14 spectacular lamps unveiled at the London Design Festival

October 6, 2017 by  
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Lighting designers are constantly pushing the envelope with new materials, technologies and applications – and this year’s London Design Festival was awash in innovative designs. From an air-purifying algae chandelier to a lamp powered by melting ice and a series of pendant lights made from mushrooms , read on for our favorite finds from this year’s shows. Exhale Chandelier by Julian Melchiorri When is a chandelier more than just a chandelier? When it’s literally alive! Julian Melchiorri ‘s ‘Exhale’ chandelier is filled with algae that absorb CO2 and release fresh oxygen into any interior space. It’s also incredibly beautiful, with delicate green ‘leaves’ that optimize sun exposure to help the algae grow. Frost Light by EDHV Studio EDHV Studio’s Frost Light is powered by melting ice! A chunk of ice is set on a block of solid aluminum, and as it melts it generates enough electricity to power a small LED for 3 hours. Reflection Room by Flynn Talbot Flynn Talbot’s Reflection Room is mind blowing. One side of the mirrored hallway is bathed in orange light, while the other is lit in blue. Where the two sides meet, a gradient of color is born. Fuchsia Lamps by Macmaster Design Macmaster Design ‘s new Fuchsia lamps look like hanging, flowers in bloom – and they’re made from FSC-certified black walnut and white oak. Voronoi III Lamp by Tala Tala just launched their largest sculptural light yet at the London Design Festival. The Voronoi III is inspired by patterns found in treetops, and its LED filament is modeled after the Fibonacci sequence. Tree Lights by Tamasine Osher Tamasine Osher ‘s gorgeous hand-turned Tree Lights are made of salvaged wood harvested from naturally fallen trees. The delicate patterns are caused by naturally occurring fungus that develops over a span of 2-3 years. I.Rain Helene Chandelier by Blackbody and Haviland Blackbody teamed up with Haviland to unveil a spectacular chandelier made from 145 OLED lights. Each light is nested within a porcelain cup embellished with “Matignon” white with gold patterns. Morphe Lamp by Crea-Re These beautiful lamps by Crea-Re look almost like colored stone – but they’re made from paper mâché! Maria Fiter crafts each lamp using recycled newspaper, natural pigments, and ecologically certified water-based glue. Lungplant by Tim van Cromvoirt Tim van Cromvoirt ‘s luminous Lungplant slowly expands and exhales like a living creature. He designed the lamp to reduce stress and create a meditative environment that encourages you to become aware of the tempo of your own breathing. Thea Kuta Lamp by Elisa Bortolussi These Thea Kuta lamps emerged out of Elisa Bortolussi’s desire to use yarn as an alternative tool for painting. The lamps are handmade from 100% wool, and their precise geometry and depth of color is dazzling. Mycelium + Timber Lamps by Sebastian Cox and Ninela Ivanova These lamps are made of mushrooms! Sebastian Cox and Ninela Ivanova found a way to pair mushroom mycelium with freshly cut wood waste to create a collection of sustainable furnishings. Stacked Glassware Lamps by New Citizen Design These beautiful pendant lights from New Citizen Design appear to be sculpted from glass – until a closer look reveals that they’re made of cups, bowls and plates! Designers Mayan Pesach and Sander Wassink salvage old glassware and combine it in unexpected ways – and each piece is unique. Panam Panama lamp by Lea Baert Lea Baert’s Panam Panama project transforms old fan grills into stunning lamps. Baert worked with communities of Panamanian craftspeople to develop the design using locally-sourced fibers. Upon returning to France, she updated the project with materials sourced locally in Paris. Atlas Light by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio Ladies & Gentlemen teamed up with Seattle-based artist and glass designer John Hogan to create the Atlas Light. This handcrafted lamp consists of an iridescent glass sphere flecked with gold leaf and set on a brass base. + London Design Week

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14 spectacular lamps unveiled at the London Design Festival

