Centuries-old apartment in Israel transformed into a remarkable modern "cave"

July 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

This ancient apartment in Israel was skillfully renovated to unify its cavernous, centuries-old rooms into a modern residence that offers stunning views of the sea. Pitsou Kedem Architects concealed some parts of the traditional arches while uncovering others to create an elegant combination of the old and the new. The rooms of the apartment, located in Tel Aviv-Yafo – an ancient port city in Israel– have been altered over hundreds of years, giving each room its own unique character. The architects approached the refurbishment of the entire space as an opportunity to bring more natural light into the interior and open it up toward the sea. Related: Decrepit cave transformed into a beautiful modern home in China The integrated interior spaces are sheltered underneath beautiful arches . Some of the decorations added over the years have been covered in plaster, while the dome in the kitchen was uncovered. The team introduced a new raw concrete floor with accentuated filing stones to the floor level. Black sheet covering emphasize the openings connecting the rooms. These dark elements also hide new technical systems in the walls. + Pitsou Kedem Architects Via Archdaily Photos by Amit Geron

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Centuries-old apartment in Israel transformed into a remarkable modern "cave"

Studiolada used all wood materials to create this affordable open-source home anyone can build

July 24, 2017 by  
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Skillfully blending the basics of frugality and sustainability into one beautiful home design, French firm Studiolada Architects has just unveiled the Open Source House. The team took a bare bones approach to the home’s design, forgoing superfluous features such as plaster and paint in favor of local sustainable wood on the exterior as well as the interior. In order to promote responsible and affordable building practices, Studiolada  released the plans to build the home for all to use. Located in Baccarat, France, the Open Source Home – which is just over 1,200 feet and includes a separate garage – was built for a retired couple who were looking to create a home that would be as cost effective and energy-efficient as possible. Accordingly, the architects decided to take the fuss out of the home’s design, instead opting to strategically use a combination of bare basics to create a stunning design. Related: Oregon couple spends years building their net-zero ‘extreme green dream home’ Using wood panels as the principal building material reduced the project’s overall cost and footprint because the wooden beams and wall panels were cut and varnished in a nearby workshop. Prefabricated concrete was used to embed the support beams, which were then clad in wooden panels. In fact, wood covers just about everything in the home, from the walls and flooring to the ceiling and partitions. Sustainable materials such as cellulose wadding and wood fibers were even used to insulate the home. By keeping the wood panels exposed instead of covering them with plaster and paint, the design team achieved a clean, minimalist interior that is both homey and inviting. The open layout includes a living room, kitchen and mezzanine located on the first floor, and the bedrooms and bathroom are on the upper floor. The living room opens up to a spacious terrace and private yard. Large glass panels provide optimal natural light to the interior as well as connect the home to its natural surroundings. If you are inclined to create a similar home, you can check out the plans, sections, details, cost estimates and descriptions for free here . + Studiolada Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Olivier Mathiotte

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Studiolada used all wood materials to create this affordable open-source home anyone can build

Cool homestead retreat with vintage trailer brings glamping to Mojave desert

July 24, 2017 by  
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Architect Andreas M. Larisch is revamping the homestead movement for those who’d prefer a little luxury with their off-grid dreams. Larisch has created Homestead Modern, a series of upscale rentals in the Mojave Desert. The first home, Homestead Modern No. 1, comes with a one bedroom house, detached casita and our favorite – one very cool refurbished vintage trailer . Installing luxury digs into the ruggedness of the harsh Mojave Desert is no easy task, but with good design, anything is possible. The first in Larisch’s series of rental homes is Homestead Modern No. 1, which is located in the Hollywood-built Pioneertown. Known for its beautiful desert surroundings , the area is a favorite of nature lovers who can now rent the home to experience the amazing desert sunrises and sunsets right out the front door. Related: Experience the good old days of off-grid living at the El Cosmico vintage trailer park The Homestead Modern No. 1 complex includes two glass and steel buildings as well as the beautiful vintage trailer . The main home features a one-bedroom, one-bath house with a kitchen, living room, and dining area. For guests, a separate one-bedroom, one-bath casita is also on site. Clad in a rusted welded metal and concrete, the exterior blends seamlessly into the desert sands. The main home has a large outdoor deck in the back with a bbq grill and an enclosed front patio with a fire pit. Both properties were built with an abundance of glass windows and doors, as well as private outdoor showers, to provide a strong connection between the home and its natural surroundings. Guests can also enjoy the outdoor sauna as well as the galvanized “cowboy” tub located just steps away from the home. However, if it were up to us, we’d bunk in the beautifully refurbished vintage trailer . Equipped with a queen bed and full bath, the 28-foot, 1973 Holiday Rambler is the perfect off-grid st ay for those looking to enjoy some quiet time me time. The property is currently available for rent on at Airbnb  or HomeAway . + Homestead Modern Rentals + Andreas M. Larisch Via Dwell Photography by Lance Gerber

