100% recyclable materials make up these low-impact monastery huts in Italy

June 16, 2017 by  
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Edoardo Milesi & Archos designed a series of minimalist monastery guesthouses that reflect the monastics’ ascetic lifestyle in the Siloe community. Located in the province of Grosseto in central Italy, these huts are built entirely of recyclable materials and are elevated off the ground to ensure low impact on the beautiful rural landscape. The Monastery Complex of Siloe comprises five guesthouse units set outside monastery grounds against a hilly backdrop crisscrossed with trails. Each guesthouse was carefully sited on the landscape to minimize site disturbance . The buildings are elevated on stilts to mitigate uneven terrain. Only recyclable materials were used in construction, including timber used for the roofs, lofts, and walls, to the ventilated covering made of zinc and titanium. External cladding, floors, doors, and window trim are built of naturally oxidized larch. Related: Plastic waste pop-up pavilion rethinks recycling in the Netherlands Approximately 33 square meters in size, each guesthouse comprises a bedroom; bathroom; open-plan living room with a dining area and kitchenette; a north-facing balcony; and a south-facing loggia . The windows are located on the north and west sides to create diffused lighting indoors, while the south side is mostly closed off and equipped with eaves to protect against solar heat gain. + Edoardo Milesi & Archos Via domus Images by Aurelio Candido

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100% recyclable materials make up these low-impact monastery huts in Italy

Eco-friendly Syrian refugee housing that anyone would love to call home

January 19, 2017 by  
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Building refugee housing often means fast construction at the expense of beauty and quality, but that doesn’t have to be the case if we take German architect Werner Sobek’s work as any indication. Sobek and the company Aktivhaus recently completed a modular development for 200 Syrian refugees in the German town of Winnenden. Prefabricated in a factory and swiftly assembled on site like Legos, the bright and airy homes are attractive enough for anyone to want to call home. Faced with an influx of refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war , the German town of Winnenden turned to Sobek for a quick way to set up a housing estate for around 200 people in the Schelmenholz district. The development also needed to be flexible enough to be converted for different uses in the future and to be easily expanded on or deconstructed. To minimize costs, construction time, and waste, Sobek installed 38 prefabricated modules from Aktivhaus’ 700 Series. Each 60-square-meter module is constructed using timber frame construction and is stacked to create two stories. The airtight walls, clad in larch , are made with high levels insulation—consisting of hemp and wood fibers—to minimize energy demands. Most materials used are resource conserving and recyclable, with minimal concrete used. The windows are sealed with rubber strips instead of toxic polyurethane foam. Related: Sobek’s Activhaus produces enough green power to light up the house next door Sobek estimates that the modules could last hundreds of years if they are well cared for. The Winnenden development is intended as refugee housing for three years, after which they will be converted into social housing. The development also includes a technology module, two community rooms, and a multifunctional space with washing machines and dryers. The project was initiated and completed last year. + Werner Sobek Via Treehugger , zvw.de Images © Zooey Braun

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Eco-friendly Syrian refugee housing that anyone would love to call home

Decrepit farm buildings reborn into modern energy-efficient home in Suffolk

December 28, 2016 by  
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David Nossiter Architects breathed new life into a collection of decrepit farm buildings that had been laid to waste after a ruinous fire in the 1950s. The skillful renovation transformed the barn buildings into a contemporary dwelling, one that preserves the existing rural forms but also retrofits them with high-performance systems for energy savings. The project, named the Church Hill Barn, is nestled between the English counties of Suffolk and Essex and makes use of local and salvaged materials.

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Decrepit farm buildings reborn into modern energy-efficient home in Suffolk

