An ever-evolving, growing home in Indonesia adapts to its owners’ needs

June 6, 2018 by  
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Indonesian architecture firm Studio SA_e recently completed its most dramatic renovation yet on Rumah Gerbong, a home that has evolved and undergone many expansions since the owners purchased it 18 years ago. Located in the planned township of Bintaro Jaya in Jakarta , the home has evolved from a strictly residential building to a multifunctional dwelling that accommodates residential, office and entertainment spaces. Described as a “multistep development” or “growing house” (rumah tumbuh), this adaptive typology has become increasingly popular in Indonesia. The origins of Rumah Gerbong began in 2000, when the owners, then a young couple, purchased the 387-square-foot two-bedroom building set on a plot of about 968 square meters. Three years later, the couple realized that they needed to expand their living space — they had recently given birth to a child and the husband, an architect, needed an office of his own where he could work with clients. Thus, the couple expanded the built footprint of their home to the corners of the plot and added a second floor to make room for a ground-floor office at the front of the house. The second evolution took place between 2006 and 2007, when the home expanded yet again to incorporate the neighboring house to accommodate four additional bedrooms and living spaces. Ten years later, the husband wanted to expand his office, while the wife wanted a space of her own to run a business from home. Their growing children also wanted places to bond with family. Thus, Studio SA_e designed a home compartmentalized into three sections: living, working and interacting. The bedrooms are concentrated on the second floor to open the ground and third floors for communal activities. The “business compartment” is mostly located on the north side and is divided among the three floors. The architects retained space for a planted interior courtyard to let in daylight. The home also connects to an accessible green rooftop. Related: Village-inspired office in Jakarta is topped with living trees and a green roof “The end of 2017 has turned into the climactic peak in the construction of Rumah Gerbong, with several additional functions in compartment space,” the architects wrote. “The strategy of breaking the density and contrast of functions (living and working) by adding new functions in the form of empty space and interaction space produces a new distinctive typology with strong functional synergism … [we] named this strategy as krowakisme (krowak = perforated , partially hollow).” + Studio SA_e Via ArchDaily Images by Mario Wibowo; Aerial photography by Mario Wibowo & George Timothy

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An ever-evolving, growing home in Indonesia adapts to its owners’ needs

Tudor-inspired tiny house blends old-world charm with minimalist functionality

June 6, 2018 by  
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From climbing walls  to movable walls , the prolific tiny house team from Tiny Heirloom is well known for creating unique tiny homes , but they’ve outdone themselves with their latest design, bringing a touch of old-world charm to the modern movement. The house, which was built for a private client, draws inspiration from Tudor-style architecture and comes complete with a timber-accented facade, dual gables and dark hardwood floors. The client came to the tiny house builders with an idea to create a small home that would be timeless; “The exterior of [owner] Jenn’s house was very important to her,” according to Tiny Heirloom. “She wanted it to look and feel like you were back in time whenever you laid eyes on it. So together, we drew inspiration from…different architecture but decided Tudor was the best fit. It’s such a unique style but it really finished off the design quite perfectly.” Related: Tiny Heirloom’s luxury micro homes let you live large in small spaces The home has an interior layout of just 220 square feet, but its sophisticated design creates a comfortable and spacious interior. The classic Tudor-inspired theme is reflected in the dark hardwood flooring, all-white shiplap walls and curved windows that flood the interior with natural light . The living room is compact but inviting, with a charming mosaic-clad fireplace and reading chair. The interior living space was equipped with plenty of shelving and storage to avoid clutter. The kitchen, which is just steps away from the living space, features a beautiful hammered copper sink, a propane three-burner hob and oven, and a matching mosaic backsplash. A gorgeous steel spiral staircase next to the kitchen leads up to the sleeping loft , which has a decorative railing that overlooks the bottom floor. The space fits a double bed and is also well-lit thanks to arched windows and a skylight. + Tiny Heirloom Via New Atlas Images via Tiny Heirloom

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Tudor-inspired tiny house blends old-world charm with minimalist functionality

