Europes tallest modular tower snaps together in north London

April 20, 2017 by  
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The last module has slotted into place on Europe’s tallest modular tower. Designed by multidisciplinary practice HTA Design LLP , the record-breaking Apex House is a new student housing development that rises to the height of 29 stories in the Wembley Regeneration Area. Completed in just 12 months, the modular high-rise makes use of highly advanced prefabrication techniques and boasts energy-saving systems to achieve a BREEAM rating of Excellent. Developed by Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems , the Apex House comprises 679 modules with over 580 rooms that’ll be ready for students to move into this fall. The modules were prefabricated in Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems’ factory 60 miles away in Bedford with all the furniture, windows, electric wiring, and plumbing installed before they were transported to the site. The modules were stacked to a height of 90 meters in just 13 weeks. Related: Apartment Tour: Inside the world’s tallest modular building “Modular construction provides a much faster alternative to traditional construction without compromising on the quality of the building, or the versatility of the design,” said Christy Hayes, chief executive officer at Tide Construction, according to WAN . “Modular produces 80% less waste, requires fewer onsite workers and provides certainty of cost and time. Apex House is a shining example of what modular construction can bring to UK property, whether its hotels, residential apartments, build to rent or student accommodation .” The Apex House is the second tallest modular building in the world. + HTA Design LLP + Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems Via WAN Images via http://www.visionmodular.com , photos by Richard Southall

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Europes tallest modular tower snaps together in north London

Incredible farming skyscraper could fight poverty and feed the world

April 11, 2017 by  
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This incredible skyscraper is more than just eye candy—its modular and farm-integrated design was created to fight world hunger and poverty. Designers Pawel Lipi?ski and Mateusz Frankowski proposed the Mashambas Skyscraper for rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa as a means to bring a “green revolution” to impoverished small farmers. The modular Mashambas is movable and functions as an educational center for growing crops, hosting markets, and training on agricultural techniques. Although absolute poverty around the world has fallen over 20 percent in the last thirty years, poverty levels in many African countries have stayed high and stagnant. Today, over 40 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa lives in absolute poverty. Designers Pawel Lipi?ski and Mateusz Frankowski examined the obstacles holding the populace back, most of whom are subsistence farmers, and found that “poor infrastructure, limited markets, weak governments, and fratricidal civil wars” were among the biggest challenges. In hopes of bringing a “green revolution to the poorest people,” Lipi?ski and Frankowski designed the Mashambas Skyscraper, a modular and multipurpose building that just placed first in the renowned 2017 eVolo Skyscraper Competition . The Mashambas Skyscraper, which derives its name from the Swahili word for cultivated land, features a simple modular design that can be easily assembled, disassembled, and transported. The arched modules are stacked together to form a scalable high-rise and its flexible design allows for multiple uses including a ground floor marketplace, warehouses, drone services, classrooms, and farming areas on the upper levels. Drones would be employed to help bring supplies, whether for building construction or for agriculture , to the Mashambas Skyscraper and would also be used to deliver surplus food to the most needy and hard-to-reach areas. By concentrating a market at its base, the building will help facilitate growth and encourage farming plots to pop up around the site. The building can be enlarged as the participants increase and once the local community becomes self-sufficient , the building can be transported to other places. Related: This massive wind-powered skyscraper would cool the entire planet “Mashambas is a movable educational center, which emerges in the poorest areas of the continent,” write the designers. “It provides education, training on agricultural techniques, cheap fertilizers, and modern tools; it also creates a local trading area, which maximizes profits from harvest sales. Today hunger and poverty may be only African matter, but the world’s population will likely reach nine billion by 2050, scientists warn that this would result in global food shortage. Africa’s fertile farmland could not only feed its own growing population, it could also feed the whole world.” + Mashambas

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Incredible farming skyscraper could fight poverty and feed the world

