Weathered steel and reclaimed materials blend a modern home into the woods

December 11, 2017 by  
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Raleigh-based Tonic Design completed a creative new home that plays with the contrasts between the old and new in their use of reclaimed and contemporary materials. Tucked into the forests of Durham, the Piedmont Retreat is a 3,800-square-foot single-family home that embraces the outdoors in its use of weathered materials and large cantilevered windows. Reclaimed materials , like the oak flooring and factory lights, help soften the modern steel and glass construction. Located on a corner of a cul-de-sac in Durham, Piedmont Retreat is a two-story home commissioned by clients who wanted a low-maintenance home with a direct visual connection to their beautiful wooded site. In response, the architects wrapped the street-facing side of the home in vertical strips of Corten steel that will continue to weather over time and blend the home into the surroundings. Abundant glazing was installed in the back of the home to frame views of the forest. The home’s upper level is split into two halves, one for the communal spaces and the other for the bedrooms. This division of space is realized as two separate volumes set slightly apart and linked via light-filled walkways. A protected exterior courtyard sits between the two parts. Related: Stunning Lake Michigan home is built from dying ash reclaimed onsite “While the steel provides an exterior barrier, of sorts, between the family and the street, interior spaces are open and fluid, shifting perspectives throughout the house as the inhabitants move from the “public” volume of living, dining, and kitchen areas to the private volume of bedrooms and baths, all on one floor,” wrote the architects. + Tonic Design Images by Tzu Chen Photography

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Weathered steel and reclaimed materials blend a modern home into the woods

Worlds tallest hybrid timber building to boast Vancouvers most expensive new apartments

December 11, 2017 by  
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New details and renderings have been released of Shigeru Ban’s Terrace House , a collection of luxury homes in what will become the world’s tallest hybrid timber building. Developed by PortLiving, Terrace House will be set at the center of Coal Harbor overlooking the waterfront with condos starting at $3 million—which makes them the most expensive new apartments in the city. The 20 homes will be constructed as “individual works of art” with energy-efficient systems and wood harvested from sustainably managed forests in southeastern B.C. Modern in appearance and in the materials used, Terrace House is poised to stand out as one of the most innovative residential buildings in the world. However, the 19-story building also relates to and complements the historic site context through triangular shapes, natural materials , and terraces that echo the design of Evergreen , a decades-old neighboring building. Landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander, who had also worked on the planting design of the Evergreen building, was hired to work on Terrace House for continuity. “Terrace House has been thoughtfully executed and planned, drawing on Shigeru Ban’s iconic design codes to ensure that each of the 20 homes are individual works of art,” said Macario (Tobi) Reyes, founder and CEO of PortLiving . “The residences each have a full suite of smart home technologies, museum-quality glazing that helps to control temperature and provides UV protection for art collections, and fully-integrated air conditioning and heating systems paired with in-floor radiant heating and cooling that extend onto enclosed balconies, creating comfort and maximizing use of indoor/outdoor living spaces all year-round.” Related: Shigeru Ban Architects unveil plans for the world’s tallest hybrid timber building Each home in the Terrace House will be optimized for views of the city, mountains, and inlet and open up to terraces through electronic-controlled glass-sliding panels. Custom fixtures and features designed by Shigeru Ban will be installed through the building. Smart home controls are equipped in every home as are 27-foot-tall ceilings, as well as in-floor radiant heating and cooling. Almost half of the units will take up entire floor plates, while others will be split over multiple levels. + Shigeru Ban Architects Via ArchDaily

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Worlds tallest hybrid timber building to boast Vancouvers most expensive new apartments

