An energy-efficient modern church references Utahs mining history

October 11, 2018 by  
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Salt Lake City-based design practice Sparano + Mooney Architecture  designed a church for West Valley City, Utah that’s strikingly modern yet sensitive to the existing site context. Located near Bingham Canyon Copper Mine, the world’s deepest open pit mine and a major employer in the area, the church pays homage to the working class community’s mining and construction past with its material palette. The award-winning, LEED Silver-targeted church — named Saint Joseph the Worker Church after the patron saint of laborers — was completed on a budget of $4.5 million and spans 23,000 square feet. In order to comfortably seat 800 people within a reasonably close distance to the altar, Sparano + Mooney Architecture designed Saint Joseph the Worker Church in a circular form with rounded and thick board-formed concrete walls. In addition to the new 800-seat church, the 10-acre site also includes an administrative building with offices and meeting rooms, indoor and outdoor community gathering and fellowship spaces, a large walled courtyard centered on a water feature and ample landscaping. After the architects salvaged parts of the original, now-demolished church that was built in 1965, they added new elements of steel, copper and handcrafted timber to reference the area’s mining and construction past. “Drawing from this lineage, a palette of materials was selected that express the transformation of the raw material by the worker, revealing the craft and method of construction,” the architects explained. Related: Historic Australian church transformed into a stunning family home for five “These materials include textural walls of board-formed concrete, constructed in the traditional method of stacking rough sawn lumber; a rainscreen of clear milled cedar; vertical grain fir boards and timbers used to create the altar reredos and interior of the Day Chapel; flat seam copper panels form the cladding for the Day Chapel and skylight structure over the altar; and glazing components requiring a highly crafted assembly of laminated glazing with color inter-layers, acid etched glazing, and clear glass insulated units with mullion-less corners,” the firm said. “The design harkens back to the mining history of the early parish, and details ordinary materials to become extraordinary.” + Sparano + Mooney Architecture Images by Dana Sohm, Jeremy Bittermann and Sparano + Mooney Architecture

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An energy-efficient modern church references Utahs mining history

This chic Moganshan resort celebrates the local Chinese landscape

July 20, 2018 by  
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Blessed with serene mountain vistas and a rich history, Moganshan also boasts a wide array of beautiful resorts including Anadu, a new rural retreat designed by local architecture firm Studio 8 . Located at the northern foot of the Mogan Mountain in Huzhou, about two hours from Shanghai , the luxury resort embraces its enticing surroundings comprised of lush bamboo forests, tea fields and ancient villas. Constructed with natural materials throughout, the hotel is undeniably connected to its rural setting while still offering a contemporary edge. Completed in 2017, Anadu covers nearly 13,000 square feet spread across three floors. Studio 8 was commissioned to oversee the architecture, interior design and visual identity of the luxury resort, which highlights  local resources from the ingredients used in the restaurant to the selection of construction materials. Following the brand’s motto of “Find yourself in nature,” every floor embraces the outdoors through large windows and stunning water features. “Water itself, and especially a very calm water surface, generates immediately a sense of relax,” explained Studio 8 in a statement. “[We] decided that this element would be the core of the hotel, a connection between the rooms that articulates the structure of the entire building. For that purpose, the roof of each floor was turned into an infinity water feature. By bringing natural elements into the architectural spaces, the design fosters a connection between the building and the outside.” Related: Heatherwick Studio wants to build a tree-covered mountain in the middle of Shanghai The resort’s various rooms are organized in four major narratives inspired by the immediate surroundings. The Tea Room, for instance, faces the white tea fields and is dressed in a material palette echoing the tea theme. To the south, the Mountain Room features a dark gray color palette and a water feature that reflects the distant mountain range. On the east side, the Bamboo Room mimics a bamboo forest with its bamboo wood furnishings and a rice-pink palette. The penthouse suite on the third floor follows the theme of Sky and is surrounded by an infinity pool to create the effect of a “floating island.” + Studio 8 Images by Sven Zhang ???

