Reclaimed wood home resembles barns in Sonoma Valley

April 3, 2020 by  
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California firm Faulkner Architects has unveiled a beautiful, modern farmhouse that pays homage to the rural vernacular in California’s beautiful Sonoma Valley. Clad in salvaged redwood and weathered steel, the Big Barn House features a stunning design that incorporates several passive features to boost its energy efficiency. Earlier this year, the team from Faulkner Architects completed another project for the same family — a converted 1950s tack barn that was used by the homeowners while awaiting completion of the larger project. Using salvaged wood on the small barn conversion set the tone for the main residence. Related: 6 barns converted into beautiful new homes From its robust wood exterior to the modern, light-filled interior, the 3,900-square-foot home boasts a breathtaking design. Wrapped in reclaimed redwood and corrugated weathered steel, the two-story dwelling stretches out over a slightly sloped landscape. From afar, the asymmetrical gabled rooftop stands out over the undulating terrain. Built into a gentle slope, the modern farmhouse extends dramatically from a flat landing to the far end of the structure, which  slightly cantilevers over the landscape. This design was strategic to reduce the project’s impact on the site . According to the architects, the home’s orientation was also determined by the path of the sun. To help reduce heat gain during the summer months, the designers ensured that the smaller side of the roof faces the west, where the sun is the most intense. Alternatively, the east side of the home takes full advantage of natural light. Here, sash windows and glazed sliding doors provide a seamless connection with the surrounding nature. The ground floor houses the central social spaces: a massive kitchen and dining space and an open-plan living space with double-height ceilings. For added time in the sun, the far end of the home includes an all-glass enclosure that looks out over the incredible landscape. Accessible via an exterior walkway or central staircase, the second story is home to the master suite and two additional bedrooms. In addition to its strategic orientation, the Big Barn House boasts a number of energy-saving features . Throughout the space, multiple openings allow for ample air ventilation to help cool the home naturally. For the chilly months, radiant floor heating keeps the living spaces nice and toasty. To maintain comfortable interior temperatures year-round, the house also has tight insulation. + Faulkner Architects Via Dezeen Photography by Joe Fletcher (exterior images) and Ken Fulk (interior images) via Faulkner Architects

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Reclaimed wood home resembles barns in Sonoma Valley

ODonnellBrown designs affordable, modular outdoor classroom

April 1, 2020 by  
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In a bid to support creative and independent learning in the outdoors, Glasgow-based architectural practice  O’DonnellBrown  has designed and built a prototype for a Community Classroom that can be assembled, adapted and dismounted in a cinch. Completed for just £10,000 (roughly $11,278), the entirely self-initiated project is based on a kit of parts that was developed using standard structural timber section sizes that make up the skeletal frame. The use of plywood modules empowers the classroom’s users to easily reconfigure the space to suit a diverse range of activities. Stripped down to a simple plywood skeletal frame, the minimalist Community Classroom combines function with beautiful architectural expression. The prototype, which was completed in September 2019 in Glasgow, measures 24 square meters of gross internal space but can be easily expanded thanks to its  modular  system. The Community Classroom kit comes with an easy-to-follow construction manual and can also be equipped with modules for seating, shelving, worktops and presentation surfaces. “The  classroom  is intended to promote and support creative and independent learning in a healthy, versatile and fun environment,” a Community Classroom press release stated. “It has been designed in line with the Curriculum for Excellence and the National Improvement Framework, to facilitate inclusive learning and mental wellbeing.” Sponsors and stakeholders, including the RIAS and Saint-Gobain, have provided material and technical support for the project.  Related: A modular classroom for environmental education pops up in a Barcelona park True to its name, the Community Classroom was developed alongside the  community , including the national children’s charity Barnado’s Works, which helped connect young volunteers to the project. The Community Classroom has hosted community-based workshops and events, including a craft workshop by local community center Nan McKay Hall. This project will continue to host events by a diverse range of users in the future as part of its mission to raise the bar for outdoor learning opportunities. + O’DonnellBrown Images © Ross Campbell

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Three prefab modules make up this contemporary rural home

