A 10K tiny house 3D-printed in 24 hours

March 1, 2017 by  
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Building a house typically takes months, exacerbating the housing crisis so many people face worldwide. Apis Cor , a San Francisco-based company that specializes in 3D-printing , decided to tackle that crisis with a groundbreaking mobile 3D-printer that can print an entire 400-square-foot tiny home in just 24 hours. What’s more, doing so costs just over $10,000 – a steal compared to most modern homes. On their website, Apis Cor says the construction industry may be sluggish now, but they will persevere in disrupting that industry “until everyone is able to afford a place to live.” Their revolutionary mobile 3D-printer is small enough to be transported, so assembly and transportation costs can be slashed. Although their mobile printer only needs a day to print a home from a concrete mixture, the company says their buildings will last up to 175 years. Not only is their process speedy, but environmentally friendly and affordable too. Related: New 3D house printer cranks out 1,000 square feet a day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xktwDfasPGQ The Russian house offers a promising beginning. Located at the Apis Cor test facility in Stupino, around 60 miles south of Moscow, the home was printed as a whole rather than assembled with pre-printed pieces. Apis Cor printed components like the building envelope, self-bearing walls, and partitions right on location. Winter couldn’t even stand in the little mobile printer’s way. Apis Cor printed the home last December, which was no big deal for their printer because it can function in temperatures down to negative 31 degrees Fahrenheit. The concrete mixture does require temperatures above 41 degrees Fahrenheit, however, so Apis Cor erected a tent over the tiny house site to plunge forward in cold weather. White decorative plaster finished the tiny home’s exterior, allowing the team to paint it in bright colors. The interior is bright and furnished with modern appliances from Samsung. In total, the house cost $10,134, or around $275 per square foot. + Apis Cor Via Curbed Images via Apis Cor

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A 10K tiny house 3D-printed in 24 hours

Robotically woven hexagonal pavilion heralds revolution in architecture

March 1, 2017 by  
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An exciting fusion between robotics and architecture is on the rise, and the potential of digital fabrication is wonderfully expressed in the stunning Elytra Filament Pavilion. Designed by a team at the University of Stuttgart , the robotically woven structure is now on view at Germany’s Vitra Design Museum after its premiere at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London . The experimental pavilion is an artistic exploration between architecture, engineering, and biomimicry principles, weaving carbon fiber into fibrous structures inspired by beetles. Installed as part of the Vitra’s “Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine” exhibition, the 200-square-meter Elytra Filament Pavilion shows off the power of robotics in architecture. The University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) developed a unique robotic fabrication technique to create the pavilion’s 40 modular hexagonal units, each of which weigh 45 kilograms and take about three hours to make. A computer algorithm determined the pavilion’s design, which was then produced with the help of a robot. Taking cues from the forewing shells of flying beetles known as elytra, the computer-programmed Kuka robot spun resin-soaked glass and carbon fibers into hexagonal scaffolds and densely wound fibers into the canopy. The entire pavilion weighs 2.5 tonnes and is “exceptionally lightweight,” weighing less than 9 kilograms per square meter. Related: Robots weave an insect-inspired carbon-fiber forest in London “With Elytra Filament Pavilion we aim to celebrate a truly contemporary and integrative approach to design, engineering and production, resulting in a distinctive spatial and aesthetic experience,” said Achim Menges, an architect behind the project. “The canopy grows in response to real-time sensing data, showcasing the profound impact of emerging technologies and related new alliances between the fields of design, engineering and natural science. Through this we seek to provide visitors with a unique experience that offers a glimpse of novel architectural and engineering possibilities, which may transform our built environment in the future.” + University of Stuttgart Images by Julien Lanoo

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Robotically woven hexagonal pavilion heralds revolution in architecture