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This chic Moganshan resort celebrates the local Chinese landscape

This weekend home in Mexico blends in with the forest landscape

July 19, 2018 by  
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Mexican architecture firm AM30 Taller de Arquitectura has inserted a site-specific weekend home into a forested location in Atemajac de Brizuela, a small town southwest of Guadalajara, Mexico. Dubbed the EC House, the dwelling is split up into a series of interconnected stone-clad volumes placed around existing pine trees and oriented for the best views of the nearby mountains. In addition to a natural materials palette that blends the home into the landscape, the EC House was designed to minimize site impact . Located on the outskirts of town, the EC House combines traditional architecture styles and local materials with a contemporary design vision. The asymmetrical home is laid out along a north-south axis on the sloped site with the communal rooms located at the heart of the floor plan. The programmatic functions were separated into different volumes; the bedrooms are located on the extremities while the kitchen, living area and dining room are housed in the central volume. “Three volumes arranged around a circulation core constitute the main house,” explained AM30 Taller de Arquitectura. “Designed with spatial richness in mind, the main floor adjusts to the terrain surface and inner patios provide light and ventilation creating atmospheres with unique characteristics. A terraced courtyard functions as a central plaza linking the front and back of the plot, as well as creating a space for interaction between the main house and the guest rooms. Across the main social areas on the ground floor, a visual axis is respected to facilitate communication between spaces.” Related: Son builds modern dream cabin from recycled materials for his aging father The stone walls found on the exterior are continued into the interior and are complemented with hardwood flooring that extends to the outdoor spaces for a seamless indoor-outdoor living experience. The use of natural materials and large windows immerses the weekend home into the pine-studded landscape. + AM30 Taller de Arquitectura Via ArchDaily Images by Lorena Darquea Schettini

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This weekend home in Mexico blends in with the forest landscape

Soak in views of the Indian Himalayas at this bamboo-clad hotel villa

April 17, 2018 by  
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Perched high on the mountains of Uttarakhand, India sits The Kumaon , a rustic yet elegant hotel with breathtaking Himalayan views. Boasting floor-to-ceiling mountain views, the hotel designed by Zowa Architects seeks to highlight the natural landscape as much as possible with its minimized footprint and use of locally sourced materials. All hotel structures were designed to harvest rainwater that’s stored in a large holding tank at the bottom of the site, while interstitial spaces between buildings are planted with seasonal crops to be used in the kitchen. Located in the village of Kaser devi near the town of Almora, The Kumaon comprises 10 rooms housed in chalets and separates the main shared facilities—the lounge and dining room, library, reception, and spa—in the main building at the highest point of the site from the services building placed at the bottom. The rooms are embedded into the terraced sloping landscape. “We decided to design the rooms in pairs, one atop the other and scatter them across the site at different levels,” wrote the architects. “This was partly to reduce the bulk of the building and also to reduce the overall footprint of the development.” The main building consists of two floors: the ground floor houses the managers’ quarters and offices in addition to a spacious lounge and library. The floor above is dramatically cantilevered to the north to allow for spectacular views of the Indian Himalayas , which are best enjoyed in the second-floor dining room. The roof of the ground floor doubles as a terrace for outdoor dining and yoga. Related: Himalayan Village: A Charming Mountain Resort Made of Local Materials in Northern India To pay homage to the local culture, the architects enlisted the help of local craftsmen and used local materials wherever possible, such as local pinewood that’s found in the flooring, doors and windows. Furnishings were also designed and made on site. The structures, built of concrete, are clad in bamboo stringed together with copper wiring to soften the architecture. The handcrafted furnishings, natural materials palette, and emphasis on natural light give the hotel a rustic back-to-nature vibe. + Zowa Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Akshay Sharma

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Soak in views of the Indian Himalayas at this bamboo-clad hotel villa

Tower of Winds embraces impermanence with a striking kinetic facade

November 8, 2017 by  
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The Tower of Winds reimagines common water reservoirs as structures in constant evolution. Designed as a competition proposal in 2015 by architect Tram-Anh Nyugen, Markus Von Dellinghausen, Midori Hasuike, and Andreas Nordstrom, the project demonstrates how modular elements and local resources can be used to build state-of-the-art sustainable facilities with low construction costs. The project is part of an interdisciplinary design research platform founded by architect Tram-Anh Nyugen. Called Impermanent Devices , the project focuses on one the three characteristics of existence in Buddhism “Antiya”, the belief that all that exists is transient. Related: Temporary Story Tower Made With Recycled Materials Offers Free Book Exchange in Latvia The theoretical foundation of the project rests on the idea that design can be transformed to fit different contexts, scales and functions. Structures should be able to appear, disappear and evolve in order to facilitate continual change and fluidity of space. The architect’s work has been applied to several research projects, including an urban planning project in Paris on the Pe?riphe?rique, a major ring road that separates the inner city from the suburbs in Paris . Another recent live project is a commission from the BHD Star Cineplex to design a cinema in the center of Hanoi, Vietnam. This project gives the cinema a new interactive façade that references Vietnamese elements. + Impermanent Devices

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Tower of Winds embraces impermanence with a striking kinetic facade

