Award-winning Hungarian home combines old-world charm with modern style

July 2, 2018 by  
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Hungarian architects András Varsányi, Péter Pozsár and Norbert Vas have given the traditional Hungarian farmstead a modern refresh with their design of the Wooden House, a contemporary country house completed for approximately 500,000 euros ($585,300 USD). Located in the small village of Algy? in the Great Hungarian Plain, the tranquil family retreat was conceived as an antidote to bustling city life. Although the new home is undoubtedly modern, it also shares the same footprint as the old farmhouse it replaced and is heavily inspired by the values of Hungarian folk lifestyles. Winner of the audience’s vote at the Media Architecture Awards , the Wooden House has tapped into the growing demand for indoor-outdoor living . Varsányi, Pozsár and Vas used the layout and classic cross-section of a traditional Hungarian farmstead as the base of their project and then adapted the structure for modern uses. The areas that would have been used for animal stalls, for instance, were redesigned as garages. Unlike the introverted nature of typical homes, the Wooden House feels bright and airy thanks to an abundance of glazing. “ Modern design can often fly in the face of the traditional values of the past,” the project statement reads. “In some cases it can aim to improve by ignoring the needs and concerns that we once had, but this architectural design in Hungary shows that — for home structures, at least — those same values are just as important now as they ever were. This modern farmstead is expressing the contemporary need for smart integration into an environment while extolling the traditional values that comes from the building’s folk inspiration.” Related: A Michigan farmhouse is reborn as a beautiful modern vacation retreat The key to the design is the home’s central courtyard , which is enclosed on three sides and looks out to the surrounding acacia forest. The courtyard and a sheltered club space also connect the living areas with the bedrooms. The architects chose timber as the predominate material to relate the building with the landscape and minimize environmental impact. + András Varsányi, Péter Pozsár and Norbert Vas Images by Tamas Bujnovszky

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Award-winning Hungarian home combines old-world charm with modern style

Cozy minimalist home in Norway is crafted as the epitome of hygge"

April 16, 2018 by  
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An hour north of Oslo, Danish studio Norm Architects have designed a family home they describe as the “epitome of hygge ,” a Scandinavian term for a mood of coziness and wellbeing. Set into a hillside, the Gjøvik House comprises a cluster of six interconnected timber volumes positioned to take in views of Mjøsa lake and the Norwegian woods. The overlapping areas of the timber volumes give rise to private pockets and cozy nooks, elements that the architects say are integral to the hygge concept. The 1,668-square-foot Gjøvik House was envisioned by the architects as a place “where you can truly hibernate while taking shelter from the frigid days of Nordic winter.” To blend the cluster-style home into the landscape, the architects clad the facade in vertical strips of timber that will eventually develop a silvery patina over time. Large glazed openings frame selected views of the landscape and bring in copious amounts of natural light. Related: 6 ways to make your life more “Hygge” – the Danish secret to happiness The interior features a similarly restrained materials palette of white walls, concrete , and wood paired with minimalist and modern furnishings. “The Gjøvik house, consisting of overlapping cubes of different sizes, makes for an intimate and dynamic family home with materials, levels and inbuilt, tailor-made furniture creating a minimal yet warm and secluded feeling,” wrote the architects. The spacious kitchen, located at the heart of the house, is awash in natural light and provides a contrast to the narrow nooks spread out across the home. + Norm Architects Images via Norm Architects

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Cozy minimalist home in Norway is crafted as the epitome of hygge"

Antony Gibbon’s Flux House appears to float on the water’s surface

March 19, 2018 by  
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Architect Antony Gibbon  has unveiled yet another incredible structure – this one designed for a future world where homes float on water . The circular Flux House features two rings of thin timber panels , equally spaced around the frame in order to illuminate the interior with a soft diffusion of natural light. Four walkways provide access to the home, which has a large swimming pool at its center. The main house is designed to sit upon a large body of water, creating the effect of being surrounded by a modern-day moat. The timber slats in the facade not only let in natural light, but allow for light to reflect off the water and into the structure. Related: Antony Gibbon’s Lucent House is a serene minimalist retreat made of glass and stone The interior maintains the home’s  circular shape , with the living and dining areas on one side and the bedrooms on the other. The swimming pool, accessible from any room, serves as the focal point of the building. The Flux House design is conceptual at the moment, but, like most of Antony Gibbon’s designs , it could very well be used as a private home or off-grid resort. + Antony Gibbon Images via Antony Gibbons

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Antony Gibbon’s Flux House appears to float on the water’s surface

