Twin cabins in Washington make use of reclaimed and natural materials

December 1, 2020 by  
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If there’s anything better than a cabin in the woods, it’s two cabins in the woods. For Kathleen Glossa of Swivel Interiors, in a collaboration with fellow Seattle-based integrated design firm Board & Vellum, a project for a family in Eastern Washington offered double the reward. The high-energy, outdoorsy clients wanted to create personal space on their property for family and other guests. They requested simple dwellings that didn’t overwhelm the surrounding landscape of rolling hills.  The design for the two matching cabins is inspired by an old barn on the property that was heavily leaning and in danger of collapsing. Dating back to the 1890s, the barn may have outlived its usefulness as a shelter, but the team was able to reclaim the lumber as a central component to the cabins’ construction. Craftsmen used the barn wood to meticulously create a dividing wall down the middle of each cabin. Dowbuilt , the builder for the project, skillfully mitered each corner, continuing with the same board around each bend. Related: These elevated wooden cabins can only be accessed via hiking trail In addition to the salvaged wood, natural materials for each 900-square-foot cabin were locally sourced with nature in mind. Exposed plywood walls connect the interior to the nearby trees while concrete flooring, metal siding and tin roofs offer durability and a classically rustic vibe. The interior color palette of browns, greens and oranges further celebrates nature, and the wood-burning stove in each cabin connects the living area to the surrounding landscape. The interiors were designed with equal consideration for sourcing products locally. Many businesses of all sizes provided products for the cozy and authentic cabin atmosphere. New items were combined with pieces pulled from the client’s storage unit. Other décor was salvaged from vintage stores within the state. Handcrafted selections from Old Hickory, a company in business for over 120 years, were intermingled with bright powder-coated metal furniture from Room & Board. Black Dog Forge out of Seattle customized the cabinet hardware, bathroom accessories and drapery hardware. The project supported other artisans with the purchase of shower curtains from Etsy vendors and pendant lighting crafted by Barn Light Electric. Each cabin features Dekton countertops, Pratt and Larson tile, under-counter refrigerators and a coffee pot, but kitchen function is limited to keep the focus on outdoor grilling and enjoying meals at the main house. + Swivel Interiors   + Board and Vellum Photography John Granen & Tina Witherspoon via Cameron Macallister Group

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Twin cabins in Washington make use of reclaimed and natural materials

