Zaha Hadids only house rises like a spaceship in a forest near Moscow

April 13, 2018 by  
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Zaha Hadid’s only private house has just been completed and — to no surprise — it looks like a spaceship that has touched down on Earth. Created with a neo-futuristic aesthetic and ample glazing, the Capital Hill Residence stands in stark contrast with its leafy surroundings. The home is located at the heart of Russia’s Barvikha forest, just a couple miles west of Moscow . The $140 million project was completed for real estate developer and entrepreneur Vladislav Doronin, who runs Capital Group and OKO Group . The 36,000-square-foot sci-fi-esque house immediately draws the eye with its stalk-like tower that rises 117 feet above the ground. Hadid placed the master bedroom at the top, so Doronin could wake up to panoramic views of the tree canopy. The master bedroom connects to the lower levels with a glazed elevator and staircase. Related: New images capture Zaha Hadid’s luxury High Line condos in NYC The majority of the home is built into a slope and includes a pool, spa , gym and even a nightclub. Doronin, who met Hadid a decade ago, is reportedly very pleased with his home. “This striking and ambitious building is testimony to her genius,” he said, adding that he was sold from the moment he saw Hadid’s initial sketches on a napkin. “She created the perfect livable sculpture.” + Zaha Hadid Architects Via Dezeen Images via OKO Group

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Zaha Hadids only house rises like a spaceship in a forest near Moscow

This plant-covered house in Indonesia has a "second skin" that helps keep the interior cool

April 2, 2018 by  
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Nestled in a densely populated residential area of West Jakarta, Indonesia , the Pedongkelan-YN house provides a quiet tropical oasis in the midst of the surrounding city. In order to shelter the occupants from strong direct sunlight, architecture firm HYJA designed the house with a protective layer covering its glass surfaces. This layer works in tandem with the building’s swimming pool to keep the interior shaded and cool. Because the house occupies a west-facing corner lot, it receives copious amounts of sunlight in the afternoon. The architects responded to this issue by placing easy-to-maintain wooden grilles over the majority of the building’s glass openings. Related: Incredible daylit house in Vietnam is filled with living trees A swimming pool  sits next to the residence, with the pool terrace occupying the middle of the room and dividing the interior space into two parts. Glass surfaces dominate this part of the house, visually connecting the outdoor and indoor areas and allowing cooled air to reach the furthest corners of the residence. The bedroom balcony floor features a hollow iron plate that facilitates continuous air flow. In addition, the wood, iron and stone walls combine with the surrounding green landscape to give the impression of a modern tropical house . + HYJA Via Archdaily Photos by Ernest Theofilus

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This plant-covered house in Indonesia has a "second skin" that helps keep the interior cool

China’s new rain-making system could increase rainfall by billions of cubic feet

April 2, 2018 by  
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China needs water — and their answer to the issue is a massive weather modification system being developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported the country is testing technology that could increase rainfall in the Tibetan Plateau by as much as 10 billion cubic meters, or around 353 billion cubic feet, every year. Will a huge rain-making system help China with water issues ? SCMP said they plan to build tens of thousands of chambers across the Tibetan mountains to generate rain over an area of around 620,000 square miles, or “three times the size of Spain.” The chambers will burn solid fuel to create silver iodide, which SCMP described as a “ cloud-seeding agent with a crystalline structure much like ice.” They said the chambers will be located on steep ridges facing the south Asia monsoon . Wind striking the mountain will produce an upward draft, carrying particles into clouds to bring about rain. Related: World’s largest fog harvester produces water from thin air in the Moroccan desert Real-time data from 30 weather satellites , each one watching monsoon weather above the Indian Ocean, will guide daily operation of the chambers. The ground-based network will also draw on cloud-seeding methods with drones , planes, and artillery to maximize the impact of the system, according to SCMP. A researcher on the project told SCMP, “[So far,] more than 500 burners have been deployed on alpine slopes in Tibet, Xinjiang, and other areas for experimental use. The data we have collected show very promising results.” The publication said although the idea isn’t a new one, China is the first country to try “such a large-scale application,” and  space scientists designed and built the chambers with “cutting edge military rocket engine technology.” Via South China Morning Post Images via Depositphotos and Eutah Mizushima on Unsplash

