Modular Cylinder House weaves its way through a forest in France

August 4, 2017 by  
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This remarkable Cylinder House designed for Lyon, France , takes modular architecture to the next level. Cyril Lancelin, French architect and founder of creative studio Town and Concrete , imagines the house as a large cluster of modular glass tubes. The building weaves in and out of existing trees, and it can be expanded without disrupting the wooded surroundings. The architects used a system of cylinder juxtaposition to allow future extensions of the house, but also meander around trees to preserve the existing state of the landscape. Cylinders were chosen for their malleability – they can be open, semi-open or closed, depending on the function and place within a larger configuration. Related: These wooden blocks can be stacked up to create cabins, treehouses, and wilderness shelters The interior spaces, delineated by differences in cylinder heights, are flexible and respond to the lifestyle of their occupants. It is an open plan , with the cylinder pieces acting as posts. There are no corridors or walls inside the structure, which makes it spatially economic and airy. Its undulating glass facade blurs the line between the inside and the outside, and offers beautiful views of the forest. + Town and Concrete Via Archdaily

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Modular Cylinder House weaves its way through a forest in France

Sustainable Konbit shelter replaces home destroyed by Haiti earthquake

August 4, 2017 by  
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Many Haitians are still trying to rebuild their lives seven years after a powerful earthquake devastated much of the country . Thankfully, organizations like Konbit Shelters are helping local communities build sustainable homes that are designed to be resilient against future natural disasters. The Konbit team has just finished work on House Louisana, a multi-family home built by locals with a variety of locally-sourced, sustainable materials . Located in the community of Cormiers, House Louisana was built in collaboration with the local community, along with Oficina Design and the Heliotrope Foundation . The home was built for Mama Louisana and her extended family, who lost everything in the deadly 2012 earthquake. The family has been living in a temporary shelter every since. Related: Konbit Super-Adobe Shelters are Helping a Rural Haitian Village Rebuild In order to rebuild a space secure enough for her and her extended family, the design team chose to go with locally-sourced materials with strong, resilient qualities. Local guadua bamboo was the main building material, and was used in the structure’s supports and roof. Earth and natural fibers were used to create the walls, implementing the local practice of “bahareque” or constructing with natural mud or earth . The design aesthetic was cultivated in accordance with the local Haitian vernacular, including a double-pitched roof, open-air front porch, and plenty of outdoor space surrounding the home for socializing. On the interior, a central patio is surrounded by the living room, bedrooms and a kitchen. Since there is no electricity, windows and open cutouts were placed around the home for optimal natural light and air circulation. The high, inverted ceiling also aids in air circulation. On the exterior, the roof’s eaves jut out over the home considerably in order to distribute rain away from the main living area and porch during tropical rain storms. The low-tech, but efficient features used in the project were taught to the crew of local builders who helped with the project so they can be implemented in future sustainable constructions in the area. The home was built in just four months and was funded by a Kickstarter campaign. + Konbit Shelters + Oficina Design Images via Oficina Design

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Sustainable Konbit shelter replaces home destroyed by Haiti earthquake

Adorable owl cabins let you camp inside for free and off the grid in France

July 7, 2017 by  
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A giant trio of adorable timber owls has popped up in rural France—and you can sleep inside them for free! Perfect for summer camping in Bourdeaux, these beautiful cabins are the work of Bruit du Frigo partner Zebra3/Buy-Sellf and built as part of the Refuges Périurbains (Peri-urban shelters) in the Bordeaux region. Named “Les Guetteurs” (The Watchers), this sixth unique cabin of the series is located off the grid along the edge of the city and is designed to encourage urban hiking and exploration of lesser-known sites. Zebra3/Buy-Sellf designed and built “Les Guetteurs” in the likeness of Bourdeaux’s ground-dwelling owls that live in open landscapes. The three enchanting owls are huddled together as a single mass, creating a large cabin with three floors. The building features a circular plywood frame clad in strips of curved wood. Shingles cut to look like feathers top the roof, while giant circular windows are installed for the owl’s “eyes.” The shelter is built atop a boardwalk elevated over a wetlands area. Related: MVRDV to upgrade historic French city with modern, ecological design A forest-inspired glazed door opens up to a light-filled interior with faceted timber walls. Operating off-grid without running water or electricity, the cabin is fairly bare bones yet its timber palette creates a cozy environment. Circular white beds built to look like nests are located on the different levels connected via ladders. Like all of the shelters in the Refuges Périurbains project, “Les Guetteurs” can host up to nine people and helps encourage locals and visitors to reconnect with Bourdeaux’s landscape and environment. Bookings for the free lodging can be made on the Refuges Périurbains website. + Zebra3/Buy-Sellf Via Tiny House Blog

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Adorable owl cabins let you camp inside for free and off the grid in France

