Two moody, tranquil cabins perch above a Quebec forest

November 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Montreal-based firm  Nature Humaine has unveiled a beautiful pair of adjoining cabins tucked into a remote forest outside Quebec. The cube-like structures are clad in a burnt wood facade, giving the design a distinctively minimalist aesthetic. To make the most of the incredible setting, the timber cabins have two massive glass walls that provide breathtaking, panoramic views from the interior. Located in the Eastern Townships, Quebec, the two tiny cabins hold court over a steep, rocky terrain. The cabins are clad in a dark, burnt wood that, along with the pre-woven hemlock planks used for the exterior walkways and connection point, create a quiet, natural palette that easily blends into the landscape. Related: Linear Cabin is an elegant hideaway in the woods of Wisconsin To reduce the project’s footprint, the cabins were anchored into thick, but nearly invisible, raw concrete foundations. Overhanging roofs on both structures were designed to emphasize the views but also to reduce solar gains in the hot summer months. The two cabins were slanted just a bit to follow the natural slope of the ground, giving off the rather frightful sensation that they are just about to slide off into the forested abyss below. The cabins are comprised of two modules connected by an interior walkway. The first module houses the living space and kitchen, while the bedrooms are in the second cabin. In keeping with the minimalist nature of the design, the interiors were also kept simple, with just a few select pieces of furniture. From anywhere inside the cabins, sweeping views are provided by the front glass facades, establishing a strong and seamless connection with the outdoors. + Nature Humaine Via Archdaily Photography by Adrien Williams via Nature Humaine

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Two moody, tranquil cabins perch above a Quebec forest

MAD Architects to transform an ancient Chinese courtyard into a kindergarten with a "floating roof"

November 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Beijing-based design practice MAD Architects has broken ground on the Courtyard Kindergarten, a striking adaptive reuse project that transform a traditional siheyuan courtyard from the 1700s into the site of a creative and colorful kindergarten. Located in Beijing, the project aims to preserve the cultural heritage of the site while injecting fresh life through the addition of new structures, including a “dynamic floating roof” that surrounds the historic courtyard. As with many of the firm’s projects, the design features curvaceous elements and is evocative of a Martian landscape. “There is a saying in old Beijing when children are naughty: ‘if you go three days without being punished, the roof will cave in,’” said MAD principal Ma Yansong of one of the inspirations behind the eye-catching rooftop , a place the firm describes as “full of magic — a playful escape for the children that is a symbol of freedom and endless imagination.” Designed as the primary space for children to engage in outdoor sports and activities, the multicolored floating roof will curve around the siheyuan’s existing hipped roofs and tree canopy and will also feature an undulating landscape of several small ‘hills’ and ‘plains.’ Classrooms, a library, a small theater and a gymnasium will be located below the roof in a new building with an open-plan layout that’s surrounded by walls of glass to let in ample natural light as well as views of greenery and the historic buildings next door. The building will also wrap around three existing ancient trees, creating miniature courtyards where children can connect with nature. The Courtyard Kindergarten will accommodate 400 children between the ages of two and five. Related: A 650-foot-long running track tops this space-saving elementary school in China The design aims to reconcile new and old elements, from the existing modern building on-site that was built in the 1990s to the nearly 400-year-old courtyard. Having just broke ground this month, the Courtyard Kindergarten is expected to be completed and operational in the fall of 2019. + MAD Architects Images via MAD Architects

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MAD Architects to transform an ancient Chinese courtyard into a kindergarten with a "floating roof"

Denver firefighter uses 9 shipping containers to build a stunning family home

November 13, 2018 by  
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Denver-based firefighter Regan Foster used to spend his days putting out fires, but while recovering from a work-related injury, Foster decided to try his hand at building his dream home. The results are breathtaking. Using his own designs, Foster converted nine repurposed shipping containers into a massive 3,840-square-foot home with sophistication that rivals that of any professional architect’s work. Working with architect Joe Simmons of BlueSky Studio , Foster created the design and worked as the principal contractor on the project. To build out the frame of the home, four shipping containers were placed on the ground in pairs set 24 feet apart. Another four containers were then stacked on top of the first level, with a few pushed forward so that they cantilever over the ground floor. The ninth container was placed perpendicular to the back of the second level. Related: Starburst shipping container home to rise in the California desert The team topped the sections of the home with a series of flat roofs, and they covered the front facade in wood panels, contrasting nicely with the corrugated metal. An abundance of large windows were cut out of the containers in order to provide the interior with natural light . Although the exterior of the home is outstanding, the interior of the seven-bedroom, five-bathroom home is just as impressive. Walking into the great room, visitors are greeted with soaring 25-foot ceilings and an open floor plan that leads out to a large patio. As part of the master plan, Foster was determined to maintain the inherent industrial aesthetic of the shipping containers . The inside of the exterior walls were insulated and covered in drywall, but the interior walls and ceilings throughout the living space were left intact so that the corrugated metal would be visible. Foster, who has a passion for furniture making, used reclaimed wood in many of the home’s custom furnishings and design elements. For example, the flooring throughout the home is made with reclaimed barn wood and boards from a felled tree. Foster even refashioned an old walnut slab into a sliding door and used some waste lumber to create a cantilevered walkway that runs the length the second floor. Needless to say, the process of building his own home sparked a new professional path for Foster and his family. After completing the project, Foster retired from the fire department and started his own design and construction company, Foster Design . The family also rents out their home on Airbnb. + Foster Design + BlueSky Studio Via Dwell Photography by Regan Foster and Chris Boylen via Foster Design