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China’s new rain-making system could increase rainfall by billions of cubic feet

This Iowa home built across a ravine is heated and cooled by the earth

December 19, 2017 by  
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This naturally-ventilated residence spans a ravine in rural Iowa, providing expansive views of the surrounding forest . Architecture studio BNIM designed the Ravine Residence, which is geothermally cooled and heated, to connect its inhabitants to nature and provide optimum privacy using existing topography and vegetation. The house is tucked away in a heavily wooded area in rural Iowa that required a dramatic solution to address the ravine running down the middle of the site. The solution is a raised space the spans across the sloping elevation. The entrance and bedrooms are located on opposite banks, and the primary living areas serve as a bridge between the two sides. Related: Modern Corum Residence Rises Out of the Bucolic Iowa Countryside The clients commissioned BNIM to create a home which would offer privacy, but also offer a strong connection to the surrounding landscape. This requirement determined the articulation of the facades and volumes. Floor-to-ceiling glass on both the north and south sides of the living areas provides expansive views of the surrounding forest, creating a high level of transparency while utilizing the terrain and vegetation to shelter the interior spaces from outside views. The building has optimized solar orientation and shading, geothermal heating and cooling , enhanced natural ventilation , high performance windows, and advanced insulation techniques. + BNIM Via Dwell Photos by Kelly Callewaert | BNIM

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This Iowa home built across a ravine is heated and cooled by the earth

Pinecone-shaped apartment building unveiled for former military camp in Norway

December 18, 2017 by  
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Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter just unveiled a striking apartment complex for the town of Ski, Norway. The 4,000-square-meter residences will take on a sculptural, pinecone-like shape with high-end apartment units in the green new neighborhood in Ski Vest. Set on the site of a former military camp, the building derives design inspiration from the historic site context. Commissioned by Solon Eiendom , the Ski Vest tower will offer 50 apartments when complete. In addition to its former military camp settings, the new-build will be slotted into a historical landscape surrounded by with buildings dating back to the late 19th century. “Through the conscious use of qualitative and location-oriented architecture , the project will reinforce and develop the inherent identity of the site,” wrote the architects. Related: Norwegian Mountaineering Centre mimics a dramatic snow-covered mountain The residential building eschews a boxy form in favor of a pinecone -like shape that tapers towards the top. The 50 apartments will feature large openings, tall ceilings, and sheltered terraces that provide both privacy and sweeping views. Linear copper terraces with beautiful perforated walls will wrap around the building. + Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

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Pinecone-shaped apartment building unveiled for former military camp in Norway

Casa Sanchez combines urban living with the lush Bolivian rainforest

February 9, 2017 by  
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Looking like a modest, one-story building when seen from the road, the Sanchez House actually boasts three spacious floors that offer stunning views of the Bolivian Amazon. Young Bolivian architect Juan Carlos Menacho designed the residence, named after its owners, to fit perfectly into a sloping site in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in eastern Bolivia. The 10,674-square-foot house is located in an exclusive gated community in Santa Cruz, and was designed to provide shade and protect from the region’s tropical sun. It utilizes the sloping site to create an illusion of small scale. Its wings are designed around the existing trees, with each room enjoying views of the surrounding greenery. Related: Bolivia’s Ecolodge del Lago takes inspiration from traditional Lak’a Uta architecture Several sustainable features incorporated into the design of the residence, including rainwater harvesting and the use of natural building materials , ensure an eco-friendly performance. The location itself combines urban living and proximity to nature. + Juan Carlos Menacho

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Casa Sanchez combines urban living with the lush Bolivian rainforest

Extraordinary Red Hill rammed-earth residence’s funky funnel shape helps direct light

