Modern home in Ukraine merges residence and art gallery

May 20, 2022 by  
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The Residence in the Garden of Rocks is located in the southern suburb of Kyiv, Ukraine along the canal. The client wanted the house to suit his family’s needs while showcasing his collection of modern sculptures. The owner had already constructed the house’s shell when he asked the team at Palamarchuk Architects to assist with the design. He had also begun work on the landscaping and dotted the garden with various stone plinths to feature his sculptures . The architects worked on transforming the pre-existing spaces into a modern home. Since the house did not meet local energy-saving requirements, the team revamped it with a compound system of 20 centimeters stone wool insulation, heat pumps and solar collectors that saves energy and maintains comfortable temperatures. Related: This modern home built to house a renowned art collection is a work of art in itself Meanwhile, the residence comprises of a two-story volume. The ground level rests on a grassy plain while the basement nestles into an artificial hill. This allows for a separate entrance to the art gallery located in the basement, distinguishing the living spaces above and the display area below. Interior spaces are laid out along a north-south axis. The living room is at the heart of the house and bridges the other interior spaces. These include the bedrooms to the north and the shared spaces to the south, including the gym, sauna and swimming pool. Similarly, the perimeter walkways unify the interior spaces and exterior terraces. For example, the loggia on the main façade connects the street-facing terrace and the indoor pool . Its vertical louvers allow for views out and sunlight in, and prevents passersby from looking in. Sensory details, especially visual and tactile ones, are a key feature of the home. The living room has a large window that faces the west terrace, providing a beautiful sunset view. The bedrooms bring in diffused sunlight and have views to the nearby park and canal. With regard to tactile details, the design incorporates richly textured materials . Though the building is a simple brick and concrete structure, the ground floor is clad in coarse pine shingles from the Carpathian mountain range, while the basement level is studded with dark stone. + Palamarchuk Architects Photography by Andrey Avdeenko

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Modern home in Ukraine merges residence and art gallery

Niger school uses passive design for their energy crisis

May 6, 2022 by  
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“In the midst of an energy crisis, a passive design on this school in Niamey, Niger has been a great success,” said a representative of Article 25. “Even when filled with up to 40 students, the classrooms stay significantly cooler than outside, with temperatures typically seven to eight degrees centigrade lower by mid-afternoon.” Article 25, a humanitarian architecture firm that focuses on creating solutions for underserve communities, is behind the redesign of the Collège Amadou Hampaté Bâ. It’s a new school in Niger, West Africa that made the most of passive ventilation in a unique roof design to keep students cool despite an energy crisis and the hot climate. Related: Minimalist bioclimatic dorms provide space for students The school provides subsidized education for middle school children from low-income families. The goal in expanding the school is to offer the same educational experience for children in primary school up through high school in a “lycee” model that extends the full educational years of the children in the school. The school also wanted to build a high-quality facility that served as a model for other schools wanting to follow a similar model in Niger. Additionally, the proposal included refurbishing existing classrooms . There is the addition of five new classroom blocks (totaling 20 classrooms), along with new administrative buildings, an assembly hall, library and latrine buildings. The water and electrical services were upgraded to improve the school’s self-reliance due to intermittent issues with municipal supply. As a result, the school buildings use local materials. There is an adaptation of vernacular techniques to respond to the hot and challenging climatic conditions. The school aimed to create a “beautiful and comfortable spaces conducive to learning,” according the architects. Therefore, the principle building material used was a locally-quarried laterite stone, an underused building material local to Niger. Furthermore, the construction of the school buildings gave the community an opportunity to train local masons in laterite construction techniques. It is in the hope that the skills will translate into future projects in the region. The windows in the buildings are ventilated slat shutters. Above each building, arches allow air flow in and out of the building. They are covered by raised, metal single-pitch roofs perched high above the buildings to shade the buildings from the sun and allow additional air flow. It’s a unique design created exclusively for this region’s climate . When the temperature is 95 degrees Fahrenheit outside in the afternoon, the interior of the buildings can remain around 80 degrees Fahrenheit with no air conditioning. + Article 25 Photography by Toby Pear

