Chic B&B in New South Wales is inside a shed made of upcycled materials

December 4, 2019 by  
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Australia was recently voted the destination of the year for 2020 . If you are thinking about going down under for a vacation, make sure to check out this beautiful B&B located in a shed in New South Wales. Made almost entirely from upcycled materials , The Shed is an old machinery shed that has been converted into a unique, eco-friendly accommodation. Guests to The Shed will take comfort in not only staying in a unique hotel but also one that has been crafted from reclaimed materials. Walking into the spacious living area through a set of vintage doors, guests will find that the building materials, such as reclaimed wood and timber ceiling beams, were left exposed. Related: These enchanting, off-grid cabins are handcrafted from salvaged materials The living space of the fun hotel consists of a large lounge area with vintage sofas centered around a fireplace. An open kitchen with a breakfast bar comes with all of the typical amenities. A family-style dining table provides a great place for everyone to gather around and eat or play games together. The Shed sleeps up to seven guests among its three bedrooms. Two of the bedrooms have spacious, king-sized beds, while the third room is home to bunk beds. The full bathroom has a free-standing bathtub, a walk-in shower, a sink and a toilet. There is also a half bathroom. Just over two hours away from the NSW capital , Sydney, the Shed is set on an idyllic plot of land with chickens and an herb garden. Visitors can enjoy dining al fresco in the outdoor dining area, which comes complete with a barbecue grill and a pizza oven. The location offers all types of activities for nature-lovers, including hiking and biking trails. + Glamping Hub Images via Glamping Hub

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Chic B&B in New South Wales is inside a shed made of upcycled materials

Fiji’s Cousteau Resort launches a new botanical program for guests

November 8, 2019 by  
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For travelers who want to learn more about the environment they are visiting, the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort , a leading eco-luxe property in Fiji, is helping guests do just that with a recently expanded program for botanical education. Guests to the resort can take new tours, where they learn about medicinal and edible plants as well as rare palms. The initiative is part of a larger goal to protect the island’s natural environment. “At our resort, we’ve felt firsthand the great impact nature can have on the mind and the body, so we’re trying to preserve the traditional knowledge of this area, and, in turn, preserve culture,” said Bartholomew Simpson, general manager of the resort. Related: Jean-Michel Cousteau eco resort showcases traditional building Billy Railala, the resort’s expert on traditional herbal medicine , leads the Fijian Medicine Walk. The resort has offered this walk for several years, but recently expanded it to feature more than 120 species of Fijian medicinal flora and fauna. For example, the bark and stems from Fagraea berteriana flowers, or “bua ni viti,” are pressed into liquid and used to treat asthma and other respiratory problems. Fijians dry and burn a feathery bamboo called “bitu,” then mix the ashes with coconut oil to treat burns. Liquid from the small tropical tree Syzygium gracilipes , or “leba,” is used to increase fertility. Edible plants like papaya, guava, taro and avocado flourish in the resort’s two-acre organic garden. Kids can participate in an organic farming program and dress up in chefs’ uniforms to help prepare their own meals. The resort has also been collecting rare palm trees endemic to Fiji. Most are threatened, critically endangered or even extinct in the wild. Horticulture expert and nursery manager Jim Valentine is working with the resort to propagate these rare palms and repopulate Fiji with them. Simpson said, “This initiative not only serves to pay homage to Fijian culture, which is a key mandate of the resort concept, but also serves to remind the younger generation of Fijians of the important uses of these plants and how the elders used them in centuries past; preserving the fragile Fijian culture , which is eroding quickly in the modern age.” + Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Images via Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

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Fiji’s Cousteau Resort launches a new botanical program for guests

First Smart Forest City in Mexico will be 100% food and energy self-sufficient

November 8, 2019 by  
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Milan-based architecture firm Stefano Boeri Architetti has unveiled innovative designs for a nature-infused smart city in Cancun, Mexico that will serve as a model for resilient and sustainable urban planning. Created for Honduras-based textile conglomerate and property developer Grupo Karim, ‘Smart Forest City – Cancun’ is a proposed alternative to plans for a shopping district in the area. The masterplan would reforest a 557-hectare site — currently used as a sand quarry for hotels — and create mixed-use development that would be completely food and energy self-sufficient. The proposed Smart Forest City – Cancun would house 130,000 residents as well as 7,500,000 plants of 400 different species selected by botanist and landscape architect Lauri Gatti. More than 200,000 trees would be planted to create a ratio of 2.3 trees per inhabitant, while the remainder of the vegetation would be mostly shrubs, bushes, green roofs and vertical gardens. “Thanks to the new public parks and private gardens, thanks to the green roofs and to the green facades, the areas actually occupied will be given back by nature through a perfect balance between the amount of green areas and building footprint,” the press release stated. Related: Stefano Boeri will revitalize Genoa with sustainable energy-producing urban design With help from the German company Transsolar, the mixed-use development would be surrounded by a ring of solar panels that provide enough renewable energy to meet the residents’ needs. The city would also include an agricultural field belt that wraps around the urban area. The fields would be irrigated by a water channel fed by an underwater maritime pipe and treated with a desalination tower. Parking for traditional vehicles would be located on the city periphery; a MIC (Mobility in Chain) system would provide internal electric and semi-automatic vehicles to transport residents and visitors throughout the development. As a testing hub for sustainable urbanism , the Smart Forest City – Cancun proposal includes a center for advanced research large enough to host international organizations, university departments and companies. The center would include research and development facilities dedicated to sustainability issues and green infrastructure. + Stefano Boeri Architetti Images via Stefano Boeri Architetti and The Big Picture

