Barrel-shaped wooden pod retreat in France inspired by real life ‘bird charmer’

September 29, 2017 by  
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Mr Plocq’s Caballon is a beautiful 160-square-foot wooden pod located on the banks of the Loire river estuary. The pod’s unique design was inspired by the life of real-life bird charmer Émile Plocq, who supposedly built his own boat to follow migrating birds to Africa. Architects Aurélie Poirrier, Igor-Vassili Pouchkarevtch-Dragoche, and Vincent O’Connor created the barrel-shaped retreat by combining techniques used in naval and airplane carpentry, resulting in a fun boat-like hull topped with a transparent “cockpit” shell. The architectural team designed the pod for the local “Imaginary Nights” celebration, an annual event hosted by tourism board, Loirestu . Every year, the festival chooses a fun movable housing concept to be used as a guest retreat located along the Loire estuary in the west of France. This year, Mr Plocq’s Caballon’s inventive backstory, along with its great compact design , earned the pod its place in the event. Related: Egg-shaped GreenPod office lets you work from almost anywhere The tiny pod ‘s barrel shape was strategic to optimize the interior space despite its compact volume . The design basically comprises a ship-like wooden hull on the bottom, topped by a transparent cockpit partially covered by white canvas. Access to the interior is by a double swing door that opens up vertically as the steps fold out to the ground. There are two private areas in the interior, the bedroom and the bathroom, which are separated by a wooden door. The bedroom is located in the cockpit area, whose transparent glazing allows guests to sleep under the stars. The remaining hull space is the small bathroom with a sink and dry toilet , which is reached by a hollow 360° rotating door inserted into double wall behind the bed. The innovative “shower airlock” door allows guests ultimate privacy when turned inwards towards the bathroom. + Aurélie Poirrier + Igor-Vassili Pouchkarevtch-Dragoche + Vincent O’Connor Via Archdaily Photography by Corentin Schieb , Aurélie Poirrier

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Barrel-shaped wooden pod retreat in France inspired by real life ‘bird charmer’

Rocks in Canada hold oldest evidence of life we’ve found

September 29, 2017 by  
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3.95 billion-year-old rocks could offer the oldest evidence we’ve found for life on Earth . A team led by the University of Tokyo found graphite in Labrador, Canada that they think is biogenic, or produced by living organisms. They contend this is the oldest evidence of life, as opposed to microfossils found earlier in Quebec , saying the dating process used in the latter was highly controversial. In March, the journal Nature published the findings of an international team of researchers who’d found fossils in Quebec that they said could be between 3.77 and 4.28 billion years old. Now, nine scientists at institutions in Japan say they’ve actually found the oldest evidence of life on this planet, and it’s in 3.95 billion-year-old rocks. Related: World’s oldest fossils discovered in Canada – and they’re 4 billion years old These researchers found graphite in sedimentary rocks. Tsuyoshi Komiya of the University of Tokyo said, “Our samples are also the oldest supracrustal rocks preserved on Earth.” Phys.org pointed out the Quebec fossils were found in a similar formation. The Japan team measured the isotope composition of the graphite to find it was biogenic, although the identity of the organisms that produced the graphite or their appearance are mysteries. Komiya said the team could work to identify the organisms by scrutinizing “other isotopes such as nitrogen, sulphur, and iron of the organic matter and accompanied materials.” They can also analyze the rock’s chemical composition to try and figure out the organisms’ environment . Other researchers, like geochemist Daniele Pinti of the University of Quebec at Montreal, seem impressed by the new team’s findings and process. He told CBC News, “For the moment, it looks very convincing.” Phys.org said that should the discovery be accurate, it would mean life sprung up on Earth a geological second after the planet formed around 4.5 billion years ago. Nature published the new study this week. Via Phys.org and CBC News Images via Wikimedia Commons and Tashiro, Takayuki, et al.

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Rocks in Canada hold oldest evidence of life we’ve found

This twisting tower is made out of 2,000 3D-printed terracotta bricks

September 29, 2017 by  
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A team of researchers and students from the HKU Faculty of Architecture worked with Holger Kehne of Plasma Studio to create a beautiful twisted tower out of 2,000 3D-printed terracotta bricks. Each clay brick used to create the Ceramic Constellation Pavilion was individually printed in a unique shape or size using innovative robotic technology, which prints at a faster pace than most 3D printing machines and provides incredible versatility in the building process. The 12-foot pavilion was part of the inaugural “Robotic Architecture Series” workshop hosted by international property developer, Sino Group . All of the materials used in the project were made in the Robotics Lab at HKU’s Faculty of Architecture. By building the 3D tower the team sought to test the feasibility of robotically printed terracotta bricks. The printing process means that the clay bricks can be configured into distinct shapes and densities, adding an invaluable versatility to the design process. Related: Perforated screens made from reused terracotta tiles wrap around this house in Malaysia The team began with about 1,500 pounds of raw terracotta clay . Using the university’s innovative robotic technology with a rapid print time of 2 or 3 minutes for each brick, it took about three weeks to print the materials. After firing the bricks in an oven at 1,877 degrees Fahrenheit, students from the HKU Department of Architecture assembled the beautiful pavilion during the ten day workshop. + HKU Faculty of Architecture + Sino Group + Plasma Studio

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This twisting tower is made out of 2,000 3D-printed terracotta bricks

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