Four alpine apartments rise from a green-roofed complex in the Czech Republic

October 25, 2019 by  
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Czech architecture firm ov-a recently replaced a former 1980s department store in the mountain town of Pec pod Sn?žkou, Czech Republic with Apart-hotel Svatý Vav?inec, a modern mixed-use complex with 90 apartments that celebrate the alpine surroundings. In place of the barrier-like shopping complex that had obstructed views into the village, the architects created a green-roofed commercial plinth topped with four timber-clad apartment towers. Dubbed the “meadow,” the accessible green roof serves as a semi-private open space with room for an outdoor grill with seating, a children’s playground and private terraces for individual suites. Taking inspiration from the local alpine vernacular, the architects created Apart-hotel Svatý Vav?inec with natural materials and simple gabled forms to blend the architecture into the landscape. The commercial plinth is clad in stone and topped with an intensive Optigrün green roof . The four gabled apartment towers on top vary in size and orientation and are clad in cedar and large windows that embrace views of the outdoor landscape. If apartment owners choose to rent out their units, guests can enjoy access to a complete hotel experience with a reception and cleaning services. Related: A new eco-minded neighborhood in Utah ski resort emphasizes land stewardship The commercial plinth also offers new amenities for the greater community, including a supermarket, a pharmacy, a sporting goods store and a ski and bicycle service shop. The commercial spaces can be accessed through the interior of all of the apartments as well. The building has two underground garages on different levels. “The core character of the area is shaped by the individually standing buildings along the main street that are in close contact with the surrounding nature,” the architects explained. “The atmosphere is captured by a road rising through the valley alongside streams and by the openings between houses that allow a view of the further planes of the village and the cabins scattered on the meadows. The design of four apartment buildings continues the thread of these qualities and develops and further elaborates on them.” + ov-a Images via BoysPlayNice

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Four alpine apartments rise from a green-roofed complex in the Czech Republic

10 healthy Halloween treats to make this October

October 25, 2019 by  
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Halloween is notorious for one thing: candy. While it is expected for everyone to indulge every once in a while, most people choose to forget about their health completely when it comes to Halloween , using the holiday as an excuse to eat too many artificial sweets. We’ve rounded up a list of 10 healthier options for Halloween party treats that are good for you while still maintaining the spooky holiday spirit. Bell pepper jack-o’-lanterns The best way to trick (and treat) your kids into eating their vegetables this Halloween has to be these quirky bell pepper jack-o’-lanterns. Carefully use a small paring knife or cookie cutter to cut the classic jack-o’-lantern shape into fresh bell peppers. Get creative with different shapes for the mouth, eyes and nose. Stuff the tops with salad or fresh veggie sticks and serve with a side of homemade hummus or balsamic dressing. Save any extra bell peppers in the fridge to use in a stir fry or soup the next day. Chicken, bison or plant-based meatball eyeballs Swapping beef for ground chicken, 100 percent grass-fed bison or veggies and beans in a meatball recipe is a leaner, healthier alternative. Pop on some sliced olives to turn your meatballs into eyeballs, or stick thinly sliced bell peppers into the sides to make them look like spiders. Place your meatballs on a bed of your favorite homemade sauce with either zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash or brown rice pasta. Vegan cupcakes Take your favorite vegan cupcake recipe (we suggest our Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes ) and spice it up with a little Halloween flair. Top the cupcakes with delicious Greek yogurt frosting and fresh strawberry or raspberry compote for a blood-colored statement, or mix in some all-natural food coloring. Turmeric makes a good substitution for orange food coloring and matcha for green if you want to go with a pumpkin theme. Apple monsters Cut up some green apples into slices and sandwich your favorite nut butter in between. Stick in sunflower seeds to look like pointy monster teeth and add a sliced strawberry tongue. Instead of candy googly eyes, make eyeballs out of blueberries or grapes, and stick them into the tops of the apples with toothpicks.  Pumpkin soup witch’s brew Swap a regular bowl for a hollowed-out pumpkin tureen , and add a Halloween-themed topping to go along with your pumpkin soup. Use a bat-shaped cookie cutter to create bats out of whole-grain toast for dipping, or make a spider web shape out of crème fraîche to get extra festive. To double up on the party snacks, roast the pumpkin seeds from the tureen with salt, and set them out for your guests. Mandarin orange pumpkins and banana ghosts These little mandarin orange “pumpkins” are packed with vitamin D, and the accompanying banana “ghosts” are full of potassium . But the best part about making them? It is so easy, the whole family can join in. Peel mandarin oranges and stick a small slice of celery into the top to create the pumpkin stems. Use nut butter as a glue to place dark chocolate chips as the eyes and mouth on halved bananas for a ghostly face. Veggie dog mummies Swap classic hot dogs for vegan or veggie dogs for this flaky, filling recipe. Buy a pre-made dough or make your own, and cut it into strips before wrapping it around your hot dogs for a mummified look. Place your mummies on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until the dogs are hot all the way through and the dough is golden brown. Homemade ketchup or honey mustard go great for dipping. Olive spiders Olives are high in antioxidants, healthy fats and vitamin B, not to mention they are low in cholesterol and high in fiber — a recipe for good gut and heart health. Connect two olives, one large and one small, together with a toothpick. Stick dried spaghetti pasta into the sides for legs (don’t forget to save the pasta to cook later so it doesn’t go to waste !). Candy or caramel apples Make your own caramel or candy apples using organic ingredients, and choose healthier toppings such as dark chocolate, chopped almonds, chopped dates, dried fruit or coconut flakes. For a party-friendly dish, arrange apple slices on a Halloween platter and drizzle with caramel sauce in a creepy, spider-web design. Mashed cauliflower ghosts Going low-carb this Halloween? Mashed cauliflower is a super healthy alternative to mashed potatoes. Spoon your mash into a piping bag to help shape it into ghost form and decorate with cut chives, black olives, peas or sesame seeds. To make sure they hold their shape, you can opt to bake or broil them in the oven for a few minutes until the mash is firm. Images via Shutterstock

