Colorado meth lab transformed into a minimalist artist retreat with rammed earth walls

April 23, 2018 by  
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A former meth lab in North Boulder, Colorado has received a new lease on life as an artist retreat with a beautifully minimalist design. Denver-based tres birds workshop designed the Swoon Art House with a careful eye on environmental stewardship, using “100 percent renewable resources” including rammed earth walls and geothermal wells. Created as part of the Swoon/ Boulder Museum Contemporary Art International Artists Residency , the 7,000-square-foot Swoon Art House merges forward-thinking design and technology with ancient construction techniques. Designed like a sculpture in itself, the artist retreat features two long structures set at an angle to one another. Round metal roofs top the building and contrast with the 30-inch-thick rammed earth walls created using soil from the site. Four vertical geothermal wells power the building’s heating and cooling system. Related: Tattoo shop-turned-distillery renovated using materials reclaimed on-site The first building houses two lofted bedrooms with bathrooms and a full kitchen for artists in residency. A small glass-walled passageway leads to the second building, which serves as an art studio. Energy-conserving windows line the studio walls, while hidden storage spaces add to the clean, minimalist feel. “The structure, from the physical design to the flow of energy, is based on the circle,” the architecture firm said. “The circle holds particular significance in ancient and modern culture, symbolizing that which is without a beginning or an end.” + tres birds workshop

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Colorado meth lab transformed into a minimalist artist retreat with rammed earth walls

Even NASA isn’t quite sure how to explain these holes in the Arctic Sea’s ice

April 23, 2018 by  
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Can you identify the holes in the sea ice pictured above? If so, let NASA know. They recently posted the image, snapped over the Beaufort Sea, as the April 2018 Puzzler on their “Earth Matters” blog. They aren’t quite sure what caused them, although they ventured a few ideas, including heat, thin ice, and even rogue seals. NASA Operation IceBridge mission scientist John Sonntag captured the baffling image from a P-3 research plane soaring over the eastern Beaufort Sea. Sonntag had never seen holes like this before; writing from the field, he said, “We saw these sorta-circular features only for a few minutes today. I don’t recall seeing this sort of thing elsewhere.” Related: The first salty lakes discovered in the Arctic could hold the key to finding alien life Before the agency revealed that the photo was from the Arctic , Internet users offered plenty of guesses as to its location – from fires in Oklahoma to the surface of Mars. User Scott Stensland came close when he guessed the circles were open water holes in ice created by ocean mammals, such as seals . Indeed, that’s similar to one answer NASA has come up with: the holes bear a resemblance to photographs of breathing holes harp seals and ring seals have created. National Snow and Ice Data Center scientist Walt Meier told NASA, “The encircling features may be due to waves of water washing out over the snow and ice when the seals surface. Or it could be a sort of drainage feature that results from when the hole is made in the ice.” Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory sea ice scientist Chris Polashenski told NASA he’d glimpsed features like these holes in the past. Seals could offer one answer; another is convection. University of Maryland at Baltimore County glaciologist Chris Shuman, who’s based at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center, told NASA, “This is in pretty shallow water generally, so there is every chance this is just ‘warm springs’ or seeps of ground water flowing from the mountains inland that make their presence known in this particular area. The other possibility is that warmer water from Beaufort currents or out of the Mackenzie River is finding its way to the surface due to interacting with the bathymetry , just the way some polynyas form.” + NASA Earth Observatory + Curious Circles in Arctic Sea Ice Images via John Sonntag/Operation IceBridge/NASA and NASA/Joe MacGregor

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Even NASA isn’t quite sure how to explain these holes in the Arctic Sea’s ice

This great ape species was discovered 6 months ago and it’s already threatened by a dam

