Timber Woody office in France embraces Paris’ largest park

November 29, 2019 by  
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In a bid to reduce the carbon footprint of construction, French architecture firm Atelier du Pont has created an office for Santé publique France, the French public healthcare agency. The new office is built almost entirely from wood and is free of solvents and plastics . Nicknamed “Woody” after its timber build, the office is located on the eastern edge of Paris right next to the Bois de Vincennes, the largest public park in the city. The architecture responds to the neighboring landscape with its branching design that embraces the surroundings “like open, protective arms.” Inspired by the Bois de Vincennes, Woody features an all-natural material palette of timber, which is used for everything from the cross-laminated timber structural components and oak flooring to the shingled facades and wood furnishings. Large, furnished terraces jut out from the building to overlook beautiful views of the wooded park, while expansive walls of glass bring those views and natural light indoors. The connection to nature is also referenced in the shape of the building, which resembles a bundle of sticks placed on the ground. Related: Railway enclave in Paris is transformed into a solar-powered mixed-use eco-district “This design symbolizes the mission of this institution, which oversees the health of everyone who lives in France ,” the architects explained in a press release. “The aim is to be exemplary in terms of its impact on the environment and the health. The project has created a pleasant space that takes its users’ wellbeing fully into account.” To create a healthy work environment, the architects have emphasized natural daylighting and a connection to nature. The neutral color palette and unpainted timber lend a warm and tactile feel to the interior. In addition to the nearby park, occupants can enjoy the three gardens around the building, each organized around a theme of beneficial, healing or harmful plants. + Atelier du Pont Photography by Takuji Shimmura via Atelier du Pont

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Timber Woody office in France embraces Paris’ largest park

LEED-certified ‘Cocoon House’ has colored skylights that create rainbows inside the home

October 31, 2019 by  
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The Hamptons have long been known as a summertime haven for busy New Yorkers, and one architect has created a personal retreat that pays homage to the region’s vernacular in a very unique way. Nina Edwards Anker of nea studio has unveiled the Cocoon House, a gorgeous, LEED-certified family home that is “cocooned” into a curvaceous shell, where colorful skylights reflect rainbows throughout the interior. Located on the coast of Southampton, New York, the Cocoon House is a curved volume clad in cedar shingles. The unique design is reminiscent of the local pool cottages found throughout the Hamptons but with a modern twist. The best part? The home is a powerhouse of energy efficiency . Related: LEED Gold home celebrates Utah’s brilliant light and beauty The northern side of the home is covered with shimmering cedar shingles , creating a sense of privacy, while the southern side features an impressive 65 feet of continuous sliding glass doors, providing unobstructed views of the pristine landscape. Topping the inner curve of the home is a series of multicolored skylights angled to reflect light and create a vibrant stream of fun, rainbow hues throughout the interior. According to the studio, the tints on the bold skylights were inspired by Goethe’s theories on color. “The colors range from vermilion red, which signals sunset and rest, above the master bedroom, to deep yellow, which signals zenith and activity, nearest the living room,” the team explained. At either end of the home, rounded windows provide stunning views from the open living area on one side and the master bedroom on the other. In between both areas, the interior design is just as impressive as the home’s exterior. The furnishings, many created by Anker herself, are contemporary with plenty of whimsy, such as the origami-like wicker settee and twinkling chandeliers. Besides its breathtaking aesthetic, the home is also LEED-certified thanks to several energy-efficient and sustainable features. Solar panels power the home. Thick and heavily insulated walls retain heat while the transparent side lets in optimal natural light and air circulation. Adding to its strong thermal mass, all of the home’s doors and windows are Passivehaus-certified. Even the swimming pool, which is able to collect and filter rainwater, adds to the home’s efficiency. + nea studio Photography by Caylon Hackwith via nea studio

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LEED-certified ‘Cocoon House’ has colored skylights that create rainbows inside the home

