Classic Eichler gets a tasteful renovation and expansion in the heart of Silicon Valley

December 7, 2017 by  
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Klopf Architecture has refurbished and expanded a classic Eichler home in the San Mateo highlands while keeping its mid-century modern charms intact. Working in collaboration with Outer Space Landscape Architects and Coast to Coast Construction , the updated single-family home was enlarged into a 2,285-square-foot dwelling with four bedrooms and two baths with the help of 3D modeling. Set in the heart of Silicon Valley , the Eichler renovation was commissioned by a young couple with two small children, who, as evidenced by their choice in furnishings, sought to maintain the modernist and minimalist look of their home in the upgrade. “The goals were to maintain the Eichler style while bringing in high quality, more current materials and updating what was already there,” wrote the architects. The clients also desired a new addition that would be used as an office and guest room. Using 3D modeling , the architects determined that the most suitable location for the addition would be in the side yard, rather in the rear due to set back limitations. “The addition needed to be transparent so it would not appear massive and take up the side yard,” added Klopf Architecture. Like the rest of the existing home, the addition features post-and-beam construction, Eichler profile siding, and dark bronze door frames. Related: Vintage Eichler home receives open and airy remodel that preserves its roots The bathrooms, entry, and storage were also enlarged. The interior is lined in timber paneling—some of which new to replace damaged paneling—all of which was re-stained to bring out the wood’s rich colors. The leaky steel radiant heating tubes were replaced with a new radiant floor heating system beneath concrete slabs and new flooring installed throughout the home. + Klopf Architecture Images ©2017 Mariko Reed

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Classic Eichler gets a tasteful renovation and expansion in the heart of Silicon Valley

Abandoned house transformed into a gorgeous sanctuary on a remote Chinese mountain

November 29, 2017 by  
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This rustic sanctuary nestled in a remote village in China combines modernity and vernacular design to extraordinary effect. Architecture studio RSAA approached the home renovation with a strong sense of respect for the history of the building and its stunning natural surroundings. The original house, nested on the top of a mountain in the north of Anhui Province, China , was uninhabited for years until the owner decided to renovate it into a modern residence. The design team introduced dramatic changed to the space, cutting, lowering and rebuilding parts of the house to facilitate optimal views of the surroundings and accommodate new functions. Related: Decrepit cave transformed into a beautiful modern home in China New and old coexist in the renovated house, with semi-private and semi-open areas creating a more complex spatial flow. At the core of the structure is an outdoor atrium that was once an indoor space. Here, the original gable has been transformed into a decorative wall that blocks vertical views of the living room and bedrooms. Old bricks were used to rebuild one of the original walls at the site. In the process of rebuilding the wall, many old bricks were cut into slices and used as traditional decoration to hide the steel structure inside. The architects emphasized the junction between different kinds of materials and employed local craftsmen who used traditional building techniques . + RSAA Via Archdaily Lead photo by SU Shengliang

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Abandoned house transformed into a gorgeous sanctuary on a remote Chinese mountain

The rustic exterior of this abandoned barn hides a surprising space to get away from it all

November 22, 2017 by  
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This neglected old barn in Norway will soon host visitors from all around the world, thanks to a recent makeover helmed by architecture studio OPA Form . The renovated structure now features a modern sleeping module that can fit a family of four and offers stunning views of the picturesque valley Myrkdalen on the west-coast of Norway. The architects infused the original wooden building with new life by adding a module that’s practically invisible from the outside. The exterior looks as quaint and rustic as when it was built, 50 years ago. A sculptural window stretches out of the old cladding, offering views of the surroundings. Related: Architects transform 150-year-old Slovenian hay barn into a stunning contemporary home Inside, authentic rough surfaces still exist, except for a new addition that attaches to main room that once served as a cattle stable. The addition, a module clad in bright aspen with a circular entrance, was built with the utmost precision and with great respect for the history of the place. Completely self-sufficient, the addition doesn’t disrupt the original structure and has a part that stretches up in-between the low beams. The renovation project is part of firm’s strategy called “the barns they are a-changing”, which relates to the efforts in repurposing derelict buildings scattered across the Norwegian west coast. + OPA FORM Via Archdaily Lead Photo by Virre Dahl

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The rustic exterior of this abandoned barn hides a surprising space to get away from it all