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Cool homestead retreat with vintage trailer brings glamping to Mojave desert

London scientists want to revive plants buried in ‘ghost ponds’

July 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Life will find a way, even if that way is winding and submerged under layers of organic matter and water . According to a recent study by a scientific team at University College London , uncovering hidden habitats buried under so-called “ghost ponds,” ponds that have been filled in with soil and vegetation but not fully drained, could prove decisive in restoring ecosystems and may even hold the key to reviving extinct plant species. “We have shown that ghost ponds can be resurrected, and remarkably wetland plants lost for centuries can be brought back to life from preserved seeds,” declared lead researcher Emily Alderton. To the untrained eye, a potential treasure trove of ecological richness that is a ghost pond may go unnoticed. They manifest as damp areas of land, on which plants have difficulty growing and the soil may appear discolored in contrast to the ground around it. Ghost ponds are usually created by farmers who apply plants and soil to small ponds as they seek to create more arable land. “Small ponds were not drained, but were filled in while they were still wet. We think this is likely to have contributed to the survival of the seeds buried within the historic pond sediments,” said Alderton. Related: Scientists Bring Extinct Mouth-Brooding Frog Back to Life After 30 Years Researchers at UCL analyzed survey maps and historical records in order to track down nondescript ghost ponds of interest. “We also suspected that ghost was the right word as it hints at some form of life still hanging on and this is exactly what we have,” said Carl Sayer, study co-author and director of the UCL Pond Restoration Research Group. “The species that lived in the past pond are still alive, dormant and waiting!” From three sites in the UK, the team has so far recovered and revived eight different plant species. Researchers are now urging conservation groups and policymakers to place greater emphasis on ghost ponds and their role in ecological restoration. “For plants to grow back after being buried for over 150 years is remarkable,” said Christopher Hassall of the University of Leeds, who was not involved in the study. “Ponds are often neglected compared to lakes and rivers because of their small size, but they punch above their weight in terms of the number of species that they contain.” Via ScienceAlert Images via University College London/Carl Sayer and Felix Neumann

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London scientists want to revive plants buried in ‘ghost ponds’

Surprisingly modern hut in the Scottish Highlands is insulated with heather, moss and stone

July 20, 2017 by  
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This small hut nestled in the Scottish Highlands combines the influences of Le Corbusier’s iconic Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut and those of the region’s vernacular architecture . The building, designed by Moxon Architects , is covered with heather, moss and stone gathered from local hillsides, which provide both camouflage and additional insulation. The Culardoch Shieling hut sits in the grounds of the client’s Highland estate in the mountains of Cairngorms National Park in Scotland . Its rectangular windows reference Le Corbusier’s famous Ronchamp cathedral, while its overall form and materials establish a connection with the area’s vernacular architecture, livestock holdings and Scottish farming crofts in particular. Related: A green-roofed Hobbit home anyone can build in just 3 days The choice of natural materials and construction technique reflects the client’s request that the building have minimal impact on the terrain. Exterior walls made from unprocessed larch wood envelop the interior lined in spruce. A large dining table and wood-burning stove dominate this cozy space and facilitate social gatherings. + Moxon Architects Via Dezeen

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Surprisingly modern hut in the Scottish Highlands is insulated with heather, moss and stone

