Cube Haus seeks to solve the housing crisis with affordable prefab homes

May 9, 2018 by  
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Many large cities are struggling with severe housing issues, and one new startup is proposing an architectural solution. Developer Cube Haus – founded by Philip Bueno de Mesquita and Paul Tully – has commissioned four architects to design affordable, modular houses that can be configured to fit into empty urban areas of varying sizes. Working with different designers and architects, Cube Haus aims provide affordable housing in urban areas such as London. The architects’ proposals include a number of styles and designs, but all of the houses are based on a modular construction model , which enables them to adapt to the square footage limits of each site. Related: Largest-ever modular Gomos building to be completed in just a few months International architecture firm Adjaye Associates submitted a beautiful multi-story timber structure that can be adapted to fit on a typical London terrace. The interior has an open floor plan that offers the ultimate in flexibility, and a large patio area provides natural light. The structure could be built as high as adjacent buildings to blend in with the existing architecture. London-based designer Faye Toogood ‘s concept envisions a simple single-unit volume with dual-pitched roofs, clad either in galvanized steel or charred timber. A light wood interior with an open floor plan would be illuminated with natural light thanks to large vertical windows. London firm Carl Turner Architects submitted two designs for the project. The first is a one-story, extended bungalow with bright yellow skylights that flood the interior space with natural light. The second design is a two-story townhouse, clad in brick and timber and topped with two separate pitched roofs that face two different directions. An open-air terrace between the roofs can serve as a rooftop garden or social space. Lastly, Skene Catling de la Peña ‘s proposal includes a stone-clad home with a timber interior . At the heart of the interior design is a vertical, green-tiled chimney with a cast-iron fireplace. The Cube Haus project is committed to using these five innovative prototypes to create a portfolio of varied building types that can be scaled to size for larger, multi-family spaces or single-unit use. All of the buildings will be constructed with cross-laminated timber with components manufactured off-site in the UK. + Cube Haus + Adjaye Associates + Faye Toogood + Skene Catling de la Peña + Carl Turner Architects Via Dezeen Images via Cube Haus

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Cube Haus seeks to solve the housing crisis with affordable prefab homes

New Ebola outbreak strikes the Democratic Republic of the Congo

May 9, 2018 by  
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The deadly virus Ebola has returned to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A new outbreak of Ebola stuck the northwest town of Bikoro with 21 suspected cases of the virus. Out of five samples sent to the DRC’s National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) , only two were positive for Ebola. In 1976, the first case of Ebola was documented in the DRC, and there has been nine outbreaks of the virus since then. The unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa from 2014 to 2016 infected 28,000, killed 11,000 and shocked the world. However, the virus ‘s latest reemergence in the DRC is no reason to panic. Previous outbreaks in the DRC have been contained thanks in part to the country’s vast, largely inaccessible land area, which inhibits travel and trade between towns. The DRC’s last Ebola outbreak occurred in the village of Likati in 2017, however the virus was contained within forty-two days. Related: Ebola mutated to become even deadlier during recent outbreak Led by Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum, the first scientist to document Ebola, the INRB is experienced in responding to Ebola outbreaks. “We’re advanced in public health ,” an epidemiologist at the INRB told the Atlantic . “If you compare us with Europe or the U.S., eh, but here in Africa, we are high. We have experience.” Early monitoring and reporting is key to success. “We have a surveillance system that works,” Kinshasa School of Public Health leader Emile Okitolonda said. “Here, nurses know that if they see a suspected case, they report it.” The INRB will also receive expert assistance from the World Health Organization and Médecins Sans Frontières in responding to Ebola. The primary challenge in the DRC is a lack of resources – a problem that may be exacerbated by President Trump ‘s recent request to cut $252 million in funding for international Ebola relief. Congress must decide within 45 days whether to act on Trump’s request. If they do nothing, as they are wont to do, the funding will remain in place. + INRB Via The Atlantic Images via Wikimedia Commons and Depositphotos

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New Ebola outbreak strikes the Democratic Republic of the Congo

How to Choose the Best Lawn Mower for Your Yard

May 9, 2018 by  
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Operating a gas-powered lawn mower for one hour emits as … The post How to Choose the Best Lawn Mower for Your Yard appeared first on Earth911.com.

