Two moody, tranquil cabins perch above a Quebec forest

November 14, 2018 by  
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Montreal-based firm  Nature Humaine has unveiled a beautiful pair of adjoining cabins tucked into a remote forest outside Quebec. The cube-like structures are clad in a burnt wood facade, giving the design a distinctively minimalist aesthetic. To make the most of the incredible setting, the timber cabins have two massive glass walls that provide breathtaking, panoramic views from the interior. Located in the Eastern Townships, Quebec, the two tiny cabins hold court over a steep, rocky terrain. The cabins are clad in a dark, burnt wood that, along with the pre-woven hemlock planks used for the exterior walkways and connection point, create a quiet, natural palette that easily blends into the landscape. Related: Linear Cabin is an elegant hideaway in the woods of Wisconsin To reduce the project’s footprint, the cabins were anchored into thick, but nearly invisible, raw concrete foundations. Overhanging roofs on both structures were designed to emphasize the views but also to reduce solar gains in the hot summer months. The two cabins were slanted just a bit to follow the natural slope of the ground, giving off the rather frightful sensation that they are just about to slide off into the forested abyss below. The cabins are comprised of two modules connected by an interior walkway. The first module houses the living space and kitchen, while the bedrooms are in the second cabin. In keeping with the minimalist nature of the design, the interiors were also kept simple, with just a few select pieces of furniture. From anywhere inside the cabins, sweeping views are provided by the front glass facades, establishing a strong and seamless connection with the outdoors. + Nature Humaine Via Archdaily Photography by Adrien Williams via Nature Humaine

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Two moody, tranquil cabins perch above a Quebec forest

MAD Architects to transform an ancient Chinese courtyard into a kindergarten with a "floating roof"

November 14, 2018 by  
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Beijing-based design practice MAD Architects has broken ground on the Courtyard Kindergarten, a striking adaptive reuse project that transform a traditional siheyuan courtyard from the 1700s into the site of a creative and colorful kindergarten. Located in Beijing, the project aims to preserve the cultural heritage of the site while injecting fresh life through the addition of new structures, including a “dynamic floating roof” that surrounds the historic courtyard. As with many of the firm’s projects, the design features curvaceous elements and is evocative of a Martian landscape. “There is a saying in old Beijing when children are naughty: ‘if you go three days without being punished, the roof will cave in,’” said MAD principal Ma Yansong of one of the inspirations behind the eye-catching rooftop , a place the firm describes as “full of magic — a playful escape for the children that is a symbol of freedom and endless imagination.” Designed as the primary space for children to engage in outdoor sports and activities, the multicolored floating roof will curve around the siheyuan’s existing hipped roofs and tree canopy and will also feature an undulating landscape of several small ‘hills’ and ‘plains.’ Classrooms, a library, a small theater and a gymnasium will be located below the roof in a new building with an open-plan layout that’s surrounded by walls of glass to let in ample natural light as well as views of greenery and the historic buildings next door. The building will also wrap around three existing ancient trees, creating miniature courtyards where children can connect with nature. The Courtyard Kindergarten will accommodate 400 children between the ages of two and five. Related: A 650-foot-long running track tops this space-saving elementary school in China The design aims to reconcile new and old elements, from the existing modern building on-site that was built in the 1990s to the nearly 400-year-old courtyard. Having just broke ground this month, the Courtyard Kindergarten is expected to be completed and operational in the fall of 2019. + MAD Architects Images via MAD Architects

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MAD Architects to transform an ancient Chinese courtyard into a kindergarten with a "floating roof"

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