Sigurd Larsen completes a luxurious, treetop hotel cabin in a Danish forest

December 2, 2019 by  
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Danish architect Sigurd Larsen has just unveiled a beautiful, angular treehouse  tucked deep into a picturesque Danish forest. Built for the Løvtag hotel group, the tiny treehouse, which is just 333 square feet, is elevated 26 feet in the air and is accessible by a wooden bridge that leads directly into a stunning, luxurious interior. The treehouse cabin is the first of nine to be built in a quaint, remote forest on the Als Odde peninsula. The idyllic location offers guests the opportunity to explore Denmark’s longest fjord, the Mariager, which is adjacent to the site. Related: Sigurd Larsen adds the ultimate grown up playhouse to Berlin’s Hotel Michelberger Elevated 26 feet off the landscape, the cabins will provide stunning views of the natural surroundings. The studio said, “The cabins are located on a small hilltop overlooking a meadow, which gives a wonderful view over the top of the forest and lets the sunshine in during the afternoon.” The entrance is reachable by a wooden bridge that leads up from the forest floor. Clad in light wood and dark metal sidings, the treehouse hotel was built around an existing pine tree, which rises straight through the cabin’s interior and roof. Designed to be an expression of “ Nordic minimalism ,” the cabins are compact but use every inch of space to create a light-filled, luxurious atmosphere. The interior includes a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom with a cantilevered shower room and main living area. Each treehouse can accommodate up to four people thanks to a double bed and a double sofa bed. The interior features a floor-to-ceiling window to let in natural light and provide unobstructed views of the surroundings from morning to night. For a comfortable space where guests can really take in the views, the cabins have rooftop terraces with plenty of seating. + Sigurd Larsen + Løvtag Cabins Via Dezeen Photography by Soeren-Larsen via Sigurd Larsen

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Sigurd Larsen completes a luxurious, treetop hotel cabin in a Danish forest

Timber Woody office in France embraces Paris’ largest park

November 29, 2019 by  
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In a bid to reduce the carbon footprint of construction, French architecture firm Atelier du Pont has created an office for Santé publique France, the French public healthcare agency. The new office is built almost entirely from wood and is free of solvents and plastics . Nicknamed “Woody” after its timber build, the office is located on the eastern edge of Paris right next to the Bois de Vincennes, the largest public park in the city. The architecture responds to the neighboring landscape with its branching design that embraces the surroundings “like open, protective arms.” Inspired by the Bois de Vincennes, Woody features an all-natural material palette of timber, which is used for everything from the cross-laminated timber structural components and oak flooring to the shingled facades and wood furnishings. Large, furnished terraces jut out from the building to overlook beautiful views of the wooded park, while expansive walls of glass bring those views and natural light indoors. The connection to nature is also referenced in the shape of the building, which resembles a bundle of sticks placed on the ground. Related: Railway enclave in Paris is transformed into a solar-powered mixed-use eco-district “This design symbolizes the mission of this institution, which oversees the health of everyone who lives in France ,” the architects explained in a press release. “The aim is to be exemplary in terms of its impact on the environment and the health. The project has created a pleasant space that takes its users’ wellbeing fully into account.” To create a healthy work environment, the architects have emphasized natural daylighting and a connection to nature. The neutral color palette and unpainted timber lend a warm and tactile feel to the interior. In addition to the nearby park, occupants can enjoy the three gardens around the building, each organized around a theme of beneficial, healing or harmful plants. + Atelier du Pont Photography by Takuji Shimmura via Atelier du Pont

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Timber Woody office in France embraces Paris’ largest park

Green-roofed addition brings a mid-century home into the 21st century

November 11, 2019 by  
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There are few things we love more than witnessing the transformation of something old into something new — and sustainable. Washington, D.C.-based firm KUBE architecture has just unveiled the beautiful renovation of a 1950s home , called the Dual Modern Home, that includes a new addition with expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass and a lush green roof. Although the architects breathed new life into the home, they had a great structure to work with from the get-go. The mid-century home, which was designed by American architect Charles Goodman, had plenty of character and style to begin with. A one-story, elongated design, the original structure was built with glass walls that flooded the living space with plenty of natural light . Related: Stunning green-roofed home in Poland is embedded into the idyllic landscape To update the home , the design team came up with a new addition that stretches half a level up the natural slope of the site. Connected to the existing house with a courtyard, the addition houses a new living area, office and children’s playroom as well as two full bathrooms and a laundry room. To create a cohesive connection to the original home, the new addition follows the same basic features of the existing design, including multiple walls of floor-to-ceiling glass panels. The structure is topped with a split pitched roof that gives the space a modern aesthetic. Stretching from the old space and over the extension is a lush green roof , which also helps to connect the entire home with its natural surroundings. The new addition adds flexibility to the home. Sliding walls allow for a change of layout in the future, and a separate entrance was installed to allow the residents to turn the addition into a fully autonomous guest suite. + KUBE Architecture Via ArchDaily Photography by Anice Hoachlander and Julia Heine via KUBE Architecture

