This caf in Vietnam is a modern-day Hanging Gardens of Babylon

March 22, 2018 by  
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This glass and steel building in Vietnam –a present for the owner’s wife- is filled with beautiful hanging plants that bring life into the interior. Architecture studio Le House designed An’garden Café as a mix of industrial design inspired by Vietnam’s traditional coffee shops and a dream-like interior landscape. With its verdant interior, the building reminds of Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Providing a serene environment amidst the noisy streets of Ha Noi, the project is an exclusive space that brings visitors enjoyment from both coffee fragrance and picturesque surroundings. Related: Beijing cafe shaped like a greenhouse is filled with air-purifying plants The glass-and-steel structure, along with simple cement walls, are placed in an almost decorative and seemingly random way. Plants were introduced to soften the rough industrial look of the place and harmonize the indoor environment. An’garden Café has two floors with a mezzanine suitable for those who want to focus on their work. A wooden-framed curtain on the ceiling partly blocks natural light , with the top floor receiving the most sunlight during the day. A small pond with aquatic plants is placed right under the staircase, on the ground floor. + Le House Via Archdaily Photos by Hyroyuki Oki

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This caf in Vietnam is a modern-day Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Herzog & de Meuron designs a Horizontal Skyscraper for Moscow

March 22, 2018 by  
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Building on an urban waterfront often means compromised views for existing structures, but that’s not the case for the “Horizontal Skyscraper” in Moscow . As part of an urban revitalization plan for an abandoned historic brewery, Herzog & de Meuron unveiled designs for two new residential blocks that will be elevated 115 feet into the air and supported by slender white stilts. By raising the contemporary additions, the Swiss architects guarantee coveted panoramic views for residents and a preserved visual connection between the historic buildings and the Moscow River. Founded in 1875, the brick-clad Badaevskiy Brewery buildings that fell in disrepair after in the 2000s will be restored and renovated for new retail and community ventures such as a food market, clothing shops, a co-working space, gym, and childcare facilities. Herzog & de Meuron will lead the six-hectare heritage building restoration effort in addition to the new “Horizontal Skyscraper” envisioned as “a piece of city lifted up in the air.” Related: Herzog & de Meuron are upcycling a historic gasometer into a stunning residential tower The glazed and raised residences will comprise approximately 1.1 million square feet of apartments with glazed facades and private balconies. Eight “sky villas” on the upper level will also have private roof access. The architects have also planned for a new pedestrian-only public park that sits beneath the apartments and around the supporting stilts that the designers likened to “trunks of trees.” + Herzog & de Meuron Via ArchDaily Images via Herzog & de Meuron

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Herzog & de Meuron designs a Horizontal Skyscraper for Moscow

Skinny 91 inch-wide house in London gets tons of sun thanks to multiple skylights

March 7, 2018 by  
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Houses built on extremely skinny plots are becoming a serious real estate trend in cities with expensive property markets. The Slim House by design studio alma-nac is one such dwelling, clocking in at a mere 91 inch-wide. While some skinny dwellings suffer from feeling dark and gloomy, The Slim House’s interior is flooded with natural light thanks to a series of cleverly-placed s kylights . The three-story home occupies a plot that was previously an empty alleyway. The architects increased its length and introduced a sloping roof that compensates for the lack of lighting on the side walls. In order to avoid the feeling of claustrophobia, the team made sure to allow natural light to penetrate the deepest recesses of the interior via skylights. Related: Super skinny Horinouchi House might be the most efficient use of space ever Two reception rooms, kitchen and dining areas occupy the ground floor, while the second floor contains the master bedroom with dressing room and a bathroom with shower, as well as another bedroom. The third floor houses two more bedrooms and a larger bathroom with tub. + alma-nac Via New Atlas

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Skinny 91 inch-wide house in London gets tons of sun thanks to multiple skylights

You’ve got to see this freestanding office stuffed inside the shell of a historic chapel

January 18, 2018 by  
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  In order to revamp this chapel without ruining its stunning historic shell, Belgian architecture studio Klaarchitectuur  tucked a modern, freestanding office space right inside. Now,   exposed brick , chipped plaster, faded frescoes and a domed ceiling create a spectacularly unusual work setting for the lucky people toiling away in the unique space. The design team, led by architect Gregory Nijs, left the building’s shell intact– in accordance with its status on the historical registry– and created a new freestanding structure in its interior. The central cavity was left open, with stacks of boxes placed against one wall. Related: 19th-century church converted into gorgeous modern lofts in Brooklyn These minimalist volumes house all the essential office functions such as workspaces, a conference room, storage space, and bathrooms. The surrounding area is used for a variety of public events, which will allow the chapel to once again serve the community.   Exposed brick, chipped plaster and faded frescoes were all left intact, creating a contrast with the contemporary finishes of the new structure,  with its black staircase , striated wood floors and white-painted walls. + Klaarchitectuur Via Dwell Lead photo via Klaarchitectuur