Ice Home materials for future Mars dwellings are heading to space

October 25, 2017 by  
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Before astronauts ever venture to Mars , materials for a red planet habitat will undergo space testing. The inflatable Mars Ice Home , designed by Clouds Architecture Office (Clouds AO), Space Exploration Architecture (SEArch), and NASA’s Langley Research Center , could protect explorers from radiation in the extreme environment of Mars – and the materials that could comprise the dome will soon be assessed aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Mars Ice Home materials are to be blasted to space in November 2018, as part of the MISSE-11 mission. On the ISS, materials for the habitat’s wall assembly will be flight tested for an entire year, and material samples will even be mounted on the station’s exterior to see how they respond after a long period of time in space’s harsh environment. They’ll then return to Earth, so scientists can scrutinize how the materials performed. Related: NASA envisions ice dome home for future Mars dwellers Clouds AO said they are working with NASA’s Langley Research Center engineers on Mars Ice Home’s design , which they recently updated for a thicker ice wall. So far it appears the ice home could do a better job of shielding astronauts from radiation than aluminum ; Clouds AO said in a statement, “Using raytrace analysis based on the Badhwar-O’Neill 2014 model, an effective dose of 89 millisieverts per year was measured near the core of the latest Ice Home design. This represents a 48 to 50 percent reduction in radiation from Galactic Cosmic Rays, and a significant improvement of shielding over typical aluminum pressure vessels.” Ice can effectively protect humans from radiation, per Clouds AO’s design statement, and would also allow astronauts on Mars to live in a space with natural light , which would keep them connected to diurnal cycles. Water for Mars Ice Home would be sourced locally from the red planet, and could be repurposed as rocket fuel when it comes time to return to Earth. + Clouds AO + SEArch Images via NASA and NASA/Clouds AO/SEArch

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Ice Home materials for future Mars dwellings are heading to space

Tesla rapidly installs solar power at a children’s hospital in Puerto Rico

October 25, 2017 by  
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Elon Musk is a man who follows up his words with swift action. As part of its contribution to rebuilding Puerto Rico’s devastated electrical grid with more resilient and sustainable micro-grid technology and on-site solar generation and storage, Tesla has already begun constructing a solar field near Hospital del Niño, a children’s hospital in San Juan. And its Powerpack energy storage systems are on the way. The revival of Hospital del Niño is expected to be the first of many projects that Tesla leads as Puerto Rico, 85 percent of which remains without power, rebuilds after Hurricane Maria . It is estimated that it will take six months before power is restored on the island. While 98 percent of hospitals in Puerto Rico are now open and serving those in need, only a small number have electricity. Even as traditional electrical infrastructure is restored, policymakers are pursuing new systems that will endure for the long-term. One such system is the microgrid, a system which combines power generation, often through solar panels, and energy storage technology and allows an individual building or group of buildings to remain with power even as the larger grid fails. Related: Tesla earns contract for world’s first solar, wind and storage project Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello originally reached out to Musk in early October regarding plans to bring Tesla’s micro-grid technology and goodwill to the recovering island of 3.5 million people. Although Tesla has not yet clarified how large the project will be or where funding is coming from, it has made clear that it intends to establish a strong presence in Puerto Rico and continue to develop microgrid sites across the island. Via Business Insider Images via Tesla

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Tesla rapidly installs solar power at a children’s hospital in Puerto Rico

Kenyas Bird Nest is a breathtaking safari suite in the African wilderness

October 16, 2017 by  
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If we ever won the lottery, this breathtaking Bird Nest in Kenya is where we’d like to spend the night. The award-winning Segera Retreat and NAY PALAD just unveiled a breathtaking luxury escape that lets lucky guests sleep beneath the stars in one of Africa’s most iconic safari locations. Designed by architect Daniel Pouzet near a river full of wildlife, this unique suite above the treetops is surrounded by pristine nature and 360-degree panoramic views of the Laikipia plains. Perched above the tree canopy, the Bird Nest blends into the landscape with its timber frame woven together with locally sourced raw materials. Individual tree branches make up the crowning bird’s nest structure, where guests can lay out beneath the stars. The interior suite, wrapped with glazing and wooden louvers , is a cozy den richly layered with bespoke furnishings and textiles. The fully equipped bathroom includes running water heated by solar and a flushing toilet. The luxury suite sleeps two, but can also accommodate a small family. Related: 7 eco-friendly and conservation-minded safari lodges across Africa The Bird Nest experience begins just before sunset when guests are whisked away on a tour of the area then greeted at their suite with champagne, culinary delights, and beds prepared with luxurious linens with mood lighting set by lanterns. Adventurous guests have the option of dining on the top open-air deck with views of the sunset and sleeping beneath the stars. “To wake up to the magical sound of wildlife and birds, surrounded by pristine nature as far as the eye can see, is a life-changing experience; this is a place of true, untouched wonderment,” said Jens Kozany, the General Manager of Segera. Unsurprisingly, this one-of-a-kind stay at the Bird Nest doesn’t come cheap—the cost of the Bird Nest Experience starts at $1,150 USD per night. + Bird Nest Images by Jimmy Nelson

