Extraordinary treehouse is a climber’s dream with its own indoor climbing wall

October 12, 2017 by  
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This narrow angular treehouse in Brisbane, Australia , captures the freedom and beauty of the outdoor-indoor lifestyle. The Taringa Treehouse, designed by Phorm Architecture + Design , is nestled under a large tree and houses a study, bedroom and a climbing wall. The entire main floor can be opened up to the exterior via sliding glass walls. The building is detached from the main residence and occupies a cozy spot under an existing tree in the backyard of the property. It’s wedge-like form points toward the residence, with its wider side facing out into the yard. A ground floor patio with a climbing wall is located at the tip of the two-story structure and opens up toward the garden via large sliding glass walls. Related: Incredible luxury tree house is hidden away in a Cape Town forest “These backyards tend to be overgrown, unruly spaces and are the domain of children and makeshift structures. The treehouse is devised as an invitation to visit and engage with this distinct yet typically unchartered territory,” said Paul Hotston of Brisbane-based Phorm Architecture + Design. Weatherboard covers the garden-facing elevation, while metal cladding dominates the western facade which creates a contrast with the verdant surroundings. The shape and materials of the house are inspired by traditional local architecture , translated into a modern-day t reehouse that’s playful and fun. + Phorm Architecture + Design Via Dezeen

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Extraordinary treehouse is a climber’s dream with its own indoor climbing wall

New super concrete makes buildings strong enough to withstand magnitude 9 earthquakes

October 12, 2017 by  
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Recent natural disasters such as hurricanes in the Caribbean and earthquakes in Mexico have laid bare the need for more resilient buildings. Fortunately, researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have developed a sprayable, eco-friendly concrete that makes the exterior of buildings as strong as steel and able to withstand unforeseen disasters . The material is called Eco-friendly Ductile Cementitious Composite, or EDCC – and it’s is predominantly comprised of an industrial by-product called fly ash. Said UBC Professor Nemy Banthia, “The cement industry produces close to seven percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. By replacing nearly 70 percent of cement with fly ash, we can reduce the amount of cement used. This is quite an urgent requirement, as one tonne of cement production releases almost a tonne of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.” The final product is very similar to steel. It is durable, malleable and much more ductile than ordinary concrete. To test the invention, researchers sprayed EDCC on concrete block walls about 10 mm (one-half inch) thick. They then simulated a magnitude 9 earthquake — the same strength of the earthquake that rocked Tohoku, Japan, in 2011. “The results of these tests have been amazing,” said UBC engineering Ph.D. candidate Salman Soleimani-Dashtaki. “We can shake the wall extensively without it failing.” The video above shows that the unreinforced wall collapsed at about 65 percent intensity. In contrast, the reinforced wall withstood full intensity shaking and flexing. “A 10 millimeter-thick layer of EDCC … is sufficient to reinforce most interior walls against seismic shocks ,” said Soleimani-Dashtaki. EDCC is already on the market – in British Columbia, Canada , the product has been designated as “an official retrofit option.” The product is growing in popularity, as it is more cost-effective than major structural renovations or the steel bracings often required for earthquake protection. Plans are already in motion to reinforce the walls of an elementary school in Vancouver, B.C., and to upgrade a school in the seismically active area of northern India . With this technology, the costs of retrofitting buildings is cut in half. Said Banthia, “This can be very easily scaled to other projects. It costs about half of what other retrofit strategies would cost.” Via Metro News Canada , Engadget Images via UBC Civil Engineering Department, Pixabay, YouTube

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Timber-clad extension reconnects post-war Dutch residence with nature

January 25, 2017 by  
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A brand new layout and addition transformed a post-war brick house in The Netherlands into a modern family home with a new connection to its natural surroundings. Kraal Architecten and Lab-S worked together on renovating the residence in Zeist, introducing a timber-clad extension that contrasts with the original home’s materials. The building underwent an extensive transformation that created a stronger connection between the interior and exterior spaces. The addition, clad in timber , provides views of and relates to the outdoors, while maintaining a clear division between the new and existing parts of the building. Related: Stunning Dutch Renovation is Harmoniously Eclectic Each floor received spatial additions, with the kitchen, bedroom and study located one above the other at the back of the house. A new staircase connects them. The extension also features floor-to-ceiling windows which not only provide views of the garden, but filter in plenty of natural light. + Kraal Architecten + Lab-S Via Archdaily Photos by Ed van Rijswijk

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Timber-clad extension reconnects post-war Dutch residence with nature

Alpine meadows extend onto the roof of the renovated Lanserhof Lans health center

