BIGs dramatic hillside apartments officially open in Stockholm

November 9, 2018 by  
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Bjarke Ingels Group has announced the official opening of the long-awaited 79&Park, a residential development with a striking, stepped design. Located in Stockholm’s Gärdet district, the sculptural complex consists of 169 foliage-covered apartments constructed from prefabricated 3.6-meter by 3.6-meter modules that are arranged around an open courtyard. The cascading design was developed to optimize access to natural light as well as views toward the city and Gärdet’s parklands. Inaugurated on the same day as OMA’s Norra Tornen — another spectacular structure and the tallest new building in the city — 79&Park occupies a prominent location bordering the city park. To tie the building into the urban fabric and adjacent nature, Bjarke Ingels Group crafted the building in the image of a gently sloping hillside and clad the exterior in vertical strips of cedar. An abundance of greenery has been incorporated as well, from the modular rooftop terraces to the lush central courtyard. “79&Park is conceived as an inhabitable landscape of cascading residences that combine the splendors of a suburban home with the qualities of urban living: the homes have private outdoor gardens and penthouse views of the city and Gärdet,” said Bjarke Ingels, founding partner at BIG. “The communal intimacy of the central urban oasis offers peace and tranquility while also giving the residents a feeling of belonging in the larger community of 79&Park. Seen from a distance, 79&Park appears like a man-made hillside in the center of Stockholm .” Related: BIG completes low-income “Homes for All” project in Copenhagen In addition to the 169 apartment units — nearly all of them have a unique layout — the development also houses commercial spaces open to the public on the ground floor. Resident amenities include a doggy daycare and preschool. Like the exterior, the Scandinavian design-inspired interiors were dressed in a natural material palette including white oak floors and natural stone. Large windows blur the boundary between the indoors and out. + BIG Photography by Laurian Ghinitoiu via BIG

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BIGs dramatic hillside apartments officially open in Stockholm

Reclaimed materials and a massive green wall transports Denali shoppers to the great outdoors

November 9, 2018 by  
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Earlier this fall, Connecticut-based, multidisciplinary design practice Pirie Associates completed a biophilic store that evokes the image of a romantic, aging barn bursting with lush greenery. The newly opened Providence, Rhode Island store was created as the eighth brick-and-mortar location for the outdoor clothing and gear retail chain Denali . The store sits next to Brown University on Thayer Street and brings together a massive, low-maintenance vertical green wall with a predominately timber material palette to pull the outdoors in. Most of the materials were reclaimed in keeping with the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship. Sheathed within a brick-and-steel envelope that complements the surrounding urban fabric, the new Denali Providence store greets passersby with full-height glazing on the ground floor. Though the shop might seem like the average brick-and-mortar building from the outside, shoppers are treated to a visual surprise in the woodland-inspired interior with a double-height space filled with 20 birch tree poles — with the bark intact — as well as a large vertical green wall filled with New England plants and overhead skylights that provide natural light. The design aims “to transport customers to a new state of mind with a biophilic interior ‘kit-of-parts’ [that Pirie Associates has] now used in several locations,” the firm said in a press release. To lure people upstairs, two 32-foot-tall birch tree poles were strategically positioned through the U-shaped stairwell and stretch upward from the ground floor to the ceiling of the second level. Related: Nearly 10,000 plants grow on NYC’s largest public indoor green wall Apart from the paint, electrical equipment and HVAC, most of the materials used to construct the store were reclaimed or recycled and were often locally sourced. Salvaged materials include the barn doors, corrugated sheet metal and the nearly two dozen birch tree poles. The vertical green wall that spans two stories was designed for low maintenance and is integrated with a self-irrigation system. + Pirie Associates Photography by John Muggenborg via Pirie Associates

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Reclaimed materials and a massive green wall transports Denali shoppers to the great outdoors