17th-century farm transformed into amazing hotel in the hills of Norway

November 20, 2017 by  
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Communing with Norway’s incredible landscape won’t be hard when staying at the green-roofed Nordigard Blessom Farm . Tucked into rolling green landscape in the rural countryside of Vågå, this 17th-century farm was converted into a series of green-roofed guest rooms, complete with grazing sheep. Guests of the farm are treated to an atmosphere straight out of a fairy tale. Lush green hills surround the farm, which has its own gardens and orchards. There are three wooden guest rooms, each covered with a green roof . The rustic but sophisticated interior design includes solid log walls and old-Norwegian furnishings – some dating back to the 17th century. Related: Sheep farm deep in Iceland’s fjords transformed into luxury off-grid retreat Guests of the farm will enjoy scrumptious daily breakfast spreads that includes homemade bread and marmalades. After breakfast, guests can leisurely take in the farm’s idyllic surroundings or explore the activities in the area, such as hiking the adjacent mountain ranges and glaciers, horseback riding, caving, or strolling in Rondane National Park. + Nordigard Blessom Farm Via Uncrate Photography by Ingrid Blessom  

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17th-century farm transformed into amazing hotel in the hills of Norway

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

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

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

Larch-clad extension breathes new life into an old hunting lodge in Canada

November 15, 2017 by  
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This quaint hunting lodge in Canada  has had several different lives before being turned into a cozy family home nestled in the woods. The new owners commissioned architect Anik Péloquin to design an extension that would echo the architecture of the original building, while blending in with the stunning surroundings. The resulting two-volume structure is clad in larch wood fits in perfectly and breathes new life into the lodge. The small house, located on a secluded lakeside lot in La Malbaie, Canada, was used as a hunting lodge for the first three decades, before becoming the summer home for the Sisters of Charity. Instead of renovating the house, the new owners decided to build an additional space and use the existing structure as a guesthouse . Related: Extraordinary treehouse is a climber’s dream with its own indoor climbing wall The two volumes as referred to as siblings, with the new house–“the little sister”–housing two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and lounge areas. Modest in size, the structure keeps with the general look of its “big sister”. It is clad in larch and features a steep shed roof that harmonizes with the existing structure and the landscape. The roof overhang on the west and south sides keep the outside walls low and consistent with the scale of the old house. The steep roof pitch rises on the east and north side and reminds of a church steeple, thus evoking the history of the site. + Anik Péloquin architecte Via V2com Photos by Louis Prud’homme

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Larch-clad extension breathes new life into an old hunting lodge in Canada

Cards Against Humanity buys land on the US-Mexico border to block Trump’s wall

November 15, 2017 by  
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You may have gotten some laughs from the irreverent Cards Against Humanity game in the past, but now the people behind the “party game for horrible people” have a higher objective: stop Donald Trump’s border wall. The company bought land on the border and worked with a law firm to make it harder for the Trump administration to act on its plan – and they asked fans to chip in $15 for a piece of the land in their new Cards Against Humanity Saves America campaign. Cards Against Humanity doesn’t want to see a United States-Mexico border wall erected, so they’re working to thwart Trump with their recent land purchase. On their campaign page, they said, “Donald Trump is a preposterous golem who is afraid of Mexicans. He is so afraid that he wants to build a twenty-billion dollar wall that everyone knows will accomplish nothing. So we’ve purchased a plot of vacant land on the border and retained a law firm specializing in eminent domain to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built.” Related: Provocative street art installation shows baby peering over US-Mexico border wall Those who gave Cards Against Humanity $15 earned “six America-saving surprises” during the holidays. The company has been quiet about most of the surprises, but they did say backers could expect an illustrated map of the land they purchased, new cards, and a certificate of their promise to battle Trump’s border wall. Other surprises are set to be delivered in December. The campaign seems to have resonated with Americans – The Washington Post reported it sold out in hours. This isn’t the first time Cards Against Humanity has gotten political , using humor to draw attention to current issues. For example, earlier this year they created a Weed Pack and donated proceeds to the Marijuana Public Policy Project to fight for legalization. They also sent potatoes to Republican Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson to persuade him to hold a town hall about the Affordable Care Act. + Cards Against Humanity Saves America Images via Cards Against Humanity Saves America and Anthony Albright on Flickr

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Cards Against Humanity buys land on the US-Mexico border to block Trump’s wall

