Stellar views and a small footprint defines this Tasmanian timber cabin

April 12, 2018 by  
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A small abode perched high on the eastern slopes of Tasmania’s Mount Wellington offers spectacular landscape views. Room11 Architects designed the boxy dwelling with a deliberately compact footprint as an “intensely private” retreat that keeps the focus on outdoor views framed by large windows. In addition to enviable views, natural cross ventilation and a wood-burning stove help keep the home, called Little Big House, attuned to nature. Located high above Hobart, Little Big House is an escape from the city set in a forested landscape. The simple residence is clad in vertical unfinished timber in a nod to the local vernacular construction styles of Southern Tasmania. “A small home with big volumes, the house is a bespoke building in a cool climate,” wrote the architects. “Eschewing many of the traditions of Australian architecture , this house is distinctly Tasmanian.” Related: Historic train shed transformed into Tasmanian School for Architecture Polycarbonate cladding on the east and west facades bring additional light to the minimalist interior without compromising privacy. White walls and tall ceilings create a bright and airy atmosphere indoors; the entry, kitchen, and bathroom spaces are finished in black to provide visual contrast. The focus is kept on the double-height living room set next to a long strip of glazing, while the bedroom is tucked above on the mezzanine level. + Room11 Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Ben Hosking

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Stellar views and a small footprint defines this Tasmanian timber cabin

Green-roofed Copenhagen sports center comprises light-filled timber volumes

March 27, 2018 by  
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Livability in Copenhagen’s Ørestad City received a big boost with the completion of a green-roofed multipurpose sports facility next to Bjarke Ingels Group’s terraced Mountain Dwellings . Designed by NORD Architects , the sports center may be more modest than its eye-catching neighbor with its lower profile and natural materials palette, but achieves admirable goals of social sustainability and inclusivity thanks to its welcoming and fully accessible design that’s open 24/7 to the public. Designed in collaboration with the community, the unstaffed multipurpose sports center in Ørestad City offers adaptable and multifunctional spaces that cater to a variety of user groups. The building’s five main zones radiate out from a central “stay and play area” and include the foyer, two multifunctional areas with storage and toilets, a bouldering zone, and a large multisport area. Each area is enclosed in a timber volume of varying heights and sloped green roofs , making it easy to identify the different zones from the outside. Related: BIG Designs Cascading Green Roofed Mountain Dwellings Glazing wraps around the base of the structure to let in light, create transparency, and provide views to outdoor landscaping. The interior is painted white. “This place is a kind of shelter for local sports and social events and in this way an invitation to both creativity, activity and recreation. It is built as a light structure that welcomes openness and unpredictability in this otherwise fully planned urban area and we are sure it will generate social interaction and livability in Ørestad City”, said partner Johannes Molander Pedersen + NORD Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Adam Mørk

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Green-roofed Copenhagen sports center comprises light-filled timber volumes

Former car factory to house Brussels "Centre Pompidou" cultural hub

March 26, 2018 by  
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A former Citroën car factory will be transformed into a major cultural hub for Brussels —the KANAL – Centre Pompidou comprising a Museum of Contemporary Art, architecture center, and other public art spaces. EM2N , noAarchitecten , and Sergison Bates won a design competition to lead the design of the €125 million adaptive reuse project. The historic 1930s building was selected for its size—an expansive 215,000 square feet—and prime location in the heart of the Brussels-Capital Region at the center of the Plan Canal. “The proposal for Kanal reflects on the position of the twenty-first century museum in society,” wrote the architects. “The building is located in the heart of the Plan Canal, the area where new developments focus on a contemporary mix of housing, working, leisure and production spaces– the activity that is historically linked to the canal area.” The Centre Pompidou scheme begins with the restoration of the former Citroën garage followed by the insertion of three volumes for the art museum , architecture center, and 400-seat auditorium. Related: A futuristic mirrored agora is landing in Brussels like a giant flying saucer Wraparound glazing and skylights create transparency and allow ample amount of natural light indoors. To reduce the building’s energy footprint, each of the three inserted volumes will be equipped with individual climate control while other energy-saving measures will be used throughout the rest of KANAL. Construction is slated to begin fall 2019 and the museum is expected to open in 2022. + Centre Pompidou Via Dezeen Images by NOA / EM2N / SBA

