Beautiful Wellington Welcome Pavilion glows like a lantern at night

August 7, 2018 by  
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Calgary-based architecture firm Studio North led a team of architecture students from the University of Toronto Daniels School of Architecture in a design build seminar to realize a stunning new Welcome Pavilion for the village of Wellington, Ontario. Erected in just two weeks, the compact 100-square-foot structure is both sculptural and functional, featuring geometric CNC-milled cutouts inspired by barn quilts, a local craft and tradition unique to that area. The Welcome Pavilion offers shelter, seating and shelving for maps, pamphlets and information about Wellington and Prince Edward County. Sessional Professors Mark Erickson and Matthew Kennedy of Studio North led—with the help of teaching assistant Allison Home-Douglas—a team of fifteen undergraduate architecture students through the design-build process. The design was developed in collaboration with the local community, who taught the team about the village’s traditional culture and crafts. “The design is inspired by barn quilts; a local craft and tradition unique to the county,” explains Studio North in a project statement. “These quilts have colourful geometric patterns that express the character and quality of the place, akin to family crests that distinguish one building from the next. We used the geometric language of these quilt patterns as inspiration for the CNC milled plywood screens that wrap the entire building. These screens paint the middle dividing wall with intricate shadows that transform throughout the day and the season.” Related: Architecture students build a tiny CLT classroom in just 3 weeks The 100-square-foot Welcome Pavilion was built primarily of CNC-milled plywood and semi-translucent polycarbonate , which allows diffused sunlight to pass through. The interior is split into two parts: one half that serves as a covered outdoor public space with benches and a town map; the other half houses the promotional materials. The backside of the plywood screen in the interior was painted with bright colors that, when illuminated by sunlight, fill the space with colorful light. + Studio North Images via Studio North

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Beautiful Wellington Welcome Pavilion glows like a lantern at night

Breezy Ecuadorian brick home on stilts embraces cool tropical winds

August 7, 2018 by  
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Ecuadorian architecture firm Natura Futura Arquitectura has completed the Stilts House, an elevated brick home that opens up to the outdoors with a perforated facade. Located in General Villamil, a coastal canton of the province of Guayas, the Stilts House celebrates the UNESCO-recognized region’s superb climate and culture of great craftsmanship through its site-specific design. Built of local natural materials and concrete, the home spans 1,722 square feet across two floors. Named after its system of teak pillars, the Stilts House includes three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchenette, dining area, an enclosed outdoor courtyard , hammock space and two living areas, one on each floor. The main living spaces of the brick home, including the hammock area, are placed on the first floor, and the secondary living area and the bedrooms are located above. To tie the residence into its surroundings, the architects used locally sourced materials including traditional baked bricks laid in a pattern that allows ventilation; no glass was used. Related: This weekend home in Mexico blends in with the forest landscape “On the ground floor, and integrated with the outside and their day-to-day activities, there is a social area that closes in on itself, and opens toward the interior of the house as a rest area with hammocks ,” said Natura Futura Arquitectura in its project statement. “This will generate micro-climates, through the material and its new features.” Timber shutters and sliding doors provide additional privacy and can be easily opened up to connect the interior with the outdoors. + Natura Futura Arquitectura Images via JAG Studio

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Breezy Ecuadorian brick home on stilts embraces cool tropical winds

The net-zero Lightbox 23 boasts sustainable features and stunning views

August 7, 2018 by  
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Portland residents in search of an energy-efficient home need look no further than Lightbox 23, the new net-zero project from Lightbox Portland and Steelhead Architecture . A speculative development project in northeast Portland, Lightbox 23 has two units and numerous sustainable features, including super-insulated walls, high-performance ventilation systems, and two 10-kW solar arrays. But sustainablity isn’t the project’s only draw – it also boasts beautiful design and stunning views of Mt. St. Helens’ and Mt. Adams’ snow-capped peaks. A set of floating stairs, which provides access from each floor to the half-levels above and below, serves as the duplex’s backbone. A deck on the building’s north side can be accessed from the exterior. From this deck, residents can enjoy the open air and, on a clear day, the distant peaks of the two mountains. Related: Net-zero Acacia Avenue House saves up to 90% of heating and cooling costs While the solar array on top of the building provides the building with its energy, part of making the project net-zero included finding ways to reduce the energy load overall. To tackle this problem, Steelhead Architecture turned to affordable super-insulation. Each unit has two-by-eight walls filled with blown-in cellulose, along with two inches of rigid insulation affixed to the exterior of the plywood. The concrete slabs have 3 more inches of rigid insulation. The roof construction has a similar mix of insulation, which eliminates the need for any vents. The home’s mechanical system further supports the unit’s net-zero goals. All-electric ducted heat pumps, which are much more efficient than gas systems, provide heat for the apartments. Furthermore, nothing on the project uses gas at all. A heat recovery ventilator with its own ducts effectively controls air exchanges with zero energy loss. To ensure a low heat/cooling loss, the architects sought out leaks and used repetitive joint sealing, further reducing the project’s energy use. Lightbox 23 is an exploratory project of Lightbox Portland, which is devoted to high performance, high-density modern progress. There are three additional Lightbox Portland/Steelhead Architecture projects presently underway. + Steelhead Architecture Images via Josh Partee Photography

