A prefab home in Sydney celebrates indoor-outdoor living

February 8, 2019 by  
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Constructed in a Melbourne factory in just 12 weeks, this elegant, prefab home in Sydney offers indoor-outdoor living without compromising thermal comfort. First designed by Sydney-based architectural practice Fox Johnston, the home’s concept was later refined by Australian design/build firm Modscape while honoring the architect’s design intent and the client’s demands. The prefabricated, two-story family home taps into solar design principles to prevent solar heat gain and to ensure comfortable indoor temperatures year-round. Spanning an area of 340 square meters, the modern, prefabricated home was commissioned by clients who needed extra space for their growing family and wanted to take better advantage of the property’s proximity to the beach in Tamarama, NSW. Taking cues from the original dwelling, the architects designed the new home with a similar footprint but added large expanses of glass to strengthen the building’s connections with the front and rear gardens . The existing sandstone plinth has also been integrated into the house to anchor it to the landscape. The material palette echoes the environment with its abundance of timber, which can be seen from the movable timber battened screens on the exterior to the light wood surfaces woven throughout the interior. “As soon as you walk in the front door, you’re welcomed by a generous double-height foyer featuring a staircase that reflects the timber battens used externally,” Modscape explained in a project statement. “In the living room, timber extends up the wall and across the ceiling to help to subtly define the space and beautifully complement the oak flooring. Opting for quality materials that will withstand heavy use from the children rather than ‘showy’ finishes ensure the result is a design that is durable and humble yet elegant and timeless.” Related: A modular extension boasts a seamless indoor-outdoor living experience The living spaces are located on the ground floor while the upstairs sleeping quarters consist of five bedrooms and two bathrooms. To mitigate Sydney’s harsh summers, the home is punctuated with numerous windows and skylights that maximize light and cross ventilation. The home was prefabricated at Modscape’s Melbourne factory in 12 weeks and then transported in 10 modules to the site, where the home was completed after an additional six weeks’ time. + Modscape Images by John Madden via Modscape

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A prefab home in Sydney celebrates indoor-outdoor living

Snhetta designs healing forest cabins for patients at Norways largest hospitals

January 9, 2019 by  
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Patients at two of Norway’s largest hospitals can now find respite in Snøhetta’s newly unveiled Outdoor Care Retreats. Designed for the Friluftssykehuset Foundation, the forest retreats offer a calm getaway where patients and their loved ones can benefit from the therapeutic qualities of nature. One of the retreats is located about 100 meters from the entrance of Norway’s largest hospital, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, while its sister building is set near a woodland pond by Sørlandet Hospital Kristiansand in the South of Norway. Originally developed in collaboration with the Department of Psychosomatics and CL-Child Psychiatry at Oslo University Hospital, the Outdoor Care Retreats are open to all patients of the hospitals and can be reserved through a booking system. In contrast to the hospital architecture, the cabins take inspiration from nature and consist of tree branch-inspired asymmetrical floor plans and a timber material palette that includes an interior sheathed in oak. Large glass windows overlook views of nature and can be opened by guests. Both buildings — which measure approximately 35 square meters in size — include a main room, a smaller room for conversation and treatment and a bathroom. Each cabin is site-specific  to minimize impact on the site and is designed to be accessible for people who use wheelchairs. The entrances are also wide enough to accommodate hospital beds. The exterior timber cladding will develop a patina over time to blend the buildings into the forest. Related: Harvard unveils Snøhetta-designed HouseZero for sustainable, plus-energy living “Nature provides spontaneous joy and helps patients relax,” said children’s psychologist Maren Østvold Lindheim at the Oslo University Hospital, one of the initiators of the project. “Being in natural surroundings brings them a renewed calm that they can bring back with them into the hospital . In this sense, the Outdoor Care Retreat helps motivate patients to get through treatment and contribute to better disease management.” + Snøhetta Photography by Ivar Kvaal via Snøhetta

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Snhetta designs healing forest cabins for patients at Norways largest hospitals

