Finally a Court House is a house designed around a courtyard

August 31, 2021 by  
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Wind and Wellington, New Zealand go hand in hand. Finding an outdoor space with an escape from the constant wind became the primary goal when Spacecraft Architects began designing this home for a young family seeking shelter from the elements. Dubbed Finally a Court House, the centralized courtyard was the starting point for this roughly 80-square-meter home that features two bedrooms, main living areas, two separate conservatories and a studio, in addition to the court garden. Every room in the house faces the central courtyard, offering views through high-efficiency powder-coated aluminum windows with clear double glazing, which provide  natural light  throughout. In addition, the windows open to provide ventilation and passive solar heating. Related: Energy-efficient Wanaka Wedge House offers views of the Southern Alps The home offers a tight envelope and is highly insulated for energy efficiency. It’s placed on a thermally broken natural concrete slab that reduces heat loss and features thick wall framing for maximum thermal insulation. The exterior of Finally a Court House is clad in fiber-cement sheets, which are budget-friendly and fireproof. Interior walls that face the courtyard are clad with  wood  sourced locally from the Macrocarpa Cypress tree, which is native to New Zealand. Outdoor areas feature corrugated polycarbonate sheet roofing to protect from the wind while allowing the sun into the garden and, ultimately, the home. The house is oriented to take advantage of winter sunlight to warm the house, while the natural ventilation through skylights, windows and large doors eliminates the need for air conditioning. Further energy savings are achieved through the use of LED lighting and ceramic light shades. Concrete slabs inside the home capture heat from the  passive design  elements that provide direct sunlight. However, for supplemental heat, there is a small wood-burning fireplace that can also be used as a stovetop. An instant gas system heats  water  close to the source in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room.  + Spacecraft Architects Via ArchDaily   Images via David Straight and Joe Norman

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Finally a Court House is a house designed around a courtyard

These optical illusion Star Wars lamps will take you to a galaxy far, far away

October 23, 2017 by  
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With the countdown ticking until the release of The Last Jedi on December 15, Star Wars products are flooding the Internet. But few top these awesome optical illusion lamps that illuminate 3D images of favorite characters like Darth Vader or spaceships like the Millennium Falcon. The lamps are said to have a lifespan of more than 50,000 hours. The Death Star or BB-8 could light up your room with these Star Wars LED lamps . Turned off, it’s two dimensional etched acrylic glass, according to Fatherly, but when switched on via a touch button on the base, the lamp shines with a 3D appearance. Most lamps have multiple colors; this one from The 3D Lamp boasts white, red, blue, green, yellow, pink, or cyan. They’re nine-inches-tall. A USB port allows the lamps to get power. Related: Star Wars-inspired NASA observatory will offer galactic views in Cyprus The lamps are said to be energy efficient , producing little heat, making them safe for a kid’s room or nursery. They’re often marked as limited edition, but as Fatherly pointed out, can be found on multiple online stores; there doesn’t seem to be a shortage. Mashable is offering Megalamps’ Star Wars lamp for $39.99 with the option of a 15 percent discount for a limited time; LEDMiracles is offering theirs for $38.99 . The 3D Lamp shop has their Star Wars LED lamps priced at $29.99 . R2-D2, Yoda, a Tie Fighter, Darth Maul, an X-Wing, and a stormtrooper helmet are among the other delightfully nerdy options for lamps to light up a room. Other optical illusion LED lamp designs are also being offered online, such as superheroes, flowers, or sports-themed lamps. + Megalamps Via Mashable and Fatherly Images via Megalamps and The 3D Lamp ( 1 , 2 )

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These optical illusion Star Wars lamps will take you to a galaxy far, far away

Solar-powered Noe Hill Smarthome is an eco-friendly dream in San Francisco

October 19, 2017 by  
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The LEED Platinum -certified Noe Hill Smart Ecohome marries state-of-the-art green technology and the indoor-outdoor lifestyle that urban dwellers dream about. The house, designed by EAG Studio , creates a healthy living environment with plenty of natural light, native plant gardens, rain catchment, solar power and a bevy of smart features to optimize power use. The house occupies a coveted site near the crest of the Collingwood hill in San Francisco . It spans three levels and comprises 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths (with 3 bedrooms ensuite on the upper floor), media room, gym, flexible use 2-room guest suite, an open main level floor plan, 4 distinct outdoor living areas and 2-car independent parking. Related: Sunset’s Green Dream Home in San Francisco The dramatic vistas open up from the main living room and dining area connected to a sunny deck and a landscaped garden. The garden features drought-tolerant , native plantings. Retractable glass doors in the kitchen open directly to the deck and enhances the experience of the indoor-outdoor lifestyle. A sculptural staircase leads to the upper level and receives natural light from the skylight above. The bedrooms occupy the upper floor, with the luxurious master suite openning to its own view deck ideal for a morning cup of coffee or casual lounging. The staircase leads further up toward the roof deck with multiple dining and lounging areas perfect for entertaining guests. Related: San Francisco’s Solar “Mission: House” is a High-Tech Marvel A rainwater harvesting system captures most of the roof/surface water for landscaping irrigation. All exterior walls are insulated and optimized for energy efficiency, while a solar array provides renewable energy for the building. These systems, along with LED lighting , occupancy sensors and the use of reclaimed building materials make this building a modern and truly eco-friendly home. + Noe Hill Leed Home + EAG Studio

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Solar-powered Noe Hill Smarthome is an eco-friendly dream in San Francisco

This huge ‘tiny house’ on wheels can fit a family of five!