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Green-roofed addition brings a mid-century home into the 21st century

Architects use simple, low-cost and efficient materials to create spectacular home with ‘flying roof’ in Chile

October 17, 2019 by  
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Modern homes come in all shapes and sizes, but it seems that architects are opting to take a simpler route these days when it comes to creating amazing designs. Case in point is the beautiful BL House by Mas Fernandez Architectos . Located in a coastal area in Chile’s Valparaíso region, the gorgeous home was built using prefabricated and modular materials, then topped with an eye-catching, origami-inspired metal roof. Tucked into a hilly landscape covered with trees and vegetation, the almost 2,000-square-foot home was designed to embrace its idyllic, quiet setting. Using the surrounding nature as inspiration , the team at Mas Fernandez used simple, cost-effective materials to create a design that would offer the homeowners a peaceful respite away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Related: Breezy, prefab home stays naturally cool in tropical Costa Rica The single-level home is gently nestled into the topography of the land in order to minimize impact. Using concrete pillars, part of the home is elevated over a gentle slop. The home is topped with a fun, origami-inspired aluminum roof that gives off the impression that it is about to take flight at any moment. The roof juts out over the home’s frame, shading the interior from harsh sunlight during the hot summer months. The roof also has two triangular cutouts that allow for natural light to filter into the two interior courtyards. The house was built using prefabricated materials that allowed the architects to keep construction costs down and minimize construction time. The project is clad in a dramatic, dark pine cladding with some walls made of glass panels. The five-bedroom home features an open-concept living, dining and kitchen area that is filled with simple, rustic decor reminiscent of a contemporary cabin. Massive, floor-to-ceiling glass walls provide a seamless connection between the outdoors and indoors. Additionally, the walls and ceilings are lined with native treated pinewood, adding warmth to the atmosphere. For outdoor space, the home has an enviable, open-air deck with plenty of space for seating and dining. + Mas Fernandez Arquitectos Via Dezeen Images via Mas Fernandez Arquitectos

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Architects use simple, low-cost and efficient materials to create spectacular home with ‘flying roof’ in Chile

Stunning boho-style tiny house comes with open-air bar

October 4, 2019 by  
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Byron Bay-based tiny home builders, Little Byron , have unveiled a gorgeous tiny home design that not only has an ingenious living and sleeping area, but also includes an open air bar area. The Banjo tiny home is just 23 feet long and 8 feet wide, but its breathtaking, space-efficient design makes it seems so much bigger. The stunning time home on wheels was built for one of Little Bryon’s clients who was looking to have a guest home on their property for visitors, but ultimately had plans to move into the beautiful space down the road when her children left the nest. Related: This gorgeous tiny home features a greenhouse and wooden pergola The tiny home is a beautiful design that pays homage to typical tiny home practicality, namely natural light. The home is built with an abundance of windows that really open up the space, creating a vibrant, healthy interior space. Not only are there large operable windows in just about every corner of the home, including the bedrooms and bathroom, but there is a massive window in the middle of the living space that opens outward. Definitely at the heart of the home, the farmhouse-style kitchen is where the design really shines. With plenty of storage space in the form of open shelving under and above the counterspace, the kitchen is both functional and beautiful. On the other side of the kitchen is the dining area. Instead of the typical window ledge, a small table top was installed to create a dining or work area. The large window swings open horizontally to provide a wide open space that not only brings in more natural light and air, but really connects the interior to the exterior. The rest of the home and its interior design is equally as sophisticated. White walls and wooden flooring and trim give the home a fresh, modern vibe. A double height ceiling also opens the interior space, while providing room for a sleeping loft on one side of the home, accessible by ladder. The living space is a space-efficient design that sees the living room pulling double duty as a comfy lounge and bedroom. The very unique bunk-bed design sees the living room, with a small sofa, suspended off the ground floor on a wooden platform. Below the space is the master bedroom, which has enough space for a queen-sized bed. + Little Byron Via Tiny House Talk Images via Little Byron