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How to Choose the Best Lawn Mower for Your Yard

Over 1,000 spinning pinwheels make up a moving garden at Euroflora 2018

May 7, 2018 by  
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ENTER Studio and OBR have created a pop-up installation designed in the image of an ornamental Baroque garden with modern and playful flair. Created for the famous international flower show Euroflora 2018 in Genoa, Italy, the pop-up landscape—known as “Locus Amoenus”—comprises 1,200 white pinwheels arranged like a floating flowerbed encircling a timber patio. The project was created as part of the show’s open competition “Wonder in the Parks” that challenges designers to rethink the concept of a garden . Locus Amoenus—Latin for “pleasant place”—is a phrase referring to an idealized place of comfort that has been used through the ages, from Homer to Shakespeare. According to the project statement: “Locus Amoenus is the result of a reflection on the relationship between project and context. In particular, it is the setting of the historic park that has led to the reinterpretation of some of the frequent components in the tradition of designing green areas.” Related: Build your own indoor garden with modular LEGO-like blocks The interactive installation comprises three components: the Field, the Pinwheel Garden, and the Patio. The Field refers to the grassy open site; the Patio is the circular wooden platform punctuated in the center by the Baroque-inspired water tank and calla lily flowers; and the Pinwheel Garden recalls the traditional ornamental gardens with 1,200 white flower-like pinwheels of varying heights that give the project its playful feel. + ENTER Studio + OBR Images by Anna Positano

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Over 1,000 spinning pinwheels make up a moving garden at Euroflora 2018

Extraordinary Sci-Fi-esque spherical arena unveiled for London

April 5, 2018 by  
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Architecture firm Populous has unveiled their extraordinary designs for MSG Sphere London, a massive spherical arena set to rise on a five-acre site near Olympic Park . Envisioned as a glowing orb wrapped in digital screens, the 18,000-seat arena would host music and esport events for the Madison Square Garden Company (MSG). The MSG Sphere London appears visually identical to the renderings of the MSG arena for Las Vegas, also designed by Populous. Perhaps best known for their design of London’s Olympic Stadium , Populous has made its name in stadium designs worldwide. In the two MSG Sphere schemes, the architects push the envelope in eye-catching stadium design and technology. Digital screens wrap around the exterior while the interior will boast the “largest and highest resolution media display on Earth,” says MSG. Related: London’s 2012 Olympic Park Opens to the Public this Week After Years of Preparation The arena will be equipped with state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment as well as a “custom spherical camera system.” “MSG Sphere London is a natural fit for events such as esports, where audiences will be able to participate in the competition and interact with each other,” reads a statement from MSG . “It represents an important milestone in the company’s vision to redefine live entertainment through iconic venues that will feature game-changing technologies and pioneer the next generation of transformative, immersive experiences.” + Populous Via Dezeen Images via Populous

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Extraordinary Sci-Fi-esque spherical arena unveiled for London

Organic Gardening Books to Help Your Garden Grow

March 8, 2018 by  
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At the core of homesteading, the ultimate self-sufficient lifestyle, is growing … The post Organic Gardening Books to Help Your Garden Grow appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Organic Gardening Books to Help Your Garden Grow

Amazons incredible plant-filled biospheres open in Seattle

January 30, 2018 by  
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Amazon has finally opened its stunning new downtown Seattle office and it’s unlike any workspace we’ve seen before. Amazon Spheres, which celebrated its grand opening yesterday, is part greenhouse and part office housed within three glass geodesic domes. Designed by NBBJ , the $4 billion “mini-rainforest” campus will house over 800 Amazon employees in addition to more than 40,000 plants in an ecosystem built to emulate a verdant cloud forest. Located at the corner of Lenora Street and 6th Avenue, Amazon’s giant geodesic domes are made with a steel frame holding 2,643 laminated glass panels made up of four-layered low-iron glass to minimize heat loss. The largest of the three domes measures 90 feet tall and 130 feet in diameter with five floors (and a four-story-tall living plant wall that grows 200 plant species). Retail space occupies the ground floor and part of the first floor. Over 400 species of plants from more than 30 countries are represented in the domes and are cared for by a full-time horticulturalist. Nearly all of the plants were grown in a suburban greenhouse for the Spheres project. The flora centerpiece is a 55-foot-tall Ficus tree (nicknamed Rubi) that weighs almost 36,000 pounds and was craned into the space through the roof. The plantings are mostly organized in either the Old World garden that features African and Asian plants, or in the New World garden with a focus on the Americas. An architectural highlight is undoubtedly the “bird’s nest,” a timber treehouse suspended 30 feet in the air that serves as an intimate meeting space. Related: Amazon’s biospheres spring to life with first planting in Seattle The interior temperature will be stabilized at 69 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit with 60 percent humidity, and the climate will vary throughout the space. Recycled heat from the nearby data center is used to heat the Spheres. The project is on track for LEED Gold certification. The public is welcome to take a free tour of the facilities but must first book with Spheres Discovery at Understory . + NBBJ Via Bloomberg Renderings via NBBJ, photos via Amazon

