Sculptural wood cabin is an alpine retreat with magnificent views

February 15, 2019 by  
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Perched high on weather-beaten mountain is the Hooded Cabin, a sculptural wood cabin with a rugged exterior and a sleek interior. The contemporary building is the work of Arkitektværelset , a Norwegian architectural practice that embraced the many environmental and building challenges that the project posed. From the high altitude mountain conditions of Imingfjell, Norway to the strict building regulations, the limitations not only shaped the iconic form of the retreat but also encouraged “playful creativity” from the designers. Set at an altitude of 1,125 meters within an area close to, but not within, the danger zone of avalanche activity, the 73-square-meter Hooded Cabin is surrounded by a wild and windblown snow-covered landscape. The architecture team wanted to take advantage of the sublime landscape and oriented the little wood cabin to face panoramic views of the lake. A “hood” element was created to protect the glazed opening and comply with building codes, which stipulated gabled roofs angled at 22 to 27 degrees. “We kept the original idea of a ‘protecting hood’ from the initial project sketches,” head architect Grethe Løland of Norwegian studio Arkitektværelset said in a project statement. “The ore pine roof protects the ‘eyes’ of the cabin in the front and prevents rain to dribble down the main entrance in the cabin’s ‘neck’. The building becomes an understated iconic sculpture in an area that most cabins look alike, and our clients really liked its form.” Related: This Norwegian alpine cabin fits together like a 3D timber puzzle For a more striking visual effect, the cabin’s outer shell is built from angled unpainted pine paneling that contrasts with the black-painted main cabin “body.” Norway’s strict building codes also called for sectioned windows, standing wood paneling and triple bargeboards. Large windows bring nature and plenty of natural light into the sleek and modern interior, which is lined with oak floors and paneling. Built to sleep up to 12 people, the wood cabin houses a kitchen and living room at the view-facing front of the building, while the rear consists of the master bedroom, bathroom, a sauna that doubles as a guest room and an open attic that fits eight. + Arkitektværelset Images by Marte Garmann via Arkitektværelset

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Sculptural wood cabin is an alpine retreat with magnificent views

Triangular treetop cabins offer an unforgettable stay in the Norwegian woods

February 12, 2019 by  
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Elevated on angled steel legs and clad in sleek black metal, the PAN Treetop Cabins tucked away in a forest two hours from Oslo are unlike your typical forest retreat. Located in the woods of Finnskogen (the Finnish Forest) in east Norway, the two cabins were designed by Oslo-based architect Espen Surnevik for Kristian Rostad and Christine Mowinckel, a couple who wanted to create an eco-friendly and sustainable tourism destination. Opened for bookings in late 2018, the pair of cabins offers all the comforts of home in a remote and wild landscape. Founders Kristian Rostad and Christine Mowinckel started the tourism project in hopes of connecting foreign tourists with “the real Norwegian wilderness.” The couple, who live on a farm in Finnskogen near the Swedish border, wants to raise awareness of the region, from its location at the beginning of Taiga — the earth’s largest land biome — to the area’s rich biodiversity and ties to mysticism. According to the project’s press release, “PAN Treetop Cabins is a visionary project that combines spectacular architecture with the stunning nature one finds in this little known part of Norway.” The pair of cabins has been carefully placed for optimal access to natural light and views. Each cabin is elevated on steel poles to minimize site impact and is designed with energy efficiency in mind. Inside, there are 40 square meters of living space outfitted with electricity, radiant floor heating, a rain shower, a fully equipped kitchen and a fireplace. The tent-shaped profiles were inspired by North American A-frame lodges and are punctuated on both ends with large windows. Related: This itsy-bitsy treehouse in Norway offers the ultimate off-grid escape “PAN is a unique possibility for tourists who want to experience the quiet of the forest, exciting activities, the mysterious culture of Finnskogen and the extraordinary animal life you have in this part of Norway,” the designers said, noting that all the materials were carefully selected to adhere to sustainable principles. The cabins are clad in black metal rather than timber to call attention to their man-made origins. + Espen Surnevik Images via Rasmus Norlander

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Triangular treetop cabins offer an unforgettable stay in the Norwegian woods

