This amazing tiny solar-powered cabin can be used as a retreat on land or on water

November 1, 2019 by  
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Many tiny home designers are guided by the principles of flexibility when it comes to being mobile, but rarely have we seen a tiny home creation that can be enjoyed on land and on water. Designed and built by our new hero, Scott Cronk , the Heidi-Ho, is a beautiful solar-powered tiny cabin built on a 30-foot pontoon. According to Scott, the ingenious floating home creation was inspired by his need to explore the world on his own terms, “After wildfires in the Fall of 2017, I sold my home in Santa Rosa, Northern California, and moved to the Palm Springs area, Southern California,” he explained. “This houseboat is a way for me to spend my summers visiting friends in Northern California.” Related: The Tiny Sweet Pea is the First Houseboat to be Certified by Build Green The Heidi-Ho houseboat was built on a 30-foot long pontoon boat that can be pulled by a trailer. In fact, one of the driving forces behind the flexibility of the tiny home design was that it was an acceptable size for legal road transport. Accordingly, the deck is capable of being reduced to just 8.5 feet wide. In addition to being road ready, the entire cabin can also be removed from the boat deck to be used as a camping trailer. And although this may have been considered limiting to some, Scott took on the challenge head on and created a spectacular living space. Although compact, the tiny cabin boasts a comfy living and sleeping area, complete with all of the basics. The interior is light and airy, with wood-paneled walls and plenty of natural light . The interior living space is made up of custom-made bench seating, a removable dining table and a galley kitchen. All in all, the compact cabin can sleep three. The main sleeping area is created by transforming the dining table into a double bed. Then, a bunk bed drops down from the ceiling for additional sleeping space. The kitchen has everything needed to create tasty meals, including a three-burner stove top and oven and a refrigerator. Additionally, there is plenty of storage for kitchenware as well as clothing and equipment found throughout the tiny home. Adding space to the design, the cabin features dual rear doors that can be fully opened. The doors lead out to the pontoon platform , creating a nice open-air space with boat seats to enjoy. To make his home on water eco-friendly, the boat runs on solar power generated by a 175W solar panel. Additionally, the boat’s bathroom features a composting toilet. + Scott Cronk Via Curbed Photography by Granite Peak Photography

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This amazing tiny solar-powered cabin can be used as a retreat on land or on water

Designers made this pavilion out of upcycled paper waste

October 14, 2019 by  
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Originally created for the Copenhagen Art Fair to showcase a new sustainable method of design, the Paper Pavilion is made out of upcycled paper collected from the city itself. The art fair, in its fifth season, had a specific focus on pavilion designs that spotlighted sustainable construction , urbanization and recycling.  The pavilion was created by Denmark-based Japanese architects, PAN- PROJECTS. The architects wanted to combine sustainability with the appropriate amount of durability for their Paper Pavilion design, making sure to sacrifice the longevity of the structure whenever possible for the utilization of the materials that would only withstand through the duration of the three-day event. With this methodology in mind, PAN- PROJECTS decided to use paper as their primary building material due to its strength and recyclability . Additionally, the use of paper adds a certain aspect of uniqueness that sets the Paper Pavilion apart from similar projects at the Copenhagen Art Fair. Related: Mud and recycled materials make up this sustainable Kerala home The designers also took inspiration from the shape of a bagworm moth for the pavilion, taking into account especially the insect’s nesting habits of collecting local materials into a particular shape. The concept will hopefully encourage spectators to find a connection between the natural shape of the moth-inspired design to the urban environment that surrounds it. Moreover, the papers that helped create the paper pavilion were collected from around the city, so the connection between the city’s inhabitants to the artistic structure should provide additional insight. Following the Copenhagen Art Fair, the piece was relocated permanently to the entrance hall inside the Kunsthal Charlottenborg Museum in Copenhagen with slight redesign to fit the new location. The paper used in the piece can be recycled again after the structure comes down, as well. + Pan- Projects Via Archdaily Images via Pan- Projects

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Designers made this pavilion out of upcycled paper waste