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The net-zero Lightbox 23 boasts sustainable features and stunning views

Built on a budget, this elegant Dock Building glows like a lantern in Vancouver

June 20, 2018 by  
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Tight budgets typically pose one of the biggest challenges in design projects. But as Michael Green, CEO and President of Michael Green Architecture , shows in his firm’s recently completed Dock Building, beautiful architecture is “always possible regardless of budget.” Built for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, the building melds modern and industrial influences in a sleek and sculptural volume that appears to glow like a lantern at night. Located on Jericho Beach in Vancouver , British Columbia, the Dock Building for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club serves a large marine of sailboats. The facility consists of offices for the Harbor Master; educational spaces for children; a variety of workshops for maintaining boats, sails and gear; as well as bathrooms and showers. The modern yet simple design is made up of two intersecting wedge-shaped volumes created in reference to the cannery and the industrial waterfront building that once defined the site. “The design team at MGA aimed to demonstrate that all projects, from working industrial buildings to boutique museums , can and should be realized with grace and architectural dignity. Throughout, the details are modest and practical to work with the limited project budget,” said the Vancouver-based architecture firm in a project statement, adding that nearly half of the budget went to the foundation and piles. “The Dock Building exemplifies what a creative team, an ambitious client and a big vision can produce.” Related: Aperture-like windows maximize shading in this stunning Vancouver residence The Dock Building’s lantern-like effect can be enjoyed from the land and the sea. A glulam and translucent polycarbonate wall was installed on the side facing the land. The translucent facade glows at night and lets natural light into the workshop spaces during the day. On the side facing the sea and the marina are a row of garage doors and a glazed office frontage. The structure was built from glulam posts and beams with light timber infill decking and walls. White standing seam panels clad the exterior to mimic the color of nearby boats. The interior is predominately finished in construction-grade plywood. + Michael Green Architecture Images by Ema Peter

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Built on a budget, this elegant Dock Building glows like a lantern in Vancouver

Built on a budget, this elegant Dock Building glows like a lantern in Vancouver

June 20, 2018 by  
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Tight budgets typically pose one of the biggest challenges in design projects. But as Michael Green, CEO and President of Michael Green Architecture , shows in his firm’s recently completed Dock Building, beautiful architecture is “always possible regardless of budget.” Built for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, the building melds modern and industrial influences in a sleek and sculptural volume that appears to glow like a lantern at night. Located on Jericho Beach in Vancouver , British Columbia, the Dock Building for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club serves a large marine of sailboats. The facility consists of offices for the Harbor Master; educational spaces for children; a variety of workshops for maintaining boats, sails and gear; as well as bathrooms and showers. The modern yet simple design is made up of two intersecting wedge-shaped volumes created in reference to the cannery and the industrial waterfront building that once defined the site. “The design team at MGA aimed to demonstrate that all projects, from working industrial buildings to boutique museums , can and should be realized with grace and architectural dignity. Throughout, the details are modest and practical to work with the limited project budget,” said the Vancouver-based architecture firm in a project statement, adding that nearly half of the budget went to the foundation and piles. “The Dock Building exemplifies what a creative team, an ambitious client and a big vision can produce.” Related: Aperture-like windows maximize shading in this stunning Vancouver residence The Dock Building’s lantern-like effect can be enjoyed from the land and the sea. A glulam and translucent polycarbonate wall was installed on the side facing the land. The translucent facade glows at night and lets natural light into the workshop spaces during the day. On the side facing the sea and the marina are a row of garage doors and a glazed office frontage. The structure was built from glulam posts and beams with light timber infill decking and walls. White standing seam panels clad the exterior to mimic the color of nearby boats. The interior is predominately finished in construction-grade plywood. + Michael Green Architecture Images by Ema Peter

