This Frank Lloyd Wright house on a heart-shaped island could be yours – for a cool $15 million

August 8, 2017 by  
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Do you dream of island living and Frank Lloyd Wright homes? We’ve found the perfect property for you. Located on the 11-acre, heart-shaped Petra Island in New York’s Putnam County is a six bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom abode designed by the famous architect himself. Chilton & Chadwick just listed the incredible property with a price tag of $14.92 million. Every aspect of the triangular home bears Wright’s signature design. Even modern improvements made by Joe Massaro, who purchased the house in 1995, don’t take away from the Wright’s initial vision; rather, they add to it. Apartment Therapy reports that Massaro spent several years upgrading the property, and part of his efforts included expanding the main residence as Wright outlined in blueprints. Throughout his renovations, Massaro felt compelled to stay true to Wright’s design aesthetic. In fact, he claims an interest in architectural detail was inspired by his time on the island. A tour through the home reveals boulder stones decorating the concrete walls, a 1950s retro kitchen and a geometric skylight, designed like a maze of triangles, hovering near the center of the home. Related: Frank Lloyd Wright architecture school grad built this beautiful desert shelter for $2K There’s more to be dazzled by than the interior; the cottage also offers stunning views of Lake Mahopac. With a guest house, tea house and a dock on the premise, it’s the perfect family vacation spot. Thanks to a wraparound patio and huge windows, it’s easy to forget one is just a short flight away from Manhattan . If leaving in a hurry, residents can take advantage of the rooftop helipad (helicopter not included) and make it to the Westchester County Airport in just 4.5-minutes. In an interview with Mansion Global , Massaro revealed that some of his inspiration was received while he was sleeping. In fact, he claims Wright visited him in a dream and shared the idea for custom-colored lighting. “I said, ‘Well Frank told me to do it,’” said Massaro. ”Detail was not is in my DNA until I stepped out on that island.” Whatever inspired the renovations in line with Wright’s work, we’re glad, for it’s an absolutely breathtaking property. + Chilton & Chadwick Via Apartment Therapy Images via Chilton & Chadwick

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This Frank Lloyd Wright house on a heart-shaped island could be yours – for a cool $15 million

Stunning treehouse retreat in Rwanda sets a new standard for ecotourism

August 8, 2017 by  
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Rwanda’s unbelievable Bisate Lodge is a stunning example of how to build in a natural landscape without causing harm. Constructed into an eroded volcanic cone, the pod-like villas, which were designed by Johannesburg-based architect Nick Plewman , are surrounded by lush forest with views of the volcanic landscape. The lodge is part of an effort to honor the local culture while restoring the indigenous forest. Designed to pay homage to the Rwandan culture and natural landscape, the eco-retreat is located near the Volcanoes National Park Headquarters and is part of a pioneering onsite indigenous reforestation project. Only six thatched-roof villas are located on the expansive 103-acre resort, which was built into a natural cavernous space in an overgrown volcanic cone. Related: 7 eco-friendly and conservation-minded safari lodges across Africa Wanting to create an authentic Rwandan style, the resort’s overall design was inspired by indigenous tradition. Much of the interior design includes an abundance of colorful prints and varying textures that were chosen to represent the local style. In fact, Teta Isibo, local fashion entrepreneur and founder of Inzuki Designs and one of Africa’s 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs for 2017 collaborated on the design process. Various sustainable features – such as chandeliers made of recycled glass and volcanic stone fireplaces – are found throughout the eco retreat. Local touches such as the traditional ibyansi milk jug motif are used throughout the space, and cow hides were used as rugs to represent the rural life in local villages. Additionally, items made from the traditional art process called Imigongo , where cow dung is mixed with soils of different colors and painted into geometric shapes, are also found in the interior. Operated by sustainable ecotourism operator, Wilderness Safaris, construction of the Bisante Lodge was an ecological process throughout. According to the COO Grant Woodrow, the company put strategic care into building something that would enhance the area rather than harm it, “We wanted to ensure that our brand of responsible ecotourism made a real difference to both rural Rwandan people and biodiversity conservation.” Reservations for this amazing eco lodge can be made through Thousand Hills Africa. + Nick Plewman + Wilderness Safaris Via Dwell

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700 Indian villagers waded through their filthy, dying river and brought it back to life