Stunning boho-style tiny house comes with open-air bar

October 4, 2019 by  
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Byron Bay-based tiny home builders, Little Byron , have unveiled a gorgeous tiny home design that not only has an ingenious living and sleeping area, but also includes an open air bar area. The Banjo tiny home is just 23 feet long and 8 feet wide, but its breathtaking, space-efficient design makes it seems so much bigger. The stunning time home on wheels was built for one of Little Bryon’s clients who was looking to have a guest home on their property for visitors, but ultimately had plans to move into the beautiful space down the road when her children left the nest. Related: This gorgeous tiny home features a greenhouse and wooden pergola The tiny home is a beautiful design that pays homage to typical tiny home practicality, namely natural light. The home is built with an abundance of windows that really open up the space, creating a vibrant, healthy interior space. Not only are there large operable windows in just about every corner of the home, including the bedrooms and bathroom, but there is a massive window in the middle of the living space that opens outward. Definitely at the heart of the home, the farmhouse-style kitchen is where the design really shines. With plenty of storage space in the form of open shelving under and above the counterspace, the kitchen is both functional and beautiful. On the other side of the kitchen is the dining area. Instead of the typical window ledge, a small table top was installed to create a dining or work area. The large window swings open horizontally to provide a wide open space that not only brings in more natural light and air, but really connects the interior to the exterior. The rest of the home and its interior design is equally as sophisticated. White walls and wooden flooring and trim give the home a fresh, modern vibe. A double height ceiling also opens the interior space, while providing room for a sleeping loft on one side of the home, accessible by ladder. The living space is a space-efficient design that sees the living room pulling double duty as a comfy lounge and bedroom. The very unique bunk-bed design sees the living room, with a small sofa, suspended off the ground floor on a wooden platform. Below the space is the master bedroom, which has enough space for a queen-sized bed. + Little Byron Via Tiny House Talk Images via Little Byron

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Stunning boho-style tiny house comes with open-air bar

Spectacular installation in London turns scaffolding planks into sculpture

October 4, 2019 by  
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In the most ambitious of British Land’s Landmark installations to date, internationally renowned British designer Paul Cocksedge has transformed more than a thousand scaffolding planks into a large-scale structure with undulating curves. Named Please Be Seated, the installation provides Broadgate, London’s largest pedestrianized neighborhood, with a beautiful piece of art that doubles as seating. The art piece was created in collaboration with Essex-based, high-end interiors company White & White as part of the 2019 London Design Festival. Located at Finsbury Avenue Square, the Please Be Seated landmark project is a physical representation of the community’s changing rhythms. The curvaceous, wooden structure spans 15.5 meters across, while its curves reach a peak height of 3.4 meters, high enough for people to walk under and comfortably rest against when sitting or lounging. The installation was constructed from 1,151 reused scaffolding planks bent into three ribbon-like concentric circles. Related: Artist suspends a giant cube filled with images of ocean plastic inside a London museum “Every single aspect of the installation is tailored to its environment as well as the function it serves,” Cocksedge said in a press statement. “The curves raise up to create backrests and places to sit, as well as space for people to walk under or pause and find some shade. It walks the line between a craft object and a design solution. It occupies the square without blocking it.” Supported by Broadgate and British Land, Please Be Seated was presented to the public on September 14, 2019 in parallel to the London Design Festival . An exhibition of Cocksedge’s work that was displayed at Broadgate’s The Space | 3FA also showed the process behind creating Please Be Seated. The installation will remain in place until October 11, 2019. + Paul Cocksedge Photography by Mark Cocksedge via Paul Cocksedge

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Spectacular installation in London turns scaffolding planks into sculpture

