A couple builds a fairytale-like rental cabin near a volcano for $30K

November 6, 2018 by  
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When Caroline and Julien traveled across South America in their Volkswagen Kombi, the couple noticed a dearth of quality accommodations and decided to fill that hospitality gap by building a beautifully crafted rental cabin in Chile . After 19 months of construction, the couple realized their dream on the slopes of the Calbuco Volcano in Ensenada. Designed and constructed for an approximate cost of $30,000, the cozy, handcrafted home — dubbed Casa Nido — has been listed on Airbnb starting at $116 a night . Designing and building Casa Nido was a big adventure for the couple, given that they didn’t know anything about construction before starting. Yet all parts of the cabin , from the design and interior finishes to the electrical wiring and water systems, were carried out by the duo without any outside help. “We are offering tourists and travelers high quality, fully handmade accommodation, somewhere to relax and contemplate far away from consumer society,” said Caroline and Julien. “It is also the ideal place to rethink one’s priorities and experiment, for a given time, what is ‘going back to the essential.’” Inspired by images of fairytale cottages , Casa Nido spans two floors, with a ground floor of 290 square feet and a smaller second level of 129 square feet. The curved roof beam is constructed from plywood, and all the other timber materials are locally sourced, native species. For instance, Patagonian Cypress was used for the windows, doors and furnishings while Manio was used for the outside siding, interior lining and flooring. In addition to a bedroom that sleeps two, the cabin comes with a living room overlooking Calbuco Volcano vistas, a fully equipped kitchen that frames views of Osorno Volcano, a ground floor terrace and a wood-fired hot tub. Related: Award-winning glass cabin is nestled inside an Australian rainforest The cabin is powered by a photovoltaic solar system that provides enough electricity to meet daily needs, while the water is sourced from a nearby natural spring higher up in the valley. Wastewater is treated with a photo-purification system. The couple also plans to build a homemade biodigester to replace the use of gas cylinders for the cabin’s gas system. To wake up to volcano views at Casa Nido, check out the listing on Airbnb . + Casa Nido

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A couple builds a fairytale-like rental cabin near a volcano for $30K

This gorgeous converted bus hotel in Scotland pulls out all the stops

October 10, 2018 by  
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The world is full of cookie-cutter lodgings, but for those looking for a bit of character on their next vacation, The Bus Stop is now taking reservations. Located on a working farm in northeast Scotland, this old,  converted bus has been renovated to provide a peaceful retreat where guests can enjoy the beautiful, panoramic views of the rolling green hills for which the country is famous. There are two restored old buses tucked into the East Lothian countryside. Both have been renovated with everything needed for a glamping-style getaway . The interiors sleep up to four, with a king-size bed in the back as well as two bunk beds. The large bedroom has a glass skylight on the ceiling to allow guests to enjoy a bit of stargazing as they drift off to sleep. Related: Vintage red double decker bus is converted into a cool, retro hotel The living room is light and airy with a wood-burning stove to keep guests warm and toasty on chilly evenings. Natural light brightens the interior thanks to an abundance of windows. Guests can enjoy a fully-functional kitchen with a small refrigerator, a stovetop, a microwave and all of the essential utensils. The bathroom has a rainfall shower and is stocked with complimentary luxury toiletries. Of course, the best part of the bus hotel is its peaceful surroundings. Guests can enjoy the expansive views from open-air decks with ample seating for dining, socializing or simply taking in the landscape. The outdoor space is the heart of the hotel and comes complete with a charcoal barbecue and fire pit. As an extra bonus, there is also a wood-fired hot tub for relaxing with a nice glass of wine. When they are not soaking in the warm suds, guests can enjoy a stroll around the working farm, which is home to alpacas, horses, sheep and chickens. + The Bus Stop Via Tiny House Talk Images via The Bus Stop

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This gorgeous converted bus hotel in Scotland pulls out all the stops