March 30, 2020 by  
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On a 190-hectare working farm near the NSW city of Orange, Australian modular design company Modscape has completed a new prefab home that takes in dramatic landscape views in all directions. An exercise in efficiency, the 225-square-meter residence was constructed in a controlled factory environment and comprises just three modules. Dubbed Project Kangaroobie, the contemporary home combines floor-to-ceiling glazing, a neutral palette of natural materials and a minimalist design to keep focus on the outdoors.  When the Sydney-based clients of Project Kangaroobie approached Modscape, prefabrication was already at the top of their minds. Because their rural property was a four-hour drive from their primary residence, the clients wanted the home to be built in a controlled environment to eliminate weather-related delays and any difficulties in coordinating multiple trades. Related: A prefab home in Sydney celebrates indoor-outdoor living The three-bedroom, two-bedroom home that Modscape designed and built perfectly complements the clients’ rural land both visually and physically. The new modular home stretches across a ridge to follow the natural topography. Vertical Silvertop Ash timber cladding will develop a silvery patina over time and blend the home into its surrounding landscape. The light-filled interior features a neutral palette of warm timber , Scyon-lined walls and ceramic tiles. Project Kangaroobie’s T-shaped plan creates separate wings for living, sleeping and utilities and opens up to outdoor terraces to the west, south and east. The spatial layout also ensures that the living spaces remain clutter-free to preserve sight lines across the home and toward the landscape. The architects noted, “Windows and doors have been positioned to maximize their effect as frames to the landscape: the low wide window which, when seated, frames a view toward the tree line; the enclosed porch (complete with outdoor fireplace and hammock-hanging hooks) is a perfect vantage point for watching the weather roll up the valley; and the window in the living area perfectly captures the spectacular sunsets.” + Modscape Photography by John Madden via Modscape

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Three prefab modules make up this contemporary rural home

Ibiza home uses passive, bioclimatic systems to reduce energy use

March 20, 2020 by  
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Spain’s idyllic Balearic Islands are an inspiration for artists and architects alike. One Formentera-based architect Marià Castelló has just used Ibiza’s spectacular beauty to craft a modern home. Tucked into the island’s hilly San Mateo region in the north, Ca l’Amo is a serene retreat comprised of five cube-like volumes that use several passive, bioclimatic elements to reduce the project’s environmental footprint. The San Mateo plains were once filled with terraced landscapes used for agriculture , but over the years, the area has regrown its native pine and juniper forests. Using this natural landscape as inspiration, Marià Castelló designed Ca l’Amo, a contemporary home shaded by natural vegetation . Built upon two existing dry stone walls, the home’s white cladding and natural limestone terraces give it an undeniably Mediterranean feel. Related: Architects revamp a 100-year-old warehouse into a dreamy off-grid refuge in Ibiza The five rectangular volumes are spaced to provide openings between each, creating a harmonious connection between the indoors and outdoors. The dwelling features a swimming pool and covered lounge area on one end, where residents can make the most of the Mediterranean climate. This first volume is then connected linearly to the following four volumes, which contain the shared and private living spaces. The interior spaces reflect the same openness of the exterior. With walls of sliding glass doors, each volume can be opened up to the elements. A minimalist interior includes white walls and cross-laminated timber accents. Outfitted with sparse pieces of custom-designed furniture, the living spaces put all of the focus on the natural setting. Further putting nature at the forefront of the design, the residence was designed to reduce energy usage through the implementation of several passive and bioclimatic design elements. The separate volumes and open spaces were designed to take full advantage of natural light and air ventilation, while the home was strategically positioned to use the vegetation and sun path to keep the interior spaces cool and comfortable year-round. Additionally, a rainwater collection system includes a cistern that can store up to 200 metric tons of water for reuse. +  Marià Castelló Architecture Via Wallpaper* Images via Marià Castelló

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Open-air Destination Crenshaw museum celebrates the heart of black Los Angeles

March 16, 2020 by  
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At the close of Black History Month, over 2,000 community members, business owners and artists gathered for the groundbreaking of Destination Crenshaw, an outdoor cultural experience to celebrate the heart of black Los Angeles. Designed by international architecture and design firm Perkins and Will , the beautification project will take on the appearance of an open-air, linear art museum that stretches 1.3 miles along Crenshaw Boulevard. In addition to streetscape transformations — including new public artworks, pocket parks and landscaping improvements — Destination Crenshaw also aims to use community-driven means to offset gentrification. Located along Crenshaw Boulevard from Leimert Boulevard to 60th Street, Destination Crenshaw will transform 1.3 miles of streetscape into an outdoor arts and culture experience with hundreds of new trees, 100 permanent and rotating art installations and 10 pocket parks . The project is organized into four distinct nodes that will serve as thematic design lenses. “Improvisation” at W. Slauson Avenue celebrates the community’s resourcefulness. “Firsts” at 54th Street honors past and present black pioneers, and “Dreams” at 50th Street highlights the community’s placemaking abilities. “Togetherness” at West Vernon Avenue focuses on the area’s significant cultural infrastructure, before culminating at Sankofa Park, an elevated outdoor plaza with views out onto Crenshaw Boulevard and beyond. Related: Energy-efficient affordable housing project opens in South LA “Our work on Destination Crenshaw has always centered on the theme ‘Grow Where You’re Planted,’ which is inspired by African giant star grass,” said Gabrielle Bullock, managing principal of the project. “Known to thrive in inhospitable environments, the grass reminds us of the history and resiliency of Black L.A., whose deep community roots have strengthened over the decades despite facing years of root shock.” Over 200 years of black history in Los Angeles will be documented, preserved and exhibited in the project. In the process, Destination Crenshaw will provide construction career opportunities for residents while supporting existing local businesses and regional artists. The 1.3-mile beautification project will run parallel to a section of Los Angeles Metro’s upcoming Crenshaw/LAX light rail line. + Perkins and Will + Destination Crenshaw Images via Perkins and Will

