Floating sauna with charred timber cladding boasts minimal site impact

October 27, 2017 by  
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When Milan-based Small Architecture Workshop was asked to design a tiny sauna for a bed and breakfast in Åmot, Sweden, they wanted to do so with minimal environmental impact. The result of their efforts is this dreamy floating sauna on a lake wrapped in blackened timber to blend in with its forested surroundings. The architects built the compact structure in the span of two weeks as the first in a series of new amenities for the nearby bed and breakfast set in the middle of the forest. Located a three-hour drive from Stockholm , the bed and breakfast and accompanying sauna are an idyllic nature retreat for city dwellers. To minimize site impact , Small Architecture Workshop built the sauna on an existing wooden pier that they fixed up, thus avoiding digging and damaging the shoreline. The traditional Japanese technique of Yakisugi—more popularly known as Shou Sugi Ban—was applied to the sauna’s exterior cladding to make the timber resistant to weather, rot, and bugs. Related: Gigantic golden egg sauna warms up residents of Sweden’s northernmost town In contrast to the dark facade, the sauna is lined with light-colored alder wood. Visitors access the sauna through a covered space that serves as a dressing room and firewood storage room. Full-height glazing fronts the sauna, which can comfortably accommodate eight, to frame unobstructed views of the lake. + Small Architecture Workshop Via Dezeen Images via Small Architecture Workshop

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Oil rig explodes in the middle of Lake Pontchartrain, injuring several near New Orleans

October 16, 2017 by  
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An oil rig on Lake Pontchartrain exploded on Sunday night in Kenner, Louisiana , home of the Louis Armstrong International Airport and only a few miles from New Orleans . Authorities began receiving calls about the explosion around 7:18 PM on Sunday; although no official explanation has been offered, authorities on the scene believe the explosion was caused by flammable cleaning chemicals on the oil rig’s surface. At least seven people were injured in the blast and, according to initial reporting, one person is missing. Many of the injuries were serious and authorities expected more to be reported in the near future. Lake Pontchartrain is a brackish body of water that is about 12-14 feet deep, though some shipping channels are dredged deeper, and covers 630 square miles to the north of New Orleans. The exploding rig in the Lake is owned by Clovelly Oil Co., which uses the structure for transferring oil . It is possible that oil is still leaking into Lake Pontchartrain, though this will not affect local drinking water, which is sourced from the Mississippi River. Local residents report having their homes rattled when the explosion occurred. “My house actually shook,” said Andrew Love, who lives in the area. “At first I thought it was a sonic boom or something, I had no idea what was happening.” No damage to homes has yet been reported. Related: New NASA study reveals just how fast New Orleans is sinking George Branigan was sitting at home with his wife and stepdaughter when the explosion happened. “We heard something blow up and it sounded like it was in my backyard ,” Branigan said. After going outside to investigate, Branigan heard what sounded to him to be small pebbles, likely debris from the explosion, falling on his home. Branigan was still watching the flames from his porch several hours after the explosion. Via the New Orleans Advocate and San Francisco Gate Images via  City of Kenner Government

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Oil rig explodes in the middle of Lake Pontchartrain, injuring several near New Orleans

Drought turns Chinas largest freshwater lake into a sprawling grassland

November 7, 2016 by  
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Many people are not aware that China has a freshwater lake that spans 1,737 square miles. Scratch that, China had a lake that size. Recent photos show that areas of Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province have dried up completely , turning into a vast grassland. Drought conditions in the province have resulted in an early dry season, causing much of the lake water to disappear. Now, visitors can walk on dry ground where water once measured between 28- and 82-feet-deep. The lake, formerly the largest freshwater body inside China’s borders, has shrunk and grown over the years in response to wet and dry seasons, but its current state is unprecedented. The problem started months ago, after the northern part of Jiangxi province experienced a rainfall shortage starting in September. Photos taken on November 2 in the city of Lushan reveal that much of the lake’s water has receded and been replaced by sprouting grassland. A large ship has been grounded, left stranded by the disappearing water. Luixingdun island was once surrounded by deep water and is now circled by grazing cattle. Related: NASA warns of 99% chance the US Southwest will suffer decades-long megadrought The startling images were circulated by China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua , and they tell a tale of one of the most drastic impacts  of climate change. Poyang Lake was once a thriving locale for the fishing and shrimping industry, and also provided water for irrigation of nearby rice fields as well as the local water utilities for area communities. Xingzi Hydrological Station, which monitors the lake, reports that the water level dropped to 34.8 feet on November 3, down from 39.4 foot on September 19, which marked the beginning of an early dry season. The drought so far as left many parts of the lake bed exposed like a grassy plain, and the remaining water continues to recede. Via DailyMail Images via Xinhua

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Drought turns Chinas largest freshwater lake into a sprawling grassland

Giant timber periscope tower offers lakeside views to everyone even those with disabilities

July 8, 2016 by  
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Commissioned by the City of Seinäjoki, the Periscope Tower was created in collaboration with SWECO Seinäjoki and constructed by students of the local vocational school SEDU. The observation tower is built entirely of wood and comprises three prefabricated modules stacked together vertically and topped with a roof. The large-scale periscope forms the inner core and is constructed with cross-laminated timber . Stairs made from larch circle around the periscope to reach the raised viewing platform. The external wooden frame, also made of larch, serves as the load-bearing structure. Related: Accessible sail-shaped viewing tower hovers over the edge of Denmark’s Aarhus harbor “The idea was to create a simple wooden structure of high quality in a way that supports learning and reflects a commitment to empowering and strengthening the local community,” write the architects, “One can either climb up the stairs to enjoy the view over the lake and into the surrounding landscape from the viewing deck, or simply stay on the ground and get the view through the periscope mirror.” The Periscope Tower was created as part of a larger landscape design project to revitalize the area around Lake Kyrösjärvi, a man-made lake that helps with flood control and generates energy for an electric power plant. The observation tower opened today to the public. + OOPEAA Via Dezeen Images via OOPEAA

