This cozy off-grid cabin shows beauty on a budget in upstate New York

November 8, 2017 by  
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Manhattan studio JacobsChang shows off beauty on a budget with their completion of the Half-Tree House, a one-room cabin tucked into the forests of upstate New York’s Sullivan County. Located on a remote 60-acre site, the 360-square-foot structure operates off-grid and was built by amateur weekend builders with a limited budget of $20,000. Despite the challenging steep slope, the architects and builders achieved an elegant result that dramatically juts out into the landscape. JacobsChang kept construction costs for the Half-tree House low by sourcing most of the materials on-site , including the timber cladding made from locally felled pines. To minimize site work and use of retaining walls , the architects anchored the building on one side with simple concrete footings and then used the existing trees to support the other side with a Garnier Limb anchoring system. Related: Prefab tiny cabin perched on a granite rock to minimize environmental impact Traditional Scandinavian pine tar was used to give the cabin a dark facade, which contrasts with the whitewashed interior. Three floor-to-ceiling pivoting windows open the cabin up to the outdoors, letting in ample natural light and ventilation. Say the architects: “The space is heated with a highly efficient Jotul wood stove and power, if needed, is drawn from a portable generator. The entire construction was performed by its two owners, and in the true spirit of New England barnraising, with a team of dedicated weekend support.” + JacobsChang Via ArchDaily Images © Noah Kalina

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This cozy off-grid cabin shows beauty on a budget in upstate New York

Artist turns recyclable cardboard into strikingly lifelike human sculptures

November 8, 2017 by  
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That Amazon delivery box you’ve chucked in the recycling bin might not mean much to you, but in the hands of artist James Lake cardboard takes on almost limitless possibilities. The talented UK sculptor has been working with cardboard for 20 years, manipulating the medium into human sculptures and other objects full of expression and detail. James, who describes cardboard as a “brilliant material to work with,” challenges viewers to see the extraordinary in things often dismissed as mundane. When James was 17, he developed bone cancer that ended with the amputation of his right leg. Despite, or perhaps because of, these struggles, he developed a passion for the arts that he’s channeled into sculpting cardboard. “When I first started making sculpture I decided to use cardboard as my medium of choice,” says James on his website . “I wanted a medium that can be used to sculpt beyond traditional material and without the need of an arts studio. The end result was the fine crafting of an inexpensive common place and recyclable material. I manipulate cardboard into taking a form which is vastly beyond its original function as a container to transport food and commercial goods.” Related: Modular Wikkelhouse wrapped in 24 layers of cardboard snaps together in a day In addition to his personal work and commissions, James’ work has been displayed in schools and as part of community projects. His use of cardboard goes beyond its cost-effective advantages; James believes the use of a ubiquitous material makes his sculptures more accessible “and blur the boundary between high art and low art.” As a self-described “diversity/inclusion artist,” James regularly holds art workshops with disadvantaged members of the community and provides resources to local schools and colleges. + James Lake Via Colossal

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Artist turns recyclable cardboard into strikingly lifelike human sculptures

Former chicken coop transformed into a backyard artists studio in Berlin

September 25, 2017 by  
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We’ve heard of horse stables transformed into dwellings for people, but converted chicken coops are a first. Büros für Konstruktivismus turned an old henhouse into a timber-lined artist’s studio in the backyard of a Berlin villa. The adaptive reuse project, called Hühnerhaus (German for henhouse), preserves part of the original facade and completely overhauls the interior into a modern light-filled space. Constructed just after World War II in a lush garden, this former henhouse is a simple gabled structure with rustic roots. Architects Sandra Bartoli and Silvan Linden wanted to maintain the building’s slightly ruinous and overgrown appearance, while gutting and remaking the interior. Thus, the architects largely left the henhouse facade intact but transformed the interior into a single-room pine-lined space with an added mezzanine. The original chimney and steel beams were also covered in pine to create a near-seamless timber appearance. Related: Eight lucky hens live in this high-end chicken coop equipped with underfloor heating in New York Natural light pours in through large glazed surfaces. Stairs with in-built storage lead up to the mezzanine , where the attic for sheltering pigeons used to be. The door for pigeons was transformed into a triangle-shaped window that frames views of the trees and garden. + Büros für Konstruktivismus Via Dezeen Images via Büros für Konstruktivismus

