Enchanting tiny home combines French rustic charms and modern luxuries

June 23, 2017 by  
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French rustic charms and modern luxuries come together in this beautiful tiny home on wheels. France’s tiny house company Baluchon has outdone themselves again in their latest build called the Ostara, a tiny home built on a six-meter trailer. Currently located near a horse farm in Toulouse, the light-filled timber abode looks surprisingly spacious despite its small size and sleeps two in a loft bedroom. Custom built for clients Nathalie and Sebastien, Ostara was named after the stable close to the tiny home’s location. Although charming and rustic on the outside, the spruce -clad Ostara makes a grand impression with its large French doors flanked with curtains that open up to a light-filled living room. A large 1.8-meter-long sofa forms the living room’s focal point and can also comfortably lodge an overnight guest. A small bookcase, wood-burning stove , and a small dining table that accommodates three people is located to the left. To the right of the living room is the kitchen with a full-size sink, pantry, two-burner stovetop, fridge/freezer, and a gorgeous extendable wooden countertop. The bathroom with a full-size shower and composting toilet are tucked into the end of the home. Related: Fully-furnished tiny house from France easily fits a family of three A corner staircase with built-in storage leads up to the mezzanine with a large loft bed . Multiple double-glazed openings, including a broad bay window and one-meter-wide circular window, punctuate the home and provide views of the horses and rural surroundings. Sheep wool, cotton, linen, hemp, and wood fibers were used for insulation. The home is made from locally sourced materials. Baluchon’s beautiful homes are only delivered in France due to the company’s desire to limit carbon emissions. + Baluchon Via Tiny House Talk

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Enchanting tiny home combines French rustic charms and modern luxuries

Dreamy treehouse hidden by Woodstock offers magnificent Catskills views

June 15, 2017 by  
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A perfect getaway surrounded by nature is hidden away near the town of Woodstock. UK-based Antony Gibbon Designs crafted this blissful retreat, called Inhabit Treehouse, that’s nestled within dense forest less than a two-hour drive from New York City. Built from locally and sustainably sourced reclaimed timber , Inhabit treehouse offers beautiful and cozy digs with stunning views of a lake and the Catskills mountain range beyond. Built for a family with plans of opening the treehouse up to rentals, Inhabit Treehouse is a small and efficiently designed space with all the comforts of home. FSC-certified reclaimed cedar sourced from the Catskills valley clads the treehouse , while FSC-certified reclaimed pine lines the interior. The timber facade will develop an attractive patina over time to help the building blend into the landscape. Large windows open the treehouse up to natural light and views of the outdoors. Guests can also reconnect with nature from the two balconies on either side of the building. The treehouse interior comprises an open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living room with a wood-burning stove ; a spacious loft bedroom; shower and bathroom; and a second bedroom in the rear that could easily be transformed into an office. A large terrace beneath the treehouse leads down to the lake and a hot tub. Related: Incredible teepee-shaped ORKA house is made from 24 interlacing beams “Inhabit Treehouse contrasts geometric forms against the organic forms of the forest but still blends into the surroundings with its timber materials,” Antony Gibbons told Inhabitat. “New trees were also planted close to the structure to help strengthen the idea that the building cuts through the forest and is semi-camouflaged into its surroundings. The sharp geometric angles of the Interior also created an interesting layout that pushed away from 90 degree corners as much as possible.” + Antony Gibbons Design Images via Antony Gibbons Design

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Dreamy treehouse hidden by Woodstock offers magnificent Catskills views

