Dreamy cabin is the perfect lakeside escape for large families

February 16, 2018 by  
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Montreal-based YH2 Architecture has given the traditional lakeside cottage a modern refresh in Window on the Lake, a minimalist timber cabin that derives its name from its stunning glazed end wall. Located just steps away from the shores of Lac Plaisant in Quebec’s Mauricie region, the gabled dwelling features a clean and minimalist design so as not to detract from its surroundings. The spacious family cottage sleeps up to 12 across two floors. Built of timber inside and out, Window on the Lake was designed to “capture the essence of cottage life” by creating a sense of warmth and connection with nature. The gabled building is clad entirely in white cedar that will develop a patina as it weathers over time. “The balloon frame, with its exposed wooden studs and joists painted white, gives the building a unique rhythm of shadow and light,” wrote the architects. “This is the cottage as an expression of the art of living: a gentle, simple, pure way of life.” Related: Decrepit lumberjack shack transformed into a beautiful retreat with minimal site impact The south facade closest to the lake is fully transparent to provide the open-plan living area with stunning lake views. The glazed gabled wall lets in sunlight and warmth during the cold months, while an extended roof overhang and mature trees mitigate solar heat gain in summer. Three large vertically oriented glazed panels punctuate the east and west facades to strengthen the connection with nature throughout the home. The cottage also includes two ground-floor bedrooms and a large, open sleeping area on the second floor. + YH2 Architecture Photo credit: Francis Pelletier

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Dreamy cabin is the perfect lakeside escape for large families

Wooden home designed to withstand extreme weather assembled in just two days

February 15, 2018 by  
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Borren Staalenhoef Architecten BV bna created this stunning prefab wooden home on the remote Dutch island of Vlieland. Tucked into the rolling landscape, the elegant structure rises out of the dunes with a majestic asymmetrical pitched black roof. Het Kulkje Vlieland was built on location in a mere two days, and it’s designed to blend into its environment and to withstand the extreme weather often found on the island. Considering the delicate nature of the landscape, the building process was a challenge for the architects. Additionally, the project had to overcome a few legal limits as well because new constructions are no longer permitted in the area. Between 1930 and 1970 about 200 holiday homes were built on this part of the island, but further construction had been limited to protect the natural state of the pristine area . Accordingly, the architects had to tear down an existing structure to create a new one, but had to respect the limited construction parameters of the prior structure. Related: Elegant Flying Point home rises gracefully out of restored sand dunes To reduce its footprint, the wooden structure was completely manufactured off-site. Once all of the pieces were on location, the entire construction process took just 2 days to mount, which is shocking considering the rugged landscape. The three-story home has a spacious living area on the first floor, which is surrounded by glazed walls to provide beautiful views of the natural surroundings from any angle. The bedrooms are located on the top floor, which leads up to a large attic space that can be used as an office or guest room. However, it is the lower level of the home, which is sunken beneath the level of the dunes, that is the heart of the design. This “hidden” level of the home is tucked deep into the landscape, virtually obscured from view from the outside. Once on the inside, however, the space is flooded with natural light and provides sweeping views of the dunes. + Borren Staalenhoef Architecten BV bna Via Archdaily Images by Borren Staalenhoef Architecten BV bna  

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Wooden home designed to withstand extreme weather assembled in just two days

Modern black house juts out like a natural extension of Quebecs forest landscape

December 1, 2017 by  
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If you haven’t tired yet of the blackened timber trend, feast your eyes on this modern retreat that’s backed up on a forested hillside in Quebec, Canada. Montreal-based studio Atelier General designed The Rock, a boxy timber home that, like its name implies, is meant to evoke a natural extension of the mountainous terrain. Full-height glazing and extensive use of wood inside and out blur the line between indoor-outdoor living. Topped with a flat roof, the two-story home avoids a monolithic appearance thanks to its main living space that, supported by slender black columns, juts out towards the landscape, shielding a carport underneath. Black-painted timber clads the 2,300-square-foot home that’s contrasted by light-toned timber used in the interior and outdoor terrace that extends into the hillside. Related: Floating sauna with charred timber cladding boasts minimal site impact The entrance is located on the smaller ground floor, which contains two bedrooms and a bathroom. A large south-facing open-plan living area, dining room, and kitchen take up the majority of the L-shaped upper level. Full-height glazing wraps around the communal area that also opens up to a small triangle-shaped deck. The master ensuite is placed between the two decks. Polish concrete floors are used throughout the home. + Atelier General Via Dezeen Images via Atelier General , photos by Adrien Williams

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Modern black house juts out like a natural extension of Quebecs forest landscape

Rocks discovered in Canada hold the oldest evidence of life

September 29, 2017 by  
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3.95 billion-year-old rocks could offer the oldest evidence we’ve found for life on Earth . A team led by the University of Tokyo found graphite in Labrador, Canada that they think is biogenic, or produced by living organisms. They contend this is the oldest evidence of life, as opposed to microfossils found earlier in Quebec , saying the dating process used in the latter was highly controversial. In March, the journal Nature published the findings of an international team of researchers who’d found fossils in Quebec that they said could be between 3.77 and 4.28 billion years old. Now, nine scientists at institutions in Japan say they’ve actually found the oldest evidence of life on this planet, and it’s in 3.95 billion-year-old rocks. Related: World’s oldest fossils discovered in Canada – and they’re 4 billion years old These researchers found graphite in sedimentary rocks. Tsuyoshi Komiya of the University of Tokyo said, “Our samples are also the oldest supracrustal rocks preserved on Earth.” Phys.org pointed out the Quebec fossils were found in a similar formation. The Japan team measured the isotope composition of the graphite to find it was biogenic, although the identity of the organisms that produced the graphite or their appearance are mysteries. Komiya said the team could work to identify the organisms by scrutinizing “other isotopes such as nitrogen, sulphur, and iron of the organic matter and accompanied materials.” They can also analyze the rock’s chemical composition to try and figure out the organisms’ environment . Other researchers, like geochemist Daniele Pinti of the University of Quebec at Montreal, seem impressed by the new team’s findings and process. He told CBC News, “For the moment, it looks very convincing.” Phys.org said that should the discovery be accurate, it would mean life sprung up on Earth a geological second after the planet formed around 4.5 billion years ago. Nature published the new study this week. Via Phys.org and CBC News Images via Wikimedia Commons and Tashiro, Takayuki, et al.