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Studio Gangs Solstice tower in Chicago is shaped by the sun

September 17, 2019 by  
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In Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood rises Solstice on the Park, a 26-story residential tower with an angular design that has been shaped by solar studies. Created by local architectural practice Studio Gang Architects , the 250-unit modern building is highly site-specific to minimize energy demands — a sustainable approach that earned the project two Green Globes in the Green Globes Certification ranking. The apartment complex is also topped with a green roof and optimized for expansive views of Jackson Park to the south and Chicago’s skyline to the north. Completed in 2018, Solstice on the Park catches the eye with the angled cuts in its facade that were created in response to optimum sun angles in Chicago’s latitude — 72 degrees in summer and 42 degrees in winter. The inward incline helps mitigate unwanted solar gain in summer, while maximizing solar advantage from the low sun in winter time. This approach allows natural light to fill the building — thus reducing reliance on artificial lighting — without straining the heating and cooling systems. Related: Studio Gang to “sustainably grow” Toronto with this energy-efficient tower Tilting the facade inward also created opportunities for landscaped terraces , where residents can enjoy indoor-outdoor living and city views. The sloped, floor-to-ceiling expanses of glass also play a trick on the eye and make the treetops of the nearby park look closer and larger. The non-glazed portions of the residential building are clad in Rieder non-combustible, glass fiber-reinforced concrete panels, measuring 13 millimeters thick each. The selected textured concrete panels are of a variety of colors, from liquid black to beige, as a sensitive nod to the district’s existing architecture characterized by sandstone and brick tones. The angled design gives the 250-foot tower a decidedly modern edge without looking out of place with the city’s boxy high-rises. + Studio Gang Images via Rieder

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Studio Gangs Solstice tower in Chicago is shaped by the sun

A 1940s cottage is transformed into a solar-powered Hanok-inspired home

September 6, 2019 by  
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Portland-based collaborative design practice Woofter Architecture has recently completed the expansion and renovation of a 1940s cottage in Portland , Oregon. Redesigned to follow the design concepts of traditional Korean houses known as ‘hanoks’, the residential project — dubbed the Wilshire House — has been remade into a courtyard layout and includes a new south-facing garden space. The home has also been thoroughly modernized and outfitted with sustainable features, including rain chains and solar panels that top the roof. Spanning an area of 1,850 square feet, the Wilshire House largely maintains the majority of the existing single-story structure, while tacking on a sensitive extension that elongates the footprint of the house to the rear of the rectangular plot. While the front of the property maintains a traditional gabled appearance, new exterior cladding and roofing give the home a sleek and contemporary appearance.  Following principles of Hanok, a traditional Korean house typology that dates back to the 14th century and promotes site-specific design for both the positioning of the house and interior layout, the Wilshire House takes solar passive conditions into consideration. The best example of this can be seen in the orientation of the long and narrow addition towards the south to take advantage of natural light and warmth from the sun. Roof overhangs help deflect unwanted solar gain.  best example of this can be seen in the orientation of the long and narrow addition towards the south to take advantage of natural light and warmth from the sun. Roof overhangs help deflect unwanted solar gain.  Related: This green-roofed home for a master gardener embraces nature The architects have also dubbed the Wilshire House the “House of the Seven Skylights” for its inclusion of skylights that punctuate the new series of vaulted spaces — including bedrooms, an artist’s studio and a secret play room accessible via pull-down ladder — that flood the airy and modern interior with an abundance of natural light. Large windows and the glazed doors along the courtyard garden-facing porch also let in daylight to reduce dependence on artificial light. + Woofter Architecture Images by Pete Eckert

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A 1940s cottage is transformed into a solar-powered Hanok-inspired home

