House by the Forest gets a retro remodel that helps it blend into its surroundings

August 8, 2017 by  
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Architecture firm kaa-studio used classic building materials and techniques to reconstruct a simple suburban house in Czech Republic and revamp it as a retro-styled weekend getaway. With its dark grey-brown facade, the House by the Forest blends into its natural surroundings and channels the simplicity of rural living. The architects preserved as much as possible of the original structure and focused on reorganizing its interior to open it up towards the garden and bring natural light inside. They decided to demolish the original vestibule, reorganize the entrance area and only keep the central supporting wall and the staircase on the ground floor. This allowed a more contemporary layout of the living space and reintroduced the connection to the main garden. Related: Skylights stream light into tiny cantilevering home in German forest A strip of window was made across the entire width of the building in order to provide natural lighting and views of the neighboring forest. Similarly, a strip of large roof windows brightened the attic. The height difference between the main entrance and access to the garden was solved using field banks/green hills reinforced with rough stone. + kaa-studio Photos by BoysPlayNice

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House by the Forest gets a retro remodel that helps it blend into its surroundings

The Brooklyn Childrens Museums new green roof lets kids explore the wilderness in the middle of the city

August 4, 2017 by  
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The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is bringing the wilderness to the middle of the city. This weekend, the museum will unveil a space that includes a forest, trails, interactive exhibits and a winged canopy that takes center stage. Future Green Studio designed the rooftop’s landscaping by dividing the 20,000-square-foot terrace into four quadrants catering to different themes – woodland, play, lounge and dining – giving kids in the city the perfect place to learn about and explore the natural world. Kids will be able to play outdoors in a safe environment in between checking out the kid-centric exhibits throughout the museum. The dynamic space will also be used for cultural events and experiences that compliment the museum’s ongoing mission to educate children in interactive ways. For example, the terrace’s opening on August 5th and 6th will be accompanied by a Senegalese dance festival with choreographer and professional dancer Papa Sy. Papa Sy will tell stories, play Senegalese music and get all ages moving as they welcome this space into the community. “The inspiration for the roof garden was to create a place that epitomized the heart of Brooklyn where kids could feel immersed in nature and free to explore and roam in an unprescribed way,” said David Seiter, Principal and Design Director of Future Green. As a Brooklyn parent himself, Seiter used his experiences of visiting the museum with his children to create a space flexible enough to host playdates, family get-togethers and cultural events “bridging both old and new Brooklyn and bringing people together.” Related: This interactive woven canopy at MoMA PS1 changes colors as the sun sets A small woodland trail features a walkway made of sustainable black locust hardwood that meanders through groupings of sweet bay magnolia and sassafras trees. Various types of shrubs and perennials, including high bush blueberry, hayscented fern, butterfly weed, mayapple and blue wood aster, are sprinkled in between while ground covers like bristle-leaf sedge and hayscented fern can be found throughout the nature walk. Tree trunk pavers and sculptures that serve as seating are made from black locust and white oak rounds. Before tackling this project, Seiter and his team visited the Donald & Barbara Zucker Natural Exploration Area in Prospect Park , a children’s play area where trees damaged by storms and other natural materials take the place of swings and slides. “It was inspiring to hear about the design decisions that go into creating a new type of play space for kids where they might feel more connected to natural elements and have the ability to explore risk and confront fears,” Seiter said. “We tried to achieve a similar sense of wonder and play in our Woodland Walk.” The open lawn play space is also constructed from black locust lumber, chosen because it’s not sourced from tropical rain forests like most other exterior decking. Because of its greater exposure to the sun, different plantings that can handle those conditions were used: smoke trees, cone flower, ornamental onions and wormwood. All the plants used in the landscaping are native and drought tolerant, and a water-efficient irrigation system was installed to keep the environment lush. And at the center of it all is a white canopy designed by Toshiko Mori Architect . The 7,300 square-foot open-air pavilion looks like it’s billowing in the wind and about to take flight. It evokes references Eero Saarinen ’s TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport, but much more airy, and while it serves to provide respite from the sun, a lot of light still pours in through the translucent panels. The use of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene cladding allowed for a column-free design, and wooden seats surround the anchor points from which the white steel ribbings arch up and meet overhead. From the side, the tops of the panels reflects the clouds and seems to blend into the sky. From high above, the pavilion resembles a square sheet of paper that has found its way onto the museum’s roof. And from underneath, the pavilion, with the landscaping surrounding it, feel like a breath of fresh air. + Future Green Studio + Toshiko Mori Architect All images by Dorkys Ramos for Inhabitat