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Niger school uses passive design for their energy crisis

Montreal building melds design with sustainable technology

April 22, 2022 by  
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The Ilot Balmoral is a 13-story mixed-use office building commissioned by the Societe d’Habitation de Montreal (SHDM). It lights up the Quartier des Spectacles in Downtown Montreal’s creative district as one of the final major developments in the area. “We proposed four visions of what an office building specifically designed for a cultural economy could look like, and Ilot Balmoral was selected to echo the very vibrant, dynamic nature of the district,” said Architect Claude Provencher, founding partner at Provencher Roy. “The Quartier des Spectacles is a cultural center of activity that is now almost complete in its revitalization and transformation of the urban fabric surrounding Place des Arts.” Related: LEED Gold HEC Montreal will house AI research Furthermore, Provencher Roy is an award-winning Canadian architecture firm. They focus on all forms of the built environment , integrating interior and exterior design with sustainable technology . From the outside, Ilot Balmoral is an almost perfect cube. It is wrapped in glass covered in a white frit pattern that controls thermal heat gain. The façade of the building doubles as a screen that can have images projected onto it. Additionally, the glass allows natural daylight into the structure. These components helped the building meet LEED Gold sustainability standards. Inside, the large red atrium curves diagonally through the center of the cube, creating an interior alleyway. This was to serve the site’s previous pedestrian flow, which moves between the Place des Arts metro station and Place des Festivals. The diagonal cut through the center of the building is marked on the outside by a red external fold visible against the smooth glass exterior. As a result, Ilot Balmoral looks to be a neighborhood unto itself, with interior passageways and a cohesive design that is simple and lovely at the same time. Moreover, the National Film Board of Canada agreed to be the building’s core tenant in order to modernize their facilities. Provencher Roy redesigned four floors of Ilot Balmoral to meet the technical requirements of the new tenant, including editing rooms and the latest in film equipment. Meanwhile, the main stairway lights the way to the Film Board’s offices. Also, pedestrian bridges connect the building’s interior offices with stunning views of the surrounding city. One side of the interior space is taller than the other, which features a green rooftop space for outdoor events. The building is a candidate for Gold LEED-NC Certification. + Provencher Roy Photography by Stéphane Brügger

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Montreal building melds design with sustainable technology

Rivendell net-zero energy house optimizes solar energy

April 18, 2022 by  
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Surrounded by lush scenery in Harvard, Massachusetts is the Jenson-DeLeeuw Net-Zero Energy House by Paul Lukez Architecture. The dwelling is often referred to as Rivendell by the owners, a reference to J.R.R. Tolkien’s elvish village in Middle Earth. Rivendell uses various systems to harness copious amounts of solar energy and features several passive design strategies that allow for thermal comfort and airflow. The project uses a dual clean-energy system that generates and conserves solar energy. The angled roof maximizes the energy production of 56 photovoltaic roof panels, which produce 21,000 kWh of solar power each year. 16kWh Sonnen batteries store surplus energy and are part of a split heating and cooling system. This solar energy system is a lower-cost alternative to standard HVAC systems and is more eco-friendly. Rivendell also has a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of -23, meaning that it produces 23% more clean energy than similar-sized homes. As a result, the excess energy can be used in cloudy weather or to power the owners’ Chevrolet Bolt electric car. Related: Zero Energy Ready Homes can bring you net-zero energy bills Passive design strategies are key in optimizing the home’s thermal comfort. During the warmer months, the large roof overhangs shield the interior from the intense summer sun. Additionally, the open floor plan and high ceilings enhance airflow and cool the space with natural breezes. Conversely, in the winter, the project’s large south-facing windows bring in natural light and warmth from the low-angled winter sun. This is supplemented by insulated walls and a wood stove in the living space for extra heating on colder days. The architects created a thermal envelope using Huber Engineered Woods’ Zip System. This high-efficiency sheathing enhances insulation and prevents moisture buildup. Visually, the weathered wood cladding alludes to the wooded, rocky landscape and reinforces Rivendell’s connection to the site. By maximizing solar energy and creating a thermal envelope through passive design strategies, the Jenson-DeLeeuw house successfully achieves net-zero principles and creates a comfortable living environment . Its self-sufficiency also prevents cutting down trees in the woods for the installation of utility infrastructure. Alongside its incredible efficiency, the Rivendell house also creates visual connections to its surroundings and celebrates the beautiful scenery. + Paul Lukez Architecture Via ArchDaily Photography by Greg Premru