Donald Trump would probably hate this crossable border wall

March 1, 2017 by  
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As a tongue-in-cheek response to Donald Trump’s mission to build a wall along the US and Mexico border, Rotterdam-based Atelier ARI has created an art installation called Open Border. Created for the annual Winnipeg Warming Huts event, the bright orange 9-foot-tall, 120-foot-long “wall” is made of vertical plastic strips that easily let people pass through to the other side. The Winnipeg Warming Huts event is an arts competition that sees various designers install their art works along a long stretch of the Red River Mutual Trail. The open-air architecture gallery is known for having a number of fun, avant-garde designs, but this year, Atelier ARI’s winning installation is speaking volumes about Trump’s hard-line immigration policies. Related: Trump will give architects just five days to submit proposals for a Mexican border wall Visually, Open Border ‘s bright orange strips are in stunning contrast to the snowy landscape, inviting curious visitors to walk through from one side to the other. Although fun in nature, the protest art installation makes reference to a seriousness of the worrisome xenophobic international policies being demonstrated not only by the USA’s current administration, but worldwide. “Creating a wall or border on a route is one the most radical and unnatural architectural statements one can make, which was something we liked a lot,” de Grauw and den Berg told Co.Design . “The moment we came up with the wall we realized this would be a political act as well, relating to the speeches of Trump, but also refugee problems in Europe. [It’s] something you can pass through and a place to gather and warm up.” The design was strategically crafted to make people contemplate the issue as they pass through the orange curtains. The semi-opaqueness of the PVC strips cause people to be indistinguishable as they pass through, a metaphorical statement on the equality of the entire human race. Atelier ARI explains the significance, “Everybody in the wall becomes dark-red silhouettes. Everybody becomes the same.” + Atelier ARI Via Lost at E Minor

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Donald Trump would probably hate this crossable border wall

Shapeshifting Tent House blurs the line between indoor and outdoor spaces

February 27, 2017 by  
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Spark Architect’s Tent House is a seasonal shapeshifter. Situated close to Australia ’s famed Sunshine Coast, the house’s location in a rainforest clearing called for a unique design that blurs the line between indoor and outdoor spaces. Limited by the natural size of the clearing and surrounded by a forest wall, the tent home was carefully planned to make maximum use of all available space. A large, open area houses a kitchen , a dining area complete with an accommodating table, and a living “room”, all with a welcoming flow that makes the home ideal for entertaining and for family living. A continuous corridor links the common spaces to hang-out nooks and multiple bedrooms, including two situated at either end of the house that feature picturesque views of the surrounding greenery. Although the area generally welcomes warm temperatures year round, the house was crafted for easy transitioning according to weather. The homeowners can manually slide open walls to welcome the fresh air as they wish; the roof also retracts to reveal the translucent tent canopy and expansive sky above. The tent buffers the home from sun exposure while still allowing for plenty of light to filter through. The space between the tent and the box-like structure’s insulated roof  encourages natural air flow. In addition to offering shade, the pitched tent canopy extends the home’s boundaries for play and relaxation. With the walls/doors open, the entire house becomes an open-air sanctuary, a perfect exploration ground for children and adults. Nature surrounds the Tent House in the form of trees, a river, and a garden area, but it is also reflected within the sleek space: a warm wood floor inset brightens up the concrete floor, and underneath the bar area, wood panels peek out to contrast with the industrial metal counter. The ultimate result is a shelter that looks like our childhood camping dreams grew up and made room for family and friends to join in on the indoor/outdoor fun. Via Uncrate All images © Christopher Jones

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Shapeshifting Tent House blurs the line between indoor and outdoor spaces

Couple converts 16-year-old van into a compact solar home on wheels

February 24, 2017 by  
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An increasing number of digital nomads are replacing their conventional houses with practical, mobile homes powered by renewable energy technologies . Freelancer photographer Norbert Juhász and his fiancée Dora, a writer, have joined the fray with a 16-year-old van they transformed into a solar-powered home on wheels, and they’re driving it from Budapest to Morocco. While the exterior of the van is unremarkable, its interior packs all the amenities the couple needs on their journey. A multifunctional seat turns into a bed for two and includes a storage space and electrical system underneath. Opposite the bed is a small kitchen unit with a gas cooktop, gas cylinder, sink and a large water tank with a pressure-sensing pump. The tank is connected to an extra hook-up that leads to the rear of the van, where the water is used for quick showers. An L-shaped cabinet accommodates a refrigerator and more storage spaces, and features another section that doubles as a seating structure. Related: How this photographer escaped the grid with her tiny Teardrop Trailer The vehicle is powered by a 12-volt electrical system charged by either the 250-watt solar panels mounted on the roof, or the engine’s generator. Excess energy can be stored in 200-Ah batteries attached to an inverter. The couple spent around $7,200 for the van’s transformation, including its custom-made furniture. They will travel through Southern Europe all the way to Morocco, and document their journey on the Rundabella website and Facebook page . + Norbert Juhász + Rundabella Via Treehugger Photos by Norbert Juhász

