Renovated Beijing factory gets new life with an elegantly-integrated Zen garden

March 27, 2017 by  
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After several renovations since the original construction of this Beijing factory, an extensive overhaul has breathed new life into the building – literally.  He Wei Studio / 3andwich Design renovated the building with a beautiful Zen garden gracefully integrated into the structure in order to convey the essence of the traditional Chinese private garden. Modern office workers can immerse themselves in a calming, natural environment, no matter how stressful the day gets. The original factory, built in 1970, went through several renovations before He Wei undertook the challenge of turning it into a modern office space that keeps the spirit of ancient building practices. The team restructured the circulation and created longer routes to allow people to calm down when entering the main space. Related: Former Panasonic factory building in China converted into a modern events space A zigzagging path leads visitors from the entrance on the west side through a long, narrow semi-outdoor corridor. This way people have to walk through the entire garden, called Zen Chamber. A folded stair, located between the long ramp and paralleled stairs, offer views of the inner courtyard and big tearoom through grating racks. The second floor, which serves as the main public space, is narrow and long and houses a music room, small tearooms, meditation room and a large tearoom. + He Wei Studio / 3andwich Design Via Sunshine PR Photos by Zou Bin

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Renovated Beijing factory gets new life with an elegantly-integrated Zen garden

Historic Dutch nursery transformed into stunning solar-powered home

March 21, 2017 by  
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A stunning solar-powered home has emerged from the bones of a former school for infants in Leiden, the Netherlands. Design firm ATELIER SPACE completed the beautiful adaptive reuse project , taking care to preserve historic elements while imbuing fresh contemporary touches to the renovation. Energy efficiency was a major focus in the redesign, which includes energy-saving features such as improved insulation, underfloor heating, and home automation. Built in 1925, the historic brick nursery was constructed with great open spaces and tall ceilings filled with natural light from skylights and large windows. These features lend themselves easily to reuse as a residence and the architects made no major changes to the overall structure of the building. A single classroom, for instance, were repurposed into three bedrooms. The architects also preserved the tiled floors in the corridor, original doors, and wooden rafters to maintain a connection to the building’s past. While the tiled corridor was kept intact, the architects replaced the other floors with insulated concrete with underfloor heating . The roof and glass windows were also bolstered with improved insulation to minimize heat loss. A water and air-based heat pump heats and cools the building. Solar panels provide electricity. JUNG KNX home automation allows the homeowners to control aspects of the house, such as lighting and the shutters, remotely from their phones. Related: Cigarette factory reborn as a light-filled city hall in Brussels The spacious 694-square-meter home includes five bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, a media room, workout room, and an open-plan living room, kitchen, and dining area housed in a converted gymnasium. The school’s old playground was transformed into a sunny courtyard with plastered brick banks and planters around a “conversation pit.” The second floor contains a small guesthouse. + ATELIER SPACE Via ArchDaily Images via Brigitte Kroone

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Historic Dutch nursery transformed into stunning solar-powered home

Parasitic wooden cubes slash Parisian building’s energy consumption by 75%

March 3, 2017 by  
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Stéphane Malka has designed a clever way of optimizing the energy efficiency of older urban structures while working within the restrictions of Parisian building codes. Malka’s Plug-in City 75 design envisions attaching parasitic wooden cubes to the facade of a 1970s-era building, extending the living space and significantly reducing the building’s annual energy consumption by approximately 75 percent. The innovative design is slated for a 1970s-era building in the French capital’s 16th arrondissement. Like similar buildings in the city, this one is burdened with low energy performance due to thermal bridges, poor insulation, and permeable windows. However, current building laws are quite restrictive and do not allow for the structures to be raised to make way for better, more efficient space. Related: Parasitic prefabs mounted atop buildings create affordable green housing in Paris Malka’s solution is to incorporate a type of parasitic architecture to improve the building’s energy envelope. According to the design, a series of bio-sourced wooden cubes would be mounted onto the facade, extending the apartments horizontally through openings in the exterior. Extending the apartments outwards would divide the total energy consumption of the building by four. This would significantly reduce the rehabilitated building’s annual energy consumption from its current 190KWh per square meter to 45KWh per square meter. The modular boxes , made from wood particles and chips are quite lightweight, which allows for easy transport and on-site assembly. Once mounted onto the building, the cubed extensions would not only add more living space and light to the interior, but would also create an inner garden courtyard on the first floor. The new facade would be draped in hanging greenery, greatly improving the structure’s overall aesthetic. + Malka Architecture

