Solar-powered EarthCruiser camper expands at the push of a button

May 24, 2017 by  
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Even experienced road warriors need some extra space now and then. Thankfully, the roof of the new EarthCruiser EXP expands at the push of a button, offering more space and more light. The expedition vehicle is basically the Swiss Army Knife of campers, offering a solar power array and a variety of features that make living on the road a much more enjoyable experience. Whether used as a cabin for a quick weekend getaway or a permanent off-grid home, the EarthCruiser EXP design is meant to provide the ultimate in comfort and reliability. The imposing truck 4X4 chassis gives the vehicle a strong, sturdy body that is, according to the company, “nearly unbreakable.” Although, at just 257 inches wide, it can be easily parked, and even fits into a standard shipping container for easy shipping around the world. The vehicle is made of a lightweight, but strong fiberglass-composite that provides ultra insulating properties, making it especially useful for off-grid living . Related: Futuristic Nimbus E-Car is a cute hybrid microbus perfect for the eco-conscious road warrior The expandable rooftop opens upwards a full 24 inches to provide extra room on the interior. Surrounded by windows, the extended roof helps flood the interior space with natural light. For charging needs, a two-panel solar array is installed on the roof and provides plenty of energy for the vehicle’s electronics. The solar-powered battery can be used for up to 10-days, but if the energy level drops below 50%, an alarm will sound. This system was designed to eliminate the need for a portable generator. The vehicle is also equipped with an advanced water-purification system that allows users to collect clean, safe drinking water from almost any source such as a creek or lake. + EarthCruiser Via Techeblog Images via EarthCruiser

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Solar-powered EarthCruiser camper expands at the push of a button

Sweden lists entire country on Airbnb because roaming should be free

May 24, 2017 by  
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In Sweden, citizens aren’t only encouraged to explore the outdoors , they guaranteed the right to. The principle Allemansrätten, which is protected by Swedish law and literally translates to “freedom to roam” allows anyone to camp anywhere in the country – even on other people’s property. Because the government wants people to feel at home wherever they are in Sweden, the entire country was recently listed on Airbnb. The AirBnB listing reads , “Swedish nature isn’t just a piece of land with trees and lakes and cliffs – it’s a home with all the necessities and amenities that any great home should have. It’s a place where you can eat berries from the ground, sleep under the stars, swim in the lakes and roam freely. To make this home available for everyone, Sweden has listed the entire country on Airbnb .” Visit Sweden , the country’s global marketing department) worked with agency Forsman & Bodenfors to advertise nine astonishing locations on Airbnb. Listings include “ Rocky Island in the Stockholm Archipelago ,” Rustic Forest Retreat in Vintage Style ,” and “ Cozy Glade in Beech Forest .” Every location boasts 365-day availability and the reviews are just as inviting as the pictures. One can look forward to an “open roof bedroom” in any location they choose and is guaranteed “natural heating” through the months of May and August. Wild pets are also welcome – which is a plus for nature lovers. Related: Sweden opens an entire mall full of reclaimed goods According to Jenny Kaiser, president of Visit Sweden’s US office, the arrangement with Airbnb wasn’t a paid placement. Kaiser said, “As the initiative is a pure branding campaign for Sweden as a destination, the partnership is strategic for both parties and no payment has been done from/to either side.” Additionally, this is the first collaboration between the country of Sweden and Airbnb. Some suspect other countries will follow suit to drive tourism and encourage more citizens to explore the outdoors. + Sweden on Airbnb Via Fast Company Images via Sweden on Airbnb

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Sweden lists entire country on Airbnb because roaming should be free

This charred wood cabin can be rearranged in an infinite number of ways

May 12, 2017 by  
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This beautiful prefab house by Antony Gibbon Designs is made up of six modules that can be configured in an endless number of ways. Each unit has one or more open sides that can be attached together, providing the opportunity to build an incredible variety of layouts. The closed sides of each module are clad in charred wood siding for an elegant, low-maintenance facade. Called the Moduu House, it is comprised of six different variations of a single staggered form. Each module measures 2.5 x 2.5 meters with one or more sides ‘open’ to allow each unit to be connected onto another increasing the interior space. The structures can be connected in a wide variety of spatial sequences to create the house you want. Related: These gorgeous glass homes can pop up in 8 hours for under $50k Traditional Japanese charred wood cladding known as Shou Sugi Ban cover the exterior of the house, giving it a natural appearance. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow ample natural light into each structure, with the option of adding sliding doors for direct access to the terraces, also available as modules. + Antony Gibbon Designs

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This charred wood cabin can be rearranged in an infinite number of ways

