Rammed-charcoal home extension is a handsome oasis between the trees

August 8, 2017 by  
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Melbourne-based Branch Studio Architects crafted this dark and handsome number hidden away among the trees in Victoria. Built as a house extension with a master suite, the Pavilion Between Trees features rammed-charcoal walls, clean and crisp lines, and a dark earthy palette of complementary materials. Full height glazing opens the interior up to the outdoors and frames view of the forested surroundings. Connected to the main house via a corridor, Pavilion Between Trees is a semi-detached structure that appears to standalone in the landscape. The 85-square-meter compact extension is simply but tastefully furnished and includes a master bedroom, en-suite bathroom, and extra storage space arranged in a linear plan. The rooms are delineated by subtle changes in floor level rather than walls. Natural light plays a key role in the design and is let in through clerestory windows and full-height glazing. The lighting brings out the texture of the earthy material palette, from the grainy rammed-charcoal walls to the smooth naturally finished timber and steel joinery, that are left exposed to develop a patina over time. Related: Rustic Off-Grid Pump House is a Solar-Powered Weekend Getaway in Australia The home addition was built on a clearing between existing mature trees to reduce site impact. Full-height glazing, which wraps around the western end and that also punctuates the north and south sides, frame views and strengthens connection to the outdoors. The clerestory windows also offer glimpses of the tree canopy. An outdoor washing area also allows the homeowners to enjoy the outdoors in a private space protected by a mesh screen. + Branch Studio Architects Via Dezeen Images via Branch Studio Architects

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Rammed-charcoal home extension is a handsome oasis between the trees

Gorgeous Washington barn house marries rustic elements with modern style

June 19, 2017 by  
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This gorgeous American barnhouse in Washington is the fruit of four years of collaborative architect-client labor. Seattle-based SkB Architects worked together with clients Charlie and Tracey Brown to design and build the Manson Barn, a large and modern multipurpose farmhouse built from the ground up with local materials. The gambrel structure puts a modern twist on traditional American barn vernacular and frames stunning views of the Cascade Mountain Range. Located within twelve acres of apple orchards in central Washington state, the Manson Barn combines a working barn with qualities of a luxury vacation retreat. The 10,000-square-foot barn distinguishes itself from its rural neighbors with its hybrid roof that adds dormers and gull wings to a traditional gambrel roof. The large dormers help break down the scale of the building, increase natural light to the upper levels, and provide additional floor space for guest rooms. Black-stained wood siding clads the exterior, which will develop a silvery gray patina over time, blending into the landscape. The Manson Barn’s ground floor is mostly an open-plan space for entertaining – it includes a commercial kitchen with a custom-design pizza oven, a dining area, and storage for orchard equipment. Large, sliding carriage doors open up to expansive exterior patios on both ends of the building, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor living. The garage doors beneath the gull wings also open up to reveal stunning landscape views. A wine cellar with sanded cobblestone flooring is on the basement level. Related: Family renovates century-old barn into stunning modern home in Washington state The upper floor houses the master bedroom, guest bedrooms, and a living area that wraps around the building in mezzanine fashion. The center of the upper floor is left open to the ground floor below. Cedar sink wood pulled from the bottom of a nearby lake was milled and reworked into sliding barn doors in the wine cellar and master bedroom. In a nod to the apple orchards, the architects added a solid wall clad in vintage apple crate panels next to the three-story steel staircase. + SkB Architects

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Gorgeous Washington barn house marries rustic elements with modern style

Norwegian cabin weathers a harsh climate for breathtaking views

March 15, 2017 by  
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Norway’s Lofoten archipelago is famous for its spectacular scenery with dramatic mountains and views of the northern lights—but its remote location up north also means a bitterly harsh climate in winter. Architect Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk was asked to create a summer retreat on a coastal Lofoten island that would be strong enough to withstand the harsh climate, particularly high-speed winds and rain. He and his team of architects completed the Summer House Gravråk, a renovated timber structure with a new addition and beautiful modern interior. The 25-square-meter Summer House Gravråk began with the rehabilitation of an old “Nordlandshus,” a kind of a traditional northern Norwegian home with a gabled roof and timber structure. The architects extended the building’s existing footprint with an addition towards the west that matched the original structure’s design. The exterior is clad in untreated spruce, which developed a gray patina after exposure to the elements. Standing seam zinc roofing tops the building. Related: Norwegian Mountain Cottage Stands on Stilts to Preserve Native Reindeer Moss The extension is constructed with prefabricated pine glulam and is wind-anchored to an encapsulating concrete slab that serves as a stabilizing counterweight, while the existing building is guy-wired to the ground. “The addition is a pure extension of the existing building, and re-uses the geometrical principle with asymmetrical dormer windows to let in light and give a view from the loft,” write the architects. The windows are constructed with aluminum frames on the exterior and wood on the interior to match the interior birch plywood cladding. The interior is minimally furnished and the abundance of windows keeps the focus on the landscape. The architects also constructed a small green-roofed annex separate from the main building. + Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk Images via Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk

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Norwegian cabin weathers a harsh climate for breathtaking views