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Kenyas Bird Nest is a breathtaking safari suite in the African wilderness

Northern Europes largest aquarium unveiled for former Oslo airport site

October 16, 2017 by  
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Aquariums are always good fun for families, but the New Aquarium slated for the outskirts of Oslo is sure to bring in architecture and design lovers too. London studio Haptic Architects unveiled renderings for a curvaceous aquarium modeled on local “svaberg” rock formations that hugs the waterfront and offers new public spaces, including an accessible roof. Planned for the former site of the Oslo airport in Bærum, the aquarium backed by developer Selvaag will house 7 million liters of water and be the biggest of its kind in northern Europe. The 10,000-square-meter New Aquarium will form part of a waterfront redevelopment masterplan, designed by Rodeo Architects , that includes boat and surfing clubs, a new urban beach, restaurants and bars, retail, offices, a seaplane terminal, and a new metro link to the city center. The sculptural aquarium is envisioned as two gently sloping rocks that lift up at the waterfront edge to reveal full-height glazing that frames views of the water. Visitors will be able to climb and walk across one of the undulating roofs. Related: South America’s largest aquarium boasts a 650-foot underwater tunnel “I have always loved the Norwegian ‘svaberg’ rocks,” said Haptic Architects’ Tomas Stokke of the local rock formations. “They are beautiful, sculptural objects, that form natural pockets, ponds and seating areas, gently heated by the sun. We wanted to recreate the qualities of this, in creating an aquarium with a distinct Norwegian quality.” Construction on the New Aquarium is expected to begin in 2020 and open in 2023. + Haptic Architects Via Dezeen Images via MIR

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Northern Europes largest aquarium unveiled for former Oslo airport site

Amazing low-cost, off-grid Lifehaus homes are made from recycled materials

July 4, 2017 by  
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This amazing home by Lifehaus blends low-cost off-grid appeal with with holistic living and luxurious details. The Lebanon -based company started by Nizar Haddad is pioneering energy neutral dwellings made from locally sourced and recycled materials . People living in the green homes will be able to generate their own electricity and grow their own food. Lifehaus homes include a greenhouse for growing food and solar panels for generating renewable energy . It promotes sustainable water use through rainwater collection and grey water reuse. And all this comes with a price tag of around half the average cost of an unfurnished Lebanese home, which is around $800 per square meter. Related: The first off-grid Ecocapsule microhomes are shipping to customers this year Lifehaus addresses many societal issues in their sustainable dwellings that offer a way of life more in touch with the Earth. “Lebanon’s construction industry is one of the leading factors behind desertification in the country,” Media Representative Nadine Mazloum told Inhabitat. “Entire hills and mountains are being turned into wastelands as demand for conventional buildings continues to rise. Also, with Lebanon being a post-war country, successive governments, since 1990, and up until now have been and continue to be unable to provide many of the country’s citizens with round-the-clock water and electricity – so this got us thinking of going off the grid.” Lebanon has been suffering from a trash epidemic , and the crisis propelled the team into action in 2015, according to Mazloum. She said, “As garbage was left on the streets for months at a time, we felt that we could no longer wait and so dedicated ourselves fully to Lifehaus.” Lifehaus treats that waste as treasure by incorporating recycled materials in the dwellings. They also allow for composting organic trash for use in the garden as fertilizer. Passive design keeps a Lifehaus cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The homes can be partially buried, with the roofs offering additional food-growing space. This helps them be more earthquake-resistant and minimizes heat loss. The homes’ low cost design could work for housing in developing countries , or for refugees . Lifehaus counts Earthship among their sources of inspiration, and creator Michael Reynolds has endorsed the project. Lifehaus is drawing on ancestral building techniques, such as using mud and clay as opposed to concrete, and treating those materials with linseed oil and lime. Construction on the first 1,722 square foot prototype will begin next month in Baskinta, Lebanon, and Lifehaus hopes to get the community involved. “Now is the time for the human species to reconcile with nature . Our collective lifestyles are no longer sustainable,” Mazloum told Inhabitat. “The Lifehaus is not just about building a house, it’s about community and communication. We hope to reinforce the feeling of being in a community and communicating a strong message that yes, we can all make a change no matter how dark the world seems.” + Lifehaus + NH-Architectes Images courtesy of Lifehaus

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Amazing low-cost, off-grid Lifehaus homes are made from recycled materials

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