Get away from the urban chaos in one of these 8 amazing eco-friendly treehouses

September 24, 2019 by  
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Imagine just for a moment waking up to the chirpy birdcall and the crisp sounds of rustling leaves coming from the surrounding tree canopy.  The rest of your day can be spent exploring the deepest part of the Costa Rican rainforest or strolling along pristine coastal waters. You might just want to sleep in and enjoy a mid-morning yoga class, too. Although all of this may seem too good to be true, it’s not. This is life within the rainforest sanctuary known as the Finca Bellavista community. Located in the southern region of Costa Rica, this idyllic sustainable community offers ecotourists their choice of eight amazing eco-friendly treehouse retreats. Casa Tamandua Entrenched in lush vegetation, the three-level Casa Tamandua offers family-style lodging high up in the tree canopy. The solar-powered treehouse has two bedrooms plus a cool sleeping loft. The main living area offers ample space to enjoy the great outdoors, but for those looking to really immerse themselves in nature, the place to be is swinging on the dual hammocks hanging on the spacious decks. Related: 9 treehouses you can actually rent for an off-the-ground getaway Fila Tortuga For those looking for a serene off-grid respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Fila Tortuga is calling your name. The one bedroom treehouse sits high up in the canopy, surrounded by vegetation. Although it has no electricity, it comes with all of the basics, including a well-equipped kitchenette. There is plenty of indoor living space, but at the heart of the treehouse is the large balcony with plenty of room to watch the amazing wildlife. Cabina Colibri Get back to the basics with this lovely studio treehouse that offers the glorious delight of off-grid simplicity. The Cabina Colibri offers a quiet treehouse stay, complete with a furnished balcony with outdoor dining space to enjoy the daily sightings of the wildlife among the rusting of the tree leaves. El Castillo Mastate El Castillo Mastate stays true to its name by offering guests a castle in the sky. Reached by a fun plankway, the two-story treehouse is another great family-oriented retreat. The treehouse features three bedrooms with Queen-sized beds, two bathrooms, plus a fully-equipped kitchen and large dining table that seats up to eight people. Although, the large open-air deck is the perfect place for dining al fresco while listening to the birds and other wildlife. Solar-powered electricity provides enough charge for lights, refrigeration, phones, etc. Casa Estrella With its robust all-wood interior, including exposed wooden beams, this two bedroom, 1.5 bathroom treehouse is like a tiny wooden cabin in the sky. Along with a spacious living and dining area, the solar-powered treehouse comes with furnished balconies and canopy views that offers the best in wildlife viewing. As the closest treehouse to basecamp, Casa Estrella is especially suited for those who are looking for a getaway, but not one that’s not so far from civilization. Casa de Tigre This studio-style treehouse offers a beautiful stay for anyone wanting to explore the Costa Rican jungle. Tucked into the vegetation, this cabin sits high off the ground, but is accessible via a small ramp. It even has its own trail leading to an adjacent river. With a large-open air balcony and screen-in windows on every wall, it’s perfect for getting in tune with the surrounding nature. Casa de Leon This three-level treehouse is a perfect location for anyone wanting to truly go off-grid with a large group. Casa de Leon sleeps ten, spread out between two bedrooms and a loft. And although there is no electricity in the off-grid treehouse, there is a well-equipped kitchenette with everything needed to whip up tasty meals. La Torreluna Reached by a stairway leading up from the landscape, La Torreluna treehouse is a perfect escape for a small family. The treehouse offers one queen bed and two twin beds, along with a bathroom. Although there is no electricity, families can spend their time bonding as they hike through the large network of hiking trails that lead to some seriously breathtaking views. Along with a vast choice of amazing eco-friendly treehouses to choose from, Finca Bellavista offers an incredible chance to explore the Costa Rican jungle. In addition to wildlife viewing, hiking, mountain biking, etc., the community offers complimentary daily yoga classes with reservations secured. Fresh organic produce is grown on site at their expansive gardens. Guests can also enjoy spending time at the camp’s community center which provides internet service, happy hour gatherings, games, etc. + Finca Bellavista Images via Finca Bellavista

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Get away from the urban chaos in one of these 8 amazing eco-friendly treehouses

For 2019, the 10 worst cities for air quality are in California and Arizona

September 24, 2019 by  
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Since the enactment of the Clean Air Act in 1970, there has been growing awareness for the importance of good air quality in American cities. Air quality plays a significant role with health and sustainable living. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recognizes this, which is why for the 2019 American Fitness Index rankings, the ACSM added air quality as an environmental indicator of a city’s health. According to its findings, these are the 10 cities in the U.S. with the worst air quality. The annual Fitness Index assesses 100 of the United States’ largest metropolitan areas. The cities are evaluated, then ranked from the highest score to the lowest score. The index is a helpful tool to compare the air quality of these 100 cities. It does so by considering the healthy behaviors of a city’s residents, the population of residents with chronic diseases as well as the community’s infrastructure. In turn, the rankings provide insight on air quality safety that can helpfully instruct a city’s policy makers, infrastructure management and governmental direction. Related: Almost all U.S. national parks have polluted air According to the 2019 Fitness Index, these are the 10 worst metropolitan areas with bad air quality, or air pollution . They each have unhealthy levels of either ozone or particle pollution: Long Beach, California Los Angeles, California Gilbert, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona Scottsdale, Arizona Chandler, Arizona Mesa, Arizona Glendale, Arizona Riverside, California Bakersfield, California What determines air quality? Geography and weather are the natural agents influencing air quality. But man-made elements — including vehicular use plus industrial emissions — especially affect air quality. In fact, two of the most common pollutants are ozone and particles, like soot from wildfires. Exposure to pollutants and airborne toxins predisposes a given area or region’s population to ailments. These include cardiovascular harm (heart disease and stroke), shortness of breath, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, wheezing, coughing, susceptibility to infections, even allergies — all of which can be influenced and impacted by air pollution. Annual rankings indicate a consistent monitoring of air quality, which is a positive takeaway. This type of monitoring can inform agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ), so that key safeguards and their enforcement can be put in place. + American Fitness Index Image via Florian Lehmuth

