Reclaimed NYC water towers are upcycled into a NEST playscape in Brooklyn

June 28, 2019 by  
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A giant NEST has landed on the roof of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (BCM) — and it’s not for the birds. Brooklyn-based design and fabrication practice TRI-LOX created NEST, the museum’s new interactive playscape built out of reclaimed timber from the city’s rooftop water towers. Designed with parametric tools, the sustainable installation takes inspiration from the unique nests of the baya weaver birds — their nests are featured in the museum’s educational collection — and comprises an organic woven landscape with 1,800 square feet of space for open and creative play. Opened just in time for summer, the NEST playscape at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (BCM) in Crown Heights caters to children ages 2 to 8. The woven wooden landscape is set on artificial turf and includes a climbable exterior and a series of ribbed tunnels and rooms that make up a permeable interior with entrances marked by bright blue paint. The reclaimed cedar slats not only make the structure easy to climb, but also partially obscure views for added playfulness. The top of the structure is crowned with a circular hammock area that directs views up toward the sky. “In exploring the museum’s educational collection, we came upon a series of incredible bird nests and let them inspire our design,” said ?Alexander Bender?, co-founder and managing partner of TRI-LOX, which was commissioned by BCM through a request for proposals in mid-2017. “One nest in particular, made by the baya weaver bird, offers an intricately woven form with rooms, tunnels and multiple entries. This concept was then transformed into a climbable playscape that retains the natural materiality of the nest and tells a story of an iconic design within our vertical urban habitat — the NYC rooftop wood water tower. We quite literally brought the water tower back to the rooftop with this project … it just had to be turned into a giant nest first.” Related: The Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s new green roof lets kids explore the wilderness in the middle of the city NEST playscape is the newest focal point for the BCM, which consists of a series of architecturally significant designs befitting its title as the world’s first children’s museum. Rafael Viñoly designed the museum’s eye-catching yellow building in 2008. Seven years later, Toshiko Mori added a pavilion on the 20,000-square-foot rooftop that was complemented with lush planting plan and a boardwalk by Future Green Studio in 2017. + TRI-LOX Photography by Arion Doerr via TRI-LOX

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This gorgeous LEED Platinum winery is made of reclaimed wood

March 20, 2019 by  
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San Francisco-based firm Piechota Architecture has designed what is being called the most sustainable winery in Sonoma Valley. Tucked into the rolling hills of Alexander Valley, the solar-powered Silver Oak winery design, which was made with repurposed materials, has already earned a LEED-Platinum certification  and is on track to become the one of the world’s most sustainable wineries. The family-owned Silver Oak Cellars winery was established in 1972 and has since become world-renowned for its award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery’s first location is located in the Napa Valley town of Oakville. The company’s second winery, designed by Daniel Piechota , is located on an expansive 113-acre estate and 75 acres of prime Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in Alexander Valley. Related: LEED-seeking winery in Uruguay is built almost entirely of locally sourced materials With its low-lying gabled farmhouse silhouette, the winery appears low-key from afar; however, behind the clean lines, charred timber cladding and minimalist forms lies a powerhouse of sustainability. According to the architects, the design of the winery applies the concept of “reduce, reuse, recycle” through various sustainable features. For energy generation, the winery has an extended roof installed with more than  2,500 solar panels , which generate 100 percent of the building’s energy needs. The design uses plenty of recycled materials, but the reclaimed wood was specifically chosen to pay homage to the area’s wine-making industry. The winery’s exterior is clad in wood panels taken from 1930s wine tanks from Cherokee Winery, one of the valley’s pioneers of wine-making. Additionally, the design incorporated charred panels recovered from Middletown trees that were naturally felled during a fire in the valley in 2015. Now, the blacked trunks and panels have been given new life as a modern, sleek facade for the  winery . Inside, visitors are met with a large entry staircase, also built out of reclaimed wood from oak wine barrels with red wine stains that were intentionally left visible. The rest of the welcoming interior is a light-filled space filled with steel and wood features. Visitors will be able to take part in wine tasting in the winery’s tasting room, which is nearly net-zero water. With a calming reflective pool, native vegetation and open-air seating, this area is the heart of the design. Created to mimic the local barn vernacular, the gabled roof and large cutouts provide beautiful framed views of the rolling hillside that surrounds the estate. Of course, as with every winery, water plays an essential role in Silver Oak’s production. To reduce waste, the winery was installed with a state-of-the-art water reclamation system, including a membrane bioreactor that treats and filters water from the cellar to provide potable water. Rainwater is harvested and collected to be used in the vineyard’s irrigation. + Daniel Piechota Via Dezeen Photography by Joe Fletcher via Daniel Piechota

