The Truck Surf Hotel is a traveling retreat that hits the best surf spots in Europe and Africa

May 3, 2018 by  
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Good news, surfers! The surf is always up at the ultra-cool Truck Surf Hotel – a converted Mercedes Actros truck that has been revamped into an expandable two-story retreat. The hotel on wheels has an innovative hydraulic system that enables the walls and sealing to expand upwards and outwards once parked, offering surfers a front-row accommodation to hit the waves in some of the best surf spots in Portugal and Morocco. The Truck Surf Hotel offers a unique accommodation for active travelers who want a little flexibility in their vacation plans. When fully expanded, the truck hotel has two stories. The living space on the first floor has a kitchen, social room, and bathroom with shower. On the upper floor, there are five bedrooms – four shared double rooms with bunk beds, and one private double room. Related: This dreamy boutique hotel in California is made up of 11 refurbished Airstreams Large windows flood the interior with natural light. There’s also a long, outdoor terrace with plenty of bean bags where guests can sit and take in beautiful views of the sea. Guests will also enjoy a buffet breakfast every morning, along with a variety of packages to choose from, all geared towards making the most out of the truck’s roaming capabilities. After years of traveling to the best surf locations in Europe and Africa, the truck’s owners – Daniela Careiro and Eduardo Ribeiro – were inspired to create a retreat on wheels that would help other surfers explore uncrowded surf spots with the best waves. The hotel’s many packages on offer include options for new surfers or expert wave riders. According to Ribeiro and Careiro, “Every morning we wake up with the best view, serve the buffet breakfast on board, surrounded by nature in rural tourism farms and natural camping parks. We take you to amazing places in Algarve and Alentejo, according to the experience you’ve chosen, either…surfing on different beaches along the coast or explor[ing] the spectacular nature with different outdoor activities.” + Truck Surf Hotel Via Uncrate Images via Truck Surf Hotel

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The Truck Surf Hotel is a traveling retreat that hits the best surf spots in Europe and Africa

Portable 3D skin printer can form skin tissue to heal deep wounds in minutes

May 3, 2018 by  
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Need medical assistance after a blaster fight on a spaceship? This new handheld, portable 3D printer could help. Scientists at the University of Toronto created the 3D skin printer that feels like it came straight from a science fiction movie. The device, according to the university , “forms tissue in situ, depositing and setting in place, within two minutes or less.” This new portable 3D skin printer looks like a white-out tape dispenser, in the description of the university, but instead of a tape roll, the printer includes “a microdevice that forms tissue sheets.” Bio ink comprised of protein-based biomaterials like collagen and fibrin runs along the tissue sheets in vertical stripes. Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the dermis, and fibrin, another protein, is part of wound healing. Navid Hakimi, study lead author and PhD student, said in the statement, “Our skin printer promises to tailor tissues to specific patients and wound characteristics.” Related: New 3D-printed algae could revolutionize the way we make things Many current 3D bioprinters are “bulky, work at low speeds, are expensive, and are incompatible with clinical application,” according to associate professor Axel Guenther. In contrast, this handheld printer is about as big as a small shoe box and weighs under one kilogram. The university said the device “also requires minimal operator training and eliminates the washing and incubation stages required by many conventional bioprinters.” The journal Lab on a Chip published the research last month; researchers from the Ross Tilley Burn Center at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center contributed. The team’s work isn’t finished — they aim to add multiple capabilities to the skin printer such as “expanding the size of the coverable wound areas.” They’re also planning further in vivo studies with the Sunnybrook team, and are shooting for clinical trials in humans in the future. + University of Toronto + Lab on a Chip Images via Liz Do and courtesy of Navid Hakimi via GIPHY

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Portable 3D skin printer can form skin tissue to heal deep wounds in minutes

This amazing underwater hotel room lets you sleep while surrounded by marine life

April 19, 2018 by  
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Putting a positive new spin on the expression “sleeping with the fishes,” a new hotel suite at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island in the Maldives lets guests sleep underwater. The first-of-its-kind hotel suite – called the Muraka – is a two-level residence that has an underwater living and sleeping area. Guests can experience being surrounded by the beautiful ocean waters and get a firsthand glimpse of the marine wildlife. However if the thought of sharks floating around you while you sleep doesn’t give you a heart attack, the price tag might: the Muraka starts at $50,000 a night. The undersea villas – which are expected to open in November 2018 – will be the first of their kind in the world. While other hotels have underwater suites , the Muraka (which means “coral” in Dhivehi, the local language in the Maldives) will be the first one to be set in real ocean waters instead of man-made aquariums. The luxury suite spans two floors, with the upper floor floating on the waters and the ground floor submerged more than 16 feet below the ocean surface. Related: Underwater Hotel Gets Green Light to be Constructed in the Maldives The suite was designed by the same team behind the resort’s underwater restaurant, Ithaa . Crown Company director Ahmed Saleem and engineer Mike Murphy thought of everything on their latest hotel venture , including open air decks on either side of the suite to offer a chance to enjoy both the sunrise and the sunset. The dual-level suite can sleep up to nine guests and includes a gym, butler’s quarters, and a bar. There are two bedrooms and large living areas on the top floor, and a large bathtub in the master bedroom faces the ocean. On the lower level, guests can marvel at the surrounding ocean world from their undersea bedroom , living area and bathroom. “Driven by our inspiration to deliver innovative and transformative experiences to our global travelers, the world’s first undersea residence encourages guests to explore the Maldives from an entirely new perspective below the surface of the sea,” said Saleem in a press statement. + Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Via Architectural Digest Images via Conrad Maldives Rangali Island  