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Green design at Te Mirumiru center honors Maori history

March 10, 2020 by  
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Architecture encompasses a lot of things. It’s art. It’s function. It’s culture. The Te Mirumiru Early Childhood Education Centre is an example of all three, with the added achievement of a  low environmental impact .  The setting is Kawakawa, New Zealand , and the client is a Maori tribe looking for a school that represents the history of the land and its people. In coordination with Collingridge and Smith Architects (CASA), the project adopted many symbols from the beliefs of the Maori people. The basis for the structure centers on the Maori belief that all life is born from the womb of Papat??nuku (earth mother), under the sea. The Maori word for land (whenua) also means placenta. With this in mind, the land for the build site is shaped like a womb with the building representing a baby within. Even the single entrance into the building is a testament to the history of the iwi (tribe). The slit-like opening pays homage to the first woman ever said to have survived a cesarean birth — a mother from the Maori people over 600 years ago. Related: Green school in Bali students how to live sustainably With such a strong connection to the land, it was important to the Maori to respect nature with low-impact systems.  Passive environmental design features include a thick roof that retains heat and a solar hot water underfloor system. The construction embraces natural ventilation for cooling and is positioned to take advantage of the sun for heat and light. During the day, no additional electrical lighting is used in the space. Aesthetically, a grass roof and adjacent bank blend into the surrounding swampy ecology. For a complete water cycle, all blackwater is treated on-site and the clean nutrient-rich water is used to irrigate the green roof above. The thought and effort put into the design have been rewarded with a six Greenstar Education Rating (the highest rating possible) from the New Zealand  Green Building Council. Te Mirumiru is one of only three buildings in New Zealand to receive this rating and is the only Greenstar rated early childhood center in Australasia. According to a statement from the architects , “Te Mirumiru early childhood centre has received 11 international and national awards, culminating in 2014 with the World Green Building Council’s Leadership in Sustainable Design Award, the only building in the whole of the Asia Pacific region to receive such a title.” + Collingridge and Smith Architects (UK) Ltd   Images via Collingridge and Smith Architects (UK) Ltd  

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3D-printed home inspired by a wasp’s nest is made of local clay

March 10, 2020 by  
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There’s very little doubt that 3D-printing could be huge in the future of design, and architects from around the world are taking advantage of the practice to create new visions for urban living. Italian firm Mario Cucinella Architects has designed an innovative, 3D-printed home inspired by potter wasps’ nests. Currently being built in Bologna, Italy, the TECLA house is an experimental 3D-printed prototype that was crafted out of locally sourced clay and may provide an option for sustainable urban housing. According to the architects, the TECLA housing system addresses the need to create sustainable housing for the rapidly growing world population. With approximately 80 million people being added to the world’s population every year, cities are struggling to find adequate housing solutions that are both affordable and sustainable. Related: 3D-printed Aquaponic Homes grow their own veggies and fish Looking for ideas that could curb a massive housing crisis, architect Mario Cucinella has collaborated with WASP (World’s Advanced Saving Project) to create TECLA, a 3D-printed home that was printed using locally sourced clay — a product that is both biodegradable and recyclable. The natural material is also affordable and enables a zero-waste construction process. Inspired by the shape of a potter wasp’s nest, the TECLA is conceived as a basic cell with a shape and size that can vary depending on its surroundings. The dome-like structure can accommodate any number of living arrangements, but the prototype features an open living space with an adjacent dome housing a separate bedroom. Large skylights in the rooftop would let natural light illuminate the living spaces down below. In addition to acting as a potential housing unit that can be built with nearly zero emissions, the TECLA could serve as a prototype for a new type of sustainable community development, where autonomous eco-cities would run completely off the grid. Producing their own energy through clean energy sources, like solar and wind power , the clay homes would also be laid out around organic community gardens to create a fully self-sustaining housing development. + Mario Cucinella Architects Via TreeHugger Images via Mario Cucinella Architects

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3D-printed home inspired by a wasp’s nest is made of local clay

4 ways companies can build low-carbon supply chains

March 9, 2020 by  
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From McDonald’s 2001 commitment to sustainable fish to Walmart’s 2017 Project Gigaton launch, the length and path of these journeys ranges widely.