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Denver firefighter uses 9 shipping containers to build a stunning family home

A London office boasts biophilic design for a healthier, happier workplace

November 12, 2018 by  
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A new experimental office on the 12th floor of The Shard in London offers a breath of fresh air … literally. Wrapped in bamboo surfaces and punctuated by living plants, facilities management company Mitie’s headquarters in London was created by local practice DaeWha Kang Design . The biophilic project — dubbed the Living Lab at The Shard — mimics nature from its natural materials palette to the circadian lighting system linked to an astronomical clock. As its name suggests, the Living Lab at The Shard will be used as a pilot study to measure the impact of biophilic design on worker wellness and productivity. In addition to the client, the project was created in collaboration with Dr. Marcella Ucci (head of the MSc in Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings at the University College of London). A post-occupancy study will compare daily surveys of Mitie employees who will work at the Living Lab desks for four weeks at a time followed by a four-week work period in a “control area” on the same floor with similar environmental conditions but without biophilic design. “Biophilia refers to human beings’ innate need for a connection with nature,” DaeWha Kang Design said in its press release. “Human physiology is wired to seek qualities of light, view, material and other factors common in the natural world. The Living Lab is fully immersive, with rich and intricate patternization, natural materials  and interactive and dynamic lighting.” Related: This dreamy cluster of cabins houses light-filled live/work spaces in Hokkaido The project comprises two main spaces: the “Living Lab” immersive work environment and two “Regeneration Pods” for short-term rest and meditation. Bamboo was used for the sculptural privacy screens that curve up at the ceiling; different textures and shades of bamboo were also used for the floor, desks and task lights providing a warm contrast to The Shard’s cool glass-and-metal palette. The Regeneration Pods, also built of bamboo, were created by combining digital fabrication with hand-finishing techniques and feature plush built-in seating that faces walls of glass for city views. A subtle circadian lighting system uses color-changing lights to mimic the sun — a cool blue is cast in the morning that changes to bright white in the afternoon and finally reaches a fiery orange near sunset. + DaeWha Kang Design Images by Tom Donald for Aldworth James & Bond and Kyungsub Shin via DaeWha Kang Design

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A London office boasts biophilic design for a healthier, happier workplace

The remote Blacktail Cabin offers a convenient escape in Montana

November 12, 2018 by  
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If you dream of escaping the hustle of daily life at a remote cabin in the woods, the Blacktail Cabin might just be your ideal getaway. Situated along the shore of Flathead Lake in Montana , the Blacktail Cabin offers guests a home base amidst an array of outdoor activities. During the summer months, frolic in the lake with an afternoon of swimming, paddling or fishing. In the winter, head up to the nearby Blacktail Mountain Ski Area for some skiing or snowboarding. However you decide to spend your day, your rental provides for your needs upon your return. Create a rustic or modern meal in the fully equipped kitchen. Relax in front of the floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace , or warm up next to the wood-burning stove in the dining room. Related: This geometric cabin in Slovenia is a perfect romantic getaway for nature-lovers The cabin decor emulates the relaxing vibe of a ski lodge with wood peaked ceilings, ample windows inviting in natural light and comfy leather furniture. The home furnishings are rustic with a hand-carved appeal. Four wooden stools line the breakfast bar, while the dining room hosts a knotted wood table with six chairs. Each of the three beds welcome guests with carved-wood frames and nature-themed linens. There’s no need to worry about leaving anyone behind, as there is sleeping room for six and acceptance of your four-legged friends (for an additional fee). While you might feel a million miles from civilization, the cabin is only a few minutes from town, making for a quick trip to the Tamarack Brewing Company for dinner or a dash to the grocery store for breakfast supplies. All in all, Blacktail Cabin is comfortable, impeccably clean, spacious, relaxing and stocked with amenities. But the best part of the vacation home is, of course, the gorgeous surrounding nature that welcomes visitors to their own secluded paradise. + Blacktail Cabin Images via Vacasa

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The remote Blacktail Cabin offers a convenient escape in Montana

