SLA unveils year-round ski slope to cap Copenhagens massive trash incinerator

January 4, 2018 by  
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Architecture firm SLA has unveiled final designs for the much-anticipated park and ski slope that will top the currently operational Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhagen, Denmark. BIG , which masterplanned the incredible project, is also behind some of the ski slope designs. The all-weather green roof will be open throughout the year with a variety of programming from hiking trails and climbing walls to ski slopes and viewing platform for taking in the city skyline. The 170,000-square-foot park is essentially a massive green roof , a plant-covered building system that SLA has won numerous accolades for, including the 2017 Scandinavian Green Roof Award for Copenhagen’s Mærsk Tower and SUND Nature Park. Challenges for the Amager Bakke’s multipurpose green roof include steep slopes, safety concerns, and the facility’s byproduct heat that can reach as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit in certain areas. “The project to create an attractive and green activity rooftop park on top of Amager Bakke has been very challenging,” said SLA partner Rasmus Astrup, according to ArchDaily . “Not only because of the extreme natural – and unnatural – conditions of the site and the rooftop itself, which put severe stress on plants, trees and landscape . But also because we’ve had to ensure that the rooftop’s many activities are realized in an accessible, intuitive and inviting manner. The goal is to ensure that Amager Bakke will become an eventful recreational public space with a strong aesthetic and sensuous city nature that gives value for all Copenhageners – all year round.” Related: Denmark fires up its Copenhill power plant, with ski slopes set to open next year The rooftop park is designed to become a lush environment welcoming to a great diversity of flora and fauna. Visitors will also be able to help seed the park with seed bombs . Construction has broken ground on the Amager Bakke Rooftop Park, which is slated for completion in September 2018. + SLA Via ArchDaily Images via SLA , except where noted

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SLA unveils year-round ski slope to cap Copenhagens massive trash incinerator