September 12, 2017 by  
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Tiny homes are a huge hit – but we’ve never seen one this big before! The Pemberly is a traveling house made from a large gooseneck trailer by Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses . It’s packed with enough features and amenities to accommodate a family of five. Measuring 37 feet in length, the Pemberly is based on a custom Trailer Made 30’+7? gooseneck trailer with Dexter air ride suspension axles that smooth out bumps in the road. The house weighs 21,000 lbs and has a total floor space of 460 square feet (42.7 square meters) The team made it easy to unhook the trailer from the truck – and the house automatically levels with a push of a button. Related: Self-sufficient SCARAB remote living habitat can be placed almost anywhere The interior is organized around the living room. The kitchen features a small wood-burning stove , granite countertops, custom cabinetry, a Miele induction cooktop, a combination steam and convection oven, a Bosch fridge, an on-demand hot water system, and a garbage disposal. The bathroom has a shower, a medicine cabinet, an efficient water heater and a whole house dehumidifier to rid the interior of excess moisture. Related: Affordable and compact Dinky Dub camper offers a modular twist to the vintage VW look A steel pipe ladder leads to the bedroom on top of the gooseneck. The bedroom has enough room to install a trundle bunk with a pull-out bed for temporary guests. This space also has a little room for toys and play time which can be closed off with a pocket door. A large catwalk connects the master bedroom to another bedroom with two closets. Air circulation is provided by an inline fan installed above the door. Two sets of vertical louvers provide privacy and block views from the outside, and LEDs light up the interior and exterior. + Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses Via New Atlas

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This huge ‘tiny house’ on wheels can fit a family of five!

China’s Binhe Yellow River Bridge unveils a rainbow waterfall of LED light

August 24, 2017 by  
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China’s Binhe Yellow River Bridge just fired up a stunning new lighting system that bathes the structure and the river below in a prismatic array of colors. Designed by Philips , the array creates the impression that a waterfall is running right under the bridge. The long-life LED system provides energy savings of up to 75 percent while cutting operation and maintenance costs . The double-cable suspension bridge spans the entire width of the Yellow River – the sixth longest river system in the world. Completed in 2016, the bridge connects the city center of northern China ‘s Yinchuan City with the Binhe New Area. Related: Philips announces the most affordable LED light bulb ever, yours for under $5 The bridge’s unique architectural design is complemented by a Philips Color Kinetics array that can display up to up to 16.7 million colors. Lights are installed all along the 98-meter-tall towers, lanes and cables that span 218 meters, creating a captivating rainbow effect. + Philips Lighting

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China’s Binhe Yellow River Bridge unveils a rainbow waterfall of LED light

Frederike Top’s geometric LED lamps cast colorful rays of ever-changing light

July 21, 2017 by  
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Amsterdam-based designer Frederike Top just unveiled her latest work – and it’s literally brilliant. Reflected Sequence is a series of reflective mobiles that use geometric panels and LED lights to cast colorful, ever-changing reflections. Top creates her striking pieces by stringing together panels of semi-transparent acrylate covered in iridescent foil. The series consists of hanging mobiles, table lamps, and window danglings illuminated by LED bulbs . Related: Stickbulb’s new Boom LED lamp is made of reclaimed wood from NYC water tanks Whether hanging from the ceiling or placed on a table, the lamps create a kaleidoscopic light show that varies depending on the angle of view. The result is a dynamic, ever-changing light source that never casts the same light twice. + Frederike Top

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Frederike Top’s geometric LED lamps cast colorful rays of ever-changing light

The Grandview Barrel Sauna is a backyard oasis for the entire family

May 3, 2017 by  
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Saunas at resorts are great – but having a personal one in your own backyard is even better! This barrel-shaped wooden sauna by Almost Heaven Saunas is easy to assemble with just a few hand tools, and it can hold up to eight people. That makes it perfect for families to enjoy in the privacy of their own garden or backyard. The Grandview Barrel Sauna is crafted from western red cedar , hemlock fir, or Nordic spruce , depending on your own choice, and it can include a front canopy. Its spacious interior features an electric heater–with an option to upgrade to a wood-burning stove –a bucket, a ladle, and a thermometer/hygrometer. Because it’s larger than the firm’s other classic barrel saunas, the Grandview Barrel allows for wider benches and a flat duckboard flooring section. Related: Giant AT-AT-like recycled tin structure hides an unexpected sauna in Sweden The timber used to build the sauna is naturally resistant to the effects of the elements and is combined with thick tempered glass and stainless steel hardware and fasteners. Soft LED lighting and opposite-facing benches create a relaxing atmosphere. + Almost Heaven Sauna Via Uncrate