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Built on a budget, this elegant Dock Building glows like a lantern in Vancouver

Hairy micro-office teleports you to a world of calm

January 18, 2018 by  
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We’ve seen our fair share of unusual architecture , but this “hairy” building is a first. UK-based 2hD Architecture Workshop designed a surreal structure called “Mission Control” that’s entirely clad in brown bristles and appears to be mysteriously void of any doors or windows. Created as a micro-office and haven for concentration, the workspace located in a Nottingham garden is described by the architects as “an exercise in teleportation, designed to take us from the everyday hurly burly to another world, one of calm, quiet, and focus.” Built to replace a derelict glazed shed of the same size, Mission Control was constructed as a freestanding workspace extension of 2hD Architecture Workshop’s home office . Unlike the collaborative home office environment, Mission Control functions as an isolation chamber for uninterrupted concentration. The architects describe the short walk from the home office to the new micro-office—a distance of 13 feet—as an important “ceremonial commute” for leaving distractions behind and getting into the working mindset. “We built this custom-designed structure as the antithesis of a ‘contemplation space with landscape views and flowing inside-outside space’,” said the architects. “In contrast, we needed an almost monastic cell, removed from physical context and worldly distraction, where we could retreat to immerse ourselves in brain work.” Related: You can build one of these tiny backyard offices in less than a week for under $7000 Interlocking natural coco-fiber broom heads cover the outer facade of the 75-square-foot micro-office and create a visually seamless surface with a well-hidden door. The “hairy” exterior sheathes a pitched structure with a sloping roof made with polycarbonate and punctuated by an operable skylight to let in natural light and ventilation. Inside, whitewashed plywood clads the walls and ceilings that are wrapped with sheep’s wool insulation. Two back-to-back desks are placed beneath the low ceiling. + 2hD Architecture Workshop Images by Thibaut Devulder and Tom Hughes

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Luminous Bear Run Cabin offers dramatic views of the Cascade Mountains in Washington

December 8, 2017 by  
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The Bear Run Cabin in Marblemount, Washington, captures the dual nature of the surrounding landscape – the dramatic peaks of the Cascade Mountains and the gently sloping adjacent woodlot. The building, designed by David Coleman Architecture , is carved into the site, with two volumes standing in a yin-yang relationship. The cabin occupies a rain-drenched site in the rugged, northwestern foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Its western terrace is carved into the site, and it leads towards a soaking tub set behind a glass wall . The south-eastern porch and monumental stair, both covered by a soaring roof, rise above the site and offer shelter from the rain and summer sun. Related: Son builds modern dream cabin from recycled materials for his aging father The house is extremely flexible – in the summer the living space expands onto porches and terraces while retaining its efficiency and compactness in the winter. The 890-square-foot cabin accommodates a living room, a bath, and a sleeping loft clad in frameless glass, while the 1000-square-foot studio houses a music room, a workshop and a guest loft. Related: Affordable Polycarbonate Cabin is a light-filled vacation home in Chile The west wall is clad in a polycarbonate skin that illuminates the interior with a soft glow during the day. This same wall lights up in a dramatic display at night. The project won the GRAY Awards — the first regional awards program to celebrate design exclusively from Washington , Oregon and British Columbia. + David Coleman Architecture Photos by Ben Benschneider

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Luminous Bear Run Cabin offers dramatic views of the Cascade Mountains in Washington

