Three stacked spruce ‘shoeboxes’ reimagine a 1934 house in Ljubljana

June 22, 2017 by  
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This renovated house in Slovenia consists of three spruce-covered volumes stacked up like shoeboxes. Ofis Arhitekti renovated a house designed by architect Emil Navinsek in 1934 as a home for his two sisters. The new structure expands the existing floor plan with a stacked structure that creates pleasant overhangs and terraces. The house is located on a street with homes built mostly in the 1960s and 1970s. It is here where Slovenian architect Emil Navinsek (known for innovative school space concepts) built his own residence and a house for his two unmarried elderly sisters next to it. It is the latter one that underwent an extensive renovation. Related: Build your own tiny home or treehouse with these stackable wooden micro-units Ofis Architects introduced three stacked cubic volumes that combine a concrete base, metal frames and wooden substructure. Each shoebox volume was clad in dark spruce to soften the structured shape. While renovating the existing structure, the team added an extension that protrudes through the old walls and creates a living room on the ground floor, kids rooms and guest room on the first floor, and master bedroom housed on the top floor. A staircase attached to a main vertical concrete wall, located at the heart of the house, acts as an intersection of volumes and connector of old and new. The entire interior is inspired by Adolf Loos and features elevated podiums, niches and small sitting areas. + Ofis Arhitekti Photos by Tomaz Gregoric

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Three stacked spruce ‘shoeboxes’ reimagine a 1934 house in Ljubljana

11 Ways to Use Solar Energy Besides the Home

June 21, 2017 by  
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Solar panels can be installed on your home and save you thousands a year in energy. However, your house is not the only place they can be applied. You can save money and help preserve the environment by using solar panels in a number of…

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11 Ways to Use Solar Energy Besides the Home

Solar-powered English country house offsets all its CO2 emissions

June 13, 2017 by  
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Three generations live under one roof in this sustainably minded home that breaks from the norm of the picturesque English countryside. Macdonald Wright Architects and Rural Office for Architecture designed the multigenerational home , called the Caring Wood House, that’s powered by solar and uses as little energy as possible. Topped with angular rooflines that reference the region’s hop-drying oast towers, this modern and energy-efficient estate was created as “a carbon neutral response to climate change.” Located in 84 acres of rolling hills in Kent, Caring Wood is located on land formerly overtaken by agricultural polytunnels. “The house engages in the dialogue of critical regionalism: progressive design practice which is also infused with a spirit of local identity,” wrote Macdonald Wright Architects. “Its brief was to embody the spirit of the English country house and estate in a design which would embrace its context and landscape, while providing a carbon neutral response to climate change .” A major challenge of the new-build was satisfying PPS7, a planning document that strictly controls new housing in the English countryside and requires designs “be truly outstanding or innovative, helping to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas” and “reflect the highest standards in architecture,” among other criteria. The architects successfully won planning approval with their carbon-neutral design strategy that included planting 25,000 native trees that will absorb an estimated 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 40 years. Caring Wood also makes historic reference to the area’s traditional oast houses with its angular roofs covered in 150,000 handmade peg tiles sourced from Sussex. Related: Fabulous multigenerational home allows owners to comfortably age in place From a distance, the house appears to comprise a series of freestanding buildings, however, the buildings are actually interconnected at their rag-stone bases and are arranged around a shared central courtyard that provides passive cooling in summer. The buildings are built with cross-laminated timber structures and are powered by solar energy and heated with a ground-source heat pump. Rainwater is also collected and reused on site. + Macdonald Wright Architects + Rural Office for Architecture Via Dezeen Images by Heiko Prigge, lead by James Morris

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Solar-powered English country house offsets all its CO2 emissions

Casa Pjaro de Plata offers stunning views of the Costa Rican jungle

May 29, 2017 by  
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This gorgeous house nestled amidst the Costa Rican jungle offers panoramic views of its lush natural surroundings. Architect John Osborne of OS Arquitectura designed Casa Pájaro de Plata (which translates to ‘Silver Bird House’) to resemble a bird in flight. The house has a simple shape and it sits on a promontory surrounded by a lush jungle. The architects combined natural stone with white marble and wood to create a variety of warm spaces that allow the owners to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. These beautiful photos by Fernando Alda capture serenity of the location and the house. Related: Tropical solar-powered home boasts spectacular views of the ocean and jungle The white marble terrace features an infinity pool that seems to flow into the surrounding tree tops. Open-plan spaces dominate the interior, with wooden elements appearing throughout the house – including in the bathrooms and a pathway that leads through the woods to a viewing platform . + OS Arquitectura Photos by Fernando Alda