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A zero-carbon home in Portugal has a stunning pool

April 5, 2022 by  
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Kerimov Architects created a zero-carbon dream home on a hill in Portugal . The home is called Casa de Cabo and it is a 1,250 square-meters house. The house boasts broad, horizontal lines. Wide overhangs shade beautiful and private interiors, extending toward the horizon. Casa de Cabo was built with peaceful privacy in mind. Thereby, all the views are to the back of the house . The house fits into the surrounding environment and rooms are fit into an underground floor. The basement floor has an atrium structure where rooms are interspersed with internal basement gardens. Related: First ceramic geodesic dome in the world is affordable On the main floor, the living areas are attached via a bridge . It looks out a spacious backyard pool shaded by generous pergolas and overhangs. Additionally, the living room and office looks out to the ocean horizon. Also, priority was given to the views the residents have of the landscape . The subtle footprint is mimicked in the eco-friendly materials used to build the house. Locally-produced concrete, glass and wood helped achieve zero-carbon emissions. The concrete walls extend beyond the line of the façade. It continues to the roof’s emphasis on horizontal lines. As a result, it provides a grounded feel to the space. The walls continue into the interior and provide a connection between the interior and exterior of the home . Lastly, the glazed rear was harder to achieve than it may appear. Local regulations limit glass to no more than 50% of the façade. The architects say that despite the limitation, they managed to achieve “maximum lightness and semi-permeability of the architecture and set panoramic viewpoints.” The light appearance of the thin roof, made of local timber, also met the architects’ principles of stability and sustainability . + Kerimov Architects Images via Kerimov Architects

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A zero-carbon home in Portugal has a stunning pool

Greenhouse produces food and energy for a circular economy

March 10, 2022 by  
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The Solar Greenhouse is a prototype of a space used to harvest food and energy. It allows self-sufficiency for individuals in both urban and rural regions. The project was designed and assembled by a team of students and researchers in the Advanced Ecological Buildings and Biocities (MAEBB) masters program at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). The greenhouse is the product of studies investigating how to meet nutrition and energy needs more sustainably. The project incorporates solar energy harvesting, environmentally-friendly design and advanced cultivation technology as a solution for the European Union ‘s zero-emissions city model for 2050. Related: Natufia’s hydroponic garden embraces farm-to-table eating Specifically, the project is located near the IAAC’s Valldaura Labs Headquarters. The Valldaura campus is in the Collserola Park, on the outskirts of Barcelona . Because the site is rich in resources, the greenhouse is a “zero-kilometer” project. This means that the materials do not need to be brought to the site since water, building materials and growing substrate for the plants are sustainably acquired from the surroundings. For example, the pine timber for the structure is sourced from the park. The team processes the timber at Valldaura Labs and recycles the sawdust byproduct as a growing medium in the greenhouse’s plant beds. By maximizing materials and byproducts found in the vicinity, the system supports a circular economy. Furthermore, the space consists of two floors with distinct functions. The ground level is dedicated to seed germination, while the top level is for harvesting . The project features hydroponic systems, using nutrient-enriched water to grow plants without soil. Nutrients supplied to the planting beds come from an intricate pipe system. Alongside sunlight, which filters through the diamond-shaped roof, the team installed LED light strips to further augment plant growth. These lights are set at particular wavelengths, promoting high crop yields. The Solar Greenhouse’s simplicity allows for replication in both urban and rural communities . The model can easily be scaled for city rooftops, providing buildings with fresh food and renewable energy sources. This concept of self-cultivation tackles food and energy poverty, both presently and in the event of climate-induced crises. + Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) Photography by Adrià Goula