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The Grandview Barrel Sauna is a backyard oasis for the entire family

Gigantic golden egg sauna warms up residents of Sweden’s northernmost town

April 29, 2017 by  
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Bigert & Bergström just unveiled the Solar Egg, a giant golden sauna located in the town of Luossabacken, Sweden. The golden egg concept was hatched for the country’s northernmost town to provide residents with a toasty meeting place deep in the snow-covered landscape. The mining town of Kiruna is currently facing radical changes; the entire city is moving so that a mining company can extract more iron from underneath its landscape. Mining has been an essential part of the isolated town since the 19th century and the industry is vital to its existence. However, many are debating this dependence on iron mining – especially granted its impact on the environment and the town’s well-being. This issue inspired the Swedish designers from Bigert & Bergström to create the Solar Egg as a warm social meeting place where residents can debate the town’s future, or as they put it, “prompt thoughts of rebirth.” Related: Solar-powered Ecocapsule lets you live off-the-grid anywhere in the world The Solar Egg is made of stainless mirror sheeting that contrasts with the snowy landscape. The shimmering panels reflect and break up the surroundings into mirrored fragmented images – a design feature meant to represent the complexities that come with “heated” debates about climate change and sustainable living . The egg’s interior walls are clad in honeycomb wood panels that give the egg its pod-like shape. LED lighting illuminates the interior, and a large wood-heated, heart-shaped sauna stove made out of iron and stone sits in the middle of the space, providing a warm temperature of anywhere between 75° and 85° C. The Solar Egg is a part of Bigert & Bergström’s strategy to incorporate artwork into climate discussions – an initiative that began with the team’s Climate Chambers project in 1994. + Studio Bigert & Bergström Photography by Jean-Baptiste Béranger

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Gigantic golden egg sauna warms up residents of Sweden’s northernmost town

Modpools turns shipping containers into amazing swimming pools

April 28, 2017 by  
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We’ve seen shipping containers transformed into homes , shops , and even urban farms – but Modpools gives these repurposed structures a whole new life as backyard swimming pools . Modpools are easy to install and transport, and they come with a series of cool features including heaters, jets, portholes, and LED mood lighting you can control with your smartphone. Modpools are available in 8′ x 20′ or 8′ x 40′ container sizes and they can be installed in no time. By adding a divider, users can even create a temporary or permanent hot tub section. These customizable all-in-one pool systems ship with ready-to-use, built-in pool equipment and a high-tech Ultraviolet system that keeps the water clean without the need for chemicals. Related: ScottWhitbyStudio transforms a shipping container into a pop-up cinema You can install Modpools above ground with raised decking, partially underground with retaining walls, or at ground level. This makes them versatile and easy to adapt to different topographies and backyard sizes. You can add a special touch to your prefab swimming pool by adding a window to the side of the shipping container. + Modpools Via Curbed

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Modpools turns shipping containers into amazing swimming pools

Worlds greenest terminal opens at Oslo airport

April 28, 2017 by  
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Nordic Office of Architecture recently completed the world’s greenest airport terminal with their new 115,000-square-meter extension that’s doubled the size of Oslo Airport. As the world’s first airport building to achieve the BREEAM Excellence sustainability rating, the renovated Oslo Airport boasts an array of energy-efficient strategies as well as on-site energy harvesting systems. The most notable energy-saving measure is the airport’s collection and storage of snow for reuse as coolant during the summer. The recent expansion is a continuation of Nordic’s work on the Oslo Airport, which the architecture firm designed in 1998. The Oslo-based design studio’s 300-meter-long extension preserves the building’s simple and iconic appearance while increasing airport capacity from 19 million to an anticipated future capacity of 30 million. New design elements also improve the passenger experience, such as the reduction of walking distances to a maximum of 450 meters, and the overhaul of the existing train station at the heart of the airport. Artificial lighting is minimized in favor of natural lighting to improve passenger comfort and reduce energy demands. Related: Zaha Hadid unveils plans for world’s largest airport terminal in Beijing In addition to the use of natural lighting and the reuse of snow as a summer coolant, the architects reduced the airport’s carbon footprint by 35 percent with the use of environmentally friendly and recycled materials . The new pier is entirely clad in timber sourced from Scandinavian forests, while additional natural materials, green walls, and water features, can be found throughout the interior. Recycled steel and concrete mixed with volcanic ash were also used. Improved insulation has helped the building achieve Passive House-level performance standards and, coupled with on-site energy harvesting, slashed energy consumption by over 50 percent as compared to the existing terminal. + Nordic Office of Architecture Images by Ivan Brodey

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