Olson Kundig breathes new life into former RV campground with low-impact huts on wheels

December 21, 2018 by  
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Seattle-based firm Olson Kundig has revamped an old RV campground in Washington’s Methow Valley with a series of wooden huts. According to the architects, the design for the Rolling Huts, which have just 200 square feet of living space, was inspired by Thoreau’s simple cabin in the woods. The minimalist cabins are set on wooden platforms supported by large wheels in order to reduce impact on the landscape . After closing down permanently, the former RV campground was left vacant for years to let the landscape return to its natural state. Now an expansive meadow filled with natural grasses and wildflowers, the area is the perfect spot for a peaceful retreat. Unfortunately, zoning restrictions prohibited permanent structures from being built on the site prompting the Olson Kundig team to come up with an ingenious solution: putting the huts on wheels. Related: Floating Olson Kundig home makes way for Washington wildlife The six huts were designed to be not only low impact , but also low maintenance. Essentially steel boxes clad in plywood and car-decking, the cabins are set on wooden platforms, which are supported by four wheels. The interior finishes include simple, inexpensive materials such as cork and plywood, which were chosen for their durability. Inside the 200-square-feet tiny cabins is a serene living space with seating that faces out to the north to provide stunning views of the mountains. Clerestory windows, wrap around the walls, letting in optimal natural light. The large double-paned sliding glass doors open up to a large covered deck. The six huts are all orientated to the best views of the mountains so that guests can have unobstructed views of the incredible surrounding nature. According to lead architect Tom Kundig, the cabins were designed to let people disconnect and enjoy nature, “Here, you can hear the silence; here, there exists a great escape from daily life.” + Olson Kundig Via Dwell Photography by Tim Bies, Chad Kirkpatrick and Derek Pirozzi

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Olson Kundig breathes new life into former RV campground with low-impact huts on wheels

8 cabins that are perfect for a dreamy winter getaway

December 21, 2018 by  
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Are you ready for a winter getaway to a cabin in the woods? From cozy, off-grid abodes to modern, majestic dwellings that pull out all the stops, there’s a serene cabin waiting for you somewhere. If you are dreaming of a little rest and relaxation during these colder months, here are some cabins that offer a little taste of a true winter wonderland to inspire your next winter vacation. Blacktail Cabin Located on the shore of Flathead Lake in Montana, Blacktail Cabin is a beautiful, spacious vacation home that looks like a ski lodge and is filled with amenities. There is a fully-equipped kitchen, a floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace and a dining room featuring a wood-burning stove. During the winter, the Blacktail Mountain Ski Area is nearby, so guests can enjoy some skiing and snowboarding. Gubrandslie Cabin The solitary Gubrandslie Cabin is made from prefabricated solid wood panels and features views of a snow-covered landscape. It is located near Jotunheimen National Park, and the 1,184-square-foot home can withstand the cold weather and elements while leaving minimal impact on the landscape. The architects researched the local climate and geography and used wind studies to come up with the L-shape design that mimics the slope of the landscape. The roofs are slightly slanted, so the wind and snow can blow over the cabin. It is integrated deep into the terrain to protect the structure from the elements. Shangri-la Cabin The first in a series of mountain cabins in Las Trancas, Chile, Shangri-la Cabin is a geometric cabin covered with timber both inside and out and complete with large windows for picturesque views. With the look and feel of a treehouse , this cabin has a sharply pitched roof to shed snow and has high-performance insulation to keep out the cold. The 485 square feet of space spans three split-levels. Cabins By Koto Prefab housing startup Koto has introduced a series of tiny timber cabins that embrace indoor-outdoor living and a connection with nature. They have a minimalist design inspired by the Nordic concept friluftsliv, which means “free air life.” The modular cabins come in different sizes, and the medium-sized option features a folding king-sized bed, a wood burning stove, a small kitchenette and an outdoor shower. Johnathan and Zoe Little founded Koto earlier this year. Koto is a Finnish word that means “cozy at home,” and the company’s goal is to create nature-based retreats out of eco-friendly materials. Malangen Cabins The Norwegian firm Stinessen Arkitektur has built a cluster of wooden cabins that are the perfect weekend retreat for ultimate relaxation. The private vacation home is located on the Malangen Peninsula overlooking a beautiful fjord, and the individual cabins are connected with “in-between” spaces that have concrete floors and wood-slatted ceilings. There is also a central courtyard that connects the main building and annex. The covered courtyard features an outdoor kitchen and a fireplace, and the architects said that it provides an additional layer to the natural ventilation during the summertime as well as on windy and rainy days. Lushna Cabins Located in the Catskills, the Eastwind Hotel is a 1920s bunkhouse that has been converted into a boutique hotel accompanied by tiny cabins . Designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind, there are tiny A-frame huts on the property to give guests an off-the-grid experience while enjoying the Windham Mountain area. The Lushna Cabins are 14 feet by 14 feet, and they are insulated to withstand the seasons. Each cabin has a single window, so guests can enjoy the natural light and incredible views. They are equipped with a queen-sized bed that has top-of-the-line linens and a wooden chest for storage. The cabins also provide camping kits and grilling equipment for the fire pits. Into the Wild Into the Wild  from Slovakian architecture studio Ark Shelter is an off-grid cabin that embraces the outdoors thanks to the large walls of glass on all sides. It also offers modern comforts like a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom space with a concealed Jacuzzi. It also has solar panels and a rainwater collection system for off-grid living. Kanin Winter Cabin Made from timber and aluminum, the Kanin Winter Cabin is a modern structure perched on a ledge in the Julian Alps on the remote Mount Kanin with stunning 360-degree views of Slovenia and Italy. But you can only access the cabin by air or climbing. The tiny cabin has three main areas: the entrance, a living area and a resting area with three raised surfaces for sleeping. It can accommodate up to nine mountaineers. Images via  Vacasa , Rasmus Norlander and Ragnar Hartvig / Helen & Hard Architects, Magdalena Besomi and Felipe Camus / DRAA,  Joe Laverty  / Koto, Steve King and Terje Arntsen / Stinessen Arkitectur, Eastwind Hotel & Bar, Jakub Skokan and Martin T?ma / Ark Shelter, Janez Martincic and Ales Gregoric / OFIS Arhitekti

