Reclaimed wood home resembles barns in Sonoma Valley

April 3, 2020 by  
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California firm Faulkner Architects has unveiled a beautiful, modern farmhouse that pays homage to the rural vernacular in California’s beautiful Sonoma Valley. Clad in salvaged redwood and weathered steel, the Big Barn House features a stunning design that incorporates several passive features to boost its energy efficiency. Earlier this year, the team from Faulkner Architects completed another project for the same family — a converted 1950s tack barn that was used by the homeowners while awaiting completion of the larger project. Using salvaged wood on the small barn conversion set the tone for the main residence. Related: 6 barns converted into beautiful new homes From its robust wood exterior to the modern, light-filled interior, the 3,900-square-foot home boasts a breathtaking design. Wrapped in reclaimed redwood and corrugated weathered steel, the two-story dwelling stretches out over a slightly sloped landscape. From afar, the asymmetrical gabled rooftop stands out over the undulating terrain. Built into a gentle slope, the modern farmhouse extends dramatically from a flat landing to the far end of the structure, which  slightly cantilevers over the landscape. This design was strategic to reduce the project’s impact on the site . According to the architects, the home’s orientation was also determined by the path of the sun. To help reduce heat gain during the summer months, the designers ensured that the smaller side of the roof faces the west, where the sun is the most intense. Alternatively, the east side of the home takes full advantage of natural light. Here, sash windows and glazed sliding doors provide a seamless connection with the surrounding nature. The ground floor houses the central social spaces: a massive kitchen and dining space and an open-plan living space with double-height ceilings. For added time in the sun, the far end of the home includes an all-glass enclosure that looks out over the incredible landscape. Accessible via an exterior walkway or central staircase, the second story is home to the master suite and two additional bedrooms. In addition to its strategic orientation, the Big Barn House boasts a number of energy-saving features . Throughout the space, multiple openings allow for ample air ventilation to help cool the home naturally. For the chilly months, radiant floor heating keeps the living spaces nice and toasty. To maintain comfortable interior temperatures year-round, the house also has tight insulation. + Faulkner Architects Via Dezeen Photography by Joe Fletcher (exterior images) and Ken Fulk (interior images) via Faulkner Architects

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Reclaimed wood home resembles barns in Sonoma Valley

Whimsical timber home in England is inspired by oast houses

March 31, 2020 by  
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London-based architectural firm ACME has created a unique home inspired by traditional oast houses used for drying hops as part of the beer brewing process. Surrounded by expansive orchards, the Bumpers Oast House features four rising conical, timber towers, all clad in locally sourced, handcrafted brick tiles. The homeowners of the Bumpers Oast House came close to buying and restoring an old structure when they first came to Kent years ago. Deciding against the idea at the time, they eventually turned to ACME years later to design a new home that would feature a fun, modern twist on the classic architectural style of the area. Related: A circular home in Germany produces biogas for self-sufficiency Placed in a natural setting of orchard trees and lush greenery, the home’s four modules rise out of the ground and become conical at the top. Traditionally, oast houses had open cowls at the very top to let the hot air escape. In the Bumpers Oast House, this idea translated into operational skylights that bring natural light deep into the residence. ACME chose timber as the main building material for its flexibility, resilience and insulating properties. The conical tops of the towers were all manufactured offsite and installed on top of the main bases via crane. For the brick tile cladding, the architects went local, turning to artisans to craft and install the 41,000 tiles that cover the exterior. The exterior features dark red brick tiles at the base that slowly change to a light orange color at the very top of the towers, creating an eye-catching gradient. Inside, the four modules come together to form a very bright and modern dwelling. Clad in plywood, the interior features cylindrical rooms with custom-made, curved furniture. Plentiful windows, plus those gorgeous skylights, brighten the communal areas, including the kitchen, dining and living spaces. Accessible by a helical timber staircase, the second level houses the bedrooms as well as several auxiliary spaces that can be used as offices, playrooms, or guest rooms. Each bedroom features its own private staircase that leads up to the top of its corresponding conical tower, opening up to fun, treehouse -like spaces that overlook the green landscape. + ACME Via ArchDaily Photography by Jim Stephenson via ACME

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Whimsical timber home in England is inspired by oast houses