Stunning shipping container home can be yours for $125k

November 22, 2017 by  
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Architect and builder Ty Kelly wanted to disconnect from the stresses of city life in Seattle – so he built an incredible shipping container home deep in the picturesque Montana plains. The 720-square-foot home is made from plenty of reclaimed materials , and it’s currently on the market for $125,000 . The one-bedroom, one-bath home is a true example of shipping container design done right. The home design is a sophisticated blend of wood and glass. Partially clad in wooden planking on the exterior, the house has an all-glass wall that provides natural light into the interior as well as gorgeous views of the rugged Montana landscape. Further embedding the home into its stunning surroundings is the wooden flooring that extends the length of the home onto an open-air deck on the exterior. Related: You can now buy tiny shipping container homes on Amazon Although the design of the home is quite contemporary, Kelly used quite a bit of reclaimed materials in the construction. The redwood flooring and wall panels are made out of reclaimed wood, as well as the kitchen’s butcher block counters, which were made out of leftover lumber from another project. On the interior, the living space, although quite compact, is incredibly comfortable. The kitchen has a wood stove as well as the typical modern conveniences such as a dishwasher and washer and dryer. The home’s bathroom layout, however, is quite a different story. The home comes complete with an outdoor shower on the side deck that lets the homeowners truly get back to nature. Via Dwell Photos via Zillow  

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Stunning shipping container home can be yours for $125k

Massive sinkhole opens up in the middle of a Brazilian farming town

November 22, 2017 by  
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Watch your step! An enormous sinkhole has opened up in the tiny municipality of Coromandel, in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. As Forbes  reports, the 65-foot hole appeared overnight in the thick of a local soybean farm swallowing up earth, crops, and putting some 28,000 residents on alert. While some in the area had suspected a meteor was to blame for the cavernous hollow, geologists from the Federal University of Uberlândia have confirmed the sinkhole was in fact caused by the disintegration of the town’s underlying limestone bedrock. In addition to farming soy, coffee, and corn, the region is active in mining pure calcareous limestone, a sedimentary rock that spans much of the area. The town of Coromandel, in fact, sits atop a large stretch of limestone. While the sinkhole is the first to be recorded in the area’s modern history, geologist Trevor Nace is quick to point out that its occurrence is far from abnormal and should not be considered unexpected given the region’s limestone bedrock. Related: Japanese fix massive city sinkhole within 48 hours Nace says rain is slightly acidic. “As it percolates into the ground it can, over time, dissolve calcium carbonate into calcium, carbon dioxide, and water.” He adds, “As the limestone (calcium carbonate) dissolves it leaves voids underneath the ground and eventually the overlying weight of the sediment causes the area to collapse. This collapsed feature is a sinkhole.” Nace also cites “ Poço Verde/Green Well ,” a local tourist destination that professors surmise was once a sinkhole that over time evolved into a lake. Via Forbes Images via Coromandel’s press release and Google Earth

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Massive sinkhole opens up in the middle of a Brazilian farming town

This human-sized birdhouse for two is perched among the treetops

November 14, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever wished you could make like a bird and roost in the trees, you’ll love this charming birdhouse-shaped hideaway nestled in a British Columbia forest. Calgary-based design firm Studio North recently completed Birdhut, a cozy nest for people and birds alike. Built of reclaimed pine felled by a recent fire, the tiny 100-square-foot structure uses locally scavenged materials to mimic a bird’s nest-building process. Accessible via a bridge to the hillside, the cozy one-room Birdhut sleeps two (and a dog). Salvaged lodgepodge pines were used for the cross-braced structure, while planks reclaimed from a cabin deck are used for the platform and cladding. Western Red Cedar rounded shingles clad the facade and 8-millimeter clear polycarbonate panels top the roof, letting ample natural daylight into the cabin. Two circular windows let in natural ventilation. Related: Enchanting birdhouses inspired by famous architecture Twelve smaller circular holes punctuate the facade, each designed for different native birds . “The pileated woodpecker for instance, is a larger bird that seeks out a nesting space 15 to 25 feet above ground, with a 4” entry hole and an 8”x8”x24” cavity,” wrote the designers. “The warbler, on the other hand, is a smaller bird that typically nests 9 feet above ground with a 1 1/8” hole and a 4”x4”x6” cavity. Considering both the largest and smallest varieties of local birds, the hut sits 9 feet off the ground, with its peak at 20 feet above the ground and birdhouses scattered in between.” + Studio North Images by Mark Erickson