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This gorgeous LEED Platinum winery is made of reclaimed wood

This home gently wraps around towering 80-year-old coconut trees

November 27, 2018 by  
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Bombay-based firm  Abraham John Architects deftly crafted a beautiful home to carefully sit near 19 80-year-old coconut trees. The massive, 6,500-square-foot private residence is broken up into various fragmented volumes, taking on a small village feel that gives the home its name, Villa in the Palms. According to the architects, the unique layout was essential in ensuring that not a single tree was felled during the building process. To build the home around the trees, the architects created a unique, fragmented layout, reminiscent of a traditional Goan Village. Additionally, the team used traditional Goan building techniques and materials in the project. The exterior walls are clad in resilient laterite stone, giving the home an earthy aspect that blends it into the natural surroundings while providing a strong thermal envelope. Also climate-inspired are the pitched roofs that slope at different angles to harvest rainwater and withstand strong winds during monsoon season. Related: A modern, energy-efficient home is built around a beloved madrone tree The home is broken up into several individual spaces, which are connected by various outdoor decks, passages and bridges that wind through the trees, pools and gardens. The main living area provides stunning views of the gardens. The room is flooded with natural light through a large skylight that also provides sun for the interior garden. To blend the home further into its natural setting, the outer frame was installed with large screens made out of 100-year-old reclaimed teak wood . The living space, kitchen and dining room all look out over the pool, which is comprised of three distinct bodies of water covered with teak-wood bridges and little islands that were built to protect the existing trees .  This area also opens up to the natural gardens of lush greenery and, of course, the towering palm trees. + Abraham John Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Alan Abraham via Abraham John Architects

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This home gently wraps around towering 80-year-old coconut trees

A dull, 26-year-old Airstream becomes a bright, cozy home on wheels

November 16, 2018 by  
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While they were dating, travel-loving couple Nate and Taylor Lavender bonded over their shared dream of tiny home living. Years after they met, the ambitious duo decided to bring that dream to fruition by converting a 1992 Airstream into a bohemian, light-filled home on wheels, renamed Augustine the Airstream . Today, the couple, along with their incredibly cute dog Summit, are enjoying the freedom of life on the road. The couple did most of the renovation work themselves , starting with the exterior. Airstreams are known for their shiny aluminum cladding, but Augustine’s nearly-30-year-old exterior had a dull, weathered appearance. To restore its luster, the Lavenders used two rounds of paint stripper before buffing and polishing it back to its shiny gleam. Related: A 1972 Airstream becomes a bright, 198-square-foot home for a family of four Renovating the Airstream ‘s interior, which was pretty shabby, was also quite an arduous task. Stripping the interior to the bone, the couple began to create a new layout that would work best for their lifestyle. They both work from home, so it was essential to create a work space and plenty of storage to keep the interior clutter-free. The couple decided to keep the interior’s color palette neutral with just hints of color. They painted the walls white and installed lightweight, peel-and-stick vinyl plank flooring. To make the most of the compact space, Nate custom-built most of the furniture, including the booth table in the kitchen, the side table next to the sofa, a shelving unit and the bed frame. The best part of the tiny home is the kitchen, which was completely redone to create a simple and clean aesthetic. From there, Nate and Taylor added fun texture with a pressed tin backsplash and hanging plants. The couple also installed a working/dining cubical that faces the kitchen. A beautiful tabletop made out of reclaimed wood pulls double duty as a dining table and work space. A comfortable loveseat was placed in the living room, book-ended by a side table and shelving unit. The dark wood on the tables, along with colorful pillows and a pendant light, give the space a welcoming, bohemian feel. A free-standing fireplace creates a warm and cozy atmosphere during frigid winters. + Augustine the Airstream Via Dwell Images via Nate and Taylor Lavender

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A dull, 26-year-old Airstream becomes a bright, cozy home on wheels