Solar-powered Rotterdam home wraps around an olive tree

March 15, 2017 by  
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Don’t be fooled by this Rotterdam home’s deceptively plain street-facing facade—the backside of the property reveals a strikingly sculptural home with a glazed facade that wraps around an olive tree. MVRDV designed the contemporary home, called Casa Kwantes, for a client who valued privacy and seclusion but also wanted maximum access to daylight and open living spaces. To minimize its environmental footprint, the home includes several energy-efficient systems and aims for self-sufficiency. Tucked away on the corner plot of an old hospital, the 480-square-meter Casa Kwantes is entered through an indent on its windowless, mysterious street-facing facade built with white Celosia brickwork. Upon entering the curvaceous living spaces, visitors are bathed in natural light and views of the outdoors. The full-height south-facing windows wrap around the courtyard and the focal point of the house: the olive tree . The library and the open-plan living room, dining room, and kitchen are located on the first floor, while the sleeping areas are placed on the second level. Curtains provide privacy and shade. The upper floor cantilevers slightly to provide solar shading to the living spaces. Extra storage is tucked away in a small basement and an outdoor suntrap patio at the bottom of the garden offers extra paved barbecue space. “When balancing municipality requirements for a retro style architecture, the home became a contemporary take on 1930s modernism with its long, cream, shallow brickwork, full-height glazing, and the contrasting integration of the flat and fluid, open and enclosed, flexible and defined,” wrote the architects. “As the newly built homes in the vicinity are more vernacular in their modernist approach, this variation on a more avant-garde architecture has the been subject of discussions with the municipality.” Related: MVRDV unveils futuristic Y-shaped house with a rooftop pool in Tainan In addition to ample access to natural light, Casa Kwantes minimizes its energy footprint with a ground-source heat pump , heat exchange system, and rooftop solar system. The solar panels generate enough energy for the home to run entirely on renewable energy. MVRDV expects to home to be entirely self-sufficient on energy and will monitor the home for testing over the next year. + MVRDV Images © Ossip van Duivenbode

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Solar-powered Rotterdam home wraps around an olive tree

Barn-inspired contemporary home ages beautifully over time

November 23, 2016 by  
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Topped with a steep gabled roof, House for Beth is a conspicuous landmark in the flat agricultural fields of Door County, a picturesque Wisconsin county located on a peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan. The house is mostly wrapped in natural cedar siding with a portion near the bottom of the home clad in dark-colored Richlite, a paper-based fiber-composite material that will protect the wood facade. Square windows of varying sizes punctuate the facade on three sides and are framed in white to complement the timber facade and to match the white picket fence and the light-colored standing-seam metal roof. Related: Amazing Passive Home in Freezing Wisconsin Uses Less Energy Than a Hair Dryer to Stay Warm! The interior is filled with natural light and views of the agricultural landscape and forest beyond. White-painted walls complemented by timber floors and window trim feature prominently throughout the contemporary home. A black wood-burning stove and a long black strip located above the large windows provide a visually grounding effect. The home is divided into two parts: the open-plan living room, dining area, and kitchen on one side that’s surrounded by large windows and, separated by a centrally located bathroom, the bedrooms on the other with smaller windows for privacy. All furnishings in the home are from IKEA. + Salmela Architect Via Dezeen Images via Salmela Architect , by Paul Crosby

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Barn-inspired contemporary home ages beautifully over time

Industrial modern Sawmill House is built from recycled concrete blocks

August 7, 2015 by  
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A community fridge in Spain lets residents avoid food waste by sharing

August 7, 2015 by  
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What if you could walk down the street and pick up a half a quart of milk without paying anything ? What if you were going on vacation and instead of tossing that unused cheese or those extra yogurts, you could put them out for someone else in the neighborhood to use? If you lived in Galdakao, Spain, you could. By using something they call the Solidarity Fridge, neighbors and locals can drop off leftovers and other food items for others to enjoy. Read the rest of A community fridge in Spain lets residents avoid food waste by sharing

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A community fridge in Spain lets residents avoid food waste by sharing

Prefab Parisian housing is clad in a double-skin timber facade to optimize solar shading

July 2, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Prefab Parisian housing is clad in a double-skin timber facade to optimize solar shading Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Aubervilliers , double skin facade , Housing in Auvry Barbusse , Housing in Auvry Barbusse by Tectône , natural daylight , Paris housing , patina , Prefab , recycled rainwater , solar shading , Tectône , Tectône architects , timber framed housing , timber house , untreated pine , wooden housing

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Prefab Parisian housing is clad in a double-skin timber facade to optimize solar shading

Austin, Texas is now home to the world’s cheapest solar power

July 2, 2015 by  
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In basically the craziest news in clean energy this week, the Texas city of Austin has become the site of the world’s cheapest solar power . Priced at just $0.04/kWh, this beats the previous record set in Dubai by $0.02/kWh, and although solar prices have been trending downward for some time, even the experts are surprised to see such a low price reached so soon. With these new figures, Austin takes a big lead in the world’s fastest growing and perhaps most competitive clean energy market . Read the rest of Austin, Texas is now home to the world’s cheapest solar power Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , austin texas , lowest price on solar power , most affordable clean energy , Solar Power , solar power bids , solar power projects , world’s cheapest solar power

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Austin, Texas is now home to the world’s cheapest solar power

Tiny, beautifully detailed children’s playhouse is made from locally milled spruce in Finland

January 27, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Tiny, beautifully detailed children’s playhouse is made from locally milled spruce in Finland Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Anna and Eugeni Bach , Anna Bach , Bach architects , children playhouse , double height room , Eugeni Bach , Finland , Finnish barn , Finnish construction , locally sourced spruce , modular architecture , modular playhouse , modules , patina , playhouse , spruce , traditional construction techniques , window hatches

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Tiny, beautifully detailed children’s playhouse is made from locally milled spruce in Finland

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