Striking, solar-powered LA roundabout manages stormwater runoff with art

September 12, 2018 by  
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Public art and stormwater management go hand-in-hand in the Riverside Roundabout, an intersection that’s far more functional and eye-catching than your average traffic circle. Designed by local art studio Greenmeme , the Riverside Roundabout is the “first modern roundabout in Los Angeles” that doubles as a stormwater detention landscape vegetated with native, water-wise plants that also help fight air pollution. Powered with solar energy, the bio-retention installation is also marked with giant egg-shaped granite sculptures with faces modeled on actual community members. Installed in 2017, the Riverside Roundabout is located in Los Angeles’ Cypress Park neighborhood at the intersection of Riverside Drive and San Fernando Road. In addition to its bio-retention functions, the traffic circle features a wide array of other sustainable elements including a 25,000-gallon rainwater cistern, a natural and durable materials palette and a solar tracking photovoltaic system that powers irrigation, lighting and the artwork. “We designed a stormwater detention landscape, including an outer ring of vegetated pavers that serves as the required truck apron,” the designers explained. “Curb cuts and a sculpted topography capture and detain stormwater from the bridge. The landscape uses local, water-wise plants that are typical of the riparian LA river corridor and are irrigated with reclaimed wastewater.” Related: A California beacon of sustainability gets a LEED Platinum refresh The focal point of the durable and low-maintenance roundabout is the nine egg-shaped stone sculptures built from Academy Black granite sourced from California. CNC cutting equipment was used to slice the stone into individual slabs that were then assembled together into the sculptures. Each piece features a face of a community member randomly chosen over the course of two years. The roundabout is capable of capturing and treating a 10-year rainfall event equating approximately 500,000 gallons of stormwater runoff from the adjacent bridge and roads. + Greenmeme Images by Makena Hunt

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Striking, solar-powered LA roundabout manages stormwater runoff with art

A historic farmhouse is transformed into a modern home with a green roof

September 10, 2018 by  
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The building elements of a century-old farmhouse in Park City, Utah have been salvaged and transformed into a beautiful and contemporary new residence that pays homage to its historic rural past. Located on a nearly 80-year-old forested plot of spruce and cottonwood trees, the former farmhouse was beyond repair and needed to be demolished. Wanting to save the spirit of the structure, the owners turned to Salt Lake City- and Los Angeles-based design studio Sparano + Mooney Architecture to design a modern abode that would occupy the former building’s footprint and make use of as many recycled materials as possible. Named the Reddish Residence, the two-story home spreads out over 4,000 square feet. A natural materials palette of timber and stone tie the building to the landscape, while elements like recycled wood and metal reference the farmhouse vernacular. Inspired by the petrified wood — fossilized remains of trees or plants that turn into stone — found on the site, the architects used building materials that also visually morph over time. Consequently, the Reddish Residence exterior includes weathering steel and reclaimed cedar that’s treated with the Shou Sugi Ban  technique for a charred, blackened finish. Further tying the modern house into its surroundings are the abundance of landscaping, a green roof atop the charred cedar-clad addition and large full-height glazing. In contrast to the mostly muted exterior palette, the interior is full of colors, patterns and textures set on a backdrop of mainly white-painted walls and concrete floors. The existing metal silo was preserved and renovated to house the home office. The rooftop is also topped with solar panels. Related: Minimalism adds a modern twist to this traditional farmhouse “This architecture takes a contemporary approach to form,” the architects said. “The house responds to the site by acting as a moderator between interior spaces and the landscape. Arcades, overhangs, courtyards and site walls articulate that relationship. An arcade marked by a gesture to the street bisects an entry courtyard. This path forms a strong entry sequence that welcomes and guides the visitor through a choreographed threshold and provides a series of expanding glimpses of the site. The design offers both ideal southern orientation and full access to the mountain and meadow views.” + Sparano + Mooney Architecture Images by Scot Zimmerman