Lose yourself in Arctic beauty at Finlands charming TreeHouse Hotel

May 12, 2017 by  
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Santa’s home base in the Arctic Circle has a new, uniquely crafted hotel that’ll let you watch the Northern Lights from the comfort of a cozy room. Studio Puisto designed the recently opened Arctic TreeHouse Hotel that comprises a series of elevated, treehouse-like rooms in Rovaniemi, Finland. Designed to immerse visitors in nature and arctic mysticism, the shingle-covered units offer a nest-like space that blends into the surrounding landscape. The Arctic TreeHouse Hotel comprises 32 units elevated on black stilts to minimize site impact . Carefully sited to optimize views, the units are organized in pairs that function as combinable halves with one housing the bedroom and bathroom and the other containing a kitchenette and living room. Each unit features a glazed end wall positioned for the unobstructed views of nature. Environmental-friendly design played a large part in the design of the timber buildings, from its pine shingle-clad appearance to the use of natural materials . Green roofs top the units for stormwater management. Timber was predominately used for the facade and the interior. The units were prefabricated offsite to minimize material waste and site disturbance. Related: Snøhetta’s luxury cabin with Aurora Borealis views opens at Treehotel At night the units light up like softly glowing lanterns, however, outdoor light pollution is kept to a minimum to preserve the “true wilderness experience” and viewing opportunities for the Northern Lights . “The inspiration for the accommodation concept — set on a steep natural slope — came from Nordic nature and culture as well as the magical world of SantaPark,” write the architects. “A vision started to form: small individual accommodation buildings set in nature, their spirit highlighting characteristics of the area and creating an optimal setting for experiencing both nature and arctic mysticism.” + Studio Puisto Via ArchDaily Images via Studio Puisto , by Marc Goodwin

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Lose yourself in Arctic beauty at Finlands charming TreeHouse Hotel

Trees will grow on the balconies of Istanbuls honeycomb-like apartments

May 12, 2017 by  
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Istanbul is on track for a stunning new landmark that’ll bring rural living to the heart of the city. International architecture studio Eray Carbajo designed Urban Rural, a modular residential high-rise that aims to raise the bar for sustainable development in Turkey’s capital. The modular units will fit together into a honeycomb-like volume with a balcony filled with greenery. The design of the Urban Rural building began with an abstraction of the traditional gabled rural house and garden. The architects created a “hybrid model” that integrates those rural aspects into a hexagonal modular unit. The architects say that use of a hexagonal grid will maximize the building volume while minimizing the number of building elements needed. “One hexagon unit consists a polygonal area to inhabit and a triangular cavity to be used as an irrigable garden ,” write the architects. “When all modules combined, these triangle cavities act as a truss structure transferring the building’s loads to lower members. As a whole, Urban Rural creates interdependencies between building systems, structure, landscape and architecture. Integration of such complex systems are achieved through modular design that persevere flexibility.” Related: Spectacular green-roofed modular Tangier Bay Housing offers enviable views of the Atlantic The modular high-rise would be built of locally sourced materials . Its location in the heart of the city is walkable with access to public transit, thus reducing occupant need for cars. Social and recreational spaces on the lower floors will foster a sense of community in the building. Construction is slated for completion in 2019. + Eray Carbajo

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Trees will grow on the balconies of Istanbuls honeycomb-like apartments

This amazing shipping container hotel can pop up anywhere in the world

May 2, 2017 by  
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Prague-based firm Artikul Architects has managed to combine two of our favorite things: shipping containers and wanderlust. The ContainHotel is a small boutique hotel made out of three repurposed shipping containers that can be easily disassembled and transported to different locations. The eco-hotel is made out of three large shipping containers , but has a total of five rooms that can accommodate up to 13 guests at a time. A horizontal row of four rooms was built into a 40-foot high cube container, which is supported by two perpendicular 20-foot containers on the bottom level. The ground level containers house the sanitary facilities, a technical room, a storeroom on one end and a four-bed guest room on the other. Related: Luxury Hotel Made from 35 Recycled Shipping Containers Opens Next Month in China Although compact, the rooms are open and airy, with minimal, but elegant features on the interior. Large windows provide tons of natural light for all of the rooms. The interiors are clad in birch plywood, which was also used for the custom-made furniture. All of the rooms open up to an elongated shared balcony that provides great views of the surrounding nature. Currently located in in Treboutice, Czech Republic, the hotel was designed to be a self-sufficient, eco-friendly hotel that can be easily demounted and transported to multiple locations. The structure was built on railroad sleepers to leave minimal footprint no matter where it is assembled. The building is connected to a local electric power source and has an integrated water reservoir that supplies the showers and sinks, all installed with water saving taps. To save on heating and cooling, the hotel awnings, which were made of reclaimed wood planks from a local sawmill, insulate the roof and provide shade in the summer months. + Artikul Architects Via Contemporist Photography by Michal Hurych

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This amazing shipping container hotel can pop up anywhere in the world