France to ban all diesel and petrol cars in just over 20 years

July 6, 2017 by  
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New French president Emmanuel Macron aims to make his country carbon neutral by 2050. To work towards that goal, France’s new environment minister Nicolas Hulot just unveiled several measures. Perhaps one of the most dramatic is to totally ban by 2040all vehicles that run on diesel and petrol. Diesel and petrol vehicles could exit French roads in around 23 years. Hulot said the country will ban the polluting vehicles then, but does have a few plans to make the transition a little easier. He said the goal would put a burden on car manufacturers in France but the government has a few projects which “can fulfill that promise.” Households in France with lower incomes will be given a premium so they’ll be able to bid adieu to vehicles running on fossil fuels for cleaner options. Related: Volvo will only sell electric cars starting in 2019 That’s not the only goal Hulot unveiled. He also said France would stop burning coal for power in around five years, in 2022. As much as four billion Euros, around $4.5 billion, could be invested in energy efficiency . These targets are part of a five-year plan to boost clean energy and meet France’s goals under the Paris Agreement . France will also cease importing products like palm oil and soya that are largely produced unsustainably and are contributing to deforestation . Hulot said it would be schizophrenic to work towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions while also accepting deforestation since trees can act as carbon sinks and absorb carbon dioxide if they’re not chopped down. These goals are part of France’s efforts to help lead the battle against climate change , according to Hulot. He said, “We want to demonstrate that fighting against climate change can lead to an improvement of French people’s daily lives.” Via The Independent Images via Pixabay and Chris Karidis on Unsplash

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France to ban all diesel and petrol cars in just over 20 years

30-foot camper transformed into a nomadic haven with a surprisingly swanky interior

July 6, 2017 by  
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The “ Wander in the West ” crew, a five-person team that is currently traveling through the American West, turned this 30-foot camper van into a swanky home on wheels. Although the exterior was kept in its almost-original state, the interior was transformed into a sophisticated nomadic haven, perfect for experiencing life on the open road. The Winnhaven will be a comfy place to call home as the adventurous crew travel 8,700 miles through the American West. Designed to be a comfortable ride for the team, the space was strategically converted into a home on wheels thanks to collaboration from some incredibly swanky home decor and DIY brands. Related: Italian woman restores old van to travel the world with her rescue dog To revamp the living space into a cozy communal area, the team focused on creating a bright, cabin-like interior. Various seating options are available for socializing or working. Most of the walls are painted a stark white to open up the space, but there are quite a few warm touches such as the hardwood flooring and sliding bedroom door, which was covered in peel-and-stick wooden wall panels. The kitchen, although compact, was equipped with sufficient counter space and a beautiful copper sink from Sinkology , who also provided the copper basin in the tiny bathroom . The camper has a number of beds that are covered in colorful textiles influenced by the American West. Additional touches such as hanging plants and soft blankets make the Winnhaven an ideal place for team’s ongoing, on-the-road adventure. + Wander in the West + Everywhere Goods

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30-foot camper transformed into a nomadic haven with a surprisingly swanky interior

"Mount Trashmore" of Massachusetts transformed into clean energy hub

July 6, 2017 by  
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Who says there’s no such thing as second chances? An historically off-putting landfill in Brockton, Massachusetts, which was once dubbed Mount Trashmore for its overwhelming bad odor, has been transformed from a wasted space to a generator of clean renewable energy . This week, a new solar power system opened above the previously underutilized space at Thatcher Street in Brockton. Local officials estimate the new clean energy infrastructure installed on-site will offset the carbon emissions of more than 12,000 cars annually and will generate more than $300,000 in annual revenue for the city. The Brockton project is not the first instance of Massachusetts turning previously dead space into a net positive for the community. All along the Mass Pike, also known as Interstate 90, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, in collaboration with private contractors, has installed solar panel arrays that make use of the land between the highway shoulder and privately owned residential and commercial plots. Over the next twenty years, these highway clean power plants are estimated to generate at least $15 million of revenue for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Related: 8 incredible parks created from landfills While these renewable energy additions to landfills are a welcome improvement, landfills themselves are relatively modern innovations in the United States. Before Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act in 1976, trash was usually just dumped in massive holes in the ground, which created significant, unceasing environmental hazards, from increased methane in the atmosphere to leaching toxic chemicals into local groundwater. After the RCRA was passed, disposal facilities were required to be properly lined and equipped with vents through which methane may be burned. However, this increased costs, which incentivized municipalities to build larger landfills. In order to bring trash from disparate locations to one mega landfill, more greenhouse gases must be burned in their transportation. To solve this problem, perhaps Congress could take a second look at the RCRA and ensure that all landfills offset their emissions, like Mount Trashmore in Brockton. Via CBS Boston Lead image via Depositphotos , others via Flickr   (1)

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Tiny Wirmboden chapel in Austria is made of stone sourced on-site