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A historic farmhouse is transformed into a modern home with a green roof

A sleek artist studio with Passive House elements projects over a cliff

September 10, 2018 by  
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Montreal-based MU Architecture recently completed a minimalist and modern artist studio that boasts dramatic landscape views of Lake Deauville and the Laurentians’ mountainous countryside in Quebec, Canada. Conceived as a multipurpose extension , the Workshop on a Cliff covers more than 5,000 square feet of space and includes two superimposed garages, a workshop, a spacious creative room as well as a mezzanine level. The building is partially elevated on thin pillars so as not to disturb the tree line. Oriented toward the north and views of the lake, the Workshop on a Cliff takes cues from the countryside vernacular with its barn-inspired gabled form. The exterior is clad is pre-aged gray wood, and the thick exterior walls were built to meet the standards of Passive House construction. Overhangs and superior insulation were a must given the harsh climate in this region of Quebec. Joined with the main residence by a cantilevered bridge, the artist studio’s connection with the surrounding forest is echoed not only in its timber material palette but also in its series of supporting inclined columns that are arranged to evoke tree trunks. A massive glazed gable end wall is partly sheltered by a roof overhang and lets plenty of natural light and views into the interior, which is mostly open-plan with minimalist detailing to keep the focus on the outdoors. Timber cladding on the interior is paired with highly reflective polished concrete flooring. A mezzanine is set in the rear of the building. Related: Solar-powered cube home in Australia hovers over the landscape “Spacious but intimate, the interior volume accommodates large formats of paintings,” the architects said. “The minimalist play of surfaces and the rigor of the alignments put the artist’s work in scene and supports his concentration. The Workshop on a Cliff is a place of expression where architecture immerses us in creative inspiration and Nature contemplation.” + MU Architecture Images by Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard

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A sleek artist studio with Passive House elements projects over a cliff

Eco-friendly AgriNesture buildings promote agriculture and job growth in Vietnam

September 10, 2018 by  
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Although the majority of Vietnam’s population relies on agriculture , rapid industrialization and a skyrocketing population in recent years has led to urban sprawl and the decimation of fertile agricultural land. To combat these trends, local architecture firm H&P Architects has made mending the relationship between people and nature one of the main guiding principles throughout its work. In its latest example of eco-friendly architecture, the firm created AgriNesture, a green housing prototype that can be clustered together in vulnerable rural areas to revitalize the local population. In M?o Khê, a town a few hours from Hanoi in northern Vietnam, sits one of the first prototypes of AgriNesture. Likened to a “cube of earth cut out from a field,” the boxy building is clad in locally sourced materials including plant fibers, rammed earth and bricks. The two-story structure is also built with a reinforced concrete frame — which cost VND 150 million (equivalent to USD 6,500) — and topped with a green roof , where agriculture can be practiced. The structure is also integrated with a rainwater collection system for irrigation. A light well brings natural light and ventilation deep into the home. The AgriNesture structures can be clustered in blocks of four around a central courtyard. These building clusters lend themselves to multipurpose uses, such as multigenerational housing, education, health or community centers. Because the cost-effective architecture only relies on two main parts — the reinforced concrete ‘Frame’ and the locally sourced ‘Cover’ materials — owners will not only be able to select their own surface materials best suited to their local conditions, but also customize the interior to their liking and add additional floors if desired. This hands-on and site-specific building process will help create jobs and bring economic stability, according to the architects. Related: This stunning brick “cave house” in Vietnam is open to the elements “AgriNesture will be, therefore, a place of convergence, interaction and adaptation of various local contrasts (natural vs. man-made, residence vs. agriculture, individuals vs. communities , etc.),” the firm said, “thus enabling it to be not only a Physical space but also a truly Human place.” + H&P Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Nguyen TienThanh

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Eco-friendly AgriNesture buildings promote agriculture and job growth in Vietnam