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Incredible 3km floating dock covered in yellow fabric will be crossing Italy’s Lake Iseo

June 10, 2016 by  
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The artists are known for large-scale installations . They created a massive ” Valley Curtain ” in Colorado and a large-scale inflatable indoor sculpture in Germany. Works in progress include an oil barrel pyramid made of 410,000 barrels and the Over the River fabric installation that will use 5.9 miles of silvery fabric panels. Related: Conceptual Artist Christo to Build Giant Pyramid of 410,000 Oil Barrels for Abu Dhabi Floating Piers will grace Italy’s Lake Iseo. It has been 40 years since Christo last worked in Italy. ” Modular floating docks ” will be created with 220,000 ” high-density poly-ethylene cubes ” that will be covered in 100,000 square meters of ” shimmering yellow fabric .” The floating walkway will be about three kilometers long, just under two miles. The walkway will allow pedestrians to cross the lake from the town of Sulzano to the town of Peschiera Maraglio on the island of Monte Isola. From there, they can walk over to the small island of San Paolo, which will be framed entirely by the yellow floating walkway. The yellow fabric will continue through the streets Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio for 1.5 kilometers, just under one mile. The project will be paid for wholly by the sales of Christo’s original pieces of art. Floating Piers will be open to the public for 16 days between June 18 and July 3. After that time, the cubes and fabric will be ” industrially recycled .” + Christo and Jeanne-Claude Photography by Wolfgang Volz ; collages by Christo

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Incredible 3km floating dock covered in yellow fabric will be crossing Italy’s Lake Iseo

Bolivia’s second largest lake has completely dried up

January 15, 2016 by  
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Last month, Lake Poopó, a saltwater lake high in the Andes mountains, disappeared off the face of the map . In the 1990s the lake held at least 2,000 square kilometers (772 square miles) of water. While the water levels sometimes fluctuated due to drought or seasonal conditions, it never lasted for long.  But climate change has led to more and more years without rain, and the lake gradually continued to shrink. Read the rest of Bolivia’s second largest lake has completely dried up

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Lose yourself inside the Abyss Table’s mesmerizing ocean depths

January 15, 2016 by  
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Watch Oregon’s Lost Lake disappear down a bizarre hole

May 5, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. Located in Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest, the Lost Lake presents a highly unusual natural phenomenon; each winter the lake bed fills with water from nearby streams, and every spring it drains—rather like a bathtub—down a large hole. Jude McHugh, spokeswoman for the Willamette National Forest, told The Bulletin that the hole has been there for as long as anyone remembers, and that the mysterious phenomenon is most likely the result of the regions porous volcanic landscape —the hole itself is believed to be an open lava tube. As for exactly where the Lost Lake’s waters go each spring, no one is entirely sure, but it’s thought that it seeps into the subsurface where it recharges nearby aquifers. Via Treehugger Image screengrab via YouTube Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: central oregon park , groundwater aquifers , lost lake , Mount Hood National Forest , oregon national park , snowpack lake , volcanic landscape , water issues

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Watch Oregon’s Lost Lake disappear down a bizarre hole

Cambodian floating toilets filter human waste naturally via wetland plants

January 23, 2015 by  
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The floating village of Prek Toal in Cambodia is putting the natural filtering power of wetland plants to work by using them to soak up contaminants from their raw sewage. Local floating villages on  Tonle Sap lake have flushed human waste directly into the water for years, where bacteria has caused sickness and disease to those who call the lake home. Now, floating Handy Pod toilets supplied by Wetlands Work will soon keep locals healthier by providing an natural, effective and affordable way to cleanse their water from diarrhea and cholera-causing agents. Read the rest of Cambodian floating toilets filter human waste naturally via wetland plants Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , floating toilet , green design , Handy Pod Toilet , Prek Toal Cambodia , sustainable design , Tonle Sap Lake , WaterAid Cambodia , wetland plant filter , Wetlands Work

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Dramatic decline in population of Lake Tahoe’s tiniest creatures is changing the entire ecosystem

January 23, 2015 by  
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Lake Tahoe is world-renowned for its dramatic natural beauty, but the attention it receives—and the pollution that comes with it—may play a role in an alarming decline in the populations of small creatures that live at the bottom of the lake. Scientists recently discovered that Lake Tahoe’s populations of eight invertebrates, all smaller than a thumbnail, have declined anywhere from 55 to 99.9 percent since the 1960s. And while these critters might be small in size, the scientists say they play a huge role in the lake’s ecosystem and their disappearance could mean big changes are set to happen within it. Read the rest of Dramatic decline in population of Lake Tahoe’s tiniest creatures is changing the entire ecosystem Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: algae , crawfish , crayfish , invasive species , invertebrates , Lake Tahoe , nevada , Pollution , tourism , water pollution

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Dramatic decline in population of Lake Tahoe’s tiniest creatures is changing the entire ecosystem

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