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Former car factory to house Brussels "Centre Pompidou" cultural hub

World’s largest botanical garden to bloom in the desert of Oman

November 15, 2017 by  
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Perhaps the dry desert landscape of Oman may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of lush forests, but the Arabian nation is getting a massive infusion of greenery with the world’s largest botanical garden . Showcasing the country’s rich bio-diversity, the Oman Botanic Garden – designed by Arup, Grimshaw and Haley Sharpe Design – will be a whopping 1,037 acres of land filled with native flora, with two beautiful biomes housing the country’s most unique plant species. Located in the foothills of the Al Hajar Mountains in the Sultanate of Oman, the botanical garden’s site is one of the few locations in the world where the ancient sea bed is still visible after the landscape was elevated by tectonic activity. Working with this unique landscape, the architects designed a complex that would blend into the Mars-esque environment. Related: INFOGRAPHIC: 7 best botanical gardens from around the world Visitors to the gardens will enjoy open walkways that run through the undulating landscape, winding through the wadis, mountains and desert plains as they enjoy the impressive botanic diversity. Inside the two biomes, which house the most unique or sensitive flora, the interior environments were carefully designed to mimic the natural temperature and humidity of the plants’ native climate. Along with the visitors center, the complex will have additional spaces for education and research facilities dedicated to protecting the region’s ample bio-diversity. The garden’s buildings and the landscape architecture were all designed to meet the standards of LEED Platinum . Making the design sustainable was quite a challenge given the region’s water scarcity. Thanks to advanced systems, the entire complex will operate with a grey water irrigation system that works in collaboration with sustainably-sourced water. + Arup + Grimshaw + Haley Sharpe Design Via World Architecture News

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World’s largest botanical garden to bloom in the desert of Oman

Ultra-thin Macbook-shaped roof tops new Apple Store in Chicago

October 24, 2017 by  
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A new Apple Store has just opened in downtown Chicago—and it’s an architectural beauty. Designed by Foster + Partners , Apple Michigan Avenue follows the tech giant’s new ( and controversial ) “Town Square” store concept in which stores are meant to serve as community hubs rather than simply commercial spaces. Naming aside, the new Apple flagship is a stunner with wraparound glazing and an ultra-thin carbon fiber roof in the recognizable shape of a Macbook cover. Located along the Chicago riverfront on North Michigan Avenue’s ‘Magnificent Mile,’ Apple Michigan Avenue was envisioned as a bridge between the city and the river. Granite staircases that flank the store step down to the waterfront from the historic Pioneer Court urban plaza. Massive curved glass walls wrap around the building on all sides, while four slender columns support an extremely thin floating roof. Related: First Apple Store in Southeast Asia is 100% powered by renewable energy “We fundamentally believe in great urban life, creating new gathering places, and connecting people in an analog way within an increasingly digital world,” said Stefan Behling, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners. “The design of Apple Michigan Avenue embodies this in its structure and materiality with a glass wall that dissolves into the background, revealing the only visible element of the building – its floating carbon fiber roof.” Interior stairs double as seating for Apple Michigan Avenue’s “forum,” the events space for talks about photography and coding, and hub of Today at Apple. + Foster + Partners Images by Neil Young

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Ultra-thin Macbook-shaped roof tops new Apple Store in Chicago

