MVRDV transforms an abandoned highway into a "plant village" in the sky

May 23, 2017 by  
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Architectural superstars MVRDV have transformed an abandoned highway in Seoul into a 983-meter-long elevated Skygarden. The “plant village” is located high above traffic, and it welcomes visitors to stroll through 24,000 indigenous trees and shrubs. Dutch firm MVRDV  was tasked with turning a 1970s-era highway into a space that would not only add greenery to the city, but would make the area more pedestrian friendly. The design is called Seoullo 7017 is Korea, which means “Seoul Street,” combined with 1970 and 2017, the years the highway was built and the year it was renovated. The park contains more than just the garden walkway itself. Along the way are tea houses, shopes, galleries, a theater and restaurants. Former on and off-ramps were converted into stairs, elevators and ramps to get on and off the garden superhighway. Plants are organized on the Skygarden in different families. These families are grouped by the Korean alphabet. This naturally led to splitting the Skygarden into different groupings of fragrance and color, providing visitors with a different experience depending on the season and area of the garden . At night, the Skygarden is illuminated with blue light, which is healthier for the plants. Related: Philadelphia Unveils Their Own Elevated Rail Park for the Abandoned Reading Viaduct “Our design offers a living dictionary of plants which are part of the natural heritage of South Korea and now, existing in the city center,” said Winy Maas of MVRDV. “The idea here is to connect city dwellers with nature, while at the same time also offering the opportunity of experiencing these amazing views to the Historical Seoul Station and Namdaemun Gate.” + MVRDV via ArchDaily and Dezeen images via Ossip van Duivenbode

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MVRDV transforms an abandoned highway into a "plant village" in the sky

Fabulous multigenerational home allows owners to comfortably age in place

May 23, 2017 by  
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Practical yet playful, the Charles House is a multigenerational home designed with an eye for detail and sustainability in Kew, Australia. Austin Maynard Architects designed the spacious home for a family of five who wanted a home they could live in for at least 25 years. The home, which is adaptable to meet the needs of a growing extended family, is one of the architects’ most sustainable homes to date and features a solar array, bulk insulation, and double stud walls. Unlike its “McMansion” neighbors, the Charles House has a unique design that references historic Edwardian and Victorian homes with a modern twist. Instead of building on top of the plot’s entire width, the architects slotted the home on the southern edge and left a long strip of green open for a garden that runs from the street to the school sports field at the rear of the site. The continuous green strip is accessible to all the living spaces of the home and blur the line between indoor and outdoor living. “Sited in Kew, where neighbouring buildings compete for attention and status, our challenge was to create a home that didn’t dominate the street and was imbedded in gardens,” wrote the architects. “We aimed to create a home that didn’t have a tall defensive fence, but instead offered openness and life to the street.” Related: Innovative House M-M Brings Three Generations of Finns Under One Roof The home is broken down in a series of interconnected volumes, each clad in a different slate pattern. The interior is designed for adaptability and rooms can be converted to accommodate different uses. The home is topped with a rooftop solar array and also includes water collection, doubled glazed windows, and adjustable sun shading and siting. + Austin Maynard Architects Images © Peter Bennetts

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Fabulous multigenerational home allows owners to comfortably age in place

$63k tiny home manages to feel open and airy in just 188 square feet

May 22, 2017 by  
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As much as we love  tiny home  living, it can be undeniably cramped sometimes. The home builders from Tumbleweed Houses are rising to meet the challenge of creating a spacious-feeling living space in a compact footprint. The company just unveiled their latest compact home, the Roanoke, which uses a 10-foot-high ceiling topped with a shed style roof to add flexible space to the 188-square-foot, off-grid home. The compact trailer was built to provide flexibility in terms of space and location, but also has a charming aesthetic. A wood paneled exterior gives the home a traditional cabin feel on one side, while a sophisticated black metal roof and backside adds a touch of modernity to the design. The Roanoke is built on a RVIA Certified, Low-Wider trailer, which means it can be transported virtually anywhere. Although it comes with standard water and electricity connections, it can be equipped to be 100% off-grid. Related: This amazing light-filled tiny house packs big style for just $35k The sophisticated feel of the tiny cabin continues on to the all-wood interior. The highlight of the space is undoubtedly its 10-foot-high ceilings which, along with tons of natural light, gives the home an open, airy quality. Various storage system s such as built-in storage nooks and various cubby holes keep the space clutter free. The bottom floor houses a spacious kitchen, bath and master bedroom or office space. Thanks to the slanted roof, a space was carved out for an upstairs sleeping loft, which can be reached by ladder. This flexible sleeping arrangement was designed so that young couples could use the loft as a bedroom and the master as an office space in their younger, more agile years. As the couple ages, the loft space can be used for storage space and the office can be converted into a master bedroom. + Tumbleweed Houses Images via Tumbleweed Houses  