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10 healthy Halloween treats to make this October

Solar-powered home cuts a bold and sculptural silhouette in Melbourne

August 10, 2018 by  
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When Melbourne and Paris-based architecture firm Ola Studio was tapped to create a suburban single-family home in Melbourne , it based its design around the clients’ love for art as well as the industrial loft-like spaces of converted warehouses they were accustomed to. The end result is a partly gabled home that pays homage to its surrounding local and historic context while exuding an undeniably contemporary appearance. The house, named Ross, is powered using a solar photovoltaic array and also follows passive solar principles to minimize energy use. Set on a long rectangular lot in a diverse heritage precinct, the Ross house comfortably fits a family of five, their dog and an art collection. The home is split into two floors with the primary living spaces and a single bedroom on the ground floor, while the master bedroom, two secondary bedrooms and a sitting area are stacked above. Outdoor decks flank both sides of the home to encourage indoor-outdoor living; the family also has access to lawn space and a spacious pool. Ross’ sculptural roofline takes cues from its neighboring structures, both of which are white-painted, single-story period bungalows. The monochromatic color scheme and minimalist material palette is carried over from the exterior to the interior, which serves as a gallery for the client’s art collection. Related: A modular extension boasts a seamless indoor-outdoor living experience “The house is a bold sculptural piece; elegantly defined by its divisible realms,” explain the architects in a project statement. “This includes the public façade and entry, the living area within a secluded garden , and the private realm upstairs, each providing uniquely evocative environments for the public and residents. Upstairs is wrapped in black vertical aluminium angles and is a study in dealing with domestic privacy within the urban environment.” + Ola Studio Images by Derek Swalwell

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Solar-powered home cuts a bold and sculptural silhouette in Melbourne

Minimalism adds a modern twist to this traditional farmhouse

July 25, 2018 by  
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Columbus-based practice Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design took cues from early 19th-century agrarian architecture for its design of the Sullivan House, a contemporary residence that comprises two gabled barn-like structures. Located in the leafy Ohio suburb of Worthington, this single-family home offers a modern take on the local farmhouse vernacular with its simple form clad in natural materials and large expanses of glass. Completed in June 2016, the Sullivan House is a spacious residence placed on a high point of a three-acre wooded lot upslope from a deep ravine. The two-story home was built on the remaining foundations of a previous house and covers an area of 3,500 square feet. The entrance and the main rooms of the house — including an open-plan living area, dining space and kitchen — are on the upper level, and a glazed connector separates them from a private wing housing the master suite and two bedrooms. A small loft space with an en suite bedroom is tucked above the living space. The lower level houses the garage, guest room, play room and storage with laundry. The main level of the Sullivan House is wrapped in Shou Sugi Ban set atop a base of rough limestone. The gabled roofs are sheathed in natural slate shingles with a terne metal standing seam skirt. The use of natural materials helps to blend the home into its forested surroundings, while large sliding glass panels and outdoor entertaining areas — a dining patio on the lower level and a large dining terrace on the main floor — emphasize indoor-outdoor living. Related: A Michigan farmhouse is reborn as a beautiful modern vacation retreat “The project formally references the farm structures common to the area at the time of its first settlement in the early 19th century,” said Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design in its project statement. “The minimalist expression of this reference creates a strong and clear aesthetic — the basic structure and iconic form are primary.” + Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design Images by Brad Feinknopf