Nearly 20 living trees support this lush garden arbor in Japan

March 31, 2020 by  
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After nearly 20 years, Tokyo-based architecture firm APL design workshop recently returned to the Maezawa Garden House in Kurobe, Japan to update the grounds for the Theater Olympic 2019 international drama festival. In addition to updating the outdoor amphitheater that they had completed in 1989, the architects created the new White Flower Arbor, a stunning open-air pavilion, supported by 17 living oak and cedar trees, that blurs the boundaries between nature and architecture.  Located near the Japan Sea, the Maezawa Garden House was created by Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate Maki Fumihiko in 1982 for global Japanese company YKK. Surrounded by forest on all sides, the vast property stretches from northeast to the southwest with the house on the east end, an outdoor amphitheater on the west side and a long, undulating lawn with a natural garden in between. The amphitheater , also known as the Open Air Theater, comprises a circular, grassy mound and a semicircular slope with timber steps; the open layout and the long adjacent lawn allows for events that can accommodate anywhere from 300 to 1,000 spectators. Related: A forgotten railway takes on new life as a new cultural destination in France When the outdoor amphitheater was selected as one of the venues for the Theater Olympics 2019, APL design workshop was asked to add stage lighting to the steps — built from reclaimed railroad ties — and temporary dressing rooms, which the architects created from repurposed shipping containers lined with timber.  To provide a rest space for visitors, the architects also designed the new White Flower Arbor, an open-air pavilion with a lightweight roof supported by 26 pillars that include 17 living trees and 9 steel columns. The pavilion, which was meant to be temporary, has now become a permanent feature of the grounds due to popular demand. The architects said, “As this gazebo sits on the foot of a slope covered by a forest — almost like a Japanese Shinto shrine — its entity sinking into the forest looks like a part of nature from the outside, while on the inside, its chilly air and darkness bring the people in the gazebo to a world of myth.” + APL design workshop Photography by Kitajima Toshiharu / Archi Photo via APL design workshop

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Olli Ella releases capsule wardrobe made with organic cotton

March 31, 2020 by  
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The fashion industry and sustainability are often at odds, but more and more earth-conscious products are hitting the market. One company, Olli Ella, is solely focused on creating long-lasting, versatile and ethically made clothing, with a capsule wardrobe for every body type. Olli Ella is embracing the slow fashion trend with only four collections a year. The first collection came as part of the initial 2019 release of the WARES line and sold out within 48 hours, proving that consumers understand the importance of conscientious clothing purchases. Earlier this month, Olli Ella followed that success with the launch of ARROYO, its third apparel collection, with every piece made from 100% organic cotton in a Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) factory in India. Related: Good Clothing releases capsule collection made from hemp and organic cotton The newest collection features 10 items, including dresses, bloomers, a jumpsuit and a top. Material off-cuts are used for headbands and hair scrunchies, which are also part of the collection. Every piece is designed to meet the changing needs of women. Clever, plant-based buttons made from corn husks allow flexibility during body changes, such as pregnancy; every item is also breastfeeding-friendly. Most pieces are reversible, effectively creating two items of clothing in one and adding to the versatility of the collection, which is intended to be built upon with each new release. “I wanted to create an apparel collection for women — for mothers in particular — that makes them feel beautiful, comfortable, stylish and can be worn everywhere from around the house, to the office, to dinner — and if you’re anything like me — sometimes to bed,” said Chloe Brookman, co-founder and director of Olli Ella. “It’s so incredible to see how quickly our customers ‘got it’ — just reinforcing for me how much a fashionable but livable collection of pieces that are wearable, washable, and effortless was really needed. One dress will see women through all stages of life — from maternity and breastfeeding to everyday living.” Olli Ella is committed to supporting the employment of women, with 75% of employees at the chosen factory being women. The ARROYO and other collections can be found online and at 2,000 stores worldwide. + Olli Ella Images via Olli Ella

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Run away to this 100% off-grid desert retreat

March 24, 2020 by  
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In a world of exotic areas to go off-grid, sometimes the most exquisite locations can be found in your own back yard. Located just north of Pioneertown, California, the  Whisper Rock Ranch  is surrounded by 20 acres of vast desert landscape. The retreat, which is  100% off-grid , offers guests the opportunity to reconnect with nature while enjoying the small luxuries of life, such as a wrap-around deck with pool and jacuzzi, all perfect for enjoying days of spectacular sunsets and brilliant stargazing. Surrounded by ancient juniper and desert oak trees, the compact ranch is the brainchild of Rich Cook and Rezeta Veliu, who visited the site years ago when the only building on the land was a run-down home. Instantly falling in love with the spectacular desert landscape, they set out to create a remote retreat  where guests can truly get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Related: Cool homestead retreat with vintage trailer brings glamping to Mojave desert During the construction of the ranch, the pair used the untouched nature as inspiration to create a soothing, self-sustaining retreat. As a result, Whisper Rock is completely off-grid, running on  solar energy,  propane and water deliveries. “Since we’re completely off grid we operate off of hauled water, so we have three 1,800 gallon tanks that get filled up every other week. But for those same reasons, people off the grid don’t really have pools because they’re hard to maintain, but we did it anyway,” explained Cook. Additionally, the layout and construction of the retreat use various  passive features  such as natural light and shading techniques to reduce its energy use. “We went for as many windows as we could because the surroundings are so beautiful. And what we did was try to maximize the amount of light and glass; we pushed it basically as far as we could push it without allowing the house to fall down,” Cook added. Indeed, the structure’s  abundance of windows  is what connects the ranch to its incredible setting. Large floor-to-ceiling windows line the walls, while massive chunks of natural boulders jut into the living spaces. Additionally, the interior spaces open up to a wrap-around wooden deck. At the heart of the design are lounge areas where most guests spend their time taking in the 360-degree view from the swimming pool or jacuzzi. + Whisper Rock Ranch Via Dwell Images via Whisper Rock Ranch