Why natural stone is the best choice for your fireplace

September 26, 2017 by  
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Now that fall has started to settle in, there’s nothing better than getting cozy next to a roaring fire. And when it comes to fireplace design, natural stone is simply the most elegant, durable, and efficient material around. Natural stone retains heat better than just about anything out there, it’s practically maintenance-free, and it’s incredibly resistant to wear and tear. On top of that, it can handle extremes in temperature and doesn’t suffer from rot and mold like other materials. Whether it’s time to update your old brick fireplace or build something new, read on to find out why natural stone is the greenest choice. Zebrino marble fireplace – Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery Heat retention Natural stone absorbs, stores and radiates heat, so it can actually improve the efficiency of your home as the the warmth of a fire radiates throughout your space. Marble and limestone are particularly good at absorbing heat, while granite is particularly good at conducting heat. Basalt and soapstone are particularly good at storing heat and releasing it slowly over a long period of time. Stacked stone fireplace – Image courtesy of Eldorado Stone Low maintenance Natural stone is exceptionally easy to maintain – simply give it a wipe with a cloth every now and then to keep it looking new. That said, some stones, like marble, are porous so you may want to consider sealing them to help prevent dirt or soot from settling in. Regardless of the type of stone you use, you’ll be able to spend your time enjoying it rather than trying to maintain it. Image via Deposit Photos Longevity Natural stone is one of world’s oldest building materials – and it’s extraordinarily long-lasting. Just look at ancient buildings around the world – stone survives while other materials fade and rot away. Some stone surfaces can last many lifetimes without losing their luster, while others like limestone will weather beautifully over time. Stacked stone fire pit – Image courtesy of Marmiro Stones Durability Natural stone is known for being practically indestructible. It can handle wear and tear without falling apart, and it’s extremely resistant to water damage and mold. That’s why people use stone in areas that take the most beating – like countertops, floors, bathrooms and fireplaces. Related: How stone can help you create a more sustainable home Types of stone While you can choose just about any natural stone for your fireplace, there are a few options that are particularly well suited for the space. Limestone and soapstone are clean and simple, with a more modern feel, while slate is incredibly durable with a rustic vibe. Marble has a rich beauty that is impossible to replicate – and it can be honed or polished if you want a more formal look. Granite is a great choice for any contemporary space, and it’s one of the hardest and strongest stones available. If you prefer something dramatic, you can’t go wrong with a richly textured stone like quartzite. + Use Natural Stone Thanks in part to the Natural Stone Institute for sponsoring this post

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Why natural stone is the best choice for your fireplace

World’s greenest and healthiest office crowned in Washington, D.C.

June 22, 2017 by  
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The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) headquarters in Washington DC was just named the greenest and healthiest office on the planet! Perkins+Will designed the groundbreaking interior, which has received both LEED and WELL Platinum Certification under WELL Building Standard. The 8,500-square-foot office features human-centric design elements that reduce stress, increase air quality, mask sounds and regulate the body’s physiological processes. Employees have no assigned seats, but choose available workplace environments that support specific daily tasks. The interior includes meeting spaces and private areas that can be reserved for several hours at a time. Related: GSK’s US Headquarters Awarded Double LEED Platinum in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard Biophilic design strategies employed throughout the space include the use of natural materials , architectural forms, patterning, and state-of-the-art monitoring systems to create a world-class working environment. ASID staff participated in the design process by wearing sensors that measured speech patterns and body movement when they interacted with each other. These sensor readings were compared to show how their interactions changed as a result of the new office design. Related: NBBJ Unveils New Plans for Biosphere Greenhouses at Amazon’s Seattle HQ “We began this project with a clear goal of showcasing the many ways design can positively affect the health and well-being of employees while boosting resource efficiency ,” said ASID CEO Randy W. Fiser. “At ASID, we believe in research-based results in design and placed an emphasis on third-party validation of the space,” he added. + Perkins+Will + American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)

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World’s greenest and healthiest office crowned in Washington, D.C.