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Former chicken coop transformed into a backyard artists studio in Berlin

Light-filled cancer center harnesses the healing power of nature

July 4, 2017 by  
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The healing powers of nature have been put to good use in the recently completed Maggie’s Oldham. London-based architecture studio dRMM completed this cross-laminated timber building, one of the United Kingdom’s many Maggie’s Centers that provide free practical, emotional, and social support for people with cancer. Nature surrounds the light-filled building both inside and out, from the garden that the center floats above to the tree that grows through the building. Built on the grounds of an NHS cancer hospital in Oldham, the recently completed Maggie’s Center is the first permanent structure of its kind built of sustainable hardwood cross-laminated timber . The architects write: “In wood there is hope and warmth, its use at Maggie’s Oldham is part of a bigger design intention to reverse the norms of hospital architecture, where institutionalised environments can leave patients dispirited.” All the surfaces show off the natural timber finish and the thermally modified tulipwood cross-laminated timber was carefully detailed to bring out its natural beauty. Cut-offs from the CLT fabrication process were recycled for use in the slatted ceiling. Related: Beautiful light-filled Maggie’s Cancer Center opens up to nature in Manchester To lift the spirits of whoever comes by, Maggie’s Oldham greets visitors with airy, light-filled spaces and unexpected views towards the garden below, the sky above, and out to the Pennine horizon. Large windows with American white oak frames let in copious amounts of natural light. The minimalist boxy building is elevated on slender columns above a garden framed by pine, birch, and tulip poplar trees. A tree grows up through the building at its heart, creating a central oasis that brings nature inside. The use of timber, rather than cold metal, complements the greenery and gives the building a sense of warmth. Wood fiber insulation is used for a breathable healthy environment. + dRMM Via ArchDaily Images © Alex de Rijke

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Light-filled cancer center harnesses the healing power of nature

Salvaged wood clads handsome mountain cabin in Vermont

April 7, 2017 by  
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This handsome timber cabin nestled in the foothills of Vermont’s Green Mountains stands out from the pack with its asymmetrical roofs and weathered, recycled timber cladding. Richmond-based Birdseye Design designed Woodshed, a cabin that infuses contemporary elements into the traditional woodshed vernacular. The cabin’s Douglas fir and pine cladding were repurposed from snow fencing and horse corrals. Set on a clearing on a steeply sloping and heavily wooded site, the Woodshed in Pomfret blends into its forested surroundings with its timber-clad facade. Conceived as a guesthouse and entertainment space for the main residence down the road, the residential project takes cues from the iconic woodshed found in the Vermont landscape. The main building comprises two asymmetric gabled roof volumes connected via a central entryway. A small auxiliary garage sits off to the side. Related: Origami-like alpine cabin brings contemporary style to Chile’s mountains “The western, public elevation presents the continuous, wood textured wall that evokes the expressive, scrim wall of a traditional woodshed,” write the architects. “The project purposefully projects a minimal familiar elevation to the non-view, public street side and an engaging, contemporary open elevation to the private hillside.” Large expanses of glazing wrap around the east facade to frame views of the landscape. Exterior terraces expand the footprint of the home to the outdoors. + Birdseye Design Via ArchDaily Images via Birdseye Design

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Salvaged wood clads handsome mountain cabin in Vermont

