Architecture students build temporary music festival venue using 160 repurposed apple bins

September 11, 2019 by  
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On Friday, August 2, the Pickathon Music Festival in Happy Valley, Oregon featured a temporary performance venue designed by the Portland State University School of Architecture. The project is another in a line of “diversion design-build” concept stages, known fondly as the “Treeline Stage,” built by the school for the festival since 2014. The very first Treeline Stage was made using wooden shipping pallets. Since then it has also featured cardboard tubes, dimensional lumber and wooden trusses as building material. The 2019 repurposed stage was inspired by images of apple blossoms. The temporary venues holds a total of 160 wooden bins that were previously used to harvest apples by a Pacific Northwest fruit producer. The structure towers are 40 feet at its tallest point, allowing ample space for everything from audio equipment, a backstage area, food vendors and room for audience seating. The natural background of the stage, an area where the meadow meets the woods, only adds to the organic yet mystical ambiance of the structure. This year, the musical festival hosted 18 different bands (all of various genres) on the six stages throughout the weekend. Some of the bands included Mereba, CAAMP, Julia Jacklin, JJUUJJUU, Bonny Light Horseman, Reptaliens, and Black Belt Eagle Scout.  Each tower was made up of anywhere from 15-30 bins, strategically stacked to resemble pentagonal clusters of blossoms. The shadows cast by the apple bins during the day created a series of artistic shadows, while colored LED lights incorporated into the structure helped illuminate the stage after dark. The student-faculty team used leftover lumber from the previous year’s Treeline Stage project to create the vertical elements supporting the towers. Following the festival, the apple bins were returned to the donating company to be used for transporting and holding harvested apples for the late Summer harvest — meaning no materials went to waste. + Portland State University School of Architecture Images via PSU School of Architecture

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Architecture students build temporary music festival venue using 160 repurposed apple bins

A Brazilian ‘bear cave’ brewery boasts several passive techniques to stay chill

July 22, 2019 by  
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Summer visitors to searing São Paulo now have a new “bear cave” to cool off in with a cold, frothy craft brewski in hand. Designed by local firm SuperLimão Studio for Brazilian Colorado Brewery, the Toca do Urso Brewery, which is almost entirely embedded underground, uses several passive and vernacular techniques to create a pleasant microclimate achieved through natural ventilation and light, water collection and reuse, permeable floors and plenty of native vegetation. Located in the São Paulo neighborhood of Ribeirão Preto, the Toca do Urso Brewery offers beer-lovers a serene yet vibrant place to test out a wide selection of craft beers. From the start of the project, the architectural team from SuperLimão Studio knew that to create a comfortable spot that was energy-efficient , it would have to battle the extreme heat and humidity common to the region. Related: Eco-minded Melbourne brewery breaks the mold for sustainable beer production The first step in the design process was to create a space that would be partially embedded into the landscape, adding a natural insulating envelope that would cool down the interior throughout the year. Additionally, in going with a circular shape, the team would be able to create a continual system of natural ventilation. The exterior is made out of gabion walls comprised of rocks found on-site that add to the thermal comfort of the structure. In addition, these rock walls reduce sound levels so that when the hall is crowded, noise is directed to the outdoor area. Additionally, it blocks the traffic noise from the adjacent highway. A large, circular hall was buried almost 5 feet underground to create an ultra-tight earthen envelope. The land that was removed in the process was relocated to the front part of the structure and used to create a sloped entryway. Cold air is swept downward into the building to create a cool microclimate , which is enhanced further by the native vegetation that was planted in abundance to provide shade from the searing heat. Visitors enter the building through the sloped walkway, which leads into a covered patio with plenty of seating. Inside the hall, a massive skylight optimizes natural circulation and bathes the interior in sunlight . In the center of the brewery, there is a mirror of water and a set of canals. These canals lead air and water through grates in the floor so that the interior air is humidified by the water and in constant circulation, cooling down the interior significantly in comparison to the outdoor temps. In fact, the building’s various passive measures enable an internal temperature that is approximately 15? Celsius lower than the outside temps. + SuperLimão Studio Via ArchDaily Photography by Maíra Acayaba via SuperLimão Studio

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A Brazilian ‘bear cave’ brewery boasts several passive techniques to stay chill