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This amazing underwater hotel room lets you sleep while surrounded by marine life

This new green-roofed hotel with mirrored walls blends into Uruguay’s mountains

April 18, 2018 by  
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Visitors to Uruguay’s Maldonado region can soon stay in a stunning new hotel, which is tucked into 250 acres of gorgeous natural landscape. The Sacromonte Landscape Hotel  — designed by local firm MAPA Architects — is a green-roofed mountain retreat that uses mirrored exteriors to strategically blend into its surroundings. The sustainable hotel complex, which is comprised of 13 individual cabins, a winery and a farm-to-table restaurant, was completely prefabricated off site to reduce the project’s footprint. MAPA Architects utilized a variety of strategies to enable the Sacromonte Landscape Hotel to blend into the environment. The buildings’ sizes and height were kept subtle as to not disrupt the amazing landscape. The cabins have a mirrored facade on one side that camouflages the buildings into the grassy meadows. The rear side of the cabins feature locally-sourced timber trunks and local stones, creating a rustic look. Related: This modern hiking hotel blends into the dark alpine forests of Italy To keep the project’s footprint at a minimum, the structures were prefabricated off site in 10 weeks in a factory in Montevideo. In fact, the overall design focused on implementing various sustainable construction techniques. In addition to using prefab manufacturing, the structures were built with low-E glass and built on bases made from locally-sourced stone. Eco-friendly wastewater treatment systems were also installed to make the project as green as possible. The eco-resort  just recently opened for business and is expected to be fully operational by September, 2018. Visitors will be able to reserve individual cabins, which come with private decks and circular pools for enjoying the spectacular views. Inside, guests can enjoy the modern design, including dark stone floors and oak-paneled walls. For dining, the hotel restaurant offers dishes made with vegetables and fruits grown onsite in an organic garden. And of course, wine tastings are offered daily. + MAPA Architects + Sacromonte Landscape Hotel Via Dwell Photography by Leonardo Finotti

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This new green-roofed hotel with mirrored walls blends into Uruguay’s mountains

Organic spa was renovated with all-natural materials to capture the essence of the nearby Alps

January 23, 2018 by  
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Those seeking a bit of serenity from the chaos of everyday life should head straight to the Kamnik-Savinja Alps in northern Slovenia. Local Enota Architects have recently renovated a beautiful wellness center for the boutique Hotel Plesnik . Located in a verdant valley, surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery, the spa was built with organic materials and includes a natural swimming pool , which is filtered by aquatic plants. Located in arguably one of the most beautiful valleys in Europe, the Logarska Valley is an idyllic center for anyone looking to seek refuge from the daily hustle and bustle of life. According to the architects, the views of the alps in the distance was a strong inspiration for the renovation of the wellness center, propelling the team to exclusively use natural building materials in the renovation. Related: Red Mountain Retreat captures the essence of the rugged Icelandic landscape The center is divided into three sections: the sauna, the wellness space, and the entrance portal. On the interior, undulating pebble-lined walls lead guests to the sauna cabins. From the sauna area, guests can relax in the indoor/outdoor lounge area centered around a large fireplace. However, the heart of the spa can be found in the exterior spaces. To revamp the old space, which included an existing pool, the architects extended the amount of outdoor space. The former whirlpool was converted into a sunken circular resting area, surrounded by water and featuring a fire ring. The new sun deck was then installed with a new natural swimming pool , which is naturally filtered by aquatic plants, and offers jaw-dropping views of the mountain range in the background. + ENOTA Architects Images via ENOTA Architects

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Organic spa was renovated with all-natural materials to capture the essence of the nearby Alps