Singapore’s jaw-dropping new airport has the world’s largest indoor waterfall

June 21, 2017 by  
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Air travel is usually a nightmare, but Singapore’s new Jewel Changi Airport extension is taking the sting out of the experience with a lush jungle and the world’s largest indoor waterfall. The 131-foot-tall waterfall, conceived by water design firm WET and Safdie Architects , will be the centerpiece of “Forest Valley,” a lush indoor garden nestled under a large glass dome. The waterfall, dubbed the Rain Vortex, will be housed in a huge glass toroid, and will fall though the hole in the middle of the structure. At night, choreographed light shows will make the waterfall glow, illuminating the interior in an array of different colors. Related: World’s Largest Outdoor Pool to be Built Within a Canal in Japan The architects and engineers conducted a series of airflow studies on the glass dome in order to prevent the buildup of humid air that would naturally occur around this amount of falling water. The team came up with a solution that alters the way turbulence affects the surrounding air. Several built models helped determine the behavior of the design. The 134,000 square meter addition to Singapore‘s main airport is expected to wow travelers with an environment unlike any other. It is currently under construction, expecting completion in early 2019. + WET Design + Safdie Architects Via Archdaily

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Singapore’s jaw-dropping new airport has the world’s largest indoor waterfall

15 innovative designs that blew our mind at NY Design Week

June 15, 2017 by  
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Want to see the future of design? Look no further than New York Design Week , where designers are breaking new ground by experimenting with innovative materials , concepts and technologies. From dazzling crystalline furnishings and literal lawn chairs to biometric seats straight out of science fiction, read on for 15 of our favorite finds from NYCxDesign . Aura Mirrors by Another Human We’ve got a crystal crush on these monolithic mirrors made from raw-hewn semi-precious gems. Leah Ring of Another Human told us that the stones are believed to have metaphysical properties – basalt confers power, blue calcite is calming, obsidian absorbs negative energy, and fluorite bestows positive energy. Cast Sand Drum Stools by Fernando Mastrangelo Fernando Mastrangelo uses simple sand to create textural, multi-layered stools that evoke landscapes, clouds, light and shadows. Collective Paper Aesthetics by Noa Haim A giant cardboard castle rose in the middle of Times Square over the course of New York Design Week . Noa Haim’s CollectivePaperAesthetics project welcomed passersby to design their own paper structures at the NYCxDesign Pavilion . Crossover Collective by Floor Nijdeken Floor Nijdeken is concerned that everyone spends too much time looking at their phones – so he created a “collective embroidery” table to bring people together again. Nijdeken’s Crossover Collective project invites anyone to take a seat and contribute to an embroidered carpet made by many different hands. Pipe Vases by Studio Jeroen Wand These sculptural vases by Jeroen Wand synthesize three different approaches to design. The pipes are readymade objects bought straight off the shelf; the dowels were store bought and then altered; and the smooth ceramic spheres were completely cast by hand. Laminated Cabinet by Studio Jeroen Wand Jeroen Wand has also developed a process for salvaging off-cut wood veneers to create beautiful, multi-layered furniture. Wand says “Normally, veneer is used to cover a less attractive material underneath. Here, veneer is used throughout the whole object.” The resulting pieces are exceptionally lightweight yet extremely durable. Crystal Icons by Isaac Monte Can you recognize this iconic design? It’s Michael Graves’ Alessi Kettle – completely encrusted in blue crystal! Dutch designer Isaac Monte has found a way to transform everyday objects into spectacular crystalline sculptures. Voltasol Pots by Living Things Most planters are heavy, immovable objects – which makes these tipsy, twirling pots all the more fun. Living Things ‘s Voltasol pots are perfectly balanced so that they spin round and round without falling down. Future Kitchen by Ceasarstone X Pratt Caesarstone teamed up with the Pratt Institute to give us a look at the self-sustaining kitchen of the future – complete with a water-recycling hydroponic garden and a biogas generator fed by cooking scraps. Settle Charging Table by Tanya Cai Tanya Cai’s Settle Table may look simple at first glance – but it has several tricks up its sleeve. A colorful inset lifts up to reveal a hidden storage compartment, and a woodgrain coaster doubles as a wireless charging pad for your phone. Kitchen Timers by Yejin Kim OK, these are the cutest kitchen timers we’ve ever seen – one reunites two chicks with every tick of the clock, and the other delivers a pizza slice to a waiting mouth as it counts down. Both were developed by SAIC student Yejin Kim for the Kikkerland and Paper Source Design Challenge . Biometric Chair by Sensingnet Meet the chair of the future. Sensingnet ‘s high-tech Argus seat can measure your respiratory rate, heart rate, and stress level the instant you sit down. Mushroom Planter by Kean University x Ecovative You’d never guess it, but this twisting planter is actually made from mushrooms! Kean University industrial design students teamed up with Ecovative to develop a wide range of products made from mycelium – including a bike helmet, a tote bag, and even a guitar. Lawn Chair by Sarah Crist and Lauren Klein This literal Lawn Chair put every other chaise at ICFF to shame. Sarah Crist and Lauren Klein developed the cheeky chair for a RISD project that paired industrial designers with textile designers. Bonded Packing Peanut Chair by Samuel Bechar If you’ve ever wondered what to do with all the pesky packing peanuts in your life, Samuel Bechar has the answer. He upcycled hundreds of the lightweight box fillers into a clever chair that looks like a giant cloud. + NYCxDesign