Thousands of grafted flowers grow on the entire face of this Milan building

April 7, 2017 by  
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A stunning show for the eyes—and nose—has taken over the facade of a building in Milan . Local design studio Piuarch teamed up with landscape architect Cornelius Gavril to create ‘Flowerprint,’ a gardening facade installation with 2,000 aromatic flowers and herbs grafted onto tubers. The plants, which range from roses and lilies to thyme and lavender, create a multicolored “flower embroidery” exploring a new multi-sensory way of decorating surfaces. Created for Brera Design Week in Milan, Flowerprint is a temporary gardening facade installed on the facade of the building where Piuarch is located in the courtyard of Via Palermo 5. The constellation of flowers comprises 200 vertical lines of 2,000 suspended plants to cover the entirety of the 10-meter-tall and 20-meter-wide building facade from ground to roof. “The flowered wall uses the different varieties in their colour and material condition to create a pattern, a sort of actual floral graphism, in three dimensions: olfactory, material and in constant transformation depending on light and humidity conditions,” writes Piuarch. Related: ‘Kinetic’ rooftop garden uses pallets and plants to create the illusion of movement To extend the lifespan of the cut flowers, the designers grafted the plants onto potato plants using an ancient technique. The potato plants provide a structural basis and nutrients to the flowers. The fragrance of the flowers and aromatic herbs are enhanced with natural outdoor perfumes produced by Adar. Flowerprint is on display from April 4 to April 9, 2017. + Piuarch

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Thousands of grafted flowers grow on the entire face of this Milan building

Sun Commune pavilion teaches urban kids about sustainable farming in China

April 4, 2017 by  
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For a country like China , where one-fifth of the farmland is contaminated, raising awareness about sustainable farming is more important than ever. That’s why design studio Superimpose teamed up with the local farming community in rural Hangzhou’s Tai Yang Valley to build an educational pavilion about organic food production. Created for the local initiative Sun Commune, the ring-shaped MICR-O pavilion serves as an educational platform to teach children from Hangzhou and Shanghai about nature and sustainable practices. Elevated on stilts and located between rice fields and bamboo forests, the MICR-O pavilion was built with a repetitive structural A-frame made of locally reclaimed pine. The low-cost yet elegant pavilion sits lightly on the land and is wrapped in white canvas, giving it a modern and simple appearance. The circular structure wraps around an open-air deck, accessible via three access points and used for group activities and events. Related: Smog-filled Beijing is building a ‘green necklace’ around the city to curb pollution Throughout the year, children from Hangzhou and Shanghai are invited to camp at MICR-O and learn about sustainable farming. Camp attendees can sleep overnight at the pavilion on mats laid overtop the pine floor. The architects write: “The structural A frame, a ninety-degree angled triangle, gives the design an externally pure shape, while internally the patio opens towards the sky and surroundings.” + Superimpose Via ArchDaily Images by Marc Goodwin

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Beautiful sea-facing home uses height to overcome site restrictions

March 29, 2017 by  
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This beautiful Russian home stands out from its neighbors with an unusually steep inclined roof that’s constructed for more than just its looks. Architectural bureau Chvoya designed House in Pribylovo, a contemporary home commissioned by a family who sought views of the Vyborg gulf. Since local regulations restricted construction to a small area in the back of the plot, the architects overcame the restriction by creating a compact, three-story house with a large window near the apex that overlooks the water. Located in Pribylovo village, the modern home retains a rustic vibe with its unpainted timber facade and steeply pitched roof. While the house shares visual similarities with its neighbors, the dwelling is slightly taller than the surrounding buildings and has a distinctly clean and contemporary appearance. Raw pine planks clad the facade and are complemented with black metal used for the folded roof and on the folding screens on the ground floor. Related: Family renovates century-old barn into stunning modern home in Washington state Windows and skylights punctuate all sides of the home to let in daylight however, the greatest concentration of glass is on the north sea-facing facade. A row of full-height glass doors equipped with wooden folding screens run along the ground floor; a small opening offers views for the master bedroom on the second floor; and a large studio window on the third floor provides the best gulf views. The ground floor houses the communal areas, while the second floor contains the four bedrooms and a studio takes over the third and smallest floor. The timber-clad interior features a restrained color palette and IKEA furnishing for a cozy cabin vibe with a contemporary feel. + Chvoya Via ArchDaily