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Huge factory turned into a cozy residence with plenty of room leftover for the residents’ hobbies

January 16, 2018 by  
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This former factory in Nobeoka, Japan, now functions as a modern home for a couple who wanted to preserve the industrial legacy of the building. Considering the fact that the building was large enough to house production and manufacturing facilities, Schemata Architects reorganized the layout to include several voids that will serve as areas where the owners can enjoy their future hobbies. The building occupies a corner lot in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture in Japan . It grew over time to reach its current total area of 4736 square feet (440 square meters) distributed across two floors. The project started as an initiative organized by a Japanese magazine BRUTUS, which invited readers who wanted to renovate their houses as well as several selected architects, and matched each reader to their favorite architect. Related: Tokyo factory is transformed into an industrial-chic Blue Bottle Coffee cafe Schemata Architects renovated the building working in close collaboration with the client and his wife, who wanted the project to preserve the history of the building. In discussing the design, the team reached the conclusion that the optimal size of the residential part would be as small as 1829 square feet (170 square meters). This meant that there was a large unused floor area that had to somehow be incorporated into the concept. They decided to keep these spaces as voids that will accommodate the clients’ future passions and hobbies. “Such voids, created somewhere between the interior and the building envelope , generate a dynamic space that raises expectations for something to happen,” said the architects. + Schemata Architects Photos by Takumi Ota

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Huge factory turned into a cozy residence with plenty of room leftover for the residents’ hobbies

Cape Town’s water pipes could run dry by April

January 16, 2018 by  
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Cape Town in South Africa is battling its worst drought in a century – and the city’s water supply is in trouble. Authorities are scrambling to drill boreholes and construct desalination plants, but Day Zero – when water taps run dry – is now predicted to take place on April 21st. Reuters quoted councilor Xanthea Limberg as saying, “At the current rate the city is likely to reach Day Zero on 22 April. There is a real risk that residents will have to queue.” Mayor Patricia de Lille recently moved the date up to April 21. Related: 16-year-old South African girl invents drought-fighting super material from orange peels Dam levels fell under 30 percent in the first week of 2018, according to city officials – but only around 19.7 percent of that water is deemed usable. When the dams hit 13.5 percent, locals will have to start lining up for water. Locals would receive up to 25 liters, or around 6.6 gallons, of water per person per day. Reuters painted a picture of a current test water collection site, where people wait between metal fences to fill containers up via standpipes. The city could introduce around 200 more of these areas. According to Limberg, the situation has grown worse as some people have not limited themselves to 87 liters, around 23 gallons, a day. Reuters said there are many wealthy residents with sprinkler systems and swimming pools. The goal of the authorities is to cut Cape Town’s consumption to 500 million liters, or around 132 million gallons, per day – that’s half the amount the city consumed two years ago, per Reuters. Via Reuters and Agence France-Presse Images via Depositphotos and Marcelo Novais on Unsplash

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Long Story Short hostel is a modern escape tucked into a historical building in Moravia

November 16, 2017 by  
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A 17th century brick building in the historical capital city of Moravia, Czech Republic , now houses a gorgeous hostel that preserves the story of the place. Named Long Story Short, the hostel infuses the original building with a contemporary feel and combines raw materials with vintage furniture. Prague-based Denisa Strmiskova Studio renovated the building by highlighting its history, while enriching it with contemporary design. The horseshoe-shaped building sits in the historical center of Olomouc, the ecclesiastical metropolis and historical capital city of Moravia. The architects’ main idea was to create the whole concept of the hostel from scratch, including all its equipment and visual layout. Related: Almáa Sintra Hostel Is An Idyllic Eco-Retreat on a Historic 12th Site in Portugal An organically arched hall , which leads from the reception to all the rooms, is different from every perspective and surprises you constantly when walking through. The team enhanced this shape with sophisticated use of light, black details and pastels that contrast the pure white plastering. Most of the furnishing, including beds, mirrors, lamps, shelves and bathroom equipment, was custom-made in cooperation with local producers and craftsmen . The architects collaborated with Miroslav Bedná? from Prague’s shop Retroobjects in selecting turn-of-the-century modernist designs . Some parts of the hostel are also decorated by original works by Czech artist David Mina?ík. + Denisa Strmiskova Studio Via The Spaces Photos by Josef Kubicek

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Swytch is revolutionizing the e-bike conversion system