Old van converted into solar-powered bohemian beach hut on wheels

October 28, 2019 by  
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British designers Supertramped Co. have converted an old Mercedes-Benz T2 van into an incredible bohemian-inspired home on wheels. Ernie is a bright blue and white van that has been completely renovated with a fun, shabby chic interior design that  not only includes some whimsical beachy decor, but also an array of 400-watt solar panels that allow the beautiful camper to go off grid virtually anywhere. The Mercedes-Benz T2 vans were produced by Daimler-Benz from 1967 to 1996, and the boxy, durable vehicles were often used as ambulances or delivery trucks.  The vans were also known for their smooth maneuverability, something that, along with its compact shape, makes them the perfect type of van to convert into a vibrant home on wheels. Related: Amazing camper van maximizes space with clever boat design tricks According to the Somerset-based designers, the clients approached them with the idea of a surf-inspired mobile beach hut that would serve as their tiny home on wheels while exploring the world. Inspired by the sea and trajectory of the van, designers went to work and created Ernie— a beautiful camper van that runs on solar power. The exterior of the van is a bright blue and white, paying homage to the typical large striped umbrellas found on the sea side. The beachy theme continues throughout the interior with a fun, shabby-chic interior design . The walls are clad in rustic wooden panels punctuated with plenty of large windows, giving the space a warm atmosphere . The main living area is a compact, but cozy space with bench seating and dining table that sits across from the kitchen. Throughout the tiny space, fun decor made up of seashells and starfish trinkets add a bit of whimsy to the design. Like most camper van conversions, the design for the kitchen space has to be functional and space-efficient, and Ernie delivers in spades. The main area is  equipped with a fridge/freezer combo, stove top and oven. comprised of whitewashed cabinetry with a vibrant blue and white backsplash. A farmhouse sink adds a nice country style touch to the seaside vibe. Further past the kitchen is a small bathroom with full shower and marine toilet. However, the shower stall is incredibly original, featuring exposed pipes, subway tiled-inspired wooden wallboards, a giant skylight above that lets in tons of natural light . The sleeping space is located in the very back of the camper. A bed platform is set up with plenty of storage for sporting equipment, clothing, etc. underneath. A pair of dual doors open outward to take in the unobstructed views. In contrast to its warm, laid-back interior, Ernie also boasts a very hightech system. The van was installed with several modern features such as Alexa-controlled lighting, a surround sound system, WiFi, UV water sterilizer, led lights and a 400-watt solar array . + Supertramped Co. Via Curbed Photography by Simon and Kiana Photography

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Old van converted into solar-powered bohemian beach hut on wheels

Four alpine apartments rise from a green-roofed complex in the Czech Republic

October 25, 2019 by  
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Czech architecture firm ov-a recently replaced a former 1980s department store in the mountain town of Pec pod Sn?žkou, Czech Republic with Apart-hotel Svatý Vav?inec, a modern mixed-use complex with 90 apartments that celebrate the alpine surroundings. In place of the barrier-like shopping complex that had obstructed views into the village, the architects created a green-roofed commercial plinth topped with four timber-clad apartment towers. Dubbed the “meadow,” the accessible green roof serves as a semi-private open space with room for an outdoor grill with seating, a children’s playground and private terraces for individual suites. Taking inspiration from the local alpine vernacular, the architects created Apart-hotel Svatý Vav?inec with natural materials and simple gabled forms to blend the architecture into the landscape. The commercial plinth is clad in stone and topped with an intensive Optigrün green roof . The four gabled apartment towers on top vary in size and orientation and are clad in cedar and large windows that embrace views of the outdoor landscape. If apartment owners choose to rent out their units, guests can enjoy access to a complete hotel experience with a reception and cleaning services. Related: A new eco-minded neighborhood in Utah ski resort emphasizes land stewardship The commercial plinth also offers new amenities for the greater community, including a supermarket, a pharmacy, a sporting goods store and a ski and bicycle service shop. The commercial spaces can be accessed through the interior of all of the apartments as well. The building has two underground garages on different levels. “The core character of the area is shaped by the individually standing buildings along the main street that are in close contact with the surrounding nature,” the architects explained. “The atmosphere is captured by a road rising through the valley alongside streams and by the openings between houses that allow a view of the further planes of the village and the cabins scattered on the meadows. The design of four apartment buildings continues the thread of these qualities and develops and further elaborates on them.” + ov-a Images via BoysPlayNice

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Four alpine apartments rise from a green-roofed complex in the Czech Republic

Living Vehicle’s 2020 travel trailer generates a whopping 200 percent more solar power than its previous model

