Architects squeeze 2 energy-efficient homes into a narrow infill lot in Toronto

May 13, 2020 by  
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Toronto-based firm  baulkultur/ca has unveiled a pair of beautiful homes built into a very narrow infill lot in Toronto. With just 25 feet of width to work with, the zero79 project features two intertwined homes, both created with an abundance of space-efficient strategies as well as several sustainable features that enabled the prefabricated homes to minimize their carbon footprint. The zero79 project consists of two three-level homes built strategically to fit into a challenging lot in downtown Toronto. From the start, the architectural team implemented a three-part design strategy that focused on space efficiency, wellness and sustainability. The team decided to work with prefabricated materials, which reduced costs, construction time and waste. Once they were delivered, the parts were assembled on-site in just 5 days. All in all, this process allowed the building to be erected and weatherproofed in under a week, enabling a substantial reduction in the environmental impact of the overall project. Relaated: Distinctly modern net-zero home sits in harmony with its woodland surroundings Intertwined together to maximize space, the two homes are incredibly energy-efficient . Using both passive and active energy-saving features, the homes emit 80% less energy than conventional houses. Heavily insulated walls, heat-reflective roofs and triple-paned windows provide a tight envelope to minimize energy loss. Additional features include a high-tech cooling and energy recovery system and LED lighting with smart controls. In addition to its energy-saving shell, the homes’ interior designs also play a part in creating a healthy atmosphere for the residents. Most of the interior materials were chosen because of their VOC-free or low-VOC properties. Additionally, an energy recovery system provides constant fresh, filtered air throughout the residences. In focusing on wellness, the architects also designed each home to have an abundance of natural light that streams through the living spaces, which are clad in bright white walls and ceilings. White oak floors and white trim complete the sophisticated, minimalist design. + baulkultur/ca Photography by Michael Peart via baulkultur/ca

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Architects squeeze 2 energy-efficient homes into a narrow infill lot in Toronto

Eco-friendly Everlasting Forest Pavilion champions circular living in Bangkok

May 13, 2020 by  
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For this year’s Bangkok Design Week, which took place in February 2020, Thai design firm Plural Designs created the Everlasting Forest Pavilion, a temporary, tunnel-like structure built of biodegradable materials that promotes sustainable ideas and products to the public. Created in collaboration with a team of multidisciplinary experts, the pavilion champions the idea of environmentally friendly architecture and circular living as part of a larger vision for sustainable urban living. Installed in front of Bangkok’s Grand Postal Building, the Everlasting Forest Pavilion follows a “BCG” concept named after its three zones of Bio Economy, Circular Economy and Green Economy. Each zone is a showcase of innovative products and ideas and seamlessly connects to the next space. The pavilion’s circular form reinforces the idea of circular living with its tunnel-like architecture; the pavilion is centered on an “Everlasting Forest”, a densely planted green space with a walkway. All materials used in construction are eco-friendly, biodegradable and made from waste material. Related: Futuristic Safezone Shelter battles air pollution in Thailand with a green oasis The first zone visitors encounter is the Green Economy, which introduces a variety of eco-friendly materials including lightweight fiber rebar, or glass-fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP), as a durable and low-carbon alternative building material to steel. The second zone is the Circular Economy , where examples of plastic waste upcycled into new, value-added products are showcased. Examples of uses for biodegradable and eco-friendly bioplastics are shown in the third zone, Bio Economy. The pavilion also includes a rest zone. As an extension of the project, a Smart Recycling Center was installed nearby to show the public how to responsibly sort and manage waste generated at the event. The architects said, “Everlasting Forest Pavilion is a space demonstrating the co-habitation between man-made structures and their surrounding environment including buildings, green spaces and daily life objects, whose resources and waste are all sustainably managed and utilized.” + Plural Designs Images via Plural Designs

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Eco-friendly Everlasting Forest Pavilion champions circular living in Bangkok