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The Brooklyn Childrens Museums new green roof lets kids explore the wilderness in the middle of the city

Ride the Chair of Death on world’s highest cliff drop swing

August 4, 2017 by  
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Picture it: you jump off a cliff edge 360 feet in the air and plummet past the rocky cliff face until the tension catches, and then you careen across the canyon on the world’s craziest swing . If that sounds like your idea of a good time, then you need to check out the Shotover Canyon Swing in New Zealand – the world’s highest cliff drop. Riders hook onto a 650-foot cable before launching off the cliff. As you fall, you can reach speeds up to 90 mph until your free-fall is arrested by the cable. If stepping off the cliff side isn’t enough for you, you can also choose to ride a bicycle off the cliff, shoot off on a slide, or be tipped over in a plastic chair, known as the “chair of death.” Related: Amazing Tiny Treehouse Boasts the World’s Wildest Swing 8,350 Feet Above Sea Level! Once you master the art of the world’s highest cliff drop, you can add in the “Canyon Fox” option, where you are tethered to two lines 600 feet above the canyon floor. You launch yourself off a sloped ramp, falling until the tether catches you and tosses you across the canyon on a massive zip line . The entire experience, including Swing and Fox ride, will cost you a cool $299 and possibly 10 years off your life. + Canyon Swing Via Thrillist

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Ride the Chair of Death on world’s highest cliff drop swing

You can own one of six US lighthouses for about $10K heres how

August 4, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamt of snuggling up in a lighthouse with a cozy book and hot cocoa, now’s your chance. The U.S. federal government is auctioning off six fairy tale-like lighthouses, and the starting prices begin at just $10,000. For potential B&B owners, retired folk or history fans, it offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Though the government will retain ownership of the “land” under and surrounding each property, successful bidders will have a chance to restore, renovate and redevelop the property to its former glory. Before seafarers used a GPS and other tech-enabled navigational apparatuses to navigate, lighthouses warned of dangers, such as rocks, shoals, reefs and similar hazards near the shore or port. Now, many of the historic lighthouses are obsolete, which is why the U.S. Coast Guard and the federal agencies are auctioning off the properties. The auctions opened on July 18 and are being hosted by the U.S. General Services Administration . Beginning bids range from $10,000 to $15,000 — a steal, some might say. To bid on a property, would-be buyers need to put down deposits ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. Upon investing in the property , lighthouse owners then need to restore the building by adding modern amenities and getting it up to code so civilians may visit. Related: Denmark’s 116-year-old lighthouse transformed into a giant kaleidoscope One lighthouse being auctioned off, the historic Chesapeake Bay lighthouse , is just two miles from the Baltimore shores. The other five being sold are on Michigan’s Great Lakes. The most expensive, by far, is the Minneapolis Shoal Light which is situated on the Great Lakes Public Trust bottomlands in Lake Michigan. Its bidding will extend until August 15th. The Craighill Lower Range Front Light Station , located off North Point State Park in the Chesapeake Bay, is also for sale and will be auctioned until September 15th. Each lighthouse has a fascinating history which you can read more about on the GSA Auctions government website . + GSA Auctions Images via GSA Auctions

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You can own one of six US lighthouses for about $10K heres how

