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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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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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

Aging Portuguese granary transformed into a serene sanctuary in the trees

January 29, 2018 by  
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The Dovecote-Granary in Portugal is a temple in the trees where people can reconnect with nature and themselves. The simple structure stands on the granite foundation of what was once a 19th-century maize granary. Tiago do Vale Arquitectos took cues from traditional local architecture while reconstructing the rotting building as a place of serenity and contemplation. The structure combines three vernacular typologies: granary, dovecote, and drying shed. It is built out of oak wood in the same style as the granaries that stood there for centuries. Sadly, the wood of the granaries had rotted beyond salvage, so the architects documented the existing structure and re-constructed it out of fresh wood. By documenting the original building in its entirety, as well as the building techniques used in its construction, the architects managed to successfully re-create the building stronger than it was originally, while preserving its spirit and giving it new life. Related: Salima Naji’s Preservation of Sacred Moroccan Granary Sites Nominated for Aga Khan Award With farming disappearing from the area, the original function of the structure became obsolete. This prompted its current use as a kind of temple, a sanctuary among the tree canopies, and an iconic shape in the rural landscape of the Minho region. The architects reconstructed the two granaries on the original foundation to act as the walls of the new building and topped them with a dovecote, while the interior re-creates the traditional drying shed. + Tiago do Vale Arquitectos Via ArchDaily Photos by João Morgado

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Futuristic art center in China has detachable rooms that can bike around town

December 19, 2017 by  
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People’s Architecture Office just unveiled a futuristic cultural center in China that is equipped with detachable room that serve as “cultural satellites.” The incredible building – called the People’s Station – uses the flexible mini-structures to add extra space when necessary. When not in use, the mini-buildings can be collapsed and transported by bike to other locations. The architects used their own prefabricated system to manufacture the building, which took just three months to construct. Located in a quiet region of Yantai, the building’s design was created to attract visitors to the historic center of the city. Its funky angular volume is comprised of wide open entryways and various sections that seem to float off the ground. Related: China’s new futuristic library is unlike any we’ve seen before On the inside, the exhibition rooms are the first two floors are expansive, with high ceilings that are staggered up diagonally up to the second and third floors. Triangular glass panels flood the interior with natural light . On the top floor, visitors can enjoy a lounge area with a bookstore and a cinema. Throughout the building, there are various outdoor terraces that offer beautiful views of surrounding cityscape, as well as the ocean in the distance. + People’s Architecture Office Via Archdaily Photography courtesy PAO  

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Futuristic art center in China has detachable rooms that can bike around town

The Monade Capsule is a private hideaway that hangs from city rooftops

November 24, 2017 by  
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Have you ever wished for a hidden oasis where you can go to relax? Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Alice Bleton has created an amazing rooftop hideaway that provides stressed city dwellers with the ultimate place to disconnect. The Monade Capsule is built with an L-shaped cut-out that allows the pod to hang on the edge of any building. Bleton’s Monade Capsule is made from 21 pieces of fiberglass with transparent sections that provide clear views and let natural light into the interior. The load-bearing base anchors it tightly to the rooftop and facade. Whether hanging off a skyscraper or a rugged mountain cliff, the off-grid capsule can support up to five people inside. Related: London Eye capsule transformed into rainforest-inspired tiny home The capsule’s design was inspired by shelters that can withstand extreme conditions – like emergency bunkers, submarines, and mountain huts , “At the top of the mountain, and in the hardest reachable places, people created cabins and refuges to spend the night. These temporary shelters offer minimal comfort to the hikers. It’s a shared space where people gather to protect themselves from the outside climate.” + Alice Bleton Via Dezeen Images via Alice Bleton

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The Monade Capsule is a private hideaway that hangs from city rooftops

