Ghost Barn built of locally felled timber glows like a lantern at night

March 31, 2017 by  
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With a name like Ghost Barn and a glowing, lantern-like appearance at night, this fiberglass-clad structure could easily be mistaken for a haunted hut. Rest assured, however, the building is actually a new model-making shed completed by British firm Invisible Studio in the woods of Bath. The architects designed the prototyping workshop using unseasoned spruce timber grown and milled on-site. Invisible Studio constructed Ghost Barn to complement their existing woodland studio and to serve as a space for full-scale model making. Built of locally sourced five-by-two timber planks in less than two weeks, the new prototyping workshop was an exercise in “constructional efficiency.” Minimal drawings were created before construction started to allow the build team to decide much of the design in an ad-hoc way, though the architects determined the materials and the overall farm shed -like appearance. Related: Super-local energy-efficient Caretaker’s House is built from locally grown and felled timber “The project is the first of a series of ‘equivalent’ projects that use same-section timber,” write the architects. “The project also relates to Piers Taylor’s PhD topic exploring contingencies that emerge through incorporating making in to design.” The mono-pitched Ghost Barn is clad in impact-resistant fiberglass and corrugated steel , materials that reference the local agricultural vernacular. The fiberglass walls allow natural light to pierce into the interior and give the building the appearance of a glowing lantern when lit at night. A large opening allows the designers to move large models and materials in and out of the building with ease. + Invisible Studio Via Dezeen Images via Invisible Studio

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Ghost Barn built of locally felled timber glows like a lantern at night

Rammed earth school in Vietnam blooms like a colorful jungle flower

March 20, 2017 by  
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The far reaches of northern Vietnam are beautiful but heartbreakingly poor. Children of the Hmong ethnic minority who live in the villages routinely suffer from lack of access to healthcare and education. Vietnamese architecture firm 1+1> 2 has provided a ray of hope for those in Lung Luong village in the remote Thai Nguyen Province with the construction of a beautiful new school made from local materials including rammed earth and bamboo. The school’s beautiful swooping and colorful form is an inspiration to the village and serves as a welcoming haven protected from the harsh elements. The Lung Luong elementary school is sited on a mountain peak and constructed to replace a poorly insulated structure that was piercingly cold in days of heavy rain and draught. Under the leadership of architect Hoang Thuc Hao, the villagers excavated part of the peak to create an even foundation. The excavated soil was recycled into rammed earth bricks used to build the school’s structure. The soil bricks’ thermal properties help maintain a temperate indoor climate year round. Locally sourced timber and bamboo were also used in construction and existing trees were protected during the building process. The elementary school is spread out across the mountaintop, covering an area of over 1,400 square meters. The orientation and placement of the buildings and the swooping colorful bamboo canopy above optimize natural lighting, ventilation, and sound insulation. The school comprises classrooms, playgrounds, gardens, multipurpose rooms, a medical room, library, kitchen, toilets, and dormitory. Related: Rammed earth house blends traditional materials with modern techniques in Vietnam’s last frontier “The goal of this project is to create a school with conveniences striving against the harsh nature,” write the architects. “The classrooms are compatible with the mountain, spaces between them are slots which makes everything appears like an architectural picture pasted on the terrain. The corridor connects all functional areas. The foundation of the buildings respects the natural terrain which means that they wind up and down as the mountain path.” + 1+1> 2 Via ArchDaily Images © Son Vu

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Rammed earth school in Vietnam blooms like a colorful jungle flower

Copper-clad chapel is a beacon of unity in one of Helsinkis most multicultural districts

January 9, 2017 by  
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In the long, dark, and cold winters of Helsinki , the Suvela Chapel shines bright as a welcoming, multi-faith space for one of the most multicultural districts in the metropolitan region. Located in the Suvela neighborhood of Espoo, where roughly a third of the residents are of foreign descent, the recently completed chapel was designed by architecture firm OOPEAA to serve as a multifunctional center that a diverse community can use together regardless of religious affiliation. The striking building is entirely clad in gleaming copper to emphasize unity; the material was also selected for its durability and recyclability. Commissioned by the Espoo Parish Union, the Suvela Chapel is used jointly by the Espoo Parish Union, the Swedish Parish of Espoo, and the City of Espoo to serve a diverse community. OOPEAA was tasked to create an eye-catching building with a strong identity of its own that would be welcoming to people of varying backgrounds and flexible enough to accommodate a number of activities. “Due to the relatively long, dark, and cold winters, communal indoor spaces play an important role as places for people to gather in Finland,” writes OOPEAA. “Providing schools, libraries and churches as places where people can come together on the common ground of a shared space has deep roots in the cultural tradition of Finland. The Suvela Chapel is part of this tradition.” Related: Stunning Seashore Chapel in China appears to float at high tide Located next to a local community park, the chapel is laid out like a horseshoe that wraps around an intimate interior courtyard . In addition to its copper exterior, the building is constructed from concrete and steel, while the interiors are mostly clad in locally-sourced spruce to inject a sense of warmth. Timber is also used in the outdoor canopies and, together with the copper panels, will develop a beautiful patina over time. The different functions of the chapel are laid out on one level and include a chapel hall, belfry, offices, meeting and group work spaces, areas for children and the youth, including afternoon child care and day care, activity rooms for local community clubs, and a soup kitchen. The Suvela Chapel was awarded bronze in the American Architecture Prize 2016 and was one of four finalist candidates nominated for the Finlandia Prize in Architecture in 2016. + OOPEAA Via Dezeen Images via OOPEAA