Potato peels offer a sustainable alternative to traditional building materials

January 9, 2019 by  
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Many of the typical building materials used in construction — like medium-density fiberboard (MDF) — contain toxic materials and formaldehyde, plus they have a shockingly short lifespan and a negative environmental impact. But now there is a new option to these single-use materials — potato waste. London-based designers Rowan Minkley and Robert Nicoll as well as research scientist Greg Cooper have developed Chip[s] Board , which is a biodegradable alternative to MDF that is made from non-food-grade industrial potato waste . This innovative idea for a new building material is free of toxic resins and chemicals and is formaldehyde-free. If we throw it out the same way we do MDF, it doesn’t have the same negative impact on the environment. Related: This company wants to turn food waste into building materials — here’s how Minkley, Nicoll and Cooper wanted to combine the issue of material waste with the problem of food waste, and the result is a sustainable wood substitute made from potato peelings. They collected the peelings from manufacturers and then put them through different refinement processes to create a binding agent. This agent is then applied to fibers like potato skins, bamboo, beer hops and recycled wood . Then, the team forms the Chip[s] Board by heat pressing the composite into a sheet that can be processed into different products, like furniture and building materials. Once these products reach the end of their lifespan, they can be biodegraded into fertilizer. The actual details about the making of Chip[s] Board haven’t been disclosed, because Minkley and Nicoll have filed for a patent on their manufacturing process. However, they have revealed that that the pressing process mimics the conditions found in MDF manufacturing, but they replace formaldehyde-based resins with waste-derived, biodegradable binders. According to the design team, the development of Chip[s] Board involved a lot of trial and error, some hack chemistry and educated guesses, but all of this allowed them to develop strong and usable boards. They are also developing other sustainable materials, which have caught the attention of the fashion industry. + Chip[s] Board Via Archinect and Dezeen Images via Chip[s] Board

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Potato peels offer a sustainable alternative to traditional building materials

A recycled brick wall runs through this breezy home in Australia

October 19, 2018 by  
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Bright, breezy and surrounded by nature, the Cedar Lane House is a place of peaceful respite on the southern coast of Australia. Sydney-based architect and photographer Edward Birch designed the light-filled residence at the base of a mountain in Meroo Meadow. Spread out across 280 square meters, the linear home is anchored by a recycled brick wall that runs the length of the building and imbues the interior with warmth and softness. The Cedar Lane House is organized into three pavilion-like spaces linked by a central east-west hallway. While indoor-outdoor living is celebrated with ample glazing and a natural materials palette, the views are deliberately obscured from the entrance to create an element of surprise when visitors turn the corner and see spectacular landscape vistas through the living room’s walls of glass. In addition to the whitewashed recycled brick wall, the home interiors are dressed in Australian hardwood, white surfaces and other minimalist materials to keep the focus on the outdoors. The open-plan living spaces — including a living room, dining area and kitchen — occupy the heart of the home and branch off to an outdoor terrace and an indoor lounge on either side. The easternmost side of the home is defined by a master en suite with an outdoor shower and a spa. Three additional bedrooms, a rumpus room and an outdoor courtyard are located on the west side. The arrangement of spaces makes it easy for the homeowner to close off portions of the house depending on the number of people staying. Instead of main water connections, the house relies on recycled rainwater , which is collected in underground tanks and re-circulated around the building. Related: Passive solar home stays naturally cool without AC in Australia “From the recycled bricks, rough oak floor to the zinc bench top in the kitchen, the internal materials are intended to be imperfect, to mark and scratch and to tell the story of the lives lived inside the house,” Birch said in a project statement. “As the timber cladding silvers and the wash on the bricks get eroded away, the house ages gracefully and settles into the landscape around it.” + Edward Birch Via ArchDaily Images by Edward Birch

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A recycled brick wall runs through this breezy home in Australia

The adorable Acorn tiny cabin is made of wood salvaged from an old mansion

October 19, 2018 by  
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We’ve seen a lot of tiny homes over the years, but the Acorn has to be one the most adorable designs we’ve ever come across. Created by the team from Ojai-based Humble Hand Craft, the sweet tiny home on wheels is built from reclaimed wood and felled trees, including the western cedar shingles that were salvaged from a mansion in Montecito, California. At just 16 feet long and 8.5 feet wide, the Acorn is one seriously tiny home on wheels, but its strategic and space-efficient layout makes the interior seem much bigger. Built on a trailer of the same dimensions, the Acorn takes us back to the basics of traditional cabin design with its warm facade of cedar shingles, a corrugated metal roof and a welcoming front porch. Related: This charming, solar-powered tiny home is handcrafted from reclaimed wood According to the builders at Humble Hand Craft, like most of their cabins, the Acorn was made out of wood salvaged from various sources. The Western Red Cedar shingles used to clad the small structure were reclaimed from an old mansion in California. The porch posts were made out of a dead tree that had fallen near one of the builder’s favorite hiking trails in Ojai. Much of the cabin’s interior, such as the trim and the front door, were made out of reclaimed redwood salvaged from a 5,000-gallon wine barrel found at a vineyard in Santa Cruz. The all-wooden interior creates a homey living space, enhanced with an abundance of natural light . A space-efficient layout was essential in designing the interior. To create more living space on the ground floor, a sleeping loft was installed on a platform. The living room, which is big enough for a small sofa and table, is kept warm and cozy thanks to the small wood-burning fireplace. The kitchen features a beautiful redwood countertop finished with a natural bio resin as well as plenty of storage and shelving to avoid clutter. + Humble Hand Craft Photography by Luke Williams via Humble Hand Craft