Berlins famed brutalist Bierpinsel tower hits the market for $3.8m

October 30, 2017 by  
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You can now live in one of Berlin’s most iconic examples of brutalist architecture – for the price tag of $3.8 million. The famous Bierpinsel tower was originally built in 1972 as a restaurant, but it has sat vacant for years – and now it’s officially for sale . Soaring 150 feet over the cityscape, the tower has a whopping 12,765 square feet of space – and it could be repurposed into one very funky home or a sweet boutique hotel in the sky. Designed by architects Ralph Schüler and Ursulina Schüler-Witte, the tower holds court over Schlossstrasse – the second biggest shopping street in Berlin . It was originally a restaurant before converting into a nightclub and cafe, but it has been vacant since 2006. Related: 1970s Berlin Restaurant Transformed into Graffiti Art Tower In 2010 four street artists created vivid artwork on the Bierpinsel tower’s exterior , but it has failed to find any commercial use. Although the work has faded over the years, the art by Honest and Soyzone Gonzales is still visible. Sotheby’s Real Estate lists the tower as a “four-bedroom home”, but it could be put to many uses. Of course, potential tenants will have a large renovation on their hands. The interior of the tower has already been gutted, but it would take quite a bit of work to turn it into a home or hotel. + Sotheby’s Real Estate Via The Spaces Lead image by Jan M / Creative Commons

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Melbourne architects upcycle 1960s warehouse into stunning energy-efficient home

October 25, 2017 by  
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Melbourne-based Zen Architects  converted a rundown 1960s warehouse into a gorgeous, energy-efficient home . The green-centric architects focused the ethos of the project on retaining and reusing as much of the warehouse’s original materials as possible while simultaneously creating an ultra-efficient, light-filled family home. The architects focused the project on using whatever they could from the almost 60-year-old space to create a contemporary home. The original frame and open layout of the 2,583-square-foot warehouse was kept as it was in order to start with an open slate. To begin the project, the design team carefully stripped various original features from the warehouse such as light fixtures, sprinkler pipes, doors, cladding, and roof sheeting – all to be repurposed into the new home, which has a 6.1 star energy rating. Related: Perkins + Will overhauls a boring concrete warehouse into beautiful LEED Gold offices The existing concrete floor of the warehouse was kept in tact for two reasons: to retain the industrial character of the building and for the energy-efficient benefits that come along with a concrete base. The living space was carefully crafted into the open layout to create a comfy living area down below with the bedrooms on a newly created “floating” mezzanine level installed in the roof’s volume between the existing trusses. Plywood pods were used to create spaces for the bedrooms and en suite bathrooms, which are reached by a wooden staircase. A continual sense of light and space was achieved by strategically placing windows and glazed panels that provide a seamless connection between the interior living space the outdoor areas. To add open-air space within the living area, the architects created a north-facing interior courtyard, which in addition to flooding the interior with natural light , provides natural heat to the interior during the wintertime. To waterproof the space, the architects laid a new ground level slab that drains rain water to a storm water pit. The slab is hidden under a timber deck made of recycled wood that runs through the interior and exterior spaces. + Zen Architects Via Dwell

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Italy seeks to phase out coal power plants by 2025

October 25, 2017 by  
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Nation by nation, Europe is going green. The latest country to prove its commitment to sustainable solutions is Italy . On Tuesday, the Italian Industry Minister announced that by 2025, the country plans to phase out coal power plants. Additionally, the country plans to meet 27 percent of “gross overall energy consumption” with renewable sources by the year 2030. During a parliamentary hearing, Minister Carlo Calenda asked the national grid company to identify the infrastructure needed to make the transition. Shortly after, the country’s biggest utility, Enel, said it will not invest in new coal-fired power plants. Unlike other countries in Europe, Italy’s renewable sector is constantly growing. In 2015, for instance, renewable energy sources generated just under 38 percent of the country’s electricity. Hydro-electrical plants remain the biggest contributor (15.5 percent), and solar and wind sources have reached nearly 13 percent, according to ZME Science. The country has no nuclear plants, as they were banned through a referendum in 1987 . Related: Supervolcano in Italy is “becoming more dangerous” as magma builds beneath the surface Chris Littlecott, who heads a fossil fuel transition program at think tank E3G , applauded the development. “Italy’s positive commitment to phase out coal by 2025 demonstrates real international leadership as it completes its year holding the G7 Presidency,” he said in a statement. “Italy now joins its G7 peers in Canada, France, and the UK in taking action to phase out coal power generation over the next decade. Together, they can lead a growing coalition of countries and regions that are now acting on coal,” he said. Though this development is commendable, nothing has been confirmed just yet. The strategy should receive governmental and parliamentary approval at the beginning of November. If it passes, the measure will also speed up the introduction of vehicles powered by alternative fuels , and it will raise the number of EV charging stations to 19,000 by 2020. Via ZME Science Images via Public Domain Pictures, Pixabay

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