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First Smart Forest City in Mexico will be 100% food and energy self-sufficient

These glass vases let you grow your own avocado tree no toothpicks required

November 8, 2019 by  
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While most home gardens tend to conceal the roots within decorated pots, Ilex Studio ‘s new collection of glass vases displays one of the most underrated parts of a plant — the roots. The studio’s transparent glass vases, which can be used to grow avocado and oak trees, feature minimalist silhouettes with spherical bases that showcase the plant’s incredible root systems. Recently unveiled at the London Design Festival , Ilex Studio’s collection was designed to let people skip the prickly process of using toothpicks to grow avocado trees. Additionally, the vases can be used to turn a humble acorn into a magnificent oak tree. Related: AvoSeedo makes growing avocado trees easier than ever Unlike most home gardens , where the plants’ roots are buried deep in the soil, these glass vases let you watch the magical powers of sprouting seeds. The hourglass shape has a small neck, where the avocado seed or acorn sits. The strategic shape lets the seed or avocado stay nice and dry up top while the roots begin to sprout below. Did we mention that there’s no need to stick anything with toothpicks? Over time, the roots begin to spread out into the water. Letting the roots hang freely allows them to become stronger until they are eventually ready to be planted in soil . The bulbous shapes of the vases actually magnify what is going on inside, giving you an up-close view of the roots as they grow. The Avocado Vase is slightly larger than the Acorn Vase, but according to the studio, the growing pattern is similar for the acorn and the avocado tree. The oakling can be left in the vase for up to one year, but growing an avocado tree is a bit more complicated. They both come with instruction booklets to guide you through the process of growing your own trees, straight from the seeds. These playful growing vases cost between £22 and £35 (about $28 to $45), with the larger avocado vase costing a bit more and the vases sans acorns costing less. Each order comes with a 20-page handbook of helpful instructions. + Ilex Studio Via Design Milk Images via Ilex Studio

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These glass vases let you grow your own avocado tree no toothpicks required

A hotel suite inside a shipping container hovers over the landscape in Brazil

October 16, 2019 by  
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Brazilian architecture firm Bruno Zaitter arquiteto has once again given new life to a shipping container with the Bosque Refuge, one of the Hotel Fazenda Cainã suites in Balsa Nova, Brazil. Fitted with massive walls of glass to blur the line between indoors and out, the modern suite immerses guests into nature with breathtaking views and a natural materials palette. The recycled container is elevated on stilts and carefully sited to minimize landscape impact. Nicknamed Baruch Spinoza after the famous 17th-century Dutch philosopher, the compact hotel suite measures 58 square meters and features an open floor plan. The building was strategically placed for both privacy and views — the suite backs into a large native forest in the southwest and opens up to dramatic mountain views on the northeast side. The 12-meter-long container was modified to include the washroom facilities on one end, the kitchen on the other and the bedroom and living area in the middle. The container footprint was expanded with a precast metal structure to make room for the living space, entrance and an outdoor seating area. Related: 3 stacked shipping containers create a diving tower in Denmark “The outer connection — nature — and interior — refuge — forms the main inducing element of the design process of the refuge,” explained Bruno Zaitter in a project statement. “The concept of causing minimal impact to the natural environment made it possible to reach the formal architectural party where the purity of the right angles of volumetry and the facades with few elements further value the living and dynamic atmosphere of the environment.” To soften the building’s appearance and to create a cozy atmosphere, timber was used to the line the interiors and exteriors. The green wash on the exterior facade helps the building blend into the forested landscape. + Bruno Zaitter arquiteto Via ArchDaily Photography by Sergio Mendonca and Ale Carnieri via Bruno Zaitter arquiteto

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A hotel suite inside a shipping container hovers over the landscape in Brazil