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15 innovative designs that blew our mind at NY Design Week

U.S. just generated 10% of electricity from solar and wind for the first time

June 15, 2017 by  
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Would anyone still like to claim renewable energy can’t power our world? It may take a while, but America is getting more and more of its energy from renewables, according to data from the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA). In March 2017, the country generated 10 percent of total electricity from solar power and wind power . This week the EIA reported more than 10 percent of the country’s total electricity generation came from wind and solar. In 2016, those two renewable sources made up seven percent of America’s electricity generation. Increased generating capacity enabled the U.S. to get more clean power . The figures include utility plants and small-scale systems. Related: The sweet moment California got a record 50% of its electricity from solar The EIA noted seasons impact how much clean energy will be generated from renewables. Wind electricity generation usually reaches its height in the spring in places like Texas and Oklahoma , but in California it usually peaks in the summer. Solar output is unsurprisingly best in the summer due to longer daylight hours. The EIA predicted the country would again generate over 10 percent of power from renewables again in April based on weather patterns from other years, but the numbers would dwindle to under 10 percent during the summer. Solar and wind combined tend to generate more power during either the spring or the fall, the administration said. Data from 2016 shows wind generated more power than solar in nearly all of the states, according to the EIA. Looking at the top 12 states, only California and Arizona obtained more power from solar than wind. The prize for most wind energy generated goes to Texas. And energy received from renewable sources was highest in Iowa , which generated 37 percent of power from renewables. Six other states got around 20 percent of power from wind and solar. Via the United States Energy Information Administration Images via U.S. Department of Energy on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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U.S. just generated 10% of electricity from solar and wind for the first time

Incredibly rare two-headed porpoise found in the North Sea

June 15, 2017 by  
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An unsuspecting fisherman recently stumbled across an incredibly rare two-headed dolphin. Only nine examples of conjoined twins have ever been found among cetaceans , according to Erwin Kompanje, curator of mammals for the Natural History Museum Rotterdam in the Netherlands . So he jumped at the chance to study a rare specimen of conjoined harbor porpoises caught the end of May by Dutch fisherman. But when he reached out to the fisherman, what happened next was a scientist’s nightmare. It’s not unheard of for trawlers to accidentally catch a porpoise. There are hundreds of thousands of the cetaceans near the coast of the Netherlands. But no one has ever caught conjoined twin harbor porpoises. The fisherman snapped photos, which made their way to Kompanje. He couldn’t wait to study the creature in the laboratory. Related: Fish with “human-like teeth” spotted in Michigan lakes Kompanje could tell the twins were male, and had likely recently been born – and he thinks they were born alive. They probably didn’t live for long; either they had two brains which might have told them to swim in different directions, or a single heart may have failed to pump enough blood to keep them alive. Conjoined twins are an extremely rare find. And these looked to be in good condition. Others that have been discovered were undeveloped fetuses – such as one found near Japan in 1970 in a dolphin’s womb – or have started to decompose, such as a dolphin with two beaks found in 2001. Kompanje reached out to the fisherman to try and obtain the specimen for study. But this story doesn’t have a happy ending for science. The fisherman thought it was illegal to catch the conjoined twins, so after the photographs, they tossed the creature back into the sea. Kompanje told The Washington Post, “For a cetologist, this is a real horror.” Based on the photographs he was still able to publish a paper in DEINSEA, the online journal of the natural history museum, joined by one scientist of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and one from Wageningen Marine Research . Sadly, we may never know more about the rare twins. Via The Washington Post Images via Kompanje, E.J.O.; Camphuysen, C.J.; and Leopold, M.F.