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Run away to this 100% off-grid desert retreat

Rubia Tiny House features minimalist, sustainable design

March 17, 2020 by  
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Byron Bay-based Little Byron has really outdone itself with its latest tiny home model. The Rubia Tiny House is merely 160 square feet, but thanks to several savvy design techniques, it comes across as being much more spacious. The impressive tiny home can also be customized for self-sustenance with solar panels, a rainwater collection system and a composting toilet. Named for its light blond exterior ( rubia is Spanish for blond), the Rubia Tiny House is made out of sustainably sourced hardwood . At 19 feet long and just under 8 feet wide, the compact, cube-like structure is built on a trailer and can be easily transported. Related: This tiny farmhouse features a quaint reading nook The gorgeous interior design mimics the lightness of the exterior. White walls with light wood accents create a modern, minimalist atmosphere. Along with the LED lighting that was installed throughout the home, natural light is ushered in through an abundance of windows. The Rubia Tiny House consists of a small living room, a full kitchen, a bathroom and a dinette set. The kitchen is equipped with a four-burner gas stove and a full-sized oven. There is also plenty of overhead storage in the cabinets, which have been outfitted with LED strip lighting . Farther past the kitchen, the bathroom features a composting toilet and a shower along with a standard vanity cabinet. The bedroom is located upstairs on an unusually large sleeping loft , which fits a queen-sized bed as well as an end table. Windows on either side of the bed and a light wood accent wall allow for a calming sense of openness. For guests, there is a custom-built sofa that pulls out into a twin-sized bed. The stairs leading to the loft offer extra storage. In addition to its sustainable wood exterior, composting toilet and LED lighting, the Rubia Tiny House can be customized for off-grid functionality. Potential installations include solar panels with batteries and a rainwater collection system with a holding tank. + Little Byron Via Tiny House Talk Images via Little Byron

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A zero-waste, self-sustaining home of the future

March 12, 2020 by  
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Designed by Shanghai-based firm YANG Design , the Green Concept House is a futuristic concept that envisions a residence where sustainable technologies are embedded into the living spaces to create a zero-waste, 100% self-sustaining home. The design features several high-tech systems that use spare household energy to provide water, lighting and energy for growing plants throughout the home, essentially becoming a living greenhouse. House Vision is an annual event that invites architects to create futuristic residential designs that incorporate innovative technologies. This year, against the backdrop of the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing’s Olympic Park, 10 dwellings were unveiled, one of which was the incredible Green Concept House by Yang Design. Related: A greenhouse is transformed into an experimental living space in Taiwan Like the other full-scale home prototypes, the Green Concept House was a collaboration between architects and leading global companies that specialize in the various fields of technology, such as energy, vehicles, logistics and artificial intelligence. The 1,600-square-foot structure is a powerhouse of futuristic tech that merges organic food production into the house in order to create a living space that is 100% self-sustaining. Several compact garden pockets in every corner of the layout would allow homeowners to care for almost any type of plant using spare household energy (from solar and wind power generation ) to provide water and light for the gardens. The setup would permit residents to closely monitor their home gardens, including fruits, vegetables and herbs, via an app on their phones. For example, the app would sound an alarm when one of the plants is in need of specific care. Another notification would alert homeowners when a specific fruit or veggie is ready to be picked. Using this full-circle system, homeowners will not only be able to grow their own organic fare but will also be able to lead zero-waste lifestyles . + YANG Design Via ArchDaily Images via YANG Design

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Nature-inspired home uses passive design to stay cool in Taiwan