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For 2019, the 10 worst cities for air quality are in California and Arizona

Olson Kundig unveils stunning net-zero family home in California

September 24, 2019 by  
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Prolific Seattle-based firm Olson Kundig has just unveiled a magnificent home that manages to combine the best of sustainability and luxury. Tucked into 3.4 acres of land in Woodside, California, the California Meadow House is a family estate that boasts a mind-blowingly sustainable extravagant design that includes three guest cottages, private vineyards and a massive swimming pool. However, the home’s luxurious amenities play second fiddle to the home’s high-performance profile, which enable the home to be completely net-zero energy . The California Meadow Home was definitely a design created to be seen. With a sense of non-chalant elegance, the home is definitely an example of luxurious home design. However, it’s not all about aesthetics in this project as the beautiful home is a net-zero energy design. Related: Olson Kundig breathes new life into former RV campground with low-impact huts on wheels The beautiful complex, which includes a main home for a family of five, as well as three separate guest homes, sits on an idyllic landscape of open land with views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Leading up to the main home, guests are greeted with a private driveway lined with hundreds of preserved old-growth olive trees. The overall theme of the unique home design is outdoor living. Throughout the space, large glazed walls and expansive outdoor areas create a seamless connection between the interior of the home and the exterior. The home was built for socializing with plenty of space for entertaining large groups of people in the outdoor dining area in the vineyard, or simply enjoying time with family and close friends around the infinity pool. The home’s layout was centered around connecting the interior spaces with the outdoors. The family’s main living area, for example, features an all-glass wall that opens up completely, leading out to the incredible landscape and expansive outdoor seating area. For private functions, a dining pavilion was built with retracting window walls that lower completely into the ground to open the space to the surrounding nature. However, behind these ultra-elegance spaces, the home design conceals a high-tech sustainability profile, comprised of both passive and active energy-efficient features. Designed to generate more energy than it uses, the buildings run on several high performance systems including a large solar array that covers over half of the roof. Geothermal and hydronic heating and cooling systems were installed as well. The home’s long, narrow structure was specifically designed to allow for cross-ventilation which reduces the need for air conditioning. Also, the home’s abundance of large windows and glazed walls allow for optimal natural light to flow throughout the interior. The home design also features flat roof sections that not only minimize heat gain, but were also installed with a rainwater collection system that irrigated the native species planted around the home. + Olson Kundig Images via Olson Kundig

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An abandoned market becomes a light-filled homeless shelter in London

September 20, 2019 by  
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We love it when old buildings can be put to good use, but it especially warms our hearts when architects use adaptive reuse to convert empty structures into spaces specially designed to help those in need. London-based firm Holland Harvey Architects has recently done just that by converting a derelict supermarket into a stunning, light-filled homeless shelter with an attached cafe. Launched in 2017, Shelter From The Storm is a charitable organization that aims to house and support people who are homeless in London . The organization approached Holland Harvey Architects for help converting an abandoned supermarket into a shelter. Working together, the charity and the architects envisioned a welcoming, temporary home that also offers holistic support to reintegrate the residents into society. As such, the design revolved around creating a purpose-built space to meet the distinct needs of an urban homeless shelter . Related: A decaying shop in Cambodia gains a new life through adaptive reuse principles The design features two parts: the shelter and a cafe. The cafe features a large, glazed entrance that leads to a well-lit interior with plenty of seating. To create the dual spaces, the designers were determined to use adaptive reuse to cut down on costs and completion time. The existing building featured brick predominantly throughout the interior as well as the exterior, which was kept intact during the renovation. For a unique touch, the team painted the brick walls various, subdued colors. The private areas of the homeless shelter feature three dorms (two for males and one for females) with 42 beds. Each person has their own bed and lockable wardrobe. In addition to required amenities such as showers and bathrooms, the building also includes meeting space, a counseling room, a clothing store and a lounge area. Behind the scenes, volunteers and residents work in the shelter ‘s commercial kitchen to prepare food for breakfasts and dinners. In addition to providing a safe place to stay and freshly cooked meals, they also offer language classes and other resources to help residents get back on their feet. Shelter from the Storm admits guests to the dorms in the evening only, but during the day, the cafe is open to the local community. Adding this public space to the project enables the locals to feel connected to the organization and those that are in need. + Holland Harvey Architects + Shelter from the Storm Via Dezeen Photography by Nicholas Worley via Holland Harvey Architects

