Weathered steel and reclaimed materials blend a modern home into the woods

December 11, 2017 by  
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Raleigh-based Tonic Design completed a creative new home that plays with the contrasts between the old and new in their use of reclaimed and contemporary materials. Tucked into the forests of Durham, the Piedmont Retreat is a 3,800-square-foot single-family home that embraces the outdoors in its use of weathered materials and large cantilevered windows. Reclaimed materials , like the oak flooring and factory lights, help soften the modern steel and glass construction. Located on a corner of a cul-de-sac in Durham, Piedmont Retreat is a two-story home commissioned by clients who wanted a low-maintenance home with a direct visual connection to their beautiful wooded site. In response, the architects wrapped the street-facing side of the home in vertical strips of Corten steel that will continue to weather over time and blend the home into the surroundings. Abundant glazing was installed in the back of the home to frame views of the forest. The home’s upper level is split into two halves, one for the communal spaces and the other for the bedrooms. This division of space is realized as two separate volumes set slightly apart and linked via light-filled walkways. A protected exterior courtyard sits between the two parts. Related: Stunning Lake Michigan home is built from dying ash reclaimed onsite “While the steel provides an exterior barrier, of sorts, between the family and the street, interior spaces are open and fluid, shifting perspectives throughout the house as the inhabitants move from the “public” volume of living, dining, and kitchen areas to the private volume of bedrooms and baths, all on one floor,” wrote the architects. + Tonic Design Images by Tzu Chen Photography

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Weathered steel and reclaimed materials blend a modern home into the woods

Son builds modern dream cabin from recycled materials for his aging father

November 17, 2017 by  
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Retiring to a cozy cabin in the woods is a dream of many, and one that Josh Wynne helped his father fulfill when he built and designed Mike’s Hammock, a compact dwelling located on his property in Nokomis, Florida. Designed for handicap accessibility, the modern one-room was crafted for aging in place and prioritizes sustainability in its use of recycled materials and low-energy footprint. Stylish and sustainable, the 604-square-meter cabin was constructed with mostly local and recycled materials , including the Southern yellow pine salvaged from a nearby construction site. The careful use of resources resulted in less than one dumpster of waste for the project. To minimize site impact , Josh cantilevered the home above its foundation and planted three trees in place of the one he needed to remove. A custom-made central cooling and heating system helps reduce energy costs to an average of only $25 per month, even in summer, Wynne told New Atlas. Related: This cozy off-grid cabin shows beauty on a budget in upstate New York The facade is clad in vertically oriented corrugated metal siding to match the neighboring barn, while the interior is lined with Southern Yellow Pine that runs horizontally through the structure. The timber’s seamless lines, coupled with the large glazed sliding doors that frame outdoor views, gives the illusion of spaciousness. The small size of the home, as well as the layout and wheel-chair accessible features, cater to his father’s limited mobility without compromising aesthetics. + Josh Wynne Construction Via New Atlas

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Son builds modern dream cabin from recycled materials for his aging father

Recycled materials make up this quirky solar-powered hotel in West Africa

November 17, 2017 by  
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A beautiful sun-soaked retreat on Cape Verde’s island of Sao Vicente prides itself on sustainability. Ramos Castellano Arquitectos designed the Terra Lodge Hotel using recycled and found materials, water recycling systems, and a rooftop solar array . The hotel draws the eye with its gridded timber frame, constructed from unfinished African wood, that partially encloses private verandas. Built predominately from lime-plastered concrete, the Terra Lodge Hotel’s five structures are rotated to optimize views and cross breezes. The hotel includes 12 rooms and a suite, a breakfast room, a lap pool, and a large outdoor terrace on the roof of an old green colonial house that now houses the owner’s tourist agency. The architects used found materials in construction, such as the recycled metals from petroleum barrels for the gate and the locally sourced rocks for the walls. Related: Hotel Shabby Shabby: Pop-Up Hotel Offers Recycled Rooms Built for Under €250 “Every solution is simplified adapting to the island lack of material and resources, simple and essential for satisfying basic needings, not for ephemeral fashion,” wrote the architects. “Almost everything is handmade, employing people from the neighborhood, from the floor finishing to the furniture, trying to distribute the economy of the building construction in the social environment.” The architects also designed the furnishings and light systems with locally handcrafted and recycled wood. + Ramos Castellano Arquitectos Via ArchDaily Images © Sergio Pirrone

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Recycled materials make up this quirky solar-powered hotel in West Africa

