Penda unveils a futuristic micro-cabin inspired by Beijings hutongs

October 26, 2018 by  
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The micro-apartment concept has been sweeping cities around the world due to overcrowding and rising housing prices. But out of the need to provide solutions for urban housing issues, some designers are looking toward the future. Known for its innovative housing concepts, Penda has just unveiled the MINI Living Urban Cabin, designed to achieve “maximum quality of living within a minimum space” by forgoing walls almost completely. The 160-square-foot,  pod-like cabin is a futuristic, circular volume with a sleek, white facade. Designed as a temporary living space, the micro-apartment was conceptualized to offer a high degree of flexibility within a compact, open-air structure. Related: Penda unveils temporary nature-filled “village” for the Beijing Horticultural Expo Penda co-founding partner and architect Sun Dayong sought inspiration for the design in Beijing’s architectural history , specifically the city’s beloved hutongs. By putting a modern take on traditional Beijing architecture, the open-air cabin is meant to connect the residents to the community. The cabin features various volumes jutting out from the upper layer of the structure. Lined in a reflective gold cladding, these volumes have cut-outs that give the structure a playful, futuristic appearance but also allow natural light to filter into the living space. Inside, the design is divided into two living areas on either side, each separated by thin columns. In the middle of the living areas, a sitting hammock swings from the roof, inviting activity and conversation as well as providing a place to relax and read. Elsewhere in the home, transforming furnishings were chosen for their space-saving techniques that offer the ultimate in flexibility . In fact, much of the furniture was built with push, fold and rotate mechanisms to provide various uses. Even the front door folds outward, reminiscent of a spaceship. + Penda Via Archdaily Photography by Xia zhi, Laurian Ghinitoiu via Penda

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This kitchen in a box makes it easy to cook in micro-apartments and tiny homes

July 6, 2018 by  
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Young professionals living in micro-apartments and tiny homes can soon install a fully functioning kitchen in their residences, without the need for additional space or even complicated hardware. A recent graduate of Britain’s Royal College of Art has unveiled her capstone work titled Assembly – a single-package, flexible cooking set for millennials. The complete kit is about the same size as a toaster oven, but it contains everything an individual living in a micro-apartment  or a tiny home would need for a functional kitchen. Yu Li, the designer of Assembly, envisions the set as a “one-package solution that covers the whole cooking and dining process for one.” Related: Kenchikukagu: 3 tiny portable rooms from Japan that open like a suitcase Assembly contains a tablecloth, two pans designed to work with an included induction cooktop, a cutting board, cooking utensils and a single set of plates and flatware. When unpacked, the pieces work together as a full kitchen setup , ready to prepare and serve meals. The induction cooktop surface works with both pans and has fully-functioning temperature controls. The hotplate also has a timer feature, which gives aspiring chefs control over how long it stays powered. After dinnertime, the container that holds plates doubles as a drying rack. Between meals, everything is stored in this container, which can be put away for future use. Li says the “kitchen in a box” concept is designed for recent graduates and young people living in small urban apartments or competing for kitchen access with roommates. “The idea is to trim the original kitchen space down to a few minimal elements,” Li told Dezeen. “So space can be designed simpler , neater and transformed into other purposes to increase the space utilization.” Assembly was one of several designs on display during the 2018 Graduate Exhibition , which closed on July 1. More than 800 students showed off their work at four locations in London. Although the self-contained kit gathered plenty of attention, a manufacturer and distributor have yet to be announced, and the price for the Assembly set is still to be determined. + Royal College of Art Via Dezeen Images via Yu Li

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A former anti-aircraft platform is now a beautiful skywalk in Gibraltar