MINIs tiny innovative home for three purifies the air in Milan

April 5, 2017 by  
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How do we cope with the increasing shortage of attractive housing in today’s cities? Car manufacturer MINI teamed up with New York architects SO – IL to tackle this challenge by producing an innovative solution: MINI LIVING — Breathe. Unveiled at the Milan Salone del Mobile 2017, the tiny housing prototype reinvents urban living and offers owners a refreshing garden-like environment and the freedom to move and adapt their home. Located on a previously unused 50-square-meter urban plot, the MINI LIVING — Breathe installation comprises six compact living spaces and a roof garden for three people inside a five-meter-wide microhome. Built with a modular metal frame, the home can be easily disassembled, moved, and reassembled or expanded upon in a new location. A flexible and light-permeable outer skin wraps around the metal skeleton instead of opaque walls. The light-filled housing prototype follows MINI’s principles “Creative use of space” and “Minimal footprint.” MINI Living — Breathe’s forward-thinking design is centered on the idea of a house as an active ecosystem. The translucent outer skin, which can be replaced with different fabrics depending on the urban climate, features a special coating that filters and neutralizes the air. The ten-meter-tall home acts as a giant air filter and helps improve the surrounding microclimate with its lush rooftop garden with plants that help clean toxins from the air. “The approach we took with MINI LIVING – Breathe extends far beyond purely a living concept,” says Oke Hauser, Creative Lead of MINI LIVING. “We view the installation as an active ecosystem, which makes a positive contribution to the lives and experiences of the people who live there and to the urban microclimate , depicted here by the intelligent use of resources essential to life – i.e. air, water and light.” The kitchen, located on the ground floor, serves as the main entry area and social gathering point of the home. Living spaces are located in the above three levels, while the sleeping areas, a potential wet area, and a roof garden are placed in the uppermost floors. Textile walls divide the living areas and allow for privacy while still permitting light to seep through. A water catchment system on the roof harvests rainwater for reuse in the tap. Related: A rolling garden on wheels recently popped up in the middle of Milan SO – IL writes: “By making living an active experience, the installation shines a spotlight on environmental awareness and encourages visitors to confront our tendency to take resources for granted. Instead of a traditional organization with rooms dedicated to specific functions, this house is composed as a loose stack of porous realms. A variety of atmospheres and spatial experiences are generated through the manipulation of light, air and water.” MINI Living — Breathe is open to visitors of the Salone del Mobile on Via Tortona 32 in Milan, Italy from April 4 to April 9, 2017. + SO – IL Architects Images © Laurian Ghinitoiu

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Penda unveils temporary nature-filled village for the Beijing Horticultural Expo

January 20, 2017 by  
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Architecture studio Penda’s love of modular, timber architecture will make waves at Beijing’s International Horticultural Expo 2019 in the form of a stunning, village-like exhibition space. Commissioned by property developer Vanke , the 30,000-square-meter complex is remarkably different from the typical expo pavilion, which is usually designed as a single large building where visitors must queue to enter and are guided from place to place. Instead, Penda created a sprawling exhibition space, called Thousand Yards, that’s filled with plants and winding paths to encourage individual exploration and discovery. Selected as the winning design in Vanke’s invited competition, Thousand Yards features a series of color-coded timber modular units massed in organic, asymmetrical patterns around a central plaza. “The pavilion was designed as a network of small scale units,” said Precht. “It was a core feature to avoid a large, iconic structure that covers a majority of the land. Rather, we wanted to create a village-like typology that can be explored by the visitors.” The modular units will be prefabricated using cross-laminated timber and constructed using an eight-by-eight-meter configuration inspired by an ancient Chinese measuring system called Li. Related: Penda’s Low-Impact Modular Bamboo Hotel Reconnects Visitors with Nature Greenery will be woven throughout the site on multiple levels, from the ground floor to the rooftops. Visitors will also be given a packet of seeds when they enter and asked to plant them on the roofs. Winding pathways, hidden views, and the unpredictable placement of architecture offers visitors the chance to make discoveries of their surroundings, from unexpected playgrounds and vegetable gardens to a teahouse and food court. + Penda Via Dezeen

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Penda unveils temporary nature-filled village for the Beijing Horticultural Expo