Stow away on this stylish, minimalist floating hotel in London

September 7, 2018 by  
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If you’re looking for a more unique place to lay your head on your next trip to London , look no further than the Boathouse London , a stylish floating hotel docked on a city canal. Created in partnership with home design brand Made , this bespoke botel and event space on the water was fashioned as “an industrial-style barge turned contemporary bolthole” with help from interior designer Katie Hanton. Kitted out in Scandinavian-inspired style, the chic getaway comes with customizable experiences, from a boat driver who can steer you around the canals to a special dinner prepared by a local chef. Spanning 60 feet wide and constructed by local boat builders, the barge cuts a contemporary silhouette compared to its more traditional canal boat cousins. In contrast to its sleek black exterior, the botel interior is warm and cozy with reclaimed wood paneling throughout and an airy, open-plan layout. A neutral color palette dressed in furniture by Made and peppered with greenery creates inviting and relaxed vibes. Guests also have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with a generously sized deck above or with the provided bicycles and rowboat. The bathroom and bedroom are tucked in the rear of the boat . The minimalist living area comes with a kitchen, snug dining area (additional seating can be found on the deck) and a lounge with a sofa that can be converted into a second bed. The Boathouse London is currently docked in London’s first floating park near Little Venice atop Grand Union Canal in Paddington Basin, about a five-minute walk from Edgware Road tube station. Related: Floating lantern-like church and community hub may set sail on London’s canals “We’re hugely excited to be working with Made.com, and we couldn’t ask for a better fit — our aim is to create a range of beautifully designed, stylish, modern spaces on the water, each with their own individual twist — and breaking away from the traditional idea of a canal boat,” explained CEO and Founder Cara Louise Furby. Prices for The Boathouse London start at £220 per night with breakfast and Wi-Fi included. + The Boathouse London Images via The Boathouse London

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Stow away on this stylish, minimalist floating hotel in London

A modern farmhouse in South Africa blends style with sustainability

September 6, 2018 by  
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Strey Architects is bringing a contemporary style to the countryside with its recent project, Link House. The home, which features a plethora of sustainable design elements, showcases simple living at its finest by meshing luxury and minimalism . Features ranging from design for natural ventilation to solar heating and rainwater collection tanks meld seamlessly into the gorgeous modern farmhouse. In designing Link House, Strey Architects was tasked with building a farmhouse that was both aesthetically attractive and humble. The result is a beautiful countryside home that features three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a formal dining room, a lounge, a pool and a large playroom — all in a sustainable design . The house, which takes on a U-shape, also includes a large deck out front, an open kitchen and a garden. According to the architects, the house was designed with two wings and positioned to take advantage of the seasons. During the hotter months, the west wing blocks the sun and acts as a privacy screen. When winter comes, the northern and southern wings allow more sunlight inside the house for optimal heating conditions. The house also features fold-away doors and top-notch ventilation, which eliminates the need for a traditional HVAC system. Even the building blocks for the Link House were made from sustainable materials. The foundation is built from recycled plastic and is designed to air out dangerous radon gas. The walls and ceilings feature board insulation to properly protect the outer brick siding. Inside, the floors are crafted from recycled teak parquet. The stunning modern farmhouse wouldn’t be complete without a rainwater catchment system and solar water heating throughout the residence, making it completely sustainable throughout the year. Although the Link House is sustainable, Strey Architects did not sacrifice anything on design and aesthetics. The end result is a home that will fit in just about any location and fully comply with building regulations while remaining stylish and green . + Strey Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Dook / Strey Architects

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A modern farmhouse in South Africa blends style with sustainability

