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

Weathered-steel home near Palm Springs is the epitome of desert chic

March 30, 2020 by  
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Los Angeles-based EYRC Architects has tucked an undeniably chic home into a remote corner of the Californian desert. The Ridge Mountain House is a concrete and weathered steel dwelling specifically designed to sit in harmony with its breathtaking setting. In addition to running on solar power, the project also uses several passive features to reduce the home’s energy use. Located on a hillside with the protected Agua Caliente Indian lands to the west and the Coachella valley to the east, the Ridge Mountain House provides the homeowners with a seamless connection to the stunning wilderness that surrounds the lot. Related: Oregon couple spends years building their net-zero ‘extreme green dream home’ Although the building site was perfect for what the family had in mind, the rough terrain presented its fair share of challenges for the architects. The craggy topography meant that the two-story home had to be embedded deep into the hill using two large cast-in-place concrete volumes that make up the ground floor. The second floor was clad in a rusted steel rainscreen that blends in nicely with the rugged colors of the desert landscape. “The site is unique and majestic,” said Steven Ehrlich, founder of EYRC. “The house is close to civilization yet feels remote and private. Building on such a craggy site was complicated, but our contractors performed a feat of engineering. The pool and casita were built first, because they are on the downside edge of the ravine.” The project features two separate structures: the main home and a small casita, both connected by a wooden deck. This outdoor space, complete with an infinity pool and a hot tub, allows the family to enjoy much of their lives outdoors, dining al fresco, stargazing, entertaining or simply taking in the expansive views. The deck leads directly into the home’s great room via sliding glass doors. The rest of the interior spaces, with 12-foot ceilings, are flooded with natural light thanks to the sliding doors as well as an abundance of windows. Flooring made of gray concrete and burnished plaster and wax walls give the main living spaces a natural feel. In fact, there was no paint used in the house whatsoever. The Ridge Mountain House runs on clean energy . Rooftop photovoltaic panels generate enough power for the home, while natural cross ventilation and passive cooling techniques further reduce energy use. During the construction period, the architects and homeowners insisted on minimal landscaping, using only native desert plants. + EYRC Architects Via Wallpaper* Images via EYRC Architects

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Weathered-steel home near Palm Springs is the epitome of desert chic

Volkswagen revamps classic 1960s microbus into a cool electric ride

March 25, 2020 by  
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Volkswagen campers have been the choice of many road warriors since the 1950s. Now, the iconic car manufacturer has just unveiled an electric option of the classic T1 Samba Bus. Although the new-and-improved microbus still boasts its original hippie-era coolness, the revamped e-BULLI is now powered by a 61kW electric motor. Since the 1960s, the T1 Samba Bus has been a symbol of road adventures across the globe. With enough seating to fit a large family or group of friends, the iconic microbus has been a top VW model for decades. Related: These campers made from 1970’s VW Bugs are the cutest things ever Now, the German car manufacturer has decided to bring the Samba into the 21st century by electrifying the beloved van. While keeping the recognizable shape of the 21-window body, VW added a 61kW electric motor. And lest you think that the new electric system will slow the van down, not to worry. The state-of-the-art electric motor actually provides twice as much power as the original engine. The new version of the VW classic was made possible by a collaboration with eClassics , a firm specializing in electric car conversions. Working closely with VW, the company replaced the engines in the Samba Bus models Type 1, 2 and 3 to run on 82-horsepower electric motors instead of the Sambas’ original 43-horsepower four-cylinder motors. The motors work with a 45-kilowatt-hour battery pack, which can charge from empty to 80% in less than an hour. The e-BULLI comes with an estimated range of 124 miles. As far as speed, it can reach a top speed of 81 miles per hour. The new electric system provides drivers with an extra-smooth ride. According to the company, “Compared to the T1, riding in the e-BULLI feels completely different. This is further enhanced by the chassis, which has also been redesigned: multi-link front and rear axles with adjustable shock absorbers and coilover struts, plus a new rack-and-pinion steering system and four internally ventilated disc brakes contribute to the new dynamic handling being transferred to the road with serene poise.” With its eight seats and convertible fold-back top, the van still retains its classic style with a few twists. The exterior is painted in a mix of “Energetic Orange Metallic” and “Golden Sand Metallic Matte”. Inside, the seating and the central driver console area have been restored with modern materials, and the interior lighting systems were updated with LED lighting . If you’d like to get one of these electric VW vans to hit the open road, it will cost $69,500. Unfortunately, they are only available in Germany at this time. + VW Via Dezeen Images via VW

