Daylit studio and courtyard breathe new life into a 1940s house in Seattle

April 30, 2018 by  
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A new studio and  courtyard inspired by ancient Chinese housing design maximize the potential of this 1940s residence in Seattle . Grasshopper Studio and Courtyard, designed by Wittman Estes Architecture + Landscape , encourages flexibility, and exhibits a beautiful outdoor space filled with greenery. The project sits on a rectangular lot with an existing house, which was built in the 1940s. The design includes a multi-functional studio space toward the back of the lot, and a sunken courtyard that provides privacy and a strong connection to nature. The architects wanted to redefine traditional single-family housing and create a space that offers an alternative to the boxy structures taking over the city. Related: Exquisite Japanese house wraps around a generations-old tree “Normative new housing demolishes existing small buildings and replaces them with Seattle Modern Boxes that maximize building size and density within zoning setbacks,” the firm said. “Grasshopper Studio and Courtyard offers an alternative density called courtyard urbanism.” The 360-square-foot  open-plan studio features a glass wall on the side facing the house. The façade that faces an alley is clad in corrugated metal sheets. An overhang extends beyond the south wall and forms a carport. The studio opens onto a sunken patio inspired by ancient Chinese courtyards. Here, the family can dine, relax and entertain guests. In the center of the courtyard, a silk tree provides shade during hot summers. + Wittman Estes Architecture + Landscape Via Dezeen Photos by Nic Lehoux

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Daylit studio and courtyard breathe new life into a 1940s house in Seattle

This house from Skylab Architecture mimics the appearance of the Rocky Mountains

April 16, 2018 by  
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Portland studio Skylab Architecture ‘s Owl Creek Residence is an angular retreat  that blends into Colorado ’s mountainous landscape while offering expansive views of the Rocky Mountains. The house’s rugged steel structure mimics the topography of the surrounding area, enhancing visual connections to the landscape and simultaneously drawing it inwards. The 4,200-square-foot (390-square-meter) house sits on a hillside near the town of Snowmass, a popular destination for winter sports . Its main lounge area mimics the natural slope of the site and features stepped seating that maximizes space within the stairwell. Related: Geothermal-powered Wildcat Ridge Residence boasts breathtaking views of Aspen, Colorado Five bedrooms occupy the lower level of the residence, along with other amenities such as a steam room and hot tub. A triangular spa with an elevated deck and an expansive outdoor terrace is located right off the kitchen. The choice of cladding materials and finishes – weathering steel , wood and stone – further allows the house to harmonize with nature. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls in the common areas form the tip of the triangular plan and offer expansive views of the surrounding landscape. Most of the upper level is reserved for entertaining and includes an open-concept living and dining room, a den, and a kitchen. + Skylab Architecture Via Dezeen Lead photo by Robert Reck

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This house from Skylab Architecture mimics the appearance of the Rocky Mountains

Modern desert home is a sculptural extension of the landscape

March 23, 2018 by  
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Specht Architects completed the Sundial House, a modernist home that derives its name from the changing play of light and shadow indoors. Set atop a ridge in Santa Fe , New Mexico, the award-winning residence is built to look and feel like a sculptural extension of the landscape with impressive panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Oriented for optimal views of the Sangre de Christos mountains, the Sundial House makes the most of its views with large expanses of glass protected by the cantilevered roof. The home is organized around two perpendicular board-formed concrete walls. The landscape design reinforces the sense of order and rhythm laid out by the architectural elements. Related: Passive VOLKsHouse is an Affordable Net-Zero Energy Home in Santa Fe “The house enhances a feeling of connection to the site, both physically, and temporally, and provides a true sense of shelter,” wrote the architects. The indoor-outdoor relationship is strengthened not only through glazed walls and a skylight, but with the addition of courtyards as well. + Specht Architects Via Dezeen Images by Taggart Sorensen

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Modern desert home is a sculptural extension of the landscape

Lush green roof of native plants breathes life into a Texan cabana

February 28, 2018 by  
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This minimalist concrete-and-glass cabana looks as if it rose straight from the ground thanks to its beautiful green roof that ties it into verdant surroundings in Palmer, Texas. Dallas-based architecture firm Wernerfield designed the PTX1 Cabana, a simple and transparent structure that provides a strong contrast to the wild and colorful plants like yucca and sage that grow atop its roof. The rectangular pool house also doubles as a “remote” entertaining space with an indoor lounge, bathroom and exercise room. Built with clean lines and a restrained palette, the 1,372-square-foot PTX1 Cabana was designed with simple elegance in mind so as not to detract from the views of the main house that sits uphill. Full-height glazing wraps around the pool house to give it a sense of lightness while a concrete roof with deep overhangs protect against solar gain . White stucco was used for the exterior surfaces. Related: Spectacular wildflower roof grows atop a dreamy Texan cabana Retractable glass walls further minimize the distinction between indoors and out. A rectangular pool deck with lounge chairs and a fire pit separates the cabana from a lap pool fitted with colored lights. + Wernerfield Via Dezeen Photos by Robert Yu