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$63k tiny home manages to feel open and airy in just 188 square feet

Prefabricated lakeside cabin is a beautiful exercise in restraint

May 22, 2017 by  
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Family reunions can be loud affairs, a fact that one Torontonian family patriarch with ten energetic grandkids knows well. To secure peace and quiet while staying close to visiting family, a homeowner on Ontario’s Lake Simcoe hired Superkül architects to design a retreat within a retreat—a modern kid-free cabin separate from his existing bungalow. Dubbed Pointe Cabin, the prefabricated modern dwelling is a beautiful exercise in restraint that fully embraces the outdoors. The two-bedroom, 840-square-foot Pointe Cabin is sited close to the client’s original log cottage, purchased in the 1970s, at the edge of Cook’s Bay on the southern tip of Lake Simcoe. Although the new addition contrasts with its predecessor in its contemporary design, both cabins are linked by their predominant use of timber that blends the buildings into the wooded surroundings. Natural, locally sourced , and low maintenance materials were used in the indoor and outdoor living areas and include a mixture of cedar, white oak, and spruce-pine-fir. Related: Superkül Designs Canada’s First Active House To meet cost and efficiency targets, the single-story cabin was prefabricated offsite. The factory-built wall, floor, and roof panels were trucked to the site and the home was assembled in just a few days. The two-bedroom home is connected to the original cabin with a glazed passageway and contains a private entry, kitchenette, bathroom, and wrap-around deck. Floor-to-ceiling glass frames views of the lake and the landscape. + Superkül architects Images via Superkül architects , by Shai Gil

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Prefabricated lakeside cabin is a beautiful exercise in restraint

Minimalist Leyda House takes inspiration from local farmer’s huts

May 19, 2017 by  
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When Chilean architect’s Alfredo González Briceño and Ignacio Rojas Hirigoyen were contracted to build a country home in Chile’s Leyda Valley, they were inspired by the fertile nature of the well-known wine-producing region. Using the panoramic views of vineyards as a focus for the home’s layout, the architects designed a timber-clad minimalist structure tucked into the rolling hillside with optimal light to enhance the incredible views of the landscape. Using the area’s agricultural atmosphere as inspiration, the architects based the home’s simplistic design on the “ephemeral shelters” commonly found on the nearby strawberry fields, “We saw on these light constructions a very strong formal guide, with a very impressive visual value, on how this low-cost countryside house could be solved.” The team decided to forgo the typical bells and whistles found in weekend homes, instead choosing to focus on a simple, but strategic design that would showcase the home’s natural setting. Related: Chilean Folding House allows owners to control the temperature to adapt to the season Tucked into the rolling hillside of the valley, the elongated home is clad in dark timber, creating a no-fuss monolithic figure that melds easily into the landscape. The home faces the south, which allows for spectacular views of the vineyard-covered valley that leads to a coastal mountain range in the background. Large windows in different shapes and sizes are found throughout the design, including multiple openings in the roof that allows light to flood the interior – as the architects describe it – with “a gentle sunbath.” On the interior, the two bedrooms, each with its own bath, are located at either end of the home, and separated by the living and dining areas. The interior ceiling and flooring are covered in light wooden planks, further creating a strong connection to nature. + Alfredo Gonzalez Briceño + Ignacio Rojas Hirigoyen Via Dwell Photography by Rodrigo Daza  