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Parasitic wooden cubes slash Parisian building’s energy consumption by 75%

Timberland transforms recycled plastic bottles into shoes, bags

March 3, 2017 by  
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For its latest collection, Timberland is turning to the bottle—the plastic bottle, that is. The outdoor-wear maker has teamed up with Thread , a Pittsburgh, Penn.-based manufacturer of sustainable fabrics, to transform plastic bottles from the streets and canals of Haiti into a dapper collection of footwear, bags, and T-shirts. The Timberland x Thread collaboration goes “beyond environmental sustainability,” according to Timberland. Not only does the partnership turn an ecological blight into a resource but it also creates social value in the form of cleaner neighborhoods and job opportunities for one of the planet’s poorest nations. “The Timberland x Thread collection is incredible proof that style and sustainability can go hand-in-hand,” Colleen Vien, director of sustainability for Timberland, said in a statement. “This collection delivers good with every fiber, not just by recycling plastic bottles that would otherwise end up littering the streets, but also by creating job opportunities and cleaner neighborhoods in Haiti. Related: Take a first look at Timberland’s new boots and bags made out of recycled plastic “Consumers can feel good about pulling on their Timberland x Thread boots or backpack, and know they are making a positive impact in someone else’s life,” she added The Timberland x Thread capsule comprises five styles of men’s shoes and boots, a duffel bag and a backpack, and one T-shirt. All incorporate Thread’s “Ground to Good” fabric, which the certified B Corp. spins in the United States using 50 percent post-consumer recycled polyethylene terephthalate , better known as PET. Thread says that every yard of fabric can be traced throughout the supply chain, from bottle collection to textile creation and delivery to the manufacturer. The “bottle to boot” process employs more than 1,300 bottle collectors, entrepreneurs, and manufacturing employees in Haiti alone. “At Thread, we believe that dignified jobs cure poverty—and our fabric creates those jobs,” said Ian Rosenberger, founder and CEO of Thread. “Our partnership with Timberland marks a seismic shift in the fashion industry, combining Timberland’s large supply chain and loyal customer base with Thread’s responsible, transparent approach to creating premium fabrics and vital jobs in the developing world. The Timberland x Thread collection is a major step towards improving the way our clothes are made.” + Timberland + Thread

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Timberland transforms recycled plastic bottles into shoes, bags

Architect turns old cement factory into incredible fairytale home – and the interior will blow you away

March 1, 2017 by  
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When Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill stumbled upon an abandoned cement factory in 1973, he saw opportunity in the ruins. Bofill bought the early twentieth-century compound and, together with local Catalan craftsmen, transformed the sprawling structure of silos and compounds into an incredible fairytale home that blends surrealism, brutalism, and modernism. Located in Catalonia, Spain, the renovation is remarkable – not only for its stunning appearance, but also for the architect’s ongoing ambition to make the concrete fortress into a surprisingly livable home and studio. A true labor of love, the Cement Factory home is over forty years in the making and is constantly evolving with no foreseeable end in sight. The basic overhaul , which included partial destruction with dynamite and jack hammers, took a little over a year to make the complex livable. To soften the harsh concrete facade, the grounds were generously replanted and climbing vines were introduced on the walls. The renovated complex is more than just Bofill’s dream home—it also contains a workspace for his architecture firm, a conference and exhibition room, a model workshop, gardens, and archive rooms. The existing structures largely influenced the design of the interior and the industrial feel was retained wherever possible. The rooms are flooded with natural light from the tall ceilings and large windows, while the silos serve as giant works of sculpture. “The factory is a magic place which strange atmosphere is difficult to be perceived by a profane eye. “I like the life to be perfectly programmed here, ritualised, in total contrast with my turbulent nomad life,” said Bofill. His firm says the project “will always remain an unfinished work.” Related: Abandoned Industrial Silo Becomes Beautiful Residences in Denmark While the raw concrete walls and slightly oxidized surfaces were preserved, the complex of silos and industrial structures have come a long way from its cement factory past. In addition to its unexpectedly lush exterior, the interior features surprising and skillful combinations of warm tones, textures, and contemporary elements against the industrial backdrop. Every room is treated like a work of art, with carefully selected furnishings that allude to the site’s history. “I have the impression of living in a precinct, in a closed universe which protects me from the outside and everyday life,” said Bofill. “The Cement Factory is a place of work par excellence. Life goes on here in a continuous sequence, with very little difference between work and leisure.” + Ricardo Bofill