Eco-friendly coffee range uses cork to reduce plastic waste

May 1, 2020 by  
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These days are filled with stress and anxiety, but it’s also time to take pleasure in the small joys of life — such as a good cup of coffee. For coffee-connoisseurs, designer  Samson Chung  has just released a new collection of coffee and espresso makers called Kork Kafeware that, thanks to its sleek combination of stainless steel and  cork accents, lets you sit down to enjoy a superb cup of joe, slowly and sustainably. According to designer Samson Chung, the Kork Kafeware collection design was inspired by the need to slow down our hectic daily routine to leisurely enjoy a proper cup of coffee. As our world has been forced into a mandatory slow down these days, now is the perfect time to appreciate the joys of freshly brewed sustainable coffee . In his own words, “Sometimes life needs to slow down to enjoy the moment and this perfectly embodies what the Kafeware range is about; Good things come to those who wait.” Related: Stylish coffeemaker repurposes used grounds to grow fresh mushrooms As for the design itself, the collection boasts a Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic with clean lines and uncomplicated shapes. The makers are clad in a sleek,  minimalist combination of polished stainless steel and sustainable cork handles, bases and gaskets. Using cork allowed the designer to forgo the plastic that normally is used to make these parts. A sustainable material, cork is incredibly durable and heat-resistant. The sustainable coffee range includes a French press, espresso maker, goose-neck kettle, and coffee grinder. In addition to being a sustainable and beautiful material, using cork also adds quality to the items. Lightweight cork lids make it easier to load the coffee grounds, while the cork gaskets create an airtight seal, keeping the coffee as fresh as possible. Additionally, the cylindrical cork handles are weighted to ensure that the lids stay securely shut despite the high pressure needed to brew your daily joe. + Samson Chung Via Yanko Design Images via Samson Chung

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Modern farmhouse targets net-zero energy in Vermont

April 27, 2020 by  
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On a hillside meadow in rural Vermont, local architecture firm Birdseye has completed Bank Barn, a new residence that, from afar, might look like any another agricultural building. But it is actually a modern farmhouse strategically engineered to meet future net-zero energy targets. The architects drew inspiration from the regional farm structures built into the banks of hills to create the gabled dwelling, which is clad in weathered cedar and topped with a durable metal roof. An intensive energy consultation and modeling informed all parts of the design. The resulting project features an electricity-based energy system that is expected to achieve net-zero energy operations, pending a future 18 kW solar array. Set into a steep slope, the 4,566-square-foot Bank Barn comprises three levels with the lowest floor — containing the garage, pool room and support spaces — below grade and flanked by two 160-foot linear concrete retaining walls. The long walls support an extended plinth for the floor above that houses an open-plan living area, kitchen and dining room with access to the rear outdoor deck as well as a spacious office that looks out over a green roof atop the garage. A central, freestanding steel staircase leads up to the three en suite bedrooms located on the upper floor. Related: Sublime net-positive energy farmhouse pays homage to the local vernacular Walls of floor-to-ceiling glass surround the home, filling the interior with natural light and uninterrupted views of the outdoors. To keep the focus on the landscape, the architects used a subdued palette of exposed steel, plaster, concrete and wood for the minimalist and modern interiors. “Early in the design process, the house was modeled to assess the design in terms of energy efficiency , thermal comfort and visual comfort,” the architects explained. As a result, the home boasts an airtight envelope with thermally separated r-40 walls, an r-60 roof, closed-cell polyurethane foam cavities and triple-glazing throughout. The house draws power from geothermal heating and cooling through water-to-water and water-to-air systems as well as heat recovery ventilators. + Birdseye Photography by Jim Westphalen Photography via Birdseye

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Modern farmhouse targets net-zero energy in Vermont

Tiny timber cabin opens up to the French countryside

April 7, 2020 by  
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Kyoto-based architecture 2m26 used locally sourced materials to build a peaceful tiny timber cabin tucked into the French countryside. At just 376 square feet, La Petite Maison is compact, but floor-to-ceiling glass panels, multiple sliding glass doors and an open courtyard strategically connect the home’s interior to its quaint surroundings, making it feel vast. Located in the picturesque countryside of Guitinières in southwestern France, the tiny cabin was built onsite. From the onset, the architects were inspired to create a small, minimalist living space that blended seamlessly into its natural surroundings. Related: Transparent, prefab tiny cabin offers the best views of the Italian Alps La Petit Maison boasts a strategic design that makes it feel much more open and spacious than its square footage would lead one to believe. Made out of locally sourced materials , the square frame is crafted from light Douglas fir. The frame is elevated off the landscape with small concrete piles to reduce its site impact as much as possible. In order to open up the tiny home, which is designed to be a guest house, the architects decided to use multiple massive panels of glass to usher in views of the idyllic countryside. Several sliding glass doors and floor-to-ceiling windows flood the interior with natural light and blur the line between the indoors and outdoors. Additionally, guests can enjoy spending time in the open-air courtyard that sits between the living space and the exterior. The minimalist interiors feature sparse furnishings. Made out of the same locally sourced wood as the structure, the furniture inside the tiny timber cabin is completely utilitarian, with just enough pieces for seating, dining and sleeping. Although the interior design is completely free of any sort of frivolous amenities, the guest house provides visitors with a relaxing, no-frills place to disconnect from stress while reconnecting with nature. + 2m26 Images via 2m26

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Minimalist, charred-timber tiny cabin is only 129 square feet