Antony Gibbon’s Flux House is a modern-day moat

March 19, 2018 by  
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Architect Antony Gibbon  has unveiled yet another incredible structure – this one designed for a future world where homes float on water . The circular Flux House features two rings of thin timber panels , equally spaced around the frame in order to illuminate the interior with a soft diffusion of natural light. Four walkways provide access to the home, which has a large swimming pool at its center. The main house is designed to sit upon a large body of water, creating the effect of a modern-day moat. The timber slats in the facade not only let in natural light, but allow for light to reflect off the water and into the structure. Related: Antony Gibbon’s Lucent House is a serene minimalist retreat made of glass and stone The interior maintains the home’s  circular shape , with the living and dining areas on one side and the bedrooms on the other. The swimming pool, accessible from any room, serves as the focal point of the building. The Flux House design is conceptual at the moment, but, like most of Antony Gibbon’s designs , it could very well be used as a private home or off-grid resort. + Antony Gibbon Images via Antony Gibbons

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Antony Gibbon’s Flux House is a modern-day moat

Modern black house juts out like a natural extension of Quebecs forest landscape

December 1, 2017 by  
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If you haven’t tired yet of the blackened timber trend, feast your eyes on this modern retreat that’s backed up on a forested hillside in Quebec, Canada. Montreal-based studio Atelier General designed The Rock, a boxy timber home that, like its name implies, is meant to evoke a natural extension of the mountainous terrain. Full-height glazing and extensive use of wood inside and out blur the line between indoor-outdoor living. Topped with a flat roof, the two-story home avoids a monolithic appearance thanks to its main living space that, supported by slender black columns, juts out towards the landscape, shielding a carport underneath. Black-painted timber clads the 2,300-square-foot home that’s contrasted by light-toned timber used in the interior and outdoor terrace that extends into the hillside. Related: Floating sauna with charred timber cladding boasts minimal site impact The entrance is located on the smaller ground floor, which contains two bedrooms and a bathroom. A large south-facing open-plan living area, dining room, and kitchen take up the majority of the L-shaped upper level. Full-height glazing wraps around the communal area that also opens up to a small triangle-shaped deck. The master ensuite is placed between the two decks. Polish concrete floors are used throughout the home. + Atelier General Via Dezeen Images via Atelier General , photos by Adrien Williams

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Modern black house juts out like a natural extension of Quebecs forest landscape

Scientists discover cheap method to identify "lost" 99% of ocean microplastics

December 1, 2017 by  
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The world’s oceans are awash with hazardous microplastics that are largely invisible to the naked eye. These tiny plastic fragments, which are less than 5 millimeters in diameter and originate from the breakdown of synthetic clothing fibers, polyester from disposable bags and bottles, and so-called “microbeads” from facial scrubs and other exfoliants, mostly go undetected, according to scientists. In fact, previous surveys suggest only 1 percent of marine plastic waste is identifiable. To suss out the “missing” 99 percent, researchers from the University of Warwick in England decided to shine a light on the problem—quite literally—by using fluorescent dyes. Gabriel Erni-Cassola and Joseph A. Christie-Oleza from Warwick’s School of Life Sciences, who spearheaded the research, claim that the new technique can detect microplastics as small as 20 micrometers—about the width of a single human hair. Because the dye they created binds only to plastic, the “tagged” microplastics show up easily among other natural materials when viewed under a fluorescence microscope. Related: Is synthetic clothing causing “microplastic” pollution in our oceans? Testing the method on samples of surface sea water and beach sand from the coast around Plymouth, the scientists said they were able to extract a far greater number of microplastics than they would have with traditional methods. “Using this method, a huge series of samples can be viewed and analysed very quickly, to obtain large amounts of data on the quantities of small microplastics in seawater or, effectively, in any environmental sample,” said Erni-Cassola in a statement.”Current methods used to assess the amount of microplastics mostly consist in manually picking the microplastics out of samples one by one—demonstrating the great improvement of our method.” Meanwhile, the team at Warwick discovered that the largest quantity of microplastics less than 1 mm in diameter was polypropylene, the ubiquitous polymer found in plastic bags and takeout containers. This finding proves that “our consumer habits are directly affecting the oceans,” the scientists said. Related: Which personal-care brands are still polluting the oceans with microbeads? The research is still in its early days, Christie-Oleza insisted, but it’s a beginning. “Have we found the lost 99 percent of missing plastic in surface oceans?” he said. “Obviously this method needs to be implemented in future scientific surveys to confirm our preliminary findings. It is important to understand how plastic waste behaves in the environment to correctly assess future policies.” + University of Warwick Top image by by Gaetano Cessati on Unsplash

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Scientists discover cheap method to identify "lost" 99% of ocean microplastics

Modern meets rustic in the Hemmingford House built from natural materials

November 29, 2016 by  
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A new home has sprung from the ruins of an old farmhouse in the countryside south of Montreal. SIMARD architecture blends old with new in the recently constructed Hemmingford House, a contemporary cottage built along old fieldstone foundation walls of the previous farm building. The boxy facade handsomely pairs locally sourced slate with untreated cedar planks for a rugged appearance that pays homage to the landscape. The 3,500-square-foot Hemmingford House is distinctly modern dwelling with rustic touches woven throughout. The untreated cedar siding recalls old timber barns and will develop a patina similar to a weathered fence. Locally quarried slate cut into blocks and stacked in brick-like strata complement the wooden facade. The old fieldstone foundation walls were preserved as paving stone edging that lead visitors to the main entrance. “All these contextual cues influenced the site layout and architecture of this private residence designed for a couple who left their home in the city for a life on the country,” write the architects. “The house unfolds to the surrounding landscape.” Related: Historic Belgian farmhouse renovated into a modern solar-powered home Large windows open up the interior to natural light and views of the countryside. Slate and timber are used in the interior for continuity with the facade. The communal areas are located on the ground floor, while the bedrooms are placed on the upper level. An elegant glass-bottomed bridge in the airy double-height entryway connects the two bedrooms. + SIMARD architecture Via v2com Photography by Stephane Brugger