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Couple converts 16-year-old van into a compact solar home on wheels

London’s ‘smallest house’ uses flexible plywood furniture to maximize space

February 23, 2017 by  
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Danish design firm Studiomama is known for their talent of creating comfy living space out of virtually nothing. However, designers Nina Tolstrup and Jack Mama recently put their skills to the test by buying a vacant 140-square-foot structure in Northern London just to convert the tiny space into “London’s smallest house”. Taking a cue from space-efficient interiors of caravans and boats, the designers focused on making use out of every corner of the compact space by creating flexible furniture . “A tiny space like this has to be designed like one would design the interior of a caravan or boat,” Studiomama co-founder Nina Tolstrup explained, “Everything has to be custom designed as there is not room for any off the shelf furniture, which was a great challenge.” Related: Space-saving furniture transforms to make the most of a Hong Kong micro-apartment https://youtu.be/gIfNhakS_PY Using plywood as the main material, they equipped the home with custom-made, adjustable furniture to divide it into distinct functions. The foldout bed , standing desk, and extendable dining benches add utility without occupying permanent space. Mirrors placed on either side of the home were create a feeling of amplitude, and two large windows allow for optimal natural light . To create a nice lounge area, a medium-size bench and a foldout footrest were installed into the main wall, which is covered in sliding pastel-hued panels. These panels cover use-specific storage cabinets such as a designated office space with a foldout desk, a sewing machine table, shelving for books, and even a wine rack. The designers used plywood for the furniture, as well as the ceilings and flooring, because of its versatility. “The use of one dominant material has made the space seamless – where floor, walls and ceiling comes together as one,” they said. “It is also a very warm material that makes the space feel cosy and cabin like.” The design layout for the tiny home was originally an installation for the 2016 London Design festival. The designers wanted to show how compact living can be comfortable. “We see the issues of how to live in a compact living space to be of growing importance, especially given the trends towards urbanisation and rise of megacities,” they said. “We wanted to use the project to pose a question about what are the things that we really need to live comfortably.” + Studiomama Via Dezeen Photography by Rei Moon, Director/Photographer MOON RAY Studio. Video by Suzie Joyce.

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London’s ‘smallest house’ uses flexible plywood furniture to maximize space

High school students are building tiny homes to give to flood survivors

February 20, 2017 by  
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In West Virginia, students that would normally be constructing birdhouses or bookshelves are instead contributing their labor and newly acquired skills to help give those who lost everything a new start. Last year, historic floods devastated the state, destroying over 5000 homes and killing over 20 people. So students from across the state have gathered together to build compact, energy efficient tiny homes for victims of the flooding. West Virginia has struggled to provide adequate housing for those thousands made homeless by the storm. So high school students attending 12 vocational schools throughout the state are demonstrating that they may have a promising solution. The participating vocational schools, such as Carver Career and Technical Education Center in Charleston, traditionally teach practices such as carpentry and plumbing.  A new, first of-its-kind partnership between the West Virginia Department of Education and the Greater Recovery and Community Empowerment initiative enables students to access hands-on learning to design and build homes for local flood survivors from concept to completion. Each unique  tiny house i s just 500 square feet. Related: Studio H launches Kickstarter Campaign to Build a Shipping Container Classroom at Berkeley’s REALM Charter school 15 homes have been built so far, thanks to funding from the state’s Board of Education and regional community supporters. All of the homes are unique and some are designed to be portable.  Unlike trailers that are supplied by FEMA in post-disaster zones , each of the tiny homes will have individual design accents. Each home includes a bathroom, kitchen, living room and laundry room.  The ground-breaking program has potential to be scaled to serve communities in other post-disaster zones. + WV Public Broadcasting Via NPR Photos Courtesy of West Virginia Department of Education  

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High school students are building tiny homes to give to flood survivors