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Incredibly rare two-headed porpoise found in the North Sea

13 groundbreaking lighting innovations from NY Design Week

June 6, 2017 by  
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Of all the fields of industrial design, lighting seems to evolve the quickest as designers harness innovations in materials, manufacturing, and technology. We recently hit the shows of NYCxDesign to bring you a first look at some of the world’s freshest lighting designs – including lamps that sustain life, wild experiments with new materials, and interactive lamps that respond to touch, movement, and music. Check out 13 of our favorite lighting innovations from Sight Unseen Offsite , Wanted Design , and ICFF after the break. Reflected Sequence LED Lamp by Frederike Top Dutch designer Frederike Top has developed an amazing collection of lights and mobiles made from a new material that combines acrylate with iridescent foil. Her Reflected Sequence Table Lamp consists of a single LED bar slatted with sheets of acrylate that reflect the light and make it appear to branch off into complex geometric forms. The material’s foil backing makes the lamp appear to change color and shape depending on the angle from which it is viewed. Globe Terrarium Lights by Richard Clarkson We love terrariums , and we love LED lighting – put them together, and we’re in heaven. Richard Clarkson Studio ‘s hanging Globe lamps are self-sufficient worlds complete with LED lights that sustain the plants within. They’re great for adding a touch of green to any room, and they’re made to last – Clarkson says that some of their terrariums have been thriving for several years now. Janus Lamp by Trueing Studio Trueing Studio ’s elegant Janus Lamp is named after the two-faced Roman god and Saturn’s outermost ring. A band of LED light reflects off a slice of dichroic glass, casting colorful reflections reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis. A post shared by Inhabitat (@inhabitatdesign) on May 19, 2017 at 3:01pm PDT Holon Spheres by Martens-Visser Martens & Visser ‘s amazing Holon orbs look like gigantic spinning soap bubbles! Each Holon is made from long strips of transparent foil connected to a spinning electric motor that causes the bubble-like forms to bounce and shimmer. Double Boom Chandelier by Stickbulb Stickbulb recently debuted a gorgeous new line of LED lighting made of wood salvaged from New York water towers. Their Double Boom fixture is made of reclaimed redwood that has been carbon dated to be three centuries old. Mobius Bench by Louis Lim X 3form At first glance, the Mobius Bench appears to be a simple seat – but when you touch it, a wave of color and light washes over the bench’s serpentine form. Louis Lim teamed up with 3form to create the interactive installation, which stole the show at Wanted Design . Voronoi LED Edison Bulb by Tala These might look like classic Edison bulbs – but they’re actually low-energy LEDs! Tala ‘s Voronoi Bulbs are modeled after forms found in nature – and the company plants ten trees for every 200 products sold. A post shared by Inhabitat (@inhabitatdesign) on May 21, 2017 at 11:45am PDT Aurora Rhythm LED Visualizer by Nanoleaf We’ve featured Nanoleaf ‘s beautiful Aurora LED panels in the past – but we’ve never seen them light up quite like this! The company has developed a new Aurora Rhythm module that listens to nearby sounds to transform your wall into a giant music visualizer. Nanoleaf plans to launch the new device this coming September. Module Lamps by Dear Human Dear Human ‘s stackable Module Lamps consist of individual pieces that can be combined in an endless number of ways. The modules are made from an innovative material called “Paper Rock” that consists of 100% recycled paper and cement. Bottle Cap Lamp by Mutan Argentina-based Mutan collects thousands of discarded plastic bottle tops and transforms them into captivating lamps! Each light is made from 600 bottle caps saved from the landfill. Aural Planes by The Principals X Calico Wallpaper The Principals teamed up with Calico Wallpaper to create a mesmerizing chandelier that reacts to human touch. The lamp’s long tendrils are fitted with capacitive sensors that read your body’s electric charge and then interpret it with flashing lights and sounds from nature. Urchin Softlight by Molo Molo has redesigned their Urchin Softlight to incorporate an LED lighting element within its flexible honeycomb form. The lamps can be opened, closed, flattened, and expanded to suit a wide variety of lighting needs. Echo Felt Lighting by LightArt LightArt ‘s Echo lamps provide both illumination and sound absorption – and they’re made from 50% recycled PET felt. The lights can be hung alone or installed in sets to create multifunctional ceiling landscapes. + NYCxDesign