Go stargazing in this galaxy-inspired cluster of tea rooms in Japan

June 6, 2018 by  
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With a name that translates to “beautiful stars,” Bisei is a town in the Okayama Prefecture of West Japan that has long boasted a reputation as a popular stargazing destination. Now, a newly-added cluster of tea rooms in the Bisei countryside is making the nighttime activity even more enjoyable. Designed by Japanese architecture firm Moriyuki Ochiai , the sculptural Constellation of Stargazing Tea Rooms was completed earlier this year and offers stunning sky views. Extended across the rolling hills of Bisei, the Constellation of Stargazing Tea Rooms draws inspiration from the region’s status as a stargazing destination and as the birthplace of Eisai, a Japanese Buddhist priest who is believed to have introduced green tea to Japan. Commissioned by Pasona Group and irbisei, the open-air structures are painted a variety of striking colors and provide shelter and connection with the outdoors. “The Japanese tea room was developed as an enclosed microcosm called a “enclosure,” and as such, each unit is designed as a spatial installation where one can perceive minute changes in its natural surroundings and experience the wonder and mystery of natural phenomena,” wrote the architects at Moriyuki Ochiai. “Painted with stellar colors, each volume presents polygonal openings from which can be taken in the beautiful offerings of nature such as light, rain and the starry night sky. Moreover, mirrors placed on the exterior walls reflect the ever-changing outdoor environment like the water surface of rice paddies scattered across Bisei, thus modifying the look and perception of the constructions throughout the day.” Related: ARCHSTUDIO inserts a modern teahouse into an ancient Chinese structure The open arrangement of the “galaxy of tea rooms” is also conducive for a variety of events. The site is expected to host gatherings and performances hosted by the Astronomy Club, the Tea Ceremony Club, as well as other groups throughout the year. The layout also responds to the undulating terrain and is crafted to look like an extension of the landscape. + Moriyuki Ochiai Images by Fumio Araki

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Go stargazing in this galaxy-inspired cluster of tea rooms in Japan

3 cities using parks to climate-proof their future

April 25, 2018 by  
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Here’s what Gladsaxe, Jakarta and Chicago have in common.

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The bitter better place

April 25, 2018 by  
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There is no need to apologize for being relentless in our work, or vociferously clear about the consequences of inaction.

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Why ARPA-E is essential for U.S. energy innovation

April 25, 2018 by  
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The federal agency has a mission of overcoming long-term, high-risk barriers to developing energy technologies.

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Why ARPA-E is essential for U.S. energy innovation

Village-inspired office in Jakarta is topped with living trees and a green roof

August 21, 2017 by  
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The new Aedas- designed Unilever HQ in Jakarta references Indonesia ‘s villages to create a welcoming environment filled with natural sunlight and plenty of green space. The building features green roofing, a main square and winding streets to mimic the organization of a traditional village, along with floor-to-ceiling louvered windows that fill the interior with light. The new building sits in the BSD Green Office Park, Indonesia’s first green office campus masterplanned by Aedas. It houses the company’s four separate offices in Jakarta under one roof and combines its modern vision with the country’s historic architectural influences. Related: Aedas unveils mountainous mixed-use building that looks like a stack of books The large complex incorporates three main elements–community, diversity and nature–into the design and focused on facilitating collaboration while maintaining privacy. Group and individual workspaces are organized into zones to encourage collaboration. The ground floor houses public and common areas organized around a central atrium. A variety of elements– Indonesian batik fabrics, recycled teak timber , and furniture– reference the traditional Indonesian culture. Grey aluminium blade louvers cover the curtain wall system and provides shade while reducing heat gain . Natural light reaches all interior spaces thanks to the absence of enclosures. + Aedas Via World Architecture News

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Village-inspired office in Jakarta is topped with living trees and a green roof