July 6, 2018 by  
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If you’re not afraid of heights, you can now experience the famed Rock of Gibraltar in a whole new way. Gibraltar-based architecture firm  Arc Designs has turned an old WWII military platform on the very top of the landmark into a gorgeous glass skywalk with stunning views of the Rock and the surrounding ocean. Located 340 meters above sea level, the Gibraltar Skywalk is comprised of four layers of glass and over 60,000 pounds of steel embedded into the rocky, steep terrain. The glass-enclosed viewing area is built in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, which contained a platform formerly used as an anti-aircraft base in WWII. The architects used the base as a starting point to extend a glazed walkway and balustrade over the rocky terrain. Related: This terrifying glass walkway in China ‘cracks’ as you step on it Visitors can access the viewing platform via stairs or a glass elevator. Once on the walkway, they can enjoy east and westward views that look out over the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. In fact, according to Arc Designs, the extraordinary location drove the inspiration for the skywalk ‘s design: “The design aspiration of this project was to afford the visitor with new and unrivaled views in all directions including over the rocky cliff-face below, while at the same time ensuring a subtle intervention, which did not detract from the natural and historic nature of this unique setting.” Although the setting guarantees beautiful views, the perilous terrain did present quite a few challenges for the project. “Because vehicular access to this area is limited to very narrow and winding roads, the entire walkway structure had to be fabricated in smaller sections which could be transported and assembled together in-situ,” explain the architects. To ensure that the glass skywalk was secure enough to withstand the visitor load, as well as the typical wind speeds – which can reach over 93 miles hour – the structure had to be embedded into the ground with multiple rock anchors. The entire project used a steel skeleton made up of 18 separate pieces. To build out the walkway, over 8,000 square feet of glass panels were installed. + Arc Designs Via Dezeen Photographs by Stephen Ball, courtesy of Bovis-Koala JV

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Snarkitectures mind-bending Fun House opens at the National Building Museum

July 6, 2018 by  
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In Washington D.C., a massive, mind-bending Fun House has taken over the National Building Museum to offer an interactive experience that easily lives up to the exhibition’s name. Created by New York-based collaborative design practice Snarkitecture , Fun House is the latest installment in the Museum’s Summer Block Party series of temporary structures. The exhibition also commemorates Snarkitecture’s ten-year history and showcases 42 of the firm’s projects using the framework of a traditional American house. Located in the Museum’s historic Great Hall, Fun House is an all-white interactive installation that comprises a two-story freestanding house with a front and back yard. “A lot of Snarkitecture’s work is about surprise, wonder and disbelief,” explains Italy-based curator Maria Cristina Didero, who worked with the architects to capture the essence of their decade-long work, which has focused on reinterpreting everyday materials in an imaginative new light and challenging people to rethink their surroundings. “We wanted to think back to basics,” continues Didero. “And then, we thought, what is more basic than a house? So, Fun House follows the look of a traditional American house…but if you walk in you’ll see that nothing is as it should be.” Related: Amazing Hive comes alive with sights and sounds in Washington, D.C. Stripped of all color, the all-white Fun House plays with texture and the element of surprise throughout. The installation begins at the front yard, where massive upholstered letter-shaped benches that spell out ‘Fun House’ are scattered in reference to the firm’s 2012 project ‘A Memorial Bowing.’ Behind a white picket fence is the main house, a simple gabled structure which would look fairly normal – that is, if the entrance weren’t completely chiseled away. The doorway, as well as the foyer, is a reinterpretation of Snarkitecture’s 2011 ‘Dig’ project; it explores the architecture of excavation with EPS architectural foam carved away with hammers, picks and chisels to cavernous effect. The EPS foam material will be returned to the manufacturer and recycled at the end of the exhibition. More oddities abound inside the home, which consists of the traditional sequence of rooms including a hallway, playroom, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, study and living room—each carefully crafted to evoke familiarity and surprise while paying homage to Snarkitecture’s past projects. Highlights include the bedroom’s ‘Light Cavern,’ an ethereal space that comprises 30,000 suspended strips of perforated white fabric to elicit porosity and translucency; ‘The Beach Chair’ bathtub ball pit, a throwback to Snarkitecture’s 2015 ‘The Beach’ installation at the National Building Museum; the study that serves as a showroom for various iconic works like the ‘Fractured’ bench and ‘Bearbrick’ sculpture; and the living room that’s made up of giant inflated tubes bundled together to form a ceiling—a reimagined version of the 2012 ‘Drift’ pavilion for Design Miami —and a playful small-scale version of their 2016 ‘Pillow Fort’ down below. Related: Gigantic swimmable ball pit takes over D.C.’s National Building Museum The most popular space, however, is undoubtedly the backyard, where ‘The Beach’ is reimagined as a circular kiddie pool and a larger kidney-shaped pool. Recyclable balls with anti-microbial coatings fill the pools to serve as ball pits shallow enough for kids yet large enough to entertain adults. White astroturf, lounge seating, umbrellas, and a picket fence surround the pools to finish off the relaxing, beach-like setting. “Fun House represents a unique opportunity for us to bring together a number of different Snarkitecture-designed interiors, installations, and objects into a single, immersive experience, ” said Alex Mustonen, co-founder of Snarkitecture. “Our practice aims to create moments that make architecture accessible and engaging to a wide, diverse audience. With that in mind, we are excited to invite all visitors to the National Building Museum to an exhibition and installation that we hope is both unexpected and memorable.” As with the National Building Museum’s previous Summer Block Party installations—which have included collaborations like ‘Hive’ by Studio Gang (2017) and the BIG Maze by Bjarke Ingels Group (2014)—Fun House will be accompanied by a series of programs and events, from behind-the-scenes construction tours to pop-up talks hosted during “Late Nights” on Wednesdays. Visitors will be given a one-hour timed entry ticket to explore Fun House. The ticket includes access to all of the National Building Museum’s exhibitions, including the not-to-be-missed ‘Secret Cities’ exhibit, which explores the history of the Manhattan Project secret cities from their design and construction to daily life inside them and their lasting influences on the American architectural landscape. Fun House concludes on September 3, 2018. + Snarkitecture + National Building Museum Images by Lucy Wang