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Minimalist Leyda House takes inspiration from local farmer’s huts

Teen creates world’s lightest satellite and NASA is sending it to space

May 19, 2017 by  
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An 18-year-old from Tamil Nadu in India has built what experts are hailing as the “world’s lightest satellite.” Bonus: NASA’s going to send it into space. Rifath Shaarook’s 1.5-inch cube weighs a mite 2.2 ounces—lighter than many smartphones. “We built it completely from scratch,” Shaarook told India’s Business Standard . “It will have a new kind of on-board computer and eight indigenous built-in sensors to measure acceleration, rotation and the magnetosphere of the Earth.” The satellite beat more than 86,000 entries from 57 countries to win Cubes in Space , a design competition organized by education nonprofit iDoodle with the support of NASA and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium . Shaarook named his design KalamSat after A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, India’s former president and a famous aerospace scientist in his own right. Related: Egyptian teenager creates next-generation quantum space propulsion system Come June 22, NASA will send the cube on a four-hour suborbital spaceflight, where it’ll operate for 12 minutes under microgravity conditions. Shaarook currently works as lead scientist at Space Kidz India , an organization in Chennai that promotes science and education for the country’s youth. Via BBC News

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Teen creates world’s lightest satellite and NASA is sending it to space

Terrifying cliffside ‘nests’ let you live on the edge in style

May 19, 2017 by  
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A new type of cliffside dwelling, Nestinbox , is taking the vertical housing trend to new and terrifying heights. The tiny cliffside homes – inspired by birds nests – are efficient wooden “nesting boxes” that can be mounted on cliff walls as a way to bring more affordable housing into crowded areas. But the question is: would you be brave enough to live in one? The Nestinbox design was created by architects from the Swedish firm Manofactory as a solution to the skyrocketing cost of real estate around the world. Additionally, the design offers an affordable, viable alternative for growing cities that lack buildable land. According to the team of architects behind the design, Michel Silverstorm, Elisabetta Gabrielli, and Pontus Öhman, the “hanging” home design works around dwindling land issues by doing what the birds have always done since the beginning of time – live above ground. Related: These 6 jaw-dropping cliff homes will take your breath away The Nextinbox design is not only practical, but offers a sophisticated living space with all of the comforts of a traditional “ground-based” home. Steel frames are mounted into the cliff side for optimal stability, but the exterior is clad in an attractive mix of light and dark wood paneling. A simple sloping roof juts out from the cliff wall and a footbridge walkway between the structure and the cliff leads to the entrance of the home. The interior space, although compact, offers a smart floor plan that spans three floors. The living area is less than 50 square meters, but sufficient for 1 or 2 people. Along with the living space, the homes come with a kitchen and dining area, a large bedroom with adjacent studio or office space, which also could be used as a child’s room. A spiral staircase leads to the upper floors, which are flooded with natural light thanks to various windows. One side of the structure is intentionally windowless because multiple boxes can be attached to create a larger home. + Nestinbox Via Archdaily Images via Nestinbox

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Terrifying cliffside ‘nests’ let you live on the edge in style

Minimalist barn-inspired home was built as a "landscape viewing instrument"

May 18, 2017 by  
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Halifax-based firm MLS Architects has created a minimalist barn-inspired home that pays homage to the local vernacular of Lower Kingsburg, Nova Scotia. The A-frame form of the Muir Craig house takes on the traditional shape of the local barns found in the area , and was built with simplicity in mind using corrugated metal and wood on the exterior, with exposed wood framing on the interior. The entire design for the three-bedroom home with two baths was kept simple to reduce the budget and blend the design into its surroundings. The steep gabled roof is similar to those in the same area. Also in an attempt to keep things subtle, the interior living space was left open and uncomplicated in order to keep the focus on the home’s beautiful natural surroundings. In fact, according to the architects, the home was meant to be purely a “landscape viewing instrument in which every opening is subtly positioned to frame specific landscape features and nearby vernacular precedents.” Related:Barn-inspired contemporary home ages beautifully over time The minimalist design found inside the 1,400-square-foot interior of the home follows what the architects call an “outsulation” strategy. Exposed wood framing with large ceiling beams gives the interior a playful country-home feel. Baltic birch plywood , which was chosen for its durability as well as its affordability, covers the walls of the home, further blending its design into its rural setting. + MLS Architects Images via MLS Architects

