Cozy READER shelter made from plywood offers escape into the world of books

December 29, 2016 by  
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Have you ever fantasized about burrowing into a tree trunk like a squirrel? First-year architecture and urban planning students at the Estonian Academy of Arts designed and built this cozy timber shelter that lets you experience something similar without going too far off the ground. Made from curved pieces of plywood , this cavernous installation is ribbed to mimic pages of a book and offers seating perfect for curling up on with a good novel. Developed in 2015 as part of an annual student architecture project, READER was selected out of 15 designs for construction and temporary display in the heart of Tallinn. When viewed from afar, READER appears as a solid cuboid mass. Upon closer inspection however, the shelter reveals itself to be made from individual plywood sheets evenly spaced apart. The project was constructed over the course of five days and is elevated atop nine adjustable legs. Related: Gigantic wooden megaphones amplify the sounds of the forest in Estonia READER can be entered via a round opening that leads to an inner winding path that diverges into two and rises and falls like a small hill. The individual pine plywood panels are connected by spruce logs and are cut to slightly different sizes for an undulating tunnel effect. The student architects invite the public to enter and “escape from the real world of problems into the fictional world of books.” READER is currently on display in a grove in Pedaspea, Lahemaa, North-Estonia as part of an outdoor exhibit that showcases student work. + Estonian Academy of Arts Via ArchDaily Images © Paco Ulman

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Cozy READER shelter made from plywood offers escape into the world of books

Cozy READER shelter made from plywood offers escape into the world of books

December 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

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Have you ever fantasized about burrowing into a tree trunk like a squirrel? First-year architecture and urban planning students at the Estonian Academy of Arts designed and built this cozy timber shelter that lets you experience something similar without going too far off the ground. Made from curved pieces of plywood , this cavernous installation is ribbed to mimic pages of a book and offers seating perfect for curling up on with a good novel. Developed in 2015 as part of an annual student architecture project, READER was selected out of 15 designs for construction and temporary display in the heart of Tallinn. When viewed from afar, READER appears as a solid cuboid mass. Upon closer inspection however, the shelter reveals itself to be made from individual plywood sheets evenly spaced apart. The project was constructed over the course of five days and is elevated atop nine adjustable legs. Related: Gigantic wooden megaphones amplify the sounds of the forest in Estonia READER can be entered via a round opening that leads to an inner winding path that diverges into two and rises and falls like a small hill. The individual pine plywood panels are connected by spruce logs and are cut to slightly different sizes for an undulating tunnel effect. The student architects invite the public to enter and “escape from the real world of problems into the fictional world of books.” READER is currently on display in a grove in Pedaspea, Lahemaa, North-Estonia as part of an outdoor exhibit that showcases student work. + Estonian Academy of Arts Via ArchDaily Images © Paco Ulman

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Cozy READER shelter made from plywood offers escape into the world of books

This humble home in South Korea features an observation tower for amazing views

December 29, 2016 by  
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Imagine buying a plot of land with a stellar view for your future home, only to see the construction of multi-family developments on the neighboring sites, threatening to block out the dreamy scenery. That’s exactly what happened to ON Architecture ’s client near Gimhae, South Korea. In order to preserve scenic views of the nearby city, while fulfilling the client’s desire to have a small home, the architects devised Tower House, a unique modern structure with an unexpected vertical element in the form of a raised gallery. From there, the homeowner can soak up the precious view, unscathed by nearby developments. Tower House was designed by ON Architecture and built in 2015. The home sits just outside the city of Gimhae in South Korea ’s South Gyeongsang Province, in the southeastern corner of the country’s main island. Designing a small house that could compete with neighboring multi-family dwellings was a challenge, but the architects carefully crafted a plan that would give their client everything they wanted, and possibly more. Related: Parametrically designed Louverwall house maximizes winter sunlight To provide a place for cityscape-gazing, the architects devised an observation tower that would hold the home’s living room. Additionally, a connected foyer serves as a vertical gallery where the homeowner can display their ornamental rock collection and potted plants. The resulting foyer is the centerpoint of movement inside the house, linking all the individual rooms. ON Architecture’s client requested a small house, despite the spacious plot of land they had to work with. In response, the architects created a corresponding outdoor space for each room of the house, thereby stretching the usable area and facilitating a kind of communication between the indoors and the outside world. To achieve this goal, the home’s overall footprint was designed in an X configuration, maximizing the opportunity for “in-between spaces” outdoors that can be used independently. The positioning of the rooms within the house puts the living room and master bedroom on the south-facing wall, ensuring those spaces would be flooded with natural light during the day. Tower House also features a terrace, in front of the living room, inspired by Numaru, a Korean traditional loft floor structure. + ON Architecture Via Architizer Images via ON Architecture

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This humble home in South Korea features an observation tower for amazing views

This humble home in South Korea features an observation tower for amazing views

December 29, 2016 by  
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Comments Off on This humble home in South Korea features an observation tower for amazing views