3XN unveils a sustainable redesign for the Sydney Fish Market

November 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Danish design practice 3XN has revealed its competition-winning redesign for the Sydney Fish Market, a waterfront marketplace that will undergo a $250 million expansion and, in the process, revitalize the waterfront. Topped with an undulating, wave-inspired roof, the contemporary building will emphasize connections with the outdoors while improving visitor access. Sustainability has also guided the design of the structure, which will feature smart, water-saving strategies including rainwater harvesting , graywater recycling and bio-filtration systems. The Sydney Fish Market, one of the city’s top tourist draws, will be relocated from its existing location in Pyrmont to an adjacent wharf on a 3.6-hectare site at Blackwattle Bay on the east side of the Sydney Harbor. 3XN has proposed upgrades to enhance the visitor experience with the addition of improved public space and circulation, a flexible and modular interior and room for several new features: a seafood cooking school, restaurants, bars, a new promenade and a new ferry stop. At the same time, the Danish architects will strive to preserve the architectural heritage and character of the existing market. Individual stalls will fill the interior’s semi-open layout to evoke traditional marketplaces. Built of timber and aluminum, the undulating roof will sport a fish scale-like pattern. In addition to the new market’s connections and strengthened sight lines with the waterfront , the building also aims to improve the harbor ecosystem through sustainable design. The bio-filtration system, for instance, will filter water runoff while doubling as a habitat for local birds. Industrial food waste will be recycled. Related: 3XN unveils competition-winning designs for Denmark’s Climatorium “Environmental and social sustainability are essential and inseparable parts of the design,” said Kim Herforth Nielsen, founding partner of 3XN. “The roof, landscaped forms, open atmosphere, plantings and materials that characterize the experience of the design are examples of this union. Throughout the course of the new market’s concept and design development, public amenity and environmental sustainability have formed the core of our decision-making processes.” The project is expected to break ground in 2019 and is slated to open in 2023. + 3XN Images via 3XN, Doug&Wolf, Aesthetica.Studio and mir.no

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Pizza Hut unveils a zero-emissions delivery truck that makes pizzas on the go

November 5, 2018 by  
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Pizza Hut and Toyota have teamed up to bring fresh, piping hot pizza to your doorstep with the help of a roaming pizza machine. The Toyota Tundra PIE Pro is a full-size pickup truck with a complete pizza making factory in the back that is entirely operated by computer-guided robotic arms. Not only does the next generation of pizza delivery get the pizzas made and delivered in the blink of an eye, but the delivery trucks are also  zero emissions . The incredible design, which was unveiled at Toyota’s 2018 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, is a truly unique invention. Although we’ve seen plenty of ingenious food trucks , the Tundra Pie Pro is quite possibly the future of pizza delivery. Related: Mouthwatering edible pizza box is waste-free because you can eat it The custom-made truck is installed with a unique truck bed that has been converted into an open-air kitchen. When a pizza order is placed, a pair of computer-guided robotic arms  open the refrigerator and remove the selected pizza. The arms then place the pies on a conveyor belt that passes under a high-speed, ventless oven. Once cooked to perfection, a second arm removes the pizza and places it on a cutting board, where it then cuts it into six identical slices. The arms even put the pizza into a box and off it goes to the customer. The entire process, from start to finish, takes up to seven minutes. Although the objective was to create a faster delivery system, the Pizza Hut and Toyota team were also focused on creating an eco-friendly vehicle. The team took the conventional gasoline-powered drivetrain of the Tundra out and replaced it with a hydrogen fuel-cell electric power unit to make the truck, as well as all of the kitchen components, emissions-free. According to Marianne Radley, chief brand officer of Pizza Hut, the ambitious project was focused on getting piping hot pizza to customers in a faster, more efficient way that won’t contaminate the environment. “Nothing tastes better than a fresh Pizza Hut pizza straight out of the oven,” Radley explained. “The Tundra PIE Pro brings to life our passion for innovation not just on our menu but in digital and delivery in order to provide the best possible customer experience.” + Toyota Tundra PIE Pro Via Core 77 Images via Pizza Hut

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MaliArts designs city-chic beehives to save solitary bees

