Architect Stefan Hitthaler breathes new life into a 1970s UFO-inspired chalet

August 14, 2018 by  
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A UFO-inspired house may be one of the last things you’d expect to find in a quaint Italian village, but this Space Age mountain chalet fits surprisingly well in its forested surroundings. Charmed by the unusual home, which had been designed by Innsbruck-based architect Josef Lackner in 1973, Bruneck-based architect Stefan Hitthaler has given the five-sided building a modern refresh and expansion for better usability and comfort. The remodeled chalet is used as a holiday retreat that can sleep multiple guests. When architect Stefan Hitthaler was commissioned to renovate the UFO House, the dwelling had fallen into disrepair and was in sore need of an amenities update. Hitthaler decided to replace all the siding and introduce a fresh material palette mainly comprising untreated larch , fir and gray-waxed concrete. The home, set on six low concrete pillars, was also expanded to include a more spacious outdoor deck and a retracting spaceship-inspired ladder entrance. The relatively compact mountain chalet offers just over 61 square meters of space across a main floor and smaller basement level, which is why the architect opted for an open plan . Full-height glazing that frames landscape views and opens up to a balcony also brings plenty of natural light into the main room, which is anchored by a fireplace and two large beds on either side. Behind the fireplace is a small kitchen unit and two extra, smaller bedrooms. A bathroom has been added to the lower level, which is finished in waxy gray concrete. Related: Off-grid UFO home is completely powered by wind, water and sun “The project provides better usability and optimized living comfort thanks to an increase in thermal insulation and the installation of floor heating with heat pump and ventilation,” said Stefan Hitthaler of the energy-efficient upgrades to the UFO House. “All these solutions generate a greater energy savings. These interventions haven’t compromised the idea and the structural quality of the outer shell and the interior.” + Stefan Hitthaler Images via Harald Wisthaler

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Architect Stefan Hitthaler breathes new life into a 1970s UFO-inspired chalet

This modern vacation home embraces indoor-outdoor living in Ontario

May 25, 2018 by  
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The boundary between indoors and out are blurred to beautiful effect in the Bear Stand Residence, a family retreat located approximately three hours northeast of Toronto, Ontario. Designed by Bohlin Grauman Miller in association with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson , the 3,300-square-foot holiday home is wrapped in glazing and natural materials in order to feel like an airy extension of the surrounding forest. Sitting along the shores of Contau Lake, the Bear Stand serves as an escape from city life for residents Sharon Leece and Joe Migrath. The couple lives and work in Shanghai but sought a forested retreat that they could share with their young daughter as well as family and friends. When in Shanghai, the family also offers the house as a vacation rental. “We wanted to build a West Coast-style property, as we love the open, airy, inside-outside connectivity of the modernist design approach there,” Leece said. “We felt the land was the perfect place to envision an authentic cabin aesthetic, visually connected with the environment.” Before Bohlin Cywinski Jackson principal Robert Miller started the design process, he joined the clients in a multi-day camping trip on the property to get a feel of the land. The time he spent with the couple was critical to shaping the vision for the house, which is designed to embrace the surrounding lake and forest at every turn. Related: The net-zero Frick Environmental Center is officially one of the world’s greenest buildings In addition to the master suite, the Bear Stand can accommodate a minimum of 12 guests in three guest suites, a bunk room with four beds and a den. The two-story home is oriented on an east-west axis to parallel the lake and an adjacent granite rock-face that rises up to the south. A double-height living room and dining area forms the heart of the home, while nearly all of the bedrooms — save for one guest bedroom — are located upstairs. The material palette echoes the wooded environment, from the black fiber-cement panels and stained cedar siding to the indoor fir windows and walnut flooring. Large windows open the home up to the outdoors. The house also includes a private sauna, ofuro soaking tub, hot tub and a screened porch. The American Institute of Architects  recently recognized the home’s excellence with a 2018 Housing Award. + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Images by Nic Lehoux

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This modern vacation home embraces indoor-outdoor living in Ontario

MUJIs $26k prefab huts are finally available for sale

November 7, 2017 by  
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The wait is over— MUJI’s microhomes are now officially on sale to the public. Ever since MUJI debuted their line of tiny prefabricated homes in 2015, fans of the minimalist design brand have eagerly awaited the chance to get their hands on one of their tiny prefabricated homes, called MUJI Huts , starting at a little over $26,000 USD. Per MUJI’s famous minimalist aesthetic, the MUJI Huts are elegant and understated. Timber surfaces and a light-tone color palette creates a cozy and welcoming character. The first MUJI Hut to hit the market is a compact 9-square-meter cabin clad in blackened timber and lined in domestic fir wood. Sliding glass doors let in ample natural light and open up to a small covered patio. The simplicity of the design makes it easy for the microhome to adapt to variety of environments and uses. Related: MUJI to sell eagerly awaited $27k minimalist tiny homes this fall Base pricing for the MUJI Hut starts at 3 million yen (approximately $26,340 USD), tax and construction costs included. Insulation and electrical outlets are optional add-ons. Unfortunately, MUJI Hut is presently only available for sale in Japan—lucky residents can order a microhome from MUJI’s global flagship store at Yurakucho —but fans of the microhome are always welcome to test drive a MUJI Hut at the MUJI Camp in Tsumagoi , about an hour out of Tokyo via bullet train. + MUJI Hut Via SoraNews24