A dark, damp house becomes a sustainable, sun-soaked abode

November 9, 2018 by  
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Formerly cold, dim and damp, a terrace house in Northcote, Victoria has been reborn into a vibrant and welcoming dwelling with an emphasis on gardening. Designed by Green Sheep Collective for a client named Jill, the compact project, named Jill’s House, saw a modest expansion of just 22 square meters of space yet gained its bright and spacious feel thanks to a thorough renovation. Created to meet the client’s aspirations for a “very healthy home,” Jill’s House embraces recycled materials, low VOC finishes and passive solar principles for a minimal energy footprint. Having developed deep ties with her local community, the homeowner wanted the renovated house to be suitable for long-term living and retirement. As a result, the redesign prioritized accessibility, low maintenance and durability. Tapping into its extensive experience in eco-friendly retrofits, Green Sheep Collective opened the home to greater amounts of natural light while improving energy efficiency with the reorientation of the living areas to the north and the installation of high-performance materials, such as improved insulation and low-e double glazing. The open-plan living area also enjoys a seamless connection with the outdoors to support the client’s hobby of gardening. “The comfort, energy efficiency and longevity of the house have been improved immeasurably,” the designers noted. “Despite an existing north wall along the boundary, sunlight is brought deep into the house via a raked ceiling paired with electric-operated clerestory windows that soar above the kitchen and dining areas, doubling to encourage the ‘stack effect’ for ventilation and distinguish the extension from the original Victorian home.” Related: Smart Home targets affordability and eco-friendly design in Australia Adding to the overall sense of vibrancy, bright pops of color woven throughout were inspired by the client’s favorite Derwent pencils from childhood. A natural materials palette  — including plantation timber flooring and recycled red bricks — lend additional warmth and complement the restored furnishings that include the dining table, dining chairs and lounge suite. + Green Sheep Collective Photography by Emma Cross via Green Sheep Collective

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A dark, damp house becomes a sustainable, sun-soaked abode

Prefab holiday cabins boast spectacular coastal views in Tasmania

August 10, 2018 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting Tasmania , you’ll want to put Freycinet’s newest additions on your bucket list. Nestled inside one of the country’s oldest national parks, this unique hotel recently saw the completion of its nine Coastal Pavilions, a series of prefabricated one-bedroom cabins designed by Liminal Studio that blur the lines between inside and out. Inspired by the spectacular surroundings, the pavilions are fitted out with a natural material palette, full-height glazing and rounded, sinuous surfaces that evoke an organic feel. Located on a wind-blown pink granite outcropping on the Freycinet Peninsula in Freycinet National Park, the new Coastal Pavilions at Freycinet Lodge were prefabricated offsite for minimal site impact. Each pavilion was carefully placed to provide privacy and an immersive experience while maximizing views. As a result, not all of the pavilions have water views as some are nestled into the coastal bushland; the pavilions comprise two types, Coastal Pavilions and Coastal Pavilions – Bay View. All of the contemporary pavilions are wrapped in charred ironbark that helps recede the buildings into the landscape, as well as full-height double-glazing. Netted, hammock-like balustrades surround the timber deck complete with an outdoor soaking tub. Inside, local Tasmanian timbers are used throughout to create the highly textured walls, ceilings and floors, which flow together with sinuous lines devoid of hard corners. In addition to a large bedroom, the pavilion is equipped with a living area and walk-in shower. Related: Stellar views and a small footprint define this Tasmanian timber cabin “We have drawn inspiration from this unique setting to influence the architecture and interiors of the pavilions,” said Peta Heffernan, Design Director at Liminal Studio. “The design has taken its cue from the fluidity and layers of the coastal rock formations, the coloring of the rich orange lichen and forms of the nearby bays. The exteriors are treated in a recessive way so as not to compete with this beautiful landscape.” + Liminal Studio Images by Dianna Snape

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Prefab holiday cabins boast spectacular coastal views in Tasmania

The pre-fab tiny Skyview Cabin is crafted from all-natural and low-impact materials

June 1, 2018 by  
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The modular Skyview Cabin is a rustic, yet sophisticated tiny cabin made out of all-natural and low-maintenance materials. Designed by Arno Schuurs and Paulien van Noort of the Netherlands-based Qoncepts Agency , the structure is clad in untreated Oregon Pine panels and features a glass wall that seamlessly connects the interior to the exterior. The construction of the wooden cabin , which is just 452 square feet, began with two prefabricated sections. The modules and additional fixtures were then transported to the building site, a beautiful meadow covered in wild flowers just outside of Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. Related: This Puget Sound eco cabin is made almost entirely from reclaimed materials The frame of the tiny cabin is constructed from concrete and raw steel. The builders installed steel pillars with an innovative screw foundation technique that lifts the structure off the ground for minimal impact on the landscape. After the frame was constructed, the architects began to put all of the pieces together, so to speak. The construction plan focused on using all-natural materials, such as local pine planks for the exterior and oak fishbone panels for the flooring. However, the main focus of the cabin was to create a strong connection to its idyllic surroundings. The tiny home has several large windows to let in light and provide stellar views from nearly every room. The large deck, which is partially enclosed, leads to the entrance. A large glass facade surrounds a pleasant seating area that is the heart of the home, perfect for entertaining or just sitting and enjoying a good book. Inside, the home is clad in pine and includes a compact living space and open kitchen and dining area. The sleeping loft, accessible by ladder, is referred to as the cabin’s “bird’s nest” and offers guests a king-sized bed surrounded by windows. + Qoncepts Agency + Getaway Deluxe Via Dwell Photography by Annelore van Herwijnen

