World’s largest botanical garden to bloom in the desert of Oman

November 15, 2017 by  
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Perhaps the dry desert landscape of Oman may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of lush forests, but the Arabian nation is getting a massive infusion of greenery with the world’s largest botanical garden . Showcasing the country’s rich bio-diversity, the Oman Botanic Garden – designed by Arup, Grimshaw and Haley Sharpe Design – will be a whopping 1,037 acres of land filled with native flora, with two beautiful biomes housing the country’s most unique plant species. Located in the foothills of the Al Hajar Mountains in the Sultanate of Oman, the botanical garden’s site is one of the few locations in the world where the ancient sea bed is still visible after the landscape was elevated by tectonic activity. Working with this unique landscape, the architects designed a complex that would blend into the Mars-esque environment. Related: INFOGRAPHIC: 7 best botanical gardens from around the world Visitors to the gardens will enjoy open walkways that run through the undulating landscape, winding through the wadis, mountains and desert plains as they enjoy the impressive botanic diversity. Inside the two biomes, which house the most unique or sensitive flora, the interior environments were carefully designed to mimic the natural temperature and humidity of the plants’ native climate. Along with the visitors center, the complex will have additional spaces for education and research facilities dedicated to protecting the region’s ample bio-diversity. The garden’s buildings and the landscape architecture were all designed to meet the standards of LEED Platinum . Making the design sustainable was quite a challenge given the region’s water scarcity. Thanks to advanced systems, the entire complex will operate with a grey water irrigation system that works in collaboration with sustainably-sourced water. + Arup + Grimshaw + Haley Sharpe Design Via World Architecture News

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World’s largest botanical garden to bloom in the desert of Oman

Stunning home fuses modern Scandinavian design with the Minnesotan outdoors

November 1, 2017 by  
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Nature takes center stage in the Northern Lake Home, a gorgeous luxury home hidden away in the Minnesotan woods. Designed by Strand Design , this 4,800-square-foot vacation retreat frames views of the forest in every room through large windows that let in natural light and blur the line between indoors and out. Natural materials , including oak and cedar, strengthen the connection with the outdoors, and are complemented with a clean and minimal Scandinavian-inspired interior design. Built for a young Minnesotan couple, the Northern Lake Home combines the clients’ love for active lifestyle with modern Scandinavian design . The large residence is split into two main volumes—one for communal areas and the other for bedrooms—connected with a glass core with operable glazed walls that combine the dining and private lounge. Darkened cedar clads the facade to help the home blend into the forested landscape, but is contrasted by a bright and warm light-filled interior with rift-sawn white oak finishes. Large panes of glass frame the landscape as well as views of the lake through the embankment. Related: Deceptively small home in Denmark hides spacious living quarters at the forest edge “Splaying out to the lake beyond and nestled into a natural swale , the public spaces contour along the landscape blurring the distinction between its built and natural environments,” wrote the architects. Daylight bounces off the home’s white walls, giving the interior an even greater feeling of spaciousness. The minimalist, Scandinavian-design can be seen in the choice of furnishings that gives the rooms a strong and elegant character. + Strand Design Images by Chad Holder Photogaraphy

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Stunning home fuses modern Scandinavian design with the Minnesotan outdoors

Dreamy cabin is a luxurious escape in the New Zealand bush

September 4, 2017 by  
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Cabin envy is real with this gorgeous Back Country house in New Zealand’s Puhoi bush. Designed by David Maurice of LTD Architectural , this timber-clad holiday home combines backcountry tradition with beautiful contemporary design. The environmentally sensitive cabin was built with locally sourced materials and makes use of passive heating and ventilation. Inspired by New Zealand’s backcountry typology, the Back Country house boasts a simple and clean silhouette comprising a single volume for the communal activities and a lean-to annex for the lower floor sleeping and service areas. The main volume embraces indoor-outdoor living and is open fully on two sides to a large wraparound deck. The deck feels like an outdoor room with its large fireplace and twin built-in bathtubs. Related: Seascape cottage is a self-sustaining getaway made from locally-sourced materials Locally sourced bandsawn macrocarpa is used inside and out to reinforce the cabin’s connection to the outdoors, while galvanized corrugated iron strengthens the hut aesthetic. Natural light floods the open-plan living room, dining, area, and kitchen, as well as the mezzanine master suite. To add interest to the mostly white and timber palette, bright and colorful furniture punctuate the spaces. Passive heating and ventilation as well as high performance insulation keep the Back Country house’s environmental impact low . + LTD Architectural Via Contemporist Images via LTD Architectural

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Dreamy cabin is a luxurious escape in the New Zealand bush

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