A recycled brick wall runs through this breezy home in Australia

October 19, 2018 by  
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Bright, breezy and surrounded by nature, the Cedar Lane House is a place of peaceful respite on the southern coast of Australia. Sydney-based architect and photographer Edward Birch designed the light-filled residence at the base of a mountain in Meroo Meadow. Spread out across 280 square meters, the linear home is anchored by a recycled brick wall that runs the length of the building and imbues the interior with warmth and softness. The Cedar Lane House is organized into three pavilion-like spaces linked by a central east-west hallway. While indoor-outdoor living is celebrated with ample glazing and a natural materials palette, the views are deliberately obscured from the entrance to create an element of surprise when visitors turn the corner and see spectacular landscape vistas through the living room’s walls of glass. In addition to the whitewashed recycled brick wall, the home interiors are dressed in Australian hardwood, white surfaces and other minimalist materials to keep the focus on the outdoors. The open-plan living spaces — including a living room, dining area and kitchen — occupy the heart of the home and branch off to an outdoor terrace and an indoor lounge on either side. The easternmost side of the home is defined by a master en suite with an outdoor shower and a spa. Three additional bedrooms, a rumpus room and an outdoor courtyard are located on the west side. The arrangement of spaces makes it easy for the homeowner to close off portions of the house depending on the number of people staying. Instead of main water connections, the house relies on recycled rainwater , which is collected in underground tanks and re-circulated around the building. Related: Passive solar home stays naturally cool without AC in Australia “From the recycled bricks, rough oak floor to the zinc bench top in the kitchen, the internal materials are intended to be imperfect, to mark and scratch and to tell the story of the lives lived inside the house,” Birch said in a project statement. “As the timber cladding silvers and the wash on the bricks get eroded away, the house ages gracefully and settles into the landscape around it.” + Edward Birch Via ArchDaily Images by Edward Birch

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A recycled brick wall runs through this breezy home in Australia

An experimental greenhouse pops up at a busy Copenhagen intersection

October 19, 2018 by  
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A surprising and experimental pocket of nature has popped up in the middle of a heavily trafficked intersection in Copenhagen , Denmark. Danish architect Simon Hjermind Jensen of SHJWorks recently unveiled “Biotope,” a sculptural pavilion that houses a microcosm of plants and insects. Sixty different seeds have been sown into the soil, and a beehive has been attached inside the installation to foster a thriving and evolving ecosystem of activity for the enjoyment of passersby. Created in the likeness of a primitive organism or bacteria, Biotope comprises a translucent shell made from a 4-millimeter-thick polycarbonate membrane that is set in a curved concrete bowl with a rim thick enough to double as bench seating. The installation measures 7 meters in length, 4 meters in width and 3 meters in height at its tallest point. The bowl collects rainwater and directs the water through the small holes in the polycarbonate membrane toward the soil within, thus creating what the designers call a “self-watering greenhouse.” Located near a train station, Biotope will be seen by many pedestrians, cyclists and motorists daily who will have the opportunity to observe the evolution of the greenhouse over its three-year installation period. Neither maintenance activity nor other interference will take place inside the shell during this period; the public will also not be allowed to access the interior. The shell’s site-specific form is optimized for views from the three lane road. Related: This hand-built island is the start of Copenhagen’s “parkipelago” of floating public spaces “Our climate will change,” SHJWorks said. “And maybe we will integrate plants and biological microcosms in our future dwellings and cities. Most likely there will be more harsh and exposed environment on our planet. And we ask ourselves if a solution will be to create microclimates where we — like the bees in this project — have our homes connected to and intertwined with?” + SHJWorks Images via SHJWorks

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An experimental greenhouse pops up at a busy Copenhagen intersection