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Netherland house has a fungal self-repairing exterior

February 28, 2022 by  
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Architect Joris Verhoeven’s family home, Four Seasons House , is the perfect place to fully experience Netherlands’ seasons. It’s also a model of sustainable design. The house features self-healing siding sealant, negative carbon footprint and more. Dutch seasons are known for their variation. On occasion, there are fresh springs, warm summers, rainy fall seasons and even cold winters. Used to be a Tilburg wool industry, Four Seasons House is a modern-style home located in an old sheep grazing heather field. Verhoeven wanted to enjoy the natural environment, so he created a home that is part of nature . This includes windows that look out on changing landscapes like shifting paintings. Related: This prefab, CLT home nestles into the island dunes Furthermore, the home has a roughly textured black siding that looks like dark tree trunks surrounding it. Along with a wild garden with natural plants, the home dissolves into its environment . “This seems very logical,” Verhoeven said, “but it’s a peculiar choice in a country where everyone puts a fence around their garden .” The small footprint of the Four Seasons House was created sustainably with wood framing cassettes filled with flax insulation. This means it’s a prefabricated structure designed for this home by the architect. The interior side of the cassettes is made of decorative birch plywood. “[In] this pure way of building, the structural work is also finishing, also benefited the construction price and the construction period,” Verhoeven said. Surprisingly, the house was raised in just three days after the cement foundation was poured. The interior paneled in wood emphasizes the rural feeling of this modern home. An open staircase was made of birch wood, matching the structure. Other interior details, including the interior doors and kitchen and stair railing, are finished in matte black, which matches the window trimming. All of this ties the indoor and outdoor details together. What’s special is that fungal coating protects the exterior siding with a self-repairing layer of glaze. “When the fungus is fading, it means it’s hungry,” Verhoeven said. “Then you’ll have to feed it with linseed oil for new wood protection and to become matte black again.” Lastly, the architect intentionally designed his family home to use less building materials, requiring less transport and no water. The Four Seasons House actually has a negative carbon footprint. As a result, it sets an inspiring precedent for other builders. The home also creates its own solar and thermal power on the roof to be self-sufficient. + Joris Verhoeven Architecture Images via William van der Voort and John van Groenedaal

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Wanderruff makes puppy products from recycled bottles

February 28, 2022 by  
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Wanderruff is a line of eco-friendly essentials for your furry friend. These sustainable pet products for dogs are designed in Vancouver by local animal lovers Anisa Musmary and Paul Irwin. Wanderruff pet products were inspired by “adventure and a passion to help protect the great outdoors.” The brand is already a leader in crafting eco-conscious dog accessories. Wanderruff combines comfort and consciousness by using recycled plastic bottles to create canvas dog leashes. Their line include durable leashes, collars and harnesses. The leashes use recycled materials instead of new fabrics or plastics to help with the planet’s plastic pollution problem. Related: Dog toy and treats from Project Hive help save bees Furthermore, Wanderruff collars come in a variety of color combinations and sizes. We love the cute collars with contrasting colors. Also, the harnesses that look like they’d fit even biggest-chested dogs, something that can be surprisingly challenging. Additionally, the company uses sustainable packaging. They are a member of the 1% for the Planet , which means one percent of the company’s revenues goes toward environmental causes. This helps companies avoid greenwashing by donating directly to climate-related causes . To top it all off, Wanderruff also partnered with Pacific Parklands Foundation. The foundation looks after Metro Vancouver Parks for the sake of man’s best friend. You can buy Wanderruff products one at a time, or in convenient “walking kits” that provide everything you need. Whatever you decide, your puppy will not only be happy, but the planet too. + Wanderruff Images via Wanderruff