It’s Giving Tuesday! Here are some eco-friendly ways to get involved

December 1, 2020 by  
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After the extreme materialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes an opportunity to support your favorite causes — without acquiring more stuff. Instead, Giving Tuesday encourages people to do good. Since its creation in 2012, the day has turned into a global movement inspiring generosity. Here’s how to celebrate, plus some environmental charities to consider supporting. Ways to give The most obvious way to give on Giving Tuesday is through a monetary donation — and we’ll get to that in a minute — but don’t let a shortage of cash keep you from participating. If you have more time than money, donating volunteer hours can make a huge difference. You could also give voice as an activist, advocating for your nearest and dearest causes by signing petitions or amplifying their messages through your social media accounts. Maybe you have a special talent that a nonprofit organization needs, such as being able to consult on HR or IT. Taproot matches talented volunteers with the organizations that need their skills. You can also donate goods. Do you still have gifts from past holidays that you never or barely used? Consider giving those unused gifts to somebody who needs them more. Related: Survey shows most adults prefer volunteering at local parks and recreation areas Environmental causes to support The number of nonprofits that need support is truly staggering. Whether your heart lies with trees, the climate, whales or just about anything else, you’ll find an organization thrilled to accept your donation. Here are just a few of the many worthy environmental charities you might choose to support on Giving Tuesday. Cool Effect This crowdfunding platform began in 1998 by supporting clean-burning woodstoves in Honduras. Now, Cool Effect helps people support carbon-reducing projects around the world. As the nonprofit puts it, “We have made reducing carbon pollution as simple as tapping a button. Together, small actions can ignite planet-sized change.” All those small actions add up. Cool Effect has already reduced carbon emissions by more than 2 million metric tons. Heal the Bay This environmental nonprofit works to make water around Greater Los Angeles safe for marine life and human recreation. Heal the Bay started 35 years ago to protect the Santa Monica Bay. Now, the nonprofit provides water quality information every week for 450 California beaches. That’s a big job. They also monitor the quality of popular freshwater recreation areas such as the Malibu Creek, LA River and San Gabriel River watersheds. Rainforest Alliance This famous, internationally known nonprofit conserves biodiversity and helps ensure sustainable livelihoods for people who toil in rainforests. If you’ve ever bought a product with a certification seal featuring a frog, that’s the Rainforest Alliance letting you know that the product is environmentally sound and contributes to socioeconomic sustainability. Giving Tuesday is a good time to remember and help the lungs of our planet. Sea Turtle Conservancy Just about everybody likes turtles , so a donation to the Sea Turtle Conservancy in your friend or family member’s name could make for a great holiday gift. There are many turtle-focused organizations these days, but the Florida-based Sea Turtle Conservancy is the oldest. Founded in 1959, it was instrumental in raising turtle awareness and saving the Caribbean green turtle from the brink of extinction. Louisiana Environmental Action Network Louisiana is a beautiful state, but it is also one that has been unfairly exploited by petrochemical companies and other similarly toxic industries. Since the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN)’s founding in 1986, it has served as a voice for Louisianans who want to live in their state without seeing its beauty destroyed and their family members felled by cancer. The organization can use your spare dollars to continue the fight against huge polluting industries. Human Access Project Portland’s Willamette River has historically served as a dumping ground for industry. But a massive cleanup effort has made the Willamette safe for recreation. Still, locals are leery. Since 2010, the Human Access Project (HAP) has worked to improve the river’s reputation and increase people’s access to it. HAP is responsible for hosting an annual inner tube party on the river called The Big Float, organizing the River Huggers Swim Team and helping to build river beaches for people to swim, launch their kayaks or just hang out. Bat Conservation International People often fear bats , but these mysterious little creatures are crucial to ecosystems. Many have already died from human encroachment and white-nose syndrome. Bat Conservation International focuses its attention on the world’s most vulnerable bats and their habitats. The organization always remembers that it may be operating as a guest in other countries. “We are respectful visitors to the countries where we work — seeking to learn, understand, and honor the historical, cultural, political, and economic context of our projects,” BCI states on its website. Appalachian Trail Conservancy If you’re a hiker, you’ve probably thought about those usually unseen people who spend countless hours building and maintaining trails. Where would we be without them? Lost in the bushes. Remember your favorite trails on Giving Tuesday. Perhaps a donation to preserve the pathways, forests and clean water of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy would be in order. Community Solidarity If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you could donate to Community Solidarity , the largest all-vegetarian hunger relief food program in the U.S. Community Solidarity serves people in the New York City and Long Island areas with free groceries and warm, vegan meals. Defenders of Wildlife Can’t decide between supporting manatees, wolves or prairie chickens? Help them all with a donation to Defenders of Wildlife . The organization’s mission is to protect and restore endangered wildlife across North America and beyond. You can also help out by purchasing branded merchandise or supporting its adopt-an-animal program. Natural Resources Defense Council Founded in 1970, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a big organization that helps the environment in many ways. The New York Times has called NRDC one of the nation’s most powerful environmental groups. The organization works on overarching issues like food waste, wildlife conservation, climate change and renewable energy. + Giving Tuesday Images via Kat Yukawa , Joel Muniz and Josh Hild

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Prefab home was assembled onsite in New Zealand in just 4 days