Explore incredible worlds inside these landscapes carved into books

May 2, 2017 by  
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Laramée, who has an extensive background in the arts, is best known for his topographical literary sculptures that take anywhere between days to months to complete. His sculptures have depicted breathtaking landscapes from iconic Petra in Jordan to China’s emerald karst mountains. In an interview with yatzer, Laramée say that these works of art aren’t so much about nature as they are about capturing and evoking the feeling of the sublime and spirituality inspired by extraordinary landscapes. The sculptures are all made by hand without computer modeling. Laramée uses a vast array of tools from band saws and chain saws to flexible shaft rotary tools and sand blasters to carve small magical worlds from tightly bound book pages. Mountainous landscapes, icy glaciers, canyons, and underground caverns are all masterfully represented in his prolific series. Laramée applies oil paints, inks, dry pastels, crayon, adhesives, and beeswax to bring the landscapes to life. “My work, in 3D as well as in painting, originates from the very idea that ultimate knowledge could very well be an erosion instead of an accumulation,” writes Laramée. “So I carve landscapes out of books and I paint romantic landscapes. Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains. They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening. Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply IS. Fogs and clouds erase everything we know, everything we think we are.” + Guy Laramée Via Colossal

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Explore incredible worlds inside these landscapes carved into books

Green-roofed Cantilever House floats above the Malaysian rainforest

May 2, 2017 by  
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This green-roofed house juts out over the lush rainforest of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Architecture firm Design Unit Sdn Bhd envisioned the Cantilever House as a “forest” of industrial steel columns that create a weightless-looking volume. Passive House design features – including an adjustable envelope – minimize the building’s impact on the environment. The house consists of two independent structures constructed of exposed structural steel and concrete, framing a large courtyard with a swimming pool . A long ramp connects the “steel box” to the ground. The opaque appearance disappears once inside– the double glazed full height sliding glass screens and adjustable glass louvers bathe the interior in natural light. This operable envelope wrapped in external sunscreens made from perforated stainless steel provides optimal natural ventilation and allows views of the surrounding rainforest . Related: Futuristic green city design runs like a real rainforest in Malaysia The two structures of the house serve different functions– one with living areas and bedrooms, and the lower one accommodating an art gallery and cinema. The grass-covered roof establishes different micro-climates and creates gardens for relaxation. These spaces allow occupants to enjoy an indoor-outdoor lifestyle which maximizes contact with nature while minimizes disturbance to the site. + Design Unit Sdn Bhd Via Plataforma Arquitectura Photos by Lin Ho Photography

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Green-roofed Cantilever House floats above the Malaysian rainforest

These solar-powered apartments in Sweden generate more energy than they use

April 28, 2017 by  
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Although the US may be moving backwards in terms of clean energy, countries like Sweden are going full throttle while adding plus-energy homes to their cities. Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture designed this newly-built apartment complex in Linköping. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it also produces enough energy to sell surplus electricity back to the grid. Sweden’s solar energy tax used to be quite punitive, but the country has thankfully slashed the tax by 98% . As a result, developers and private home owners are embracing solar energy. In fact, the Linköping apartment complex generates more energy than it needs from its large roof-mounted photovoltaic array . Related: 8 homes that generate more energy than they consume As far as design, the architects wanted something that would pay homage to the city’s vernacular. Beautiful brass-colored windows on a white concrete facade give the building a delicate, yet modern aesthetic. On the interior, the units are bright and spacious and come with high ceilings . A community courtyard severs as a gathering place where residendts can discuss their amazingly low energy costs. + Kjellgren Kaminsky Images via Kjellgren Kaminsky

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These solar-powered apartments in Sweden generate more energy than they use

This futuristic metal-clad residence is segmented like a lobster tail

April 5, 2017 by  
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This futuristic residential building in Luxembourg has a segmented facade that resembles the tail of a lobster or an exotic insect. Design studio Metaform sought to eliminate some of the major problems that occur in multi-family housing projects – such as the lack of privacy, natural light , and open space. Metaform approached the project in an experimental way in order to respond to the steep topography and preserve the existing three-century-old trees located on the plot. These elements inspired the form of the building, which is split into six smaller, vertically shifted blocks. This allowed the designers to preserve the required density while providing residents with a sense of belonging, identity and human scale. Thanks to the resulting layout, the units receive ample amounts of natural light and have panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the city. Related: Innovative Gap House in Seoul saves space with communal living areas The ventilated facade is clad in triangular aluminium panels . Passive house design features work together with a well-insulated facade and glass elements coated with anti-UV film that protects the interior from overheating. Solar panels and living roofs round out the home’s green building strategies, ensuring low-energy performance. Related: Belles Townhomes is SF’s First LEED Platinum Multi-Family Housing The design eliminates long, horizontal circulation routes, which can often be dark and acoustically problematic. Three vertical cores connect underground parking directly to the apartments–an element that allows the units to have three-sided orientations. Apart from offering privacy, the architects also wanted to give residents the possibility to meet and get to know each other in common shared indoor spaces like kitchens and living rooms. + Metaform Via v2 com Photos by Steve Troes Fotodesign

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This futuristic metal-clad residence is segmented like a lobster tail

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