Old shipping container recycled into solar-powered learning lab in Colombia

November 14, 2016 by  
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Computer Aid International first approached Squire and Partners in 2014 for a more cost-effective and enjoyable version of the nonprofit’s original Zubabox, ten of which had already been deployed in eleven locations across Africa. The architects began with the same recycled shipping container framework that defined the original Zubabox, but then maximized the number of openings in the new Zubabox to increase cross ventilation and natural light. A shaded external deck was added to expand the building footprint, while a larger roof size allowed for a greater number of solar panels . Related: World’s largest shipping container shopping mall pops up in Seoul Squire and Partners worked with Bogota-based manufacturers, furniture makers, and artists to deliver the redesigned Zubabox to Cazuca in 2016. The shipping container was locally converted and outfitted with bespoke timber seating and desks, as well as a graffiti mural by two local artists. The lab is equipped with ten donated refurbished computers. The simple modular design can operate alone or be grouped together with other units. Donated oil drums were recycled as planters for native trees and flowers to create a garden in front of the Zubabox. + Squire and Partners Images via Squire and Partners

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Worlds largest shipping container shopping mall pops up in Seoul

November 8, 2016 by  
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Located in Seoul’s Gwangjin District, Common Ground was an experimental project that sought to revitalize an unused lot in the middle of the capital. The use of prefabricated shipping containers lowered construction cost and reduced construction time to just five months. Each container is painted an eye-catching bright blue and is stacked together into three-story structures that divide the lot into two main spaces: the Market Hall and the Street Market. The stacked containers frame a central square that hosts weekend markets, exhibitions, and performances. Related: Bright and bold QUO shipping container mall springs up in Buenos Aires “Street Market draws inspiration from an alley market and keeps the texture of the container intact as much as possible,” writes Urbantainer. “Market Hall capitalises on trusses with strong architectural functions and serve as a reminder of the feeling of a market . In this part, the verticality of stacked container modules and the frames between containers are emphasised.” In keeping with its unconventional form, Common Ground hosts up-and-coming new designers, mid-sized shops, and editorial stores, rather than large mainstream brands. The 200 shipping containers house seventy stores, twenty restaurants, and a third-floor roof terrace. + Urbantainer Images via Urbantainer

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Everything in this East London home is made with natural wool

November 8, 2016 by  
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The three-story building, with interiors curated by stylist Karina Garrick, proved a stunning showcase for the renewable resource. Furnishings came from major brands as well as independent designers and makers from throughout Britain. The Wool BnB took a lighthearted approach to interior design, with fun details like a newspaper and cereal boxes made entirely of wool felt by artist Lucy Sparrow . In the living room, striking accessories like a large Merino wool wall hanging by artist and extreme knitter Jacqueline Fink popped against walls in Deep Space Blue from independent British paint manufacturer Little Greene . Above the fireplace and the sofa, hand-knotted wall pieces from British surface designer Allistair Covell’s Canvas to Carpet collection added pattern and vibrant color. Every decent BnB takes pride in its breakfast offerings, and the Wool BnB is no different. Textile artist Jessica Dance provided a “Full English Breakfast” featuring toast, eggs, sausage, mushrooms and bacon made entirely of knitted wool. A selection of knitted deli meats and beverages rounded out the meal options. In the basement, Kivo felt room divider panels by Herman Miller formed a cozy seating area. The eat-in kitchen featured molded chairs made from Solidwool , a composite material that incorporates coarse wool otherwise considered a by-product of sheep farming. In the back yard, a mini cottage on wheels, inspired by traditional shepherd’s huts, provided extra room for guests. Custom-made by Artisan Shepherds Huts in the English countryside, the cozy space featured oak floors and a wood-burning stove. Wool rugs, including a checkered design by Brintons and vibrant Liberty print carpets from Alternative Flooring , were given additional padding with wool underlays, which have the benefit of smoothing out uneven floors as well as providing effective insulation. In the master bedroom, a plush bed boasted a wool-upholstered headboard and Shetland wool mattress by Vispring , topped with a wool-filled duvet by The Wool Room and hand-knitted throws by London-based design studio Melanie Porter . Wool is both breathable and insulating, and its high water and nitrogen content also makes it naturally fire-retardant, making it an ideal material for the bedroom. Upstairs, a children’s reading room featured a graphic kilim wool rug and striking pendant lights from Janie Knitted Textiles , with shades made of strands of dip-dyed woven wool. The walk-in wardrobe featured rails of clothing from brands big and small, from traditional tweeds to knit sweaters, as well as technical performance textiles from Adidas, including sneakers that incorporate wool fibers. Unlike synthetic fibers, pure wool is biodegradable. A couple of years ago, the Campaign for Wool buried two sweaters, one made of Merino wool and one of acrylic, in the garden of Clarence House, the London residence of Prince Charles. When the sweaters were dug up months later, the wool sweater had mostly disintegrated, while the synthetic sweater stayed intact. A craft room teeming with skeins of knitting yarns, carpet yarns on large cones, lambswool fabrics and felted wool stools showcased the versatility of the renewable resource. The Campaign for Wool, jointly funded by the world’s largest wool growers from Britain, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, organizes fashion, interiors and design events promoting the benefits of wool. + Campaign for Wool All images © Charlene Lam for Inhabitat