A converted school bus is now a glamping retreat in California

October 2, 2019 by  
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Converting an old school bus into a permanent tiny home on wheels is an overwhelming task, but for those who’d like to get a taste of skoolie living on a temporary basis, this Calabasas Glamping Bus is just the ticket. Located in Monte Nido, near Malibu Creek State Park, this amazing glamping retreat can accommodate up to four guests who are looking to immerse themselves in nature. Surrounded by a lush forest and breathtaking mountain views, the converted bus is the perfect spot for nature-lovers. While the location of the bus is spectacular, the interior of the glamping bus offers everything one needs for a luxurious and comfortable stay. Related: This gorgeous converted bus hotel in Scotland pulls out all the stops The living space is impressively spacious for its compact size. This area has quite a bit of room for seating, including a sofa that folds out to a comfortable double bed. Guests will enjoy a kitchen that comes equipped with a refrigerator, stove, oven and plenty of counter space. Opposite from the sofa is a small dinette for two, the perfect spot for early morning coffee. The interior bathroom includes a full shower and a composting toilet , which according to reviewers, can be a little “tricky.” Thankfully, there is also an adjacent outhouse just for those moments. At the back of the converted bus is the master bedroom, which features a queen-sized bed decked in high-quality linens. A flat-screen television rests on the wall, and there is plentiful closet space here as well. Although the sophisticated interior design makes this skoolie luxurious, it is the outdoor space that really shines. An open-air deck has ample seating space, including a futon couch. The outdoor dining area has a table that seats up to six. Of course, it wouldn’t be glamping if there wasn’t a hammock, which is hung from two nearby trees. If the Calabasas bus looks a tad little familiar, that is because it was featured in the Netflix movie Expedition Happiness . The bus is actually part of a larger retreat, which includes a guesthouse and main house spread out over three acres of land. Guests of the glamping bus will have full access to the natural pool and hot tub found onsite, as well as the many hiking and biking trails available in the area. + Calabasas Glamping Bus Via Apartment Therapy Images via Glamping Hub

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A converted school bus is now a glamping retreat in California

Modern luxury resort blends into the lush coffee hills of India

July 18, 2019 by  
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The misty coffee hills of southwest India recently gained a new luxury resort designed by Bangalore-based architectural firm Cadence Architects . Named Java Rain, the 18-villa resort is set in the middle of an active, 40-acre coffee estate and offers not only spectacular views of the landscape but is also thoughtfully nestled into nature to blur the boundaries between indoors and out. Natural, locally sourced materials were carefully selected to blend the buildings into the landscape and to reduce environmental impact. Located at the foothills of the Mullahangiri Hills in Chikkamagalur, the Java Rain resort spans an area of 60,000 square feet and comprises a clubhouse, villas, a spa, a restaurant and a treehouse that houses an elevated cafe in addition to other service buildings. The 18 contemporary, butterfly roof-topped villas range from single, twin and presidential suites, and each is named after terms associated with coffee. Glazing wraps around the villas to immerse guests in nature. Related: Escape to the Azores at this charming eco resort by the sea “The project deals with the idea of blurring the boundaries between inside and outside, such that the building becomes one with nature,” Cadence Architects said. “The challenge in this project was to insert built forms into the existing landscape and blurring the edge seamlessly like a graft. The landscape is treated as a visual and tactile element. The built form responds to both the immediate site context as well as to that of the hill station. The surfaces of the buildings are rendered with earthy and rustic materials to accentuate their contemporary forms. Local materials available on site are extensively used to not only help the architecture blend with the context but also make the project sustainable.” The mix of contemporary architecture with natural materials and organic forms helps the resort achieve its branding as a luxurious escape from the city that offers immersion in nature without sacrificing creature comforts.  + Cadence Architects Via ArchDaily Photography by Patricia Parinejad via Cadence Architects

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Modern luxury resort blends into the lush coffee hills of India