Architects of France’s first passive house unveil latest extraordinary design

February 13, 2017 by  
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From the architects who created France’s first passive house comes another wonder of green design located just outside of Paris. Karawitz Architects have just finished work on the Marly House, a large family passive home designed to “live openly” within the community. The unique aesthetic of the structure is meant to “awaken the curiosity of the passers-by”. The extreme gabled roof pays homage to the traditional vernacular of the French community, but its pre-greyed larch cladding (CLT prefabricated) gives the home a strong contemporary feel. Related One of France’s First Passivhaus is a Wonder of Green Design The home was built on an incline, which from a certain angle, gives off the impression that the structure is levitating above ground. A perforated galvanized-steel fence allows for some privacy without closing off communication entirely with the community. On the interior, the architects went with a minimalist touch for the large 145-square-meter space. Raw materials such as steel and concrete were left exposed to create a sense of airiness. A large central fireplace is at the heart of the interior and is the only active heating system in the passive home . The bedrooms on the top floor have large windows that were installed almost at ceiling height, protecting the privacy of the homeowners while providing natural light into the interior. Although the interior may seem a bit cold at first glance, warm touches like colorful furniture and a playful childrens room with a climbing ladder add a sense of whimsy to the design + Karawitz Architects Photographs by Schnepp Renou  

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Save the dates: this is when Disney’s "Avatar" and "Star Wars" theme parks open

February 10, 2017 by  
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Mark your calendars, Avatar and Star Wars fans. The House of Mouse has announced when theme parks based on the popular film franchises will open. In an earning calls this week, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger revealed that Pandora: The World of Avatar , based on James Cameron’s movies about a race of blue aliens known as the Na’vi, will open its doors May 27 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. Iger also teased the lauch of the as-yet-unnamed Star Wars -themed lands , located both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, somewhere in 2019—just in time for Episode IX . “In our domestic parks, this year we’ll open a great addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom with a brand new land called Pandora: The World of Avatar,” Iger said in the call. “Our imagineers have brought the breathtaking world of Pandora to life through astonishing feats of artistic genius and groundbreaking engineering. The result is an exquisite environment with phenomenal attractions.” Related: “Avatar Land” park inspired by Pandora coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Headway was being made, he added, on the 14-acre Star Wars lands, which Disney Parks has described as the largest-ever, single-themed land expansions in its history. Disney has dropped a hint or two about what the lands will have in store, including an open-air marketplace, a First Order-themed ride, and the chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon. Start saving your credits for those Bantha burgers! Via iO9

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Save the dates: this is when Disney’s "Avatar" and "Star Wars" theme parks open

Amazing transformation of a decrepit cave into a beautiful modern home

February 7, 2017 by  
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Cave homes may conjure up thoughts of primitive living, but that’s not so for one lucky man who received the cave makeover of his dreams in China’s Shanxi Province. As part of a home renovation TV series called “Wow New Home,” architect Shi Yang of hyperSity Architects renovated a decrepit cave house into a stunning modern home. Despite the dramatic transformation, the new home still preserves elements of the traditional cave design. Read on to see the first episode of Wow New Home (in Chinese, starts at 4:00) and how a ramshackle cave was turned into an incredible new abode for five. Located in the Loess Plateau, the former house was one of many cave homes, called yaodong, typical of the area. These traditional dwellings have long been used for their energy-efficient properties; the earth naturally keeps the cave warm in winters and cool in summer. The house in question belonged to a family of five who lived in a series of dark and damp caves that were in a serious state of disrepair, with tilting and crumbling walls. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u9ty_VyiGg The architects wanted to retain the traditional elements of the cave house while providing a modern refresh. To that end, they preserved the shape of the arched walls and mainly used rammed earth for construction. The interior layout of the home was redesigned in the style of a Chinese courtyard house to open the interior up to natural light and ventilation with space for bamboo gardens. The cave space to the north was mostly left intact, whereas the spaces to the south and west were torn down and reconstructed to make space for five small courtyards connected via a zigzag path. Related: More Than 30 Million People in China Live in Eco-Friendly Caves The renovated home matches the original building height but is strikingly contemporary in appearance. A mix of clay and sand from the nearby mountains were used for the reddish rammed earth walls, creating a visual departure from the original brownish gray earthern walls. The home is entered through the arched doorway that connects to the first courtyard. A path weaves through the new southern-oriented courtyards and cave rooms—which house a kitchen, bedrooms, storage room, dining room, and bathroom—and finally ends at the northernmost space in the rear that’s divided into the grandmother’s bedroom and living room. A skylight punctuates the northernmost space to let in extra light and ventilation. + Wow?? Via ArchDaily

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Amazing transformation of a decrepit cave into a beautiful modern home

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