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13 groundbreaking lighting innovations from NY Design Week

Scientists invent graphene paint that makes your house super efficient

May 30, 2017 by  
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Graphene – the strongest material known to science – is used to create everything from condoms to night-vision contact lenses. Now, thanks to the ingenuity of  The Graphene Company , paint containing the world’s “thinnest, strongest and most conductive” substance is hitting shelves in the UK. The new lime-based paint is incredibly thin, beneficial for the environment and capable of making your home, or any building, more efficient. Because  Graphenstone is composed of a lime-base with a hexagonal lattice of carbon atoms one atom thick thanks to the inclusion of graphene , the lime-based paint has superconductivity , which means it can improve the thermal regulation of buildings. As Dezeen reports , this means the invention lowers the necessity for heating and air conditioning. According to The Graphene Company director, Patrick Folkes, ”When used on interior wall surfaces, rather than heat being radiated through the walls, the graphene within the paint captures the heat. It then conducts the heat through the paint, and across the whole Graphenstone-painted surface of interior walls. This enhances the insulation measures used in buildings by slowing heat conduction through walls and out of buildings.” Because graphene is one atom thick in the paint, less is required to achieve a durable finish that is resistant to corrosion. One liter of paint would cover two eight-meter-square coats, says The Graphene Company. An additional benefit is that the paint is extremely eco-friendly . With a base made from 98 percent pure lime, the paint purifies the surrounding air as it absorbs carbon dioxide. For this reason, the company boasts it is “the most sustainable and eco-friendly paint in the world”. “Sustainability is becoming more and more important as people realise the damage that acrylics do to the environment throughout the manufacturing process and its use on walls,” said Folkes. “Graphene’s inclusion in paints, coatings and other building materials exponentially enhances hardness, durability, compression, tensile strength, elasticity, and coverage.” Related: New graphene super batteries charge up in seconds and last virtually forever After the paint is applied, a hard shell forms as the lime hardens up in the carbonization process. According to Folkes, the initial consistency is a “little bit watery.” Over a period of 10 days, however, hard coverage is provided. The best part? No fumes are released in the process. Already, the product has been used to coat the walls of hospitals , hotels, and schools. As demand for the graphene paint increases, it will likely be sold elsewhere in the world. + The Graphene Company Via Dezeen Images via The Graphene Company

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Scientists invent graphene paint that makes your house super efficient

Atelier Space turn a 1925 nursery into a daylit solar-powered residence in the Netherlands

May 26, 2017 by  
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Smart adaptive reuse can do wonders with old, abandoned and disused buildings. Dutch firm Atelier Space breathed new life into this 1925 nursery in Leiden, the Netherlands by converting it into a beautiful, daylit residence with amenities, technology and polish worthy of a modern urban home. The architects preserved much of the original 1925 nursery, turned the former gym into an airy, open-plan living, dining, and kitchen area. They also divided a large classroom into three separate bedrooms. Related: Patalab Architects transform dank mechanics garage into light-filled London home The entire residence features 13-foot-high ceilings with restored skylights and windows that bring natural light into the interior. A guesthouse occupies the floor above the living room, and the toilet, technical area, and storage room are all placed on one side. The converted schoolhouse also includes sustainable design features such as rooftop solar panels , improved building insulation, and centrally controlled lighting, climate, shading and security systems that allow occupants to control every aspect the interior environment. To top it all off, a heat pump heats and cools the house. + Atelier Space Via Curbed Photos by Brigitte Kroone

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Atelier Space turn a 1925 nursery into a daylit solar-powered residence in the Netherlands

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