Elegant Australian home shows the beauty and toughness of rammed earth

June 14, 2017 by  
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Rammed earth may be an ancient building material, but the modern homes that use compact earth are anything but old-fashioned. One such example is Robson Rak Architects and Interior Designers’ recently completed Layer House, a robust and elegant home in Victoria, Australia that keeps naturally cool with rammed earth walls. Made from local materials by local artisans, the rammed earth is paired with timber to create a beautiful palette that will last the test of time. Built to last generations, the large 470-square-meter Layer House was designed with an eye for detail and quality. The home derives its name from the intersecting zones and private vistas created from an asymmetrical layout that wraps around a series of courtyards . Rammed earth and timber are the two main building materials in the Layer House. The architects write: “The sand component of the rammed earth is locally sourced and built by local artisans. Rammed earth is a sustainable, honest, and efficient building material that requires no maintenance and ages gracefully. The timber will be allowed to grey off and age with time.” A few vibrant pops of color, such as the green tiled island bench and blue sofa, provide contrast to the pale color palette. Related: Rammed earth school in Vietnam blooms like a colorful jungle flower The low-maintenance rammed earth walls provide a thermal mass for passive cooling in summer and heating in winter. Energy efficiency is further improved with double glazed and thermally broken aluminum doors and windows. Louvers control the flow of cross ventilation, while hydronic heating is embedded into the concrete floors. + Robson Rak Architects and Interior Designers Via ArchDaily Images © Shannon McGrath

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Elegant Australian home shows the beauty and toughness of rammed earth

This amazing underground house in Greece frames views of an olive grove

June 5, 2017 by  
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This underground holiday home in Greece is topped with a green roof that offers panoramic views of the Peloponnese peninsula. The owners commissioned LASSA Architects to design a house that would activate the periphery of the plot and provide a vantage point from which to observe the surroundings. The 1614-square-foot Villa Ypsilon is located in an olive grove in southern Peloponnese. A three-pronged concrete shell forms the roof and establishes three courtyards with different exposures to the sun. An eye-shaped swimming pool and sun deck are partially sheltered underneath a concrete lip that defines the green roof. Two other curved facades frame a sunken seating area and the main entrance to the building. Related: Take a Peek at a Stunning Secret Swiss Villa Hidden Into a Mountainside! “The design of the concrete shell and the courtyards’ orientation is such that it produces shadows at specific times of the day,” said the architects. “We are interested in the idea of form integration. That is, that form can be the result of overlapping and precise design decisions . . . in this case the vaulting concrete shell is structural, its bisecting axes frames specific views, its sloping [form] makes it walkable and its extent is a result of environmental optimization.” Related: Beautiful Underground Aloni House Blends in With The Earth Most of the structure is prefabricated, which significantly reduced assembly costs and construction time. The architects used a CNC machine to fabricate prototypes of the concrete shell and develop the final shape of the house. The use of locally sourced materials – such as concrete, terrazzo and marble – root the design in its cultural and geographic context. + LASSA Architects Via Dezeen Photos by NAARO

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This amazing underground house in Greece frames views of an olive grove

Gorgeous bamboo gridshell combines Cambodian design with mathematical forms

April 17, 2017 by  
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Mathematics is beautiful, a truth not lost on architects. Luca Poian Forms designed a gorgeous bamboo pavilion that draws inspiration from the Enneper minimal surface for its striking appearance. Conceived as a landmark structure for Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park, the pavilion combines innovative digital tools with low-tech and sustainable bamboo construction that also references traditional Cambodian design. Created as a submission for the Building Trust’s Camboo Bamboo Landmark Design Challenge , Luca Poian Form’s proposal responds to the competition’s call for an innovative and temporary pavilion to help popularize bamboo as a modern and desirable material in Cambodia. The architects designed a structure that uses locally sourced bamboo in ways both familiar and novel to Cambodia. The sculptural pavilion’s split bamboo roofing references traditional weaving while its undulating arches are inspired by the Ennerper surface as well as the radiating arms of the ancient Goddess Prajnaparamita. Related: Zaha Hadid Architects Win Bid to Design Mathematics Gallery in London’s Science Museum “Known for its characteristic tensile strength, bamboo is a building material that lends itself excellently to the construction of sustainable grid-shell structures,” wrote the architects. “Celebrating the material’s qualities, our proposal derives a grid-shell pattern from the trajectory of the structure’s principal stresses under gravity, effectively eliminating shear forces and maximising the pavilion’s overall stiffness. The result is highly sculptural, structurally coherent, and spatially expressive: a structure that is timeless in its architectural language and innovative in its structural and tectonic approach.” The 110-square-meter pavilion design received an honorable mention in the design competition. + Luca Poian Forms Via divisare Images via Luca Poian Forms

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Gorgeous bamboo gridshell combines Cambodian design with mathematical forms