October 24, 2019 by  
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A few years ago, we estimated that HofArc’s Living Vehicle would be the future of off-grid living, and now the company has unveiled a new-and-improved model that ups the game when it comes to off-grid, net-zero travel trailers . Adding to its luxurious, eco-friendly features, the Living Vehicle 2020 version generates up to 200 percent more solar power than its previous model. Designed by award-winning, LEED-accredited architect and mobile space designer Matthew Hofmann, the Living Vehicle models offer the full package when it comes to sustainable travel trailers. According to the company’s description of the 2020 model, it has several updated features, but like the previous models, it is strategically engineered to be the highest-end luxury trailer on the market. Related: This Living Vehicle can take you completely off grid for a month The stunning tiny home on wheels comes in the same glossy aluminum cladding, giving it a sleek, modern feel. In fact, the trailer was made with zero wood products, with most of its parts, including the chassis, frame, interior and exterior skin, subflooring and all cabinets, being made out of aluminum. For adventurers seeking to go off the grid for long periods of time, the 28-foot long Living Vehicle offers the ability to do just that. Built with a stand-alone electrical powerhouse with solar-generated Volta Power Systems, the 2020 version generates an impressive 200 percent more solar power than its previous model. Even the refrigerator, dishwasher and pull-out microwave in the kitchen operate on solar power . Additionally, its robust design enables the travel trailer to take on virtually any landscape, from the barren desert landscapes to icy, mountainous regions. Four-season capabilities, off-road running gear and ample storage for equipment allows for an infinite amount of rugged adventures. If all of that durability and unprecedented sustainability isn’t enough, the luxurious interior design is truly out of this world. Much like its modern exterior, the interior also boasts a contemporary edge. The interior features furnishings made out of natural and extremely durable materials that are free from solvents, chemicals and VOCs. The living space was designed to accommodate four people, although it can be increased to six upon request. As an extra bonus, the 2020 model even comes with the ability to extend the living area thanks to a fully integrated, self-supporting deck that offers open-air space. Living Vehicles are so popular that the previous model sold out incredibly fast. Unfortunately, the company has said that it will only be producing 25 of the 2020 models, which start at $199,995. + Living Vehicle Images via Living Vehicle

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Living Vehicle’s 2020 travel trailer generates a whopping 200 percent more solar power than its previous model

Rael San Fratello prints amazing 3D mud structures as prototypes for affordable housing of the future

October 24, 2019 by  
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Led by architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, design studio Rael San Fratello has become well-known for creating innovative and sustainable designs, but now the studio is truly breaking ground when it comes to 3D printing . As part of its Emerging Objects series, the design team has created four solid mud structures. Built by a low-cost, portable 3D robot, the four buildings were all printed using soil and wood sourced on site in Colorado’s expansive Valle de San Luis. The team chose Colorado’s San Luis Valley as the site for their series due to its rich history of Ancestral Pueblo and the Indo-Hispano cultures. Referring to the traditional building practices of these cultures, which predominately included using earthen materials to create sturdy housing, Rael San Fratello has managed to create four 3D-printed prototypes: Hearth, Beacon, Lookout and Kiln, that explore the various techniques of mud construction . Related: BigDelta machine 3D-prints durable, affordable houses from dirt The project, called Mud Frontiers, began by researching the typical earthen items that have been made from the clay harvested from the area. They then collaborated with 3D ceramic print company 3D Potter to create a small, portable robot called Potterbot XLS-1, which was built to print the mud creations on site. The first design, Hearth was built using a thin wall of mud reinforced with rot-resistant juniper wood. This structure has a tiny fireplace on the interior that burns the wood as well. The second design, Beacon was designed to research just how thin the mud walls could be by stacking various coils of mudwork. In this structure, light illuminates through the indentations along the walls, serving as a “beacon” of light. The third design, Lookout, was comprised of a network of undulating mud coils that are layers to form a staircase, creating a structure that is strong enough to withstand substantial weight. Additionally, this structure was built with cross sections of mud piping that can be used to create a system of natural air circulation through various openings. The final prototype, Kiln, included a culmination of the anterior designs, but adds a kiln that uses locally-sourced clay fired with juniper wood to create earthen ware items. Using the various traditional techniques helped designers determine that mud could indeed be a viable solution for providing more affordable construction options in the future. Especially as urban and rural area designers and architects look for sustainable materials to build resilient structures. “What we learned was really how accessible, robust and powerful it was to print large scale structures so quickly using the soil just beneath our feet,” Rael told Dezeen. “We discovered work flows for printing, material mixture processes, structural applications and theories about new and old ways of living and designing for the future using humankind’s most humble material.” + Rael San Fratello + Emerging Objects Via Dezeen Photography by Rael San Fratello