6 ways to make your life more "Hygge" – the Danish secret to happiness

December 26, 2017 by  
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Unless you are from Denmark or Norway, the concept of “hygge” (pronounced hoo-gah) was likely foreign to you until the past few years when this idea of “cozying around” began gaining serious traction. In this big, loud, harsh world, many of us desire a return to good company, simple pleasures, and mindfulness in the moment, and hygge embodies these ideas and more. We’re sharing six ways to help you create this restorative state of mind beloved for centuries in Denmark (by way of Norway ). Image © @quizzically_yours 1. Host a low-key and intimate get-together Small hang-outs with friends are an ideal hygge-promoting gathering. Hygge get-togethers aren’t pretentious: think board game night , card night, or a bagel brunch in the comfort of your own home. The focus of these gatherings is on togetherness, not on spending five hours baking fussy hors d’oeuvres or desserts, so they are perfect for throwing together at a moment’s notice and are super potluck-friendly . An event that gets people absorbed in each other’s company and a low-tech activity that encourages them to detach from their phones is definitely high on the hygge scale. Linked to the concept of hygge is an appreciation of the outdoors, and Danes are known for prizing their open-air time from a young age: babies in Denmark and all over Scandinavia even take their naps outside . Take your gathering outdoors (weather permitting) to bring together the best of both worlds: huddling around an outdoor fire pit definitely fits the bill as does taking a dip in a hot tub. Image © Maria via Unsplash 2. Or make your own solo hygge experience Although hygge is often associated with cozy, candlelit get-togethers with dear friends, you can create your own hygge vibe when you are by yourself. Fredagsmys , a word from Denmark’s Nordic neighbor Sweden , is an actual term used for curling up indoors on a Friday night. So watch a movie, sit on the sofa, or make yourself some hot chocolate or tea and relax with a book (perhaps in front of a fire). Hygge is focused on the idea of enjoying and being aware of simple moments and experiences, so everything doesn’t have to be “just so”: partaking in a free flowing  yoga  practice or a nourishing  soup making  session applies. Image © Alisa Anton via Unsplash 3. Create hygge-friendly spaces in your home While it may be tempting to get caught up in the hygge-buying fever and feel the desire to suddenly possess a plethora of knit throws, cushy pillows, an array of scented candles, and more items, there’s no financial obligation required for creating a warm, comfortable, friendly space. Putting your favorite vintage and reclaimed  knickknacks on display creates a sociable, lived-in vibe. Ditto for items picked up during memorable vacations and roadtrips. If you have a home with large open spaces, consider arranging the furniture that you already own in configurations that encourage intimate tête à têtes. Even a small side table or an ottoman can be a place to gather around, set down your mug, or put your feet up. Interior designer Dani Arps for TaskRabbit suggests, “Texture and natural materials always add warmth; think chunky or nubby blankets stored in a mesh basket that sits next to a reclaimed coffee table.” Related: DIY Meditation Temple Built from Salvaged Materials Photo © Aaron Burden via Unsplash 4. Make space for quiet/meditation Mindfulness and gratitude are definitely components of a hygge mentality, and they dovetail nicely with many people’s goals of having a regular meditation practice. If sitting cross-legged and reciting a mantra isn’t your cup of tea, then consider making your cup of tea the meditation itself. Give yourself permission to really savor and enjoy your morning beverage  without feeling the need to check social media. Or take an invigorating walk with your dog by your side, soak in the tub , journal or even make a phone call to a friend or family member who you can’t connect with in person-these all align with the idea of creating a soothing and reflective practice. Since mindfulness is the goal, avoid multitasking while you are doing whatever activity you choose. Image via Inhabitots 5. Make comforting and nourishing food and drink If you were to scan Instagram, many of the images hashtagged with hygge would start to resemble each other: hands around a warm mug of something, a table laid out with humble but hearty fare, like this mushroom quinoa risotto , a bowl of oatmeal, or fruit and nut-studded granola. Another central tenet in Danish culture is spending time with family , so pulling out a favorite recipe that has been shared over generations for a family gathering is a great way to honor tradition (not to mention the fact that commonly beloved food seems to have a way of smoothing over many family riffs). A super hygge-friendly activity: create an intimate  multigenerational family cooking class with a matriarch or patriarch of the family teaching the younger set how to make a traditional family dish. A few other ideas to get you started include apple cider served in apple cups , a homemade vegan nutella-like spread , one pot sun-dried tomato and basil pasta , and a decadent vegan chocolate cake made with veggies . Image © Antonia Bukowska via Unsplash 6. Put hygge concepts to work year-round Although the idea of cozying around a fire or snuggled up on the couch with our favorites makes winter the season most associated with hygge, the concept of hygge can be employed throughout the year. After all, hygge is a mindset for making “ essential and mundane tasks dignified, joyful, and beautiful ”. To that end, going for a midsummer midnight swim, having a backyard BBQ with a few friends, taking a hike in the spring rain, or organizing a pumpkin picking and carving session could all embody this mind/body/soul-nourishing concept. Lead image ©  Worthy of Elegance via Unsplash

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6 ways to make your life more "Hygge" – the Danish secret to happiness

