Luxury Tree Villa communes with breathtaking nature in India

August 16, 2017 by  
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A picture-perfect getaway roosts in the treetops of west India. Architecture BRIO completed the Tree Villa, a two-story luxury getaway on the cliff of a 160-acre “treesort.” Set within the rich river landscape of Tala near the Kuda caves, the treehouse -like glass dwelling offers an immersive experience within a forested tropical setting. Architecture BRIO built the Tree Villa around existing mature trees, which grow up and through the roof, deck, and fencing, and give the structure its treehouse-like appearance. The dwelling blends into its surroundings with its thatched roof , predominately timber palette, and clean modern design. The architects wrapped the elevated Tree Villa in full-height glazing to optimize views of Tala’s stunning scenery. Tie-dyed bordered sheer curtains filter harsh sunlight during the day. The Tree Villa accommodates four adults and two children. The elevated ground floor is surrounded by an expansive timber deck and comprises a large luxurious bedroom, bathroom with mirrored slats, and a spiral staircase to the upper floor. The larger upper level also features a large timber deck in addition to a second bedroom, loft bed for children, living area, kitchen, dining room, west-facing patio, and a semi-outdoor bathroom that’s dramatically pierced by the enormous brand of an old Garuga fruit tree. The modern and minimalist open-plan interior and lack of walls reinforces the immersive experience in nature. Related: Bamboo-Veiled Dormitory by Architecture BRIO The architects write: “The volumetric compositions of partly white, partly reflective and transparent surfaces within a wooden framework animate and lighten up the space. It questions conventional definitions of exterior and interior and reinterprets notions of privacy and exposure within a hospitality environment. The spatial composition in an otherwise traditional tropical roof structure lends a sense of softness, sensuality, intimacy and complexity, making it a perfect setting for a retreat into the wilderness of Tala.” + Architecture BRIO Via ArchDaily Images © Photographix

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Luxury Tree Villa communes with breathtaking nature in India

Decrepit lumberjack shack transformed into a beautiful retreat with minimal site impact

June 20, 2017 by  
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A decrepit lumberjack’s shack has been transformed into a beautiful light-filled weekend getaway just outside of Montreal . Local studio YH2 led the renovation of the shack, renamed La Colombière, turning the simple one-story building that lacked running water into a cozy three-story retreat with all the luxuries of home and minimal landscape impact. When the owner Suzanne Rochon commissioned YH2 for La Colombière, she required that the renovation not expand past the shed’s existing footprint for fear of damaging the surrounding forest. Thus, the architects built upwards, drawing inspiration from the way a tree branches into a canopy. No trees were cut and heavy machinery was avoided to minimize site impact . Related: Sublime Nook Residence blends seamlessly into the snowy Canadian landscape The redesigned three-story retreat is clad in dark cedar in reference to the bark of nearby conifers, while the vertiginous interior is painted all in white. “Materials and structure of the previous phase are kept and uninterrupted so that the addition acts as an extension rather than an insertion,” write the architects. A living room is located on the first floor while the bedroom and bath are placed on the second. The eye-catching third-floor is bookended with oversized windows and an outdoor covered terrace to the west. + YH2 Images by Francis Pelletier

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Decrepit lumberjack shack transformed into a beautiful retreat with minimal site impact

Prefabricated lakeside cabin is a beautiful exercise in restraint

May 22, 2017 by  
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Family reunions can be loud affairs, a fact that one Torontonian family patriarch with ten energetic grandkids knows well. To secure peace and quiet while staying close to visiting family, a homeowner on Ontario’s Lake Simcoe hired Superkül architects to design a retreat within a retreat—a modern kid-free cabin separate from his existing bungalow. Dubbed Pointe Cabin, the prefabricated modern dwelling is a beautiful exercise in restraint that fully embraces the outdoors. The two-bedroom, 840-square-foot Pointe Cabin is sited close to the client’s original log cottage, purchased in the 1970s, at the edge of Cook’s Bay on the southern tip of Lake Simcoe. Although the new addition contrasts with its predecessor in its contemporary design, both cabins are linked by their predominant use of timber that blends the buildings into the wooded surroundings. Natural, locally sourced , and low maintenance materials were used in the indoor and outdoor living areas and include a mixture of cedar, white oak, and spruce-pine-fir. Related: Superkül Designs Canada’s First Active House To meet cost and efficiency targets, the single-story cabin was prefabricated offsite. The factory-built wall, floor, and roof panels were trucked to the site and the home was assembled in just a few days. The two-bedroom home is connected to the original cabin with a glazed passageway and contains a private entry, kitchenette, bathroom, and wrap-around deck. Floor-to-ceiling glass frames views of the lake and the landscape. + Superkül architects Images via Superkül architects , by Shai Gil