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Rael San Fratello prints amazing 3D mud structures as prototypes for affordable housing of the future

Two beautiful, self-sustaining tiny cabins rest on a remote island off the coast of Finland

October 22, 2019 by  
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Finnish designers Aleksi Hautamäki and Milla Selkimaki have done what many only dream of — they have bought an entire island to construct a gorgeous off-grid retreat. Located on 5 acres of rugged landscape, at the edge of the Archipelago National Park in Southwest Finland, Project Ö includes two self-sustaining, solar-powered cabins that include chic living spaces as well as a sauna and a workshop. The ambitious designers purchased the remote island two years ago with plans to built a set of off-grid cabins . According to Hautamäki, their vision was “to build all things necessary in as little space as possible.” The result is two compact structures that offer optimal functionality and comfort without harming the existing landscape. Related: These tiny steel cabins in Joshua Tree epitomize off-grid design Since the designers bought the island, they have constructed two narrow gabled cabins , which house the living spaces, a sauna and a workshop. The cabins sit elevated off of the rocky landscape by an expansive wooden deck. The cabins are long and narrow, with ultra-large windows that, in addition to flooding the interior with natural light , provide stunning views of the island’s coast. Additionally, there are a number of outdoor lounge areas that let the designers and visitors enjoy spending time in the outdoors. The main cabin is comprised of an open-plan living room with a kitchen and dining area. A sleeping loft on the second floor is accessible by a ladder. The bedrooms and bathrooms are located in the second cabin, which is accessible through a central, covered outdoor area. All in all, the cabins can sleep up to 10 people. Due to the remote location, the cabins were also built to be completely self-sufficient. Rooftop solar panels generate energy, and there is an integrated water system that filters seawater. Two wood-burning stoves provide hot water for the cabins and create the ultimate cozy atmosphere. + Project Archipelago + Project Ö Via Dezeen Photography by Archmosphere via Project Ö

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Two beautiful, self-sustaining tiny cabins rest on a remote island off the coast of Finland

Rammed-earth walls make up a beautiful retreat hidden in the Zhejiang mountains

October 10, 2019 by  
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Hidden in the misty mountains of Zhejiang , a new eco-sensitive resort made from local materials entices visitors with spectacular views and laid-back charms. International architecture firm kooo architects designed the Retreat Village, which comprises a cluster of luxury suites, for their client Hangzhou Origin Villa Hotel & Resort in the Dashan Village in Zhejiang, China. Taking inspiration from the local vernacular, the architects used local materials and techniques, such as rammed-earth construction, to create a resort that blends into its surroundings. Completed over the course of two years, the new Retreat Village is located on a remote, rural mountain. Although most of the original village architecture was built from rammed earth walls using local soils, the architects decided to only use rammed earth for a portion of the new construction so as to keep the interior from feeling too dark and constrained. The earthen walls are complemented by a natural material palette of bamboo, red bricks, stone and carbonized wood. To reduce site impact, the architects used locally produced as well as recycled materials and carefully sited the buildings to follow the natural contours of the mountain. Each of the buildings point in different directions to preserve privacy and to maximize views. An indoor- outdoor living experience is also emphasized in the design. Moreover, the use of natural materials and careful siting help make the village disappear into the landscape. Related: MAD’s ethereal Yiwu Grand Theater will “float” on Zhejiang waters “There is no light coming from this lonely village’s surrounding at night, so one can feel sufficient brightness even with a minimum amount of lighting,” adds the firm. “We kept the lights that can illuminate the entire space uniformly, such as downlights, to the minimum, and used all-directional soft umbrella-like lights such as free-standing lamps and table lights throughout the space. These fixtures project soft arches of light and shadow, illuminating the seamless finish and rounded edges of the walls and ceilings. Wrapped with the warmth of light, the rooms feel more calming and comfortable.” + kooo architects Images by Keishin Horikoshi / SS

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Rammed-earth walls make up a beautiful retreat hidden in the Zhejiang mountains