Chteau La Coste adds a solar-powered cottage designed by Jean Prouv

July 10, 2019 by  
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Chateâu La Coste is known as one of the world’s most innovative art and architectural escapes. Located in fairytale-esque Provence, the 600-acre property is comprised of biodynamic vineyards and a winery designed by architect Jean Nouvel, among countless works of art and designs by other notable names. Now, the famed Chateâu has added another incredible property: a solar-powered luxury suite inside a refurbished Jean Prouvé-designed one-room shelter. Self-taught architect and designer Jean Prouvé is known as one of the great modernist masters. In 1944, he famously created a design for demountable, 6-meter-by-6-meter temporary shelters. Related: Group of friends build a DIY cabin retreat, complete with suspended tree decks Now, a refurbished version of this shelter design holds court in a serene pine forest as a solar-powered luxury suite for guests lucky enough to stay at the Chateâu La Coste. The Suite N° 30 is a one-bedroom studio space clad in natural wood paneling . The structure’s front entrance is through an open-air platform with ample room for seating. Blue-framed glass doors open up to the interior space, which, like the exterior, boasts an off-grid cabin feel. The interior of the suite is filled with midcentury furniture from the likes of Pierre Jeanneret and Serge Mouille, among others. While the cabin mainly stays true to the original design, the suite has an added bathroom and kitchen. This is not your ordinary kitchenette — it is a cylindrical pod designed by none other than Richard Rogers . The pod houses a solar-powered kitchen, complete with all of the amenities needed to put together a tasty meal. The tiny cottage is an important addition to the sprawling art estate, not only for its design prowess, but as a way of keeping Prouvé’s legacy alive. “Prouvé is as important as Le Corbusier, although completely different in terms of scale and ambition,” said Daniel Kennedy, director of Château La Coste’s Art Centre. “We wanted to offer the adventure of living inside a completely autonomous nomadic house and make it function as a hotel, which meant adding phone lines, light switches, softer lighting, bathrobes and filling up the kitchen fridge like a mini-bar.” + Château La Coste Via Wallpaper Images via Château La Coste

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Chteau La Coste adds a solar-powered cottage designed by Jean Prouv

A massive green wall grows up the side of this luxury Italian hotel

July 9, 2019 by  
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On the banks of Italy’s spectacular Lake Como sits Il Sereno , a five-star hotel that not only offers top-of-the-line luxury, but also boasts sustainable features throughout. Milan-based Patricia Urquiola Studio designed the building with a palette of locally sourced natural materials and an eye-catching Patrick Blanc-designed vertical garden that grows up the side of the building. The designers’ attention to energy-saving elements and eco-friendly materials earned Il Sereno Climate House certification. Conceived as a contemporary spin on the rationalist-style Casa del Fascio by Giuseppe Terragni, Il Sereno celebrates the historical heritage of the lake and the natural beauty of the surroundings. As such, natural materials were used for construction and include locally sourced stone marble and timber throughout the sustainable hotel. Thorough site analyses informed the placement of the building and the operable facade, which allows for natural ventilation and lighting to reduce the hotel’s environmental impact. The lake is visible from every room in the hotel as well as from the common areas. “I was inspired by the color of the Lake, and its glistening water, the nature of the dramatic mountains, and the adjacent village of Torno,” says designer and architect Patricia Urquiola in a press statement. “The color palette is the lake. It includes green, light-blue, copper, grey and natural tones. For Il Sereno we used natural materials (stone, wood, wool natural fibers) for a sustainable style and timeless elegance.” Related: LEED Gold eco hotel in the Wine Country was built using reclaimed wood To reinforce the hotel’s connection with nature, the architects wrapped parts of the building in full-height glazing and balconies to create a seamless indoor/outdoor living experience and commissioned renowned green wall designer Patrick Blanc to create three artworks for Il Sereno. The largest vertical garden is mounted to the facade facing the northern lakefront to soften the structure’s appearance, while the other two artworks are found near the entrance on the south side. + Patricia Urquiola Studio Images by Patricia Parinejad

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A massive green wall grows up the side of this luxury Italian hotel

Pop-up shipping container accommodations add a bit of luxury to local festivals

June 18, 2019 by  
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For those who aren’t exactly in the mood to sleep in a dusty old tent on the ground while they attend a weekend music festival, Caboose & Co. has a better alternative. The West Sussex-based company is providing events around the world with a more sustainable accommodation option in the form of luxury glamping pods made out of shipping containers . After realizing that many event organizers are often hard-pressed to provide decent on-site lodging for event attendees, the Caboose & Co. team decided to create a sustainable solution that would also provide a taste of luxury. Today, the portable Cabooses can be easily transported to events around the globe by truck, train or ship. Related: Treehouses made from shipping containers offer the ultimate glamping getaway in Portugal The company provides two types of glamping pods , both made out of repurposed shipping containers. The first is the Rocket, a two-bedroom container that sleeps up to four people. The elongated container has two sundecks on either end with plenty of seating, perfect for enjoying some outdoor time. The interior of the Rocket shipping container features a modern design. The living space is compact but comfortable with en suite bunk bedrooms and a small bathroom with a shower and flushing toilet. The second glamping pod is called The Scotsman, which is a smaller, one-bedroom pod that sleeps up to two people. Like the Rocket, the pod has a large sun terrace that leads to the interior space. There is a double bed with a comfortable mattress as well as a small bathroom. Both containers come with electricity and hot water. Since its inception, Caboose & Co. has been making a name for itself as the go-to company for festival accommodation . It recently set up a pop-up hotel at Cheltenham Festival and will also be on-site at a number of upcoming events such as the Hay Festival, Glastonbury and more. + Caboose & Co. Images via Caboose & Co.

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Pop-up shipping container accommodations add a bit of luxury to local festivals

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