A stunning solar-powered pavilion is planned for pasta company Barilla

September 21, 2018 by  
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London-based firm Open Architecture Systems  has just unveiled designs for a gorgeous solar-powered pavilion for the Italian food company Barilla. Slated to be built adjacent to the company’s headquarters in Parma, Italy, the plans show a contemporary building with an undulating roof rising out of the surrounding landscape. According to the architects, the inspiration for the design originated with the company’s key values of tradition, family and community. Although the concept is based on the pasta company’s long history, the structure itself is a fresh,  contemporary design that manages to be both subtle and striking at the same time. Related: Confluence Park’s new solar-powered pavilions collect rainwater and provide shade from the summer sun The architects explained that their first objective was to blend the new building into its surrounding landscape in order to become one harmonious space. “We strongly believe that landscape and pavilion should always be merged into one system, one building,” the firm said. “The new topography allows us to define a sense of space, and to provide shelter and a place for discovery, very much like in nature . We are interested not only in the space created by the topography but the spaces around it and how they interact with the new Barilla Pavilion. Raising the landscape provides us with infinite potentials for visitor interactions, interesting and unique experiences such as a raised piazza, a stepped hill with seating for an amphitheater, a valley for gatherings and many more different uses.” Partially embedded into the surrounding landscape, the building’s height is kept low to put the focus on the bold, undulating canopy that looks as if it’s about to take off at any moment. Comprised of perforated rows of solar panels , the roof’s array will generate clean energy for the building and also enable a system of natural ventilation. The exterior will be clad in large vertical glass panels framed in metal posts, providing natural light  throughout the interior. Once inside, visitors will be greeted with an open-floor plan comprised of several independent elements used for distinct purposes. At the heart of the structure will be the Hub, a large central space that can be adapted to various uses. There will also be flexible spaces for art exhibits and meetings as well as a large 400-seat auditorium. Also found inside will be the Start-ups Pavilion, an open office space where young entrepreneurs can foster their ideas. Within the solar-powered pavilion there will also be a nutrition center, which will serve as a research facility that is open to the public. And of course, guests to the pavilion will be able to dine in Sapori Barilla, a large restaurant featuring the company’s signature pastas. + Open Architecture Systems Images via Open Architecture Systems

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A stunning solar-powered pavilion is planned for pasta company Barilla

Locally salvaged zinc panels clad a seaside getaway in Chile

August 9, 2018 by  
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Designed by Chilean architecture firm Ortuzar Gebauer Arquitectos , the Coo Lodge is a seaside getaway that is tied into the surrounding landscape history with its weathered zinc cladding. The reclaimed metal plates, sourced from old construction sites, have been oxidized to a reddish color similar to the color of the ground. Located on the beach with spectacular views of the sea and distant volcanoes, the building was constructed to feel like an extension of the landscape. The zinc -clad Coo Lodge is located in Queilen, a tiny town in the southern Chilean archipelago of Chiloé known for its beaches and beautiful views. The architects looked to the landscape for much of the inspiration for the house design and even delved into the early history of the original inhabitants, nomadic navigators known as ‘Chonos or Payos’ who made their living from the sea. “To discover their vestiges was to discover their vernacular condition, it was to discover a culture,” the architects wrote. “The above opened our senses to work on the pre-existing.” The architects also divided the site into three main parts: a green field near the main road, a grass-covered rocky “intermediate level” and the white sand beach that was formerly covered by a large growth of weeds before the designers cleared out the space. Because the 1,722-square-foot Coo Lodge was placed on the “intermediate level,” the architects created a series of block-y volumes — six of which house bedrooms and one larger structure for the communal living areas — to complement the large sculptural rocks. The buildings are elevated  and fan out across the landscape, and they are connected by outdoor walkways. Large windows punctuate the sea-facing facades. Related: Chile’s rustic Casa Pollo is made from recycled zinc plates and reclaimed wood “The enclosures being separated are intimate, typical of the visitors who keep them in their status as a nomad in the place,” the architects continued. “A great volume is the space of encounter, public space, exposed, that around the fire and the kitchen , invites to live according to the logic of the rural ensemble in Chilo.” + Ortuzar Gebauer Arquitectos Images by Federico Cairoli