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Lush green roof of native plants breathes life into a Texan cabana

Luminous Bear Run Cabin offers dramatic views of the Cascade Mountains in Washington

December 8, 2017 by  
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The Bear Run Cabin in Marblemount, Washington, captures the dual nature of the surrounding landscape – the dramatic peaks of the Cascade Mountains and the gently sloping adjacent woodlot. The building, designed by David Coleman Architecture , is carved into the site, with two volumes standing in a yin-yang relationship. The cabin occupies a rain-drenched site in the rugged, northwestern foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Its western terrace is carved into the site, and it leads towards a soaking tub set behind a glass wall . The south-eastern porch and monumental stair, both covered by a soaring roof, rise above the site and offer shelter from the rain and summer sun. Related: Son builds modern dream cabin from recycled materials for his aging father The house is extremely flexible – in the summer the living space expands onto porches and terraces while retaining its efficiency and compactness in the winter. The 890-square-foot cabin accommodates a living room, a bath, and a sleeping loft clad in frameless glass, while the 1000-square-foot studio houses a music room, a workshop and a guest loft. Related: Affordable Polycarbonate Cabin is a light-filled vacation home in Chile The west wall is clad in a polycarbonate skin that illuminates the interior with a soft glow during the day. This same wall lights up in a dramatic display at night. The project won the GRAY Awards — the first regional awards program to celebrate design exclusively from Washington , Oregon and British Columbia. + David Coleman Architecture Photos by Ben Benschneider

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Luminous Bear Run Cabin offers dramatic views of the Cascade Mountains in Washington

Uniti officially unveils its electric city car – and it will sell for under $18K

December 8, 2017 by  
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Uniti from Sweden has officially unveiled its first electric car , the Uniti One. The company took the covers off their new electric city car at an event in Sweden, where they announced a price as low as €14,900 ($17,483 US) when it goes on sale in 2019. Even with its low price tag, the Uniti One can drive up to 186 miles via a small 22 kWh battery. The Uniti One will also feature DC fast charging capability that will add about 124 miles of range in only 30 minutes. Uniti also plans to offer a line of two, four and five-seat vehicle models, with the most expensive versions listing for €19,900 ($23,415 US). Besides the futuristic tiny exterior, the coolest feature by far is the center pivot joystick control system that replaces a traditional steering wheel. Related: This Swedish electric car comes with 5 years of free electricity “We are pleased to share our progress and demonstrate our vision for future mobility as we move towards mass production,” stated Lewis Horne, CEO of Uniti. As Tesla is realizing with the Model 3 , getting a vehicle into production is quite a feat. To demonstrate the emphasis that Uniti is placing on getting the Uniti One into production, the company invited representatives from its 24 key partners, like Nvidia and Siemens to the debut. Buyers can reserve the Uniti One with a €149 deposit and Uniti says that it has already received over 1,000 orders. Uniti All images ©Uniti

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Uniti officially unveils its electric city car – and it will sell for under $18K

Kansas State students built this charming affordable home for low-income families

December 8, 2017 by  
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A group of fifth-year architecture students at Kansas State University teamed up with local firms El Dorado and Studio Build to design and build an affordable two-unit dwelling for low-income families. The Waldo Duplex, built for $200 per square foot, comprises carefully designed open spaces that strategically utilize  natural light . The duplex, built on a budget of $290,000, is located in a historic area of Kansas City, Missouri, dominated by single-family bungalows and shotgun homes. While the duplex has been dominated by generic, utilitarian form these days, the designers wanted to create something that stood out. The result is an unconventional housing solution amongst fairly uniform residential typology. The exterior and roof are clad in corrugated steel and features high-end finishes on the interior. Related: El Dorado brings Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Echo Ridge Community to Topeka, Kansas The students, working as part of Design+Make Studio, teamed up with two local studios to design this pair of apartments for low-income tenants. “This building type was conceived as a more compassionate way to meet housing needs in lower-income municipalities and neighborhoods without the density that is typical in affordable housing,” explained the team. The street-facing porches are enclosed within wooden slats and cantilever over the site. Each apartment offers 725 square feet (67 square meters) of space, with open-plan layouts that include living rooms, kitchens and dining areas. These spaces balance natural and artificial light, working in synergy and dialogue with each other. + Design+Make Studio + El Dorado Inc. + Studio Build Via Dezeen Photos by Mike Sinclair