This tiny shipping container home adapts to your needs

October 15, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

The tiny-living movement is thriving for a variety of reasons. An emphasis on minimalism, financial benefits and location freedom top the list. Many people who consider investing in a tiny home worry about size constraints, but the Calico tiny home by Katz Box offers a solution to that concern by offering a shipping container structure that adapts to its residents’ needs. Sustainability drives the Ohio-based Katz Box company with the goal of lowering the environmental impact of housing through reclaimed and recycled shipping containers. On the manufacturing end, the team is also committed to focusing on processing that minimizes waste. Related: Old shipping container repurposed as a 40-foot-tall parking booth In addition to creating an eco-friendly option through upcycling , the Calico design highlights a modular blueprint, meaning that each section of the interior is customizable to suit a variety of functions. An option for commercial or individual needs, the Calico provides a universal model to suit an endless array of demands, yet is completely tailored for a personal touch. The adaptable components don’t stop with the interior modular variations. In fact, this home can grow or shrink with the needs of the family. When more space is required, an additional shipping container or two can be added, making for a thoughtful and completely scalable design. Similarly, when the kids move out and it’s time to minimize, the added shipping containers can be removed. Mobility is another feature of the Calico, which can be relocated with ease. Appealing for the individual who moves often, it’s also an option for retail locations or temporary housing and offices, such as those on construction sites. Katz Box, the passion project company born from the sustainable mindset of owner Tobias Katz, is a relatively new option in the tiny-living movement. Founded in 2017, the objectives of Katz Box are many, including the goals of universal design elements and an accessible price point. Katz Box also aims to employ ultra-efficient building practices such as renewable energy and water conservation. + Katz Box Images via Tobias Katz

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This tiny shipping container home adapts to your needs

Historic Luxembourg building is metamorphosed into an eco-friendly powerhouse

October 3, 2018 by  
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Paris-based Vincent Callebaut Architectures has placed first in POST Luxembourg’s international design competition with its chrysalis-inspired vision for transforming the telecommunication company’s historic headquarters building into a carbon-neutral city landmark. Dubbed the Metamorphosis of the Hotel des Postes, the winning design includes nearly 120,000 square feet of mixed-use space comprising housing, co-working, retail, a brewery, restaurant and a permaculture rooftop garden. Although the design calls for a significant revamp of the structure’s energy systems, the architects will also take care to preserve the building’s historic architectural elements that date back to the turn of the 20th century. Designed by the government architect Sosthène Weis in the early 1900s, the historic building is mainly built of stone and reinforced concrete but has also been remodeled over the years with several extensions. Vincent Callebaut Architectures will begin its “metamorphosis” of the property by removing three of the extensions and then carefully inserting new changes, which include transforming the interior courtyard into a covered atrium. Central to the redesign is the addition of a chrysalis-inspired, multi-story volume in an oblong shape as well as a photovoltaic cell-studded glass “solar dome.” “[Our goal is to] reveal the intrinsic heritage qualities of the building and highlight them with contemporary architecture that assumes its era,” the architects explained. “Between history and modernity, between heritage and innovation, this metamorphosis presents a project reinforcing the patrimonial identity of the place by transforming the historic building into a showcase of contemporary, ecological architecture. Low-Tech and high-tech are therefore in tune to serve this exceptional project.” Related: Five bridges topped with urban farms could revitalize war-torn Mosul Designed to meet carbon-neutral status, the project aims to consume less than 30 kWh of energy per square meter annually and meet near net-zero energy targets. The building will not only be powered with renewable energies such as solar, wind and biomass, but it will also be renovated to follow passive design principles and updated with an airtight building envelope, double-glazed windows and highly efficient insulation. Metamorphosis of the Hotel des Postes is currently seeking approval from the local government. + Vincent Callebaut Architectures Images via Vincent Callebaut Architectures

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Historic Luxembourg building is metamorphosed into an eco-friendly powerhouse