Major climate science denial group admits to using false temperature data

August 21, 2017 by  
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Though 97 percent of leading scientists agree that climate change is a very real threat that needs to be addressed immediately, certain factions refuse to accept mounting data on Earth’s rising surface temperatures . In fact, some groups have gone as far as to fabricate information – including the so-called Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). The climate science denying group recently admitted to providing false data in an interview with the BBC. On August 13, 2017, the climate science denying think tank admitted to sharing “erroneous” temperature data to support Lord Lawson’s false claims he made to the BBC that global temperatures are not rising. The interview was immediately criticized by both the media and scientists, reports DeSmog . This is because Lawson was wrong to claim that the average global temperatures have “slightly declined” since 2007. In reality, the global surface temperature over this period has increased. 2014, 2015 and 2016 are now the three hottest years on record. Related: Koch brothers is launching a new, multimillion-dollar group to fight the rise of electric cars Screenshot of GWPF tweets taken on August 14, 2017. Three days after the interview, the climate change denial group tweeted that it was “happy to correct the record.” It has since removed the tweet, as requested by climate scientists Ed Hawkins . Thanks for acknowledging this Benny. Are you could to delete the original tweet so that this erroneous claim doesn't spread further? — Ed Hawkins (@ed_hawkins) August 13, 2017 Indeed. My bias, my mistake. — GWPF (@thegwpfcom) August 13, 2017 The tweets reveal that the graph was originally produced by US meteorologist Ryan Maue, who is an adjunct scholar of the libertarian group the Cato Institute. Weather forecaster and climate science denier Joe Bastardi later published the graph. Both Bastardi and Male work for the private weather consulting firm WeatherBell Analytics , which is funded by climate change deniers such as the Koch brothers. After admitting to fabricating data, the GWPF immediately tweeted that the rest of Lawson’s claims to the BBC were true — despite many being demonstrably false. Additionally, the group went right back to proclaiming that climate change is a hoax. While the situation is frustrating, at least in this instance it has been verified that  global temperatures are, in fact, increasing. Via Desmog Images via Pixabay

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Major climate science denial group admits to using false temperature data

Nearly every room in this lush Jakarta home connects with the outdoors

June 27, 2016 by  
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The London-based architecture firm created the home for a client in Puri Indah, an upscale residential area of West Jakarta. Completed earlier this year, the Wooden Box House sprawls across 5,300 square feet of living space. It includes a spacious owner’s suite, multiple guest rooms, as well as a housekeeper’s suite. Nearly every interior space (except for the bathrooms) is connected to the outdoors, either directly via a private balcony or terrace with a lush green garden , or visually through floor-to-ceiling windows. The unique multi-level building shape means the terraced gardens add to the view from inside the home. Related: RAW Architecture’s Scottish Highlands House as perfect views of mountain sunrises and island sunsets The architects called for five different types of locally-sourced wood to be used throughout the home’s design, both inside and out. The facade and interior ceiling are composed of dried pine wood planks of various dimensions, chosen for its durability and coloration. Iron wood reclaimed from a phinisi boat adorns the home’s floors, along with the slightly less expensive bengkirai wood, which also makes up the outdoor decking. The Wooden Box Home also features elegant teakwood in the main area bedroom, library, and foyer area. Merbau wood comprises the home’s single front door. It is the most readily available material in Jakarta, making it a sustainable option that is particularly suited to the environment because of its tolerance on expansion. + RAW Architecture Via ArchDaily Images via Eric Dinardi/bacteria photography

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Nearly every room in this lush Jakarta home connects with the outdoors

Cambridge researchers are growing bone for greener buildings

June 27, 2016 by  
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Concrete and steel make up the bulk of today’s skyscrapers and city buildings. But both materials require huge amounts of energy to process, accounting for nearly 10 percent of global carbon emissions . University of Cambridge researchers led by Michelle Oyen are pursuing a solution in the lab: they think materials like bone and eggshell could offer a greener alternative. Knowing that the production of steel and concrete results in more carbon emissions than air travel , Oyen, a bioengineer, decided to tackle the problem from a new angle, drawing inspiration from nature for new building materials . She works in the field of biomimetics or “copying life.” With US Army Corps of Engineers funding, she’s made artificial eggshell and bone in the lab, materials that could be used for medical implants – or for constructing buildings. Related: Michael Green on Why Wood Skyscrapers are Better than Concrete and Steel Towers In a press release Oyen said, “What we’re trying to do is to rethink the way that we make things. Engineers tend to throw energy at problems, whereas nature throws information at problems – they fundamentally do things differently…Constructing buildings out of entirely new materials would mean completely rethinking the whole industry. But if you want to do something really transformative to bring down carbon emissions, then I think that’s what we have to do. If we’re going to make a real change, a major rethink is what has to happen.” The process to fabricate bone and eggshell happens at room temperature, and thus requires far less energy than processing concrete and steel. Proteins and minerals lend hardness and toughness. The researchers are also working to incorporate natural properties of bones – notably the fact that they can heal themselves – into the lab-made materials. According to the team, their process could be easily scaled up. But we probably won’t start building with eggshells and bones tomorrow. Oyen’s team is still using animal collagen to make bones and eggshells, though they are looking for a way to use synthetic material, perhaps a polymer or synthetic protein, instead. The construction industry would also have to rewrite building standards to accommodate the new materials. Via Engadget Images via eVolo and Zhang Yu on Flickr

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