Cartoon-inspired prefab treehouse can grow taller and wider over time

July 11, 2019 by  
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Design practice Studio Precht teamed up with tiny-house startup Baumbau to design Bert, a tiny modular treehouse that’s expected to hit the market in spring 2020. Inspired by the Minion films, the playful periscope-like structures eschew hard angles and offer a livable and cozy environment with a minimal footprint and off-grid capabilities, including built-in solar and a water treatment facility. Designed as a reaction to Bauhaus -style buildings found in cities worldwide, Bert embraces diversity and natural materials rather than cold concrete and steel. Built with a wood structure with fabric-lined interiors, the Bert treehouse mimics the shape of a tree, from its rounded trunk-like body to its brown leaf-like shingles on the facade that help camouflage the building into the surroundings. Large glass openings immerse users in the forest. As a modular structure, all parts of Bert will be prefabricated in a factory and assembled on site to reduce landscape impact. Related: Futuristic treehouse in Arkansas is designed to inspire imagination “We are fully aware that architecture is this serious and profound craft with a long culture and tradition,” says the design team in a press statement. “You see that when we architects find reference for our projects in art, philosophy, literature or nature. For this project, we also looked at art to find reference. But not at Michelangelo or Dali. Rather we looked at cartoon characters of Sesame Street or Minions. We took a playful look at this project and wanted to create a rather unique character than a conventional building. A quirky looking character that becomes part of the wildlife of a forest. I think this quirkiness can create feelings and emotions. And maybe these are attributes in architecture that are missing these days.” Modeled after a tiny home, Bert offers all the basic necessities within four floors. The entrance and living space is located on the ground floor, a bedroom and sitting area on the second floor, the kitchen and dining area with a secondary bedroom on the third floor, and the bathroom on the top floor. As a modular structure, the Bert treehouse can be customized to the buyer’s specifications to “grow” taller and wider with new modules, making it an ideal choice for eco-hotel operators. The smallest Bert structure starts at 120.000€ ($136,313 USD) and is expected to hit the market early next year. + Studio Precht Images via Percht

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Cartoon-inspired prefab treehouse can grow taller and wider over time

De Stijl-inspired modern home generates all of its own energy

July 10, 2019 by  
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When a couple decided to “break free” from their cookie-cutter home and realize their long-awaited eco-friendly dream home, they turned to Chapel Hill-based architect Arielle Condoret Schechter to bring their vision to life. With their grown son now out of the house, the couple wanted to downsize to a simple modernist home where they could peacefully age in place. Nestled in a secluded place in the woods of Chatham County, North Carolina, the resulting sustainable home is custom-designed to meet all their needs, from achieving net-zero energy to its modernist design with architectural elements inspired by the Netherlands-based De Stijl movement of the early 1900s. Completed earlier this year, the contemporary zero-energy home embraces the outdoors without compromising the clients’ needs for privacy. Along the front, street-facing elevation, architect Arielle Condoret Schechter installed a natural cypress screen that filters light, obscures views and references the surrounding woods. The windows along the front are also placed high up along the fiber cement walls. In contrast, the rear of the property is completely open to the outdoors with a large outdoor deck with full-height windows and walls painted with geometric blocks of primary colors in the style of the De Stijl art movement. “We want a house just for the two of us,” said the clients. “We don’t want to socialize. We want to be left alone to enjoy our life…[and have] a sheltered place to sit outside and watch the rain.” To meet the clients’ needs for aging in place, the architect created an interior with zero thresholds, curb-free showers and oversized doorways. Meanwhile, the couple can watch the outdoors in comfort from the south-facing deck that’s protected by a deeply cantilevered roof. Related: Net-zero Maine house is designed to blend into the forest with age The large roof overhangs around the entire house also help reduce solar heat gain and support a rooftop solar array. Highly efficient insulation wraps the home’s three rectilinear volumes to create an airtight envelope, while an energy recovery ventilator keeps indoor air fresh without producing ozone. In addition to following passive design principles such as maximizing natural light and ventilation wherever possible, the architect also installed windows and doors certified for Passive House Construction to ensure that the house archives Net Zero performance. + Arielle Condoret Schechter Images via Arielle Condoret Schechter

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De Stijl-inspired modern home generates all of its own energy

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

With dual sleeping lofts, this family-friendly tiny home proves that the more, the merrier