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Volkswagen revamps classic 1960s microbus into a cool electric ride

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

Adidas unveils lightweight hiking shoe made from ocean plastic

March 24, 2020 by  
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Long-distance hiking never looked so comfortable thanks to Adidas’ new shoes made especially for adventure. The Terrex Free Hiker Parley shoes are constructed using a sustainable combination of the company’s Boost technology and Parley for the Oceans’ recycled plastic material. The shoes will form to the shape of the wearer’s feet while providing a sleek look to match almost every style. This is the first in Adidas’ Terrex Free Hiker collection to incorporate Parley Ocean Plastic yarn, which is made from upcycled plastic waste collected from coastal areas. Adidas is a founding member of Parley for the Oceans, a global network that helps raise awareness for the oceans by collaborating among mindful brands and environmental groups. Related: New line of men’s swimwear is made from recycled ocean plastic Adidas’ Boost technology offers energy-return cushioning, even on rocky surfaces, and the mid-cut profile with a rubber outsole provides an adaptable grip on every type of terrain. The company’s signature Primeknit fabric makes the shoes water-repellent, lightweight and form-fitting to hug all the right spots of your feet (almost like a sock). Don’t let the breathable material fool you — these kicks are just as equipped for comfortable, long-distance hiking as they are for normal, everyday wear. This allows consumers to go from the rugged outdoors to the city sidewalks and urban settings to natural landscapes without missing a beat. “We believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives, and our latest shoe in the Terrex collection does just that,” said Tim Janaway, general manager of Adidas Outdoor. “The Terrex Free Hiker Parley represents both sustainability and performance, empowering you to get outside and challenge yourself, without challenging the environment .” The men’s and women’s designs weigh just 400 grams and 340 grams, respectively, and will retail for $200. All of Adidas’ Parley products are made using a yarn material spun from discarded plastic pollution collected from coastal areas, such as the Maldives, by beach cleanups run by partner organizations. + Adidas Images via Adidas

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Adidas unveils lightweight hiking shoe made from ocean plastic

Zero Labs handcrafts electric version of the classic Ford Bronco

March 24, 2020 by  
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Sometimes what’s old is new again — only better. According to those who have personally ridden in and driven the world’s first 100% Electric Classic Ford Bronco, this seems to be the case. Reimagined by Adam Roe, CEO and founder of Zero Labs, the electric Ford Bronco appears to be art, luxury and performance all wrapped up into one green package . Combining the spirit of the past with a focus on a cleaner future, there will be a limited initial run of around 150 vehicles produced. Related: Goodyear reCharge tire concept targets sustainability Produced is an ill-fitting word, because these vehicles aren’t pumped out on an assembly line; instead, each electric vehicle is handcrafted. At first glance, the body design recalls a different time, with each project starting with an original 1966-77 First Generation Ford Bronco. However, the goal isn’t to simply pop an electric system into an old vehicle. Instead, the focus is on creating an experience that provides a sustainable four-wheel drive vehicle that embraces the passion for the classic Ford Bronco design. This achievement doesn’t leave performance at the curb though. Perhaps the new electric Broncos are out of the running for a speed competition or distance award, but few people will be able to say they’ve been four-wheeling in a Bronco that barely makes a sound and uses no fuel. In addition, a high-quality 2.0 chassis with independent front and rear suspension creates a comfortable ride. Features include an integrated roll-cage and modern conveniences that are endlessly customizable, from vegan leather seats to walnut or bamboo dash inserts. The manual transmission is more for the fun of driving than performance, because the clutch can shift gears but isn’t necessary for the electric vehicle to come to a stop. Owners can expect a range of around 190 miles from a full 70 kWh battery pack. Optional dual motors offer up to 600HP. Handcrafted in a warehouse in Hawthorne, California , the electric Ford Broncos are already in “production” with anticipated delivery dates at the end of 2020. They are available in two versions from stock factory steel to carbon fiber that is lighter and faster with increased range. Prices for the luxury experience range from $185,000 to $240,000. + Zero Labs Images via Zero Labs

