This prefab cabin is designed to take you off grid in the Scottish Highlands

March 30, 2018 by  
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A new piece of prefab architecture will soon bring artists, researchers, and travelers closer to the spectacular Scottish Highlands. Artist Bobby Niven and architect Iain MacLeod designed the Artist Bothy, a multipurpose cabin prefabricated in Scotland from sustainable materials . Conceived as an artist residency space, the gabled hut promises a low-impact and off-grid immersion in nature. The Artist Bothy was born from the Bothy Project , a network of off-grid artist residency spaces that aims to support artist mobility and access to the Scottish landscape. To withstand the elements, the 178-square-foot cabin was constructed from cross-laminated timber panels clad in Corten corrugated metal and Scottish larch. Insulated with 100 millimeters of wood-fiber insulation, the gabled structure frames views through double-glazed windows. Surface water drainage is handled by concealed downpipes. Related: Solar-powered seaside cabin blends prefab design with traditional building techniques Each Artist Bothy can be installed on site in less than a day. While the structures were envisioned for off-grid use, they can also be connected to electricity and water services. The compact interior features a mostly wooden interior and a mezzanine level for sleeping. Optional extras for added functionality include a kitchenette, bench bed, shelving units, tables, a wood-burning stove , and outer decking. The Artist Bothy is available to purchase starting from £39,000 ($54,731 USD) . + Bothy Project Images by Johnny Barrington

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This prefab cabin is designed to take you off grid in the Scottish Highlands

Weathering steel wraps around a solar-powered California home

October 31, 2017 by  
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When Faulkner Architects was tasked with building a family home just outside San Francisco, the clients emphasized the importance of the environment. The Truckee-based architecture firm set about creating a striking site-specific dwelling with a small energy footprint. The result is an AIA award-winning three-bedroom home, called Miner Road, that’s wrapped in sheets of Corten Steel—chosen for its low maintenance and the way it “refresh[es] every time it rains, just like the landscape,” says architect Greg Faulkner. Located in Orinda on a sloped eight-acre site with large oak trees, Miner Road takes over the footprint of a former home that once stood on the property. The mature oak trees informed the orientation of the home and provide shade, while glass walls frame the trees’ large gnarled branches. Large cutouts in the weathering steel facade let in ample natural light and views of the landscape. Related: Green-roofed home with rusting walls appears to grow out of a Finnish forest “This bridging between interior and exterior is major feature of the main living space, and an entire wall is devoted to connecting the two visually,” wrote Faulkner Architects. In contrast to the weathering steel facade, the interior is bright and modern, and focuses on a natural materials palette , from the abundant use of white oak to white gypsum walls and basalt floor tiles. The home’s mechanical and electrical systems are designed at a 44.9% improvement over code and include a rainwater harvesting system and solar panels. + Faulkner Architects Via Dezeen

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Weathering steel wraps around a solar-powered California home

Weathering steel wraps around a solar-powered California home

October 31, 2017 by  
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When Faulkner Architects was tasked with building a family home just outside San Francisco, the clients emphasized the importance of the environment. The Truckee-based architecture firm set about creating a striking site-specific dwelling with a small energy footprint. The result is an AIA award-winning three-bedroom home, called Miner Road, that’s wrapped in sheets of Corten Steel—chosen for its low maintenance and the way it “refresh[es] every time it rains, just like the landscape,” says architect Greg Faulkner. Located in Orinda on a sloped eight-acre site with large oak trees, Miner Road takes over the footprint of a former home that once stood on the property. The mature oak trees informed the orientation of the home and provide shade, while glass walls frame the trees’ large gnarled branches. Large cutouts in the weathering steel facade let in ample natural light and views of the landscape. Related: Green-roofed home with rusting walls appears to grow out of a Finnish forest “This bridging between interior and exterior is major feature of the main living space, and an entire wall is devoted to connecting the two visually,” wrote Faulkner Architects. In contrast to the weathering steel facade, the interior is bright and modern, and focuses on a natural materials palette , from the abundant use of white oak to white gypsum walls and basalt floor tiles. The home’s mechanical and electrical systems are designed at a 44.9% improvement over code and include a rainwater harvesting system and solar panels. + Faulkner Architects Via Dezeen