July 23, 2020 by  
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The Karangahake House is nestled within the dense mountain forest of Waitawheta Valley, located on the North Island of New Zealand. The secluded home is built of FSC-certified, native douglas fir wood and paired with an eco-friendly prefabrication construction process. Vast, 360-degree views of neighboring farmlands circle the property, as well as stunning vistas of the Karangahake and Te Aroha Mountains across the historic gold-mining region to the east. The project is meant to provide a sustainable home for its owners, who put great value on the importance of the environment and quiet family moments. Related: Tiny prefab timber cabin in New Zealand designed to be serene art studio The designers made the most out of the local materials available to them, cladding the home in locally grown and sustainably harvested timber with an environmentally friendly, natural wood finish and sustainable insulation. The finish is meant to age over time to reveal a rustic silver hue, paying homage to the nostalgic hiking shelters, or Kiwi Tramper Huts, for which the area is known. At just over 1,000 square feet, the main house features a double-height open living and kitchen area, two double bedrooms and a bathroom under a mezzanine and a connecting room to accommodate guests or transform into office space. The grand “Outdoor Room” alludes to farmhouse style and provides opportunities for indoor-outdoor living, taking in beautiful forest views. This room also serves as an open connection between the main house and guest area. Responsible for the design is MAKE Architects, who collaborated with local partners to create the prefabricated floors, roof and wall panels that helped reduce waste and costs of the construction process. The Karangahake House was assembled onsite in four days by local workers, resulting in nearly 0% onsite waste and a massive reduction of transportation pollution. The FSC-certified wood , natural wood coating and prefab building process will ensure a long lifespan for the property, according to the architects. Additionally, the home will require minimal user maintenance. + MAKE Architects Photography by David Straight via MAKE Architects

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Prefab home was assembled onsite in New Zealand in just 4 days

Tiny house near the Catskills has a small backyard farm

June 19, 2020 by  
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This Catskills tiny house located in Woodbourne, New York is a perfect getaway for those who love the outdoors. With a huge outdoor setup, the property includes a detached stone firepit, a wooden meditation gazebo, an outdoor herb garden and two greenhouses. Walk into a small living room off of the patio with a space heater and seating area, and turn the corner into the kitchenette complete with a small refrigerator, hotplate, sink and storage with a restroom to the side. Upstairs, the bed in the cozy loft sits in front of a set of large windows with views of the forest, so you can fall asleep and wake up with a front-row seat to nature. Related: New tiny home for glamping on Governors Island offers guests the best views of NYC With a plush double bed, indoor fireplace and large windows, this tiny home is perfect for a romantic nature retreat only a couple of hours from Manhattan. Its remote location combined with comfortable features makes it great for getting off the grid for a few days and detoxing from the bustle of city life. There is Wi-Fi, heating, a kitchen area and free parking onsite as well as access to the large wooden deck and barbecue area outside, where you can immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings. The outdoor seating area next to the garden and the stone firepit allows for dining al fresco. The property also has a composting toilet and solar panels for added sustainability. This tiny home is currently being used as a vacation rental with Glamping Hub. It comes with all of the essentials, including linens and towels, and firewood is available on the property for an additional fee. As of June 2020, the rental is booked out until November, where it is priced at about $122 per night for weekdays and weekends, not including taxes or fees. + Glamping Hub Images via Glamping Hub

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Airy Santa Monica Canyon home embraces views of nature and art

May 27, 2020 by  
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Reclaimed materials, a world-class art collection and an indoor/outdoor lifestyle combine in this recently completed Los Angeles residence designed by Santa Monica-based firm  Conner + Perry Architects . Built for  Los Angeles natives, this luxurious four-bedroom family home with large windows and a natural material palette was thoughtfully inserted into a wooded Santa Monica Canyon. Salvaged materials taken from the old existing home on-site and felled wood found on the property have been repurposed into beautiful focal elements for the house, such as the grand entry doors and outdoor furniture.  Designed to embrace the “quintessential California indoor/outdoor experience,” the two-story Santa Monica Canyon home opens up with fully pocketing glass exterior walls to a central courtyard with a pool and outdoor shower. Extended canopy-like cantilevered eaves protect from the sun. The charred wood ( Shou Sugi Ban ) siding, copper, exposed steel and concrete materials that wrap the home’s exterior were selected for their organic nature and their low-maintenance, climate-compatible qualities.  To pay homage to the history of the site, which was used as a Forestry Service test station for Eucalyptus tree testing in the 1910s and 1920s, the architects  salvaged  much of the original 1940s cabin that once occupied the property. Related: New Santa Monica City Services Building will produce more energy than it uses The home interior takes cues from nature and includes a mix of massangis gray  limestone  and French oak used for the floors, weathered brass, blackened steel elements and a variety of marble and tiles. The warm yet restrained palette also provides a neutral backdrop for the clients’ world-class art collection; the interior floor plan was designed to frame views of either the art pieces or landscape views. “Each of them has described the house as having a magical or mystical quality, allowing light in at the right moments, as well as the shadows of the trees , and a calming mirroring effect,” Kristopher Conner, Conner + Perry Architects co-founder, said. + Conner + Perry Architects Images by Taiyo Watanabe

