MAD reactivates an abandoned Japanese tunnel using surreal immersive art

August 17, 2018 by  
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How do you bring young people back into Japan’s rural areas? One popular answer seems to be with art and architecture. In one of the country’s latest rural revitalization efforts, Beijing-based design studio MAD Architects was invited to reactivate the long-forgotten Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel in the Niigata prefecture. Created for the 2018 Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, this series of permanent artistic interventions aims to help bring back “the cultural energy that once empowered the region.” Set in the heart of Japan’s snow country, Echigo-Tsumari is a mountainous, agricultural region where more than a third of the community comprises the elderly (at least 65 years of age). In a bid to attract young people back to the countryside, Fram Kitagawa founded the Echigo-Tsumari Triennale in 2000. The art field hosts approximately 160 site-specific artworks across 200 villages in an area greater than 760 square kilometers. For this year’s program, MAD Architects was invited to re-imagine the historic Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel, a 750-meter passageway carved through rock that offers stunning panoramic views. In a project dubbed “Tunnel of Light,” MAD created five interventions along the historic tunnel to follow the five elements of nature — wood, earth, metal, fire and water. The first installation (wood) is the “Periscope,” a small timber hut that houses a cafe, shop and hot spring foot spa with a circular aperture surrounded by mirrored lenses. “Expression of Color” (earth) marks the tunnel entrance and is outfitted with atmospheric music and different colored lights at each lookout point. The first of the modified lookout points is “Invisible Bubble” (metal), featuring a reflective and introspective capsule-like structure that only allows one-way views from the inside out. “The Drop” (fire) at the second lookout point comprises mirrored “dew drops” attached to the ceiling and walls and back-lit by red light. The “Tunnel of Light” culminates with the “Light Cave” (water), where semi-polished stainless steel elements bring reflections of gorge into the tunnel to create “an infinite illusion of nature.” Related: Futuristic “spaceship” Lucas Museum breaks ground in Los Angeles “MAD’s ‘Tunnel of Light’ is an artistic transformation that demonstrates how art and nature can come together to reinvigorate a community,” the designers said in a project statement. “Each one of the installations forms a poetic space where visitors can transcend the role of observer and become an active participant — allowing individuals to place themselves in nature in unexpected ways.” + MAD Architects Images by Nacasa Partners Inc and Osamu Nakamura

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MAD reactivates an abandoned Japanese tunnel using surreal immersive art

This massive Sun Ray could sustainably power 220 homes in Melbourne

July 17, 2018 by  
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What if renewable energy infrastructure could be both functional and beautiful? Exploring that notion is Italian architectural practice Antonio Maccà, who designed ‘Sun Ray,’ a massive solar collector that could generate enough energy to power 220 Melbourne homes — with approximately 1,100 MWh of electricity produced annually. Shortlisted for this year’s Land Art Generator Initiative Melbourne design competition, the conceptual design was conceived as a symbol for the future of sustainable energy that also doubles as public artwork. Envisioned for the City of Port Phillip in Melbourne , Sun Ray consists of a series of flat mirrors — each with a single-axis tracking system — laid out in a round shape with a diameter of 279 feet and elevated atop slender steel columns. To capture the sun’s energy, Antonio Maccà tapped into linear Fresnel reflector technology, in which mirrors are used to focus sunlight onto a solar receiver. A power block tucked underground transforms the solar energy into electricity before feeding it into the city power grid. “Sun Ray is a new symbol of renewable energy, lighting the way to the State of Victoria’s zero- greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target,” explained Antonio Maccà in his project statement. “It is also a cultural attractor for Melbourne, an investigation of light as a physical and symbolic source of illumination for life. It is a place for reflection, relaxation, learning and play — and it is a linear Fresnel reflector solar power plant that provides heat and electricity for hundreds of homes in St Kilda.” Related: This gigantic solar hourglass could power 1,000 Danish homes Residents and visitors can interact with the Sun Ray by using it as a shade canopy. The 50 primary mirror lines cast shade over the public park space, while the mirrors create a constantly changing play of light and shadow as they turn to track the sun. The winning design of the 2018 Land Art Generator Initiative Melbourne will be announced on October 11. + Land Art Generator Initiative Renderings by Antonio Maccà