March 12, 2020 by  
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Just outside Kaohsiung’s city center, Taiwanese architecture firm Chain10 Architecture & Interior Design Institute has completed Comfort in Context, a contemporary new home nestled in a lush hillside. Crafted as a respite in nature, the building is set far back from the road and is wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glazing to take in mountain views. Nature also informed the design and orientation of the home, which relies on cross breezes and strategically located roof eaves to stay naturally cool while minimizing the use of electricity. Though strikingly contemporary in appearance, the design of Comfort in Context relies on age-old passive design principles for providing a comfortable living environment year-round. Oriented east to west, the home features a facade that mitigates unwanted solar gain at all times of the day while taking advantage of southwesterly winds to combat Taiwan’s hot and humid summers. In winter, the neighboring hills protect the building from cold winds. Related: Modular materials make up an eco-friendly restaurant in Taiwan “Nature doesn’t have to be the second thought for an architect in 2020, it must always be his or her first,” the firm explained. “The earth isn’t getting any better and everyone needs to do everything they can to reduce the emissions of their projects.” To further reduce the carbon footprint of the home, the architects planted a number of Taiwanese beech trees around the property. Environmentally friendly recycled materials were also used for the building structure, facade, finishes and interior. By building with the existing landscape to minimize site impact, the architects were able to reduce construction costs. As a result, more resources were diverted to the clients’ most important space in the house: the open-plan living room, dining area and kitchen that occupy a large part of the ground floor. The upper floor contains a spacious master bedroom, secondary bedroom, two atriums and five balconies. + Chain10 Architecture & Interior Design Institute Photography by Moooten Studio / Qimin Wu via Chain10 Architecture & Interior Design Institute

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This modern art museum was once a cheese factory in Arkansas

March 2, 2020 by  
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In Bentonville, Arkansas, a giant factory that once processed cheese for Kraft Foods has been given new life as The Momentary, a modern art museum satellite to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Chicago-based Wheeler Kearns Architects led the adaptive reuse project, which has carefully preserved as much of the existing structure as possible while introducing contemporary additions. Like the building, the landscape also follows sustainable design principles and was created in collaboration with Tulsa-based Howell Vancuren Landscape Architects to purify and clean rainwater through a bioswale system. Officially opened on February 22, 2020, The Momentary was conceived as a cultural hub for contemporary international art with both indoor and outdoor areas. The oldest part of the original 63,000-square-foot decommissioned cheese factory was converted into The Galleries, an area spanning more than 24,000 square feet. The old fermentation room was converted into a 100-seat black box theater, called Fermentation Hall, while the former milk intake room has been renamed the RØDE House, which serves as a 350-seat multidisciplinary performance space that can be closed or partially open-air. The employee lunchroom has turned into a social space called The Breakroom. Related: A forgotten railway takes on new life as a new cultural destination in France New additions to the building have been differentiated with materials like steel and glass. An example of this can be seen in the museum’s 70-foot-tall vertical element, dubbed The Tower, which is the largest space in the program. It builds on multiple pre-existing intermediate mezzanines and is topped with a Tower Bar surrounded by panoramic views. Gallery space extends to the outdoors, including sculptures, courtyards like the Arvest Bank Courtyard and the 24,000-square-foot Momentary Green.  “The design centers on authenticity,” said Calli Verkamp, lead project architect at Wheeler Kearns Architects. “Embracing the history of the site, it maintains the industrial integrity of the building and preserves the connection between past and present that it represents for the community .” + Wheeler Kearns Architects Photography by Dero Sanford via The Momentary

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This modern art museum was once a cheese factory in Arkansas

Nike reveals Space Hippie sustainable sneakers made from waste

February 25, 2020 by  
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Nike has launched a new, exploratory collection, aptly named Space Hippie , to highlight the NASA-inspired concept of in-situ resource utilization — the idea of using space-based resources during deep space exploration. By taking the company’s own “space junk” from the floors of its manufacturing warehouses, Nike is turning waste into feedstock, creating a sustainable sneaker that combines high performance with low impact. The Space Hippie shoes are assembled using recycled “space junk”, such as recycled plastic water bottles, T-shirts and yarn scraps. The “Crater Foam” tooling is made up of a combination of Nike Grind rubber and recycled foam materials. According to Nike, every aspect of the Space Hippie line was chosen with sustainability in mind, from the material to the production methods to the packaging. The new shoes boast the lowest carbon footprint score compared to the company’s other products. Related: Fashion companies make a pact to protect the planet The collection includes four different shoe designs, appropriately named Space Hippie 01, 02, 03 and 04, and the styles are nothing short of unique. The sustainable sneakers feature gray bodies with complementary orange elements, including the iconic Nike Swoosh. Nike doesn’t seem to be shying away from the fact that these shoes are essentially made from trash , yet the design is still quite compelling, fashion-forward and (unsurprisingly) futuristic. Nike recently unveiled the collection, which will be released in Spring 2020 to Nike members at Nike House of Innovation flagship locations and select retailers around the country. Nike, as a business , has a lot to gain from recycled footwear. “We must think about the entire process: how we design it, how we make it, how we use it, how we reuse it and how we cut out waste at every step,” said Seana Hannah, vice president of sustainable innovation at Nike. “These are the fundamentals of a circular mindset that inform best practices.” + Nike Via Dezeen and Core77 Images via Nike

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