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Locally salvaged zinc panels clad a seaside getaway in Chile

This tiny Victorian cottage on a wildflower meadow belongs in a fairytale

August 9, 2018 by  
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Living in a tiny home doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. Case in point: this beautiful Victorian tiny cottage located in Monroe, Maine . The home is less than 430 square feet but big on character. Not only is the two-story tiny home gorgeous and elegant, but it also sits on four acres of an open meadow covered in wild flowers and lined with orchards. The best news is that this charming cottage can be yours for just $125,000 . The magical cottage, which was built in 1986, is truly an outstanding example of tiny home design done right. The Victorian-style exterior, complete with a corner turret, is clad in light blue siding with white trim and nicely contrasted by dark shingled roofs. A stone path leads up to the home’s front door, which is shaded by a large tree. Related: Kettal and Patricia Urquiola create Kettal Cottage: a part tiny house, part tent escape The tiny cottage is two floors, with the living space, bathroom and kitchen on the ground floor and the bedroom on the second floor. The interior is flooded with natural light  thanks to an abundance of large windows, which also provide stunning views of the expansive greenery that surrounds the home. Although the home is compact, its beautiful setting adds a lot of value. The Victorian  cottage sits on a natural lot of land that includes flower gardens, stone walls and fruit trees and is just steps away from a waterfall that feeds into a nearby stream. The waterfall is so close that the future residents will be able to listen to the sounds of the water as they drift off to sleep. As an added bonus, there is also another small cottage, complete with a  composting toilet , on the land. It would need a little bit of work, but this additional tiny cottage could be a perfect space for an artist studio or guest quarters. + Berkshire Hathaway Via Tiny House Talk Images via Berkshire Hathaway

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This tiny Victorian cottage on a wildflower meadow belongs in a fairytale

Sebastian Maluska’s pop-up rooftop tent converts any car into a camper

July 31, 2018 by  
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As a student of the renowned art and design univeristy ECAL, designer Sebastian Maluska has come up with some seriously innovative designs, and his latest creation is no exception. Geared towards the adventurous spirit in us all, The Nest is a simple, pop-up rooftop tent – made out of nothing more than aluminum and fabric – that turns any vehicle into a home in mere seconds. Maluska designed The Nest tent’s shape and size to provide a compact shelter for on-the-go adventurers that takes up minimal space on top of a car’s roof. According to Maluska, his inspiration for the concept came from the sailing world – specifically, using lightweight but durable materials that don’t create resistance against the vessel. Related: The Tamarack Constellation Rooftop Tent Boasts an ‘Emergency Unisex Urinal’ The tent consists of two lightweight aluminum frames covered in a waterproof sailing fabric with two side windows. The tent’s fabric was key in creating a sturdy protective cover, but was also incorporated as a structural element. Rope is used to connect the fabric to the frame and the car’s rooftop, creating a more comfortable sleeping experience. When closed, the upper frame of The Nest overlaps the lower frame, which creates an aerodynamic angle that doesn’t drag down the car. Pulling on a pin at the front of the tent opens the frame automatically thanks to a simple gas spring. The tent’s ladder, which is stored in a fabric pocket underneath the sleeping surface, can be pulled out and hooked on both sides in a matter of minutes. Once opened, the tent provides plenty of space for two people to sleep comfortably. Two side windows open up the interior space, and there is ample room to sit up while still being protected by the tent’s roof. As an additional bonus, sleeping bags can be stored inside when the tent is closed. According to Maluska, The Nest design’s was inspired by the need to create a more affordable and simpler way to sleep while on the road, “I spend a lot of time outside doing sport[s] like skiing and surfing,” said Maluska. “It is always nice to be the first on the mountain or the first in the water. Therefore I have to sleep right at the spot.” + Sebastian Maluska Via Dezeen Images via Sebastian Maluska

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Sebastian Maluska’s pop-up rooftop tent converts any car into a camper