July 5, 2019 by  
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Although some people might be under the impression that tiny homes don’t have enough space for a family, one savvy, space-efficient design is proving otherwise. Designed and built by New Zealand-based Build Tiny , the Dance Tiny House was custom designed to be a durable family home that boasts beautiful and child-proof interiors. Clad in very practical gray vinyl siding, the tiny home on wheels is durable yet lightweight enough to be towed easily. Double-glazed aluminum windows and quality insulation allow for a tight thermal envelope, reducing energy costs as well as maintaining a comfortable interior temperature. Related: Keep your tiny home safe with these 9 security tips Inside, the space is bright and open with a minimalist interior design that manages to avoid clutter. All-white plywood walls and honey-toned wood flooring, along with an abundance of natural light, gives the home a fresh, modern feel. A compact, open-plan living room with a small sofa and chair make up the social area of the home. To the left of the entrance is the kitchen with full-sized appliances. Although small, the cooking area includes ample counter space thanks to an ingenious rolling butcher block extension. Most of the home’s furnishings, including the counters, feature curved edges to ensure optimal safety for little ones. The far end of the residence houses the bathroom, which has a shower and plenty of storage space. The home’s dual sleeping lofts are accessible via a staircase in the kitchen, with the steps pulling double duty as storage in the form of pull-out drawers and cubbies. At the top, the master bedroom has plenty of room for a queen-sized bed and also includes a full-height closet and built-in storage . Connected by a narrow hallway, the children’s room is located on the opposite side. With plenty of space for a single or double bed, there is also room for play or study. The entire loft is made child-proof thanks to a gate and a metal safety barrier. + Build Tiny Via Tiny House Talk Images via Build Tiny

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With dual sleeping lofts, this family-friendly tiny home proves that the more, the merrier

An energy-optimized extension pierces a renovated brick bungalow

June 4, 2019 by  
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Having outgrown their single-story bungalow, a family approached Ghent-based architectural firm WE-S architecten for an expansion and renovation that would also bolster the home’s energy performance. The architects responded with an unusual proposal: an extension that appears to pierce straight through the existing structure at an angle. Clad in brick , the House TlL in Pittem, Belgium now spans 3,025 square feet with an east-west addition that follows site-specific passive design principles for improved energy performance. The clients’ former bungalow was not only poorly insulated , but also suffered from poor space allocation: a seldom-used indoor garage had occupied about a quarter of the home’s footprint. After conducting site studies, the architects removed the indoor garage and placed it to the front of the brick house in a covered parking pad as part of the new extension. Part of the volume is cut out of the building to maximize daylight, while the covered terrace protects the interior from cold westerly winds. Related: A mountain refuge in Spain is brought back to life with brickwork Walls of glass bring natural light and air into the interiors, which have been renovated to look bright and airy. White-painted walls and a palette of natural materials with pops of greenery help achieve a minimalist aesthetic. The roofline has also been raised to heighten the spacious feel and bring additional light indoors. An open-plan living area, dining room, and kitchen occupy the heart of the brick house. The raised roofline allows for the creation of two rooms on the upper floor, one of which serves as a bedroom. “The project tries to interweave the existing bungalow within its environment with certain simplicity in planning and materialization,” explain the architects in a press release. “Variable room heights play a game of compression and decompression, which has its center of gravity in the double-height living space .” + WE-S architecten Images via Johnny Umans

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An energy-optimized extension pierces a renovated brick bungalow

Meet Maya Kaan: Mexico’s Newest Ecotourism Destination

June 3, 2019 by  
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Mexico’s newest ecotourism area highlights natural scenic beauty and Mayan cultural experiences for travelers looking to immerse themselves in eco-friendly, sustainable activities. Maya Ka’an is a large swathe of central Quintana Roo, a state on Mexico’s Caribbean. It includes the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and Zona Maya, the traditional Mayan heartland. Local tour operators run the area’s touristic activities, aiming to keep the money in the community. “Travelers know and love Cancun, Tulum, Cozumel and Riviera Maya. Now they can learn about another side of the Mexican Caribbean in Maya Ka’an,” said Dario Flota Ocampo, director of Quintana Roo Tourism Board. “Maya Ka’an’s sustainable , off-the-grid status creates unparalleled experiences for travelers seeking true cultural immersion.”  Related: Bee + Hive to help explorers book green hotels and sustainable tourism experiences Tourists familiar with the area have probably already visited Mayan ruins or dived into a cenote. The string of indigenous communities that make up Maya Ka’an offer activities for those who have been there, done that. For example, tourists can visit the Cave of the Hanging Serpents, where red and yellow rat snakes hang from the cave ceiling, waiting to snag bats in midair as they fly by. Travelers are also able to kayak the same lagoon Mayans once used as a commercial route. Bird watching, mountain biking and snorkeling are other active tour options. Visitors interested in wellness can participate in a healing ceremony in the city of Felipe Carrillo Puerto (population 25,744). Health -related experiences here include an interpretive trail lined with medicinal plants, massage, Mayan dance and music, and a trip to the very hot local sweat lodge called a Temazcal. Mayans have a long history of making chewing gum in chiclero camps. Travelers can learn about extracting chicle– the resin that makes gum chewable– from zapote and chicozapote trees . Other cultural and natural highlights include handmade rope demonstrations, stingless bees and the Caste War Museum– which documents 400 years of Mayan struggle against foreign attacks. +Quintana Roo Tourism Board Images via CIIC