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4 ways companies can build low-carbon supply chains

Roaming shipping container museum brings contemporary art through Panama

March 6, 2020 by  
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Panamanian architect Héctor Ayarza has figured out a cool and sustainable way to bring art to the masses. His fantastic Wandering Museum is a roaming structure made out of two reclaimed shipping containers . The project helps bring certain works of art from the Museum of Contemporary Art throughout neighborhoods in Panama City. The project began as a collaboration between the Panama City-based Museum of Contemporary Art and Ayarza. Hoping to showcase certain pieces that may not have permanent space in the museum itself, the team decided to create a sustainable way to bring a selection of contemporary art collections to people in various locations throughout the city. They did this by turning to recycled shipping containers. Related: Spectacular new shipping container museum nestles near China’s Great Wall Towed on the flatbed of a truck, the lightweight Wandering Museum travels easily through the city streets. While it is on the road, the traveling museum is instantly recognizable thanks to its multicolored design. Bright stripes of red, orange and green cover the shipping containers’ exteriors, bringing a fun, vibrant feel to the project. Once parked, the shipping containers are laid out in a perpendicular formation. The entrance is through one end of the first shipping container, which is painted black inside. This is the main exhibition space, with a  minimalist atmosphere that emits the same contemporary style of the permanent museum. The second shipping container has interior walls that are clad in a low-cost particle board with various shelves. There is also a floor-to-ceiling chalkboard, where visitors can leave messages. An entire side of the container can be completely left open, inviting art-lovers to explore the interior contents while also socializing in the make-shift courtyard space between the two structures. + Héctor Ayarza Via ArchDaily Photography by Fernando Alda via Héctor Ayarza

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Roaming shipping container museum brings contemporary art through Panama

The Expandable House helps adapt to rapid urbanization

March 5, 2020 by  
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Singapore-based design firm  Urban-Rural Systems  has developed an innovative housing prototype that fights urban sprawl while simultaneously providing better infrastructure for rural-to-urban migrants. Implemented in phases, the project recently completed its second phase this year in Indonesia with the construction of its first Expandable House prototype. True to its name, the dwelling can be flexibly expanded to increase its built area from a single-story, 36-square-meter unit to a three-story, 108-square-meter  mixed-use  building equipped with sustainable decentralized systems such as rainwater harvesting and photovoltaic systems.  The Expandable House (“‘rumah tambah’ in Bahasa Indonesia, or ‘rubah’ for short”) targets rapidly urbanizing regions on the fringes of cities and towns. As the designers explained in a project statement, these are regions where the impact of rapid urbanization “is most directly felt: where land is still relatively cheap, new industrial jobs are springing up, rural migrants often first arrive in the city, and infrastructure is often inadequate to support them.” Additionally, the designers said, “The expandable house tries to respond to this dynamic situation by allowing the dwelling to be flexibly configured around the fluctuating patterns of resource consumption and expenditure, or metabolism, of its residents.” To meet these needs, the Expandable House features a roof that can be raised as well as a floor and foundations strong enough to support up to three floors. This model not only allows for flexible financing — owners can expand their home from a single-story unit to a multi-story unit as needed — but also encourages vertical growth to reduce urban sprawl. The adaptable housing system also incorporates  rainwater  and solar harvesting systems, passive design principles, on-site sewage systems, as well as food production systems to promote self-sufficiency and small-scale business growth.  Related: Passive solar school in Indonesia celebrates the natural landscape Developed in three phases, the Expandable House project began with the Phase 1 design at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore. Phase 2 oversaw construction of the prototype in  Indonesia  that began in 2018, with the first floor of 36 square meters, and concluded earlier this year after all three floors were built along with the technical systems, including rainwater harvesting and photovoltaics. Phase 3 will involve piloting the Expandable House on a larger-scale in a project dubbed Tropical Town, also in Indonesia.  + Urban-Rural Systems (URS) Images © Carlina Teteris

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