Climate change is killing reindeer in the Arctic

December 14, 2018 by  
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A new Arctic Report Card from the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has revealed that the wild reindeer and caribou populations have plummeted by more than half over the last two decades. According to the report, the impact of climate change in the Arctic has resulted in the reindeer population falling from 5 million to 2.1 million. The report found that the weather patterns and vegetation changes in the Arctic tundra have had a major negative impact on the reindeer, and the wild herds in northern Canada and Alaska have been hit the worst, with some of the herds shrinking by more than 90 percent. Related: Norway rejects wind farm in favor of wild reindeer “We see increased drought in some areas due to climate warming , and the warming itself leads to a change of vegetation,” said professor Howard Epstein, an environmental scientist from the University of Virginia. Epstein was one of the scientists involved with the research for the new report, and he explained that the reindeer eat lichen, which grows at ground level. But the warming temperature has led to taller vegetation, and it is “out-competing” the lichen. The warmer climate has also meant more bugs in the region, and that results in the reindeer having to spend their day getting the insects off of them or hiding from the insects. Increased rain has caused a problem, because it falls on snowy ground and creates hard layers of ice covering the tundra. This makes it difficult for the animals, because they can’t push their noses through the ice to get to their food. As for what can be done about the problem, the BBC reported that reducing carbon emissions and limiting temperature increases needs to be done on a global scale. Not only will this help the reindeer, but it will also decrease extreme weather events around the world. + NOAA Via BBC Image via U.S. Department of State

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Climate change is killing reindeer in the Arctic

Gorgeous prefab cabin is embedded into the mountainous Norwegian landscape

November 19, 2018 by  
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Located in the mountainous area of Filefjell, Norway, a stunning, solitary cabin peeks out over the snow-covered landscape. Designed by Oslo-based firm  Helen & Hard Architects , the beautiful Gubrandslie Cabin, which is made out of prefabricated solid wood panels, is designed to provide a low-impact shelter that can withstand the extreme climate characterized by harsh wind and snow. Located on the border of Jotunheimen National Park, the private, 1,184-square-foot home is sturdy enough to withstand the weather while simultaneously leaving  minimal impact on the pristine landscape. Large snow falls can wreck havoc on structures in this area, so the architects built the cabin to be inherently sheltered from the elements. Related: Contemporary ski chalet boasts gorgeous panoramic views and a low-energy footprint The first step in creating the  resilient design was to research the local climate and geography. Using extensive wind studies as a guide, the architects formed the home’s volume into an L-shape to mimic the slope of the landscape. Additionally, the cabin is integrated deep into the terrain to protect it from the elements. The roofs are slightly slanted in order to make it easier for the wind and snow to blow over the structure, avoiding heavy snow loads. Using the same climate to the home’s advantage, the architects were focused on creating a serene living space that took full advantage of the stunning, wintry landscape. The volume of the cabin is divided into three levels that follow the topography. The ground floor, which is embedded into the landscape, houses a sauna as well as the garage and plenty of storage. On the first floor, an all-glass facade makes up the entryway, which leads into a spacious, open-plan living area. The living, kitchen and dining space was orientated to face another wall of floor-to-ceiling glass panels , providing breathtaking views of the exterior landscape. On the back side of the cabin, which houses the bedrooms, clerestory windows follow the length of the structure, allowing natural light to flow into the spaces without sacrificing privacy. + Helen & Hard Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Rasmus Norlander and Ragnar Hartvig via Helen & Hard Architects

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Gorgeous prefab cabin is embedded into the mountainous Norwegian landscape

Danish brewer Carlsberg to swap plastic 6-pack rings for glue

September 6, 2018 by  
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The Danish beer company Carlsberg is doing its part in cutting down plastic waste . The brewing company just vowed to stop using plastic six-pack rings to hold its cans together, instead opting for glue. Once the new policy is in full swing, Carlsberg estimates it will save around 1,200 tons of plastic every year. CEO Cees ‘t Hart explained how Carlsberg experimented with some 40,000 variations before settling on the perfect glue. Hart described the glue as something similar in consistency to chewing gum and says it is just as effective as traditional plastic rings. Related: A beer crisis is brewing in Germany as bottle recycling slows amid heatwaves Carlsberg plans on debuting its glue-based six packs in Norway and the U.K. before distributing them around the world. Hart would not say how much the company invested in researching the new glue. The CEO did, however, assure customers that the price of Carlsberg beer would not go up with the new packaging. Instead, the company plans on using previous cuts to help pay for the new glue. Although Carlsberg invested heavily in the new glue, the company does not own the rights to the substance and hopes that other brewers will follow its lead. For reference, the glue does not stick to the hand once the cans are separated. Each six-pack will still feature a tiny plastic handle to make it easier to carry around. The new glue is not the only way in which Carlsberg is becoming more eco-friendly. In addition to ditching the traditional plastic rings, the company is improving the technology surrounding its recyclable bottles. Carlsberg is planning on using an extra layer of protection on each bottle that will increase its lifespan. The brewer has also created a new bottle cap that keeps the beer fresher and a different type of label ink that is more sustainable. It is yet to be determined if the moves will improve sales, but Carlsberg is definitely taking steps in the right direction for the environment. + Carlsberg Via Bloomberg , The Guardian Images via Carlsberg