A tiny, rustic, off-grid cabin sits on vast 300 acres in Australia

October 3, 2018 by  
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When clients tasked Melbourne-based firm MRTN Architects with designing a new home for their whopping 300 acres of natural landscape, the architects could have created a massive structure. Instead, the design team, inspired by the local vernacular, chose to implement a modern take on a simple shed. The 500-square-foot Nulla Vale House and adjacent shed, both of which are 100 percent off-grid , were designed to foster a strong harmony with nature. Located in Victoria, Australia, the home is set on an idyllic and rather remote area of untouched landscape. When the architects were contacted by the clients, the main request was that they design a structure that could be incorporated into another “more permanent home” that may be built on the same site in the future. Other than that, the clients also requested something that would stand out among the landscape from a distance. While exploring the area, the architects saw a lot of old sheds tucked into the rolling hills and decided to use these traditional forms as inspiration for the new home. “Nostalgia for this connection between land and building was the guiding principle for the Nulla Vale House and Shed,” the team explained. Related: Off-grid rainforest cabin built from scratch has minimal site impact The home and the adjacent shed are 100 percent off the grid and installed with water, sewer and electrical systems that not only support the existing buildings, but are capable of supporting any future buildings as well. The shed, which is covered with solar panels , is used for storage and houses the main PV battery. In addition to its energy efficiency, various recycled or repurposed materials such as salvaged brick were used in the home’s construction. Radial sawn timber was used to frame the home, which was then topped with a roof made from galvanized sheeting. The roof’s deep eaves shield the interior from the hot summer sun and optimize solar gains in the winter as part of a passive, energy-efficient strategy. The rustic aesthetic of the exterior continues throughout the interior living space. The salvaged brick walls were left unfinished, and wooden beams run the length of the vaulted ceiling. Even the insulation in the ceiling was left intentionally exposed in order to reflect the light from the concealed LED fixtures , which were installed in the beams. The main living room and small kitchen sit at the heart of the home. Farther back, there is a simple bedroom and bathroom. Throughout the space, there are various windows that flood the home with natural light. + MRTN Architects Via Dwell Photography by Peter Bennetts via MRTN Architects

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A tiny, rustic, off-grid cabin sits on vast 300 acres in Australia

Architect crafts a new work studio from an old shipping container

September 27, 2018 by  
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When it came to expanding his practice after years of working from home, Canadian architect Randy Bens knew that he didn’t want to venture too far away. Instead, the architect and his team decided that his own backyard would be perfect for a new office space and set about transforming an industrial shipping container into a contemporary and cozy 350-square-foot work studio. Bens worked from home for over a decade for his New Westminster-based architecture firm, RB Architect . When the practice began to grow, it became obvious that the team needed more space. After looking into several building options and locations, the team decided to keep the practice close to home. More specifically, in the architect’s backyard. Related: Beautiful, light-filled home slots into a skinny lot in Vancouver The architect considered many ways to increase his office space, but finally decided on using a large weathered steel shipping container , previously used as a mining container. At 40 feet long, 11.5 feet wide and 9.5 feet high, the container offered the necessary space with the added benefit of the inherent durability that comes from its steel shell. Additionally, using a shipping container would allow the team to transport it to another location if they decide to relocate in the future. The first step was to trim the container from 40 feet to 28 feet in order to easily fit it into the backyard space, where it was lowered into place by crane. The steel facade of the structure, which cantilevers over the concrete foundation by 7 feet, is clad in yellow cedar planks, which were also used on the windows and doors. The cedar will weather over time, giving the steel container a rustic, cabin-in-the-woods aesthetic. The interior of the building was laid out to create a highly space-efficient office . There is an open studio space with a “floating” Douglas Fir desk that spans almost the entire length of the main wall, which is clad in birch plywood. There is also a kitchenette, washroom and network cabinet. The open layout allows for flexibility in creating small meeting spaces or areas for model making. The front end has a large glazed facade that floods the interior space with natural light. + Randy Bens Architect Via Archdaily Photography by Ema Peter via RB Architect

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Architect crafts a new work studio from an old shipping container

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

Massive green-roofed home in Brazil features a series of ramps

August 29, 2018 by  
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São Paulo-based Una Arquitetos has completed a massive home in the municipality of Cotia that unites its various volumes beneath a lushly planted green roof. Named the House in Cotia, the modern home is set on a 2,600-square-meter property near the woods and takes advantage of its private setting with glass curtain walls throughout. The home is built predominately of concrete, metal and glass, yet the interiors are fitted with natural materials for a sense of warmth. Set on a challenging slope, the home covers an area of 730 square meters split into three volumes and four floors that are navigated with a series of stairs and ramps. Parts of the home are elevated on concrete pillars while others are embedded into the ground. Indoor-outdoor living is celebrated throughout the home. For starters, the 45-meter-long green roof is fully accessible. Moreover, the architects also designed several outdoor courtyards that enjoy seamless transitions to the interior with large sliding glass doors and wine-red floor tiles used in both the interior and exterior. “The construction, in section, accommodates smoothly to the geography of São Paulo’s sloped grounds. Four levels built from three parallel walls organize the landscape,” note the architects. “The development, in plan, allows an integration between interior and exterior spaces, which alternate and fold being complemented with water, fire and vegetation. In addition to the green roof and lush surroundings, the firm also added an outdoor fire pit and two main water features: a swimming pool and a river-like channel that snakes through the property. Related: This modern solar-powered retreat is topped with a massive green roof The home is entered from the lowest level in a shaded area beneath the elevated volume housing the bedrooms. That volume is accessible via a ramped corridor that connects to the open-plan living area, dining area and kitchen. The home also offers a music room and a lounge. + Una Arquitetos Via Dezeen Images by Nelson Kon