Switzerland’s NeighborHub wins first place in the Solar Decathalon 2017

October 14, 2017 by  
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This past week, eleven teams of students designed, built and presented futuristic houses at the Solar Decathalon 2017 . The competition took place in Denver , and though the challenge was simple it was by no means easy: create a super-efficient sun-powered building that seamlessly integrates green building technologies into its design. The winners of the highly-anticipated event were just announced this morning – and Team Switzerland’s NeighborHub took first place! For the first time in history, the winners of the Solar Decathalon won prize money. First place received $300,000; second place won $225,000; third place took home $150,000; fourth place won $125,000 and fifth through eleventh places each received $100,000. 1st Place: NeighborHub by the Swiss Team First place in the Solar Decathalon 2017 was awarded to the Swiss Team ‘s NeighborHub. The NeighborHub isn’t a home at all – rather, it is a collaborative community space. The team designed the eco-friendly space to serve as an educational resource, specifically for suburban neighborhoods. At the NeighborHub, residents can learn about seven sustainable themes: renewable energy, water management, waste management, mobility, food, material choices, and biodiversity. 2nd Place: reACT by University of Maryland The University of Maryland’s reACT House (Resilient Adaptive Climate Technology) took second place. It’s a smart, sustainable home that can adapt to different needs and environments . Not only is the self-sufficient home beautiful, it produces clean energy, clean water, and nutrient-rich foods — all the while automatically adapting to homeowners’ habits. 3rd Place: RISE by University of California, Berkeley, and University of Denver Students from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Denver collaborated to develop RISE . The affordable and sustainable abode is designed for urban infill lots in Richmond CA, and it can be stacked and expanded like building blocks. The prefab solar is home is incredibly flexible, with a scalable size, customizable floor plans, and moveable walls. 4th Place: SILO by Missouri University of Science and Technology Finally, fourth place was awarded to the Missouri University of Science and Technology for their SILO House (Smart Innovative Living Oasis) . The light-filled home combines high-tech, energy-efficient technology with traditional farmhouse vernacular. Best of all, this futuristic house lets you control all systems remotely via a smartphone. Related: 11 Solar-powered homes that show the future of architecture Each team presented an incredible futuristic home that incorporates solar and energy-efficiency technologies. Congrats to all of this year’s teams, and we can’t wait for the return of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathalon in 2019. + Solar Decathalon 2017 + Solar Decathlon Coverage on Inhabitat Photos by Mike Chino for Inhabitat

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Cover installs its first prefab dwelling for the masses in L.A.

October 12, 2017 by  
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Thoughtful prefabricated design for the masses just moved one big step closer to reality. Tech company Cover just completed and installed its first computer-designed dwelling—and it’s begun taking pre-orders worldwide and delivering in Los Angeles. Cover, which describes their work as “doing for homes what Tesla is doing for the car,” uses proprietary computer algorithms to design beautiful custom spaces crafted to meet the user’s needs and optimized to meet rigorous Passive House standards. Cover is setting out to revolutionize the building industry with its streamlined process that combines precision-made prefabricated panels with proprietary technology. Cover’s computer algorithms create high-quality floor plans customized to the client’s needs as well as property and zoning constraints in as little as three days. The custom-designed units can be built to sizes ranging from 100 to 1,200 square feet and can be used as standalone homes with full kitchens and bathrooms. Energy efficiency is a big component of Cover’s units. Each modular unique dwelling will be built in Cover’s Los Angeles factory to rigorous Passive House standards and boast 80% more energy efficiency than the average home. Floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors let in ample natural light, while the low-slope roof is optimized for photovoltaics . Radiant heating and cooling provide consistent and comfortable temperatures inside the airtight building envelope. Its steel structure is 100% recyclable. Related: Cover’s $50k algorithmic tiny houses are 80% more efficient than conventional homes “Unlike other prefab companies and builders, Cover is a technology company first, armed with a team of full-time software engineers, designers, manufacturing engineers, and architects who have developed technology that streamlines the entire process of designing, buying, permitting, manufacturing and assembling Cover units,” said Alexis Rivas, Co-Founder and CEO of Cover. “We focus on the quality of the spaces and the little details – like the way light reflects off surfaces, how a door handle feels or the framing of the view – to transform the living experience for our customers and ensure a more efficient, smarter, and thoughtful way of living.” The first Cover unit is a 320-square-foot space that will be used as a music studio and office. Cover plans to produce 150 units per year in its Los Angeles factory. + Cover

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