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Minimalist barn-inspired home was built as a "landscape viewing instrument"

Savvy seniors are buying tiny homes to enjoy their golden years in off-grid style

May 18, 2017 by  
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There’s no rule that says tiny home living has to be just for the young. In fact, seniors are starting a new trend by investing in smaller spaces so they can live out their golden years off-grid and burden-free. Take a look after the jump at some fearless retirees who are making the most out of retirement in custom-made tiny homes. According to Tumbleweeds Houses , the latest trend in tiny home living is spawned by older adults who are looking to downsize as they grow older. For example, retiree Bette Presley recently took the tiny home leap at age 72. After deciding to minimize her lifestyle, she moved into a 166-square-foot Tumbleweed Elm cabin and hasn’t looked back since. The compact space has all of the comforts of home, but without the hassle of maintaining a larger area. Additionally, living off-grid was important to Presley and her tiny home is RVIA certified and comes equipped for solar power . Related: Genius elevator bed slides vertically on rails to maximize space in Alaskan tiny home Converting herself into a minimalist lifestyle was surprisingly easy for Presley, who told the San Luis Obispo Tribune , “We are consumers. We buy too much. We don’t need all our belongings,” she said. “I just experienced the clutter, to live in excess, and I didn’t find it particularly satisfying.” Presley is far from alone in finding joy when breaking the confines of excess. A disabled widow, Dani, bought a compact Tumbleweed shell cabin after attending a workshop and has spent a number of years building it into the accessible home of her dreams. She has built a custom wheelchair ramp that leads up to the extra-wide front door and even created a custom-made chair lift using a rock climbing harness that lifts her up to the sleeping loft. Nature-loving retiree, Adele, loved the mobile aspect of a tiny home so she invested in a tiny Tumbleweed Cypress on wheels. Not only is the cabin travel-ready, but also has a large outdoor living space, a covered porch and even a hot tub. She was even able to customize the interior with more windows in order to enjoy the beautiful views of the Oregon farm where her tiny home is parked. Tiny homes are also quite convenient for those who are still working in their later years. The famed Sausage Nonnas recently hit the road in three ultra-cute “tiny grandma homes” to deliver their world-famed sausages to lucky families during a campaign called Sausage Sunday. Via Tumbleweed Houses Images via Tumbleweed Houses, Sausage Nonnas and The Tribune

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Savvy seniors are buying tiny homes to enjoy their golden years in off-grid style

Architects cracked this concrete building to fill its interior with daylight

May 17, 2017 by  
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Usually, architects avoid creating a building full of cracks. But the beautiful concrete facade of this mixed-use building in Aarhus, Denmark was built with intentional imperfections. Copenhagen-based architecture studio Sleth designed the building with a facade of cracked concrete that provides a glimpse of the illuminated interior and references the industrial history of the city’s Sonnesgade district. The Sonnesgade building, realized by the architects as a design-build project, revitalizes an existing industrial construction and consists of three stacked layers of long office floors. It was designed to reflect its surroundings and the transformation of the old freight terminal area into a lively cultural district. It facilitates interaction between the floors, with open-plan areas and flexible office spaces . Related: Berlin’s Tchoban Foundation Museum shelters architectural history within an energy-saving, hand-drawn concrete facade Storage and parking areas are tucked away underneath the landscaping. A sloped asphalt terrain surrounding the building forms outdoor areas for terraces, bikes and gardens, which grounds the project in the existing urban context. Thanks to its role in the rejuvenation of the area and the building’s expressive design, the project was nominated for the Architecture Award Mies Van der Rohe 2017. + Sleth architects Via Fubiz Photos by Rasmus Hjortshøj / C O A S T

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Architects cracked this concrete building to fill its interior with daylight

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