April 23, 2018 by  
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The Tapanuli orangutan was only discovered six months ago — and it’s already under threat of extinction from human development. Only 800 Tapanuli orangutans live in the wild today — however state-run Chinese company Sinohydro plans to construct a dam in northern Sumatra that will result in the deforestation of the orangutan’s habitat. If completed, the dam could pose an existential danger to the animals. Researchers fear that the construction of the  510 megawatt dam in the fragile Batang Toru ecosystem will result in the extinction of certain communities within the already vulnerable Tapanuli population. “Building the dam means chopping the orangutan population in half,” Borneo Futures director and orangutan expert Erik Meijaard told The Guardian . “You end up with two smaller populations, and these will have much reduced chances of survival, because a small population is more likely to go extinct than a large one.” Although Sinohydro did not include the orangutan in its environmental management plan, the Indonesian government approved the project. “The impact will not just be the destruction of the habitat where they want to build the dam and roads, tunnel, electricity lines,” scientist Gabriella Fredriksson explained to the Guardian , “but it will cause the extinction of two of the three sub-populations, and in addition create access and destroy the most important habitat of the only viable population left.” Related: UK researchers are developing an orangutan-safe alternative to palm oil “The Indonesian government needs to respect its own laws,” Meijaard said. “Orangutans are protected species. The Indonesian law clearly prohibits any actions that harm a protected species or its nests. It is obvious that the hydrodam is harming a protected species, so why does the government allow this?” Instead of building a dam, researcher Serge Wich suggested that the government pursue a geothermal project farther north from the orangutan habitat. According to Wich, this proposed project could yield one gigawatt of power, significantly more than the dam. The newly discovered orangutans are suffering under a broader extinction crisis, in which the large mammals of Sumatra, such as the Sumatran tiger , the Sumatran rhino and the Sumatran elephant have become critically endangered. Via The Guardian Images via Tim Laman and Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme

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This great ape species was discovered 6 months ago and it’s already threatened by a dam

Interrobang transforms historic Art Deco factory into luxury apartments in London

April 2, 2018 by  
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In west London, an iconic Art Deco landmark has been converted into 66 apartments courtesy of UK studio Interrobang . This latest renovation of the historic Hoover Building carefully preserves many period features along with a comprehensive restoration of the grand facade. Designed by Wallis, Gilbert & Partners and built in 1933, the Hoover Building is a Grade II* listed building that’s seen its fair share of renovations , from its original role as a wartime factory to later use as a Tesco supermarket . After the main structure sat unused for over a decade, IDM Properties purchased the building in 2015 with the aim of transforming the property into high-end apartments. “Key to converting the building to residential accommodation is adding additional levels between the existing floor slabs,” wrote Interrobang. “In order to achieve this, the existing and proposed loads were carefully balanced with a timber framed solution designed to shift the additional weight to locations that could support it.” Related: Flanagan Lawrence Architects transform a crumbling 1923 building into a four-star London hotel Prefabricated timber trusses were inserted to maximize space and support new floors, such as the new third level that comprises 12 loft apartments, each with its own spiral staircase. While many original features were preserved, such as the terrazzo flooring and the staircases finished in the original color scheme, the refreshed interiors are undeniably modern. Among the most eye-catching features of the loft apartments are the immense skylights installed on the sloped ceilings above the living areas and bedrooms. + Interrobang Via Dezeen Images by Morley von Sternberg

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Interrobang transforms historic Art Deco factory into luxury apartments in London

This adventurous couple revamped an old Airstream into a dream house on wheels

March 23, 2018 by  
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Many people purchase items on eBay–but only a few decide to live in them. When Atlanta-based couple Sheena and Joe stumbled upon an old Airstream  for sale on eBay, they decided to transform it into a home on wheels perfect for avid travelers like themselves. They revamped the Airstream and had it road-ready 10 months later. The original owners intended to use the trailer as a retirement home, but their plans fell through, leaving the Airstream in storage for eight years. After Sheena and Joe purchased it, they affectionately named it Mavis and set about turning it into a mobile living space. Related: Airstream unveils new off-grid ready Globetrotter trailer The couple renovated the structure, including the plumbing and electrical work, themselves. They also included two dedicated work areas and relocated the bedroom from the rear to the front of the trailer, which receives the most sunlight during the day. They added wood accents to the walls and countertops and designed the space in a minimalist Scandinavian style. Ample storage spaces are hidden under the sofa and bed, as well as under the refrigerator. Because of the lack of space, the couple learned to make every inch count and have everything inside serve a purpose. Related: Apollo 70 Airstream trailer renovated as an amazing “green” cocktail bar on wheels Sheena and Joe have already tested the road-readiness of the trailer by traveling through the western part of the United States. They plan to continue using the trailer while traveling and, eventually, to build a small solar-powered container home , with a special place in the backyard for Mavis. + Mavis the Airstream Via Dwell