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This container home in Brazil helps its residents disconnect

December 24, 2019 by  
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The 2,766-square-foot Hanging House was designed by the architects of Casa Container Marília in the rural area of ??Campos Novos Paulista, Brazil. About 80 percent of the materials used in construction were recycled , including the primary maritime shipping containers that make up a majority of the structure. The home also lacks two major modern amenities — televisions and Wi-Fi — to encourage a digital detox. The Hanging House sits elevated from the ground, so the windows are level with the native trees abundant throughout the property. This also lessened the impact on the landscape. The wooden deck balconies blend in with the branches of the trees as well, making it feel much like a treehouse. It earns its name from the numerous hammocks that hang from the ground level, one of many places where the homeowners can kick back and relax. There is a modular green roof attached to the container home as well as a rainwater storage system that reduces the need for excess irrigation around the property. The interior doors on the first floor were made with reused plates of the containers. Following the completion of the project, 70 percent of the debris left over — mostly made up of wood and steel scraps — was also reused. No outside soil was brought to the site, and a minimal amount of concrete was used in the foundations to preserve and protect the soil drainage and root patterns. Related: This prefab weekend retreat made from shipping containers can be ordered online All of the walls are insulated with a thermoacoustic blanket, and the interior has a cross-ventilation system with wide openings to encourage airflow. Nestling the house under the trees also provided the building with plenty of shade. Thanks to this air exchange and thermal arrangement, the house has no need for an air conditioning system, even on the hottest days of the year. The container home has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a beautiful kitchen that opens up to the living spaces. The interiors are dressed in timber, creating a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. In an effort to allow residents to disconnect from the outside world and better connect with the surrounding nature, there are no televisions or Wi-Fi available on the property. + Casa Container Marília Images via Casa Container Marília

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This container home in Brazil helps its residents disconnect

Azulik, an eco-paradise in Tulum, celebrates the four natural elements

February 28, 2019 by  
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The four elements of earth, fire, water and air are reflected in every material, design and spa offering throughout the campus of the Azulik eco resort in Tulum, Mexico. With the goals of conservation and fair-trade at every turn, Azulik is a 48-villa haven of relaxation built seamlessly into the jungle and along the postcard-perfect shoreline of the Caribbean Sea. All of the villas are hand-built from wood with eco-friendly materials sourced locally. There are a range of accommodation styles, each centered around one of the four natural elements, with a focus on relaxation, rejuvenation and healing. Each villa contains a traditional Mayan mosaic tile or volcanic stone tub, extra king-sized beds, mosquito nets and immersive views. Some are intricately interwoven into the surrounding jungle while others hover on the edge of the Caribbean Sea. Some special features exclusive to select villas include outdoor hot tubs, private stairways and even a 24/7 butler service. One obvious omission from the villas is electricity, including a lack of television, radios, Wi-Fi and lights. Related: This breathtaking Tulum art gallery was created by Peggy Guggenheim’s great-grandson The lack of electricity highlights the natural aspect of Azulik, noted by the candle-lit walkways and rooms. It’s not difficult to absorb the natural surroundings with walkways that meander throughout the property. These walkways are designed around existing trees for preservation. Nestled along the gorgeous Caribbean, the property also houses a cenote that feeds traditional mineral water into the villa bathtubs (sorry, no showers here). The on-property wetlands area provides water purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability. When you drag yourself away from your villa, you can explore the property and the surrounding area through the Mystikal Wanders program, which immerses guests in a unique blend of culture, nature and local history. Follow a tribe guide to meet a traditional shaman and Mayan family, swim in the mineral waters of the cenote and explore the Mayan jungle and ruins. Participate in meditation, paddle yoga, spiritual rituals and massages, or get away on a catamaran to snorkel and explore the sea. On site, take in the IK Lab, an environmentally-conscious art gallery that highlights the work of a variety of local and resident artists. The spa offers a variety of options to disconnect from hurried modern life with processes that highlight spiritual heritage and natural healing. Experience biomagnetism, a temazcal, medicinal music circles, workshops, shamanic chant, yoga, sound massages and human design techniques for memories exclusive to Azulik. While this eco-paradise offers an array of memorable culinary, art, spa, cultural and historical experiences, it won’t come cheap with a price tag ranging from $700-$7000 per night. + Azulik Images via Azulik