These enchanting, off-grid cabins are handcrafted from salvaged materials

October 12, 2018 by  
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Ambitious tiny cabin crafter  Jacob Witzling  has taken inspiration from childhood fairytales to build some seriously dreamy woodland dwellings for himself and his friends. Using  reclaimed wood  and other materials scavenged from construction sites, Witzling has designed and handcrafted a series of gorgeous tiny cabins tucked deep into lush forestscapes. Inspired by a deep respect for nature, all of his amazing cabins run 100 percent off the grid with no running water. It seems as if Witzling was destined to be close to nature. As a teenager, he moved into a 1920s cabin tucked into a wooded forest near his parents’ house. Although he would go home to do laundry and eat, he said that he always found himself drawn back to his real home in the woods. He has always preferred to live with simple pleasures. “Inside was a wood stove that I fed and stoked through the harsh winter nights,” Witzling explained. “I had my freedom and my fire. They were all I needed to be happy.” Witzling has taken his love of simple living and turned it into an amazing craft based on sustainability. Not only are all of his cabins built with reclaimed materials , but they are completely off-grid. They are powered by 12-volt D/C systems using deep cycle batteries. All water needed for drinking, cooking and bathing is collected from a well, and separate outhouses are equipped with composting toilets . Most of his wooden cabins are built on land owned by friends or acquaintances. He builds the structures with the agreement that he will have complete access after their completion. To date, he has built six amazingly unique cabins, including an innovative home on the bed of a pickup truck. Take a look below. Cabin 1 Witzling’s very first cabin was built for just $800. The two-story structure with a sloping shed roof was constructed out of reclaimed building materials , including salvaged wood, nails and screws leftover from construction projects, a local reuse store and straight from garbage pits. The cabin has two levels, a ground level of 100 square feet and a 70-square-foot sleeping loft. Witzling lived in this cabin for three years. Related: 9 brilliant backwoods cabins for reconnecting with nature Cabin 2 The second tiny cabin was built with wood salvaged from an old warehouse. Certainly fairytale-inspired, this 200-square-foot cabin takes on a cruciform shape with two pitched roofs covered in thick moss. Inside, there’s a compact living area and a 90-square-foot sleeping loft, all illuminated with natural light. Cabin 3 The third cabin (perhaps the most impressive) is a tiny octagonal structure with a pyramid roof featuring eight A-frame dormers. Witzling built the geometric cabin with his lifelong friend Wesley Daughenbaugh. Two large wooden doors open into the 135-square-foot interior, where many windows flood the space with natural light . The roofs are covered with metal sheets, chicken wire and a layer of moss. Cabin 4 The fourth cabin is quite distinct from the previous work in that the roof design is so eccentric. The cabin, which he built with his brother, Ethan Hamby, is set on an 80-square-foot, irregular base and topped with an  undulating pitched roof layered in small wooden shingles. The cabin was built with all reclaimed materials and is 17 feet long, 11 feet tall and 7 feet wide with a small, 30-square-foot sleeping loft inside. Cabin 5 The fifth cabin was a collaborative effort between Witzling, his brother Ethan and a childhood friend, Scott Pearson. The 200-square-foot wooden cabin , again made out of reclaimed lumber, is built on 25-square-foot alcoves on each side. A pitched 4-foot spire adds a chapel-like aesthetic to the cabin, which is surrounded by forest and adjacent to a small lake. Truck Cabin From off-grid cabins nestled into evergreen forests to homes on wheels roaming the highways, Witzling’s sixth project is a surprising twist to the traditional tiny cabin. Using the roof design from Cabin 4 as inspiration, he and his partner, Sara Underwood, built a tiny asymmetrical cabin on the bed of a 1979 pickup truck. The crafty duo are currently exploring the U.S. in their amazing creation. You can follow their adventures on Jacob’s Instagram . + Jacob Witzling Via Dwell Photography by Jacon Witzling, Sara Underwood, Forrest Smith, Chris Poops, Andrew Kearns, Erik Hecht, Justin D. Kauffman, Allen Meyer, Peter Crosby all via Jacob Witzling

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These enchanting, off-grid cabins are handcrafted from salvaged materials