Imagine buying a plot of land with a stellar view for your future home, only to see the construction of multi-family developments on the neighboring sites, threatening to block out the dreamy scenery. That’s exactly what happened to ON Architecture ’s client near Gimhae, South Korea. In order to preserve scenic views of the nearby city, while fulfilling the client’s desire to have a small home, the architects devised Tower House, a unique modern structure with an unexpected vertical element in the form of a raised gallery. From there, the homeowner can soak up the precious view, unscathed by nearby developments. Tower House was designed by ON Architecture and built in 2015. The home sits just outside the city of Gimhae in South Korea ’s South Gyeongsang Province, in the southeastern corner of the country’s main island. Designing a small house that could compete with neighboring multi-family dwellings was a challenge, but the architects carefully crafted a plan that would give their client everything they wanted, and possibly more. Related: Parametrically designed Louverwall house maximizes winter sunlight To provide a place for cityscape-gazing, the architects devised an observation tower that would hold the home’s living room. Additionally, a connected foyer serves as a vertical gallery where the homeowner can display their ornamental rock collection and potted plants. The resulting foyer is the centerpoint of movement inside the house, linking all the individual rooms. ON Architecture’s client requested a small house, despite the spacious plot of land they had to work with. In response, the architects created a corresponding outdoor space for each room of the house, thereby stretching the usable area and facilitating a kind of communication between the indoors and the outside world. To achieve this goal, the home’s overall footprint was designed in an X configuration, maximizing the opportunity for “in-between spaces” outdoors that can be used independently. The positioning of the rooms within the house puts the living room and master bedroom on the south-facing wall, ensuring those spaces would be flooded with natural light during the day. Tower House also features a terrace, in front of the living room, inspired by Numaru, a Korean traditional loft floor structure. + ON Architecture Via Architizer Images via ON Architecture

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This humble home in South Korea features an observation tower for amazing views

Solar-powered Farm From a Box is a compact farm kit that feeds 150 people

December 28, 2016 by  
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Two acres of land is enough to farm a sustainable food supply for as many as 150 people, and now a San Francisco startup is making it even easier to get that farm growing. Farm From a Box is a shipping container kit that holds all the essentials for setting up a two-acre farm (except the land, of course). Founders Brandi DeCarli and Scott Thompson got the idea after working on a youth center in Kenya where shipping containers were being used to substitute where infrastructure lacked. That project didn’t address food insecurity , though, which led DeCarli and Thompson to found their own venture specifically for that purpose. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlcijvWRJGU Farm From a Box is a kit designed to make it easier for all types of organizations to start growing sustainable food . Nonprofit humanitarian agencies, schools, community groups, and even individuals can buy a $50,000 kit, which comes with a complete water system including a solar-powered pump and drip irrigation system. Together, those features help conserve water by using it more efficiently, delivering water directly to the roots of growing plants. All of the kit’s components are solar-powered, so the kit also includes 3 kW of solar energy capacity which is enough to power the water pump as well as WiFi connectivity that makes it possible to monitor the farm conditions remotely. Because the built-in solar power technology generates more than enough energy to power the farm’s equipment, the farm is suitable to run completely off the grid. Related: Top 10 cities in the US for urban farming All the prospective farmer needs to have is viable land, of course, and seeds. Luckily, the Farm From a Box team realizes that farming is largely about skill and science, so the kit also includes three stages of training materials on sustainable farming, farm technology and maintenance, as well as the business of farming. In a recent interview with Smithsonian Magazine, DiCarli explained that the farm kit was designed to “act as a template” and that it’s possible to “plug in” components that specifically fit the farm’s local climate and the farmers’ needs. Those options include internal cold storage, to help preserve crops between harvest and consumption or sale, and a water purification system, if needed. So far, Farm From a Box has deployed one prototype at Shone Farm in Sonoma County, California. A project of Santa Rosa Junior College, the farm is part of a larger outdoor laboratory in which students learn how to cultivate crops in drought conditions, and then the harvest is used to supply the farm’s own community-supported agriculture (CSA) program as well as the college’s culinary arts program. DiCarli said the Shone Farm prototype turned out to be “more efficient than we had even planned,” with “really high” production and energy output. Farm From a Box has a number of other potential sites lined up already, in Ethiopia, Nepal, Bhutan, and Afghanistan, as well as additional test farms in California and a veteran-partnered site in Virginia. Via Smithsonian Magazine Images via Farm From a Box

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Solar-powered Farm From a Box is a compact farm kit that feeds 150 people

Mexican winery built from recycled wood and rammed earth blends into the valley landscape

December 28, 2016 by  
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Mexico’s booming wine country of Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California recently welcomed the chic BRUMA winery , a large complex constructed with a natural materials palette to blend beautifully into its surroundings. TAC Taller de Arquitectura Contextual designed the BRUMA winery as part of a 75-acre masterplan that includes a bed and breakfast, pool, spa, event space, and restaurant. Rammed earth and recycled wood feature prominently in the rustic winery building. Despite its 22,000-square-meter size, the BRUMA winery visually disappears in the dusty red and green landscape of Valle de Guadalupe. Part of the winery is tucked underground to take advantage of the earth’s thermal mass that protects against volatile temperature changes. A large reflecting pool nearby also serves as a natural heat insulator. Related: Rammed earth house blends traditional materials with modern techniques in Vietnam’s last frontier Recycled wood and steel are the primary materials used to construct the winery. The timber slats are naturally weathered and are of varying shades to give the building an interesting and earthy texture and parts of the wooden walls are punctuated by small glass openings for beautiful effect. Pieces of natural unmilled wood are used as seating or decorative objects. Native plants cover the roof of the winery. Curving rammed earth walls also make up part of the complex, further integrating the building into the landscape. + TAC Taller de Arquitectura Contextual Via ArchDaily Images © Humberto Romero

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Mexican winery built from recycled wood and rammed earth blends into the valley landscape

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