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Danish brewer Carlsberg to swap plastic 6-pack rings for glue

Burberry vows to stop burning unsold clothes and using real fur

September 6, 2018 by  
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Burberry has confirmed it will no longer destroy fashion items it cannot sell. The British company has officially vowed to stop its long-standing practice of burning clothes and bags that remain unsold at the end of the year. The company is also moving to end the use of real fur in its products. Burberry’s policy changes follow criticism by environmental agencies and activists for how it disposed of unsold products. In 2017, Burberry burned more than $36 million USD worth of items to keep the products out of the hands of its competitors, fearing that the materials would be sold at discount prices and damage the brand. Since 2012, Burberry has destroyed over $135 million USD worth of products. In the past, the company defended these actions by claiming it reused the energy produced from the massive burns. Related: This Swedish power plant is burning H&M clothes instead of fossil fuels Fortunately, Burberry has changed its attitude on the issue and will no longer burn old products. Instead, the fashion giant will recycle the goods by reusing the materials or donating them to local charities. With the new policy in place, Burberry is the first fashion company to stop burning unsaleable products. The company also hopes that other businesses will follow its example and recycle old products instead of outright destroying them. In addition to not burning old clothes , Burberry has confirmed it will stop using real fur in products. The company is planning on releasing a new collection this month that does not feature any real fur. All existing lines containing real fur will be gradually eliminated in coming years. In order to promote its drastic change in policies, Burberry is also redesigning its logo and wants customers to know that it is serious about protecting the environment. Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti said of the new policy change, “Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible.” This past May, Burberry became an official partner with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and is working with its program, Make Fashion Circular. The initiative was established to stop waste in the fashion world. + Burberry Via Reuters , The Guardian Image via Franklin Heijnen  

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Sculptural open-air pavilion blends into a rocky Norwegian landscape

June 29, 2018 by  
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When Oslo-based design studio MORFEUS arkitekter first laid eyes on Bukkekjerka, a rock formation framed by the rugged mountains on the east and the open sea to the west, its natural beauty stunned them. So, when they were tasked with designing an open-air pavilion on the site along the Norwegian Scenic Route Andøya, they understandably wanted to take a sensitive approach so as not to detract from the landscape. The resulting design is a contemporary structure built from folded concrete to mimic the surrounding jagged mountain peaks. Spanning an area of 2,800 square feet, the Bukkekjerka rest station comprises a series of structures spread out across the landscape. The parking and service facilities are placed in the north, while a freestanding bench in the mountains is oriented for views of the midnight sun. Picnic areas and a footbridge trace a path toward the lighthouses to the east. Consecrated land and unique geological formations can be found in the south, which MORFEUS arkitekter has designed for use as an annual open-air church for weddings and other gatherings. “Our hope is that these elements are unveiled and experienced gradually, encouraging further exploration and experience of the inherent qualities of the place,” explains Caroline Støvring and Cecilie Wille of MORFEUS arkitekter. “The built elements are adapted to the existing terrain, not the other way around. We have wanted to proceed carefully, but also with a boldness that echoes the surrounding landscape. We have desired the project to appear more like landscape and sculptural elements, less like a building.” Related: Off-grid Fossil Discovery Exhibit camouflages into the Texan desert The majority of the structures are open-air; however, even the service building with toilets manages to embrace the landscape with one-way mirrored glass cladding. The glass allows visitors inside the building to enjoy views over the sea and the mountain peaks in the north, while the mirrored side helps blend the building into the landscape. The building is also constructed from polished, acid-resistant steel with a mirror-like shine. + MORFEUS arkitekter Images ©MORFEUS Støvring Wille