Zen-like Seattle retreat keeps a minimal footprint in a lush landscape

July 20, 2017 by  
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For those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, feast your eyes on this beautiful light-filled cabin just outside Seattle in Greenwater, Washington. Robert Hutchison Architecture designed Crystal River Ranch House, a cedar -clad home hidden in the shadow of Mount Rainier that exudes a zen-like air of tranquility. Crafted to blend into the lush evergreen landscape, the 1,900-square-foot retreat was kept as compact as possible to minimize site impact and to epitomize the small home living movement. Set within a forest on the banks of the White River, the two-bedroom Crystal River Ranch House emphasizes connection with nature through its large glazed walls and natural materials palette . Custom-run and blackened Western Red Cedar planks clad the building and help it blend into the landscape. The entry courtyard serves as a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor environment. Despite the home’s compact size, the interior looks surprisingly spacious thanks to use of a centrally located double-height space , large glazed windows, white-painted surfaces, and abundance of natural light. The modern design is characterized by simple, clean leans and a cozy yet minimalist aesthetic. The communal areas, including the open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living room, as well as a covered patio and outdoor patio, are located on the east and south sides of the home. The two bedrooms are placed on opposite ends of the house, with the master suite on the northeast side and the guest bedroom on the southwest side. Related: Natural material palette brings warmth to minimalist Swiss home The architects write: “Designed as a zen-like retreat from the bustle of the city, the open living area uses large glass walls to create a sense of space and light even on the Northwest’s darkest, rainy days. A steel-clad fireplace mass serves as a central architectural feature and utility, complementing the natural wood interiors while separating the living room from the covered outdoor patio.” + Robert Hutchison Architecture Images by Mark Woods

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Zen-like Seattle retreat keeps a minimal footprint in a lush landscape

PlasticWaste Labyrinth is a stunning look inside our plastic waste problem

July 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

Much of our trash is hidden from our daily lives, which is why design collective Luzinterruptus is shining the light on wastefulness in their latest environmental art installations. Located at the heart of Madrid’s popular tourist attraction Plaza Mayor, PlasticWaste Labyrinth is a massive maze constructed from the thousands of plastic bottles that had been consumed in and around the plaza in the past month. The Madrid City Council commissioned the installation, built in June for the fourth Centennial Celebration of Plaza Mayor within the “Four Seasons” city art program. The PlasticWaste Labyrinth design developed out of Luzinterruptus’ desire to create a large-scale interactive installation befitting the historical plaza. The giant plastic bottle maze is intentionally claustrophobic so as to make the public feel disoriented while exploring the intricate path and narrow passages flanked with three-meter-tall walls. Wrapped around the King Philip III statue, the 300-square-meter maze features corridors measuring 170 meters in length and takes three minutes to pace. “The idea was to graphically visualize the amount of plastic we generate in our daily lives which we don’t often recycle accordingly,” said Luzinterruptus. “As a consequence, all this plastic is dumped in nature and ends up floating in the ocean, forming huge plastic islands that are destroying the marine ecosystem and will not ever decompose. Bearing all this in mind, we thought it was paramount that the piece didn’t look friendly.” Related: Glowing circle made from thousands of recycled notebooks celebrate Bilbao’s book festival Around 15,000 plastic bottles, inserted with lights and placed in bags, were used for the walls of the PlasticWaste Labyrinth. The plastic bottles were collected from businesses surrounding the square as well as from local residents and visitors who could dispose of their plastic waste in two giant containers placed in the square. The maze was open day and night for four days. + Luzinterruptus Photography: Lola Martínez © 2017

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PlasticWaste Labyrinth is a stunning look inside our plastic waste problem

Gorgeous billboards by street artist Kelsey Montague are being recycled into one-of-a-kind bags

July 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Kelsey Montague  is best known for her murals of sprawling angel wings, flocks of dragonflies, and other flights of fancy. Now, fans will be able to tote her work wherever they roam. After a stint as a featured #ArtLives artist for Rareform —a company that turns billboards into one-of-a-kind bags and accessories—Montague will receive the label’s signature treatment. For two weeks, billboards promoting Montague’s work held court near the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles and the L.A. Forum on West Century Boulevard. After being taken down, the banners are being chopped up and remade into 50 backpacks, 130 tote bags, and 80 accessory bags. Once complete, the accessories will be available for sale at the IFF Shop in Montague’s native Denver, as well as online at www.rareform.com and www.kelseymontagueart.com . Related: New pollution-fighting billboards can purify 100,000 cubic meters of air every day “This type of event lets us revolutionize how people see outdoor advertisements and transforms art into new forms,” Rareform said on its blog . “Own a little piece of art that has seen the skyline of Los Angeles and has been viewed by millions.” Montague followed the footsteps of fellow artists Tyler Ramsey and Milton Glaser when she participated in Rareform’s third #ArtLives series in Los Angeles on June 26. + Kelsey Montague + Rareform