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An abandoned market becomes a light-filled homeless shelter in London

Kengo Kuma unveils bold timber museum in Turkey that pays homage to the region’s Ottoman heritage

September 17, 2019 by  
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The world-renowned architects of Kengo Kuma and Associates have just unveiled a stunning museum in Turkey. Located in Eskisehir, the Odunpazari Modern Museum features several stacked timber boxes that seemingly rise out of the ground at various angles, paying homage to the city’s Ottoman heritage. Featuring a design led by Kengo Kuma partner Yuki Ikeguchi, the new 48,400-square-foot museum is a light-filled, multilevel space that holds a collection of 1,000 pieces of contemporary art . Although the artworks inside the museum are decidedly modern, the building’s design was heavily influenced by the city’s history. Related: Kengo Kuma suspends a cocoon-like timber dwelling for minimal site impact According to Kengo Kuma and Associates , the timber and stacked volumes of the Odunpazari Modern Museum were implemented into the design to reconnect the area with its heritage. For example, the word “Odunpazari” means “wood market” in Turkish. Using bold, square-edged timber logs as the building’s principle construction material pays homage to the region’s long history of wood trading. In addition to its timber materials , which feature strongly on the exterior and throughout the interior, the museum’s volume is also a nod to the city’s Ottoman history. Most of the homes in the city that date back to the Ottoman empire were built with an upper level cantilevering over a base. Using this design as inspiration, the museum features several stacked boxes that cantilever out over the ground floor base at various angles. Inside the museum, these interlocked boxes create distinct spaces of varying sizes. The larger exhibition rooms on the bottom floor house large-scale art works and installations, while the smaller boxes at the upper levels exhibit smaller artworks. A reception area and atrium are found in the middle of the museum. Clad in timber slats, a massive, central skylight leads up through the floors, welcoming natural light into the interiors of each level. + Kengo Kuma + Odunpazari Modern Museum Images via Kengo Kuma and Associates

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Kengo Kuma unveils bold timber museum in Turkey that pays homage to the region’s Ottoman heritage

Artist converts old city bus into public swimming pool

September 12, 2019 by  
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As the the last vestiges of summer are upon us, the residents of one French region can still squeeze out a little summer fun thanks to French artist Benedetto Bufalino . The artist, who is known for converting old automobiles into fun and functional objects, has recently presented the northern French region of Artois with a new public swimming pool , converted out of an old bus. Accommodating up to ten swimmers at a time, The Bus Pool offers locals a respite from late summer heat. The installation is part of a local program, “operation odyssey”, which hosts various events throughout the summer to attract visitors to the area of the Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin, an UNESCO World Heritage site . The pool was unveiled in late August and will be installed in three local towns until it finds a permanent home. Related: This 18th-century London townhouse hides a swimming pool under a glass floor Adding to his portfolio of transforming discarded vehicles into something fun and useful, the artist salvaged an old Tadeo model bus from the local transport graveyard. Once he completely gutted the interior seats and flooring, the next step was removing an entire side panel. Tipping it over onto its side, he then retrofitted the interior body of the bus with a custom shell so that it would be able to hold water. The finished product is a colorful swimming pool that measures almost 30 feet long and almost 8 feet wide. The pool holds up to 10 swimmers at a time and even boats a lifeguard station at one end. Water temps are kept at around 82 degrees at the swimming pool . The Bus Pool is the latest addition to Bufalino’s long portfolio of public art installations. In 2016, the French artist turned an old cement truck into a giant disco ball . + Benedetto Bufalino Via Designboom Drone photography by Romain Hayem

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