Charming Italian farmhouse hides a surprisingly modern interior in Tuscany

August 1, 2017 by  
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Lenzi + Baglini Architetti architects transformed a 16th-century Italian farmhouse into a beautiful contemporary home without compromising the building’s historic charms. Set atop a hill in the heart of Siena’s Chianti region in Tuscany, this adaptive reuse project preserves the traditional rural architecture on the outside, but hides surprisingly modern spaces in the interior. The renovated farmhouse on the Chianti Hills overlooks vineyards and woodland through new cutouts and apertures in the original stone masonry. The home’s two floors follow the natural topography of the hill, with the two levels connected via a floating staircase. The bedrooms are placed on the ground floor while select communal and work areas are on the first floor to take in elevated landscape views. Related: Gorgeous Washington barn house marries rustic elements with modern style A square-shaped tower with an elegant spiral staircase occupies the heart of the home and connects the ground-floor master bedroom with the living room and private studio located in the attic. White surfaces, including the white chalk-stained vaulted ceiling , reflect light to give the interior a bright and airy appearance. Hardwood floors are used throughout the home. Custom furnishings decorate the rooms. + Lenzi + Baglini Architetti Images by Massimiliano Orazi

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Charming Italian farmhouse hides a surprisingly modern interior in Tuscany

Sleep hundreds of feet in the air in this renovated air traffic control tower

July 14, 2017 by  
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An old fight control tower in Stockholm ‘s Arlanda Airport has been transformed into a unique luxury apartment that offers panoramic views of planes taking off and landing – and you can spend the night there. Swedish artist and designer Cilla Ramnek and the Arlanda airport teamed up with vacation rental company HomeAway and Swedavia to give the old tower a complete makeover. Now, the unique living space is perfect for aviation geeks and those who dream of sleeping hundreds of feet in the air. The 262-foot-high tower is located directly next to the runway, which makes it a perfect sport from which to observe plane take off and land. Cilla Ramnek designed the interior in a retro sixties style and furnished it with products already available for purchase inside Arlanda. Related: Architect turns old cement factory into incredible fairytale home – and the interior will blow you away Right now, HomeAway is giving away the opportunity to spend the night in the high-flying tower. Five winners of the competition, which will run until the end of July, will have the opportunity to stay in the apartment for a night, and enjoy a meal at the Pontus in the Air restaurant. The winners can bring guests and, after the stay in the tower, choose other HomeAway rentals for three more nights. + HomeAway + Swedavia + Cilla Ramnek Via CNN Travel

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Sleep hundreds of feet in the air in this renovated air traffic control tower

Beautiful co-working space takes over a former industrial factory in Mexico City

July 12, 2017 by  
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An old factory in Mexico City has been gutted and repurposed into a modern co-working space with an industrial chic edge. Mexican architects Estudio Atemporal designed the adaptive reuse project, which takes advantage of the existing sawtooth roof and tall ceilings to create airy, light-filled spaces. Bright pops of color, timber surfaces, and an abundance of greenery go a long way in softening the heavy appearance of concrete columns and cinderblocks. Located in the Anáhuac neighbourhood, the co-working space, called Guateque , spans an entire city block with a 722-square-meter footprint. The building comprises two joined volumes: a two-story volume with a sawtooth roof and a three-story volume with a flat roof. The former comprises a greater diversity of co-working spaces , while the latter houses parking, communal kitchen and dining, and an open workshop-style space. Related: Tom Dixon transforms a 17th-century London church into a chic co-working space Natural light floods the building through clerestory windows. The architects installed glazed divider walls to delineate spaces within the building without obstructing the light. A mezzanine level was installed to create intimate work areas with low ceilings. Ping-pong tables with yellow boards also punctuate the co-working area. + Estudio Atemporal Via Dezeen

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Beautiful co-working space takes over a former industrial factory in Mexico City

London’s first ‘High Line’ park could transform an abandoned railway in Camden Town