A former anti-aircraft platform is now a beautiful skywalk in Gibraltar

July 6, 2018 by  
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If you’re not afraid of heights, you can now experience the famed Rock of Gibraltar in a whole new way. Gibraltar-based architecture firm  Arc Designs has turned an old WWII military platform on the very top of the landmark into a gorgeous glass skywalk with stunning views of the Rock and the surrounding ocean. Located 340 meters above sea level, the Gibraltar Skywalk is comprised of four layers of glass and over 60,000 pounds of steel embedded into the rocky, steep terrain. The glass-enclosed viewing area is built in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, which contained a platform formerly used as an anti-aircraft base in WWII. The architects used the base as a starting point to extend a glazed walkway and balustrade over the rocky terrain. Related: This terrifying glass walkway in China ‘cracks’ as you step on it Visitors can access the viewing platform via stairs or a glass elevator. Once on the walkway, they can enjoy east and westward views that look out over the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. In fact, according to Arc Designs, the extraordinary location drove the inspiration for the skywalk ‘s design: “The design aspiration of this project was to afford the visitor with new and unrivaled views in all directions including over the rocky cliff-face below, while at the same time ensuring a subtle intervention, which did not detract from the natural and historic nature of this unique setting.” Although the setting guarantees beautiful views, the perilous terrain did present quite a few challenges for the project. “Because vehicular access to this area is limited to very narrow and winding roads, the entire walkway structure had to be fabricated in smaller sections which could be transported and assembled together in-situ,” explain the architects. To ensure that the glass skywalk was secure enough to withstand the visitor load, as well as the typical wind speeds – which can reach over 93 miles hour – the structure had to be embedded into the ground with multiple rock anchors. The entire project used a steel skeleton made up of 18 separate pieces. To build out the walkway, over 8,000 square feet of glass panels were installed. + Arc Designs Via Dezeen Photographs by Stephen Ball, courtesy of Bovis-Koala JV

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A former anti-aircraft platform is now a beautiful skywalk in Gibraltar

Snarkitectures mind-bending Fun House opens at the National Building Museum

July 6, 2018 by  
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In Washington D.C., a massive, mind-bending Fun House has taken over the National Building Museum to offer an interactive experience that easily lives up to the exhibition’s name. Created by New York-based collaborative design practice Snarkitecture , Fun House is the latest installment in the Museum’s Summer Block Party series of temporary structures. The exhibition also commemorates Snarkitecture’s ten-year history and showcases 42 of the firm’s projects using the framework of a traditional American house. Located in the Museum’s historic Great Hall, Fun House is an all-white interactive installation that comprises a two-story freestanding house with a front and back yard. “A lot of Snarkitecture’s work is about surprise, wonder and disbelief,” explains Italy-based curator Maria Cristina Didero, who worked with the architects to capture the essence of their decade-long work, which has focused on reinterpreting everyday materials in an imaginative new light and challenging people to rethink their surroundings. “We wanted to think back to basics,” continues Didero. “And then, we thought, what is more basic than a house? So, Fun House follows the look of a traditional American house…but if you walk in you’ll see that nothing is as it should be.” Related: Amazing Hive comes alive with sights and sounds in Washington, D.C. Stripped of all color, the all-white Fun House plays with texture and the element of surprise throughout. The installation begins at the front yard, where massive upholstered letter-shaped benches that spell out ‘Fun House’ are scattered in reference to the firm’s 2012 project ‘A Memorial Bowing.’ Behind a white picket fence is the main house, a simple gabled structure which would look fairly normal – that is, if the entrance weren’t completely chiseled away. The doorway, as well as the foyer, is a reinterpretation of Snarkitecture’s 2011 ‘Dig’ project; it explores the architecture of excavation with EPS architectural foam carved away with hammers, picks and chisels to cavernous effect. The EPS foam material will be returned to the manufacturer and recycled at the end of the exhibition. More oddities abound inside the home, which consists of the traditional sequence of rooms including a hallway, playroom, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, study and living room—each carefully crafted to evoke familiarity and surprise while paying homage to Snarkitecture’s past projects. Highlights include the bedroom’s ‘Light Cavern,’ an ethereal space that comprises 30,000 suspended strips of perforated white fabric to elicit porosity and translucency; ‘The Beach Chair’ bathtub ball pit, a throwback to Snarkitecture’s 2015 ‘The Beach’ installation at the National Building Museum; the study that serves as a showroom for various iconic works like the ‘Fractured’ bench and ‘Bearbrick’ sculpture; and the living room that’s made up of giant inflated tubes bundled together to form a ceiling—a reimagined version of the 2012 ‘Drift’ pavilion for Design Miami —and a playful small-scale version of their 2016 ‘Pillow Fort’ down below. Related: Gigantic swimmable ball pit takes over D.C.’s National Building Museum The most popular space, however, is undoubtedly the backyard, where ‘The Beach’ is reimagined as a circular kiddie pool and a larger kidney-shaped pool. Recyclable balls with anti-microbial coatings fill the pools to serve as ball pits shallow enough for kids yet large enough to entertain adults. White astroturf, lounge seating, umbrellas, and a picket fence surround the pools to finish off the relaxing, beach-like setting. “Fun House represents a unique opportunity for us to bring together a number of different Snarkitecture-designed interiors, installations, and objects into a single, immersive experience, ” said Alex Mustonen, co-founder of Snarkitecture. “Our practice aims to create moments that make architecture accessible and engaging to a wide, diverse audience. With that in mind, we are excited to invite all visitors to the National Building Museum to an exhibition and installation that we hope is both unexpected and memorable.” As with the National Building Museum’s previous Summer Block Party installations—which have included collaborations like ‘Hive’ by Studio Gang (2017) and the BIG Maze by Bjarke Ingels Group (2014)—Fun House will be accompanied by a series of programs and events, from behind-the-scenes construction tours to pop-up talks hosted during “Late Nights” on Wednesdays. Visitors will be given a one-hour timed entry ticket to explore Fun House. The ticket includes access to all of the National Building Museum’s exhibitions, including the not-to-be-missed ‘Secret Cities’ exhibit, which explores the history of the Manhattan Project secret cities from their design and construction to daily life inside them and their lasting influences on the American architectural landscape. Fun House concludes on September 3, 2018. + Snarkitecture + National Building Museum Images by Lucy Wang

