FOLKK puts a sustainable twist on handcrafted products by Balkan artisans

June 16, 2017 by  
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A group of Belgrade-based designers are on a mission to revive the centuries-long craftsmanship of Balkan artisans through sustainable production techniques and the use of locally available materials . Working under the auspices of the Nova Iskra design hub, FOLKK tackles the issue of rural exodus by enabling local makers to sustainably produce homewares such as kilims, pillows, wooden plates, knitting and serving boards. Envisioned as a decentralized network, FOLKK connects designers and makers to collaborate, learn and create affordable home products imbued with the spirit of sustainability. The team has already gathered over 200 creatives from the Balkan region and selected 12 participants who cooperated with designers to manufacture 30 product proposals. After several months, they produced 10 beautiful prototypes that combine ethnic-styled motifs and local folklore heritage with modern-day functional requirements. Related: Abyssinia pendant lamps are made by Ethiopian crafters out of discarded plastic bottles Among FOLKK’s prototypes is a beautiful hand-woven pillow stuffed with unprocessed wool collected from Serbian shepherds. Weavers from the south of Serbia use traditional techniques , looms and tools to make kilims, while the two-sided food plates and modular serving boards showcase the beauty of locally harvested wood . Related: This cozy mountain retreat in Serbia was built using locally sourced timber Two thirds of FOLKK’s revenue goes directly to the makers, while the remaining sum gets reinvested in the development of new products and reaching out to new makers. The team has launched a Kickstarter campaign offering a variety of goodies to backers. The campaign is great opportunity to get your hands on original, hand-made products from the Balkan region, and help keep traditional craftsmanship alive at the same time. + FOLKK Kickstarter campaign + FOLKK + Nova Iskra

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FOLKK puts a sustainable twist on handcrafted products by Balkan artisans

The Long Drop is an odorless composting toilet built with waste materials

December 12, 2016 by  
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This eye-catching composting toilet called The Long Drop was built entirely from scavenged and waste materials. Invisible Studio Architects designed and built the project to serve their own studio in the UK, with the aim of reducing costs and mitigating any impact on the local drainage system. The toilet features a system that eliminates foul odors thanks to a long drop from the main structure to the chamber. An exhaust fan draws air into the chamber. The chamber for solids can be easily swapped, leaving a full one to compost , while the empty one is in use. Related: Nature Loo’s Composting Toilet Puts More Distance Between You and Your (Icky) Poo Box The studio designed the project with minimal drawings, and built it with help from friends and neighbors using locally-sourced wood ; they embraced the building’s rough edges and “mistakes” as a healthy sign of improvisation. + Invisible Studio Architects

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The Long Drop is an odorless composting toilet built with waste materials

Mark+Vivi convert a tire shop into an artsy, energy-efficient live/work studio

December 9, 2016 by  
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Look inside Mark+Vivi’s live/work studio and it’s hard to imagine that this beautiful light-filled space used to be a 1920s tire shop. The dramatic transformation from industrial roots to a new chic appearance is a testament to the skills of Mark+Vivi, an interdisciplinary design/build studio based on Montreal, Canada. Located in the transitioning city of Verdun, Quebec, the studio, named the Tire Shop Project, consumes 35 to 50% less energy than similar sized homes in the city thanks to energy-efficient retrofits like double-glazed windows and an inverter ducted heating and cooling system. The Tire Shop was Mark+Vivi’s inaugural project that functioned as the designers’ live/work studio and the home to La Façade Art + Architecture, a storefront gallery dedicated to the exhibition of local contemporary art and experimental architecture. Sustainability was at the heart of the 800-square-foot renovation , from the reuse of the building to the designers’ focus on passive energy design. “One of the greatest sustainable aspects of our building is not what was used to revitalise it but rather how we live because of it,” said designers Mark Fekete and Viviana de Loera. Related: JZA+D transforms a defunct Princeton gas station into a pumping pizza joint Mark+Vivi preserved the original building footprint but replaced all of the windows with double-glazed, low-E units. A shop window with commercial-grade storefront glazing was added in the front to show off the art on the display. All the internal floors, shelving, and cabinetry were built from locally sourced Canadian plywood , and the painted and exposed surfaces were finished in low-VOC treatments. An energy-efficient 12,000-btu interior wall-mounted inverter ducted system provides all the heating and cooling. Natural light floods the interior, which further minimized energy use. The Tire Shop project was completed at a cost of $150 per square foot, a considerable savings from the typical $200-$350 per square foot for new construction of projects of comparable size in Montreal. + Mark+Vivi Via v2com Images by Adrien Williams

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Mark+Vivi convert a tire shop into an artsy, energy-efficient live/work studio

Rammed earth Palenque Cultural Tambillo is designed to celebrate Afro-ecuadorean arts