August 8, 2017 by  
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“Don’t waste your time,” doubters reportedly told a self-organized group of villagers in South Kerala who wanted to resurrect their once-teeming river. According to local Indian press, years of industrial seepage transformed the Kuttemperoor River into a giant cesspool that produced nothing but disease and devastation. Located in Alappuzha district, the river’s width reportedly shrunk from 120 feet to 20 feet, and all traces of aquatic biodiversity vanished. But earlier this year, 700 people felt they simply had to try. They had to try to bring their river back to life. “When water scarcity turned unbearable, we decided to revive the river. Initially many discouraged us saying it was a mere waste of money and energy. But we proved them all wrong,” Budhanoor panchayat president P Viswambhara Panicker told Hindustan Timees. The panchayat, a self-organized group of locals, planned the mammoth cleanup effort, which involved wading through the filthy water and dislodging weeds, plastic and other debris from the river bed. It took more than two months to ply the river’s 7-mile length, often at great risk to volunteers’ personal health. One woman, P Geetha, told the paper she fell ill during cleanup operations. “I was down with dengue for two weeks but I returned to digging the day I was out of my bed,” she said. Related: The Ocean Cleanup finds 1.15 to 2.41 million metric tons of plastic enter oceans from rivers And their hard work paid off. “Once we removed all waste river started recharging on its own and on 45th day flow started. For women folk, it was not just a work for money but it was gargantuan task to revive a lifeline,” Sanal Kumar, a volunteer with the National Rural Jobs Guarantee Scheme, told Hindustan Times . After 70 days of cleaning the river, full flow was reportedly restored. Via Hindustan Times Images via YouTube screengrab

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700 Indian villagers waded through their filthy, dying river and brought it back to life

Tesla Model S reaches record 670 miles on a single charge

August 8, 2017 by  
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The Tesla Model S has set a new record in Italy! The Tesla Owners Italia club recently traveled 669.83 miles in a Model S 100D on a single charge with a team of five drivers. The team was careful to use as little energy as possible to beat a previous record set in Belgium last June. The team drove across southern Italy at an average speed of 25 mph without the air conditioning on. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently estimated that the Model S would be able to drive at least 621 miles with low rolling-resistance tires. The team not only used the more efficient tires, but also used “hypermilling” techniques to squeeze out as much driving range as they could. Related: Tesla to TRIPLE number of Superchargers by end of 2018 “To complete the 1,078km record distance, we used 98.4 kW/h of electricity, which is equivalent to eight liters of gas,” said Luca Del Bo, president of the club. Upon announcing the news, Elon Musk congratulated the club for their new record. Rosario Pingaro, one of the five drivers, added: “The driving was made simply by the semi-autonomous driving system, which helped us to keep a constant speed in the middle of the lane.” + Tesla Owners Italia Via The Guardian Images @Tesla Owners Italia

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Tesla Model S reaches record 670 miles on a single charge

This cozy cottage sits on stilts made out of recycled gas pipes

January 31, 2017 by  
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This year-round cottage on stilts in Canada , designed for a couple and their son, floats above a lakeside site prone to flooding  and freeze-thaw weathering. Architecture firm DIN Projects designed the cottage as a vertical wood platform structure that overlooks Lake Winnipeg on stilts made out of recycled gas pipes. The owners obtained the cottage lot through the provincial cottage lot lottery system. The site has Lake Winnipeg frontage, but the regulations limit how close to the water the owner can build. The site was problematic due to flooding and the porous nature of the shallow layer of overburden. This is why the architects opted for stilts made from recycled gas pipes , with foundations drilled into the subterranean bedrock. Related: Casa Quebrada is a tiny treehouse-like haven immersed in the Chilean forest The house has three floors connected with a stair that winds around each floor plate. The wooden frame, studs and plywood sheathing are left exposed in the interior. Internal ducting helps provide fresh air and distributes it vertically. The main heating source is a cast iron stove in the center of the cottage. + DIN Projects Via Archdaily

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This cozy cottage sits on stilts made out of recycled gas pipes

Quaint spruce-clad cottage was built by the owners using wood harvested on their own property

December 1, 2016 by  
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This beautiful spruce-clad cottage in Norway was almost completely built by the owners themselves using materials harvested from their own forest. The 645-square foot building, designed by TYIN Tegnestue Architects , maintains the traditional Norwegian closeness to nature and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Sitting on a rocky site surrounded by a marshland , the 645-square-foot cottage looks like a cozy retreat that strips back daily life to its essentials. Its simple exterior is complemented by a warm, welcoming interior. The untreated spruce facade blends into the landscape and develops a beautiful even patina over time. Related: Norwegian Mountain Cottage Stands on Stilts to Preserve Native Reindeer Moss The structure rests on a concrete base and features three different levels that make the building appear lower and emphasize the connection between the interior and exterior. The main entry, sheltered from the elements by a shared gallery, is located next to the outhouse. Special attention was given to details, thanks to an unusually strong commitment of the clients who did most of the construction work themselves. + TYIN Tegnestue Architects Via Archdaily Photo by Pasi Aalto

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Modern meets rustic in the Hemmingford House built from natural materials

November 29, 2016 by  
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A new home has sprung from the ruins of an old farmhouse in the countryside south of Montreal. SIMARD architecture blends old with new in the recently constructed Hemmingford House, a contemporary cottage built along old fieldstone foundation walls of the previous farm building. The boxy facade handsomely pairs locally sourced slate with untreated cedar planks for a rugged appearance that pays homage to the landscape. The 3,500-square-foot Hemmingford House is distinctly modern dwelling with rustic touches woven throughout. The untreated cedar siding recalls old timber barns and will develop a patina similar to a weathered fence. Locally quarried slate cut into blocks and stacked in brick-like strata complement the wooden facade. The old fieldstone foundation walls were preserved as paving stone edging that lead visitors to the main entrance. “All these contextual cues influenced the site layout and architecture of this private residence designed for a couple who left their home in the city for a life on the country,” write the architects. “The house unfolds to the surrounding landscape.” Related: Historic Belgian farmhouse renovated into a modern solar-powered home Large windows open up the interior to natural light and views of the countryside. Slate and timber are used in the interior for continuity with the facade. The communal areas are located on the ground floor, while the bedrooms are placed on the upper level. An elegant glass-bottomed bridge in the airy double-height entryway connects the two bedrooms. + SIMARD architecture Via v2com Photography by Stephane Brugger