March 3, 2020 by  
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Belgian firm dmvA Architects has unveiled a sophisticated and sustainable tiny cabin clad in charred timber. Just shy of 130 square feet, Cabin Y is a lightweight, flexible structure that is easily transportable and reconfigurable. Additionally, the cabin runs on solar power, meaning it doesn’t have to rely on the grid for energy. dmvA architects is known for its long-standing commitment to designing sustainable structures that achieve “maximalism through minimalism.” According to the firm, the inspiration for Cabin Y came from the need for a flexible and lightweight building that could serve a variety of uses, from tiny retreats and art studios to permanent home additions and commercial applications. In fact, the cabin is so lightweight and compact that it is easily transported on a standard-sized flatbed trailer. Related: Transparent, prefab tiny cabin offers the best views of the Italian Alps Using charred larch wood on the tiny cabin’s cladding not only gives the structure a modern, sophisticated aesthetic but makes it more durable. The cabin is comprised of individual wooden sections that are connected by stainless steel tension cables that form an X-shape; this unique construction enables the cabin to be customized to individual needs. Contrasting nicely with the dark exterior, the interior is clad in white oiled pine. The front door to the cabin is a massive glass door that swivels open. This glazed entrance offers sweeping views of the tiny cabin’s setting, wherever that may be, while also allowing the daylight to stream in. The minimalist , 129-square-foot interior consists of one large room with a sleeping loft, which is reached by ladder. The compact bathroom is located in the back of the cabin and includes a toilet and a shower. A rooftop solar array allows Cabin Y to be entirely self-sufficient. The tiny cabin also boasts an impressively tight thermal envelope thanks to hemp insulation . + dmvA architect Via ArchDaily Photography by Bart Gosselin via dmvA architect

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Minimalist, charred-timber tiny cabin is only 129 square feet

Airplane fuselage is converted into a minimalist tiny home with off-grid capabilities

February 12, 2020 by  
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While old planes typically get shipped off to aircraft boneyards, one savvy tiny home builder has found a new use for an old part taken from a retired plane. Brisbane-based The Tiny House Guys has breathed new life into a decommissioned Dash 8 airplane fuselage by converting it into the Aero Tiny — a 130-square-foot tiny home fully equipped to go off the grid. Run by father-and-son team Rick and Mitch Keel, The Tiny House Guys has been creating incredible tiny home designs for years. Not only are its homes practical and beautiful, but they are at the forefront of self-sustaining tiny home living. The company’s latest design is taking this idea even further. Related: Incredible recycled 747 airplane house completed in Malibu The Aero Tiny is built within an old fuselage of a decommissioned Dash 8 turboprop plane that was used by Australia’s largest cabin crew training facility. Rick saw the rare item listed for sale online and made the purchase, inspired to turn it into a unique tiny home on wheels . Once they got it to the ideal site, Rick and Mitch began the process of turning the old structure into a livable home. From the get-go, they wanted to keep as much of the original aviation character as possible, including the curved metallic cladding and fold-out, illuminated stairwell that leads into the interior. The interior was almost entirely gutted in order to create a minimalist living space ; however, certain features were salvaged. Various porthole windows and the main door with the original “exit” decal in red lettering were kept in their original state. The all-white interior features a small kitchenette and a living space with the plane’s original overhead bins. To create enough space for the bathroom, the builders added a special box to the fuselage’s side to insert a toilet, sink and shower. To expand the square footage, the designers installed a collapsible deck, accessible via sliding glass doors. More than just a pretty design, the Aero Tiny is also intended to be a mobile and sustainable home. The structure sits on top of a wheeled trailer; because of its lightweight and compact structure, it can be transported easily. Additionally, the tiny home runs on solar energy that, along with water storage and pumps, enables the structure to operate completely off the grid . Rick and Mitch spent over six weeks transforming the fuselage into a gorgeous tiny home on wheels. If you’d like to experience living in a unique tiny home with an interesting history, the solar-powered Aero Tiny is for sale at $37,000 via The Tiny House Guys. + The Tiny House Guys Via Dwell Images via The Tiny House Guys

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Minimalist, energy-efficient cabin is glazed in a mirror-like shine