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This human-sized birdhouse for two is perched among the treetops

MAD Architects-designed residences rise like mountains in a UNESCO Heritage site

November 14, 2017 by  
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MAD Architects just completed the Huangshan Mountain Village, their latest nature-inspired project that mimics the curves of China’s most beautiful mountains in a UNESCO World Heritage site. Located on a ridge, the developments comprise ten unique buildings that rise like individual peaks overlooking Taiping Lake. The use of nature as inspiration creates, in the architects’ words, a new type of village landscape “where architecture becomes nature, and nature dissolves into architecture.” The Huangshan Mountain Village was created as part of a larger tourism masterplan for Huangshan Taiping Lake, a landscape rich in greenery, granite peaks, and historical significance. To respect the local topography , the architects designed each building with undulating lines that respond to the mountainous terrain and nearby terraced tea fields. Each structure juts out from the forest canopy like craggy granite mountains sculpted by the natural forces of wind and water. Spacious balconies and large strips of glazing bring the outdoors in. Related: MAD Architects Unveil Mountain-Shaped Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center “The impression we have of Taiping Lake in Huangshan is vague: each visit to this place yields different views, different impressions,” said Founder Ma Yansong . “It is a bit mysterious, like ancient Shanshui landscape paintings that are never based on realism, but rather, the imagination. This inexplicable feeling is always poetic; it is obscure and indistinct. This is the basic idea: we hope that residents will not just look at the scenery, but see themselves in relation to this environment, attention that is brought inward. In observing oneself, one perhaps begins to notice a different self than the one present in the city.” + MAD Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Laurian Ghinitoiu

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MAD Architects-designed residences rise like mountains in a UNESCO Heritage site

Salvaged materials from devastating fire take new life in a British pier

July 26, 2017 by  
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A British seaside pier destroyed by a devastating fire in 2010 has made an incredible comeback in the hands of dRMM Architects . After a seven-year process, the century-old pier in Hastings, England was transformed from its decrepit and dangerous state to a vibrant new public space clad in reclaimed materials. Crafted in collaboration with the community, the Hastings Pier is an inspiring story of sustainable restoration and craft, earning it a place on the shortlist for the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize , UK’s top architecture award. Originally constructed in 1872 and later topped with a pavilion that survived until the fire, the Hastings Pier enjoyed its heyday as an entertainment destination in the 1930s but later fell into disrepair and ultimately closed in recent decades due to neglect. Rather than restore the Victorian pier to its original design, drMM wanted to craft a pier better suited to the 21st century and focused on designing an attractive multipurpose space with few buildings. The architects not only redesigned the pier, but also wrote the brief and helped raise funds with the Heritage Lottery Fund that paid for structural repairs below deck and partially covered the costs of rebuilding the pier above deck. The most defining building on the new pier is the new visitor center , that’s not positioned at the end of the pier but rather on top of the damaged pier’s weakest section. The cross-laminated timber structure is clad in reclaimed timber salvaged from the fire and is topped with an accessible viewpoint rooftop that doubles as an events space. The only other structures are a pair of circular extensions that house a kitchen, staff facility, and toilet; a group of hut-like trading stalls; and deck furniture built from reclaimed materials as part of a local employment initiative. The 266-meter-long deck was rebuilt with sustainably sourced African Ekki hardwood. Related: Light-filled cancer center harnesses the healing power of nature RIBA wrote: “From a conservation perspective, this project has reinvigorated a fire-damaged historic structure and facilitated a contemporary and appropriate new 21st century use. The project has been mindful to integrate material from the original pier in the new design, and the process of restoration was used to help train a new generation of craft specialists.” + dRMM Via Dezeen Images © Alex de Rijke

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Salvaged materials from devastating fire take new life in a British pier