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Architect turns old cement factory into incredible fairytale home – and the interior will blow you away

New York City unveils massive green-roofed film and fashion hub in Brooklyn

February 23, 2017 by  
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Two warehouses in Brooklyn ‘s Sunset Park will soon be transformed into state-of-the-art, affordable production spaces for film, television production and garment manufacturing. The green-roofed Made in NY Campus, designed by WXY architecture + urban design , will modernize the industrial waterfront site and create several pedestrian-friendly spaces and public plazas. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the City’s commitment to the $136 million overhaul expected to create 1,500 jobs. Conceived by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the project will include a comprehensive planning and investment strategy aiming to renovate the site’s aging infrastructure and introduce quality manufacturing and public spaces . WXY architecture + urban design re-envisioned two existing warehouses and public spaces at Sunset Park as a new green-roofed film and fashion hub with 300,000 square feet of new production spaces. Related: New photos reveal Domino Sugar Refinery’s terraced form rising on the East River The Made in NY Campus will offset the city’s lack of filming spaces and provide high-ceiling sound spaces and various other production areas, along with new facilities for fashion and garment manufacturing industry. It will be one of three business campuses in the new Sunset Park District Plan, including the renovated Brooklyn Army Terminal to be completed this fall. + WXY architecture + urban design Renderings by nightnurse images

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New York City unveils massive green-roofed film and fashion hub in Brooklyn

Cigarette factory reborn as a light-filled city hall in Brussels

February 20, 2017 by  
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A building that once belonged to a cigarette factory has shed its smoky past for a new life in civil service. Mamout Architects , LD2 Architecture , and Stéphanie Willocx transformed the industrial structure into a two-story city-hall branch in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, a multicultural municipality in Brussels, Belgium. The modern renovated building is punctuated with large windows to let in natural light and to emphasize connection and transparency with the community. The three Brussels-based architecture firms won a design competition to transform the industrial site into a new council office complete with a waiting room and administrative offices. The architects preserved much of the existing structure but revamped the facade with large glazed sections and improvements for better energy performance . The minimally decorated interior features high ceilings, a light color palette, and a connection to the outdoors through the large windows and access to natural light . Related: This train station which doubles as city hall in Sweden will function as an “urban living room” Remnants from the building’s history can be seen throughout the adaptive reuse project, such as the gray pavers and aging concrete beams and columns. “The proposal takes advantage of the existing situation by inserting the program in a fluid and logical disposal into the structure, without degrading it,” said Stéphanie Willocx, Mamout and LD2 Architecture to Dezeen . New additions, like the tables, windows, and counters, are aligned with the concrete beams for a clean and orderly appearance. + Mamout Architects + LD2 Architecture Via Dezeen Images via studio fiftyfifty

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Natural ventilation and light filters through this glittering perforated facade

February 17, 2017 by  
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Photo by W Workspace The natural environment permeates through the faceted,  perforated facade of this shopping center in Bankok. Taiwan-based studio Architectkidd designed the project, named The Street Ratchada, by renovating an existing retail development and combining Thailand’s traditional metalwork techniques with digital design to create an engaging envelope that allows air and light to filter through the porous diamond panels. The building features a semi-outdoor atrium , a variety of programs and public activities that help embed the project into the existing urban tissue of Bangkok . Traditionally planned interior gave way to a more flexible layout. Related: Architectkidd’s Blue Bird Hut saves injured birds in Thailand One of the building’s most prominent features is its facade which creates an inviting glow from within at night. Gradient transparencies of the panels facilitate natural ventilation and ever-changing lighting conditions. The metallic surface has a monumental appearance, while delicately influencing the use of the building by functioning as a porous layer composed of triangulated, uniquely cut slivers. + Architectkidd Lead photo by Luke Yeung