November 26, 2019 by  
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Prolific Russian architect Alex Nerovnya has recently revealed designs for SOL House, an energy-efficient cabin with massive, double-glazed walls with a mirror-like shine that renders the building almost invisible when viewed from certain angles. Following the architecture team’s penchant for minimalist and contemporary designs set in nature, the SOL House features clean lines and a simple, gabled shape. Cross-laminated timber and steel elements form the structure of the house, which is painted black on the exterior to make the building recede into the forest surroundings. Conceived as a comfortable weekend retreat for guests looking to reconnect with nature, the SOL House spans approximately 100 square meters and features a generous, wraparound timber deck. The most striking element of the two-story building is the south-facing, glazed facade that provides an unbroken view of the outdoors from both floors. According to Nerovnya, the reflective glass can be treated with a special ultraviolet coating to prevent bird collisions while still appearing completely transparent to the human eye. Related: Contemporary A-frame home soaks up lakeside views in Mexico The interior features a relatively open layout, with the rooms oriented toward outdoor views, whether through the double-height, glass facade or the large windows on the east and west sides. Steel construction supports the weight of the glass walls but is hidden so that only the timber construction is exposed. The minimalist interior includes an open-plan kitchen, dining room and living area as well as a master bedroom and bathroom. “Three guiding principles that our team kept in mind when designing this project were clean shapes, genuine natural materials and energy efficiency ,” the architects explained in a project statement. “We were inspired by the possibility to merge commonplace, classic architectural shapes with the wild environment.” + Alex Nerovnya Images via Alex Nerovnya

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Geothermal-powered home fuses high-end luxury with restraint

October 30, 2019 by  
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In central Hungary, Budapest-based architectural studio Benyei Architectural Studio has designed an elegant family home that pairs luxury with restraint to beautiful effect. Fitted with custom designs and high-end finishes, the home’s decor is deliberately pared down for a modern and minimalist look that inspired the project’s name, “Bold, rather than brash.” The result of a close collaboration between architect and client, the residence follows passive house criteria and is equipped with a geothermal system that meets the family’s energy needs. Spread out across two floors and 517 square meters, the “Bold, rather than brash” residence was completed over the course of four years and was mainly built with reinforced concrete for a monolithic appearance. Citing 1930s architecture and mid-century design as inspirations, the architect sought to create a building that would communicate strength and elegance through simplicity. The home also comes with a spacious 1,600-square-meter garden, the enjoyment of which is enhanced by the building’s connected terraces . Related: Luxury condo in Budapest will bring residents closer to nature “It was crucial for Benyei’s team to ensure there was a purity to the building and born from that was its cavernous sense of attachment to the land, as though it is a natural part of the surrounding environment as it seems to subtly emerge from it rather than exist within it,” the firm said. The interior design complements the boxy silhouette of the building yet introduces a wider variety of textures and finishes for character and warmth. The living room wall, for instance, is covered with three-dimensional tiles created by KAZA Concrete that give the room a more tactile feel. Custom-designed pieces abound in the home, from the living room textiles created by textile designer Andrea Heged?s to the spectacular Manooi crystal chandelier that hangs above the Italian volcanic rock dining table. In addition to the minimalist decor, the home’s sense of grandeur and spaciousness is emphasized with an open-floor layout and large walls of glazing. + Benyei Architectural Studio Photography by Zsolt Batár via Benyei Architectural Studio

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Round, minimalist cabins with sliding glass walls take glamping up a notch

May 14, 2019 by  
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Getting closer to nature just became a little easier — and way more luxurious — thanks to these prefab, round cabins with sliding glass walls. Inspired by the tiny cabin concept, LumiPods are contemporary cocoon-like structures with charred wood cladding and a glass facade that slides open to provide a seamless connection between the interior and outdoor spaces. The LumiPods are designed as a new concept within the world of glamping . Envisioned as “cocoons of simplicity,” the round, one-room cabins were created for stressed city dwellers looking to reconnect with nature. At 183 square feet, the tiny cabins contain just a simple bedroom and bathroom. The minimalist configuration was strategic in letting guests truly enjoy nature in a simple way without sacrificing comfort. Related: Solar-powered glass PurePod cabins provide the ultimate connection with nature According to the company, LumiPods can be completely assembled in just two days on virtually any type of landscape. The prefabricated pods are comprised of two modules that are gently set into place on four screw piles. This allows the tiny structures to cause minimal impact on the installation site. Clad in a burned wood exterior, following the shou-sugi-ban Japanese tradition, the pods are rugged enough to withstand most climates. Lined in plywood panels, the interior spaces are well-insulated and come with a minimalist interior design that adds an extra touch of luxury to the glamping experience. However, the design’s most inspired feature is the curved glass wall that slides open, providing unobstructed views from almost anywhere inside the pod . The curved LUMICENE glass panels are set in aluminum frames that slide on two rails, allowing the interior to be transformed into an outdoor space in the blink of an eye. At the moment, LumiPods must be connected to electricity, water and wastewater networks, but the company is currently exploring new technologies in order to offer a totally off-grid version as soon as 2020. + LumiPod Images via LumiPod

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