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Weathering steel wraps around a solar-powered California home

Decrepit freight depot reborn as industrial-chic food lovers paradise in Malm

April 25, 2017 by  
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Swedish architects Wingårdh dramatically transformed a roofless freight depot into an industrial-chic market hall in Malmö, Sweden. The adaptive reuse and expansion project combines old bricks with Corten steel for a modern look that still pays homage to the 19th century building’s industrial roots. Located on Gibraltargatan, the 1,500-square-meter Malmö Market Hall caters to 20 stalls and cafes that celebrate the city’s melting-pot culture with its diversity of food. Clients Nina Totté Karyd and Martin Karyd commissioned Wingårdh in their quest to create a “food lover’s paradise” inside an abandoned goods warehouse . The clients and architects sought to preserve the building’s historic character while imbuing modern details. “As a visitor you should be transported back in time, yet experience a modern day market, slaughterhouse and dairy,” wrote the clients. Related: MVRDV’s Gorgeous Tunnel-Shaped Market Hall Opens its Doors in Rotterdam In addition to renovating the existing structure, Wingårdh added an extension clad in weathered steel . The new addition mirrors the warehouse’s gabled form and the use of Corten steel mimics the rust-colored hues of the brick facade. A large strip of glass separates the extension from the old brick structure. Adjoining courtyards were built to host farmers markets and alfresco dining. + Wingårdh Via Dezeen Images via Wingårdh

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Decrepit freight depot reborn as industrial-chic food lovers paradise in Malm

Turkish dairy factory turns cheese production into a 360-degree experience

December 30, 2016 by  
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The Farm of 38° 30°, an iconic boutique dairy factory designed by architectural studios Slash Architects and Arkizon Architects , is more than a simple production space. The architects designed the building as a cheese showroom and museum that allows visitors to observe the production of cheese in a unique 360° space. The circular building encloses an inner courtyard from where visitors can observe all sequences of production. The main entrance leads guests to a green courtyard where cocktails and events are organized. Most spaces are transparent, with Corten steel sun blinds rendering those used by staff semi-transparent. Vertical slits carved into the exterior facade offer views of the surrounding countryside and allow natural light to reach the interior. Related: Foster + Partners unveils new winery for Château Margaux in Bordeaux The architects combined locally-sourced materials such as natural Afyon stone with Corten steel to emphasize the building’s contemporary industrial identity. This rich material palette lends an element of modernity to the facility’s monumental form. + Slash Architects + Arkizon Architects

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Turkish dairy factory turns cheese production into a 360-degree experience

Stunning corten-clad California home built for efficiency and flexibility

August 1, 2016 by  
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441 Tamalpais sits at the end of a road in a serene hillside location close to hiking trails and nature. The family home enjoys an abundance of natural light thanks to large glazed sliding doors that minimize the need for artificial lighting, and the open-plan layout provides flexibility as the family matures. Related: Terraced Hollywood Hills House Eliminates the Need for Air Conditioning Every room of the terraced home has a strong connection to the surroundings and features a shaded deck made from recycled bamboo flooring. The home is equipped with a 10Kw solar photovoltaic system, which provides energy for a hyper-efficient mini-split heat pump heating and air conditioning, as well as an automatic Heat Recovery Ventilation System (HRV) that operates around the clock. The home was designed to be virtually maintenance free with long-lasting materials that also age beautifully, including the rusty corten steel facade. + Zack De Vito Via Arch Daily Images via  Bruce Damonte

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Stunning corten-clad California home built for efficiency and flexibility