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Wanderruff makes puppy products from recycled bottles

This net-zero Big Sur home has enough power to charge EVs

February 25, 2022 by  
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Studio Schicketanz, led by Mary Ann Schicketanz, has designed a beautiful, net-zero home in Big Sur with views of the Pacific Ocean. The low-profile home, created for a Silicon Valley-based family, blends into a grassy hillside. What was initially planned as a weekend vacation house turned into a dreamy pandemic getaway home, where the family can enjoy the ocean-front pool. The designers created this net-zero house with high-end finishes with pieces from Coup D’etat, Larsen, Moooi, Miele, Brizio, Tai Ping, Giorgetti, Pindler and more. The pool includes petrified wood stumps by Leos Enderle and Rodney Hunter, adding to the rustic natural materials on site.A sculptural art piece by Eric Gushee and Casey McCafferty and pieces by Silvia Poloto are found throughout the home. The beds, ottomans, bookcases and media cabinets were custom made for the space. Related: Net-zero emissions area will be built on renewable energy Using local granite from Hollister, California, the home’s rock walls blend in with the surrounding landscape. Plaster was used for the “cubes” placed in front of the rock walls. Savannah Brown Duras flagstone connects the entryway and complements the stone used for the walls. While the home’s exterior was kept in neutral, the interior has pops of color from custom mosaic walls with Venetian plaster accent walls to match. The project achieves net-zero status by using solar panels and Tesla Power Walls to heat the pool and help power the home. The power produced on-site can cover all the home’s energy requirements with leftover to spare for charging two electric vehicles. More designs like this may be on the way as EVs become the norm and clients seek reliable infrastructure for their vehicles. Consideration for stylish finishes and lifestyle features elevate this design. As this project demonstrates, Studio Schicketanz takes a thoughtful approach “to landscape, architecture, and interior design , with a focused emphasis on livability.” + Studio Schicketanz Images via Joe Fletcher Photography

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This net-zero Big Sur home has enough power to charge EVs

Escape to Australia in this rentable off-grid tiny home

February 21, 2022 by  
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Built on historic farmland in New South Wales, Australia, by architect Cameron Anderson, Gawthorne’s Hut is a luxury, rentable tiny home deep in the peaceful countryside. A galvanized exterior, steeply pitched solar panel roof, and abundant use of glass and wood make this off-grid tiny home the perfect sustainable getaway. Gawthorne’s Hut offers accommodations for two. There is a kitchenette and breakfast bar with beautiful views of the surrounding grasslands and hills. A full bath and shower with large glass windows create a quiet place to rest and rejuvenate. In the bedroom, a handmade king bed perfectly fits the space. The home even has a full-size wood-burning stove. Related: This tiny home makes a big impact with a small footprint While Gawthorne’s Hut has WiFi and all the trimmings, it remains off-grid . The property is far from any stress and has its own barbecue pit with plenty of space outside. The angled roof allows for a lot more ceiling space (at least on one side) than you see in most tiny homes. Paneling and wood furniture create a warm and cozy interior for occupants. Unique design and custom modern features help this project stand out. For example, an overhang has been integrated into the single-pitch roof, creating a beautifully shaded porch. Surrounded by an open valley and trees , Gawthorne’s Hut is just steps from a private pond. In the center of the tiny home, recycled bricks were sourced from an old building on the property — the “original” Gawthorne’s Hut. Wild Willow Timber Designs handmade furniture for the new space. Moving through the interior, other features of interest include the full-size tub, built-in bookshelves and the unbroken views of hills in the distance. The brick wall that acts as a headboard for the bed also creates a partial dividing wall with the bathroom. With only this one dividing wall, there isn’t much private space in Gawthorne’s Hut. Polished concrete floors flow seamlessly from the tiles of the tub and shower to the kitchen and bedroom. + Gawthorne’s Hut Via Yanko Design Images via Wilgowrah

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Escape to Australia in this rentable off-grid tiny home

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