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Casa Pjaro de Plata offers stunning views of the Costa Rican jungle

Code red aviation alert after Bogoslaf volcano erupts in Alaska

May 29, 2017 by  
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The highest aviation alert was issued on Saturday after a volcano on Alaska’s Bogoslof Island erupted. As a result of the code “red” alert, pilots were instructed to fly at least 35,000 ft., and possibly as high as 45,000 ft, above the volcano to prevent its fiery ash from melting parts of the plane . According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), the volcano that erupted is part of the Aleutian Island chain. Not long after a code “red” was issued, it was downgraded to a code “orange.” “We actually went to color code red this afternoon because of numerous lightning detections and increased seismic signals,” said Jeffrey Freymueller of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska. Flights transiting from Asia to North America were most affected. Freymueller added that lightning in the Aleutians is often caused by volcanic plumes. “The combination of lightning and seismic data allowed us to go to red within about half an hour of the start of the eruption,” he said. In total, the eruption lasted for approximately 50 minutes. Related: Iceland’s “Thor” volcano power plant can generate 10X more energy than oil or gas wells Because the eruption is very recent, “Bogoslof volcano remains at a heightened state of unrest and in an unpredictable condition,” says a report issued by the Observatory. It went on to say that “additional explosions producing high-altitude volcanic clouds could occur at any time.” This is the eighth documented eruption at Bogoslof , which reportedly began its sequence in December, 2016. The last occurred in 1992. Via CNN Images via Pixabay , Mapbox Screenshot

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Code red aviation alert after Bogoslaf volcano erupts in Alaska

Gorgeous year-round bath house in Sweden soaks up the winter sun

May 19, 2017 by  
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This minimalist bath house allows inhabitants of Karlshamn, Sweden, to enjoying the sea all year round. White Arkitekter designed the timber-clad building to age naturally for low-maintenance facilities that straddle both the water and the land. The town’s first bath house was carefully situated to soak up as much sunlight as possible all winter long, while protecting visitors from the chilly winter winds. Local organization Kallbadhusets Vänner (Friends of the Bath House) worked with local sponsors and the municipality to realize a project which would allow people to enjoy the sea all year round. Kallbadhus is located along a beach promenade, close to the public swimming hall . Sitting at a height of three meters above sea level, the sharply angled timber-clad volume straddles solid land and water while offering views of the sea. Related: Tiny Norwegian Prefab Bathhouse is Clad in Sustainable Kebony Wood Two glulam beams provide structural support for a small bridge that links the building to the beach. A common room with an adjoining terrace is flanked on one side by the women’s sauna and the by the men’s sauna on the other. The architects designed the saunas to receive optimal amount of sunlight while simultaneously offering protection from the wind. The exterior cladding is treated with a grey-pigmented oil which allows the wood to age naturally. + White Arkitekter Via World Architecture News

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Gorgeous year-round bath house in Sweden soaks up the winter sun

10 groundbreaking designs by Shigeru Ban that changed our ideas about architecture