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Minimalism adds a modern twist to this traditional farmhouse

A massive gabled roof protects this minimalist timber home from the snow

July 24, 2018 by  
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Linz-based architecture practice mia2/ Architektur has completed a charming minimalist home defined by a massive gabled roof in Pyhrn-Priel Holiday Region, an alpine region in Upper Austria. Located on a sloped site, the timber home — dubbed Haus L — was designed to embrace the outdoors with full-height operable glazing that frames beautiful rural views. The dwelling also has an eco-friendly focus with its limited footprint and use of natural materials, including cellulose insulation. Split into two levels covering 1,679 square feet, Haus L was commissioned by a young family that desired “a calm, clear architecture made of wood, concrete and glass.” Its simple yet modern design harmonizes with the rural landscape and vernacular. The top-heavy home features a concrete base and is mostly clad in light-colored timber inside and out, save for the gabled portion that is clad in stained timber . The architects partly embedded the ground floor into the earth; the master bedroom, living room and entrance can be found on this lowest level. A short set of steps to the left of the entrance leads up to a slightly elevated terrace-like space housing the kitchen and dining room. Here, sliding glass doors and the double-height ceiling create a spacious, indoor-outdoor experience. The dining room also connects to an outdoor terrace . Three additional bedrooms can be found upstairs. Skylights and a large round window let daylight into the upper floor. Related: Minimalist timber home gracefully blends into the Austrian landscape “The solid timber house with its precisely chosen elements is simple and complex at once,” explained mia2/ Architektur in a project statement. “Simplicity comes from the clear structure and proportion of base, ground floor and roof. Complexity comes from spatial variety. At the high part of the slope, the ground floor is located half a meter below terrain level, which creates a living space embedded by grassland. Downward, the kitchen and living room is given enough space to unfold up to the ridge.” + mia2/ Architektur Via ArchDaily Images by Kurt Hörbst

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A massive gabled roof protects this minimalist timber home from the snow

A 1960s Swiss chalet is transformed into a whimsical off-grid home

June 21, 2018 by  
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Swiss architecture firm Frundgallina has dramatically transformed a rundown chalet in the Jura Mountains into a whimsical self-sufficient dwelling punctuated by a variety of  gabled openings. The architects kept the structure’s exterior dimensions, but rearranged the interior by dividing the floor plan into four sections measuring approximately 86 square feet each. The gabled home operates off the grid and is equipped with a rainwater harvesting system. The chalet was built almost entirely of fir boards sourced from the Jura forests. Vertically oriented rough sawn fir clads the exterior, while the interior boards — also nailed vertically — were planed. Grooved-ridge fir from the same source was laid on the floors and ceilings as well. A thin folded sheet of stainless steel forms the gabled roof and is outfitted with a rainwater harvesting system. The gable theme continues through the interior where it can be seen in doorways and windows. The interior, divided into four identical volumes, was also split into two levels to create seven distinct spaces, each specially positioned to offer outdoor views. Some of the windows are also large enough to serve as entrances and as such, there is no designated formal door, but rather four entrances — one on each side of the chalet . Related: Minimalist timber home gracefully blends into the Austrian landscape “These ‘rooms’ are connected to each other by large, medium or small openings, allowing a playful, spiral stroll, and continuously guaranteeing the perception of the whole of the interior space, isolated from each other by strongly felt thresholds,” Frundgallina said in a statement. “On each facade are drawn a small and a large window, as well as a double door opening to the outside. Cutting the walls to different heights, they reveal to the visitor the principle of interior spatial organization.” + Frundgallina Via ArchDaily Images by J.-C. Frund