December 8, 2016 by  
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Caá Porá , Siete86 and Ingeniera Alternativa designed a cultural center in the UNESCO heritage province of Esmeraldas to celebrate Afroecuadorean culture, marimba music, and traditional dance. Proposed for Tambillo, Ecuador, the center, named Palenque Cultural Tambillo , would give the community a dedicated place to express their heritage, pass down their musical traditions to their children, and share their culture with tourists. The design comprises a collection of buildings built using local techniques, as well as ecologically friendly materials and energy efficient principles to keep operating costs at a minimum. https://vimeo.com/172954061 The Afroecuadorean town of Tambillo is located in the “region of the marimba,” a type of percussionist folk music that UNESCO has described as an intangible heritage of humanity. Unfortunately, those celebrated traditions are at risk due to intra-generational learning gaps and insufficient rehearsal and performance facilities. Palenque Cultural Tambillo was created to help continue those artistic traditions and was designed through a series of participatory research and design workshops with the Tambillo community in October 2015. Related: UNESCO announces winning design for the Bamiyan Cultural Center in Afghanistan The final design comprises the performance center, located in the main building, and a cluster of smaller buildings for workshops and classrooms. The performance center would feature a dance floor made from packed sand and opens on one side to the mangroves for natural ventilation , light, and to acknowledge the important role the environment plays in culture. The building frames would be made from locally harvested wood and topped with palm thatch roofs. All walls would be made from rammed earth with crushed oyster shells and clamshells. It’s unclear if the project has been funded or will be built. + Palenque Cultural Tambillo Via ArchDaily

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Rammed earth Palenque Cultural Tambillo is designed to celebrate Afro-ecuadorean arts

Contemporary Finnish lake house is built with seven types of timber

September 15, 2016 by  
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The warm and welcoming House Åkerudden owes its cozy character to its timber-lined and light-filled interior. Its gabled form is a reference to the local vernacular of Tenala, a rural community 60 miles west of Helsinki. Unlike the neighboring architecture, however, the lake house combines treated and untreated timber for a highly textured appearance that complements the surrounding field landscape. The house is clad in vertical strips of aspen and sits atop oak batons, while the outdoor decks are built with locally sourced Oregon pine. “The building’s idiom is simple and oblong and it settles naturally into the open field landscape,” said studio founder Mathias Nyström, according to Dezeen . “In its simplicity and apparent modesty, it approaches vernacular architecture without mimicking it. The goals were authenticity, simplicity, locality and sustainability.” House Åkerudden was built with a locally sourced spruce frame, which is kept exposed and was lightly treated with white-tinted oil. Oiled and untreated black alder paneling, as well as oak veneer, pine, and larch surfaces line the interior. Black-painted oriented strand board clads the staircase. Related: Timber-louvered house maximizes privacy and light in rural Germany Natural light streams in through large windows on all sides of the home that frame views of the outdoors. The home, aided by the double-height space in the large open-plan lounge and kitchen that occupy one half of the building, help make the home feel airy and spacious. The other half of the home comprises the bedrooms, bathrooms, and study, and is separated from the communal areas by an entrance hall. + MNy Arkitekter Via Dezeen Images © Mathias Nyström and Kuvio Architectural Photography

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Contemporary Finnish lake house is built with seven types of timber

Vancouver’s greenest office building envisions a new kind of office space with TELUS Garden

July 29, 2016 by  
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The one-million-square-foot TELUS Garden is a mixed use development that consumes an entire city block in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, and this building is green as it gets. The complex comprises a 53-floor residential tower and a 24-floor office tower, which includes the nine floors that hold the company’s national headquarters. Construction was completed in 2015, and the headquarters are targeting LEED Platinum certification, with many sustainability goals tied to the base building systems. The TELUS Garden building employs passive ventilation , copious daylighting, radiant heating and cooling, integration of indoor and outdoor space, and the extensive use of local wood throughout. Among the green building components featured in the TELUS Garden hub is a raised access floor with a displacement ventilation system which uses 100-percent outside air, as well as radiant exposed concrete ceilings. Systems such as these actually informed the design of the building, as the concrete radiant ceiling had to be largely left exposed in order for the heating system to function properly and efficiently. (See photo below) Related: Vancouver will be powered by 100-percent renewable energy While Henriquez Partners Architects were the project architect for this eco-friendly, soon-to-be LEED platinum office building, OMB Architects (Office of Mcfarlane Biggar designers + architects) were hired as the interior architects on the project. OMB Architects approached their design with a goal to match the sustainability of the LEED platinum structure throughout the interior details. For interior architecture, OMB chose local woods, such as Red Alder, all non-toxic surface materials, and low-VOC and recycled materials throughout the project. The local BC Red Alder wood was used throughout the office and meeting spaces, featured in the flooring as well as the sweeping spiral staircase. The TELUS headquarters also incorporates exterior space into the work environment, in the form of a terrace with solar cell-clad shades, a quiet garden space, and sweeping views of the cityscape. + Telus Garden + Henriquez Partners Architect + omb Images via Andrew Latreille and Ema Peter

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Vancouver’s greenest office building envisions a new kind of office space with TELUS Garden

Elegant Gallop House in Singapore is clad in slatted screens made form locally-sourced timber

April 11, 2016 by  
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Mountain-inspired Pink Moon Saloon is a super-narrow bar and restaurant in Australia

January 19, 2016 by  
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Stunning vessels sculpted from felled wood possess an almost otherworldly beauty

September 30, 2015 by  
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Around Pavilion in Denmark is made entirely out of locally-sourced wood

July 16, 2015 by  
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