Post-war home in Kyoto brilliantly renovated to blend modernity with tradition

November 10, 2017 by  
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Japanese architecture is known for its minimalist sophistication and this beautiful renovation of a pre-war home in Kyoto is a shining example. Designed by Osaka-based firm, atelier Luke , the renovation process of the Ichijoji House included exposing the beautiful timber beams that were once concealed and conferring with local craftspeople to create design elements that pay homage to the traditional Kyoto vernacular. The home was originally built in 1961, but had become rundown over the years. A Danish-Australian furniture maker purchased the home to convert into a modern living space while maintaining its traditional character. Related: This nomadic origami teahouse is made of hundreds of sheets of folded paper Due to the poor state of the home, the first step was gutting the space while trying to retain the original timber structure. During the renovation process, the team found that many of home’s structural timber elements, such as the large cambered roof beams , had been hidden from sight. The decision was made to leave the beams exposed in order to create a series of wooden sculptural forms that enhance the home’s neutral, minimalist design. To make better use of the space, the layout of the home was reversed from the original layout. The first floor would now house the private spaces while the living area was installed upstairs, reached by a timber ladder. What was once the ground floor kitchen was converted into a beautiful traditional Japanese bedroom, complete with tatami mats , shoji screens, and handmade wallpaper. An extension was added to back of the home in order to make room for indoor plumbing system for the new bathroom and kitchen. The space was also built out to create a peaceful screened-in courtyard reached through a series of sliding timber doors and paper screens. As for the interior design , the design team went to local craftspeople from Kyoto, as well as Osaka and Nagano to create a traditional atmosphere. Most of the decorative or functional elements such as the stained wallpaper, lacquered flooring, and timber joinery were either hand crafted or finished using traditional techniques. Bespoke furniture pieces including various cabinets and the “floating” dining table were made out of Japanese oak. + atelier Luke Images via atelier Luke

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Post-war home in Kyoto brilliantly renovated to blend modernity with tradition

Beat the Blues: 7 Ways to Boost Your Home & Mood Naturally

November 9, 2017 by  
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With daylight saving time trailing freshly behind us, shorter days … The post Beat the Blues: 7 Ways to Boost Your Home & Mood Naturally appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Charred wood-clad Sleeve House is a home within a home

November 2, 2017 by  
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The traditional barn gets a brilliant reinterpretation in the modern charred wood-clad Sleeve House. Two elongated volumes – a smaller one sleeved into a larger – comprise this timber house located on an open rolling hillside in New York state. Architecture firm actual / office  used Shou Sugi Ban to give the home a sustainable, low-maintenance exterior that complements the surrounding landscape. The Sleeve House sits on a sloping terrain around two hours north of New York City in a rural area of the Hudson Valley. Its two volumes–one sleeved into the other– create three different types of spaces both on the inside and the outside of the house. The space between the inner and outdoor volumes accommodates common areas, including an entry gallery, a narrow vertical slot for the stairs, and a spacious living space with a sloping glass wall . Walking into the smaller volume from the main one creates an experience of entering a different universe. Related: This charred wood cabin can be rearranged in an infinite number of ways The smaller volume contains private areas and a study. These spaces feature warm, soft finishes which contrast the rough materials– exposed concrete and charred wood – that dominate the rest of the interior as well as the exterior. The house is clad in Shou Sugi Ban (charred wood) that makes the house stand out while complementing its surroundings and gives it depth, pattern and texture. Large glass surfaces offer expansive views of the landscape. + actual / office Via Contemporist Photos by Michael Moran , lead image via  Deborah DeGraffenreid

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Charred wood-clad Sleeve House is a home within a home

Charred wood-clad Sleeve House is a home within a home

November 2, 2017 by  
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The traditional barn gets a brilliant reinterpretation in the modern charred wood-clad Sleeve House. Two elongated volumes – a smaller one sleeved into a larger – comprise this timber house located on an open rolling hillside in New York state. Architecture firm actual / office  used Shou Sugi Ban to give the home a sustainable, low-maintenance exterior that complements the surrounding landscape. The Sleeve House sits on a sloping terrain around two hours north of New York City in a rural area of the Hudson Valley. Its two volumes–one sleeved into the other– create three different types of spaces both on the inside and the outside of the house. The space between the inner and outdoor volumes accommodates common areas, including an entry gallery, a narrow vertical slot for the stairs, and a spacious living space with a sloping glass wall . Walking into the smaller volume from the main one creates an experience of entering a different universe. Related: This charred wood cabin can be rearranged in an infinite number of ways The smaller volume contains private areas and a study. These spaces feature warm, soft finishes which contrast the rough materials– exposed concrete and charred wood – that dominate the rest of the interior as well as the exterior. The house is clad in Shou Sugi Ban (charred wood) that makes the house stand out while complementing its surroundings and gives it depth, pattern and texture. Large glass surfaces offer expansive views of the landscape. + actual / office Via Contemporist Photos by Michael Moran , lead image via  Deborah DeGraffenreid

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Charred wood-clad Sleeve House is a home within a home