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Prefabricated lakeside cabin is a beautiful exercise in restraint

Ramshackle Austrian farm building is renovated into an enchanting writers workshop

October 11, 2016 by  
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Originally built as a storage shed, the old farm building was one of many that accompanied the Vienna Woods villas back in the 1930s. Over time many of these small outbuildings lost their purpose, fell into disrepair, and were demolished. Sue Architekten saw potential in the unwanted buildings and devised ways to convert the structures into “cozy hideaways” that were “affordable, magical places of retreat for families and their guests.” Related: PARA-project Transforms a 1930s Attic into Stunning Writer’s Workshop and Library The moss -covered roof and coal tar-covered timber cladding were preserved, however, the architects dramatically transformed the interior with gray varnished spruce planks and a large glazed wall on the front facade of the upper living space. A brass trapdoor separates the top floor from the ground level, which is used for storing miscellaneous items, such as the garden tools and fruit crates. + Sue Architekten Via ArchDaily Images via Sue Architekten , © Andreas Buchberger

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Ramshackle Austrian farm building is renovated into an enchanting writers workshop

Egypt’s first solar-powered village rises from the desert in Bahariya Oasis

October 11, 2016 by  
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Principal architect Karim Kafrawi said in Egypt, solar panels are often seen as unattractive, too industrial, and “not practical in architecture integration.” KarmBuild’s innovative methods could upend those unfavorable views. Their solar integration designs allow the region to benefit from plentiful sunlight in a seamless, elegant manner. Photovoltaic solar panels adorn the rooftops of the Tayebat Workers Village, but in such a way that they blend in the stone walls of the village. The rooftop solar panels also act as “thermal roof protection,” according to Kafrawi. Related: Egypt’s Solar SLIDES House Has a Transforming Perforated Facade Kafrawi told Inhabitat, “The idea was to create an architectural character that would smoothly blend into the natural landscape so that from a distance, this rather large building would be discreet, almost invisible expect for the towering stone structures highlighted by the P.V. solar panels reflecting the sky and sun.” Not only is the power generation environmentally friendly, but KarmBuild employed sustainable construction techniques, such as utilizing energy-reducing methods and building with 90 percent local earth materials. In the region where the Tayebat Workers Village is located, sandstone is often removed in order to construct buildings. But KarmBuild realized the sandstone could be utilized in the buildings instead of going to waste. They found this “wealthy natural resource” is in fact “structurally viable,” according to Kafrawi. The use of the natural, local sandstone allows the buildings to blend in beautifully with the surrounding desert. According to Kafrawi, KarmBuild’s methods reduce waste and can even reduce project costs in some instances. “The high intensity of the sun along with the wide possible uses of viable natural building materials in these areas open up great possibilities for strong sustainable development solutions in the area. We work on trying to provide solutions that blend these two very different elements in a non-intrusive and attractive manner that works with the local architecture, whether traditional or modern, in the region,” he told Inhabitat. “We believe there is great potential to change the architectural landscape in these areas to be more self-sufficient, sustainable, and comfortable for occupants.” + KarmBuild + KarmSolar Images courtesy of KarmSolar

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Egypt’s first solar-powered village rises from the desert in Bahariya Oasis

Antarctica’s Mighty Pine Island Glacier has Reached an Irreversible Melting Point

January 14, 2014 by  
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An international team of scientists has concluded that Antarctica’s mighty Pine Island Glacier has likely reached a tipping point in which the melting is irreversible even if global warming is reversed. The research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change , is significant because the glacier is the single largest contributor to sea level rise in Antarctica. Already contributing to around 25 percent of the total ice loss from West Antarctica, scientists predict that Pine Island will increase global sea levels by as much as 10 millimeters over the next 20 years. Read the rest of Antarctica’s Mighty Pine Island Glacier has Reached an Irreversible Melting Point Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: antarctica , Climate Change , effects of climate change , global warming , ice melt , ice shelf , melting glaciers , nature climate change , pig , pine island glacier , Pine Island Glacier reaches irreversible melting point , retreat , sea level , West Antarctica        