Artist revamps dingy interior of a 1962 Airstream with vibrant florals

September 6, 2018 by  
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While most Airstream renovations tend to go for a minimalist aesthetic to create the illusion of more space, surface pattern designer  Bonnie Christine used her love of florals to convert her 1962 Airstream trailer into a gorgeous home on wheels. To transform the formerly drab interior, Bonnie lined various accent walls in wallpaper with a forest green background and light pink flowers to add a fresh and vibrant flair to the incredibly compact 150-square-foot tiny home. Bonnie and her husband bought the 1962 Airstream Overlander in order to take their family of four on the road. However, the interior was in dire need of a makeover before they could set out on their travels. To completely revamp the living space , the talented surface pattern and fabric designer used her artistic skills to create a fresh new aesthetic. Related: Couple restores an old Airstream into a chic tiny home on wheels Renamed “Marjorie” after the original owner, the project is an example of an Airstream renovation done right. Bonnie began Marjorie’s makeover in the kitchen, where she stained and rebuilt the cabinets before painting them in a soothing green tone. Using this earthy moss color as a starting point, the space then needed a little extra vibrancy, which came in the form of the “Pimpernel” wallpaper by William Morris. Bonnie says that although the floral wallpaper was a bold decision, it was also an easy one. “As a surface pattern designer, I also wanted to give a nod to the father of surface design himself by using a William Morris wallpaper,” Bonnie explained in an interview with Design*Sponge . “I find it endlessly inspiring!” The rest of the tiny home is equally as inspiring, with a fresh decor that brightens up every corner of the compact living space. A small dinette set was kept in neutral colors to contrast the floral wallpaper, and the kitchen uses shelving and storage to avoid clutter. Even the home’s itsy-bitsy bathroom gives off a spa-like feel. To complete the ethereal atmosphere, the entire living space is flooded with natural light . The family has clocked several thousand miles since the renovation, traveling from North Carolina to the Grand Canyon in their shiny Airstream, with many stops in between. Bonnie explained that traveling in a tiny home has opened up a world of adventure for the family. “I am most thankful for what this tiny home represents — the ability for our family to be completely mobile,” Bonnie said. “We can go for a small weekend trip, or set out on a cross-country adventure with our home right along with us. There’s nothing more grand than seeing the wonders of nature and the great outdoors through our children’s eyes!” + Bonnie Christine Via Design*Sponge Photography by Bonnie Christine

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Artist revamps dingy interior of a 1962 Airstream with vibrant florals

These low-energy prefab cabins are inspired by the Nordic concept of ‘friluftsliv’

September 5, 2018 by  
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Prefab housing startup Koto has unveiled a series of tiny timber cabins with minimalist designs inspired by friluftsliv — translated as “free air life,” this Nordic concept is the act of embracing indoor-outdoor living and a connection with nature. The low-energy, modular Koto cabins can be configured in a variety of sizes and are crafted specifically for those looking to reconnect with nature. Koto was founded by Johnathon Little and Zoe Little earlier this year. The name Koto means “cozy at home” in Finnish and is the ethos behind the company’s minimalist cabin design. To create the ultimate nature-based retreat, the cabins — which are made with eco-friendly materials  — allow for a comfortable atmosphere. Related: This off-grid, prefab tiny cabin in Michigan fits a family of five Black cladding allows the tiny cabins to blend into nearly any environment. The sloped roof, a hallmark of the company, is part of the architects’ design strategy to add space to the interior. “Our initial range of modules — Pari, Muutama and Ystava — are all represented with the Koto wedge shape roof,” Jonathan told Dezeen . “This shape allows for an interesting form and experience both internally and externally, a modern twist on the traditional vernacular.” According to the designers, the interiors are meant to be private retreats in the middle of serene landscapes. The living area is extremely space-efficient with storage concealed within the walls. The fresh Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic is achieved thanks to all-white walls and light wood flooring. A large skylight and glass front facade floods the interior with natural light and allows for a strong, constant connection to the outdoors. The modular cabins can be configured in a number of sizes, but a medium-sized cabin contains a bathroom, a fold-out king-sized bed, hidden wall storage, a window bench and a wood-burning stove. There are various options to customize the space, including a small kitchenette, an outdoor shower and a sauna cabin. + Koto Via Dezeen Images via  Joe Laverty

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These low-energy prefab cabins are inspired by the Nordic concept of ‘friluftsliv’