Eco-resort in Tulum features luxury beach huts made of natural materials

October 5, 2018 by  
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Getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life is much easier thanks to gorgeous boutique hotels in stunning locations all over the world. For a Mexican getaway, Habitas Tulum offers guests a truly serene experience with thatched-roof luxury huts located just steps away from the Caribbean Sea. The eco-resort was built with locally-sourced traditional building materials such as wood, reeds and grass, and a modern glass tower was installed at the heart of the complex to house the resort’s lounge and dining areas. The hotel, which offers five ocean-front rooms and 27 jungle rooms, integrates its natural surroundings into the design and was built to be as eco-friendly as possible. The structures were ecologically built with indigenous materials such as palapa roofs made out of dried palm leaves. Many of the structures are raised on platforms to reduce the impact on the landscape. The design of the eco-hotel was inspired by the serene nature of its surroundings. The luxury suites are decorated with handmade furniture made from locally-sourced wood. In fact, local artisan traditions, craftsmanship and textiles are found throughout the property. Related: Mexico’s thatched-roof CocoCabañas Resort is powered entirely by solar energy Guest rooms come with private outdoor rain showers, along with plush robes and bathroom products made from all-natural ingredients. Private open-air decks with ample seating offer the perfect setting to enjoy the stunning scenery. For a bit of exploration, there are various winding paths that lead to the jungle-like surroundings of the complex. For pure relaxation, there is an outdoor swimming pool and a wellness center with spa services. At the center of the beautiful resort is a three-story glass tower framed in black steel, which serves as a hub for socializing. A Moorish-style restaurant serves delicious meals that guests can enjoy from a rooftop deck. The “yoga mezzanine” is scattered with seating areas, hammocks and colorful pillows. Multiple long tables made out of reclaimed wood are perfect for dining, card games or just reading a good book. + Habitas Tulum Via Dezeen Photography by Adrian Gaut via Habitas Tulum

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This charming, solar-powered tiny home is handcrafted from reclaimed wood

October 5, 2018 by  
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The Ojai-based tiny home builders of  Humble Hand Craft  have unveiled a beautiful off-grid tiny home made almost entirely of reclaimed wood. The Shark Arch, also called Los Padres, is a wonderful example of a sustainable tiny house that exudes a charming, rustic design. Running completely on solar power, the eco-friendly home on wheels has a cozy cabin feel. The Shark Arch tiny home is 28-feet long, which is rather large for a tiny home on wheels . However, by fitting the home on a gooseneck trailer, a truck bed fits about 8 feet under the structure. Additionally, the team designed the home to be aerodynamic on the road. The front end has a V-nose shape that breaks the wind, and the roof has a “shark fin” that adds stability to the building when it is mobile. A welcoming wooden deck that leads to the entrance can be folded up when the residents are on the go. The strategic, sustainable design carries through the the interior of the tiny home. According to the designers, they do whatever they can to create eco-friendly homes using reclaimed materials. “Given the exploitation of resources in the world today, we are partaking in the new wave of conscious building and business practices,” the team said. “By salvaging reclaimed materials and harnessing solar energy, we minimize our carbon footprint while still providing artisan homes of the highest quality.” Related: These Australian tiny cabins are designed to help us disconnect Accordingly, the Shark Arch is made with reclaimed wood inside and out. The exterior cladding and trim is made with western red cedar finished with an eco-friendly hemp shield. Walking through the double redwood door with dual pane glass, visitors are met with an all-wood interior that resembles the feel — and smell — of a cabin. The team used reclaimed redwood from old water tank staves to clad the walls. The western cedar boards on the ceiling were left untreated, giving off a woodsy cedar smell that connects the tiny home to nature. The compact living space is divided into a living room and adjacent kitchen, which is installed with electric appliances that run on solar power . The bathroom, which is actually quite large for a tiny home, was outfitted with a repurposed copper tub and composting toilet. Storage was placed wherever possible throughout the living space: under the sofa, behind the stairs and so on. Located just under the “shark fin,” a sleeping loft is surprisingly spacious and well lit by a large skylight. On the other side of the trailer, another loft is hidden above the kitchen and can be used as an office, a guest room or extra storage. + Humble Hand Craft Photography by Luke Williams via Humble Hand Craft

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This charming, solar-powered tiny home is handcrafted from reclaimed wood

Dilapidated garage turned into gorgeous tiny art studio

August 14, 2018 by  
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When artist Sue Prue moved in with her boyfriend, she decided to make full use of an old, run-down garage in the backyard by turning it into a tiny studio . The 270-square-foot space was compact, to say the least, but with a little design savvy, the ambitious couple managed to create a gorgeous, light-filled art space. Although the initial plan was to renovate the old garage in the backyard, it was in a sad state – beyond repair and full of rats. These issues prompted the design duo to demolish the old structure completely. Inspired by the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) trend in the area, Sue worked with specialists in ADU design to create a new tiny space that would meet her needs. Related: Former chicken coop transformed into a backyard artist’s studio in Berlin At just 270 square feet, the studio is quite compact, but it’s also big on style. The exterior of the structure is clad in a neutral beige siding with olive-hued trim. A pleasant sitting area surrounds the entrance, creating a seamless connection between the indoor and outdoor space. A set of double glass doors lead into the white-walled interior.  Concrete flooring , natural light and exposed wooden beams give the space a fresh, modern aesthetic. The interior is designed to be as space-efficient and sustainable as possible. It includes the reclaimed wood wall in the kitchen, which also has plenty of space for storage. The ornate black-and-white tile in the bathroom provides another artistic touch. As an experienced Art Director, the Berkeley-based Prue has a keen eye for design. In an interview with Apartment Therapy, she reveals that she filled the space focusing on a design theme that was “happy, colorful, modern, [and] mid-century-esque.” She found many of the items at flea markets, while others are more upscale purchases. + Sue Prue Via Apartment Therapy Images via Sue Prue

