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

Yi She Mountain Inn is a serene retreat built with local materials

January 27, 2017 by  
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Just a mere hour outside of Beijing lies Yi She Mountain Inn, a tranquil off-grid retreat tucked into an expansive mountain range. The inn, which was designed by DL Atelier and built with locally-sourced materials , offers a firm sense of simplicity in lieu of the typical luxurious amenities, offering an “environment designed to inspire humility, tolerance, enthusiasm and other beautiful emotions.” The inn was built with locally-sourced brick and wood, but includes a number of green pockets to integrate nature into the design. A lovely green roof coveres the buildings and a vertical brick wall is covered in climbing vines and wild flowers that bloom in springtime. The courtyard is filled sunlight and has natural ventilation, making it the perfect atmosphere for socializing. Related: Pine-clad V Lodge is a bold, minimalist retreat nestled within the Norwegian landscape The main spaces inside the spacious compound are meant to be communal, where interaction between guests is the norm. At the heart of the retreat is an open-air kitchen, which leads out on to a graveled patio. For indoor socializing, there is a large family-style dining table under an inverted wooden roof . Of course, for those who desire a bit of solitude, there are plenty of private nooks and crannies for quiet contemplation. Five guest rooms are found on the east side of the inn, each with its own distinct design and spectacular views of the mountains . + DL Atelier Via Archdaily Photography by Sun Haiting

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Yi She Mountain Inn is a serene retreat built with local materials

Sleep in sustainable luxury inside this eco-friendly jungle treehouse

January 25, 2017 by  
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Travelers looking to indulge in a different perspective of the beautiful Yucatán coastline will do well by ascending the eco-friendly Treehouse at Papaya Playa Project . As the newest addition to the luxury resort’s 85 casitas and cabañas, this hotel room nestled in the heart of the jungle offers luxury with an environmentally friendly twist. Elevated on stilts to minimize site impact , the Treehouse was built of locally sourced materials and recycled wood using age-old Maya construction techniques. The Papaya Playa Project is a resort that stretches across 900 meters on the Caribbean coast in the Mexican town of Tulum, around 130 kilometers south of Cancún. Like all of the resort offerings, the recently unveiled Treehouse is ecologically built with local materials such as thatched palapa roofing, wood-and-plaster composite walls, and bamboo window coverings. Unlike most of the cabañas, however, the Treehouse is removed from the coastline and instead offers a retreat deep in the verdant jungle though views of the azure Caribbean Ocean can still be enjoyed from its panoramic windows. Related: Eco-friendly resort in Australia mimics the surrounding sand dunes “Sustainability means life for future generations and integrity for the current one,” says Emilio Heredia, owner of the Papaya Playa Project. “Elevating the structure encourages the growth of jungle plants around the treehouse and ensures the building does not interfere with nature. We wanted to show the utmost respect to all the wildlife living in the jungle when building the treehouse.” Experiencing sustainable luxury in the 35-square-meter treehouse won’t come cheap however—one night at the Treehouse can set you back $1,400 for two. + Papaya Playa Project

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Sleep in sustainable luxury inside this eco-friendly jungle treehouse

Galapagos beach shelter shows off the versatility of renewable bamboo

January 23, 2017 by  
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Bamboo makes sense no matter where you use it. The Scarcity and Creativity Studio built this minimalist bamboo beach shelter in just two weeks, after all the commissioning details were sorted out. Located on the Playa Man in the capital of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador , the structure was built with locally-grown bamboo to ensure a versatile, flexible and renewable landmark for the local community to use. The project is part of a larger initiative to improve beach facilities in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of Galápagos Province located on San Cristóbal, the easternmost island of the archipelago. The shelter, which provides shade and open air showers to users of Playa Man, was built in two weeks using locally-sourced bamboo, wire ties and concrete stoppers. Related: This solitary lookout shelter is a bridge between ancient civilization and modern life The team arrived in Galapagos to find that the The Municipality of San Cristobal, where they were supposed to build a new shade shelter and facilities, cancelled the project. They decided to use the four weeks to find a new home for the project, approaching several local institutions. Out of four proposed projects–a bridge, yoga training facility, police tower and shade shelter–they opted for the latter and reused the bamboo they had already purchased. Hopefully, this project will start a local, if not global trend of building with this strong and sustainable material that replenishes itself in only four years . + The Scarcity and Creativity Studio Via  Archdaily

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Galapagos beach shelter shows off the versatility of renewable bamboo

Sustainable eco huts built on stilts in an idyllic French pine forest

January 20, 2017 by  
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A series of beautiful eco lodges gently meld into an idyllic pine forest in southwestern France. Designed by French firm Patrick Arotcharen Architecte , the small timber huts that make up the Les Echasses Hotel were constructed with locally-sourced timber on stilts. Hovering over a private lake, the development creates a harmonious connection between the built and natural environment. The hotel complex is made up of seven individual lodges situated on four hectares in the middle of a pine forest. The design of the wooden huts was meant to create a “contrasting homology” with the natural landscape. Built on stilts, each of the structures has a large open-air balcony that allows for incredible views. Related:25 prefab eco-suites pop up at ViVood’s adults-only Landscape Hotel in Spain Further solidifying the close relationship with its environment, the wooden cabins were built with as many locally-sourced materials as possible. Maritime pine sourced from the surrounding Landes Forest was used to clad the buildings around a steel frame. In addition to the beautiful setting, guests can enjoy an onsite restaurant and swimming pool, as well as local activities like golfing and surfing. There is also an orchard and plenty of open green space to enjoy a peaceful walk. The hotel is currently building an eco-friendly tree hut to view the beautiful area from a birds-eye view. + Patrick Arotcharen Architecte + Les Echasses Via Archdaily Photography by Mathieu Choiselat and Vincent Monthiers

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Sustainable eco huts built on stilts in an idyllic French pine forest

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