Elevated glass-bottomed pool gives thrill-seekers dramatic alpine views

November 18, 2016 by  
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The dramatic cantilevered pool is one of many additions in NOA’s renovation of Hotel Hubertus, completed May 2016. The new accommodation wing, which includes 16 new suites and facilities, is visually connected to the old accommodation wing by the pool, which sits between the two. The sky infinity pool appears to float weightlessly in the landscape, hovering 12 meters above ground, and successfully passes on that gravity-defying feeling to swimmers thanks to a glazed front, a glass window at the bottom of the pool, and no view-obstructing barriers. The pool has a width of 5 meters, a length of 25 meters, and a depth of 1.3 meters. A 17-meter length of the pool juts out from the front of the hotel to overlook spectacular views of the Dolomites . Trunks of native larch trees stripped of bark support the pool. “The new pool , which imposingly rests in-between the two accommodation wings, seems like a floating rock, come to rest at the site, overlooking the valley,” write the architects. “The hidden edges of the pool, kept in anthracite-coloured stone, abolish the gap between pool and landscape, creating the impression of the water flowing into nothing, disappearing between pool and landscape. The pool metaphorically reminds of a mountain lake, nestled into the astonishing mountainscape of the UNESCO World Heritage site , the Dolomites…” Related: Glass-bottomed sky pool will be suspended 115 feet in the air To create a uniform appearance between the existing building and the new build, the architects added native larch tree trunks to the facade. The debarked trunks were installed in a rhythmic, alternating pattern and double as sun screens , room dividers, and rain protectors. New perforated, powder-coated metal balustrades replaced the old wooden ones and enhance the wings’ curved forms shaped to follow the existing topography. + NOA Via Dezeen Images via NOA

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Elevated glass-bottomed pool gives thrill-seekers dramatic alpine views

Affordable DublDom prefab home pops up in just one week

October 4, 2016 by  
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Completed for a budget of $42,500, this particular DublDom 2.65 model offers 65 square meters of space with enough room for two spacious bedrooms, a veranda, and common areas. Like all of BIO Architects’ modular homes , the EcoPark home was built mostly from wood for a cozy and welcoming feel. Large double-glazed windows let in natural light and frame panoramic views of the outdoors. “Our task was to organically enter the house in the natural surroundings, produce it in a short period time and cause minimum damage to the environment during the installation,” write the architects. “The architecture of the house is as much as possible open to the environment and interact with it. From the large living room you can see the endless fields and small river, two bedrooms behind the house are made for sleep. Layout of the house provides maximum exposure to the nature and to spend time with friends in the living room or on the veranda.” Related: Tiny and Affordable Russian DublDom Home Can Be Assembled in Just One Day The light-filled gabled home is minimally decorated with black metal and unpainted larch that line the exterior and parts of the interior. BIO Architects offers five different configurations of the DublDom 2.65; the Eco-Park client chose DublDom 2.65-01, which includes a spacious front veranda that wraps around the sides of the home and includes a small terrace in the rear; an open-plan kitchen, living, and dining area; a bathroom; and two equal-sized bedrooms. The house is elevated on stilts and was installed on site in seven days. + DublDom Images via DublDom , by Bokaeva Louise and Ivan Ovchinnikov

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Affordable DublDom prefab home pops up in just one week

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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House H in Madrid is a villa that fits together like a jigsaw puzzle

July 8, 2016 by  
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The house was designed for a well-known sports figure, with plenty of luxurious amenities. The ground floor accommodates the usual set of main living spaces, along with several patios that make the 14,000-square-foot house appear even bigger than it already is. Related: Mhelorza Architects’ MH Series of Bioclimatic Houses are Energy-Efficient Homes Made of Wood The first floor houses a flexible office space , guestroom, and play area for kids, while recreational and entertainment spaces like meditation rooms , gym, spa, and party areas occupy the basement level. On the outside, the facades of the main spaces are clad in stucco and feature prominent glass surfaces, while exposed concrete marks the position of the auxiliary spaces. A metallic, light-reflecting finish is features on the outside of the private quarters. + Abiboo Architecture Photos by Joao Morgado

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House H in Madrid is a villa that fits together like a jigsaw puzzle

Small Woodland Nursery in Germany has a light-filled atrium at its heart

March 14, 2016 by  
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Show off your green thumb with this sprouted chia vest

March 13, 2016 by  
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We’ve all seen chia pets — the ceramic sculptures covered in sprouted chia seeds to create a fluffy green “coat.” But what kind of fashion statement could you make if you embedded chia seeds in clothing? One designer has created just the thing. READ MORE >

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Show off your green thumb with this sprouted chia vest

Beautiful Siberian larch clads the site-sensitive Villa Ljung in Sweden

January 4, 2016 by  
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