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Zero Labs handcrafts electric version of the classic Ford Bronco

Ibiza home uses passive, bioclimatic systems to reduce energy use

March 20, 2020 by  
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Spain’s idyllic Balearic Islands are an inspiration for artists and architects alike. One Formentera-based architect Marià Castelló has just used Ibiza’s spectacular beauty to craft a modern home. Tucked into the island’s hilly San Mateo region in the north, Ca l’Amo is a serene retreat comprised of five cube-like volumes that use several passive, bioclimatic elements to reduce the project’s environmental footprint. The San Mateo plains were once filled with terraced landscapes used for agriculture , but over the years, the area has regrown its native pine and juniper forests. Using this natural landscape as inspiration, Marià Castelló designed Ca l’Amo, a contemporary home shaded by natural vegetation . Built upon two existing dry stone walls, the home’s white cladding and natural limestone terraces give it an undeniably Mediterranean feel. Related: Architects revamp a 100-year-old warehouse into a dreamy off-grid refuge in Ibiza The five rectangular volumes are spaced to provide openings between each, creating a harmonious connection between the indoors and outdoors. The dwelling features a swimming pool and covered lounge area on one end, where residents can make the most of the Mediterranean climate. This first volume is then connected linearly to the following four volumes, which contain the shared and private living spaces. The interior spaces reflect the same openness of the exterior. With walls of sliding glass doors, each volume can be opened up to the elements. A minimalist interior includes white walls and cross-laminated timber accents. Outfitted with sparse pieces of custom-designed furniture, the living spaces put all of the focus on the natural setting. Further putting nature at the forefront of the design, the residence was designed to reduce energy usage through the implementation of several passive and bioclimatic design elements. The separate volumes and open spaces were designed to take full advantage of natural light and air ventilation, while the home was strategically positioned to use the vegetation and sun path to keep the interior spaces cool and comfortable year-round. Additionally, a rainwater collection system includes a cistern that can store up to 200 metric tons of water for reuse. +  Marià Castelló Architecture Via Wallpaper* Images via Marià Castelló

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Ibiza home uses passive, bioclimatic systems to reduce energy use

Roaming shipping container museum brings contemporary art through Panama

March 6, 2020 by  
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Panamanian architect Héctor Ayarza has figured out a cool and sustainable way to bring art to the masses. His fantastic Wandering Museum is a roaming structure made out of two reclaimed shipping containers . The project helps bring certain works of art from the Museum of Contemporary Art throughout neighborhoods in Panama City. The project began as a collaboration between the Panama City-based Museum of Contemporary Art and Ayarza. Hoping to showcase certain pieces that may not have permanent space in the museum itself, the team decided to create a sustainable way to bring a selection of contemporary art collections to people in various locations throughout the city. They did this by turning to recycled shipping containers. Related: Spectacular new shipping container museum nestles near China’s Great Wall Towed on the flatbed of a truck, the lightweight Wandering Museum travels easily through the city streets. While it is on the road, the traveling museum is instantly recognizable thanks to its multicolored design. Bright stripes of red, orange and green cover the shipping containers’ exteriors, bringing a fun, vibrant feel to the project. Once parked, the shipping containers are laid out in a perpendicular formation. The entrance is through one end of the first shipping container, which is painted black inside. This is the main exhibition space, with a  minimalist atmosphere that emits the same contemporary style of the permanent museum. The second shipping container has interior walls that are clad in a low-cost particle board with various shelves. There is also a floor-to-ceiling chalkboard, where visitors can leave messages. An entire side of the container can be completely left open, inviting art-lovers to explore the interior contents while also socializing in the make-shift courtyard space between the two structures. + Héctor Ayarza Via ArchDaily Photography by Fernando Alda via Héctor Ayarza