Stunning home fuses modern Scandinavian design with the Minnesotan outdoors

November 1, 2017 by  
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Nature takes center stage in the Northern Lake Home, a gorgeous luxury home hidden away in the Minnesotan woods. Designed by Strand Design , this 4,800-square-foot vacation retreat frames views of the forest in every room through large windows that let in natural light and blur the line between indoors and out. Natural materials , including oak and cedar, strengthen the connection with the outdoors, and are complemented with a clean and minimal Scandinavian-inspired interior design. Built for a young Minnesotan couple, the Northern Lake Home combines the clients’ love for active lifestyle with modern Scandinavian design . The large residence is split into two main volumes—one for communal areas and the other for bedrooms—connected with a glass core with operable glazed walls that combine the dining and private lounge. Darkened cedar clads the facade to help the home blend into the forested landscape, but is contrasted by a bright and warm light-filled interior with rift-sawn white oak finishes. Large panes of glass frame the landscape as well as views of the lake through the embankment. Related: Deceptively small home in Denmark hides spacious living quarters at the forest edge “Splaying out to the lake beyond and nestled into a natural swale , the public spaces contour along the landscape blurring the distinction between its built and natural environments,” wrote the architects. Daylight bounces off the home’s white walls, giving the interior an even greater feeling of spaciousness. The minimalist, Scandinavian-design can be seen in the choice of furnishings that gives the rooms a strong and elegant character. + Strand Design Images by Chad Holder Photogaraphy

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Medicine drum woman builds beautiful earth home village in Joshua Tree, California

October 31, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever wanted to stay in an earthbag dome home , here’s your chance. When Lisa Starr first purchased land in Joshua Tree, California, she wasn’t thinking about vacation rentals. Instead, the artist and drum medicine woman sought a place not too far from the coast where she could build a sustainable life for herself. After deciding to build in accordance with the Iranian architect Nader Khalili’s affordable and disaster-resilient superadobe methodology, she recruited volunteers and CalEarth alumni to first work on a few practice domes that eventually evolved into the “village” that can be booked through Airbnb. This extra income comes as an unplanned perk, but her real dream – to pursue her work as an artist – required building a couple more domes. After completing the practice homes, Starr and her crew of interns, volunteers and CalEarth alumni worked on her personal space – a 1,360 square foot dome home two connecting hallways. The 18″ thick walls, comprised of 15 percent cement and 85 percent earth, provide the thermal mass to keep the buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter, according to her Facebook page . Starr told Inhabitat she believes in sticking with “traditional Nader” – focusing on being creative with smaller structures rather than 20- to 30-foot domes. Khalili, who founded CalEarth to share his design and life philosophy with others, promoted sustainable homes that could be built with materials found on site. And that’s exactly what Starr was able to accomplish. She says she sourced 75 percent of the materials used in her dome structure from her own land. Related: Build your own disaster-proof home with materials of war While her home is private, guests have access to a “rustic yet luxurious camp-like experience” in the village. With expansive views and open skies day and night, “star gazing is a must,” says Starr. The village includes two 8-foot “Sleep Pod Earth Dome” structures with storage or a cave-like space for a child to sleep in. Each pod, which comes with a full size mattress, bedding and solar-powered ceiling light, can accommodate up to a family of four. In winter, tea light heaters keep the space warm at night. The communal area includes a shaded outdoor kitchen and kiva fire pits, along with a shower house and outhouse complete with a flushing toilet and sink. Guests are encouraged to bring their own bottles to refill with potable water available on site. Now Starr is working on building another 12-foot dome structure to use as a studio, honing in on her original intention. She has been living at Bonita Domes for four years now, and though it comes with its challenges, she says her dream has catapulted forward. + Bonita Domes on Facebook + Bonita Domes on Airbnb Images via Bonita Domes and Dylan Magaster

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Medicine drum woman builds beautiful earth home village in Joshua Tree, California

Staten Island neighborhood returning to nature for superstorm buffer zone

October 27, 2017 by  
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The Staten Island neighborhood of Oakwood Beach was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy five years ago. Since then, 80 percent of Oakwood Beach residents have sold their homes to the state of New York , which hopes to turn the area into a buffer zone to guard against future superstorms . Many homes have since been torn down, and the area is slowly returning to nature. Superstorms could hit the New York City region more frequently in the future. A recent Rutgers University study found storms flooding the city with at least 7.4-foot surges – an event which occurred every 500 years before 1800 – will hit once every five years by 2030, reports Reuters . Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery executive director Lisa Bova-Hiatt told Reuters the state pursued the home buyout program in large part because they expected more superstorms. She said, “To say that extreme weather is not our new normal would just be incredibly short-sighted.” Related: How to Prepare Your Home and Family for a Hurricane or Superstorm Many Oakwood Beach locals have taken the state up on their buyout program. The state has spent $255 million with money from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to purchase 654 properties, and most of those are in Staten Island. There are 83 more properties in the pipeline, according to the Office of Storm Recovery. Bova-Hiatt said the program is voluntary but “it would be fantastic to have the entire area as a buffer zone.” The state has torn down townhouses and bungalows, and planted grass on the sites of former homes. Out of 402 homes in Oakwood Beach eligible for the program, the state was unable to acquire 88. Reuters spoke with Gregory and Olga Epshteyn, locals who decided not to take the state up on their offer. Gregory said the city still provides services like street lights and trash pickup, and that the neighborhood is the best place to live in Staten Island. Olga told Reuters, “We love it here, but we miss our neighbors.” Via Reuters Images via Sunghwan Yoon on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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