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Modern meets rustic in the Hemmingford House built from natural materials

Seattle teens build mobile tiny homes for local homeless community

November 29, 2016 by  
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We love stories about youth channelling their ideals into life-changing projects, especially when there are tiny homes involved. Last year, with guidance from the non-profit organization Sawhorse Revolution and various architecture, construction, and engineering professionals, a group of teens designed seven tiny homes for the Nickelsville homeless community network in Seattle. With construction, made possible by a successful crowdfunding campaign, nearing completion, the team is back with plans to build four more moveable eco-friendly structures, including a tiny house duplex that’s ideal for families. https://vimeo.com/191997252 Nickelsville comprises a network of self-governed homeless encampments on city-sanctioned land throughout Seattle. They are transitional communities, and their inhabitants move every three to 18 months. As a result, the homes and other structures that Sawhorse teens build have to be mobile. Following their successful crowdfunding campaign last year, Sawhorse Revolution has launched Impossible City 2: youth-built homes for homeless . They hoping to raise around $21,000 to build additional tiny homes, a security booth, and a duplex. Sawhorse Revolution program director Sarah Smith told Inhabitat, “Our second Indiegogo campaign has been inspired by the impact these houses make – on so many levels. First is the experience our students have learning about homelessness. Design requires empathy; when they design a tiny house for someone experiencing homelessness, our youth must research, interview, and put themselves in the shoes of our clients.” Related: Oregon man donates tiny homes to Standing Rock protestors The Parabay Homes duplex design acknowledges that families can’t always squeeze into 120 square feet. So last summer, students conceived a design that expands the space with two separate structures, yet facilitates connection between family members in their respective sections. Another design will make it more comfortable for the camp residents who staff a 24-hour security booth that also acts as an entrance and hub in each village. Lastly, the team plans to design “Tiny Home #9” that will “prototype murphy bed construction and other moving canopy parts that can expand living area without violating city codes.” According to Sawhorse Revolution, Seattle has approved six camps to provide transitional housing for area homeless. The camps work with the Low Income Housing Institute to provide temporary refuge until affordable housing opens up for people unable to sustain rising rent prices. “There’s a sense of motivation and purpose when we work together on these tiny homes – the teens, builders, volunteers, and designers that make up a project team for the Sawhorse Revolution tiny homes are transformed by sharing a common purpose,” Sarah said. “Learning in this setting is not abstract – it’s got a real motivation, and this allows our youth to learn crucial skills as they provide shelter and dignity for those who need it most.” + Sawhorse Revolution + Impossible City 2 on Indiegogo

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Seattle teens build mobile tiny homes for local homeless community

$20K studio in Virginia demonstrates straw bale can be viable in humid environments

October 4, 2016 by  
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Straw bale building offers an affordable, sustainable solution to materials like concrete. Sigi Koko of Down to Earth Design demonstrated straw bale building will work even in wet climates with the Zeljo Studio , a 300-square-foot cottage in Arlington, Virginia . Built with reclaimed and scavenged materials, the studio cost less than $20K to build . The Zeljo Studio is comprised of a ” timber frame structure ,” with straw bales providing insulation . Wood siding provides an elegant exterior and the interior is finished with clay plaster locally sourced with soil from the building site. The foundation was already in place. Atop the dormers is a green roof to absorb rainwater and help a loft remain cool in warm summer weather. Due to the straw insulation, the studio stays warm in the winter without needing much heat. Related: Super-efficient straw-bale houses hit the market in the UK – piglets need not apply The owners of the studio found salvaged bathroom fixtures, kitchen cabinets, a kitchen sink, doors, and flooring for the loft. According to Koko, they obtained many of the materials for free. They even found new energy efficient windows that were “misordered” so were sold for a hefty discount. Koko wrote in an article , “By far, the biggest concern with strawbale walls, as with most materials in a wet or humid climate, is moisture.” She designed the straw bale studio in humid Virginia to help show straw bale buildings are still viable in wet climates. By targeting areas where water can sneak in, like at the wall base, windows, or roof eaves, straw bale homes work in places heavily exposed to moisture. Koko wrote an article outlining what steps home owners can take to protect their straw bale homes that can be read in detail here . + Down to Earth Design Images courtesy of Sigi Koko, Down to Earth Design

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$20K studio in Virginia demonstrates straw bale can be viable in humid environments

Amagansett Dunes house is a passively cooled family home surrounded by rolling dunes

February 2, 2016 by  
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