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Copper-clad chapel is a beacon of unity in one of Helsinkis most multicultural districts

Meandering 2y House in Chile immerses inhabitants in its wooded surroundings

December 30, 2016 by  
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Few things in life produce the kind of peace and serenity found in a forest. This meandering treehouse in Chile provides a complete immersion into its wooded surroundings. Sebastian Irarrazaval Arquitectos designed 2y House as a solitary retreat that enhances the unique experience of being surrounded by trees. The house is located near Lake Colico, some 470 miles south of the Chilean capital, Santiago . Locally-sourced timber anchors the house to the place and references the sense of infinity that is present in forests. Natural light filters through broad windows and wooden screens, mimicking the effect created by tree tops. Related: Gorgeous Robin’s Nest Treehouse Hotel immerses you in nature This arboreal aesthetic is further enhanced by the use of red-painted wood on the exterior. Using a natural palette of reds, browns and greens marks a departure from the concrete and glass architecture that tends to dominate Chilean residential design. + Sebastian Irarrazaval Arquitectos Via Curbed

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Beautiful solar-powered soccer facility stays naturally cool in Australias heat

September 2, 2016 by  
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As with all k20 Architecture’s works on Inhabitat, sustainability is at the heart of BSRF. Solar panels power low-energy light fittings, while rainwater is collected and reused in the toilets. Extended eaves and double-glazing protect the building from harsh glare and natural ventilation is maximized with operable windows and thermal chimneys that provide stack effect cooling. Locally sourced and manufactured material components are used wherever possible, such as the carpets made of 40% recycled content and grandstand seating constructed of recycled plastic. Low VOC paints and durable finishes can be found throughout. BSRF’s most eye-catching element is the sculptural Eureka Stockade wall, the curved west-facing timber facade that protects the playing field from the winds and sun. The wall references the makeshift wooden barricade erected in the Battle of the Eureka Stockade fought between miners and the Colonial forces of Australia in 1854. The architect’s modern interpretation of the wall features a jagged roofline with a handsome mosaic of grey ironbark, spotted gum , and stringy bark. Related: Solar-powered civic center in Australia repurposes over 80% of its original building materials “The facility is unique in that it has been designed specifically for the soccer community of regional Victoria,” write the architects. “As a result, k20 Architecture was able to customize the design to emulate the experience of a world standard soccer stadium. This is illustrated in the alignment of the primary player’s race to the centre line of the playing pitch, which enables players of all ages and standards to experience key aspects of playing on the ‘big stage.’” The BSRF is part of the first stage for a still-developing master plan for the site. The facility was recently selected as a finalist in the 2016 Sport, Recreation and Play Industry Innovation, Facility Design and Development Awards and a finalist in the 2016 Australian Timber Design Awards Fitout Featuring Timber Cladding Category. + k20 Architecture Images via k20 Architecture

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Beautiful solar-powered soccer facility stays naturally cool in Australias heat

These two arboretum buildings were built using waste timber sourced and milled on-site

April 13, 2016 by  
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The Girl Scouts of Utah built impressive summer cabins without a single drop of glue

March 29, 2016 by  
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Maryland governor expected to ban bee-killing pesticides in US first

March 29, 2016 by  
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The declining bee population on Earth has been linked with widespread use of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids . While the chemicals have already been banned in several countries, they are still widely used in the United States. Maryland, however, is the first state poised to approve a measure that bans the pesticides , after losing 60 percent of its hives last year. The pending legislation has passed the state’s upper and lower chambers, and now awaits the signature of Governor Larry Hogan, which is expected. Read the rest of Maryland governor expected to ban bee-killing pesticides in US first

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