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Snarkitectures mind-bending Fun House opens at the National Building Museum

This charming old-fashioned caravan tiny house is 100% self sustaining

April 27, 2018 by  
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This caravan tiny house is a blast from the past. Designed and constructed by father-and-son builders Nick and Aaron Troisi ( The Unknown Craftsmen ), the tiny home on wheels is 100 percent self-sufficient. The wandering caravan includes a curved roof, custom woodwork and round windows. The home also has LED lighting, and it’s designed to operate completely off-grid . The home’s exterior is clad in pine panels painted red. A deck, built with raw-cut wooden logs, leads to the charming curved door. The father-son duo strategically designed a double-height roof to create a sleeping loft. The curved roof greatly enhances the tiny home’s interior and has three circular windows to bring in natural light . Related: Steve Areen’s incredible DIY wagon home built with mostly recycled materials Inside, the home resembles a hobbit-esque cavern. Lined with wooden beams, the high ceiling allowed the builders to add a quaint sleeping loft, accessible by stairs. The living area includes a curved reading nook with a small sofa, bright throw pillows and a cute window that lets in light. The designers incorporated a number of repurposed items into the home, including a brass bucket used as the kitchen sink. The round windows are actually repurposed theater light lenses — a feature that pays homage to the owner’s long career in the performing arts. Custom woodwork abounds — from the panels on the walls to the kitchen counter top, which was made from an apricot tree. The home was crafted with several types of wood cut from the owner’s own yard: pine, apricot, cherry and more. Aaron Troisi explained that the inspiration behind the wood-heavy design came from a desire to “explore the natural beauty of the organic world.” + The Unknown Craftsmen Via Tiny Living Images via The Unknown Craftsmen

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This charming old-fashioned caravan tiny house is 100% self sustaining