Eco-resort in Tulum features luxury beach huts made of natural materials

October 5, 2018 by  
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Getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life is much easier thanks to gorgeous boutique hotels in stunning locations all over the world. For a Mexican getaway, Habitas Tulum offers guests a truly serene experience with thatched-roof luxury huts located just steps away from the Caribbean Sea. The eco-resort was built with locally-sourced traditional building materials such as wood, reeds and grass, and a modern glass tower was installed at the heart of the complex to house the resort’s lounge and dining areas. The hotel, which offers five ocean-front rooms and 27 jungle rooms, integrates its natural surroundings into the design and was built to be as eco-friendly as possible. The structures were ecologically built with indigenous materials such as palapa roofs made out of dried palm leaves. Many of the structures are raised on platforms to reduce the impact on the landscape. The design of the eco-hotel was inspired by the serene nature of its surroundings. The luxury suites are decorated with handmade furniture made from locally-sourced wood. In fact, local artisan traditions, craftsmanship and textiles are found throughout the property. Related: Mexico’s thatched-roof CocoCabañas Resort is powered entirely by solar energy Guest rooms come with private outdoor rain showers, along with plush robes and bathroom products made from all-natural ingredients. Private open-air decks with ample seating offer the perfect setting to enjoy the stunning scenery. For a bit of exploration, there are various winding paths that lead to the jungle-like surroundings of the complex. For pure relaxation, there is an outdoor swimming pool and a wellness center with spa services. At the center of the beautiful resort is a three-story glass tower framed in black steel, which serves as a hub for socializing. A Moorish-style restaurant serves delicious meals that guests can enjoy from a rooftop deck. The “yoga mezzanine” is scattered with seating areas, hammocks and colorful pillows. Multiple long tables made out of reclaimed wood are perfect for dining, card games or just reading a good book. + Habitas Tulum Via Dezeen Photography by Adrian Gaut via Habitas Tulum

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Eco-resort in Tulum features luxury beach huts made of natural materials

This charming, solar-powered tiny home is handcrafted from reclaimed wood

October 5, 2018 by  
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The Ojai-based tiny home builders of  Humble Hand Craft  have unveiled a beautiful off-grid tiny home made almost entirely of reclaimed wood. The Shark Arch, also called Los Padres, is a wonderful example of a sustainable tiny house that exudes a charming, rustic design. Running completely on solar power, the eco-friendly home on wheels has a cozy cabin feel. The Shark Arch tiny home is 28-feet long, which is rather large for a tiny home on wheels . However, by fitting the home on a gooseneck trailer, a truck bed fits about 8 feet under the structure. Additionally, the team designed the home to be aerodynamic on the road. The front end has a V-nose shape that breaks the wind, and the roof has a “shark fin” that adds stability to the building when it is mobile. A welcoming wooden deck that leads to the entrance can be folded up when the residents are on the go. The strategic, sustainable design carries through the the interior of the tiny home. According to the designers, they do whatever they can to create eco-friendly homes using reclaimed materials. “Given the exploitation of resources in the world today, we are partaking in the new wave of conscious building and business practices,” the team said. “By salvaging reclaimed materials and harnessing solar energy, we minimize our carbon footprint while still providing artisan homes of the highest quality.” Related: These Australian tiny cabins are designed to help us disconnect Accordingly, the Shark Arch is made with reclaimed wood inside and out. The exterior cladding and trim is made with western red cedar finished with an eco-friendly hemp shield. Walking through the double redwood door with dual pane glass, visitors are met with an all-wood interior that resembles the feel — and smell — of a cabin. The team used reclaimed redwood from old water tank staves to clad the walls. The western cedar boards on the ceiling were left untreated, giving off a woodsy cedar smell that connects the tiny home to nature. The compact living space is divided into a living room and adjacent kitchen, which is installed with electric appliances that run on solar power . The bathroom, which is actually quite large for a tiny home, was outfitted with a repurposed copper tub and composting toilet. Storage was placed wherever possible throughout the living space: under the sofa, behind the stairs and so on. Located just under the “shark fin,” a sleeping loft is surprisingly spacious and well lit by a large skylight. On the other side of the trailer, another loft is hidden above the kitchen and can be used as an office, a guest room or extra storage. + Humble Hand Craft Photography by Luke Williams via Humble Hand Craft

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This charming, solar-powered tiny home is handcrafted from reclaimed wood

This itsy-bitsy treehouse in Norway offers the ultimate off-grid escape

September 28, 2018 by  
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For those looking to get away from it all, Glamping Hub offers a tiny treehouse perched high above the treetops in a remote area of Norway. The wooden cube with an all-glass front facade allows guests to disconnect completely while taking in some seriously breathtaking panoramic views of the majestic fjords. Located near Sandane, Norway, this minimalist treehouse offers the perfect retreat for those looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The cube-like structure is perched among the treetops and surrounded by lush greenery. The environment, as well as the tiny cabin, allows guests to immerse themselves in the natural surroundings. Related: Stay in a dreamy treehouse inside an ancient English forest Guests visiting the treehouse will enjoy the chic, glamping style of the lodging. There is a double bed as well as a cozy floor mattress for lounging around. For quiet reading or napping time, a comfy hammock is the ideal spot for relaxation. The bathroom is compact but functional with a toilet and sink. Linens, towels and toiletries are provided. There is also a small kitchenette where guests can prepare their own meals. At the heart of the tiny cabin is a seating area with two comfy armchairs and a small table. Looking out through the floor-to-ceiling glazed facade, guests can spend hours soaking up the stunning views of the fjords. For those wanting to explore a bit, there are plenty of outdoor activities available year-round in the area: hiking, biking, canoeing, bird watching and much more. + Glamping Hub Via Apartment Therapy Images via Glamping Hub