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Sculptural open-air pavilion blends into a rocky Norwegian landscape

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"

Ice melting due to climate change in Norway reveals pre-Viking artifacts

January 25, 2018 by  
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Climate change is melting ice in high mountains, enabling archaeologists to discover artifacts once preserved in glacial ice in Scandinavia, North America, and the Alps. A team led by Lars Pilø of the Oppland City Council recently published their discoveries on artifacts, many related to reindeer hunting, in Royal Society Open Science , and Pilø wrote in a Secrets of the Ice blog post , “This is a new and fantastic archaeological record of past human activity in some of the most remote and forbidding landscapes.” Pilø said in the post, “The ice has acted like a time machine, preserving the finds through millennia like a giant prehistoric deep-freezer.” His team has conducted fieldwork in the mountains of Oppland County in Norway over more than ten years, and they’ve come up with some impressive finds. Pilø said they’ve recovered over 2,000 artifacts. Related: Archaeologist may have uncovered the second Viking settlement in North America Some of their discoveries date all the way back to 4,000 BC. They’ve uncovered arrows; remains of pack horses, sleds, and skis; and clothing from the Iron Age and Bronze Age . Ice melting is unveiling what the research paper abstract described as “a fragile record of alpine activity, especially hunting and the use of mountain passes.” In the article, the researchers share radiocarbon dates of 153 items, and they compared those dates against the timing of economic changes or environmental changes, like periods of warming or cooling. They came up with a few surprises; for example, while you’d expect cold temperatures to keep people out of the highest elevations in Norway, like in the Late Antique Little Ice Age from around 536 – 660 CE, it seems hunters kept going into the mountains. Archaeologist James Barrett of the University of Cambridge told Ars Technica , “Remarkably, though, the finds from the ice may have continued through this period, perhaps suggesting that the importance of mountain hunting (mainly for reindeer), increased to supplement failing agricultural harvests in times of low temperatures.” Nine researchers from multiple Norwegian universities, the University of Oxford, and the University of Cambridge contributed. + Glacial Archaeology, Ancient Reindeer Hunting, and Climate Change + Secrets of the Ice Via Ars Technica Images via Øystein Rønning-Andersen, Secrets of the Ice/Oppland Count Council; Johan Wildhagen, Palookaville; and secretsoftheice.com/Oppland County Council

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Ice melting due to climate change in Norway reveals pre-Viking artifacts

Greenery fills this sustainable glass-and-timber tower planned for Oslo

January 25, 2018 by  
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Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter AS and C.F Møller Arkitekter have won a design competition for a stunning new cultural hub set to rise in Oslo. The project, called Nordic Light, comprises a master plan for the area and a modular glass-enclosed timber tower that will further develop the Oslo Central Station area into Norway’s largest mixed-use hub. The renderings show Nordic Light with greenery growing inside and out of the building on multiple levels as part of the architects’ sustainable vision for the tower, which will aim for BREEAM Excellent certification. Created for Fjordporten Oslo S, Nordic Light is designed to revitalize the area around the main train station with new publicly accessible cultural, retail, and dining facilities. The project will consist of four main elements: the area around the 19th-century station, a cultural and conference base, a pergola that links Queen Eufemia’s Street with the station, and the modular tower housing hotels and offices. The timber structure will be wrapped in a transparent glass facade allowing views of large trees and plants that will grow inside the building at multiple levels. The building will be designed to BREEAM Excellent with a focus on life cycle costing and life cycle assessment to inform sustainable building decisions. Related: Northern Europe’s largest aquarium unveiled for former Oslo airport site “‘Nordic light’ takes its strength from a controlled and careful form expression,” said the jury. “The project’s proposed integration with the station areas and the overall draft of the blueprint will help to further develop Oslo S as the country’s largest collective hub, and will offer the travellers great new spatial and qualitative experiences. The project showcases good solutions for the design and connection of the adjacent spaces to the project. The architect’s approach provides a good potential for the rehabilitation and enhancement of the protected Østbanen structure, and will give it a central role as part of the station’s future visual identity.” + Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter AS + C.F Møller Arkitekter Images by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter AS and C.F Møller Arkitekter

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Greenery fills this sustainable glass-and-timber tower planned for Oslo

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