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Kansas State students built this charming affordable home for low-income families

India added more rooftop solar in 2017 than the past 4 years combined

December 8, 2017 by  
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India’s rooftop solar sector has been exploding. In 2017, the country added 715 megawatts (MW) in roof installations – more than MW added in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 put together, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). And the cost of electricity from rooftop solar power has been cut in half in the past five years. Rooftop solar is the quickest-growing sub-sector of renewable energy in India, according to BNEF. Rooftop PV installations totaled 32, 78, 165, and 227 MW in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 respectively – and then this year saw installations of 715 MW. Rooftop solar has “clocked a four-year compound annual growth rate of 117 percent,” according to BNEF. Related: Solar prices in India dip below coal Low solar panel prices and increased competition has allowed Indian rooftop system installations to be less expensive than the global average by around 39 to 50 percent, according to Quartz India . And in all major states in the country, rooftop solar energy is cheaper than industrial and commercial power. Government policies and incentives have also spurred the growth, CARE Ratings analyst Gautam Bafna told Quartz India. Individual projects have also escalated in size, from an average of 250 kilowatts (kW) in 2015 to 855 kW in 2018. BNEF said, “We estimate India will reach 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of rooftop PV capacity by FY2022 – seven times its current total.” That’s still short of the government’s goal of 40 gigawatts by 2022. There’s still a ways to go. India’s power distribution companies are hesitant to promote rooftop solar, according to Quartz India, because they are concerned about finances. A KPMG partner with infrastructure and government services, Anish De told Quartz India, “During the day, there’ll be sudden spikes of generation; in the evenings, there’ll be a reverse flow. So till [power] storage comes in a much larger way, utilities might find it difficult to manage this.” And over half the rooftop solar market is concentrated in only six of India’s 29 states. Via Quartz India and Bloomberg New Energy Finance Images via Depositphotos and Wikimedia Commons

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India added more rooftop solar in 2017 than the past 4 years combined

Charred wood-clad Sleeve House is a home within a home

November 2, 2017 by  
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The traditional barn gets a brilliant reinterpretation in the modern charred wood-clad Sleeve House. Two elongated volumes – a smaller one sleeved into a larger – comprise this timber house located on an open rolling hillside in New York state. Architecture firm actual / office  used Shou Sugi Ban to give the home a sustainable, low-maintenance exterior that complements the surrounding landscape. The Sleeve House sits on a sloping terrain around two hours north of New York City in a rural area of the Hudson Valley. Its two volumes–one sleeved into the other– create three different types of spaces both on the inside and the outside of the house. The space between the inner and outdoor volumes accommodates common areas, including an entry gallery, a narrow vertical slot for the stairs, and a spacious living space with a sloping glass wall . Walking into the smaller volume from the main one creates an experience of entering a different universe. Related: This charred wood cabin can be rearranged in an infinite number of ways The smaller volume contains private areas and a study. These spaces feature warm, soft finishes which contrast the rough materials– exposed concrete and charred wood – that dominate the rest of the interior as well as the exterior. The house is clad in Shou Sugi Ban (charred wood) that makes the house stand out while complementing its surroundings and gives it depth, pattern and texture. Large glass surfaces offer expansive views of the landscape. + actual / office Via Contemporist Photos by Michael Moran , lead image via  Deborah DeGraffenreid

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Charred wood-clad Sleeve House is a home within a home

A beautiful perforated facade filters natural light into this office building in Rio de Janeiro

November 4, 2016 by  
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The open-plan floors of the building are supported by concrete waffle slabs, peripheral columns and load-bearing walls. All the installations and structural elements are distributed along the perimeter of the building. Related: Tivoli Eco Residences Leave a Light Footprint on the Coast of Northern Brazil The facade of the building comprises three different layers-a lattice of perforated aluminium, a green buffer and soundproof windows. It semi-transparent quality allows natural light into the interior and is aided by a large skylight . The library is separated by glass partitions that filter in daylight. + Bernardes Arquitetura Via Archdaily Photos by Leonardo Finotti

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A beautiful perforated facade filters natural light into this office building in Rio de Janeiro

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