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This itsy-bitsy treehouse in Norway offers the ultimate off-grid escape

Explore the worlds driest desert at these eco-friendly geodomes

September 27, 2018 by  
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On the coastal edge of northern Chile’s Atacama Desert sits the Piedras Bayas BeachCamp , sustainable lodgings that offer a low-impact stay in the world’s driest desert. Chilean architecture firm MOREAS designed the eco-friendly retreat using local materials, non-contaminant sanitary systems and off-grid energy systems. Billed as a “sustainable tourism station,” the beach camp is oriented toward the water and offers an immersive experience in the virgin landscape. Elevated on stilts, the Piedras Bayas BeachCamp consists of a centrally located service center and three freestanding hotel suites. Spaced 50 meters apart to preserve privacy, each suite houses up to four people and comprises a white geodome for the sleeping quarters, a private bathroom and a personal terrace oriented for views of the water. The service center is equipped with a communal kitchen with all the appliances and tools needed for food prep, two outdoor dining areas, an office, two bathrooms, a staff room and a living area. Exterior raised pathways connect the various buildings. To minimize impact on the landscape, the project was constructed in three phases with a team of three carpenters, two local artisans and an architect on site. “The strategy was to have a wood structure as the skeleton, with skin made out of local materials,” the architects explained in a project statement. “The structural basis was made from wooden pillars, buried one meter in the sand compacted with salt water, and the foundations did not use any cement at all. The main local materials used for this project were ‘Brea’ and ‘Totora.’ It is inspired by a small village located 40 minutes from the site.” Related: Desert dome camp in Jordan offers tourists “The Martian” experience Nightly rates at the Piedras Bayas BaseCamp start at $120 USD with a minimum two-night stay requirement. Guests will have access to kayaks as well as electricity and hot water 24/7. + MOREAS Via ArchDaily Images by Alejandro Gálvez, Cristina Ananias and Eduardo Montesinos

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Explore the worlds driest desert at these eco-friendly geodomes

These Australian tiny cabins are designed to help us disconnect

September 10, 2018 by  
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We all need a little digital detox once in a while, and these beautiful off-grid cabins are the ideal answer to getting away from it all. Scattered around South Australia’s most breathtaking landscapes, the CABN s are completely self-sustainable and eco-friendly tiny cabins that are designed to offer a serenity-focused retreat. The first CABN, named “Jude” after the founder’s mother, is located in a remote area in Adelaide Hills , just under an hour drive from Adelaide. Surrounded by 180 acres of sprawling natural grassland, guests will be just steps away from walking trails, creeks, dams and stunning scenery. Related: This off-grid, lunar lander-inspired tiny home is out of this world The tiny cabins are designed to offer guests a place where they can truly reconnect with nature. Although the cabins are completely off-grid, they don’t sacrifice comfort. Inspired by Scandinavian design, the compact structures are made out of natural timber . Inside, the minimalist interiors are geared toward relaxation. The tiny retreats’ front walls are almost entirely glazed, flooding the living space with natural light. Jude sleeps two guests in a king-sized bed, and the bathroom comes with an indoor shower and composting toilet . Guests will enjoy a kitchen equipped with all of the basic necessities. To completely relax, the CABN rules strictly forbid ironing of any sort. According to CABN creator Michael Lamprell, the inspiration for the retreat came from a personal experience while he was studying both minimalism and tiny home design . “For someone that has lived and worked within the excesses of consumerism, the concept of minimalism was a revelation,” Lamprell said. “I was at a point where stress and anxiety were affecting all areas of my life — something had to change. At the same time, I was introduced to the concept of tiny homes, and the opportunity to create stunning cabins in unique locations, allowing you to switch off your mobile phone and truly relax. Set in isolated spots, the aim is to help the terminally busy disconnect and recharge.” + CABN Via ArchDaily Images via CABN

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These Australian tiny cabins are designed to help us disconnect