Light your pumpkins the EEK-o-friendly way this Halloween

October 10, 2019 by  
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With spooky season upon us, consider illuminating your jack-o’-lanterns in an eco-friendly way. But what are some good light sources to place within or even near pumpkins? You, of course, want to avoid toxins from certain sources, so here are some of Inhabitat’s sustainable suggestions this autumn. Soy or beeswax candles Steer clear of paraffin, because it is a petroleum-based product that produces soot. Paraffin candles have also been known to release acetaldehyde, acrolein, benzene, formaldehyde, naphthalene and toluene — all of which are toxins . Instead, choose “cleaner” candles made either of soy or beeswax. These options are all-natural, burn at lower temperatures, and last longer — ensuring a healthier light to place within your carved pumpkins. Related: Time to put the flame out — scented candles can cause disease and poor air quality Flameless LED artificial lights LED lights can be in the form of tea lights, string lights, even bike lights — making them wonderful choices for your jack-o’-lanterns. They are, after all, more energy-efficient and have longer lifespans than other types of artificial lighting. They are also a safer choice for inside a pumpkin because they don’t emit much heat, thereby lowering the risk of fire. They can operate at a wide range of temperatures — whether hot or cold — without significant degradation. For these reasons, LED lights are safer and more budget-friendly for a sustainable Halloween. Solar lights Go green this year by utilizing your garden decor to fashion a solar-powered jack-o’-lantern. How does one solarize pumpkins? First, you’ll have to allow your solar garden lights to collect energy from the sun throughout the day. While your yard’s solar lights are soaking up the sun, that is when you can cut out the bottom of your carved pumpkins. Then, at night, you can place those jack-o-lanterns atop the now-glowing solar garden lights. Voila! Your yard will come alive with solarized jack-o’-lanterns to ghoulishly light up your Halloween night . So this Halloween, if the kids are asking why your pumpkins have bigger smiles, goofier faces or even epic expressions, you can explain that it is all because they are all lit up in EEK-o-friendlier ways. Via Chester Energy and Policy Image via David Menidrey

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Light your pumpkins the EEK-o-friendly way this Halloween

This 1973 Airstream could be yours for $68,900

October 10, 2019 by  
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A clean, modern design. Plentiful storage. An abundance of natural light. What more could you want in a tiny home on wheels? Renovated by DIY experts Nate and Taylor, from Augustine Along the Way, this 1973 Airstream has a new life as Mattox . Mattox is a 25-foot Airstream trailer with a gorgeous interior design featuring bamboo hardwood floors and plenty of plants. The ambitious duo put a ton of work into renovating the old Airstream , and now, the shiny little home can be yours for just $68,900. Inside and out, Mattox is a beautiful example of a DIY Airstream renovation. Starting with the trailer’s signature aluminum exterior, Taylor and Nate polished its formerly dull facade into a gleaming, mirrored finish. The Airstream even comes with a retractable rolling awning that provides a shaded, open-air place to dine or simply enjoy the fresh air just outside the front door. Related: A dull, 26-year-old Airstream becomes a bright, cozy home on wheels Although Mattox’s gleaming exterior is impressive, its interior design is what shines the brightest. The compact living space feels bright and open thanks to an abundance of windows and a fresh coat of white paint on the walls and ceiling. Contrasting nicely with the all-white background, beautiful and ultra-durable bamboo hardwood floors with eucalyptus backing run the length of the interior. Just across the front door, the kitchen sits at the middle of the Airstream. The kitchen includes everything one would need to create culinary masterpieces, including a two-burner stove and a new refrigerator. The Zellige tile backsplash adds an earthy touch. Facing the kitchen and beside the entrance is the lounge area, which comes complete with a custom, built-in couch with storage underneath. In fact, most of the furniture in the Airstream was custom-made to use every inch of space strategically . This includes the two-person, drop-down walnut dining table and small desk area complete with book storage. In the back of the classic trailer is a bedroom big enough for a full-sized bed. This space also fits in plenty of storage both underneath the bed and in a small closet near the entrance. For those adventurers out there who would like to take Mattox on the road, rest assured that the Airstream’s mechanical systems have also been completely renovated. New tires, brakes, bearings, propane hook-ups, fresh water hook-up and more will give you peace of mind while you are exploring. + Augustine Along the Way Via Tiny House Talk Images via Augustine Along the Way

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