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Snarkitectures mind-bending Fun House opens at the National Building Museum

Skinny micro-apartment can pop up in any city in just one day

October 17, 2017 by  
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The thought of living in an apartment with the footprint of a parking space may seem improbable and uncomfortable, but the chic Tikku micro-apartment shows us that it can be done. In response to pressures of the housing crises, Finnish architect Marco Casagrande of Casagrande Laboratory designed and built a prefabricated mobile micro-apartment that can pop up in as little as a day. The three-story-tall micro-apartment is designed to be mobile so it can go almost anywhere a car can—with enough overhead clearance—and can operate off the grid. Tikku, which means ‘stick’ in Finnish, earns its name from its skinny profile and timber construction assembled from cross-laminated timber modules. The stackable modules occupy the footprint of a parking space measuring 2.5 by 5 meters and require no foundations thanks to a sand box counterweight located at the bottom of the building. Even in Finland’s brutal winters, the architects say that 20-centimeter-thick cross-laminated timber is sufficient to weather the cold without added insulation . The first Tikku prototype was unveiled for the Helsinki Design Week 2017 outside Atheneum in the heart of Helsinki. The 37.5-square-meter micro-apartment includes three floors, one for sleeping, another for working, and the topmost reserved for a light-filled greenhouse. The CLT modules allow for easy customization and the introduction of different living spaces, from a kitchen and sauna to knitting room and workshop. Related: NYC announces opening of its first micro-apartment building, Carmel Place The Tikku is self-sufficient and runs off of solar energy. Composting toilets are installed, however running water is not. Residents are expected to make use of their urban resources for showers, saunas, and laundry machines—a reasonable expectation for cities like Helsinki or Tokyo that have that infrastructure. “Tikku is a safe-house for neo-archaic biourbanism, a contemporary cave for a modern urban nomad,” wrote the architects. “It will offer privacy, safety and comfort. All the rest of the functions can be found in the surrounding city. Tikku is a needle of urban acupuncture, conquering the no-man’s land from the cars and tuning the city towards the organic. Many Tikkus can grow side-by-side like mushrooms and they can fuse into larger organisms.” + Casagrande Laboratory Via ArchDaily Images via Casagrande Laboratory