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This massive Sun Ray could sustainably power 220 homes in Melbourne

Mirrored art complex in Bangkok seamlessly co-exists with the surrounding trees

June 21, 2018 by  
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A reflective facade and calculated layout blends Bangkok’s new Naiipa Art Complex into the environment. Designed by Bangkok-based Stu/D/O Architects , the mixed-use building carefully wraps around the existing trees on the property while using its mirrored cladding to camouflage the structure into the lush green backdrop. The Naiipa complex (which means “deep in the forest”) is a 25,000-square-foot building that includes an art gallery, music studio, dance studio and office space, along with restaurants and coffee shops. According to the architects, the plan was to provide a community-focused center that wouldn’t disturb the existing greenery . Stu/D/O said, “The project is named after the concept of concealing the architecture in the forest as the vision of greenery is expanded by using reflective glass all around.” Related: Gorgeous mirrored facade extension allows brick Belgian notary to blend into the landscape To create a subtle volume for the large building and its multiple uses, the design was divided into two main sections separated by a tree-filled courtyard. Building A is an elongated structure that was carefully built around an existing pink trumpet tree to protect its growth. The second building is a cube-like four-story structure. A winding multilevel walkway that connects the two buildings intertwines around the existing trees , giving visitors a chance to truly connect with nature. To disguise the complex within its surroundings, the architects used three different types of glazing to create a mirrored effect : reflective, translucent and transparent. According to the firm, the multiple glazed walls, along with the “rhythmic folding pattern” of the facade, helped accomplish the goal. The east side of the building uses a translucent double facade that helps filter direct sunlight and reduce heat on the interior. As visitors follow this facade to the entrance, the building begins to “fold,” creating a narrow entrance reminiscent of a vibrant forest. Inside, the sun’s rays are reflected off the exterior facade , creating displays of shadow and light throughout the day, again imitating a forest canopy. The structure welcomes visitors with a floating “Bird Nest” gallery that is clad in reflective glass and appears to be surrounded by trees, creating a true feeling of ‘Naiipa.’ + Stu/D/O Architects Via Archdaily Images via Stu/D/O Architects

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Mirrored art complex in Bangkok seamlessly co-exists with the surrounding trees

A striking concrete home in Ontario targets minimal environment impact

June 21, 2018 by  
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Toronto-based Teeple Architects has paired a beautiful but unusual site in Ontario with the sculptural Port Hope House, an award-winning residence that boasts a wide array of sustainable features. Located east of Toronto , the single-family rural home takes inspiration from the client’s 75-acre property that consists of a woodlot, a fallow field, an abandoned Grand Trunk railway cut and a steep cliff that falls into Lake Ontario. Built with long concrete walls, the Port Hope House appears like a rock outcropping lifting upwards. Teeple Architects carefully sited the Port Hope House to reap the advantages of the property’s four distinctive site conditions — the quiet and dark woods to the north, the open fallow field, the rail cut that hints at man’s intervention and the dramatic lake embankment to the south. The project was rendered as a “tectonic expression” that rises from the earth as a single, curving volume and then splits into two framed volumes so natural light can penetrate deep inside the home. “As an architectural composition, the project offers a unique interpretation of the domestic space — a fundamental object of architectural inquiry — based on the particular experiences and opportunities of a site,” Teeple Architects explained. “Expressed as a small handful of sculptural but restrained moves, the project breaks the mold of contemporary home design in imagining the house as a natural form, an organic but certainly not pre-ordained result of creative exchange between architect, client and environment.” Related: Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum is sustainably built from CNC-milled beetle-kill timber To minimize its environmental footprint, the light-filled house features a high-performance envelope with heat-mirror film glazing and follows passive solar principles. The long concrete walls offer high thermal mass and are clad with charcoal zinc siding. Water and sewage are treated on site to reduce reliance on the grid. Rainwater is harvested for irrigation, and geothermal energy has been tapped for heating. + Teeple Architects Images by Scott Norsworthy