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Dilapidated garage turned into gorgeous tiny art studio

This family tiny home is built from recycled materials and reclaimed wood

July 25, 2018 by  
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Tiny homes have been in the limelight for several years, but what makes Margo and Eric Puffenberger’s custom-built tiny house unique is the many recycled materials that were sourced from their family members. Throughout the Puffenberger tiny home, you’ll find wood from Margo’s grandparents and sister, shelves made from her great-great-grandmother’s buffet and windows and a door from her old, demolished elementary school. Building the nearly 190-square-foot house was prompted by a casual car conversation. The 4- and 6-year-old kids, Avery and Bennett, loved the idea, and the rest is history. First, the couple bought a used 16-foot trailer with a 10,000-pound towing capacity. Margo sketched out the floor plans, and construction for the tiny home began. The couple chose cedar siding  for the exterior based on its light-weight and low-maintenance qualities as well as how lovely it ages. A durable standing seam roof complements the cedar. Plenty of windows provide natural ventilation and light — some windows were retrieved from the now-defunct elementary school. The bathroom door was also salvaged from the school and glides like a barn door. The couple designed screened window systems that hook open from the inside encourage air flow while discouraging bugs from coming into the home. Related: A couple turns a Mercedes Sprinter into a solar-powered home on wheels The tiny home’s walls are covered in white oak and beechwood salvaged from the grandparents’ corn crib. This wood was also used to build sleeping and storage lofts as well as kitchen counters, the shower basin cabinet, trim and half of the floors — the remainder is tongue-and-groove maple flooring salvaged from Margo’s sister’s old farmhouse . The kitchen cupboards are crafted from her great-great-grandmother’s buffet. Eric designed and built a couch with a fold-out bed and window seat that converts into a dining table. The Puffenbergers hit their goal of completing the project in less than two years. Just this month, the family traveled from Ohio to Colorado with their home in tow, and it was a family adventure they’ll cherish for a lifetime. Via Tiny House Talk Images via Margo Puffenberger

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This family tiny home is built from recycled materials and reclaimed wood

Minimalism adds a modern twist to this traditional farmhouse

July 25, 2018 by  
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Columbus-based practice Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design took cues from early 19th-century agrarian architecture for its design of the Sullivan House, a contemporary residence that comprises two gabled barn-like structures. Located in the leafy Ohio suburb of Worthington, this single-family home offers a modern take on the local farmhouse vernacular with its simple form clad in natural materials and large expanses of glass. Completed in June 2016, the Sullivan House is a spacious residence placed on a high point of a three-acre wooded lot upslope from a deep ravine. The two-story home was built on the remaining foundations of a previous house and covers an area of 3,500 square feet. The entrance and the main rooms of the house — including an open-plan living area, dining space and kitchen — are on the upper level, and a glazed connector separates them from a private wing housing the master suite and two bedrooms. A small loft space with an en suite bedroom is tucked above the living space. The lower level houses the garage, guest room, play room and storage with laundry. The main level of the Sullivan House is wrapped in Shou Sugi Ban set atop a base of rough limestone. The gabled roofs are sheathed in natural slate shingles with a terne metal standing seam skirt. The use of natural materials helps to blend the home into its forested surroundings, while large sliding glass panels and outdoor entertaining areas — a dining patio on the lower level and a large dining terrace on the main floor — emphasize indoor-outdoor living. Related: A Michigan farmhouse is reborn as a beautiful modern vacation retreat “The project formally references the farm structures common to the area at the time of its first settlement in the early 19th century,” said Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design in its project statement. “The minimalist expression of this reference creates a strong and clear aesthetic — the basic structure and iconic form are primary.” + Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design Images by Brad Feinknopf

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