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Massive green-roofed home in Brazil features a series of ramps

This couple converted an old school bus into a stunning tiny home

August 24, 2018 by  
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When couple Kai and Julie went to grab a cup of coffee in Berlin, their home city, they had no idea how that beverage break would change their lives. The couple saw an old school bus offered for sale and decided it would be ideal to transform it into a tiny home on wheels. They’d been mulling tiny home options for a while, but the aspect of being able to change locations at will was paramount. Kai and Julie also agreed that cooking and comfortable sleeping were high priorities. Free-flowing air and maximum light were also important. The 118-square-foot bus met all these needs with rows of windows, a skylight, and a large door that provided easy access to the magnificent outdoors, not to mention stunning views. Related: Family of five moves from a 2,100-square-foot-house to a beautifully renovated school bus Instead of trying to convert the bus’s interior piece by piece, the couple chose to strip it down to the metal chassis and start from scratch. Every day was an adventure in practical creativity because they had no master plan. As an homage to their roots, Kia and Julie built their cupboards and table from old Berlin loft flooring wood. They dismantled discarded wooden produce crates to cover the interior walls and build shelves. They carry about 26 gallons of fresh water onboard to filter for drinking, and the tiny home on wheels has a portable composting toilet. The couple agrees that the most beloved part of their new tiny home is the wood burning stove. According to them, it “makes you feel super cozy and gives the whole bus a true cabin feeling. It just makes you feel at home. Nothing beats having a candlelight dinner with the stove on. Besides the entertainment, there is a practical part, too. We heat the bus with it and we also use it to cook, which works great.” The pair admitted the project was extremely challenging at times, especially figuring out electric system installation, plumbing, insulation, and woodworking. But with the help of friends savvy about van conversion techniques and countless YouTube videos, the school bus transformation was a resounding success. + Apartment Therapy Images via Kai Branss

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This couple converted an old school bus into a stunning tiny home

Rammed earth walls tie this modern home to the Arizona desert landscape

August 21, 2018 by  
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Architect Brent Kendle of Kendle Design Collaborative married architecture with the desert landscape in Desert Wash, a site-specific home that sweeps the natural environment indoors through walls of glass and rammed earth construction. Designed for an active family of four, the 6,700-square-foot abode in Paradise Valley, Arizona takes its name from the property’s existing desert dry wash, a biome located at a drainage area prone to severe flooding events. To embrace the natural landscape and mitigate flooding, Desert Wash sports an elevated bridge that traverses the desert dry wash area—an element normally seen as a major obstacle in residential design. Designed to celebrate desert living, the Desert Wash home feels immersed in nature despite its relatively close proximity to the city. The modern house comprises a master suite with three guest bedrooms and plenty of indoor-outdoor entertaining opportunities. The garage, along with the bulk of the home, is located to the north of the dry wash, while the foyer, office and one of the guest bedrooms are located to the south and accessible via the glazed bridge . A simple material palette and neutral tones tie the sprawling residence to the desert landscape. Rammed earth walls, expansive glazing and flat steel and wood roofs with deep overhangs define the home’s construction. Predominately white interior walls help create an airy and bright indoor atmosphere while providing a perfect backdrop for the family’s extensive collection of art. Related: Unusual Kerplunk House is envisioned as a “miniature forest” in the desert “Desert wash uses the indigenous materials of the site to define the main living spaces,” explains Kendle Design Collaborative. “ Rammed earth walls brings the earth to the interior. Welcoming one into the home and unifying it with nature simultaneously. Throughout the home you experience the site sensitivity of the project through its unique pallets and how the residence respects the natural qualities of the site. The home nestles its self into the earth while also respecting the natural topography of the site by spanning over the ancient wash.” + Kendle Design Collaborative Via ArchDaily Images by Chibi Moku and Michael Woodall

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Rammed earth walls tie this modern home to the Arizona desert landscape

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