Sun Commune pavilion teaches urban kids about sustainable farming in China

April 4, 2017 by  
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For a country like China , where one-fifth of the farmland is contaminated, raising awareness about sustainable farming is more important than ever. That’s why design studio Superimpose teamed up with the local farming community in rural Hangzhou’s Tai Yang Valley to build an educational pavilion about organic food production. Created for the local initiative Sun Commune, the ring-shaped MICR-O pavilion serves as an educational platform to teach children from Hangzhou and Shanghai about nature and sustainable practices. Elevated on stilts and located between rice fields and bamboo forests, the MICR-O pavilion was built with a repetitive structural A-frame made of locally reclaimed pine. The low-cost yet elegant pavilion sits lightly on the land and is wrapped in white canvas, giving it a modern and simple appearance. The circular structure wraps around an open-air deck, accessible via three access points and used for group activities and events. Related: Smog-filled Beijing is building a ‘green necklace’ around the city to curb pollution Throughout the year, children from Hangzhou and Shanghai are invited to camp at MICR-O and learn about sustainable farming. Camp attendees can sleep overnight at the pavilion on mats laid overtop the pine floor. The architects write: “The structural A frame, a ninety-degree angled triangle, gives the design an externally pure shape, while internally the patio opens towards the sky and surroundings.” + Superimpose Via ArchDaily Images by Marc Goodwin

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Sun Commune pavilion teaches urban kids about sustainable farming in China

Architects transform an old hay barn into a stunning minimalist home

February 28, 2017 by  
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OFIS Architects have converted an old hay barn in Slovenia into a gorgeous living space. The barn was originally used to house cattle on the first floor and store hay on the upper level, but had been left empty for years. To convert the space into a comfortable loft space without sacrificing the building’s local vernacular, the architects were determined to use as much as the existing structure as possible. The Slovenian countryside is full of decrepit barns that serve as symbols of the country’s rural lifestyle. To pay respects to the local vernacular, the architects made impressive strides to use what they could of the barn’s original materials . Related: Architects transform 18th century barn with seamless contemporary extension Surprisingly, the renovation team was able to maintain almost all of the external wooden cladding and concrete roof slates. A few strategic renovations were made to include windows and an opening for the front porch to let in natural light to the home, and a ramp that previously led animals into the barn was also fixed to serve the same purpose for the new, human inhabitant. https://youtu.be/cBDAeyO7WC0 Inside, the home has an open floor plan with minimal furnishings and exposed wooden beams. The interior floors, walls and furniture are covered in locally-sourced spruce panels, resulting in a homey cabin feel. The open living and dining area make up the main volume, and a raised bedroom was installed in the back. The kitchen, sauna, fireplace and bathroom are all strategically placed out of sight behind a wall of sliding vertical planks to further open the living space. + OFIS Architects Via Ambienti TV Photography by Tomaž Gregori?

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Architects transform an old hay barn into a stunning minimalist home

Famous swimming pigs in Bahamas found dead after consuming ‘wrong food’

February 28, 2017 by  
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A pod of swimming pigs has delighted tourists in the Bahamas for decades, but several of them were recently found dead. Wayde Nixon, who owns some of the pigs, said they appear to have eaten food they aren’t accustomed to. The tragedy has drawn criticism of irresponsible tourists who often feed the animals human food, including alcohol like rum or beer. About 20 swimming pigs once frolicked in the Exuma Cays, according to the Bahamas’ tourism website . Swimming alongside the animals and photographing them may be harmless, but Nixon said people have also tried to ride on top of the pigs or give them alcohol. He told The Nassau Guardian, “We had them pigs there almost 30 years, and never has this happened before, but now we are going to have to regulate it. Right now it’s blowing out of proportion with people, anybody bringing food there, anybody doing what they [want to] do.” Related: Yoda the Piglet Escapes Slaughterhouse, Finds Love and Safety He blamed their deaths on someone giving them bad food, but Bahamas Humane Society president Kim Aranha said it could have been an accident, and the animals could have consumed something poisonous. She told The Independent, “It could be malicious but I don’t really see why anyone would go out of their way to hurt those lovely animals. I know there are a lot of silly sailors that go and feed them alcohol to try and get them drunk but that’s not to mistake them with the tour operators based out of Nassau who have treated them with excellent care.” Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources V. Alfred Gray said the government will work to prevent tourists from feeding the pigs, such as through a boundary line so visitors could still see the pigs but wouldn’t be able to feed them. He said his department is working with the Ministry of Tourism to implement a safeguard for the remaining 15 or so pigs. Via The Nassau Guardian and The Independent Images via Pixabay and cdorobek on Flickr