Energy-savvy art museum is anchored atop a historic Dutch dike

September 4, 2018 by  
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Rising out of a historic dike, the new Lisser Art Museum pays homage to the landscape’s context while offering a new contemporary cultural destination in Lisse, The Netherlands. Dutch architecture firm KVDK architecten headed the recently completed project and embraced smart, sustainable solutions from the optimization of natural daylighting to gray water collection systems. Wrapped in earth-colored Petersen bricks, the modest, light-filled building feels like an extension of the forest, and ample glazing provides connection with nature on all sides. Commissioned by the VandenBroek Foundation, the small-scale museum is located in the Keukenhof, a former country estate dating from the 17th century that had featured a terraced garden with an artificial dike — unique in the Netherlands at the time. The estate was later redesigned in 1860 by landscape architects J.D. and L.P. Zocher, who transformed it into a cultural park that has since achieved national heritage status. The recently completed museum was an addition in the Keukenhof cultural park masterplan drafted in 2010. “One ingenious but also complicated strategy involved placing the foundations in the historical dike core, thereby making the museum the pivot point between a landscaped approach, the historical terraced landscape, the open sandy area and the wooded dune ridge,” the architects explained. “Intensive consultation and careful dimensioning ensured that the plan for a museum on this sensitive spot was wholeheartedly embraced by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, the government body that oversees the register of national monuments.” Related: Daan Roosegaarde uses light art to breathe new life into an iconic Dutch dike The museum comprises two main volumes, the lower of which is set into the dike — glass curtain walls emphasize and embrace the land form — and supports the upper, cantilevered volume enclosed in brick . The interior is flexible with multipurpose spaces and follow the Guggenheim principle in which visitors experience all the exhibition spaces by winding down from the highest point. In addition to natural lighting, the museum is equipped with thermal energy storage, a green roof and a gray water system for toilets. The museum depot is located inside of the dike to take advantage of the earth’s natural cooling properties. + KVDK architecten Via ArchDaily Images by Sjaak Henselmans and Ronald Tilleman

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Energy-savvy art museum is anchored atop a historic Dutch dike

Shipping containers inspire a light-filled musicians home

September 4, 2018 by  
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When a couple tapped Coates Design Architects to design a house that could accommodate their baby grand piano, they were also intrigued by the idea of using shipping containers to do the job. In response, the American architecture studio researched cargotecture  and settled on a cost-effective solution that combined traditional wood framing with a “container-like” design. Located on Washington’s Bainbridge Island, the Musician’s House features a layout optimized for acoustics as well as natural ventilation and daylighting. Completed in 2014, the Musician’s House spans an area of 2,775 square feet across two floors. “The couple was intrigued with the idea of building a container house from real containers ,” said Coates Design Architects in a project statement. “We researched the idea — searching for a ‘sweet spot’ that could utilize containers in a manner that required as little alteration as possible, taking advantage of their natural structural integrity. The alternative was to force them into a different role that requires significant alterations. Considerable research was spent on the topic … only to arrive at the more cost-effective solution of traditional wood framing.” Despite their findings, the architects designed the home with a “container-like” aesthetic using industrial corrugated metal cladding combined with natural materials , including a variety of timber and even a green roof above the entry vestibule. Inside, the Musician’s House comprises a spacious master en suite on the ground floor along with a kitchen and a double-height living and dining area. The upper level houses a guest bedroom suite, workshop, covered outdoor decks and a loft/music room with a connecting studio space. Related: Architect turns four shipping containers into an affordable and eco-friendly home In contrast to the industrial cladding, the interiors are bright, colorful and playful. Full-height windows, particularly around the double-height living space, stream in natural light, and select art and furnishings add bright pops of color to the modern home, from the yellow accent wall behind the stairs to the multicolored seating in the eat-in kitchen. + Coates Design Architects Images via Coates Design Architects

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Shipping containers inspire a light-filled musicians home

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