You can now explore all 19 of South Africa’s National Parks on Google Maps

November 3, 2017 by  
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Have you ever wanted to walk in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela , track cheetahs on foot , or stroll with elephants — and other exotic creatures — in South Africa ? Well, here’s your chance. Thanks to the efforts of over 200 volunteers, now you can use Google Maps to explore 19 National Parks, 17 nature reserves, and many other sites of natural, cultural and historical significance in South Africa. More than 200 nature-loving South Africans volunteered to map out parts of the country they call home. Many of the helpers were rangers and guides with SANParks , CapeNature and KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife . Others were just good Samaritans, tech enthusiasts and avid hikers who want to make a difference. Over the span of twelve months, the volunteers trekked over 50,000km to establish 232 points of interest. Said Magdalena Filak, Program Manager for Google, “The hundreds of volunteers who helped along the way proved to be truly passionate about showing the best of South Africa through their participation in the loan program.” The Google Street View Camera Loan program encourages anyone to borrow the 360-degree camera technology to help the planet . Reportedly, this is the first time Google has partnered with a third-party for the program. Drive South Africa played a big role in coordinating the volunteers . Andre Van Kets, an outdoor enthusiast and the founder of the Cape Town -based company, explained the technology: “The Trekker camera is a 22kg custom-made backpack fitted with 15 cameras pointing in all directions. The on-board technology plots the camera’s exact location on the trail. While recording, the camera takes a 360-degree photo every two-seconds. It’s basically the off-road equivalent of Google’s Street View cars.” Kets added that he saw “potential in this technology to showcase South Africa to travellers around the globe” when he applied. Related: Thousands of plastic bottles transformed into an inspiring tower of hope in South Africa In addition to mapping over two hundred points of interest, volunteers mapped eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Users can also see Mapungubwe Hill , which is home to an ancient African civilization, the Richtersveld that is known for its incredible moonscapes, and iSimangaliso Wetland Park , South Africa’s oldest UNESCO site which serves as a critical habitat for many species . The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Dennis Wood of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife said, “As the proud conservation authority for KwaZulu-Natal, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife are excited to be partnered with Google’ new initiative in exposing our trails on this global platform that we believe will engage our prospective guests to “Take time to Discover” our province’s rich natural beauty and conservation wildlife heritage.” + Google Street View Loan Program Images via Google Maps

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You can now explore all 19 of South Africa’s National Parks on Google Maps

You can now explore all 19 of South Africa’s National Parks on Google Maps

November 3, 2017 by  
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Have you ever wanted to walk in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela , track cheetahs on foot , or stroll with elephants — and other exotic creatures — in South Africa ? Well, here’s your chance. Thanks to the efforts of over 200 volunteers, now you can use Google Maps to explore 19 National Parks, 17 nature reserves, and many other sites of natural, cultural and historical significance in South Africa. More than 200 nature-loving South Africans volunteered to map out parts of the country they call home. Many of the helpers were rangers and guides with SANParks , CapeNature and KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife . Others were just good Samaritans, tech enthusiasts and avid hikers who want to make a difference. Over the span of twelve months, the volunteers trekked over 50,000km to establish 232 points of interest. Said Magdalena Filak, Program Manager for Google, “The hundreds of volunteers who helped along the way proved to be truly passionate about showing the best of South Africa through their participation in the loan program.” The Google Street View Camera Loan program encourages anyone to borrow the 360-degree camera technology to help the planet . Reportedly, this is the first time Google has partnered with a third-party for the program. Drive South Africa played a big role in coordinating the volunteers . Andre Van Kets, an outdoor enthusiast and the founder of the Cape Town -based company, explained the technology: “The Trekker camera is a 22kg custom-made backpack fitted with 15 cameras pointing in all directions. The on-board technology plots the camera’s exact location on the trail. While recording, the camera takes a 360-degree photo every two-seconds. It’s basically the off-road equivalent of Google’s Street View cars.” Kets added that he saw “potential in this technology to showcase South Africa to travellers around the globe” when he applied. Related: Thousands of plastic bottles transformed into an inspiring tower of hope in South Africa In addition to mapping over two hundred points of interest, volunteers mapped eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Users can also see Mapungubwe Hill , which is home to an ancient African civilization, the Richtersveld that is known for its incredible moonscapes, and iSimangaliso Wetland Park , South Africa’s oldest UNESCO site which serves as a critical habitat for many species . The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Dennis Wood of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife said, “As the proud conservation authority for KwaZulu-Natal, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife are excited to be partnered with Google’ new initiative in exposing our trails on this global platform that we believe will engage our prospective guests to “Take time to Discover” our province’s rich natural beauty and conservation wildlife heritage.” + Google Street View Loan Program Images via Google Maps

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You can now explore all 19 of South Africa’s National Parks on Google Maps