Compact New Zealand home sets its sights on going off the grid

September 25, 2017 by  
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High on a hill above New Zealand’s idyllic Peka Peka beach sits an eco-friendly compact home that responds to the surrounding landscape. Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects designed the dwelling, named Peka Peka House I, as three boxy units perfectly positioned to maximize shelter as well as views of Kapiti Island, forestry, and farmland. In response to the client’s desires to eventually go off-grid, the home is equipped with photovoltaic panels, solar hot water panels, above-code insulation, and other energy-saving features. Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects separated the living, sleeping, and garage functions into three interconnected box-like volumes, each positioned in response to climate and views. Two of the boxes are clad in black-stained cedar ; one contains the living functions, while the other comprises bedrooms. The third box is clad in profiled polycarbonate and contains the garage and workshop. At night, the polycarbonate-clad volumes glows like a lantern. Timber decking surrounds the three volumes. Related: Dreamy cabin is a luxurious escape in the New Zealand bush The cedar-clad boxes are arranged to form a sheltered north-facing courtyard that provides views towards the sea and is protected from coastal winds. “As requested by our knowledgeable clients, the house promotes some eco values in the form of a combination of PV and solar hot water panels and above code insulation,” wrote the architects. “Their long-term ambition is to go off-grid. LED lighting throughout and exposed and insulated concrete slab as a heat store helps reduce power consumption. Natural ventilation picks up the consistent afternoon sea breezes.” + Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects Via ArchDaily Images by Jason Mann

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Mobile Smartdome homes pop up almost anywhere starting at 20k

May 31, 2017 by  
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Dome homes are durable, efficient, and—above all—fun to live in. Now you can get your hands on your very own mobile dome home with Slovenian firm smartdome construction . Available in a variety of styles, the Smartdome consists of prefabricated modules engineered for energy efficiency and designed for the enjoyment of nature lovers and DIY enthusiasts. Built on a set of adjustable steel legs, the elevated Smartdome sits lightly on the land with the option of placement in degraded and difficult terrain. Thanks to its modular design , the homes can be easily expanded, dismantled, and transported to new locations with little technical knowledge needed. The base Smartdome model measures 25 square meters with a starting cost of 19,900€. Related: These gorgeous glass homes can pop up in 8 hours for under $50k “The project is really something fresh and different […] for every nature lover,” said Željko Ho?evar of smartdome construction to Inhabitat. “It’s the first printed dodecahedron structure in the world.” The modules are constructed from galvanized steel and a laminated and moisture-resistant timber framework sealed with UV-resistant rubber gaskets. Buyers can choose between transparent modules with two or three-layer thermoformed polycarbonate or opaque versions filled with mineral wool or space-tech foil. All Smartdome homes are designed, engineered, and manufactured in Slovenia. + smartdome construction

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Mobile Smartdome homes pop up almost anywhere starting at 20k

Austin Maynard Architects restores a beach shack in their crusade against McMansions

February 6, 2017 by  
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Austin Maynard Architects is taking a stand against McMansions. Tired of seeing Australia’s handsome old shacks demolished to make way for less culturally interesting housing, the Australian architecture firm completed a beautiful renovation and addition to an old beach shack in the town of Lorne. The restored project, called the Dorman House, is a lovely celebration of the Australian beach shack vernacular with stunning ocean views and a modern and eco-friendly design. The Dorman House comprises two parts: the restoration of an old post-war beach shack that remains mostly unchanged, and the addition of a contemporary new extension. The clients, Kate and Grant, had asked Austin Maynard Architects to preserve the original shack and add an extension that would allow for clear and elevated ocean views without dominating or damaging the existing structure. Although the simplest solution would have been to bulldoze the existing shack and start anew, the architects and clients sought the more sustainable solution. “Modest, humble shacks are being replaced with incongruous and unnecessary McMansions ,” wrote the architects. “Increasingly we see a duplication of the suburban home where once stood the shack. Through this process we not only lose important parts of our built heritage, we also lose a significant part of our social and emotional diversity. We lose parts of ourselves. At Austin Maynard Architects we do our best to avoid the simple temptation of demolishing and replacing. Where extensions are required/desired, we aim to retain and respect the existing shack and its scale.” Related: Gorgeous solar-powered THAT House is an eco-friendly rebel “with just enough space” The new extension is an elevated timber box that sits atop the original shack and comprises an open-plan kitchen, dining, and living room accessed via a spiral staircase. The interior is lined with Silvertop Ash and opens up to gorgeous ocean views and breezes through full-height windows. Most of the glass faces north and all windows are double glazed with thermally separated frames, while solar shades are in place to minimize solar heat gain in summer. The exterior cladding will develop a gray patina over time. The structure directly below the timber box is clad in polycarbonate and is used as a light-filled bedroom. Recycled timber decking was used in the construction and locally sourced materials were also used wherever possible. + Austin Maynard Architects Images via Austin Maynard Architects

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Austin Maynard Architects restores a beach shack in their crusade against McMansions

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