Twin warming huts for TED conference evoke the Great Canadian Wilderness

July 26, 2017 by  
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The architecture and design students of DBR | Design Build Research created ELEVATE, unique pop-up structures that brought a slice of the Canadian backcountry winter experience to downtown Vancouver . Crafted as part of a three-month design/build course, this temporary installation served as a sheltered outdoor living room for the TED2016 conference. Innovation with wood and technical fabrication were explored in the project, most notably through the curved planks of CNC-milled timber used to create the structures’ inviting, cocoon-like shapes. From afar, ELEVATE evokes snow-covered hilltops, however a closer look reveals the design’s likeness to high alpine shelters . The 16 students sought to create an attractive meeting place where TED attendees, known as TEDsters, could gather and discuss ideas. The structures were also outfitted with graphics of provincial and national parks to encourage TEDsters to explore Vancouver’s great outdoors during their visit. Related: Solar-powered alpine prefab shows off the power of prefab in extreme conditions METSA Wood donated Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), an advanced wood product, that was shaped with CNC technology into the ELEVATE’s skeleton. Set on sill plates, the structures feature a timber deck and curved timber ribs reinforced by cross bracing. A white translucent covering protects visitors from the elements and is complemented with exposed timber ribbing visible from the interior. Each warming hut includes a large seating area marked with the TED logo, as well as bright red beanbags. + DBR | Design Build Research Images by Ema Peter

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Twin warming huts for TED conference evoke the Great Canadian Wilderness

Light-filled timber home is a modern zen haven in Seattle

July 18, 2017 by  
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How do you combine countryside tranquility with urban style? MW|Works Architecture+Design strikes a thoughtful balance in Helen Street, a beautiful modern home with handsome craftsmanship and careful attention to detail. Filled with light and views of the landscape, this lovely Seattle home is built largely of wood, from the heavy reclaimed timber cladding to the naturally weathered cedar plank roof. Helen Street was commissioned by clients who had been living on a rural property east of Seattle but found themselves drawn back to the vibrancy of city life. Thus, the architects were tasked to create a home with a smaller footprint than the client’s former house that still retained the peaceful setting of the countryside as well as easy indoor/outdoor living. The new-build is located on an urban corner lot in the walkable Madison Valley neighborhood next to Washington Park Arboretum , and comfortably houses the two clients and their two dogs. Related: Shapeshifting Tent House blurs the line between indoor and outdoor spaces A courtyard is located at the heart of the home, bringing natural light and greenery deep in the interior. “Territorial view corridors helped identify where the building could be very transparent and where privacy was more important,” wrote the architects. “The material palette was simple with a largely glassy main level with solid volumes crisply detailed in cement panels.” Naturally weathered cedar planks clad the roof plane and master suite, while stacked and blackened reclaimed timber clad the exterior. + MW|Works Architecture+Design Images by Andrew Pogue

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Light-filled timber home is a modern zen haven in Seattle

Dwell Development’s net-zero home in Seattle is packed with sustainable goodness

June 29, 2017 by  
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This 5-Star Built Green home in Mount Baker, Seattle is packed with sustainable elements – including locally and sustainably-sourced materials and net-zero building strategies. The house was designed by JT Architecture for Dwell Development , and it’s perched on a peaceful hilltop in one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods with expansive views of the city. The design of the Mount Baker house is in line with the philosophy of Dwell Development and its net zero strategy rooted in the idea of remaining local. Each home by the firm occupies an urban site in a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, where homeowners can live within blocks of all essential services and social activities. This new home was built on an urban infill lot steps away from Hunter Boulevard which includes an Olmsted designed center median park and dense retail and commercial areas on Rainier and McClellan. Related: Dwell Development’s outstanding zero-energy Emerald Star home in Seattle is almost entirely reclaimed The floors throughout the building are covered in sustainably harvested walnut from Montana, while the exterior polished concrete pavers were sourced locally. The exterior facade of the house is clad with reclaimed barn wood and reclaimed standing seam metal sourced from Oregon, while the interior features posts wrapped in over 100-year-old hand-hewn beam skins from Montana. The house is prepped for solar panels and electric vehicle charging, uses 100% LED lighting and is 100% electric. An exterior barrier system and a heat recover ventilation system regulate indoor temperatures 24/7. + JT Architecture + Dwell Development Photos by Tucker English

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