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Meet Maya Kaan: Mexico’s Newest Ecotourism Destination

Solar-powered houseboat boast spectacular interior design

June 3, 2019 by  
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From dingy, fishy-smelling bolt-hole to eco-friendly luxury barges, houseboats have come an amazingly long way over the years. And if you’re dreaming of sailing through some of the world’s best waterways, the Chinampa Houseboat can be yours for just over $200,000 . The beautiful one-bedroom boat is not only solar-powered , but it boasts a spectacular interior design made up of reclaimed furniture and retro pieces. Listed by the UK Real Estate Company Aucoot, the beautiful 58-feet by 11-feet widebeam canal boat is truly a floating piece of art. Designed by its current owners, who work in landscaping and fashion, the houseboat’s interior is a serene oasis that is achieved by ample natural light, high ceilings, and above all, carefully selected pieces of reclaimed furniture . Related: A solar-powered houseboat designed for the water-loving adventurer To give the space a unique and sophisticated living space, the design-savvy owners carefully chose a collection of reclaimed furnishings . For example, the galley kitchen was built with a repurposed plans chest, along with an iroko hard wood countertop. The living room and bedroom are both bright and airy spaces thanks to ample windows and a double-pitched sky light that floods the interior with natural light . The spaces are filled with various mid-century chairs and a large bookcase that keeps the living area clutter-free. For a long soak after a long day of sailing, there is a gorgeous light-filled bathroom that comes complete with a luxurious full sized rolltop cast iron bath with claw feet and antique brass taps and shower fittings. To top off the incredible design, the houseboat is powered by 4x 130w solar panels that allow the boast to go completely off-grid . Additionally, the boat is water-ready year-round thanks to quality insulation and a high-performance heating system. Via Aucoot Images via Aucoot

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Solar-powered houseboat boast spectacular interior design

This sleek, reusable cutlery set can fit right inside your pocket

May 28, 2019 by  
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Single-use plastic is one of the biggest environmental issues facing us today. Between the production of petroleum and the massive waste stream endangering animals and the planet, it’s time for a war on plastic. One company has decided to begin its battle on the issue with the development of Outlery — compact and portable eating utensils that eliminate the need for the estimated 1,000 plastic utensils Americans use each year. Beginning as a Kickstarter campaign with a meager goal of $5,580, the project has raised over $500,000 with still over a month left in the campaign. Clearly, the idea has the support of similar-minded backers. Outlery comes in two designs: a three-piece cutlery set (fork, knife and spoon) and a chopsticks set. Both products are designed with convenience and portability in mind. In contrast to the typically long and awkward-to-transport silverware you might normally bring from home, Outlery utensils disassemble and fit into a small carrying case about the size of a box of mints. The container will easily slide into a purse, shirt pocket or backpack. When you’re ready to use them, they are readily available and screw together again in just a few seconds. Related: Biofase has discovered a unique way to recycle avocado pits Outlery is 100 percent plastic-free as an obvious statement against single-use disposable plastic forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks. “Outlery is an eco-conscious company that is committed to creating innovative solutions to everyday single-use products,” said Bushra Ch, founder and CEO of Outlery. “The amount of plastic being dumped in the ocean everyday is alarming. It’s hurting sea life , our oceans and most importantly, it has entered our food chain. Ironically, most of the plastic being used today is easily replaceable. We don’t need plastic cutlery, we don’t need plastic straws and neither do we need plastic coffee mugs. At Outlery, we have set out to create easy-to-use and creative alternatives to everyday products. We are starting with plastic cutlery and chopsticks, because the waste produced from these is alarming.” The stainless steel design is intended to endure a long life to further combat the disposable mindset. With this focus on quality, the company has even hired a firm to closely inspect every order before it ships. The Kickstarter campaign, found here , ends on July 5, 2019. Outlery production is expected to start immediately following that date with orders shipping out in the fall. + Outlery Images via Outlery

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This sleek, reusable cutlery set can fit right inside your pocket

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