The world’s longest hiking trail is officially open

September 8, 2017 by  
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The Great Trail in Canada is aptly named – it’s now the longest hiking trail in the world at 14,864 miles. It was built over the last 25 years, snaking through 13 provinces and territories. The trail, which is comprised of over 400 individual paths, just officially opened at the end of August. Canada’s Great Trail winds from Saint John’s in Newfoundland to Victoria in British Columbia, with a loop up through the Northwest Territories and Yukon to the Arctic Ocean. It’s not limited to hiking – explorers traversing the trail can snowmobile, bike, ride horses, or cross-country ski through some parts of the route. 26 percent actually crosses water, so a canoe or kayak is necessary to cross some portions. No cars are allowed. An estimated four out of five Canadians reside within 30 minutes of part of the trail. Related: World’s longest car-free trail stretching 15,000 miles to open next year in Canada Local areas maintain the smaller trails that come together to form The Great Trail, described as “truly a gift from Canadians to Canadians” by the nonprofit Trans Canada Trail, the organization that has overseen its development. The Great Trail has also been termed the largest volunteer project in the country’s history. According to Trans Canada Trail, The Great Trail promotes conservation and healthy living, and it is expected to stimulate tourism and create jobs. The group calls it a national legacy for future generations. Users will be treated to sweeping views of mountains, plains, frozen tundra, coastal islands, urban areas, and lakes throughout the country. The longest section of the trail, which passes right through major cities like Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Winnipeg, is in Ontario, where it rambles around the Great Lakes. If this sounds as good to you as it does to us, you can locate a portion of the trail near you on this interactive map or via The Great Trail app (available for iOS and Android ). + The Great Trail Via Mother Nature Network Images via The Great Trail ( 1 , 2 )

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The world’s longest hiking trail is officially open

MVRDV unveils plans for the biggest urban development project in Scandinavia

September 8, 2017 by  
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MVRDV and BSK Arkitekter have grand plans for Gothenburg, Sweden. The two architecture firms just unveiled Magasin 113, a proposed transformation and extension of an existing waterfront warehouse in Gothenburg’s future Frihamnen RiverCity —the largest urban development project in Scandinavia. Once renovated and expanded, the multistory warehouse will offer 16,500 square meters of office space, an art center, pop-up spaces, a cafe, tourist information, retail, restaurants, and studios. Magazine 113 is one of the few remaining historic warehouses in the area. The mixed-use adaptive reuse project blends old and new, and will serve as a public hub for a livable neighborhood. The interior is organized into zones and connected via large freight elevators as well as a family of different types of stairs. An outdoor staircase on the waterfront -facing facade connects the different loading balconies with the main public plaza. The architects plan to expand the concrete building’s footprint with the addition of three new levels of timber-framed floors above. A new public space will join the existing structure and new extension, visually uniting the two and attracting public activity from outside. The original brick facade and interiors will be restored, repaired, and displayed beneath a glazed facade to show off Magazine 113’s industrial heritage. The glazed facade that wraps around the existing concrete warehouse and new timber-framed extension provides insulation and a protective “raincoat.” “This will add an exciting blend of a building that is ‘old’ and new, raw and smooth, and solid and transparent at the same time,” wrote MVRDV. Related: The Sax: MVRDV unveils plans for a ‘vertical city’ in Rotterdam “Magasin 113’s location will become a public node through its close connections to other public spaces in the area,” added the architects. “Combined with the nearby park and pool, it aims to attract a wide range of tenants and services, which in turn will help to create an inviting and desirable neighbourhood.” + MVRDV Images via MVRDV

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MVRDV unveils plans for the biggest urban development project in Scandinavia