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This adventurous couple revamped an old Airstream into a dream house on wheels

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

Renovated Adobe headquarters channels design giants creative energy

March 5, 2018 by  
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When it came time to renovate creative software powerhouse Adobe’s headquarters in San Jose, it was abundantly clear that creativity and color would be central to the renovation. The firm tapped Gensler for the artful 143,000-square-foot redesign that’s sensitive to the environment and pays homage to the San Jose community. An artistic approach was applied throughout the building that’s furnished with locally made decor, emphasizes open and collaborative working environments, and offers a dazzling array of perks. Completed last year, Adobe’s newly renovated headquarters features new open workspaces, gathering areas, outdoor work areas, creative conference rooms, and amenities. The building houses 2,500 employees who have access to impressive perks that include a free onsite wellness center with fitness classes, meditation room, massage area, numerous and diverse eating options, on-site auto maintenance, dry cleaning, bicycle repair and rental, and open workspaces that embrace the indoor-outdoor experience. Natural light, outdoor access, and indoor greenery like the community garden and green wall highlight healthy working environments. Related: Adobe’s 410 Townsend is a Collaborative LEED Silver Office in San Francisco Adobe, which moved its headquarters to San Jose in 1994, is now the largest tech firm in the downtown core. To celebrate the community and the city’s agricultural past, the Adobe headquarters is decorated with locally made rugs, furniture, and decor. The building’s Palettes cafe takes inspiration from the region’s orchard history with its green design and A-shaped art installation built of locally sourced orchard crates. Bright splashes of color and art installation point to the firm’s creative and innovative spirit. + Gensler Via ArchDaily Images © Emily Hagopian Photography

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This gorgeous, light-filled barn home in Suffolk can be yours for $1.26M

February 27, 2018 by  
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London-based firm Buckley Gray Yeoman breathed new life into an old Victorian barn by transforming it into a stunningly sophisticated home. The renovated barn, which is currently on the market for $1.26M , features floor-to-ceiling glazing, exposed wooden beams, and other design elements that pay homage to the building’s history. The barn is located on two and a half acres in a small Suffolk village, jut two hours outside of London. The project began with a large decrepit barn and an adjacent cart shed, which had been left abandoned for years. Related: Decrepit farm buildings reborn into modern energy-efficient home in Suffolk Although the barn was in very bad shape at the start of the project, the architects sought to maintain the structure’s rural character throughout the renovation . “We sought out to respect the industrial heritage of the building whilst also providing a contemporary house,” explained Buckley Gray Yeoman lead architect, Richard Buckley. “The combination of old and new was brought together through careful planning.” This effort to combine old and new resulted in a gorgeous home that marries the very best of contemporary living with a strong rustic vibe. The home’s wooden facade was restored and painted black to give it a modern look. The original brick base was also restored to its original state. The main living area was extended vertically to create a loft-like double-height space. Floor-to-ceiling glazed walls flood the interior with natural light and add a sense of wellness throughout the home. Three bedrooms are located on the ground floor, along with a study and a utility room. The upper floor features a master bedroom and an ensuite bathroom. The barn’s existing wooden beams were left exposed to strike a contrast with the glass partitions that designate the interior spaces. The old cart shed next to the home was also renovated into a two-story living space, with a large solar array on the roof. The compact structure houses a workshop and garage on the first level, while the upper level serves as a guest home with a large bedroom, bathroom and living space. The landscape architecture around the property was maintained in the original style and layout. A landscaped, walled-in garden was brought back to life in front of the house, while the rest of the property was left in a natural, wild state. + Buckley Gray Yeoman Via Dwell Images via The Modern House