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Amazons incredible plant-filled biospheres open in Seattle

Ruins of Swedens oldest church put on a new A-frame shelter

January 30, 2018 by  
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Medieval history meets modern architecture at Kata Farm, a ninth-century church that now serves as a shelter and exhibition hall in Varnhem, Sweden. Designed by Stockholm-based AIX Arkitekter AB , a new 300-square-meter timber A-frame structure sits atop the remains of Sweden’s oldest Christian church that’s also thought to be the country’s oldest building. Glue-laminated timber was used as the primary material for the new structure. Located on the grounds of Varnhem Abbey, Kata Farm was named after the woman who ruled the farm and allowed the church to be built. The new timber structure, which was built to protect the farm foundations from the elements, is raised on a series of pillars to minimize site impact . An elevated walkway with a glazed railing and signage wraps around the exposed stone ruins and is punctuated by glass panels allowing for top-down views of the burial sites, including Kata’s tomb that dates back to the mid-1000s. Related: Stunning chapel in Japan brings a fractal forest indoors The glue-laminated timber trusses are exposed and timber left unpainted for a minimalist look to complement the excavated grounds. In contrast to the light-colored interior, darker tar-treated pine planks clad the sloped exterior. The building can be accessed via a staircase that leads up to an outdoor deck or a glazed elevator on the opposite side of the building. + AIX Arkitekter AB Via ArchDaily Images © Antonius van Arkel

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Ruins of Swedens oldest church put on a new A-frame shelter

London architects infuse dated Victorian townhouse with tons of modern personality

January 9, 2018 by  
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This refurbishment project in North London emphasizes the home’s history while infusing it with modern personality. Architecture firm LLI Design enhanced and restored features of the Victorian townhouse to honor its past, and completely redesigned the rear kitchen extension with a new contemporary aesthetic. The original layout of the house had nicely proportioned rooms, a delightful garden and a handsome exterior which the design team enhanced by stripping out some of the dated features and reinstating others to bring out more of the Victorian feel of the property. Related: Jewel-like glass box deftly extends a Victorian house in London’s Mile End The ground floor of the 2500 square-foot house has a generous hall leading to 2 connecting reception rooms. At the end of the hall sits an extended kitchen that juts out into the garden. The team decided to leave the cellar as it was and use it for additional storage and reinstate the stained glass in the fanlight window above the front door and side window. They re-tiled the entrance hall in crisp black and white period tiles with a border pattern, which lightened and visually expanded the space. A dramatic copper and glass pendant light by designer Nigel Tyas now hangs from the top floor ceiling down to the ground floor. The living and dining rooms were refreshed with bespoke pale grey lacquer joinery and asymmetrical shelving lit with individual accent spotlights. The designers installed folding sliding doors in dark grey aluminium in the kitchen extension in order to give it a stronger connection to the garden. Upstairs, re-designed dressing room and master suite feature elegant new finishing and fixtures with delicate lighting solutions. The nursery suite was redesigned, with playfully illustrated roman blinds and colorful watercolor dot wallpaper. + LLI Design

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London architects infuse dated Victorian townhouse with tons of modern personality

Elegant cork-clad artists studio slots into a bijou London garden

December 8, 2017 by  
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A lovely little space has popped up in a north London garden as a shared workspace for a musician and seamstress couple. Cork Study—named after its sustainable cork cladding—is the work of design studio Surman Weston , also known for another charming backyard studio they built in 2014 . Large glass panes and a minimalist approach make the workspace feel surprisingly spacious despite its small 13-square-meter footprint. Surrounded by brick walls and greenery, Cork Study is slotted into a narrow garden with a small amount of clearance on either side. The architects wrapped the boxy volume in beautiful pale cork cladding that provides weatherproofing as well as thermal and acoustic insulation. The thick cork and the wildflower sedum roof help blend the building into the landscape. A large skylight and glazed oak-framed sliding pocket door bathe the interior in natural light. Birch plywood lines the interior and is also used for the custom furnishing that’s cantilevered off the walls. A central vertically oriented window divides the shared desk unit into two. Related: WSD Architecture’s Tiny Writer’s Studio is a Glowing Fairy-tale Haven in London “As a whole, the scheme is a very sustainable project. Timber internal linings, an all timber structural frame and the wild-flower sedum roof are used in conjunction with the fantastically sustainable cork cladding. Formed from the re-harvestable bark of cork-oak trees, the innovative expanded cork blocks are completely additive free and significantly carbon negative .” The Cork Study was shortlisted for a RIBA London Award 2017. + Surman Weston Photography: Wai Ming Ng

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