November 16, 2017 by  
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Wheels like the GeoOrbital and Copenhagen Wheel will turn your standard bike into an electric one, but their weight can make it impossible to pedal far in non-electric mode. That’s why we’re so into the new Swytch eBike conversion kit. Swytch puts the electronics and battery on your handlebar, leaving your wheel light and easy to pedal, even when you aren’t in e-bike mode. Electric wheel conversion kits are heavy because they have to carry the battery, motor and electronics all within in the wheel structure. That makes it difficult to pedal when you aren’t using the electric assist. But Swytch claims to eliminate that problem by putting the battery and electronics in a pack that attaches to your handlebars, leaving just the motor on the wheel. That makes it so you can leave the wheel on full-time and still use the bike in non- e-bike mode. The pack can also be mounted in a few seconds (after the initial installation), so you can switch back and forth as needed. More: Swap-in wheel converts any bike into an electric within 60 seconds The pack also includes a light to improve visibility, and riders can control the amount of electric assistance and check range using a control panel on the top of the pack. It also weighs in at a scant 8.6 pounds (10.6 if you choose the larger battery). That’s half of the weight of the electric wheels out there, which typically weigh around 20 pounds. It’s also more versatile, fitting on any size wheel. That means you can now electrify your Penny-farthing, Kickbike or recumbent bike. The small battery has a 25-mile range, while the larger one can take you 50 miles. If you want to snatch up a Swytch, they are running and Indiegogo campaign (which has already surpassed its goal). You can get a kit for $299 right now, over half off the retail price of $650. That’s cheaper than other wheels, which sit in the $1,000 – $1,500 range. + Swytch Indiegogo Via New Atlas

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Swytch is revolutionizing the e-bike conversion system

Derelict worker’s apartment in Amsterdam is unrecognizable after space-saving renovation

August 7, 2017 by  
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Design Studio Deirdre Renniers renovated this derelict 484-square-foot apartment in Amsterdam into a spacious, modern space dominated by natural materials and daylight. The designers gutted the entire interior and introduced space-saving solutions that utilize its every inch. In need of a complete renovation, this apartment in Amsterdam ‘s De Pijp neighborhood had an unpractical layout, housing a small bedroom and living area and a kitchen, with an enclosed toilet in the kitchen area. It remained in its original condition, as a typical worker’s apartment, for 30 years before the new owners commissioned Deirdre Renniers to transform it into a living space for the 21st century. Related: Sinato cleverly adds an L-shaped wood partition to expand a small apartment in Japan The architects gutted the entire space and placed a new staircase that leads to the loft, formerly used as a bathroom. A galley kitchen connects the main living space with the dining area. A sliding timber panel can separate the living room from the rest of the space in order to create a guest room when needed. In order to optimize the layout, the design team furnished the interior with practical furniture like a sofa that folds into a bed, foldable dining table and other minimalist, space-saving pieces. + Deirdre Renniers Interior Design Via A partment Therapy

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Derelict worker’s apartment in Amsterdam is unrecognizable after space-saving renovation

South Korea’s President adopts rescue puppy, saving it from the dog meat trade

August 7, 2017 by  
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For the first time in South Korea’s history, a rescue pup will serve as the country’s “first dog.” The country’s president, Moon Jae-In, adopted a canine named Tory on Wednesday, July 26. The 4-year-old mixed breed was pulled from a dog meat farm by the group Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) two years ago, but has had trouble being adopted due to superstitions against his dark coat. Fortunately, he has finally found a forever home with none other than South Korea’s President. The news was published on the Facebook page of the President’s official residence, the Blue House. Now a part of the family, Tory will live a life of luxury along with Moon’s 10-year-old Pungsan dog Maru and a rescued shelter cat named Jjing-jjing. Animal rights activists are applauding Moon Jae-In for setting a positive example in South Korea , where animal abandonments are quite common. In 2015, roughly 800,000 animals were abandoned – and that number was closer to one million animals in 2010. Related: 10,000 dogs and cats to be slaughtered for the Yulin Dog Meat Festival Additionally, it is not uncommon for neglected canines to end up in the dog meat trade. This is because, in some parts of South Korea, dog meat is considered to be a delicacy. In fact, old beliefs hold that if prepared correctly, dog meat can have special medicinal properties. There are no rules or regulations limiting the farming of consumption of dogs in the country, which means that around 17,000 dog meat farms exist . At those locations, between 2.5 and 10 million dogs are killed every year. Tory was adopted during the peak of “Bok nal,” an annual festivity when the majority of dog meat is consumed. Aware of this reality, Moon Jae-In pledged early 2017 to invest in animal welfare by building playgrounds for pets and feeding facilities for stray cats . The politician also pledged to make South Korea better for both humans and animals, though he did not outright declare he would end the controversial dog meat trade. Still, progress has been made by the notable public figure adopting a dog that might have ended up on someone’s dinner plate. Korean K9 Rescue is an organization in the U.S. that rehouse dogs rescued from the meat trade. Director Gina Boehler said: “President Moon Jae-In is very aware of the campaigns around the world to ban the dog meat trade in Korea. We believe he will push for change and, in time, it will become illegal to raise dogs for consumption in Korea. He has the power to do it.” She added, “I hope that President Moon Jae-In’s adoption of Tory sends a loud message to South Koreans that all dogs are pet dogs. We hope this will be a catalyst for a change in mindset, values and compassion and extends to all dogs — even ‘meat dogs’ or strays.” Via BBC , Yonhap News Images via CARE , Cheong Wa Dae Handout

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South Korea’s President adopts rescue puppy, saving it from the dog meat trade

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