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Estrade Residence adapts to rocky hillside with locally-harvested materials

January 30, 2017 by  
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The gorgeous Estrade Residence adapts to the rocky, steep topography of a lake shore in Quebec , and offers breathtaking views of the surroundings. Canadian design studio MU Architecture design the house using natural and locally sourced materials and created a multitude of spaces and terraces that embrace the site. The main idea was to highlight the peculiarities of the site and integrate nature into the design of the house. This resulted in a staggered structure that includes several terraces that establish a strong dialogue with the surrounding landscape. Thick walls made from rocks extracted during excavation create a spine of the project that extends outwards, protect the apartments on the ground floor, and help establish a direct connection between the interior and exterior spaces. Related: Modern meets rustic in the Hemmingford House built from natural materials The different volumes are gradually revealed as visitors climb an aerial and magisterial staircase which connects all levels of the house. Open spaces dominate the ground floor bathed in natural light, with a double-sided fireplace located in the center of the common room adding warmth to the place. This area extends the kitchen to the outside via a veranda which stretches perpendicularly to the natural ridge. Natural cedar cladding of the upper volumes complements the stone walls and gives the residence both a rustic and modern feel. + MU Architecture Via v2com Photos by Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard (YUL Photo)

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Artist "attacks" buildings with clutter to remind us of how much stuff we own

August 9, 2016 by  
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Torres has been working and living in Quebec for over a decade, where much of his artwork has been publicly displayed. “Tipping Point” was brought to Ottawa after the artist was invited by Canadian Heritage and EXMURO arts publics for an early July installation. Kayaks, construction cones, children’s toys, and patio chairs in bright, alarming colors seem to explode out of the side of the wall as observers pass by the piece. Related: Artist Veronika Richterová turns plastic bottles into beautiful plant and animal sculptures The piece is much like earlier works at a Quebec City event, named “Overflows” and “Stock in Transit”. The former portrays an explosion of multicolored plastic equipment bursting out of a tipped storage container, a metaphor for our disturbing reliance on accumulating as many things as we can buy. Each piece is meant to feel imposing and overwhelming, just like the western world’s love affair with “disposable” plastic objects. Most recently Torres’ “Canopy” piece was featured in Edmonton’s The Works Art & Design Festival . Visitors walked underneath and amongst exposed and covered passageways. The experience is meant to represent nomadism, a key theme in the artist’s life and creative work. +José Luis Torres Images via José Luis Torres

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Norway considers ban of gas-fueled vehicles by 2025

June 6, 2016 by  
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As the electric vehicle market picks up speed, some countries around the world have considered banning the sale of gas-burning vehicles. According to Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv, the country’s politicians could be close to a ban on sales of gas-fueled vehicles. If approved, the move would go into effect by 2025 . Dagens Næringsliv reported that four major political parties in Norway have agreed on such a proposal. While the proposal isn’t law yet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted a picture of the newspaper headline and described Norway as an ” amazingly awesome country .” According to Electrek, the parties include those on the ” right and the left .” Norwegian citizens have already taken their own steps toward a future with cleaner transportation : about 20 percent of vehicles on the road are electric. Related: Dutch politicians want to ban all polluting cars by 2025 It could be a promising step for Norway, but there’s a caveat. While the country supplies 90 percent of local energy via hydropower , Norway is still Europe’s largest producer of petroleum . 45 percent of the country’s exports are comprised of fossil fuels, which results in 20 percent of Norway’s GDP. If the proposed ban was turned into law, Fortune said it would be the “geopolitical equivalent of a drug dealer that refuses to touch their own product.” Will the proposal become law? That’s a tricky question, as some of the conservative parties are already saying they have not yet agreed. It may take more time – several other countries and some U.S. states have considered similar proposals but have allowed far more generous timelines. By 2050 , states such as California, New York, and Oregon aim to ban new sales. The Netherlands, India, Germany, the UK, and Quebec are also considering a ban on future sales. Via Fortune Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Norway considers ban of gas-fueled vehicles by 2025

Five stunning gardens unveiled for the International Garden Festival in Quebec

February 19, 2016 by  
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Naturehumaine transforms a plain home into a gorgeous, light-filled retreat

January 4, 2016 by  
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Vancouver lights up a dark highway overpass with a massive chandelier

January 4, 2016 by  
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The city of Vancouver, Canada has approved a public art project which would suspend a giant, spinning chandelier beneath the Granville Street Bridge. Commissioned by The Westbank Corporation and designed by local artist Rodney Graham , the sculpture is a replica of an 18th century design that will measure four by six meters (13 by 19 feet). Though it may appear to be crystal from a distance, the chandelier is actually composed of clear polymer pieces with embedded LEDs . Read the rest of Vancouver lights up a dark highway overpass with a massive chandelier

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