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8 cabins that are perfect for a dreamy winter getaway

This museum is carved into the seaside sand dunes of China’s Gold Coast

December 18, 2018 by  
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International firm  OPEN Architecture has unveiled a stunning museum embedded into the sand dunes along China’s Gold Coast. At 10,000 square feet, the UCCA Dune Art Museum is a massive structure, but its all-white cladding and various low, curved volumes tucked deep into the rolling landscape give the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) a modern yet unassuming character. Located on the coast of northern China’s Bohai Bay, the museum was a labor of love for the architects, who spent three years carefully crafting the design to be as much a work of art as the museum’s collection. Embedding the structure into the sand dunes was a strategic decision to help protect the landscape from over-development. Related: Martian tiny home prototype champions zero waste and self sufficiency “The decision to create the art museum underneath the dunes surrounding it was born out of both the architects’ deep reverence for nature and their desire to protect the vulnerable dune ecosystem, formed by natural forces over thousands of years,” said the project description. “Because of the museum, these sand dunes will be preserved instead of leveled to make space for ocean-view real estate developments, as has happened to many other dunes along the shore.” The unique space is comprised of various pod-like structures whose curved volumes were made possible thanks to small linear wood strips bent into shape. During the construction, the architects collaborated with local workers from Qinhuangdao, many of whom are former shipbuilders. The architects paid their respect to the handcrafted labor by leaving the imperfect textures of the formwork visible. Covered in concrete and painted a stark white, the museum’s multiple roofs are finished with sand . This feature not only helped connect the design to the natural landscape, but it also helps to reduce solar gain on the interior. Additionally, the museum is equipped with a low-energy, zero-emissions ground source heat pump that keeps the building cool during the searing summer months. Embedded into the rolling sand dunes, the curvaceous volumes house the museum’s 10 galleries. Visitors to the museum enter through a long, dark tunnel and small reception area. Further into the structure, the exhibition spaces are made up of immense cave-like rooms clad in raw concrete. Throughout the interior, large cutouts in the roof and multiple skylights of varying sizes flood the galleries with natural light . A large spiral staircase leads visitors from the underground galleries up to the museum’s open-air viewing platform as well as a cafe space. Here, guests can enjoy the stunning views of the sea. + OPEN Architecture Via Archpaper Photography by Wu Qingshan via Open Architecture