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Beautiful sea-facing home uses height to overcome site restrictions

Beautiful cabin pops up in ten days with minimal landscape disturbance

February 20, 2017 by  
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BIO Architects recently completed a modern modular cabin, proving yet again how beautiful homes can be affordable with the help of prefabrication . Commissioned by a young couple that desired a cost-effective home on the lake, the prefabricated cabin is the latest iteration in the Russian firm’s line of modular Dubldom homes. The dwelling, located at Pirogovo Lake in the suburbs of Moscow, was installed in roughly ten days with minimal site impact. The lakeside cabin, named DublDom 2.110, is the client’s second Dubldom commission following BIO Architects’ completion of a compact 40-square-meter Dubldom house in 2015. Since none of the firm’s standard prefabricated models were suitable for the site, the architects created a custom design that still retained the Dubldom’s iconic gabled shape and full-height glazing . To keep costs at a minimum, the new 185-square-meter build was constructed with natural and affordable materials that help blend the home into the forested environment. “Most of the individual decisions are based on a simple technology and inexpensive materials, so we managed to follow one of the basic principles of DublDom company—quality of architecture at an affordable pricing,” wrote BIO Architects. “The front facade with the maximum number of glazing was dictated by location of the house on the site. All the technical and utility rooms are located along the rear facade, and the children’s room, office, main entrance and the living room with fireplace look at the site with a wonderful view on the water.” Related: Affordable DublDom prefab home pops up in just one week The modules were prefabricated in Kazan and were delivered with the interior trim, utilities, furniture, and electrical equipment pre-installed. Installation on-site took roughly ten days to complete. + BIO Architects

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Cleverly designed bed makes this tiny home feel bigger than its 35-square-meter footprint

January 3, 2017 by  
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Thirty-five square meters (376 square feet) is a very small amount of space to call home, especially if you’re sharing with another person. But Studio Bazi founder and architect Alireza Nemati manages to make it work in style with his self-designed micro-apartment in Moscow. The tiny apartment, which he shares with his wife, makes the most of its small footprint with a few clever space-saving tricks and custom furnishings, including a smartly designed bedroom. Central to Nemati’s design was the need for an open-plan space that maximized natural light but still preserved privacy for the sleeping areas. The key to his successful design lay with his custom wooden sleeping box stacked above storage space located next to the entrance. This use of a level change effectively separates the sleeping quarters from the living areas without the need for a separate room and door, while providing much-needed storage space underneath. The box is clad in stained pine sheets to visually define the structure and to add warmth to the interior. Related: Bookshelf House fits hundreds of books into multifunctional furnishings “The wooden sleep box with storage system provides a level of privacy separating the sleeping quarters in a raised corner of the apartment, from the kitchen and living area on the other side,” writes the architect. “There is a good view of whole flat and to the windows from inside of the sleep box which makes it very cozy place.” The stairs that lead up to the bed hide three large sliding shelves for storing large household appliances. The custom-built furniture also includes a dresser, drawer, and wardrobe. The storage spaces atop the wardrobe connect to the sleep box and create an extra cubby for the architect and his wife to use. A small set of white curtains provides privacy for the sleeping box while a larger set of brown curtains next to the sleeping box cordon off the entrance, wardrobe area, and door to the bathroom from the rest of the open-plan living space. Large windows fill the tiny apartment with natural light and a door opens up to a small outdoor patio. The open-plan space includes a kitchen, dining area, and living area with moveable and transformable furniture that can adapt to Nemati and his wife’s different needs. + Studio Bazi Via ArchDaily Images via Studio Bazi

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Cleverly designed bed makes this tiny home feel bigger than its 35-square-meter footprint

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