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Natural ventilation and light filters through this glittering perforated facade

Historic San Francisco church creatively reborn as loft apartments

February 14, 2017 by  
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Just across the street from San Francisco ‘s iconic Dolores Park is a striking dome-topped building with bold white columns lined up along its entrance. The imposing Neoclassical structure doesn’t look much like an apartment building, and for good reason: the building served as the Second Church of Christ, Scientist for the past one hundred years. A century later, the structure has been remodeled and creatively repurposed into a series of unusual and stunning private residences by developer Siamak Akhavan in partnership with HC Engineering and Modifyer . The original church was designed by architect William Crim in 1915 , who was also responsible for several other civic buildings that are still used in San Francisco today – including churches, temples, banks, and restaurants. The design for the Second Church of Christ, Scientist is Neoclassical, with traditional elements including large columns flanking the portico and a distinctive dome topping the building. Many major public buildings from this time period were constructed in the then-popular Neoclassical and Beaux Arts styles, featuring inspiration from the Greek and Roman period with additional aesthetic flourishes such as decorated columns, carved molding, and arched windows. ®Open Homes Photography By the early 2000s, the church’s congregation had been dwindling for years, making the cost and management of such a monumental property unsustainable. Several years prior to the residential conversation, the church had considered razing the historic building to build a few townhouses, which would have also financed the construction of a much smaller church. However, these plans never came to pass, and the property was sold by the church and subsequently permitted for conversion into a residence by 2013. ®Open Homes Photography The church looks much the same from the outside, retaining its historical significance to the neighborhood. However, the “Second Church of Christ, Scientist” lettering was removed and replaced with the building’s new name: ” The Lighthouse “. San Francisco Department of Planning The remodel includes several high-end three-bedroom townhouse units up for sale . Not for sale is the unusual penthouse suite , which hovers directly underneath the former church’s giant dome. In order to create living space and light, the dome was actually sliced off and then elevated several feet higher. The uppermost unit is set to be occupied by Siamak Akhavan, managing partner of The Lighthouse development team, and one of its principal designers. ®Open Homes Photography The units feature large, open floor plans with unique elements such as exposed brick walls and skylights that highlight original construction elements. ®Open Homes Photography The remodel made sensitive re-use of existing elements and incorporated materials from the original church building, including walnut paneling, entry doors, and brass chandeliers – plus original wooden church pews as seating. ®Open Homes Photography The remodel creatively works around the original steel frame structure by showcasing it in various rooms throughout the units. Because of its former life as a place of worship, the building features unusually high ceilings – up to 15-30 feet high in the living areas. + HC Structural Engineering, Inc. + The Lighthouse ®Open Homes Photography

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Renovated California cabin with star-studded history goes up for sale

February 10, 2017 by  
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This renovated lodge-inspired house preserves the star-studded legacy of the original structure. First built for the 1923 silent movie “The Courtship of Miles Standish”, the home was formerly owned by Daryl Hannah. The existing owners commissioned architect Chris Peck , interior designer Lisa Strong , builder Eric Dobkin and landscape architect Samantha Gore to dream up a beautiful 6,195-square-foot estate expansion and renovation. The house, currently listed for sale , is tucked amidst the trees of the iconic Uplifters Ranch neighborhood of Rustic Canyon, and offers privacy to its occupants. In 2012, current owners Marla and Larry Butler commissioned a team of designers to renovate the cabin  into a larger building that would preserve as much of the original materials as possible. Stones from the original cabin were reused, while naturally fallen lodge pole pine timber from Montana dominates most of the exterior and interior. Related: 6 Tiny Homes under $50,000 you can buy right now An open-plan kitchen and dining room feature double-case windows and bi-fold doors that offer spectacular views of the surrounding nature. A large terrace with a plunge pool and stone walkways functions as an outdoor entertaining area. Original furniture, fixtures and windows strengthen the connection to the past. + Chris Peck + Samantha Gore + Lisa Strong Design

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