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A classic old home in China is transformed with a mirror-clad exhibition space

July 24, 2015 by  
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This Mirror-Clad Japanese Cafe Reflects the Gorgeous Cherry Blossoms Surrounding It

November 28, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of This Mirror-Clad Japanese Cafe Reflects the Gorgeous Cherry Blossoms Surrounding It Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , Bandesign , cafe architecture , Gifu road side cafecherry blossoms , japanese architecture , japanese cafe , mirrored cafe , Mirrors Cafe , nature inspired design

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This Mirror-Clad Japanese Cafe Reflects the Gorgeous Cherry Blossoms Surrounding It

Colorado Team Find Star Trek-Like Invisible Shield 7,200 Miles Above the Earth

November 28, 2014 by  
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Shields up! A team from the University of Colorado Boulder have discovered an “invisible shield” approximately 7,200 miles above Earth. The shield reportedly blocks so-called “killer electrons” that travel around the planet at near-light speed and can potentially threaten astronauts, fry satellites and damage electrical systems during solar storms. Read the rest of Colorado Team Find Star Trek-Like Invisible Shield 7,200 Miles Above the Earth Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: electrons , killer electrons , light speed , radiation belt , radiation shield , star trek , Star Trek invisible belt , University of Colorado Boulder , Van Allen radiation belt

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Colorado Team Find Star Trek-Like Invisible Shield 7,200 Miles Above the Earth

Sea Mirror: Yann Kersalé’s Dazzling LED and Heliostat Installation Opens in Sydney

December 9, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Sea Mirror: Yann Kersalé’s Dazzling LED and Heliostat Installation Opens in Sydney Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , art installation , central park , Daylighting , eco design , eco-art , green architecture , green art , Green Building , green design , green lighting , heliostats , LED art , LED art installation , led artwork , led installation , LED lights , light installation , miroir de mer , mirrors , permanent art , sea mirror , sustainable art , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , sydney , Yann Kersalé        

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Sea Mirror: Yann Kersalé’s Dazzling LED and Heliostat Installation Opens in Sydney

Native Trails Uses Reclaimed Wine Barrels To Create Unique Bathroom Furniture

December 5, 2012 by  
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The San Luis Obispo-based artisan furnishings company  Native Trails  celebrates culture and the environment by creating inspiring bathroom and kitchen furnishings and fixtures with natural and sustainable materials. For the company’s Vintner’s Collection , Native Trails has produced a line of vanities and accessories made from salvaged winemaking materials. The collection of unique sinks in the  Central Coast of California  celebrates the wine culture by repurposing French and domestic oak barrels into fine vanities, wet bars and mirrors. Read the rest of Native Trails Uses Reclaimed Wine Barrels To Create Unique Bathroom Furniture Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Artisan , Bathrooms , bordeaux , Cabernet , Chardonnay , Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association , French oak barrels , Furnishings Fixtures , mirrors , native trails , Reclaimed Materials , San Luis Obispo , vanities , Wine Barrels

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Native Trails Uses Reclaimed Wine Barrels To Create Unique Bathroom Furniture

Native Trails Uses Reclaimed Wine Barrels To Create Unique Bathroom Furniture

December 5, 2012 by  
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The San Luis Obispo-based artisan furnishings company  Native Trails  celebrates culture and the environment by creating inspiring bathroom and kitchen furnishings and fixtures with natural and sustainable materials. For the company’s Vintner’s Collection , Native Trails has produced a line of vanities and accessories made from salvaged winemaking materials. The collection of unique sinks in the  Central Coast of California  celebrates the wine culture by repurposing French and domestic oak barrels into fine vanities, wet bars and mirrors. Read the rest of Native Trails Uses Reclaimed Wine Barrels To Create Unique Bathroom Furniture Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Artisan , Bathrooms , bordeaux , Cabernet , Chardonnay , Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association , French oak barrels , Furnishings Fixtures , mirrors , native trails , Reclaimed Materials , San Luis Obispo , vanities , Wine Barrels

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Native Trails Uses Reclaimed Wine Barrels To Create Unique Bathroom Furniture

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