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Everything in this East London home is made with natural wool

Prefab Glass House lets you bring home the spirit of Philip Johnsons masterpiece

October 31, 2016 by  
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Alan Ritchie’s reinterpretation of the Glass House follows the design principles of Johnson’s original with its entirely glazed facade that blurs the line between indoors and outdoors. “I think doing it in a prefabricated version is a whole different approach,” said Ritchie. “But we can still maintain the spirit of the original Glass House.” Although this prefabricated version similarly immerses owners in nature, Ritchie had to consider new challenges including how the different modules would connect together and weatherproofing the structure for a variety of climates. Related: Ron Arad designs the modular Armadillo Tea Pavilion for indoor and outdoor use The home, which is not a direct replica, is available in different sizes from a one-bedroom 80.5-square-meter home to a four-bedroom 172.1-square-meter home. The structure would be constructed off-site in a factory and then shipped and installed on-site, thus minimizing construction waste . Interested buyers of this limited edition house can submit an inquiry on Revolution’s website. + Modular Glass House Images via Revolution Precrafted

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Prefab Glass House lets you bring home the spirit of Philip Johnsons masterpiece

Prefab smartdome homes can pop up in degraded, hard-to-reach areas

October 21, 2016 by  
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Smartdome constructions developed four types of domes: skydome for elevated applications; aquadome for water landscapes; treedome that incorporates vegetation; and snowdome for wintry environments. The company’s goal is to become the “leading producer of thematic villages,” such as a ski village in the Alps or a Hobbit village in the countryside. The domes are raised on galvanized steel stilts and can be placed on degraded areas, from steep slopes to swamps. Related: Create your own backyard geodesic dome with these super affordable DIY kits “Our aim is to develop new method of living in the country, combining technical efficiency with careful treatment of resources and nature alike,” writes the firm. Each dome is constructed from welded galvanized steel and moisture-resistant plywood. Buyers have the choice between transparent modules with 3D thermoformed polycarbonate or full non-transparent modules filled with 150-millimeter-thick insulating mineral wool. The insulating materials help reduce energy consumption . There is no available price quote on their website , but interested buyers can contact the company for more information. + smartdome constructions Images via smartdome constructions

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Prefab smartdome homes can pop up in degraded, hard-to-reach areas

Eco-friendly Avalon House is a green-roofed beach getaway that takes only 6 weeks to build

September 27, 2016 by  
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The 106-square-meter Avalon House may be diminutive in size, but is big on design, which builds on the illusion of spaciousness. The house, which is oriented to oceanfront views, is clad in FSC-certified blackbutt hardwood timber milled from sustainably managed forests and topped with a green roof that minimizes rainwater runoff and solar penetration. The south and east facades open up to an outdoor veranda that blends indoor and outdoor living. The modular home is raised on a set of structural posts and sits lightly on the sloping site to reduce water flow. Related: Australia’s first carbon-positive prefab house produces more energy than it consumes The home’s long and linear east-west orientation allows for panoramic ocean views and cross-ventilation . Windows are minimized on the south side, while large amounts of glazing wrap around the north facade for access to natural light. The bright and airy interior places an open-plan living area, dining space, and kitchen on one half of the home, while a master bedroom, a small two-bed bedroom, and a bathroom occupy the other half. Low VOC paints and natural oils were used throughout the interior. + Archiblox Via ArchDaily Images via Archiblox

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Eco-friendly Avalon House is a green-roofed beach getaway that takes only 6 weeks to build

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