Free off-grid shelter pops up for urban explorers in Bordeaux

July 5, 2017 by  
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Exploring the fringes of France’s famed wine-growing region is now easier and better than ever. After a long day’s hike—and enjoyment of some Bordeaux wine and cheese—urban explorers can take refuge in Le Haut Perché, an elevated shelter designed by London-based Studio Weave . Crafted as part of the Refuges Périurbains project, this unique shelter is one of eleven free overnight shelters on the edge of the city that encourage the exploration of Bordeaux’s fringe sites. Refuges Périurbains founder Bruit du Frigo and Zebra 3 commissioned Studio Weave to develop the Le Haut Perché hiking shelter, which sits along a pedestrian route connected by a series of site-specific overnight shelters. “The fringes of Bordeaux remain relatively unknown,” Studio Weave wrote. “As is common to this periphery in most cities, these areas are often overlooked, experienced from afar by car rather than as destinations in their own right. Bridging city and wilderness, peripheral urban sites also offer their own magic and potential.” The Refuges Périurbains shelters encourage exploration by providing free accommodation that sleeps up to nine people. Studio Weave’s contribution to the project is an organic shelter in the peaceful heart of Le Parc des Jalles and surrounded by watermills Le Moulin du Moulina. Elevated next to one of Bordeaux’s main water sources, Le Haut Perché takes inspiration from traditional water towers with its material palette and form. The raised shelter is built of timber and weathering steel to blend into the rural landscape. Related: Tiny off-grid Le Tronc Creux shelters blend into Bordeaux’s forests like old tree trunks “The arching platform captures focused sounds and vistas of water and woodland,” said the studio. “Each opening is composed to frame a particular moment, some to be experienced lying down, others stood or sat-up.” The arched roof extends over the sides of the shelter for solar shading . The Le Haut Perché can be booked in advance on the Refuges Périurbains website . + Studio Weave Images by Bruit du frigo

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Free off-grid shelter pops up for urban explorers in Bordeaux

RuckJack is a rain-proof jacket that can be turned into a backpack on-the-go

February 17, 2016 by  
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When you are on the go, the less you have to carry with you, the better. Meet RuckJack –  a jacket that can be turned into a backpack to help you streamline your life. “Whether hiking, biking , spending a day on the beach or commuting and doing your daily routine, RuckJack is designed to make things easier. It can be used to carry food and water and then wear for protection from the rain, wind and cold when weather conditions change,” said RuckJack founder Ramtin Sadeghi. Backpack or jacket? You decide. + RuckJack on Kickstarter

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RuckJack is a rain-proof jacket that can be turned into a backpack on-the-go

VIDEO: How to Find and Cook Delicious Chanterelle Mushrooms in a Forest Near You

September 10, 2014 by  
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In 1836, Swedish mycologist Elias Fries called the chanterelle “one of the most important and best edible mushrooms.” They are also incredibly nutritious – in addition to containing vitamin C and potassium, chanterelles are among the richest known sources of vitamin D. As ubiquitous as it is delicious, the golden chanterelle occurs all over the globe – from North America to Europe, Asia and Africa. Nevertheless, the meaty, funnel-shaped mushroom has a wild spirit that resists domestication, so if you’d like to savor its distinctive flavor, you’ll probably have to find it yourself, which is part of its wonderful charm! We recently stumbled across some chanterelles while hiking in Yellowwood State Forest just outside of Bloomington, Indiana. We picked a few, sautéed them, and ate them with our camp-cooked pasta, and liked them so much, we went back a couple of days later for more. Watch our video or hit the jump to find out how you can find your own chanterelles, which false species to avoid, and how to cook them up for a special treat you won’t soon forget. Read the rest of VIDEO: How to Find and Cook Delicious Chanterelle Mushrooms in a Forest Near You Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: chanterelle mushroom recipe , chanterelle mushrooms , chanterelle video , DIY , DIY video , eco-travel , forage , forage in the forest , golden chanterelle , harvest mushrooms , hiking , how to cook chanterelles , how to find chanterelles , hunt for mushrooms , Mycology , tafline laylin , Video , wild mushrooms

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VIDEO: How to Find and Cook Delicious Chanterelle Mushrooms in a Forest Near You

Høse Pedestrian Bridge Connects Local Residents to Hiking Trails in Norway

August 23, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Høse Pedestrian Bridge Connects Local Residents to Hiking Trails in Norway Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , bridge , corteen steel , eco design , foot bridge , footbridge , green architecture , Green Building , green design , hose bridge , norway , pedestrian bridge , pedestrian friendly , Rintala Eggertsson Architects , sand , Sustainable Building , sustainable design        

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Høse Pedestrian Bridge Connects Local Residents to Hiking Trails in Norway

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