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The pre-fab tiny Skyview Cabin is crafted from all-natural and low-impact materials

Cube Haus seeks to solve the housing crisis with affordable prefab homes

May 9, 2018 by  
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Many large cities are struggling with severe housing issues, and one new startup is proposing an architectural solution. Developer Cube Haus – founded by Philip Bueno de Mesquita and Paul Tully – has commissioned four architects to design affordable, modular houses that can be configured to fit into empty urban areas of varying sizes. Working with different designers and architects, Cube Haus aims provide affordable housing in urban areas such as London. The architects’ proposals include a number of styles and designs, but all of the houses are based on a modular construction model , which enables them to adapt to the square footage limits of each site. Related: Largest-ever modular Gomos building to be completed in just a few months International architecture firm Adjaye Associates submitted a beautiful multi-story timber structure that can be adapted to fit on a typical London terrace. The interior has an open floor plan that offers the ultimate in flexibility, and a large patio area provides natural light. The structure could be built as high as adjacent buildings to blend in with the existing architecture. London-based designer Faye Toogood ‘s concept envisions a simple single-unit volume with dual-pitched roofs, clad either in galvanized steel or charred timber. A light wood interior with an open floor plan would be illuminated with natural light thanks to large vertical windows. London firm Carl Turner Architects submitted two designs for the project. The first is a one-story, extended bungalow with bright yellow skylights that flood the interior space with natural light. The second design is a two-story townhouse, clad in brick and timber and topped with two separate pitched roofs that face two different directions. An open-air terrace between the roofs can serve as a rooftop garden or social space. Lastly, Skene Catling de la Peña ‘s proposal includes a stone-clad home with a timber interior . At the heart of the interior design is a vertical, green-tiled chimney with a cast-iron fireplace. The Cube Haus project is committed to using these five innovative prototypes to create a portfolio of varied building types that can be scaled to size for larger, multi-family spaces or single-unit use. All of the buildings will be constructed with cross-laminated timber with components manufactured off-site in the UK. + Cube Haus + Adjaye Associates + Faye Toogood + Skene Catling de la Peña + Carl Turner Architects Via Dezeen Images via Cube Haus

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Cube Haus seeks to solve the housing crisis with affordable prefab homes

Zero-energy tiny home has a near-invisible footprint

March 12, 2018 by  
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COULSON architects designed Disappear Retreat, a tiny, mirrored house that not only appears to disappear into the landscape but also boasts a near-invisible footprint. Created for “triple-zero living,” this prefabricated structure is an off-grid dwelling that’s zero energy, zero waste, and zero water. Built to the Passive House Standard, the 83-square-foot home needs no active heating or cooling systems even in extreme weather climates. Disappear Retreat’s minimal boxy form and design open the home up for a myriad of uses from stargazing in the boreal forests to suburban backyard sauna. Mirrored glass walls allow for privacy and full-height views and are triple-pane insulated with R-values of 32 to minimize energy consumption. The walls will also have a UV reflective coating to protect against bird and animal collisions. COULSON Architects have developed three retreat models with different interior layouts, including: Bed+Bath with a built-in sofa/bed and bathroom; Basic with an open-plan layout for multipurpose use; and Sauna that’s equipped with a sauna heater and built-in benches. Each module can fit on a standard trailer. Related: Incredible glass home stays comfortably snug even in extreme temperatures The airtight and super-insulated homes are powered by solar energy and feature an integrated plumbing system with gray, black, and potable water tanks. The units are also equipped with rainwater collection and composting systems. The Disappear Retreats are open for preorder enquiries now. + COULSON architects Via New Atlas Images via COULSON architects

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Zero-energy tiny home has a near-invisible footprint