Enviable cabin with coastal views dramatically cuts into bedrock

May 29, 2017 by  
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If you want a tasteful home with a sense of drama, you’ll love this spruce-clad cabin. Helsinki-based studio Mer Arkkitehdit set this white minimalist home into a rocky cliff that overlooks sublime coastal views in multiple directions. In addition to stunning landscape vistas, the compact Stormvillan home features a beautiful contemporary interior carefully furnished for a clean, modern, and cozy character. Located in Hanko, Finland, the 210-square-meter Stormvillan is set at the heart of the historic villa district characterized by grand wooden villas leftover from the late 19th century. Topped with a zinc roof, the new-build project echoes the local vernacular with its spruce cladding painted with traditional linseed oil paint similar to its surrounding predecessors. Unlike its historic neighbors, Stormvillan cuts deep into the rocky terrain on which it sits, submerging its basement level below ground. The aboveground Y-shaped main floor opens up in three directions, each optimized for views and to fit the natural shape of the rock. The living room faces the sea, the lounge looks west for sunsets across the dining terrace, and the master bedroom frames storm-swept junipers and pine trees. Large glazed walls are also used on the ground floor to reveal bare bedrock, a sharp contrast to the smooth white-painted interior. Related: Adam Knibb’s twin wooden homes seem to hover above the ground The large glazed openings illuminate the open-plan interior with natural light. Light-colored untreated wood complements the almost all-white interior. The ground floor and the main floor are connected via a carpet-clad staircase, as well as an elevator to accommodate the clients, an elderly couple. The roof of the ground floor level doubles as a wood terrace partially covered with a green roof . + Mer Arkkitehdit Via ArchDaily Images © Marc Goodwin

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Enviable cabin with coastal views dramatically cuts into bedrock

Worlds first LEED Platinum police station generates more energy than it consumes in Cincinnati

May 5, 2017 by  
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Serving the community goes hand in hand with serving the environment at this police station in Cincinnati. The Ohio city is home to the world’s first freestanding net-zero energy police station that’s also the first of its kind to earn LEED Platinum certification. Designed by local firm emersion DESIGN , the Cincinnati District 3 Police Station Headquarters is a beautiful facility that not only produces as much energy as it consumes, but also beautifies the community with public art and rainwater. Unveiled in July 2015 in the city’s Westwood neighborhood, the 39,000-square-foot District 3 Police Station Headquarters houses nearly 200 employees. Forty geothermal wells and a 330-kW solar array power the energy-efficient building, which consumes half the power used by traditionally built facilities of the same size. Since the building consumes less energy than it generates—the energy use intensity is 28 kBtu per square foot—the building is expected to save the city a significant amount of taxpayer money over the years. Related: BIG unveils plans for NYPD’s first-ever green-roofed police station The net-zero energy building was also designed with considerable community input, from the new station’s location to the selection of public art. As part of the state’s 1 Percent Art Program, the police station includes an LED art installation that tells the story of the district’s 14 neighborhoods. Generous amounts of glazing clad the station and create a sense of transparency with the community. The landscaping around the building incorporates native plantings and includes beautiful stormwater management design, such as rainwater gardens and a stone ‘river’ bioswale. + emersion DESIGN

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Worlds first LEED Platinum police station generates more energy than it consumes in Cincinnati