Tesla and SolarCity just agreed on a $2.6 billion merger

August 1, 2016 by  
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Elon Musk announced back in June that Tesla wished to purchase solar power company SolarCity . Now the world is one step closer to the clean energy super company that could result from such a merger. Today in a blog post , Tesla announced the two companies have come to an agreement: a hefty “all-stock transaction with an equity value of $2.6 billion.” With SolarCity’s focus on renewable energy , and Tesla’s focus on storage, Musk apparently believes now is the perfect time to combine the two companies, especially as Tesla aims to grow its Powerwall product. In Elon Musk’s ” Master Plan Part Deux ,” released near the end of July, he said it’s been a goal of his for ten years to offer solar energy, and combining with SolarCity could allow Tesla to achieve that goal. He spoke of a “beautiful solar-roof-with-battery that just works,” and envisioned with a merger the process to transition to clean energy would be simple for a customer: “One ordering experience, one installation, one service contract, one phone app.” Related: Elon Musk aims to build clean energy giant with Tesla’s $2.8 billion bid for SolarCity Musk said, “That [Telsa and SolarCity] are separate at all, despite similar origins and pursuit of the same overarching goal of sustainable energy, is largely an accident of history.” The blog post released by Tesla today announcing the agreement with SolarCity echoes many of those dreams laid out in Musk’s updated master plan. With the combination of two companies, they said, there could be an easy “one-stop solar + storage experience.” SolarCity organized a committee to review the agreement apart from Musk’s influence, reports Reuters. As Musk sits on the board of SolarCity, of which his cousin Lyndon Rive is CEO (another cousin, Peter Rive, also sits on the board), they and many other executives won’t vote on the agreement. Under the agreement, there will be a “go-shop” provision, which means Solar City has 45 days, until September 14, to see if they get a better offer than Tesla’s offer. In the blog post Tesla said they anticipate closing the transaction in 2016’s fourth quarter. Via The Verge Images via SolarCity Facebook and Flickr

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Tesla and SolarCity just agreed on a $2.6 billion merger

Neonicotinoid insecticides kill honeybee sperm

August 1, 2016 by  
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A new scientific study adds to the growing amount of evidence that shows pesticides are harming bees . The study published this month in Proceedings of the Royal Society B is the first to look at how neonicotinoid insecticides impact male honeybee fertility – and the findings aren’t good. Led by Lars Straub of the University of Bern in Switzerland, the researchers took bees that had been exposed to two types of neonicotinoid insecticides, thiamethoxam and clothianidin, and then monitored them in the lab. They found the exposed bees had shorter lifespans and their “living sperm quantity” was reduced by 39 percent, compared with bees not exposed to the insecticides. They said their findings showed “for the first time” that neonicotinoid insecticides can indeed “negatively affect male insect reproductive capacity.” Related: Pesticide industry spending ‘hundreds of thousands of dollars’ to slow U.S. bee protection Drones hit sexual maturity around 14 days, but the research revealed 32 percent of the exposed bees had already died by that time. Only 17 percent of unexposed bees died by that time. Further, exposed bees only live for about 15 days, as opposed to unexposed bees who live for 22 days. These numbers don’t bode well for bees, according to researchers. They said, “This could have severe consequences for colony fitness, as well as reduce genetic variation within honeybee populations.” The Guardian spoke with Peter Campbell of Syngenta, makers of thiamethoxam, about the study. Here’s what he had to say: “Given the multiple mating of honeybee queens it is unclear what the consequences of a reduction in sperm quality would actually have on queen fecundity.” Scientific research has shown neonicotinoids reduce queen bee production and colony growth , and that neonicotinoids compromise physiology and reproductive anatomy in queen bees. The European Union banned neonicotinoids in 2013 , although in 2015 the UK briefly lifted the ban. Via The Guardian Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

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Neonicotinoid insecticides kill honeybee sperm

Bucolic UK renovation hearkens back to simpler, greener times

February 26, 2016 by  
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Stunning Sculptural Sound Walls Sweep Across Melbourne’s Freeway

February 28, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Stunning Sculptural Sound Walls Sweep Across Melbourne’s Freeway Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Corten steel , earth berms , gabions , highway infrastructure , hume highway , Melbourne , melbourne ring road , pedestrian bridge , Robert Owen , sound walls , Taylor Cullity Lethlean , Tonkin Zulaikha Greer

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Stunning Sculptural Sound Walls Sweep Across Melbourne’s Freeway

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