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How shared space makes four micro apartments in Japan seem much larger

November 30, 2016 by  
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Sometimes, size really doesn’t matter. Designed by Osamu Nishida and Erika Nakagawa from ON Design & Partners , the Yokohama Apartment complex features four micro residential units measuring around 215 square feet each. Despite such reduced dimensions, clever design ensures the small spaces feel expansive and livable. Magic especially resides in a shared open-air courtyard conceived as a living-room and a kitchen that doubles as an art gallery for the four artists living upstairs. With 1636 square feet of total floor area, the Yokohama Apartment building is subdivided into two levels. The common space on the ground level is canopied by the private residential floor, which is cut into four parts, and each unit has its own access coming up from the ground floor. Twisted stairs provide access without compromising tenants’ privacy. The ground floor is a covered open air piazza that provides common and private storage rooms, a micro kitchen unit and a dining room. This area is used for exhibitions, workshops, presentations, debates and other art activities. Related: Slice of the City home in Japan uses bold angles to solve tricky space restrictions Yokohama Apartment comprises brilliant Japanese design that maximizes every single inch. Unfortunately, this great invention mirrors a turning point in Japanese society, whereby poverty and unemployment, particularly among young people, forces innovation. Sharing space offers a bright alternative to the small and introverted dwellings common in Japan today. This societal concern was raised by Yoshiyuki Yamana, the curator of the Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture earlier this year ; he chose the Yokohama Apartment project as an example of how to successfully adapt to the country’s new social condition . + ON Design & Partners + Venice Biennale Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat

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VIDEO: See inside NYC’s first official micro apartments complete with transforming furniture

March 22, 2016 by  
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After just three years of planning and construction, NYC’s first official micro apartment building is getting ready to open its doors. Inhabitat recently got a sneak peek inside one of the compact units at Carmel Place, complete with transforming furniture, plenty of daylight and ample built-in storage. Read on for our video tour to check it out for yourself. READ MORE >

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New Slow City: Is this the future of Big Apple living?

September 12, 2015 by  
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Here’s what it takes to escape from the New York rat race: Start with a technology fast, a micro apartment and a 20-hour work week.

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Incredible Transforming LEGO Apartment Packs 4 Rooms Into 1

January 24, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. Christian Schallerton has retrofitted a tiny apartment up with a vast view of Barcelona into an incredible transforming home that packs a lot of living space into a tiny footprint. Inspired by boat design, Japanese homes, and Zen minimalism, the 258 square-foot apartment 90 steps above the street is a multi-functional space that can transform from a kitchen to a living room, bedroom, or dining room with some clever built-in furniture. Read the rest of Incredible Transforming LEGO Apartment Packs 4 Rooms Into 1 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: apartment design , Barcelona apartment , built in kitchen , built-in furniture , eco apartment , Green apartment , green home interior design , LEGO Apartment , micro apartment , micro apartment design , Zen apartment

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Incredible Transforming LEGO Apartment Packs 4 Rooms Into 1

Incredible Transforming LEGO Apartment Packs 4 Rooms Into 1

January 24, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. Christian Schallerton has retrofitted a tiny apartment up with a vast view of Barcelona into an incredible transforming home that packs a lot of living space into a tiny footprint. Inspired by boat design, Japanese homes, and Zen minimalism, the 258 square-foot apartment 90 steps above the street is a multi-functional space that can transform from a kitchen to a living room, bedroom, or dining room with some clever built-in furniture. Read the rest of Incredible Transforming LEGO Apartment Packs 4 Rooms Into 1 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: apartment design , Barcelona apartment , built in kitchen , built-in furniture , eco apartment , Green apartment , green home interior design , LEGO Apartment , micro apartment , micro apartment design , Zen apartment

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