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This museum is carved into the seaside sand dunes of China’s Gold Coast

A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for your significant other

December 18, 2018 by  
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Oftentimes, choosing a gift for a significant other is the most difficult task of the holiday season. But finding a gift that is good for the planet? That’s a no-brainer. Shower the person you love with gifts (and experiences) that are good for the planet, and they are bound to be impressed. Plus, gifting your lover is a prime opportunity to find a present you both can enjoy together! LUSH skincare From a lack of packaging to natural, sustainable ingredients, there’s nothing hotter than a gift from LUSH . Pamper your lover with an array of bath bombs, body lotions, body sprays and more. There are also plenty of gift sets to choose from for a perfectly curated present. Romantic getaway It’s no secret that we love Glamping Hub , as seen here and here . Book a dreamy trip with your loved ones to one of 350,000 available accommodations, or let them choose with a gift card . These vacations are designed to immerse you in nature in unique stays like treehouses, tents, tiny homes and more — any of which are guaranteed to keep you close together in cozy quarters. Spa time Everyone could use a little relaxation, especially after a hectic holiday season. Book a couple’s massage at a local spa, or make it a fun, DIY night at home by surprising your significant other with hot stones, massage oils, organic lotions and homemade face masks. Fancy plants Not to be confused with fancy pants, take time to select a beautiful plant (bonus if it is from a local grower!) and a stunning, handcrafted pot to accompany it. You don’t have to spend a ton of money, although it will be a welcome surprise to gift your loved one a plant that they normally wouldn’t spend the money on for themselves. Vegan handbags Let a chic new handbag carry your lover into the New Year and beyond! Made from vegan leather, these bags are sleek and sturdy, ready to hold all the essentials. The minimalist design matches a wide variety of outfits, and each bag is made ethically. Images via Stock Snap , Glamping Hub , Gundula Vogel , Kara Eads , Kestan and Shutterstock

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A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for your significant other

A London office boasts biophilic design for a healthier, happier workplace

November 12, 2018 by  
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A new experimental office on the 12th floor of The Shard in London offers a breath of fresh air … literally. Wrapped in bamboo surfaces and punctuated by living plants, facilities management company Mitie’s headquarters in London was created by local practice DaeWha Kang Design . The biophilic project — dubbed the Living Lab at The Shard — mimics nature from its natural materials palette to the circadian lighting system linked to an astronomical clock. As its name suggests, the Living Lab at The Shard will be used as a pilot study to measure the impact of biophilic design on worker wellness and productivity. In addition to the client, the project was created in collaboration with Dr. Marcella Ucci (head of the MSc in Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings at the University College of London). A post-occupancy study will compare daily surveys of Mitie employees who will work at the Living Lab desks for four weeks at a time followed by a four-week work period in a “control area” on the same floor with similar environmental conditions but without biophilic design. “Biophilia refers to human beings’ innate need for a connection with nature,” DaeWha Kang Design said in its press release. “Human physiology is wired to seek qualities of light, view, material and other factors common in the natural world. The Living Lab is fully immersive, with rich and intricate patternization, natural materials  and interactive and dynamic lighting.” Related: This dreamy cluster of cabins houses light-filled live/work spaces in Hokkaido The project comprises two main spaces: the “Living Lab” immersive work environment and two “Regeneration Pods” for short-term rest and meditation. Bamboo was used for the sculptural privacy screens that curve up at the ceiling; different textures and shades of bamboo were also used for the floor, desks and task lights providing a warm contrast to The Shard’s cool glass-and-metal palette. The Regeneration Pods, also built of bamboo, were created by combining digital fabrication with hand-finishing techniques and feature plush built-in seating that faces walls of glass for city views. A subtle circadian lighting system uses color-changing lights to mimic the sun — a cool blue is cast in the morning that changes to bright white in the afternoon and finally reaches a fiery orange near sunset. + DaeWha Kang Design Images by Tom Donald for Aldworth James & Bond and Kyungsub Shin via DaeWha Kang Design