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Antarctica’s Mighty Pine Island Glacier has Reached an Irreversible Melting Point

Beijing Doctor Builds Mountainous Penthouse Retreat; Authorities Order Him to Demolish It

August 14, 2013 by  
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On Monday officials from Beijing’s Urban Administrative and Law Enforcement Bureau gave Beijing resident Zhang Biqing 15 days to demolish the mountainous two-story villa he built on the rooftop of an entire apartment block. Local media sources have reported that Zang, a doctor of Chinese medicine and owner of a large chain of acupuncture clinics, spent six years and $130,000 constructing the villa as an extension of his penthouse flat. The bizarre structure is made of real grass and tress as well as fake rocks, and it covers the entire 1000-square-meter roof of a 26-story apartment building located in Beijing’s Haidian district. According to a report from the Bejing Morning Post building residents have complained about damage to their pipes and walls due to the rooftop construction, and at least two owners have moved out of the building after disputes with Zang. Read the rest of Beijing Doctor Builds Mountainous Penthouse Retreat; Authorities Order Him to Demolish It Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: artificial villa beijing , Beijing apartment building , building disputes beijing , chengguan , China building regulations , doctor beijing fake mountain villa , illegal building in china , two-story rooftop villa , Zhang Biqing        

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Beijing Doctor Builds Mountainous Penthouse Retreat; Authorities Order Him to Demolish It

Top 6 Cabins for a Green Retreat this Winter

November 28, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Top 6 Cabins for a Green Retreat this Winter Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cabins , Chile , energy efficient , hiking , Methow Valley , modern , montana , Nature , norway , prefabricated , retreat , skiing , solar panel , steel , Sustainable , swiss alps , washington , winter

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Amtrak Revs Up High Speed Rail Service Between Chicago and St. Louis

November 28, 2012 by  
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Photo by Shutterstock Amtrak passengers between St. Louis and Chicago will be treated to new highs in the world of train travel. Just last week, Amtrak announced that it is revving up its high speed rail service between the two cities, which will top out at 110 mph. Sure, it’s no 350+ mph MagLev super train , but it will reduce travel time by up to an hour. Regular high speed rail service on the Lincoln line is the first step towards establishing a high-speed rail network in Illinois. Read the rest of Amtrak Revs Up High Speed Rail Service Between Chicago and St. Louis Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: amtrak , chicago , green transportation , high speed rail , high speed rail line , high speed rail network , HSR , lincoln line , st. louis

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Retreat is a Bright Red Shelter Made from 250,000 Coffee Stirrers

July 9, 2012 by  
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Architect Brian Ripel and artist Jean Shin have put a spin on the idea of a coffee break with their installation “Retreat.” The collaborative structure was made from over 250,000 red plastic coffee stirrers , once used to stir the hot beverages offered in the shade of the shelter. The installation is pitched on the roof of the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, offering visitors a shaded area to enjoy the views and a spot of tea. The next time you stir some honey in your tea or sugar in your coffee, think about the endless possibilities of the stirrer in your grip. Gathered together like strands of hay, the red stirrers take on a straw-like texture, evoking historic thatched roofs as well as the artificial grass found at a touristy Tiki hut. Built over three months, the ruby red canopy is made up of stirrer “shingles” that range from 12 to 24 inches. The shingles are sewn together to form the prickly surface, supported by an aluminum frame. The plastic naturally deflects rain, leaving visitors dry on rainy days. Retreat was inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond escape, which is located near the site. The design of the peaked roofs reference Thoreau’s cabin, as well as the gabled peaks of the local architecture. Inside the shelter, a bench and tea counter was made from repurposed lumber . Guests can help themselves to fresh tea, but they are asked to save their tea bags, which will be repurposed into traditional hanging chain models for a continuation of “Retreat” that will be featured inside the museum for the remainder of the year. + deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Via Archpaper

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Retreat is a Bright Red Shelter Made from 250,000 Coffee Stirrers

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