Schemata Architects weaves modern design into a traditional Japanese house

July 5, 2018 by  
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Tokyo-based  Schemata Architects have renovated a traditional Japanese residence into a modern dwelling with an office, while keeping many of the 80-year-old building’s original features intact. Located in the seaside city of Kamakura an hour south of Tokyo , the Hojo Sanci is set in a quiet and lush residential area. To minimize changes to the original building structure and retain an open feel, the architects used varying floor heights and finishes to differentiate the programmatic areas. Built primarily from wood, the two-story Japanese home — which comprises a beautiful onsite garden and verdant greenery beyond — dates back to the early 20th century. Schemata Architects oriented the home’s rooms outward to keep the original emphasis on the outdoors. However, they removed the fusuma (wood-framed paper sliding doors) that had divided the rooms to create one large open space. To celebrate the building’s past, the architects also preserved existing finishes and partially exposed the substructure by removing sections of the ceiling and walls. Tatami mats were also laid down in certain rooms, where the floor was elevated above ground by 60 centimeters. “We decided to focus on floor heights and finishes and treat them as means to express different spatial characters and define spatial/functional zones,” explained Jo Nagasaka, the founder of Schemata Architects. “Firstly, we set a tatami floor area raised 40 cm above the earth floor at the entrance as a reference plane and determined the height, dimension and finish of respective floors in other areas. Each room was distinguished from others by different characteristics of furniture placed there. The floor height differences create a vibrant feeling as well as different viewpoints, allowing one to constantly feel nature and creative energy at any place and anytime in this space.” Related: Century-old Japanese townhouse reborn as Blue Bottle Coffee’s first Kyoto location The mix of modern and traditional becomes apparent in the various room designs. On the west side of the home, the architects inserted a Japanese-style room with tatami and an engawa (a type of covered veranda ) that connects to the garden, and OSB floors and gray geometric furnishings are used in the contemporary office addition. + Schemata Architects Images via Kenta Hasegawa

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Schemata Architects weaves modern design into a traditional Japanese house

The 1970s brick Upside-Down House gets an eco-friendly refresh

July 5, 2018 by  
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Melbourne-based Inbetween Architecture has breathed new life into a dark and tired 1970s double brick home in Kew, Australia. Nicknamed the Upside-Down House, the gut-renovation includes a dramatically transformed interior with a focus on natural daylight and energy efficiency . In addition to increased daylighting with skylights and adherence to passive solar principles, the remodeled home was fitted with energy-saving LED lighting, hydronic heating, improved insulation and solar-powered ventilators. When Inbetween Architecture was tapped for the project, the team debated between renovating and knocking the structure down to start anew. After weighing the environmental and cost benefits, however, the architects decided to retain the existing house, which was structurally sound but extremely dated and depressingly dark. As a result, they focused on bringing natural light into the home. Since the ground floor receives less access to daylight , the team decided to flip the ground floor and the first floor programming by placing the bedrooms on the ground floor and the communal living areas in the light-filled first floor — thus giving rise to the home’s nickname, the “Upside-Down House.” “The favorite part of our renovations is without question the soaring cathedral-like skylights that not only brought light in, but created space above without impacting on the roofline,” said the client, a young family of four. “Visually, our house flowed from room to room with the feature stair-case leading directly to the open tallow-wood living areas lit up by the northern sun. This flow continued to the outdoors with the clever relocation of an outdoor balcony to link to the previously isolated pool-area allowing for an expansive out-door entertaining area second to none.” Related: Smart Home targets affordability and eco-friendly design in Australia The architects replaced the home’s original seven “closet”-sized bedrooms with four spacious bedrooms. The interior design follows a minimalist aesthetic with hidden storage to avoid clutter. Created to meet a six-star energy rating, the home takes advantage of thermal mass from the existing concrete slabs on both floors and the externally insulated double brick walls. Long roof eaves and new dual shading help mitigate solar gain . + Inbetween Architecture Images by Tatjana Plitt and Nick Stephenson

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The 1970s brick Upside-Down House gets an eco-friendly refresh