Trump’s 30% solar tariffs could kill thousands of jobs and harm industry growth

January 23, 2018 by  
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The solar industry has been booming. In some states, solar threatens to upend fossil fuel profits , massive corporations are investing heavily and even oil giants are getting into solar . But Trump’s recent move to put 30% tariffs on solar panels could change that, killing up to 23,000 jobs and slowing down – or even stopping – the rapid industry growth. Embed from Getty Images window.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’t5MIqytJS5NXEvTSm7y-rQ’,sig:’n4unO-lpiCZMlgG8YdNTqxetJabmbD4NGv7Nw-WrTtA=’,w:’514px’,h:’594px’,items:’886433502′,caption: true ,tld:’com’,is360: false })}); Yesterday, Trump announced that there would be a 30% tariff placed on all imported solar panels, and all components used to create them. While no one can say for sure what impact this will have on the industry, many experts agree that the move will make solar much less attractive to investors and could cost thousands of jobs. The economic impacts will be felt not only by panel manufacturers but across the entire chain, including installers and companies that manufacture solar supplies. Related: The US solar market grew by a record-breaking 95% last year ICYMI: The Trump administration's decision in the Section 201 solar trade case will cause 23,000 Americans to lose their jobs this year. #SaveSolarJobs https://t.co/7Ssa6CJ2j5 pic.twitter.com/CgxnJEfJhi — Solar Industry (@SEIA) January 23, 2018 Solar has grown at 20% annually and employs over 260,000 people, with an average hourly wage for engineers, electricians and installers of $25 – $29. Obama placed similar tariffs on solar panels, but a loophole allowed Chinese manufacturers to move production to nearby countries. Trump’s move comes at a time when his administration has been working hard to bolster the fossil fuel industry, withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement , opening national parks to mining , and paying lip service to coal miners (without actually improving things for miners themselves ). Via CNBC and Engadget Image via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 ) The proposed tariffs are a direct attack on American workers and the booming solar industry in this country, Via @CNNMoney #SaveSolarJobs https://t.co/eXXHEGxDlM — David Bywater (@DavidBywaterCEO) January 19, 2018 Trump just approved tariffs on imported solar products. Our statement on the misguided move which puts jobs and consumer savings at risk: https://t.co/mOrup52PL5 #SaveSolarJobs pic.twitter.com/v9bhDbMHcw — votesolar (@votesolar) January 22, 2018

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Trump’s 30% solar tariffs could kill thousands of jobs and harm industry growth

Beijing’s five-star, LEED-certified Hotel clat is a green as it is swanky

October 13, 2017 by  
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Sustainability and luxury haven’t always gone hand in hand, but Beijing’s new Hotel Éclat is a stellar example of the two worlds colliding in the most wonderful way. As part of the city’s new LEED Platinum certified Parkview Green complex located in the bustling Chaoyang district, the energy-efficient five-star hotel is a landmark of green design for the city that features louvers that funnel out hot air, a grey water system and oodles of natural light. Although undeniably swanky, the hotel’s sustainable profile is as equally impressive, and has been recognized with Asia Pacific’s first LEED Dynamic Plaque . Various engineering techniques integrated into the building by ARUP have created a sustainable shell around the building. To be as efficient as possible, special ventilation louvers channel hot air out of the building while letting in cooler air flow throughout. This feature, along with multiple energy saving features, allows the building to use 44% less energy than conventional hotels. The hotel has 100 rooms, with 20 themed suites that have their own terrace with swimming pool. Water taken from the pools is filtered through the hotel’s innovative grey water system . Related: Stunning Sunrise Kempinski Hotel Will Rise Like the Morning Sun in Beijing The hotel is housed inside a large glass pyramid that comprises the two-million-square-feet Parkview Green complex, which includes two nine-story and two 18-story towers on the inside. The massive pyramid shape was not only used to create a landmark for the city, but was also used in the project’s green design. The building’s glass exterior and unique shape were chosen to block as little natural light from the adjacent residential area as possible as well as to allow natural light to flood the interior of the complex. The all-glass facade and thermal insulation creates an individual microclimate for the complex itself, providing protection from the harsh exterior weather as well as reducing the building’s energy consumption . According to its project description, Parkview Green is a “neighhorhood within a neighborhood, a controlled and highly efficient year-round green space to live, work, and play.” + Hotel Éclat + Integrated Design Associates Via GDB Magazine Images via Hotel Éclat

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Beijing’s five-star, LEED-certified Hotel clat is a green as it is swanky

Sheep farm deep in Iceland’s fjords transformed into luxury off-grid retreat

September 8, 2017 by  
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A sheep farm tucked into the mountainous landscape of Iceland’s Troll Peninsula has been transformed into the stunning Deplar Farm resort. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery, the off-grid lodge really couldn’t be more remote – and it celebrates the true unspoiled beauty of the area. Best of all, Deplar Farm was renovated with locally-sourced materials and a lush green roof. Although it has been converted into luxury cottages, the farm still maintains much of his humble character. Locally-sourced materials were used in the renovation process – including natural stone from nearby rivers. An elongated grass-covered roof runs the length of the dark timber building, helping it blend into the natural landscape. Related: Green-roofed vacation cottages blend into the gorgeous landscape of Iceland The resort offers 13 en suite rooms, each with an abundance of large windows to provide stellar views of the surrounding mountains, lakes and rivers. Guests not content to enjoy the view from the warmth of the lounge or spa can enjoy any number of thrilling activities in the area – from heli-sking to snowmobiling. And for the ultimate experience, guests can take in the Northern Lights while swimming in the resort’s geothermal infinity pool. + Deplar Farm Via Uncrate Images via Deplar Farm