Minimalist living meets luxury in the Sturgis Tiny Home

February 22, 2018 by  
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Designing small yet sophisticated spaces is quite a challenge – but Cubist Engineering proves it can be done with the Sturgis tiny home . The compact 21.5′ x 8.5′ space packs a big punch when it comes to beautiful design. Built with highly-insulated CLT timber, the serene, light-filled home on wheels can be installed virtually anywhere. The Sturgis tiny home was built to be a serene retreat, free of clutter and flooded with natural light . To that end, an abundance of windows fills the interior with light and storage areas help keep everything organized. The living room has enough space for a full-size sofa and a small office. The kitchen is adjacent to the living room and comes with a stove top, fridge, deep sink, and plenty of storage. Related: Firefighter’s self-built tiny house is an earthship on wheels In order to create optimal space without feeling cramped, the designers came up with a few tricks such as hiding the queen-sized bed in the ceiling above the sofa. With just the push of a button, it rises and lowers on thin railings in the walls . This tiny home on wheels is much more than just aesthetically pleasing. Working with CLT timber provider, SmartLam, the makers of the Sturgis used SFO-certified wood to create a resilient shell for the home. Prefabricated to reduce construction times, the wood frame is incredibly strong and highly-insulated. The Sturgis’ compact size and strong materials mean that the home can be installed quickly virtually anywhere, in any climate, and can always be moved, leaving little to no carbon footprint. + Cubist Engineering + SmartLam

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Minimalist living meets luxury in the Sturgis Tiny Home

Land fight could give tens of thousands of US Native Americans rights in Canada

February 22, 2018 by  
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A land battle in British Columbia could afford indigenous people residing in the United States rights in Canada . Rick Desautel, an American citizen who identifies as Sinixt, shot an elk in Canada 40 miles north of the border, and the British Columbian government decided to bring charges to court. While they lost an appeal in December, they filed papers last month to appeal again — but The Guardian said the fight could have the unintended consequence of giving Native Americans new rights . In 2010, Desautel shot an elk, dressed it, and packed the meat to his hunting camp in the western Canada forests. He called in the hunt to local conservation officers, and as a conservation officer himself, knew he’d receive tickets as an American citizen without permits to hunt in British Columbia, and then thought they’d be dropped. But the British Columbia government instead decided to take the charges to court. Over eight years, Desautel battled to show his indigenous heritage and right to hunt in the territory of his ancestors before country borders were drawn, according to The Guardian. Related: Tired of red tape, indigenous leaders are creating their own climate fund The Canadian government said the Sinixt First Nation went extinct in 1955, but Desautel identifies as one of the peoples whose territory once sprawled from Washington state into southern British Columbia. In March 2017, the court affirmed Desautel’s right to hunt in Canada and, according to The Guardian “restored the Sinixt’s legal status.” The British Columbia government seems to want to keep fighting with their appeals. But this case could have unexpected consequences. According to The Guardian, experts think the Desautel ruling might apply to tens of thousands of people living in America, giving them hunting and fishing rights in Canada. The Guardian said the British Columbia supreme court made the case about the border when they determined Desautel didn’t need to be a Canadian resident to be given hunting rights. The outlet said the United States-Canada border has acted as a barrier to recognizing the traditional lands of indigenous people. Desautel said of the border, “It cuts off my relationship to my ancestors. I can go just as far as the border. After that, [the government] says I have no more past.” Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos and Wikimedia Commons

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Land fight could give tens of thousands of US Native Americans rights in Canada

Take a stargazing getaway in a translucent bubble tent in Australia

January 29, 2018 by  
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Sleeping under the stars is easier than ever thanks to Bubble Tent Australia . The glamping retreat lets adventurers stay in one of three translucent bubble tents tucked deep into the wilderness of Australia’s Capertee Valley – one of the most stunningly scenic landscapes in the world. Mayu Iwasaki and Sonny Vrebac were inspired to found Bubble Tent Australia after they took in a meteorite shower on a clear night at the Mt John observatory. After the experience, they returned to their roofed accommodations still wishing they could lie underneath the starry skies. Bubble Tent Australia, therefore, was born out the desire to let others enjoy non-stop night views in a stunning location. Related: Giant bubble “greenhouse” covers this lush new retail center in Turkey The tents come with all the basics to provide a perfect off-grid escape into nature. A large bed makes up the main bubble, while an attached smaller bubble houses the bathroom with composting toilets . All of the sites come equipped with outdoor kitchens and open-air seating areas with telescopes for optimal star gazing over the valley. The glamping bubbles are located in strategic locations overlooking Capertee Valley, the world’s second largest canyon. The Leo tent is located at one of the highest points in the entire Valley and the Cancer tent is tucked into a stunning gully surrounded by cliffs. But if you’d like to really splurge on your trip, make sure to check out the Virgo, which comes equipped with a warm wood-fired hot tub, private herb garden and a beautiful outdoor seating area. + Bubble Tent Australia Images via Bubble Tent Australia

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Take a stargazing getaway in a translucent bubble tent in Australia

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