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Modern meets rustic in the Hemmingford House built from natural materials

Enchanting birdhouses inspired by famous architecture

November 16, 2016 by  
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Barnhard counts famous architects “mixed with the rich skate and surf culture in Santa Cruz ” as inspiration for his artistic creations. He utilizes materials like teak, mahogany, walnut, and bamboo. Some of his handmade birdhouses even include living walls flourishing with succulents to attract birds. His charming birdhouses pay homage to famous buildings, architects, or design approaches like those taught at the Bauhaus School in Germany. Related: Artist creates thousands of urban birdhouses out of recycled scrap wood His Living Wall Bauhaus birdhouse made of bamboo plywood is one inspired by the Bauhaus School, which Barnhard said “created mid century modern architecture before its time” in the product description. The dimensions for the birdhouse are nine by nine by six and a half inches. The Living Wall Bauhaus sells for $199.99. Or there’s the Eichleresque Atrium birdhouse made with teak wood and aluminum, influenced by Eichler’s Bay Area housing developments and atrium concept. The $399.99 birdhouse comes with a little planter that can hold succulents or birdseed. Barnhard’s Mixed Media House blends ideas from Eichler, The Bauhaus School, and Frank Lloyd Wright into a modern cedar and bamboo birdhouse. The birdhouse, which retails for $349.99, includes a living wall and small metal container for birdseed. The Kauai House birdhouse draws inspiration from Hawaiian architecture , integrating “the outdoor/indoor living that is so prevalent in warmer climates and embraced by mid century modern design,” according to the product description. The delightful $329.99 birdhouse comes with two little handmade surfboards. Other birdhouses were inspired by the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Eichler homes in San Mateo , and 1960’s Sunnyvale homes. Barnhard sells these lovely designs on his website and on Etsy . + Sourgrassbuilt Via My Modern Met Images via E. Spencer Toy/Sunset Publishing ( 1 , 2 , 3 ) and Sourgrassbuilt ( 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 )

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Enchanting birdhouses inspired by famous architecture

New law requires all electric and hybrid vehicles to make noise by 2019

November 16, 2016 by  
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The days of having an electric car suddenly appear out of nowhere next to you will soon be gone, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) just finalized its “Quiet Car” rule – a law designed to make sure pedestrians don’t get hurt by near-silent electric cars they can’t hear coming. As of 2019, electric vehicles will have to make enough noise at low speeds to let you know they’re coming.

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New law requires all electric and hybrid vehicles to make noise by 2019

Designers split a colorful Hawaii beach home in two – like a whale and her calf

July 12, 2016 by  
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https://vimeo.com/172394528 The fun design blends modern architecture with Hawaiian vernacular. Land in Hawaii is notoriously sparse, and architect Ryan Fujita and interior designer Chris Netski wanted to balance a need for indoor space with creative use of Carrazana’s yard. Instead of trying to build one house on the small lot, they pursued a unique design of splitting one house into two: a main house and a smaller guest house . Related: A unique community of modern green homes hug the desert floor in Utah In the video Netski said, “By separating the two houses we kind of forced this engagement with the site – a connection to the outdoors – and not just capturing the view with strategic openings and windows but also really feeling it; feeling the weather that day.” Carrazana compares the two houses to “two fish…a humpback whale with a calf.” Nevermind that whales aren’t fish – the concept works. The main house includes sloped roofs and an outdoor living room with two chairs, a sofa, and a small table. Indoors, a kitchen and dining room are blended into one room, allowing Carrazana to cook for guests while chatting with them during dinner parties. The guest house contains furnishings and materials similar to the main house, so the two structures feel connected – as if they were one house instead of two. Between the two houses lie palm trees and a kidney-shaped pool . Sand is a major factor to consider when outfitting a home in Hawaii. In such an environment, wood floors usually aren’t the best choice since homeowners inadvertently track in sand that could damage the floors. The H-1 F+N Design-Build Collaborative worked around this constraint by laying down floors of polished concrete instead. Not only are they easy to clean, but they’ll stand up better to sand and can be re-polished in the future if necessary. Carrazana said he “absolutely” loves his new beautiful new beach home. + Chibi Moku + H-1 F+N Design-Build Collaborative Images courtesy of Chibi Moku

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Designers split a colorful Hawaii beach home in two – like a whale and her calf

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