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The adorable Acorn tiny cabin is made of wood salvaged from an old mansion

The growing wine industry is threatening California’s Napa Valley

May 28, 2018 by  
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Napa Valley , a world-famous symbol of American excellence in wine, is threatened by too much of a good thing. Ever-increasing wine production has inflicted damage on the region’s economy and ecology.  The industrialization of Napa has resulted in the loss of 95 percent of the oak trees that once covered the valley, and now locals are organizing to protect the area. “With great success came great money and outsiders,” Napa expert and journalist James Conaway told the Guardian . Only a few decades ago, the region was home to fruit orchards and livestock farms as well as vineyards. “Now it’s monoculture with a vengeance,” said Conaway. “Hundreds of miles of steel trellising holding up the vines from one end of the valley to the next. It has an industrial sheen.” Napa County contains California ‘s densest concentration of oak forests, a source of pride for residents that provides invaluable ecological services to the living things that call Napa home. The oak trees sequester carbon, capture rainwater and prevent erosion through their thick roots. The majority of Napa’s oak trees are found in the surrounding hills. However, one-third of the remaining oaks are standing on what is considered to be potential agricultural land. Related: 100% solar-powered winery keeps naturally cool with cork-insulated roofs  In response to the rapid expansion of the area’s  wine industry, local residents have organized around Measure C, an upcoming ballot initiative that would guarantee protection to much of the remaining oak woodland. While the measure would limit the potential growth of the wine industry, those in favor of it say that they are motivated not by opposition to the wineries, but by an understanding that the valley needs sustainable growth . “Something’s very wrong with the way we are thinking about our resources,” said Warren Winiarski, whose Napa cabernet sauvignon won an upset 1976 taste test victory in Paris and put Napa on the map. “They are finite. And yet we go on with development as though we could do that indefinitely.” Via The Guardian Images via Stan Shebs on Wikimedia Commons (1, 2)

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The growing wine industry is threatening California’s Napa Valley

Felix Ruder designs Symbio, a 100 percent biodegradable stool

March 11, 2015 by  
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Architecture student Felix Ruder designed Symbio, a 100 percent  biodegradable stool as part of a class project at Sweden’s Lund School of Architecture. Inspired by Alan Wisman’s book “What Happens to the World Without Us,” the chair’s seat is made from reclaimed polished black granite and its legs are made from reclaimed oak. “One can watch how nature slowly eats the legs and all that is left is the stone,” writes Ruder. + Felix Ruder The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green furniture” , Alan Wisman , Biodegradable , black granite , Felix Ruder , oak , Reclaimed Materials , stool , Symbio

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Felix Ruder designs Symbio, a 100 percent biodegradable stool

WEWOOD designs textured sideboard made from oak and walnut

January 6, 2015 by  
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Portuguese joinery firm WEWOOD designed scarpa, a sideboard with a beautiful 3D textured pattern. Made from oak and walnut , the geometric-patterned sideboard can be adjusted in width and height to adapt to different needs and spaces. Scarpa will be displayed at one of Europe’s biggest upcoming design events, the IMM Cologne , later this month. + WEWOOD The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: imm cologne , oak , reader submitted content , Scarpa , solid wood , Walnut , WeWOOD , wooden furniture

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WEWOOD designs textured sideboard made from oak and walnut

Mischer’traxler’s Ornate Gradient Mashrabiya Table Employs Traditional Lebanese Woodworking Techniques

July 3, 2012 by  
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Mischer’traxler  recently collaborated with a team of expert woodworkers in Lebanon to create a beautifully intricate wooden table. Dubbed ‘Gradient Mashrabiya ‘, this multi-purpose table uses the traditional method of constructing  mashrabiyas to create an ornate  yet contemporary piece. A celebration to traditional Middle Eastern craft, the Gradient Mashrabiya is definitely not your average IKEA table. Read the rest of Mischer’traxler’s Ornate Gradient Mashrabiya Table Employs Traditional Lebanese Woodworking Techniques Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green furniture” , Gradient Mashrabiya , green materials , Mashrabiyas , Middle East , MischerTraxler , oak , table , traditional crafts , Wooden table

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A1´s Hat Tea House is a Minimalist Garden Shelter in the Czech Republic

April 13, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of A1´s Hat Tea House is a Minimalist Garden Shelter in the Czech Republic Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: A1 , burnt larch , czech republic , Hat Tea House , oak , private shelter , tea ceremony , Teahouse , Vojt?ch Biliši? , wooden shelter

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A1´s Hat Tea House is a Minimalist Garden Shelter in the Czech Republic

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