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Gorgeous billboards by street artist Kelsey Montague are being recycled into one-of-a-kind bags

Magical Cape Cod-style cottage perched on NYC rooftop goes on sale for $3.5M

July 18, 2017 by  
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If you have a cool $3.5 million lying around, you could live in one of NYC’s most mysterious and envy-inducing rooftop homes . This sweet East Village cottage – which just so happens to be perched on top of a building at 72 East 1st street – has just been put up for sale. As for the price, the property does come with a slight catch – the beautiful rooftop studio also comes with the massive duplex underneath. The cedar-shake structure is a beautiful rooftop studio whose ownership was a mystery for years until the NY Post unveiled the current owner as Gale Barrett Shrady. Shrady’s late husband, Henry Merwin Shrady III, bought the entire walk-up building in the 80s and renovated it to sell, but he kept the fourth and fifth floors as a duplex for his family. He subsequently added the Nantucket-style studio years later, complete with French doors, a tower and even a horse weathervane. The one-bedroom, one-bath apartment opens out into an envy-inducing wraparound terrace . Related: Philip Johnson’s secret brick and glass home in Manhattan, NYC After years of living in the large space, Mrs. Shrady is selling their duplex and cottage together. Although the small studio is obviously a truly unique gem, the rest of the home isn’t too shabby. The 2,000-square-feet, four-bedroom duplex has high ceilings with exposed beams, spacious living and dining rooms, and a great room balcony on the second floor. There is a grand total of 22 windows that flood the interior with natural light and two wood-burning fireplaces, perfect for NYC’s chilly winters. Via NY Post and Curbed Photos via Compass  

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Magical Cape Cod-style cottage perched on NYC rooftop goes on sale for $3.5M

Modern aluminum addition blends seamlessly in with 19th century rowhouses

July 17, 2017 by  
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It’s never easy to blend new buildings into traditional neighborhoods, but Toronto-based Aleph-Bau , has skillfully managed to fit a wonderfully modern aluminum-clad home – called Twelve Tacoma – into a section of 19th century rowhouses in Toronto without encroaching on the historic neighborhood’s charming character. From the outside, Twelve Tacoma’s sophisticated white paint and corrugated aluminum cladding certainly stands out from the colorful brick rowhouses, but its subtle design and neutral tones manage to quietly blend into it surroundings. Additionally, certain details such as the simple front railing and plexiglass door awning – although more contemporary – mimic its neighbors in a respectful nod to the area’s vernacular. Related: Swedish architect surprises mum with dazzling corrugated aluminum home The upper floor of the home is the only section visible from the front of the rowhouses , but the home’s beautiful design is best seen from the back. To squeeze the contemporary addition into the established architecture, the architects used a steel structure to create the frame of the house in between the existing wooden parameters. The finished product is a series of stacked volumes that create a very modern and open home. According to Delnaz Yekrangian, Aleph-Bau’s director, the home design relied on a number of elements to blend it into its natural and manmade surroundings, “Architectural elements disappear in favor of the atmosphere – one that is an amplified reflection of the outside; light, the sky, the clouds, the neighbors’ tree, the sound of rainfall and the shabby structures in the laneway are inside now.” On the inside, the home is open and airy, with a minimalist interior design scheme. Modular sliding storage units are found throughout the home in order to avoid clutter.  Numerous floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors on every level allow for optimal natural light, also adding a sense of transparency to the home. Further connecting the home to its surroundings is the large rooftop terrace , which, thanks to its many asymmetrical shapes, provides a fun and private space for the homeowners. + Aleph Bau Photography by Tom Arban  

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Modern aluminum addition blends seamlessly in with 19th century rowhouses

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