A 17th-century Spanish hospital gets transformed into a cozy library

July 5, 2018 by  
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When Madrid-based design practice Murado & Elvira Architects won a competition to turn the ancient Sancti Spiritus Hospital into the Public Library and Historic Archive for the Spanish city of Baiona, they wanted the renovation to focus on the concept of hospitality. In contrast to the historic stone and plaster facade that was left in place, the architects transformed the interior with maple wood volumes to create a sense of coziness and comfort. Eight years in the making, the 1.5-million Euro adaptive reuse project was completed in March of this year. Located in the historic city center, the 17th-century Sancti Spiritus Hospital is protected under Bien de Interés Cultural status; however, the building suffered major alterations over the years, including the destruction of its interior in the 1970s. Instead of merely renovating the structure, Murado & Elvira Architects also worked to return parts of the building back to their historic roots. The interior, though, was given an entirely new identity organized around a thick stone wall that recalls the building’s original construction. All the rooms are wrapped in warm maple plywood, which was also used for the furnishing. “When we first visited the old building we felt the need for our project to create a new interior identity, connecting and giving continuity to the old structures,” say Clara Murado and Juan Elvira of the two-story renovation . “The building could be understood as a solid stone plinth and a wooden fitment on top of it. The library becomes a furniture to be inhabited. We always had in mind the studio of Saint Jerome in Antonello da Messina’s painting where the whole studio seems to be built around the book.” Related: An old London chapel is reborn into a modern home and artist studio The library’s interior layout was also informed by the historical sequence of rooms. The Historic Archive, the children’s library, and the service rooms dominate the ground floor. The children’s library also opens up to a courtyard space. Three stairs lead up to the upper floor where the main reading room, individual study alcoves, bathrooms, offices and bench reading rooms are located. + Murado & Elvira Architects Images via Imagen Subliminal

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A 17th-century Spanish hospital gets transformed into a cozy library

Earthy modular VIMOB home can be erected in even the most hard-to-reach locations

November 27, 2015 by  
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Earthy modular VIMOB home can be erected in even the most hard-to-reach locations

Two City Warehouses Merge as Industrial Chic Code Black Coffee in Melbourne

March 20, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Two City Warehouses Merge as Industrial Chic Code Black Coffee in Melbourne Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , Cafenatics operations , Code Black Coffee , Daylighting , green design , industrial chic , mixed-use , osb , sustainable design , sustainable renovation , Urban design , Zwei interior design

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Two City Warehouses Merge as Industrial Chic Code Black Coffee in Melbourne

Rooftecture OT2?s Folded Perforated Skin Permits Air and Light While Blocking Peeping Toms in Japan

February 7, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Rooftecture OT2′s Folded Perforated Skin Permits Air and Light While Blocking Peeping Toms in Japan Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Endo Shuhei , green design , industrial chic , Japan , natural ventilation , oriented strand board , osaka , osb , Rooftecture OT2 , skylights , sustainable design , sustainable timber , urban density , Urban design

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Rooftecture OT2?s Folded Perforated Skin Permits Air and Light While Blocking Peeping Toms in Japan

ARCHI7’s Prefab MMR House is Made from Recycled Materials and Features Brilliant Interiors

February 5, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of ARCHI7’s Prefab MMR House is Made from Recycled Materials and Features Brilliant Interiors Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ARCHI7 , Architecture , bold colors , colorful , Daylighting , family home , green lighting , local materials , Mélèze , mmr , osb , Prefab , Recycled Materials , Switzerland

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ARCHI7’s Prefab MMR House is Made from Recycled Materials and Features Brilliant Interiors

Clever Recycled Furniture Made from Undesirable Materials

July 26, 2010 by  
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The green movement has helped guide some great designers to create amazing new products from materials that already exist by sourcing supplies from consumer trash . New York City-based furniture designer Chris Rucker gets right to the heart of the issue by addressing reasons why, in modern culture, trash is considered trash in the first place. Rucker uses materials such as plastic laminates, oriented-strand-board, and construction sheathing combined with quality construction methods to showcase a revolutionary and desirable aesthetic

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Bambike Project: Bamboo Cycles Handmade in the Philippines

July 26, 2010 by  
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Photo credit: bambike.com The Bambike Project is a socio-ecological enterprise that hand-makes bamboo bicycles with fair-trade labor in the Philippines. The company, spearheaded by Bryan McClelland, is helping out people and the planet by “doing better business and [making] the most sustainable bikes in the world.” Bambike’s latest design (pictured above) features a custom-engineered triangular bamboo top tube, lime green pedals, and a Shimano Nexus internal 3-speed hub.

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Bambike Project: Bamboo Cycles Handmade in the Philippines

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