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A 1960s Swiss chalet is transformed into a whimsical off-grid home

Beautiful bamboo archways add dramatic flair to a Xiamen restaurant

December 6, 2017 by  
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Our favorite Vietnamese architecture firm is nearing completion on a gorgeous bamboo restaurant in Xiamen, China. As reported in ArchDaily , Vo Trong Nghia Architects is close to finishing the Ting Xi Bamboo Restaurant, a striking building with capacity for 200 people. The sculptural restaurant champions the beauty and strength of bamboo, used in its 14 fan-shaped support columns. Bamboo is a favorite material of Vo Trong Nghia Architects. The firm’s eco-friendly work is helping to increase popularity of a renewable material that many Asian architects and developers dismiss as flimsy. At Ting Xi Bamboo Restaurant, the bamboo used is treated with traditional Vietnamese techniques to naturally improve the material’s strength and durability. The reinforced rods are grouped into 14 “quadrilateral” columns that fan out near the top to create dramatic archways down the center of the restaurant . The sculptural columns, spaced eight meters apart, support a pitched roof with a maximum height of 6.4 meters. Long overhanging eaves provide extra protection from the elements. The restaurant will also be slightly curved in plan so that a person standing at one entrance wouldn’t be able to immediately see the entrance on the opposite end. A smaller green-roof ed building that sits behind the restaurant will be built of local brick and house the bathrooms, kitchen, staff room, and storage. A pond is located to the south of the main building. Related: Luxurious bamboo beach bar and restaurant bolsters spa in Vietnam Despite its open-air appearance and the architects’ proclivity for breezy buildings, the restaurant will rely on air conditioning, not natural ventilation , for cooling, per the client’s request. Custom-cut glass will be fitted into the archways and skylights installed to let in extra light. + Vo Trong Nghia Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Vo Trong Nghia Architects

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Beautiful bamboo archways add dramatic flair to a Xiamen restaurant

Charred timber pavilion slides back and forth to expose rooms to the outdoors

September 30, 2016 by  
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Created as an “experimental shelter” to complement the firm’s existing workshop in nearby Heppeneert, the Hofer pavilion takes on the archetypical shape of a rural gabled home . The self-designed and self-built structure is elevated atop ten pillars and mounted on heavy-duty wheels and a rail. Three of building’s four walls are attached to the roof and can slide back and forth on the rail to open the studio up to the outdoors in summer, or enclose it during winter. Related: Carbon House’s burnt wood facade is a playful reference to the clients’ love of cooking Charred timber crafted using the Shou Sugi Ban technique clad the exterior walls, while the fixed gable wall and floor are fashioned out of sheet metal. The interior is minimally furnished with a long table, stools, hanging lights, as well as shelving and a wood-burning stove built into the fixed gable wall. Large windows let occupants enjoy views of the outdoors and access to natural light even when four walls enclose the interior. The temporary dwelling can be used in all seasons. + Stal Collectief Via Dezeen Images via Stal Collectief

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Charred timber pavilion slides back and forth to expose rooms to the outdoors

Handsome House XL is constructed almost entirely from cross-laminated timber

July 28, 2016 by  
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Located on the outskirts of a new residential area, House XL comprises two gabled volumes that lie parallel to one another and are connected by a third gabled volume perpendicularly placed. All three volumes extrude past the slatted timber and glazed facades to provide shade from the sun . The two parallel volumes are clad in black panels while the third connecting volume is clad in light gray paneling; the colors and matte texture provide a striking contrast to the light-colored timber façade installed in diagonal and grid patterns. Related: SoNo Arhitekti’s House PS shows off the beauty of prefab The interior features a light-filled and spacious floor plan split into three levels: a basement and two upper floors. The small basement level was constructed with reinforced steel, while the upper levels consist entirely of cross-laminated timber elements. Large glazed surfaces let in natural light filtered by timber slats. The communal spaces, including the dining room, kitchen, and living areas are placed on the first floor and connect with an outdoor patio flanked by the parallel gabled volumes. The bedrooms are located on the topmost floor. + SoNo Arhitekti Via ArchDaily Images via SoNo Arhitekti

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Handsome House XL is constructed almost entirely from cross-laminated timber

Modern chapel makes a powerful but minimalist statement in the Austrian countryside

August 17, 2015 by  
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