Gigantic golden egg sauna warms up residents of Sweden’s northernmost town

April 29, 2017 by  
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Bigert & Bergström just unveiled the Solar Egg, a giant golden sauna located in the town of Luossabacken, Sweden. The golden egg concept was hatched for the country’s northernmost town to provide residents with a toasty meeting place deep in the snow-covered landscape. The mining town of Kiruna is currently facing radical changes; the entire city is moving so that a mining company can extract more iron from underneath its landscape. Mining has been an essential part of the isolated town since the 19th century and the industry is vital to its existence. However, many are debating this dependence on iron mining – especially granted its impact on the environment and the town’s well-being. This issue inspired the Swedish designers from Bigert & Bergström to create the Solar Egg as a warm social meeting place where residents can debate the town’s future, or as they put it, “prompt thoughts of rebirth.” Related: Solar-powered Ecocapsule lets you live off-the-grid anywhere in the world The Solar Egg is made of stainless mirror sheeting that contrasts with the snowy landscape. The shimmering panels reflect and break up the surroundings into mirrored fragmented images – a design feature meant to represent the complexities that come with “heated” debates about climate change and sustainable living . The egg’s interior walls are clad in honeycomb wood panels that give the egg its pod-like shape. LED lighting illuminates the interior, and a large wood-heated, heart-shaped sauna stove made out of iron and stone sits in the middle of the space, providing a warm temperature of anywhere between 75° and 85° C. The Solar Egg is a part of Bigert & Bergström’s strategy to incorporate artwork into climate discussions – an initiative that began with the team’s Climate Chambers project in 1994. + Studio Bigert & Bergström Photography by Jean-Baptiste Béranger

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Gigantic golden egg sauna warms up residents of Sweden’s northernmost town

Salvaged wood clads handsome mountain cabin in Vermont

April 7, 2017 by  
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This handsome timber cabin nestled in the foothills of Vermont’s Green Mountains stands out from the pack with its asymmetrical roofs and weathered, recycled timber cladding. Richmond-based Birdseye Design designed Woodshed, a cabin that infuses contemporary elements into the traditional woodshed vernacular. The cabin’s Douglas fir and pine cladding were repurposed from snow fencing and horse corrals. Set on a clearing on a steeply sloping and heavily wooded site, the Woodshed in Pomfret blends into its forested surroundings with its timber-clad facade. Conceived as a guesthouse and entertainment space for the main residence down the road, the residential project takes cues from the iconic woodshed found in the Vermont landscape. The main building comprises two asymmetric gabled roof volumes connected via a central entryway. A small auxiliary garage sits off to the side. Related: Origami-like alpine cabin brings contemporary style to Chile’s mountains “The western, public elevation presents the continuous, wood textured wall that evokes the expressive, scrim wall of a traditional woodshed,” write the architects. “The project purposefully projects a minimal familiar elevation to the non-view, public street side and an engaging, contemporary open elevation to the private hillside.” Large expanses of glazing wrap around the east facade to frame views of the landscape. Exterior terraces expand the footprint of the home to the outdoors. + Birdseye Design Via ArchDaily Images via Birdseye Design

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Salvaged wood clads handsome mountain cabin in Vermont

Thousands of grafted flowers grow on the entire face of this Milan building

April 7, 2017 by  
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A stunning show for the eyes—and nose—has taken over the facade of a building in Milan . Local design studio Piuarch teamed up with landscape architect Cornelius Gavril to create ‘Flowerprint,’ a gardening facade installation with 2,000 aromatic flowers and herbs grafted onto tubers. The plants, which range from roses and lilies to thyme and lavender, create a multicolored “flower embroidery” exploring a new multi-sensory way of decorating surfaces. Created for Brera Design Week in Milan, Flowerprint is a temporary gardening facade installed on the facade of the building where Piuarch is located in the courtyard of Via Palermo 5. The constellation of flowers comprises 200 vertical lines of 2,000 suspended plants to cover the entirety of the 10-meter-tall and 20-meter-wide building facade from ground to roof. “The flowered wall uses the different varieties in their colour and material condition to create a pattern, a sort of actual floral graphism, in three dimensions: olfactory, material and in constant transformation depending on light and humidity conditions,” writes Piuarch. Related: ‘Kinetic’ rooftop garden uses pallets and plants to create the illusion of movement To extend the lifespan of the cut flowers, the designers grafted the plants onto potato plants using an ancient technique. The potato plants provide a structural basis and nutrients to the flowers. The fragrance of the flowers and aromatic herbs are enhanced with natural outdoor perfumes produced by Adar. Flowerprint is on display from April 4 to April 9, 2017. + Piuarch

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Thousands of grafted flowers grow on the entire face of this Milan building

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