July 5, 2017 by  
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New York’s iconic High Line is inspiring other cities to repurpose and green-up disused elevated railway lines. Representing residents, businesses and community groups of Camden Town district in north London, local business group Camden Town Unlimited organized a crowdfunding campaign to help transform a portion of an old railway line connecting Camden Town and King’s Cross into a vibrant green space. The Camden Highline would run for nearly a kilometer, linking the world-famous Camden Market with the recently redeveloped King’s Cross area by a 10-minute walk. Camden Town Unlimited teamed up with Network Rail to figure out the technical feasibility of the project, and is now looking to start construction. Related: Explore 6 High Line-Inspired Copy Cats Changing Cities Across the Globe “People in Camden have been talking about this for years. Now we’re putting our money where our mouth is to make this happen,” said Camden Town Unlimited Chief Executive Simon Pitkeathley about the campaign. “We invite anyone who wants to see a New York-style Highline here in London , whether you live and work in Camden or are a visitor to the area, to donate what you can to help make this idea a reality.” The new crowdfunding campaign will help finance events and workshops aimed at bringing this project to life. It will run for 100 days or whenever it reaches its £40k target. + Camden Highline crowdfunding campaign Via World Architecture News

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London’s first ‘High Line’ park could transform an abandoned railway in Camden Town

The Netherlands is converting prisons into homes for refugees

June 22, 2017 by  
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Unlike the United States of America, the prison population and crime rate in the Netherlands has been steadily decreasing for years. As a result, the country’s government is repurposing correctional facilities into housing for refugees who are waiting to be granted asylum status — a process that usually takes a minimum of six months. Not only will the refugees not be required to work, they will be supplied with educational materials to learn Dutch, ride bicycles and build connections within the local community. After the number of migrants exceeded 50,000 in one year alone in the Netherlands, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) proposed a solution for the overflow of refugees: transform empty prisons into temporary housing for families and individuals escaping war. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and photographer Muhammed Muheisen captured the scoop by dedicating the past two years to photographing the refugee crisis as people traversed across continents. After hearing rumors that penitentiaries were being converted to house migrants in the Netherlands, his interest was piqued. He told National Geographic , “I didn’t exactly understand. I thought they feel like they are in prisons.” Related: Green roof with bee hotel tops energy-neutral fair trade building in the Netherlands After waiting six months to get permission to visit the prison and take photos, Muheisen spent 40 days touring three different facilities, meeting residents and documenting their lives. “We’re talking about dozens of nationalities,” he said. “Dozens. The whole world is under this dome.” The refugees will be able to live in the centers for a minimum of six months and are free to come and go as they please. Additionally, they are supplied with resources needed to acclimate to the new country, learn Dutch and even ride bicycles. According to one Syrian man, the prison gives him hope for his future. The refugee told Muheisen, “If a country has no prisoners to put in jail, it means this is the safest country that I want to be living in.” Via National Geographic Images via Wikipedia , Wikimedia

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The Netherlands is converting prisons into homes for refugees

Three stacked spruce ‘shoeboxes’ reimagine a 1934 house in Ljubljana

June 22, 2017 by  
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This renovated house in Slovenia consists of three spruce-covered volumes stacked up like shoeboxes. Ofis Arhitekti renovated a house designed by architect Emil Navinsek in 1934 as a home for his two sisters. The new structure expands the existing floor plan with a stacked structure that creates pleasant overhangs and terraces. The house is located on a street with homes built mostly in the 1960s and 1970s. It is here where Slovenian architect Emil Navinsek (known for innovative school space concepts) built his own residence and a house for his two unmarried elderly sisters next to it. It is the latter one that underwent an extensive renovation. Related: Build your own tiny home or treehouse with these stackable wooden micro-units Ofis Architects introduced three stacked cubic volumes that combine a concrete base, metal frames and wooden substructure. Each shoebox volume was clad in dark spruce to soften the structured shape. While renovating the existing structure, the team added an extension that protrudes through the old walls and creates a living room on the ground floor, kids rooms and guest room on the first floor, and master bedroom housed on the top floor. A staircase attached to a main vertical concrete wall, located at the heart of the house, acts as an intersection of volumes and connector of old and new. The entire interior is inspired by Adolf Loos and features elevated podiums, niches and small sitting areas. + Ofis Arhitekti Photos by Tomaz Gregoric

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Three stacked spruce ‘shoeboxes’ reimagine a 1934 house in Ljubljana

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