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Roaming shipping container museum brings contemporary art through Panama

Minimalist, charred-timber tiny cabin is only 129 square feet

March 3, 2020 by  
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Belgian firm dmvA Architects has unveiled a sophisticated and sustainable tiny cabin clad in charred timber. Just shy of 130 square feet, Cabin Y is a lightweight, flexible structure that is easily transportable and reconfigurable. Additionally, the cabin runs on solar power, meaning it doesn’t have to rely on the grid for energy. dmvA architects is known for its long-standing commitment to designing sustainable structures that achieve “maximalism through minimalism.” According to the firm, the inspiration for Cabin Y came from the need for a flexible and lightweight building that could serve a variety of uses, from tiny retreats and art studios to permanent home additions and commercial applications. In fact, the cabin is so lightweight and compact that it is easily transported on a standard-sized flatbed trailer. Related: Transparent, prefab tiny cabin offers the best views of the Italian Alps Using charred larch wood on the tiny cabin’s cladding not only gives the structure a modern, sophisticated aesthetic but makes it more durable. The cabin is comprised of individual wooden sections that are connected by stainless steel tension cables that form an X-shape; this unique construction enables the cabin to be customized to individual needs. Contrasting nicely with the dark exterior, the interior is clad in white oiled pine. The front door to the cabin is a massive glass door that swivels open. This glazed entrance offers sweeping views of the tiny cabin’s setting, wherever that may be, while also allowing the daylight to stream in. The minimalist , 129-square-foot interior consists of one large room with a sleeping loft, which is reached by ladder. The compact bathroom is located in the back of the cabin and includes a toilet and a shower. A rooftop solar array allows Cabin Y to be entirely self-sufficient. The tiny cabin also boasts an impressively tight thermal envelope thanks to hemp insulation . + dmvA architect Via ArchDaily Photography by Bart Gosselin via dmvA architect

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Minimalist, charred-timber tiny cabin is only 129 square feet

San Francisco library boasts a green roof and LEED Gold status

February 7, 2020 by  
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When Hacker Architects redesigned a historic, 1969 branch library in the southeastern Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco in 2013, the firm wanted to make sure that the building continued to serve as an educational and communal space for the area. As such, added sustainability measures were included to support the environmental goals for the library but also to act as teaching tools for the community. The library replaced an original building on the same site and features green design elements, such as solar panels and a lush green roof, that earned it LEED Gold certification. Despite its modern, sustainable technologies, the project honors its history and celebrates the local culture and community in its design. Related: LEED Silver museum’s shimmering, iridescent facade evokes flames in Kansas In the center of the library, a courtyard brings in natural ventilation and light, all while providing visitors with views of an urban garden. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light even deeper into the building. The library’s green roof is also visible from the inside. The vegetation, mostly native grasses and perennials, on the roof helps filter stormwater runoff, while the onsite electricity is generated through solar panels. Additionally, a natural ventilation system inside helps to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the interior. The 9,000-square-foot library was renamed in 2015 to commemorate Linda Brooks-Burton, who worked as the head librarian of the branch from 1995 until 2011. Brooks-Burton was an advocate for education, co-founding the Bayview History Preservation Project and the Bayview Footprints Network of Community Building Groups in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Brooks-Burton passed away unexpectedly in 2013, just months after the library was rebuilt. The building received the 2013 Sustainability Award from the Portland, Oregon chapter of the American Institute of Architects San Francisco and was named a New Landmark Library by the Library Journal. Karin Payson Architecture and Design (KPa+d) was awarded the Kirby Ward Fitzpatrick Prize by the San Francisco Architectural Foundation for its role as associate architect and interior designer for the project. + Hacker Architects Photography by Bruce Damonte via Hacker Architects

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San Francisco library boasts a green roof and LEED Gold status

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