Artist uses materials found in nature to create elaborate cairns and mandalas

February 28, 2018 by  
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Strolling through his hometown of Yorkshire, artist James Brunt finds artistic inspiration through almost any natural materials he can get his hands on. Whether walking along the beach or taking a forest stroll, Brunt creates intricate mandala-inspired designs out of fallen leaves, twigs or sea rocks. The determined artist will spend entire days on his land art, only to see it disappear under the rising tide waters or blown away in the wind. Brunt lets nature feed his inspiration, often wandering through dense woodlands to find the perfect place to create intricate pieces of land art. Located in Yorkshire, England, he explores nearby forests, parks, and beaches to find just the right spot and materials. When the inspiration hits him, he uses natural materials like twigs, fallen leaves, and rocks to create beautifully intricate mandala-like spirals and concentric circles.  Related: Artist turns golden leaves of Sacramento Gingko tree into inspiring works of art The artist is very considerate of the environment and takes none of the materials outside of their natural habitat. He’s also very careful not to trample natural flora or landscape. In fact, most of his land art only last a few hours, often being washed or blown away by the surrounding forces like tides or winds. You can find Brunt’s beautiful artwork on his Twitter and Facebook , where he sometimes invites people to join him in his artistic ventures. He also sells prints of his photographed artworks on his website . + James Brunt Via Bored Panda Images via James Brunt Website

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Artist uses materials found in nature to create elaborate cairns and mandalas

Tiny homes made of concrete pipes could be the next big thing in micro housing

January 10, 2018 by  
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The micro-housing trend has really taken off over the last decade, and a new age of tiny urban homes is now upon us. Created by James Law Cybertecture , the Opod Tube House is made from a repurposed concrete pipe and designed as an affordable home for young people who struggle with housing costs in the world’s major cities. Unveiled recently in Hong Kong, the tiny tube houses are created out of repurposed concrete water pipes that measure a little over eight feet in diameter. The tubes are designed to accommodate one or two people and come with approximately 1000 square feet of living space. The interiors are equipped with the standard amenities, including a living room with a bench that converts into a bed, a mini-fridge, a bathroom, a shower and plenty of storage space for clothes and personal items. Related: Totally Tubular TubeHotel In Mexico Offers Up Accommodations In Recycled Concrete Pipes According to the architect behind the design, James Law, the inspiration behind the tiny tube homes is practical, both for young people looking for homes as well as city governments trying to provide affordable options. Although the structures are far from being lightweight at 22 tons apiece, they require little in terms of installation and can be easily secured to one another, which reduces installation costs. The tubes are easily stacked and can be installed in any small unused spaces commonly found in cities. The architect envisions entire tube communities installed in alleyways, under bridges, etc. Law explained in an interview with Curbed , that the concept is feasible for any urban environment , “Sometimes there’s some land left over between buildings which are rather narrow so it’s not easy to build a new building. We could put some OPods in there and utilize that land.” + Opod Tube Housing + James Law Cybertecture Via Apartment Therapy Images via Opod Tube Housing Facebook

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Tiny homes made of concrete pipes could be the next big thing in micro housing

16-year-old inspires U.S. city to pass law requiring solar panels on all new homes

July 20, 2017 by  
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More United States cities are taking strong measures to move the clean energy economy forward. This week, South Miami passed a law requiring new houses to be outfitted with solar panels . The law will even apply to some renovations. It’s the first of its kind in Florida , and passed four to one – and some of the inspiration for the law came from a high school student. High schooler Delaney Reynolds, who was 16 at the time, learned about San Francisco’s 2016 measure requiring solar panels on all new buildings of 10 stories or less. She thought cities in Florida could do the same. Reynolds, who started a nonprofit called The Sink or Swim Project to tackle climate change in South Florida, wrote mayors of around half a dozen cities in her area, according to InsideClimate News, and South Miami mayor Philip Stoddard was the first to reply. He asked Reynolds to help write the ordinance. Related: San Francisco approves measure to require solar panels on new buildings Under the law, new homes will have to have 175 square feet of solar panels per 1,000 square feet of roof area in the sun, or 2.75 kilowatts per 1,000 square feet of living space – whichever one is less. If the house is constructed beneath trees already there it may be exempt. If more than 75 percent of an existing home is being replaced by renovations , or if a home is being extended by 75 percent, the new law will apply as well. On Tuesday, the law passed, with only commissioner Josh Liebman voting against it. Liebman said he’s not against solar power but is for freedom of choice. The law will go into effect in September. Only around 10 new homes are built in the area a year, so Stoddard acknowledges the measure won’t change the world. But he said officials in other areas like Orlando and St. Petersburg have indicated interest, so the idea could spread. Via InsideClimate News and Miami Herald Images via Wikimedia Commons and The Sink or Swim Project Facebook

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