August 24, 2016 by  
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The single-story residence is located near Melbourne , on the Mornington Peninsula. Built for a winery owner, the house combines modern and traditional building materials and features warm details that reference rural architecture. Its minimalist volume forms a large canopy oriented toward the vineyard, sheltering a large terrace framed with a transparent glass balustrade. Related: Vineyard House uses rammed earth to stay cool in Portugal’s hot summers The open-plan interior received plenty of natural light through large, continuous glass windows and a timber-lined skylight . Toughened-glass panels create a visual connection between the ground floor and a large wine cellar in the basement which is supported by wooden beams . Wood permeates the entire structure, both structurally and in detail. “The home’s use of timber , both in the interior and exterior of the design, allows the materials to age naturally and blend in with the landscape,” explained the architects. + Finnis Architects Via Dezeen Photos by Les Hams

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Extraordinary Red Hill rammed-earth residence’s funky funnel shape helps direct light

Super skinny 4-meter-wide home is squeezed between buildings in Tokyo

August 4, 2016 by  
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Located in Shibuya, the skinny 70-square-meter family home is clad in horizontal metal panels for a smart utilitarian appearance. A large volume is cut out from the front of the building to form a shaded porch leading to a recessed front door. Windows punctuate all sides of the home to let in natural light and ventilation, while the rooftop offers access to a private outdoor space. Related: Super skinny Horinouchi House might be the most efficient use of space ever To make the narrow building’s four-meter-wide width feel as spacious as possible, the architects minimized wall dividers and used slight level changes to demarcate different rooms. In the second floor’s open-plan common area, for example, the living room is separated from the dining room and kitchen area by a few stairs. All walls are painted white to reflect light and, aided by two skylights , bring natural light deep into the home. A spiral staircase connects all three floors, from the ground level with the master bedroom to the top floor with two capsule bedrooms and a bathroom. + Atelier HAKO Architects Via Dezeen Images via Atelier HAKO Architects , by URBAN ARTS/Shinsuke Kera

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Super skinny 4-meter-wide home is squeezed between buildings in Tokyo

Antarctic sea-ice bacteria could be contaminating seafood with a dangerous form of mercury

August 4, 2016 by  
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Pollution in the Antarctic may not turn many heads, but seafood lovers must beware of mercury-tainted fish from the southern seas finding its way onto their plates. New research shows how a certain type of sea-ice bacteria may be converting existing mercury into an even more potent neurotoxin that is harmful to the environment, marine life, and those higher up the food chain. A study published in the journal Nature discovered how the Nitrospinia bacterium is turning mercury into methylmercury, which can cause developmental impairments in infants and children. Through biomagnification, or the substance concentrating in the fatty tissue of animals who are then consumed by bigger animals, the toxin can easily make its way into the human food supply and wreak havoc. Related: Mercury pollution poison threatens to wipe out a remote tribe of indigenous Amazon people Mercury can accumulate in the environment through both natural means, such as volcanic eruptions, or manmade means, including gold smelting and burning fossil fuels . The discovery of the methylmercury conversion process in the south raises questions about worldwide pollution , especially as the planet gets hotter. Dr. Moreau, a geomicrobiologist, said , “We need to understand more about marine mercury pollution. Particularly in a warming climate and when depleted fish stocks means more seafood companies are looking south.” Via Popular Science Images via Wikimedia , Pixabay

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Antarctic sea-ice bacteria could be contaminating seafood with a dangerous form of mercury

Sublime Nook Residence blends seamlessly into the snowy Canadian landscape

June 1, 2016 by  
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The home’s sharp angles and stark white facade mimic the steep terrain and snowy landscape that lead up to the lot. The structure is comprised of two asymmetrical volumes “twisted” onto each other in an origami-like style. The top level is strategically placed on the smaller lower level, providing solar shading for the large, south-facing terrace. Related: MU Architecture unveils tiny copper and glass huts for Canada’s Bigwin Island Large, floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over the adjacent Lake Memphremagog permit residents to enjoy the breathtaking natural surroundings from the living space. Polished concrete radiant flooring and walnut furniture further bring a nature-inspired elegance to the minimalistic interior design . An interior balcony and light Cedar-planked ceilings extend to the outside terrace, guiding the eye towards the breathtaking lake view . + MU Architecture

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Sublime Nook Residence blends seamlessly into the snowy Canadian landscape

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