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Azulik, an eco-paradise in Tulum, celebrates the four natural elements

Striking modern home celebrates natural materials for a timeless aesthetic

January 4, 2018 by  
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Minneapolis-based architecture firm Strand Design completed Theodore Wirth Ranch, a beautiful home designed to stand the test of time in both durability and style. Located on a hillside near downtown Minneapolis , the 4,500-square-foot residence was envisioned as a “modern ranch” in a semi-urban environment. A natural materials palette ties the building into the landscape, while careful craftsmanship gives the home a clean and contemporary appearance. Set next to a densely wooded park, the retreat-like Theodore Wirth Ranch was designed around entertainment. A 10-meter swimming pool sits at the heart of the property between the main residence and the sauna, pool house, and outdoor kitchen. The outdoor entertainment area and the south-facing indoor living area that’s wrapped in full-height glazing are optimized for large gatherings. A planted berm on the south edge of the property helps mitigate street noise and provide additional privacy. Related: Stunning home fuses modern Scandinavian design with the Minnesotan outdoors The cedar -clad home catches the eye with its striking cantilevered roof that helps shield the living spaces from summer solar gain . “Laboring over every material and line, this project is the result of rigorous design and planning with the clients,” wrote the architects. “With a constant requirement for precision, the joinery and timing of materials throughout the home create clean, harmonic spaces that carry one throughout the home. Celebrating a truth in materials, white walls highlight the wide variety of finishes including clear timber, sandstone, marble, cork, concrete, and steel.” + Strand Design Photos by Josh Grubbs

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Striking modern home celebrates natural materials for a timeless aesthetic

Climate denier Donald Trump’s favorite Florida estate is being swallowed by the sea

July 8, 2016 by  
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Call it karma, fate or just a really satisfying bit of irony: one of America’s most vociferous opponents to climate change is experiencing some of the worst of its effects. Donald Trump’s favorite property in Palm Beach Florida is being swallowed by the rising ocean, and fast. The short-fingered-vulgarian’s Mar-a-Lago estate could be a full foot underwater by 2030. Do you hear that? That’s the sound of thousands of scientists laughing maniacally at the deliciousness of it all. At the Mar-a-Lago club, Trump owns a massive historic mansion on the beach, along with ample grounds. Right now, seasonal tides crawl across the lawns, roads and beaches of the property. That’s bad enough, but things are only going to get worse. While the mansion itself will probably avoid being submerged, the property is doomed to struggle with access problems and safety issues caused by the climbing seas. And that’s assuming the estate doesn’t get smacked by the next big tropical storm. Unfortunately, the situation isn’t actually funny. Mayors in Florida are scrambling to cope with the rising seas that are flooding higher across the state every year. Disappearing beaches and flooded streets have raised some pretty hefty price tags as civic leaders struggle to cope with the watery influx. All of this makes Trump’s brush-off seem particularly arrogant given the personal impact that the ” mangled apricot hellbeast ” is experiencing at his own properties. Related: Would a Trump presidency undo the UN climate change agreement? Trump, who once acknowledged the reality of climate change, now calls it all a Chinese hoax on the world. But though he talks about the “hoax” of global warming, he is quietly protecting some of his other investments from its effects . Seems like the Donald is either talking out of both sides of his mouth or he is very, very confused about how science works. Via The Guardian Images via Gage Skidmore

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Climate denier Donald Trump’s favorite Florida estate is being swallowed by the sea

Brighton’s Pioneer Shipping Container Development Houses the Homeless

March 21, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Brighton’s Pioneer Shipping Container Development Houses the Homeless Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: brighton housing trust , brighton shipping container homes , homeless initiatives , QED Property , Richardson’s Yard shipping container homes , shipping container architecture , social design , social housing uk , UK Architecture , Urban design

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