July 6, 2017 by  
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Nestled in an alpine valley in Western Austria, this tiny chapel is a serene haven for local farmers. After an avalanche destroyed the town’s original chapel, including several other huts in 2012, the community decided to rebuild, so they commissioned Innauer-Matt Architects to design a space for gatherings and celebrations using locally-sourced materials.   The Wirmboden chapel is located in at the foot of the steep north face of the valley’s Kanisfluh mountain in Austria . Local farmers organized the initiative to rebuild the original structure, destroyed by an avalanche in 2012. Built over the course of three years, the chapel complements the surrounding alpine architecture and offers a space where people can gather, celebrate and pray. Related: Modern chapel makes a powerful but minimalist statement in the Austrian countryside Locally sourced stone make up the walls of the building, with rough split shingles covering the steep truss. A roof opening brings natural light into the interior. Memorial photo cards were placed in the space between rafters to commemorate loved ones. The entrance, truss and bell space were made from German spruce conventionally used for making violins and guitars. + Innauer-Matt Architects Via Archdaily Photos by Adolf Bereuter

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Tiny Wirmboden chapel in Austria is made of stone sourced on-site

Enchanting tiny home combines French rustic charms and modern luxuries

June 23, 2017 by  
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French rustic charms and modern luxuries come together in this beautiful tiny home on wheels. France’s tiny house company Baluchon has outdone themselves again in their latest build called the Ostara, a tiny home built on a six-meter trailer. Currently located near a horse farm in Toulouse, the light-filled timber abode looks surprisingly spacious despite its small size and sleeps two in a loft bedroom. Custom built for clients Nathalie and Sebastien, Ostara was named after the stable close to the tiny home’s location. Although charming and rustic on the outside, the spruce -clad Ostara makes a grand impression with its large French doors flanked with curtains that open up to a light-filled living room. A large 1.8-meter-long sofa forms the living room’s focal point and can also comfortably lodge an overnight guest. A small bookcase, wood-burning stove , and a small dining table that accommodates three people is located to the left. To the right of the living room is the kitchen with a full-size sink, pantry, two-burner stovetop, fridge/freezer, and a gorgeous extendable wooden countertop. The bathroom with a full-size shower and composting toilet are tucked into the end of the home. Related: Fully-furnished tiny house from France easily fits a family of three A corner staircase with built-in storage leads up to the mezzanine with a large loft bed . Multiple double-glazed openings, including a broad bay window and one-meter-wide circular window, punctuate the home and provide views of the horses and rural surroundings. Sheep wool, cotton, linen, hemp, and wood fibers were used for insulation. The home is made from locally sourced materials. Baluchon’s beautiful homes are only delivered in France due to the company’s desire to limit carbon emissions. + Baluchon Via Tiny House Talk

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Enchanting tiny home combines French rustic charms and modern luxuries

G7 leaders openly say climate change consensus does not include US

May 29, 2017 by  
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The rest of the world is beginning to count the United States out of the climate change battle, if a recent statement after the 2017 Group of Seven (G7) summit is any indication. The G7 leaders met late last week in Taormina, Italy, and naturally climate change was on the agenda. But in a rather blunt statement, they said America “is not in a position to join the consensus” on the Paris Agreement and one of the biggest challenges humanity faces today. Leaders from the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Japan, and the European Union met at the G7 summit to discuss what they described as their citizens’ greatest concerns, which ranged from trade to the global economy to gender equality to climate change. The statement released after the summit declared the leaders committed to strengthening energy security and harnessing economic opportunities stemming from clean energy . The leaders also reaffirmed their dedication to the Paris Agreement – that is, all did but President Donald Trump . Related: China, Canada, EU join forces on climate action – without Trump The statement reads, “The United States of America is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics. Understanding this process, the Heads of State and of Government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom and the Presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement, as previously stated at the Ise-Shima Summit.” There were mixed feelings over the results of the G7 summit. Trump called it an “tremendously productive meeting.” Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said they were satisfied after the meeting but was open about disagreements with the United States: “We do not disguise this division. It emerged very clearly in our conversations.” Recently elected President of France Emmanuel Macron seemed optimistic, saying he was certain Trump would support the agreement after conversations at the summit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel didn’t seem as hopeful. She told reporters, “The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying. There are no indications whether the United States will stay in the Paris Agreement or not.” Via Reuters Images via G7 Italy 2017 on Twitter ( 1 , 2 )

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G7 leaders openly say climate change consensus does not include US

Casa Pjaro de Plata offers stunning views of the Costa Rican jungle

May 29, 2017 by  
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This gorgeous house nestled amidst the Costa Rican jungle offers panoramic views of its lush natural surroundings. Architect John Osborne of OS Arquitectura designed Casa Pájaro de Plata (which translates to ‘Silver Bird House’) to resemble a bird in flight. The house has a simple shape and it sits on a promontory surrounded by a lush jungle. The architects combined natural stone with white marble and wood to create a variety of warm spaces that allow the owners to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. These beautiful photos by Fernando Alda capture serenity of the location and the house. Related: Tropical solar-powered home boasts spectacular views of the ocean and jungle The white marble terrace features an infinity pool that seems to flow into the surrounding tree tops. Open-plan spaces dominate the interior, with wooden elements appearing throughout the house – including in the bathrooms and a pathway that leads through the woods to a viewing platform . + OS Arquitectura Photos by Fernando Alda

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Casa Pjaro de Plata offers stunning views of the Costa Rican jungle

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