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A London office boasts biophilic design for a healthier, happier workplace

Skylights stream light into tiny cantilevering home in German forest

January 13, 2017 by  
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We could all use more light in our lives, and good design provides. Dusseldorf-based architects Falkenberg Innenarchitektur have transformed a compact 1950s home in Germany into a stunning minimalist retreat . Tucked into an idyllic forest surrounded by the River Nethe, the renovated Haus Rheder II features three main essentials: light, air, and tranquility, lending a subtle sophistication to the arboreal design. From the start, the architects wanted to preserve the original character of the 65-year-old structure. Thankfully, the designers managed to keep the existing floor slab and terrace space that cantilevers over the river. To take advantage of the idyllic location, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors were installed that open up to the timber deck , offering amazing views of the surrounding Rheder country park. Related: Sophisticated minimalist house in Denmark lets you enjoy the outdoors even in the winter The interior space is 90 square meters of open space with scant furniture and virtually zero clutter. The heart of the home is the fireplace that sits in the middle of the living space. A ceiling-height partition separates the living room from the bedrooms and a small bathroom, all of which count on skylights for optimal natural light . Also on the interior is a technical room that acts as a control center for the home’s technology, all controlled by an app. The large windows and wooden deck help bring nature into the manmade space, but is further enhanced by the home’s reflecting pool on the southeastern side of the home. Sunlight streams into the living space during the day, further creating a seamless connection between the interior and the exterior. According to the architects, leaving the interior space open was essential to the renovation process, “The new, great task of our time is to leave the unimportant and to give more space to the essential. To feel connected with nature is an integral and essential part of our lives. It gives us peace and structure, space for thought and grounding in the hectic of our age.” + Falkenberg Innenarchitektur Via Archdaily Photographs by Thomas Mayer  

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Skylights stream light into tiny cantilevering home in German forest

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

Speedo’s Brilliant New Humpback-Inspired Swim Fins Will Turn You Into a Speed Demon Underwater

August 11, 2014 by  
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When it comes to design, it’s really hard to beat mother nature’s crafty stylings . Which is why when Speedo wanted to create some seriously effective fins, they turned to the humpback whale. With sleek channels, strategic holes and whale-like ridges on the outer edge, the Nemesis fins were created to displace an amazing amount of water with each kick, and we have to admit, they look kind of amazing while doing it. Read the rest of Speedo’s Brilliant New Humpback-Inspired Swim Fins Will Turn You Into a Speed Demon Underwater Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Benjamin Franklin swim fin , foam swim fins , Humpback whale fins , humpback whale inspired swim fin , Humpback whale swim fins , humpback whale water displacement , nature inspired design , sea life inspired swim fin , Speedo Humpback whale fins , Speedo Nemesis , Speedo Nemesis fins , Speedo swim fins , Speedo whale fins , swim fin design , swim fin sea life , swim fin water displacement , whale inspired design , whale inspired swim fin

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Speedo’s Brilliant New Humpback-Inspired Swim Fins Will Turn You Into a Speed Demon Underwater

Gorgeous Ceramic and Wood Cup Designs by Jorge Diego Etienne Keep Liquids at the Perfect Temperature

January 28, 2013 by  
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Here at Inhabitat we love the work of contributor Jorge Diego Etienne  — the designer behind this beautifully simple mug that harnesses natural heating and cooling properties. Working with Casa Bosques  and  Savvy Studio ,  Etienne  produced the Second Object design by taking inspiration from Japanese lacquered cups. The cup is a two-part piece consisting of a minimal hassle-free ceramic container that can hold hot liquid, and an encasing wooden vessel that disperses the heat. Read the rest of Gorgeous Ceramic and Wood Cup Designs by Jorge Diego Etienne Keep Liquids at the Perfect Temperature Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: casa bosques , japanese cups , Jorge Diego Etienne , nature inspired design , savvy studio , sustainable design

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Gorgeous Ceramic and Wood Cup Designs by Jorge Diego Etienne Keep Liquids at the Perfect Temperature

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