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Famous swimming pigs in Bahamas found dead after consuming ‘wrong food’

Estrade Residence adapts to rocky hillside with locally-harvested materials

January 30, 2017 by  
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The gorgeous Estrade Residence adapts to the rocky, steep topography of a lake shore in Quebec , and offers breathtaking views of the surroundings. Canadian design studio MU Architecture design the house using natural and locally sourced materials and created a multitude of spaces and terraces that embrace the site. The main idea was to highlight the peculiarities of the site and integrate nature into the design of the house. This resulted in a staggered structure that includes several terraces that establish a strong dialogue with the surrounding landscape. Thick walls made from rocks extracted during excavation create a spine of the project that extends outwards, protect the apartments on the ground floor, and help establish a direct connection between the interior and exterior spaces. Related: Modern meets rustic in the Hemmingford House built from natural materials The different volumes are gradually revealed as visitors climb an aerial and magisterial staircase which connects all levels of the house. Open spaces dominate the ground floor bathed in natural light, with a double-sided fireplace located in the center of the common room adding warmth to the place. This area extends the kitchen to the outside via a veranda which stretches perpendicularly to the natural ridge. Natural cedar cladding of the upper volumes complements the stone walls and gives the residence both a rustic and modern feel. + MU Architecture Via v2com Photos by Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard (YUL Photo)

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Estrade Residence adapts to rocky hillside with locally-harvested materials

Haiti renovation project boosts community using local labor and materials

January 27, 2017 by  
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Nothing warms our design-loving hearts like a project built by and for communities, and with local resources to boot. Working pro bono, Thrive Architecture teamed with nonprofit organization Building Goodness Foundation and local workers to expand an existing Center of Hope Haiti school and orphanage just outside of Hinche. Not only is the project socially meaningful, but environmentally-conscious as well. The project, which was completed in October, 2016, included a series of new facilities for an existing school and orphanage run by The Center of Hope Haiti (COHH). As the funding allowed, the construction team was able to build four new buildings to create much-needed space for the educational complex. Related: Earthquake-resistant orphanage is a welcoming ray of hope in Haiti The entire project followed BGF’s construction scheme, which includes using a team of skilled craftsmen and trade professionals along with local unskilled and semi-skilled laborers. The entire group works on the project from start to finish, from site planning and concept design to construction, allowing the communities to create a capable, self-sustaining labor force. The layout for the school included a new “sheltering landscape” built on the highest elevation possible in order to offer additional protection during the storm seasons . The team was also careful to protect two existing Mango trees that offer shade from the tropical heat. Related: Architectural Association School of Architecture bamboo workshops in Haiti teach post-disaster construction techniques From the beginning of the project, the construction plan consisted of using conventional Haitian construction techniques, including the use of traditional Haitian “parging”, which was left unpainted. Locally-sourced materials made up a good part of the project, including quarried stone that wraps around each of the buildings’ exteriors. Additionally, locally-sourced steel pipes were used as the tie-downs for the roofs, offering solid protection from strong winds. To reduce the school’s energy usage and costs, the buildings mainly depend on natural daylight, but LED lighting is installed throughout the buildings. All of the buildings were constructed with an extended roof, which double as shade and shelter from the harsh summers. As for the project’s energy conservation strategy , the exterior walls have low operable windows on the courtyard side of the buildings designed to optimize natural air ventilation. For insulation, the walls were built with lightweight Ubuntublox made from repurposed Styrofoam trays that were cleaned, shredded and sewn into rice bags by women in Port-au-Prince. + Thrive Architecture + Building Goodness Foundation + Center of Hope Haiti Images via Thrive Architecture and Tom Cogill

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Haiti renovation project boosts community using local labor and materials

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