November 5, 2018 by  
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We’re big fans of beautifully designed urban beehives on Inhabitat, and Mexico-based design studio MaliArts’ new shelters for solitary bees are just as buzz-worthy. Dubbed ‘Refugio,’ the project currently consists of three distinct and sculptural beehives aimed at attracting different species of solitary bees. Built with natural materials, each shelter offers a resting place and access to food and water for the insects. When most of us think about bees, it’s the sociable honey bees and bumblebees that first spring to mind. However, the solitary bees — which, as the name suggests, are lone bees that don’t belong to any colony — make up most of the bee species around the world. Though they’re less popularly known because they typically produce neither honey nor beeswax (and have a weak or nonexistent sting), solitary bees are powerful pollinators and have important roles to play in our food system. “When we talk about bees, we usually imagine the European honey bee ( Apis mellifera ) when in reality, around 90 percent of the bee species are considered solitary,” Gabriel Calvillo of MaliArts told  Dezeen . “The fact that solitary bees do not generate any ‘consumable product’ for humans has meant that they are not given much attention, but recent studies point to the fact that they are possibly the most efficient pollinators in nature.” Related: 6 buzz-worthy backyard beehive designs To bring attention to these bees and create habitats for the endangered insects, MaliArts created three Refugio structures each tailored to the different nesting and refuge preferences of solitary bees. Stylish enough for a wide range of urban settings, each bee hotel is built of  pine  and teak wood finished with natural oil, a ceramic roof or body and steel legs. Feeders and waterers are integrated into the design. Each shelter will also be accompanied by explanatory reading material for passersby. + MaliArts Via Dezeen Images via MaliArts

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MaliArts designs city-chic beehives to save solitary bees

A 1928 Spanish bungalow gets some high-tech, energy-efficient upgrades

November 5, 2018 by  
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This incredibly charming Spanish bungalow in San Jose, California might have been built in 1928, but the 759-square-foot home has been retrofitted with some seriously high-tech features to convert it into a modern, energy-efficient powerhouse. While retaining some of its original features, the home was upgraded with rooftop solar panels and an electric vehicle charging port. Best of all, this bungalow just went on the market, meaning all of this energy-efficient cuteness can be yours for  $798,000 . Located on a corner lot with a large backyard, the two bedroom, one bath Spanish bungalow is a beautiful space with lots of character. The interior is bright and airy, with high ceilings and plenty of windows. To give the home a modern makeover, the interior and exterior were repainted and new tiles floors were installed in the kitchen and bathroom. Although the renovation process was focused on modernizing the living space, the home’s original wood floors, stained glass windows and wood-burning fireplace were retained. Related: An old bungalow is transformed into an award-winning home with a modern extension To create an energy-efficient space , the home was retrofitted with several modern amenities. The roof is home to new solar panels, and there is a charging port for electric vehicles. The backyard was also given a resilient makeover with drought-tolerant landscaping and mature trees. The calming outdoor area will allow the new homeowners to enjoy a brand new hot tub, which sits next to a serene seating area covered by a pergola. The charismatic  cottage is within walking distance from downtown San Jose and historic Japantown, where the new homeowners can enjoy the many shops, markets and eateries. The home is also just one mile from the proposed BART Station slated to open in the near future. + Coldwell Banker Photography by f8 Media via Coldwell Banker  

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A 1928 Spanish bungalow gets some high-tech, energy-efficient upgrades

A treehouse made from sustainable wood hides a luxurious interior

November 1, 2018 by  
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The sustainable builders at ArtisTree are known for creating some seriously beautiful and green structures. The company has just unveiled a charming treehouse located in a remote eco-retreat in Texas. Perched 25 feet in the air between two cypress trees, the Yoki Treehouse is an exceptional example of the company’s artistry and deep respect for nature. Located in central Texas, the Yoki Treehouse is Austin’s first treehouse resort at Cypress Valley. Designed to be a luxury retreat, the  treehouse sits 25 feet above a creek, which served as the inspiration for the design and name (Yoki is the Hopi Native American word for rain). According to Will Beilharz, founder of ArtisTree, “Water is life — one of our most precious resources, and ArtisTree treehouses are designed to let people experience nature’s resources more intimately.” Related: World’s most active volcano harbors a tiny off-grid home — and you can stay overnight Built with sustainable woods such as elm, cypress and spruce, the treehouse holds court high up within the tree canopy.  The retreat is comprised of a 500-square-foot suspended treehouse and a separate bathhouse, which sits on solid ground. The two buildings are connected by a 60-foot-long suspension bridge with various platforms to provide plenty of open spaces for enjoying the surrounding nature. In the main house, this strong emphasis on nature is apparent at every angle. The entrance is located on the roof, which doubles as an observation platform perfect for enjoying the lush green forest views and the babbling brook. There is also an open-air porch where the branches grow through the floor, further connecting the structure into its environment. Inside, the walls of the treehouse are clad in a warm birch wood, creating a cabin-like aesthetic. Again, an abundance of windows, including an all-glass front wall, allows guests to reconnect with nature. The interior design and furnishings were inspired by Japanese minimalism, while touches of Turkish decor add a sense of whimsy. The separate bathhouse was built with solitude in mind. It features a spa-like atmosphere, complete with a large Onsen-style soaking bathtub. Ample floor-to-ceiling windows offer guests a serene spot to enjoy a bit of bird watching or stargazing. + ArtisTree Via Dezeen Photography by Smiling Forest via ArtisTree

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A treehouse made from sustainable wood hides a luxurious interior

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