May 8, 2017 by  
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Shigeru Ban, one of Inhabitat’s favorite architects , is renowned for his disaster relief design and his ingenious use of lightweight, unconventional, and environmentally responsible materials — in particular, paper and bamboo. His signature water-proof and fire-proof paper tube architecture is iconic around the world. In recognition for his inspiring work, Ban was named the 2014 winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize . A leader for humanitarian architecture and experimental design, Shigeru Ban said of his accolade: “Receiving this prize is a great honor, and with it, I must be careful. I must continue to listen to the people I work for, in my private residential commissions and in my disaster relief work. I see this prize as encouragement for me to keep doing what I am doing – not to change what I am doing, but to grow.” We’ve rounded up some of our favorite projects by the accomplished Japanese architect, click below to see some of his most inspiring work. Shigeru Ban designed, pro-bono, this stunning temporary Cardboard Cathedral for Christchurch following a devastating earthquake in 2011. Built with his signature paper-tubes, the transitional church can hold up to 700 people and is built to last 50 years. Centre Pompidou-Metz in Metz, France The curvaceous Centre Pompidou-Metz is an extension of the Pompidou arts center of Paris. Its undulating roof made up of a hexagonal pattern was inspired by the woven structure of a Chinese hat that Shigeru Ban found in Paris. Curtain Wall House in Tokyo, Japan One of Ban’s most iconic works, the Curtain Wall House is a contemporary twist on the traditional Japanese home. Two-story-tall billowing curtains wrap around the perimeter of the house like a cocoon that can be opened or closed to allow transparency between the interior and exterior. Cardboard Bridge over Gardon River, France In another display of paper’s structural might, Ban transformed cardboard tubes and recycled paper-plastic composite into a a bridge spanning the Gardon River in southern France . The temporary masterpiece was created out of 281 cardboard tubes and was strong enough to support 20 people at a time. Paper Church in Kobe, Japan After the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake destroyed the Takatori Church in Kobe, Ban designed a temporary paper-tube church pro-bono. Ten years later, the paper church was deconstructed and donated to a Catholic community in Taiwan, where it served as a place for worship. Onagawa Container Temporary Housing in Onagawa, Japan When a powerful earthquake devastated the Japanese town of Onagawa in 2011, Shigeru Ban was quick to design and install temporary disaster-relief housing built from paper tubes and shipping containers. The lightweight, affordable, and clean design provided fast relief to the earthquake survivors while simultaneously lifting spirits with its dignified design. Paper Partition System, Iteration 4 After the 2011 earthquakes and tsunami in Japan, Ban designed his fourth iteration of the Paper Partition System, which provide privacy in existing emergency shelters . Constructed from paper tubes, white canvas sheets, and safety pins, these pop-up partitions were financed with donations from around the world. Tamedia New Office Building in Zurich, Switzerland Built for the Swiss media company Tamedia in Zurich, this carbon neutral office building was created from interlocking wooden beams without the need for metal joints and glue. The beautiful wooden structure also features a glass facade to fill the interior with light. Post-Tsunami Kirinda Project in Kirinda, Sri Lanka In 2004, Ban designed 100 small homes for Sri Lankan villagers displaced by a tsunami in Kirinda. The tiny homes are built from earth bricks and locally-sourced rubber tree wood. Villa at Sengokubara in Kanagawa, Japan Villa at Sengokubara is a minimalist wooden house that wraps around a teardrop-shaped courtyard. Like in his other architecture works, Ban creates a nearly seamless transition between the interior and exterior spaces. + Shigeru Ban

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10 groundbreaking designs by Shigeru Ban that changed our ideas about architecture

Germany just generated a record 85% of its energy from renewable sources

May 8, 2017 by  
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Germany has outdone itself yet again when it comes to clean energy . From April 30 through May 1, the country set a national record by generating 85% of all its energy needs using renewable wind, solar, biomass, and hydroelectric power. And this isn’t just an anomaly – experts believe that this will be the new normal for Germany by 2030. “Most of Germany’s coal-fired power stations were not even operating on Sunday, April 30th, with renewable sources accounting for 85 per cent of electricity across the country. Nuclear power sources, which are planned to be completely phased out by 2022, were also severely reduced,” said Patrick Graichen of Agora Energiewende Initiative . Related: Google’s Project Sunroof expands to 7 million homes in Germany Germany has worked hard to invest in clean energy sources under Angela Merkel , a vocal supporter of renewable energy. It has paid off. In addition to record-breaking weekends like the one on April 30, more and more energy is coming from renewables. In March, the country average 40% energy from green sources. via Clean Technica images via Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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Germany just generated a record 85% of its energy from renewable sources

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo: Make Your Own Recycled Piñata

May 5, 2017 by  
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Cinco de Mayo is here, and I’m going to help you get in the spirit of the day by showing you how to reuse materials you have around the house to make your own simple recycled piñata. I can’t be the only one who has a closet full of reusable…

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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo: Make Your Own Recycled Piñata

This 18th-century London townhouse hides a swimming pool under a glass floor

May 4, 2017 by  
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This 18th-century London townhouse hides a swimming pool under a glass floor

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