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This gorgeous, light-filled barn home in Suffolk can be yours for $1.26M

China will make EV manufacturers responsible for battery recycling

February 27, 2018 by  
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Electric automakers in China now have an added task beyond just manufacturing vehicles: dealing with batteries. Reuters said the country’s industry ministry put out interim rules this week holding electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers responsible for creating facilities for collecting and recycling spent batteries in an effort to address waste . Lithium battery waste could reach up to 170,000 metric tons in 2018, and China’s government is hurrying to improve recycling capabilities, according to Reuters, as the waste threatens to become a mounting pollution source. The new rules say carmakers must recover EV batteries, and set up service outlets to gather and store the devices, and transfer them to specialist recyclers. Related: Hong Kong faces ‘growing mountain of waste’ in wake of China’s trash ban The ministry also said these EV companies must establish what Reuters described as a maintenance service network enabling people to either repair or exchange old batteries easily. The notice said companies should adopt measures inciting good practices among customers, like battery repurchase pacts or subsidies. EV carmakers — with battery manufacturers and sales units — also have to erect a traceability system to identify owners of batteries that were discarded. Battery makers also have another responsibility under the new rules: providing technical training for automakers to dismantle and store old batteries. They’re encouraged as well to adopt standardized designs for batteries that can be easily taken apart. China began promoting electric vehicles just under a decade ago, in 2009, according to Reuters, and aim to be a leading producer for the world. The industry could help the country restrain emissions from cars, promote technology industries, and boost energy security . How will these rules impact the EV industry in China? The answers remain to be seen — and time will tell if the new rules do indeed curb waste. Via Reuters Images via Depositphotos and Wikimedia Commons

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China will make EV manufacturers responsible for battery recycling

This historic Italian town is selling homes for 1 Euro

January 30, 2018 by  
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If your idea of the good life is making your home in a stone-built cottage in a historic Italian town, stop dreaming. For just one Euro ($1.24), you can make it happen. That’s because the city of Ollolai in Sardinia is selling homes to buyers who are willing to invest a little blood, sweat and tears into restoring their aging stone homes. ? in love with #barbagia #autumn #autunnoinbarbagia #sardinia #ollolai #sardegna #photography #sardinialovers #explore #igers #igersardegna #supagufrittu A post shared by ?? Sardegna ?? (@antonellapala9) on Dec 1, 2017 at 9:05am PST The beautiful town of Ollolai rests in the mountains of Sardinia, an island off the coast of Italy in the Mediterranean. The city has over 200 stone dwellings that are falling into disrepair, and a population that is rapidly dwindling. To reverse the problem, the city is selling off homes for one Euro, provided that the buyer commits to restoring the home over three years. Related: Italy is giving away hundreds of historic castles and villas for free C'era una volta…………#cortesapertasollolai #pastafattaincasa #sardinia #sardegnaofficial #sapori #sosbattormorossardegna #lovesardegna #lanuovasardegna #focusardegna #bestsardegnapics #like4like #specialesardegna #instafamenow #illife_sardegna #thailand_allshots #wonderful #volgosardegna #borghipiubelliditalia #sardegna_reporter #hashtag #ollolai #autunnoinbarbagia2017 #illife_sardegna#autunnoinbarbagia #borghisardi #the_hub_sardegna#nikond3400 #nikonitalia #photography A post shared by Ely (@elysjourneys) on Nov 30, 2017 at 11:21pm PST “We boast prehistoric origins,” said Efisio Arbau, mayor of Ollolai. “My crusade is to rescue our unique traditions from falling into oblivion. Like many small towns, Ollolai has seen its younger population move to larger cities and a falling birth rate. Last year, the mayor asked former homeowners to donate their crumbling dwellings and put them on the market. So far, three have sold, with over 100 offers coming in from around the world. Sound like your cup of cappuccino? Head over to Ollolai comune to check out the available homes and start picturing yourself eating the local cheese under the Italian sun. Via CNN Images via Wikimedia and Ollolai comune

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