Solar-powered autonomous car could revolutionize travel

September 5, 2018 by  
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There’s finally hope for those tired of waiting on mile-long taxi stands at the airport. Developed by architect Steve Lee of Los Angeles-based Aprilli Design Studio , the Autonomous Travel Suite is a solar-powered electric vehicle that could revolutionize the future of travel and urban design. Lee was inspired to create the driverless  mobile suites to provide travelers with a comfortable door-to-door transportation service, complete with a memory foam mattress, kitchen and mini bar, a washroom and work space. Recently chosen as a finalist in the Radical Innovation Awards , the self-driving hotel suite would be part of an Autonomous Hotel Chain. Conceptualized as a personal rental car and hotel room, the self-driving cars are meant to be an extension of what Lee calls a “parent suite,” offering all of the comforts of a luxury suite while on the road. Related: GM unveils new self-driving car with no pedals and no steering wheel When not in use, the solar-powered cars would charge in a docking facility at the main hotel, of which the mobile unit would serve as an extension. Guests would be able to choose between different room types and sizes at different prices, and they could order custom features, such as a televisions or extra beds. The futuristic design was created with the busy traveler in mind, offering a driverless, door-to-door car service  that would allow guests to work or rest while on the go. The car interiors would include a foam mattress, a wash room and a working space, along with ample storage for luggage. In addition to the comfy living area, the suites would be built with smart glass, which can be dimmed for privacy. At the moment, the driverless hotel suite on wheels is just a concept, but Lee maintains that its real-world cost would be beneficial to travelers. Pricing would be cost-effective, because the solar-powered cars would bundle both transportation and lodging. + Aprilli Design Suite Via Curbed Images via Radical Innovation Awards

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Solar-powered autonomous car could revolutionize travel

Vintage red double decker bus is converted into a cool, retro hotel

September 4, 2018 by  
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For those looking to enjoy a bit of retro flair on their U.K. vacation, this vintage red double decker bus that has been converted into a hotel is just the ticket. Inspired by Agatha Christie’s book  At Bertram’s Hotel , this tour bus evokes a fun 1950s design.  Bertram’s Hotel ‘s two-story interior includes a plush purple lounge area, a classic cocktail bar and even a retro record player. The quirky Bertram’s Hotel is located in the village of Hartland, Devon, just a four-hour drive from London. The bright red double-decker bus is located on a two-acre field surrounded by forest and various farm animals . Related: Berlin’s Hektikfood is a two-story restaurant in an a vintage British double-decker bus The interior of the bus is a vintage playground with furnishings straight out of the 1950s. The ground floor of the bus houses a swanky lounge area with a purple velvet mini settee that shares space with a cool cocktail bar. Guests can enjoy a selection of 1950s hits from the record player while enjoying their classic martinis. In the back of the first floor is the first bedroom, which holds two single beds and a bathroom. Going up to the second level through the stairway, guests will find another peaceful,  light-filled place to enjoy the local scenery. The second floor houses the master bedroom as well as a retro kitchen and small dinette that offers stunning views of the surroundings. When visitors are not in the mood to cook, there is a family-owned bar and restaurant located nearby. Hotel  visitors can enjoy sharing their environment with a host of farm animals on site, including alpacas, pygmy goats, donkeys, chickens and ducks. Nearby, guests can also stroll along the two fishing lakes and head to the British Isles of Hartland Point, which offers incredible coastal views. + Bertram’s Hotel Via Apartment Therapy Photography via Sykes Holiday Cottages

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Vintage red double decker bus is converted into a cool, retro hotel

Zaha Hadid Architects unveils designs for sculptural Maltese tower

August 13, 2018 by  
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Zaha Hadid Architects is bringing its modern, sinuous designs to Malta, a nation renowned for its historic sites. Set to become the tallest building in the country, the Mercury Tower will soar to 31 stories and a height of 112 meters in Paceville on the main island’s northeastern coast. The mixed-use tower will twist to separate the programmatic functions and optimize views of the sea. Zaha Hadid Architects’ Mercury Tower will take over a 9,405-square-meter site that had sat unoccupied for more than 20 years. The site is also home to the old Mercury House that dates back to the early 20th century. In addition to designing the strikingly modern Mercury Tower, the architects have been working with Malta’s leading conservation architect to renovate the area’s heritage structures, including the old Mercury House facades, and reuse the existing historic interiors for gathering spaces and as an entrance for the new apartments and hotel. Related: Chris Briffa Architects’ Sustainable Hanging Home Features a Green Roof in Malta The Mercury Tower’s new public amenities — such as cafes, shops and a large piazza with interactive water features — will be set alongside the refurbished Mercury House. The tower comprises nine stories of apartments below and a 19-story hotel volume above. The residences will be aligned with the street while the larger volume stacked above is rotated to position hotel rooms toward the Mediterranean Sea for better views of the water. This rotation — located at the 10th, 11th and 12th floors — also helps reduce solar gain. The insulated facade and carefully positioned glazing also improve the building’s thermal performance and ensure comfort for residents, workers and guests. Zaha Hadid Architects concluded in a statement, “Marrying a variety of public, residential and commercial functions together with the creation of a vibrant new civic space, the redevelopment of Mercury House includes the renovation of derelict heritage structures and responds to the demands of the island’s future socio-economic development.” + Zaha Hadid Architects Images via Zaha Hadid Architects, by VA

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Zaha Hadid Architects unveils designs for sculptural Maltese tower

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