Scientists warn we are now entering the plastic age

September 6, 2019 by  
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A recent study reports plastic pollution has deposited itself into our fossil record. Water bottles, lunch bags and clothing laced with microfibers— welcome to what some are calling the “plastic age.” However, this didn’t occur overnight as contamination has been building since 1945. Related: Babylegs — the inexpensive, educational way to monitor ocean plastic pollution “Our love of plastic is being left behind in our fossil record ,” said lead researcher Jennifer Brandon at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. “We all learn in school about the stone age, the bronze age and iron age – is this going to be known as the plastic age?” she told The Guardian. “It is a scary thing that this is what our generations will be remembered for.” Experts think the findings could be used to calculate the onset of the Anthropocene, a proposed geological epoch said to be created by human actions taking over Mother Earth. The highly researched study shows the rise of plastic pollution in sediments and looked at yearly layers off California’s coast dating from 1834 and over the last 70 years. The plastic particles found were mostly fibers from synthetic fabrics indicating plastics move voluntarily on the ocean via wastewater. The journal Science Advances published the research and said microscopic plastics in the sediments has doubled about every 15 years since the 1940s. It’s not hard to see why as mass amounts of plastics are sent into the environment annually and broken down into small pieces, but fibers aren’t biodegradable. This could be worrisome as people consume at least 50,000 microplastic particles a year via food and water. While the impact on health is still a mystery — microplastics which are found everywhere from ocean floors to the tallest mountains — can release toxic substances and could penetrate tissues, experts said. Via The Guardian, Science Advances Image via Rey Perezoso

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Scientists warn we are now entering the plastic age

Modular materials make up an eco-friendly restaurant in Taiwan

September 3, 2019 by  
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In Taiwan’s southern city of Kaohsiung, architect Ken Lo of Chain10 has crafted an eco-conscious restaurant for the third location of the Japanese grill restaurant chain Tan Zuo Ma Li. Dubbed the Green Isle after its abundance of greenery, the project emphasizes reduced carbon emissions with its lush landscaping, use of locally sourced and recycled materials and emphasis on natural lighting and ventilation. The architect also used modular metal components to make it easier for the client to replace, disassemble, transport and reassemble parts as needed. Spanning an area of nearly 6,000 square meters, the Green Isle features not only a restaurant space but also new green space that includes a nearly 120-meter pool and over 250 large trees around the property. A bridge was built across the pool to lead guests to the restaurant’s main entrance. At night, special mood lighting is used to illuminate the landscape. Related: MVRDV-designed market in Taiwan will grow food on a massive green roof The architect used minimalist decor to highlight the natural characteristics of the materials used — such as the locally sourced marble and the exposed concrete exterior walls — as well as the surrounding environment. “In order to respect the relationship between the building and the green environment, the decorations of the indoor dining area were simplified,” the firm explained. “There was nothing overly complex or intricate but rather a focus on simple, modern choices.” The landscaping and the large pool also help create a cooling microclimate that counteracts Kaohsiung’s tropical heat. According to the architects, the Green Isle can be 2 degrees Celsius cooler than other parts of the city, which is built mainly of concrete and susceptible to the urban heat island effect. Walls of glass flood the interiors with natural light, while roof overhangs and solar shades mitigate unwanted solar gain. + Chain10 Photography by Moooten Studio / Qimin Wu via Chain10

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Heatherwick Studio breaks ground on undulating plant-covered development in the heart of Tokyo

August 28, 2019 by  
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London-based design practice Heatherwick Studio has begun construction on a stunning redevelopment project in Toranomon-Azabudai in the heart of Tokyo. Commissioned by the Mori Building Company, the key feature of the luxury mixed-use scheme will be a “gigantic planted pergola”— an undulating building wrapped in glass and covered in greenery. Spanning an area greater than eight hectares, the site will also include a series of modern high-rises and a large 6,000-square-meter central landscaped square. Slated for completion in March 2023, the Toranomon-Azabudai mixed-use development is the first Heatherwick Studio project in Japan to go into construction. The project will include space for offices, residences, a variety of retail, a school, as well as a temple. The architects estimate that 25 to 30 million people per year will visit the area. Related: A chic, nature-filled office building in Tokyo boldly brings the outdoors in To give the project a distinctive identity, the architects created a “pergola-like system scaled up to district proportions” that rises like a gently sloping hillside covered with greenery. Large panes of curved glass will bring natural light deep into the building, even into the basement retail zones. The organic, sculptural form will also reference Japanese design with its inclusion of traditional craftsmanship styles such as the ‘Edo kiriko’ glass etching technique.  “Our design for the project responds to the layering of Tokyo; the juxtapositions of scale and the character of buildings that draw the eye upwards,” explains Neil Hubbard, Group Leader at Heatherwick Studio. “Set within a natural valley, we have chosen to accentuate that topography through our design, creating an undulating arrangement that uses a pergola-like structural system to create a variety of landscape spaces, from hidden gardens to sunken courtyards. Weaving and flowing through the scheme, a family of pavilions emerges from the grid of the pergola . Rather than focus on one single impression, we hope to encourage exploration by creating hundreds of moments to be revealed and discovered.” + Heatherwick Studio Renderings via Heatherwick Studio by DBox and Darcstudio, Image by Mori Building

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