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MUJIs $26k prefab huts are finally available for sale

Adorable mobile house shows off the beauty of untreated timber

June 8, 2017 by  
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Wood has a wonderful way of adding warmth and comfort to a home. Austrian design studio Innauer-Matt Architekten shows off the beauty of the building material in Exhibition House, a mobile pavilion commissioned as a showroom for timber construction company Kaspar Greber. The 30-square-meter building features a gabled roof inspired by the local vernacular. Despite its traditional gabled shape, the compact pavilion is decidedly modern in design with its clean lines, minimalist style, and playful circular windows and door. Innauer-Matt Architekten built the pavilion in the shape of a house in reference to the client company’s housing building services. Kaspar Greber’s in-house solid wood product “Nadelstreif/Pinstripe” is used in the exterior and interior. Different varieties of untreated, raw timber, which range from spruce to fir to oak , add texture and subtle gradients of color. “Doors and windows are round and invite visitors to take a closer look,” write the architects. “The protruding wooden dowels in the cut-out openings demonstrate the stiction-based construction. Moreover, the wall, ceiling and floor connections can be seen true to scale.” Related: Handsome Austrian house is clad in a latticed facade made from local spruce The Exhibition House is movable and spacious enough to be used for events, from trade fairs or the setting of corporate dinners and weddings. The building is designed as a mobile brand ambassador for wood. + Innauer-Matt Architekten Via ArchDaily Images © Dakro Todorovic

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Adorable mobile house shows off the beauty of untreated timber

How to recycle your holiday tree

December 29, 2014 by  
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  As the holidays come to a close, the gifts have been given, the cookies have been eaten, and your holiday tree is more than likely starting to look a little crisp around the edges. It’s at this point in the holiday season that the realities of the Christmas tree dilemma start to sink in. Fortunately, there are some great ways to recycle your tree so it doesn’t just end up as landfill, and we’ve also touched upon some greener ideas for future holidays . Read on to learn more! Read the rest of How to recycle your holiday tree Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: borrow a tree , christmas tree , christmas tree mulch , evergreen tree , evergreen trees , fir , grow your own tree , holiday tree , holiday trees , how to recycle your christmas tree , live tree , live-cut tree , mulch , Noble Fir , pine , Recycled tree , recycled xmas trees , recycling christmas trees , recycling trees , Recycling your christmas tree , spruce , tree rental , treecycle , treecycling , xmas tree , xmas tree mulch , xmas tree to be , xmas trees

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How to recycle your holiday tree

Scientists Use Pine Sap to Create Biodegradable, Renewable Plastics

February 25, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock As we begin to see the devastating effects of plastic pollution on our environment, scientists are working towards generating more eco-friendly alternatives to petroleum-based materials. Chuanbing Tang from the University of South Carolina is looking to the noble conifer to provide the key to biodegradable, renewable plastics. His research group has been altering the natural resins of firs, pines, and other evergreens through polymerization to create compounds that are more sustainable than fossil fuel-derived plastics. Read the rest of Scientists Use Pine Sap to Create Biodegradable, Renewable Plastics Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aromatic , chinese acaemy of forestry , chuanbing tang , conifer , cycloaliphatic , fir , fuxiang chu , hydrocarbons , macromolecular rapid communications , microbes , perry wilbon , petroleum , pine , plastic , polymerization , resin , rosin , terpenes , terpenoids , Tree , turpentine , University of South Carolina

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Scientists Use Pine Sap to Create Biodegradable, Renewable Plastics

Scientists Use Pine Sap to Create Biodegradable, Renewable Plastics

February 25, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock As we begin to see the devastating effects of plastic pollution on our environment, scientists are working towards generating more eco-friendly alternatives to petroleum-based materials. Chuanbing Tang from the University of South Carolina is looking to the noble conifer to provide the key to biodegradable, renewable plastics. His research group has been altering the natural resins of firs, pines, and other evergreens through polymerization to create compounds that are more sustainable than fossil fuel-derived plastics. Read the rest of Scientists Use Pine Sap to Create Biodegradable, Renewable Plastics Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aromatic , chinese acaemy of forestry , chuanbing tang , conifer , cycloaliphatic , fir , fuxiang chu , hydrocarbons , macromolecular rapid communications , microbes , perry wilbon , petroleum , pine , plastic , polymerization , resin , rosin , terpenes , terpenoids , Tree , turpentine , University of South Carolina

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Scientists Use Pine Sap to Create Biodegradable, Renewable Plastics

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