November 2, 2016 by  
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Nestled at the foothills of Tyrolean Alps, the luxurious Lanserhof health facility offers a serene environment with stunning views of the mountainous landscape. Undergoing major expansion helmed by international firm ingenhoven architects , the complex will soon include a beautiful new oval building will 16 rooms, topped by a terraced alpine meadow on the roof. Image by bloomimages The Lanserhof Lans combines the luxury of a hotel and modern patient care on par with the most advanced medical facilities in the world. The three-part complex comprises a main building and several annexes and extensions . According to the design, a brand new building will replace one of the guest houses, while several structural adjustments will be needed for the entrance building which houses the reception, restaurant, shop, fireplace lounge and library. The addition will include a bathroom area with saunas , showers, expanded medical rooms in addition to an indoor and outdoor swimming pool . Related: Prefabricated green residential building is slated for Berlin’s new ‘live-work city’ Image by bloomimages Natural materials and simple forms dominate the design of the extension. Its facade will feature balconies of varying depths that create an interesting rhythm and offer optimal wind protection. A green roof featuring seven private terraces will extend the surrounding Alpine meadow to the roof of the new building. + ingenhoven architects Images by bloomimages and Alexander Schmitz

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Alpine meadows extend onto the roof of the renovated Lanserhof Lans health center

Sustainable home in Cornwall is wrapped in steam-bent wood

October 25, 2016 by  
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Tom and his wife Danielle bought an existing lodge located in the woodland at Trevano near Heslton, and designed a timber-clad extension that blends seamlessly into the surrounding landscape. It is linked to the original cottage and outbuildings which the architects restored and modernized. Raffield translated his passion for sculptural design and sustainable materials  into his newest design-the biggest one to date-which promises to become his masterpiece. The timber-clad extension uses an innovative take on steam-bent furniture and lighting. Related: Students Construct a Dramatic 10-Meter-High Steam-Bent Lookout Tower at Helsinki Zoo “We wanted to build a house with the same consideration and attention to detail we put into our furniture and lighting,” said Raffield. “The experience of building your own space and creating pieces to put inside has been incredibly liberating. Then being able to share that experience is both nerve wrecking and incredibly exciting,” he added. The project recently appeared on the UK Channel 4 TV show “Grand Designs”. + Tom Raffield Via World Architecture News

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Sustainable home in Cornwall is wrapped in steam-bent wood

Beautiful green-roofed extension adds light to this Victorian villa in England

September 16, 2016 by  
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The occupants of the Clapton House used the property as their residence for a few years before deciding to upgrade. Their main design requirement was related to the layout of the house, which included an old glass conservatory which blocked the light from reaching the living room. Related: Stunning Victorian Renovation Showcases Decades of SF History The architects came up with a design for a timber extension which that accommodates the kitchen and dining area. The exterior wall of the existing house was left intact, maintaining the privacy of the lounge, while the green roof creates a gentle, eco-sensitive aesthetic with various environmental and energy-saving benefits. + Scenario Architecture Via  Freshome

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Beautiful green-roofed extension adds light to this Victorian villa in England

A daylit extension with a lush indoor garden "grows" out of an artist’s studio in California

August 15, 2016 by  
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The new 720-square-foot extension adds domestic spaces to the main structure, which houses a 2,500-square-foot artist’s studio, office, and storage building clad in barn wood . Dubbed the “Amoeba”, the structure extends out into the landscape and features elements of greenery that form a lush indoor garden . A large skylight is carved into the scissor-beam roof construction. The roof of the extension contrasts the inverted pitched roof of the studio, although it follows a similar geometric logic. Related: Modern timber-clad addition spruces up an old Austrian farmhouse Sliding doors can be completely opened to let breeze naturally cool the spaces, leading out to the garden where the owners planted a variety of plants, including bamboo , fig trees, creeping vines, and aloes. + Casper Mork-Ulnes Architect Via World Architecture News Photos by Bruce Damonte

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A daylit extension with a lush indoor garden "grows" out of an artist’s studio in California

Stunning Tournesol swimming pool in France opens up like a futuristic flower

August 1, 2016 by  
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The swimming pool is one among several dome-shaped swimming pools, named Tournesol, built in France during the 1970s and 1980s. Designed by architect Bernard Schoeller, the column-free dome structures resemble sunflowers and can be partially opened in the summer. Their compact form makes it difficult to introduce new auxiliary spaces without significantly compromising the integrity of the original design. Related: Shell House provides unlimited peace and tranquility in Kazahkstan Urbane Kultur and Hi-Macs demolished the extensions built over time and moved the changing rooms to allow three stainless steel basins to take place under the dome. The extension, independent from the original structure, houses the entrance hall, changing rooms, office spaces and technical rooms. Several transparent parts offer a stronger connection between the halls, pools and locker rooms. + Urbane Kultur + Hi-Macs Via Yanko Design Photos by Jean Baptiste Dorner

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Stunning Tournesol swimming pool in France opens up like a futuristic flower

Jewel-like glass box deftly extends a Victorian house in London’s Mile End

March 28, 2016 by  
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Poland is planning to log one of the last primeval forests of Europe

March 28, 2016 by  
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One of the last remaining untouched forests in Europe will be opened up to logging activity , according to Poland ’s environment minister. Around 180,000 cubic meters (6.4 million cubic feet) of wood will be taken from Bialowieza Forest over the next decade, much to the disappointment of environmentalists and naturalists. While government officials say the logging efforts will be controlled and limited, others worry this may be the beginning of the end of Europe’s last primeval forest, as well as the wild creatures who call it home. Read the rest of Poland is planning to log one of the last primeval forests of Europe

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