Eco-friendly guesthouse in Brazil sports a green roof and rammed earth walls

January 2, 2019 by  
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In continuation of its work on the eco-conscious Camburi community center , Sao Paulo-based architecture firm CRU! architects recently completed the Guesthouse Paraty, a sustainable social building project that provided construction jobs and training to the local community. To minimize the environmental impact of the building, the architects used natural materials sourced locally, from red earth excavated on site to the tree trunks and bamboo cut from the surrounding forest. The guesthouse was also built to follow passive solar principles to keep naturally cool in Brazil’s tropical climate. Designed with flexible usage in mind, the nearly 37-square-meter Guesthouse Paraty can be used as short-term lodging, a workspace or a play space for children. The compact, single-story building includes three beds — the bedroom consists of a double bed and a lofted single bed, while a convertible futon sofa is located in the living area. The open-plan living space also includes a small cooking area and dining table. To keep the guesthouse from feeling cramped, the architects installed expansive walls of glass that usher in daylight and frame views of the outdoors; the glazed entrance on one end of the building also opens up to a sheltered outdoor living space. Because the project location is far from the town center, the architects wanted to use materials sourced from the site. As a result, the building was constructed with rammed earth walls and topped with a green roof finished with locally sourced black earth and plant matter. The formwork used for the rammed earth walls was recycled to build the roof structure. The columns supporting the weight of the roof were built from bamboo. Further tying the building in with the site is the inclusion of the existing massive granite rock that now forms part of the bedroom wall. Related: Bamboo community center empowers the local Brazilian community The overhanging roof eaves and the green roof mitigate unwanted solar heat gain. All windows are operable and strategically positioned to optimize cross-ventilation . Insect screens were installed to protect against mosquitoes. + CRU! architects Photography by Nelson Kon via CRU! architects

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Eco-friendly guesthouse in Brazil sports a green roof and rammed earth walls

A 17th-century Spanish hospital gets transformed into a cozy library

July 5, 2018 by  
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When Madrid-based design practice Murado & Elvira Architects won a competition to turn the ancient Sancti Spiritus Hospital into the Public Library and Historic Archive for the Spanish city of Baiona, they wanted the renovation to focus on the concept of hospitality. In contrast to the historic stone and plaster facade that was left in place, the architects transformed the interior with maple wood volumes to create a sense of coziness and comfort. Eight years in the making, the 1.5-million Euro adaptive reuse project was completed in March of this year. Located in the historic city center, the 17th-century Sancti Spiritus Hospital is protected under Bien de Interés Cultural status; however, the building suffered major alterations over the years, including the destruction of its interior in the 1970s. Instead of merely renovating the structure, Murado & Elvira Architects also worked to return parts of the building back to their historic roots. The interior, though, was given an entirely new identity organized around a thick stone wall that recalls the building’s original construction. All the rooms are wrapped in warm maple plywood, which was also used for the furnishing. “When we first visited the old building we felt the need for our project to create a new interior identity, connecting and giving continuity to the old structures,” say Clara Murado and Juan Elvira of the two-story renovation . “The building could be understood as a solid stone plinth and a wooden fitment on top of it. The library becomes a furniture to be inhabited. We always had in mind the studio of Saint Jerome in Antonello da Messina’s painting where the whole studio seems to be built around the book.” Related: An old London chapel is reborn into a modern home and artist studio The library’s interior layout was also informed by the historical sequence of rooms. The Historic Archive, the children’s library, and the service rooms dominate the ground floor. The children’s library also opens up to a courtyard space. Three stairs lead up to the upper floor where the main reading room, individual study alcoves, bathrooms, offices and bench reading rooms are located. + Murado & Elvira Architects Images via Imagen Subliminal

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A 17th-century Spanish hospital gets transformed into a cozy library

Ovide LaMontagne and the politics of a clean economy

October 27, 2012 by  
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New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Ovide LaMontagne on the potential for sustainable business and cleantech in the Granite State.

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Hurricane Irene Puts a Damper on Highly Anticipated MLK Memorial Dedication in D.C.

August 26, 2011 by  
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The much-anticipated Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial dedication ceremony that was expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to D.C. this Sunday has been cancelled due to Hurricane Irene. The very first memorial near the National Mall dedicated to a black man, the mammoth MLK statue would also be only the fourth to commemorate a non-President. Following the earthquake earlier this week, which cracked the Washington Memorial , 90mph winds are expected to wreak even further havoc on the capital, much to the disappointment of local business and residents who were preparing for the adoring throng of visitors that were expected to pay their respects to one of America’s most beloved icons. Read the rest of Hurricane Irene Puts a Damper on Highly Anticipated MLK Memorial Dedication in D.C. Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bill McKibben , china , D.C. , eco design , first black man , granite , green design , hurricane irene , Jr. , Keystone XL Pipeline , Martin Luther King , memorial , National Mall , sustainable design

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Hurricane Irene Puts a Damper on Highly Anticipated MLK Memorial Dedication in D.C.

Study Finds That Climate Change Causes Wars

August 26, 2011 by  
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Climate change might be on track to do more than reduce the Earth’s resources and jeopardize the health of mankind — it could cause us all to start fighting with each other. The Center for the Study of Civil War (CSCW) just published research in the journal Nature showing that global climate change has the ability to stoke hostile conditions in developing nations. The study looked at years that the El Niño weather patterns (which are pretty close indicators of what will happen in the future with  global climate change ) were in effect and found that in poorer nations that are prone to drought, the threat of civil war doubled. It looks like green design might be useful for more than saving Mother Nature – if widely instituted, our greener ways could stop us all from shooting each other. Read the rest of Study Finds That Climate Change Causes Wars Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: civil conflict , civil war , civil war conflict , climate change violence , el nino violence , global climate change , global conflict , global warming , violence in africa

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Steven Holl’s Horizontal Skyscraper Wins Coveted 2011 American Architecture Award!

August 26, 2011 by  
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Read the rest of Steven Holl’s Horizontal Skyscraper Wins Coveted 2011 American Architecture Award! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: American Architecture Award 2011 , china , green roof , greywater recycling , horizontal skyscraper , LEED platinum , photovoltaic panels , rainwater harvest , renewable materials , Shenzehn , Steven Holl Architects

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Steven Holl’s Horizontal Skyscraper Wins Coveted 2011 American Architecture Award!

How Did Granite Become The Kitchen Counter Standard?

August 8, 2011 by  
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Image credit Neolith Granite counters have been all the rage for a decade, but now it has come to this, an entire kitchen made of granite. I think it is incredibly ugly and probably ridiculously expensive, But seeing this image, and a recent discussion about counter choices for Graham Hill’s LifeEdited project, reminded me of some research I had done into countertops a while back. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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How Did Granite Become The Kitchen Counter Standard?

Dazzling BMCE Dome Building Is Foster & Partner’s Very First Completed African Project

March 25, 2011 by  
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Read the rest of Dazzling BMCE Dome Building Is Foster & Partner’s Very First Completed African Project http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/ohttp://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=better_feedptions-general.php?page=better_feed Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , “sustainable architecture” , Africa , ceramic tiles , dome , earth tube , Foster and Partners , granite , limestone , morocco , passive cooling , passive design , tadelakt , zellige

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Dazzling BMCE Dome Building Is Foster & Partner’s Very First Completed African Project

Artist Samuel Price Creates Cool Pet Collage Art from Recycled Magazines

March 25, 2011 by  
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Artist Samuel Price is a collaging machine.

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Artist Samuel Price Creates Cool Pet Collage Art from Recycled Magazines

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