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Sheep farm deep in Iceland’s fjords transformed into luxury off-grid retreat

Elon Musk-inspired Hyperloop Hotel could be the future of travel

June 22, 2017 by  
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Imagine zipping between cities in mere minutes—all from the comfort of your hotel suite. That’s the futuristic vision of the $130 million Hyperloop Hotel, a proposal built upon Elon Musk’s Hyperloop One high-speed train system currently in development. Designed by University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduate architecture student Brandan Siebrecht, the Hyperloop Hotel envisions seamless transport between 13 cities with a proposed flat fee of $1,200. The visionary Hyperloop Hotel won the student section of this year’s Radical Innovation Award , an annual competition for futuristic hotel designs. Siebrecht’s winning design uses reclaimed shipping containers as mobile, customizable hotel rooms that zip between cities at near-supersonic speeds through tubes and dock at designated hotels. Guests could travel across the U.S. without leaving the comfort of their pods and handle the entire process, from reservation to travel arrangements, with their smartphone. Siebrecht created the design for America’s 13 largest cities including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver, Sante Fe, Austin, Chicago, Nashville, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Boston. He drew inspiration from Musk’s Hyperloop test track, the DevLoop, located just outside Las Vegas. If successful, the high-speed train could zip travelers from Philadelphia to New York in 10 minutes. Related: Elon Musk reveals boring tunnels are for the Hyperloop Guests can customize the layout of the repurposed modular shipping container hotel rooms. Each hotel room includes areas for sleeping, bathing, living, and flex. Siebrecht estimates that the construction cost of each docking hotel between $8 and $10 million, and believes construction of his hotel concept feasible within the next five to 10 years. + Radical Innovation Award Via Business Insider

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Elon Musk-inspired Hyperloop Hotel could be the future of travel

Heatherwick Studio updates 90-year-old grain silo in South Africa with pillowed glass windows

May 22, 2017 by  
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Prolific architecture firm  Heatherwick Studio has updated an abandoned silo in Cape Town with beautiful pillowed glass windows. The former silo building has sat at the heart of the Table Bay harbor since 1924 and, out of respect for the beloved landmark, the architects worked to retain much of the building’s original character during the renovation process. The team managed to retain 42 cylindrical storage silos that form the concrete skeleton, which houses the recently-opened luxury Royal Portfolio hotel, designed by Liz Biden. The old silo , which was used as an international grain trade and export facility, held court for some 80 years at the heart of Table Bay harbor, but was eventually closed down. As part of the city’s urban redesign plan , the silo was slated to be converted into a useful community-centered space, featuring a hotel and museum. The first part of the project, the hotel, which was designed by The Royal Portfolio , has recently been opened and features six floors of the luxury built in the space that once housed the old grain elevators. Related: Heatherwick Studio wants to build a tree-covered mountain in the middle of Shanghai Although the silo’s interior has been converted into a modern space, the building still retains some of its original aesthetic, namely the concrete exterior frame. Contrasting nicely with the concrete, large bulbous windows were installed and provide incredible views of the harbor as well as the Table Mountain in the background,  a view which is spectacular from the large open-air rooftop. Additionally, the glass facade will serve as a glowing beacon when illuminated at night. On the interior, the eclectic design pays homage to the area’s long history while blending in whimsical touches to the atmosphere. According to the designer, Liz Biden, the inspiration for the design was focused on balancing the old with the new, “My goal has always been to pay tribute to luxury and [provide] comfort for our guests,” said Biden. “This has meant balancing the stark and industrial style of the architecture with aspects of classic glamour and modern comfort.” Funky industrial features can be found throughout the hotel, such as chandeliers made out of original steel rings used inside the grain elevator. In addition to its design, the hotel will constantly feature plenty of local artists on its walls and even has its own private art gallery, The Vault, which will exhibit works by emerging African artists . Although the hotel conversion has just been completed, there is still more to be done on the overall silo conversion. Now, the focus is on the creation of the space underneath the hotel, which will house the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), also designed by Heatherwick Studio and slated to open in September of 2017. + Heatherwick Studio Via Dezeen

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Heatherwick Studio updates 90-year-old grain silo in South Africa with pillowed glass windows

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