of its own that would be welcoming to people of varying backgrounds and flexible enough to accommodate a number of activities. “Due to the relatively long, dark, and cold winters, communal indoor spaces play an important role as places for people to gather in Finland,” writes OOPEAA. “Providing schools, libraries and churches as places where people can come together on the common ground of a shared space has deep roots in the cultural tradition of Finland. The Suvela Chapel is part of this tradition.” Related: Stunning Seashore Chapel in China appears to float at high tide Located next to a local community park, the chapel is laid out like a horseshoe that wraps around an intimate interior courtyard . In addition to its copper exterior, the building is constructed from concrete and steel, while the interiors are mostly clad in locally-sourced spruce to inject a sense of warmth. Timber is also used in the outdoor canopies and, together with the copper panels, will develop a beautiful patina over time. The different functions of the chapel are laid out on one level and include a chapel hall, belfry, offices, meeting and group work spaces, areas for children and the youth, including afternoon child care and day care, activity rooms for local community clubs, and a soup kitchen. The Suvela Chapel was awarded bronze in the American Architecture Prize 2016 and was one of four finalist candidates nominated for the Finlandia Prize in Architecture in 2016. + OOPEAA Via Dezeen Images via OOPEAA

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Copper-clad chapel is a beacon of unity in one of Helsinkis most multicultural districts

Atelier Vens Vanbelle Makes a Copper-Clad Addition to a Traditional Belgian Farmhouse

December 1, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Atelier Vens Vanbelle Makes a Copper-Clad Addition to a Traditional Belgian Farmhouse Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Atelier Vens Vanbelle , copper clad , eco design , futuristic home addition , Glass Wall , green design , Jules Verne , sustainable design

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Atelier Vens Vanbelle Makes a Copper-Clad Addition to a Traditional Belgian Farmhouse

Elegant Glass and Copper Tableware Uses Activated Charcoal to Purify Water

October 27, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Elegant Glass and Copper Tableware Uses Activated Charcoal to Purify Water Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: activated charcoal , copper items , Design Academy of Eindhoven , engraved glass items , Formafantasma , italian design , J. & L. Lobmeyr , Still collection , water purifying

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Elegant Glass and Copper Tableware Uses Activated Charcoal to Purify Water

Australian and Japanese Researchers Team Up to Develop Non-Toxic Solar Panels

August 23, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock Solar panels provide one of the cleanest forms of green energy by converting sunlight into electricity, but the photovoltaic panels we use are made with toxic elements including cadmium and lead elements. Researchers from Australia and Japan are now working together to advance the next generation of non-toxic solar panels . The new RMIT University-led research collaboration is working to develop cheaper and less toxic solar cells using nanotechnology . Read the rest of Australian and Japanese Researchers Team Up to Develop Non-Toxic Solar Panels Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: australia , copper , CSIRO and the Japan Science and Technology Agency , green energy , Japan , nanocrystals , nanomaterials , photovoltaic , rmit , Solar Power        

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Australian and Japanese Researchers Team Up to Develop Non-Toxic Solar Panels

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