Shimmering Solar Arch to generate power for a post-industrial Connecticut town

April 25, 2018 by  
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A giant gleaming arch clad in solar panels is set to transform the waterfront of downtown Willimantic. This spectacular energy-generating artwork, called Rio Iluminado, was revealed today as the winner of Land Art Generator Institute’s most recent design competition. Designed by Pirie Associates Architects in collaboration with architect Lindsay Suter and sculptor Gar Waterman , the public artwork is capable of generating 25.5 MWh of clean energy a year for a 3.4-acre remediated brownfield. Developed as part of an initiative to reclaim and beautify the Willimantic waterfront , Rio Iluminado aims to reconnect the community with the river and generate renewable energy in a beautiful way. Located on the riverbank, the site-specific Solar Arch will be covered in a 900-square-foot solar array while the underside is finished with polished stainless steel panels. The artwork’s curvature was designed to follow the path of the sun and to reflect its surroundings. In addition to the Solar Arch, the Rio Iluminado will include a River Well in the Tree Copse that demonstrates the daily sun cycle with a solar-powered pump that only draws underground water during the day; an interactive Spiral Channel that moves the water from the River Well to the River Platform; and the 3,400-square-foot River Platform, decorated with murals and other art, that gradually fills with water while overflow is channeled into a two-stage bio-swale system. In the winter months, the River Platform will be transformed into an ice-skating surface. Related: Land Art Generator Initiative Santa Monica winners address California’s energy needs and drought Rio Iluminado was developed in close collaboration with the community, whose comments helped inform the final design. “Rio Iluminado cleverly addresses how to bring the river closer to the community—and vice-versa,” says WWP President James Turner. “We are thrilled to have a project design that will result in such an intricately conceived and strikingly executed work of art for the community to enjoy and be inspired by for years to come.” The project will now enter the next phase, where the winning team will focus on design development, cost estimates, and prototyping, followed by the final design fabrication and installation. + Land Art Generator Institute Images via Land Art Generator Institute

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Shimmering Solar Arch to generate power for a post-industrial Connecticut town

This whimsical tiny house with its own pizza oven was built for just $15,000

April 25, 2018 by  
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Although some may equate living in a tiny house with austere minimalism, with savvy planning there’s always room for a little whimsy. Take this 221-square-foot tiny home, which, in addition to its homey, light-filled interior, has a full-on pizza oven installed in the kitchen. Recently featured on Zillow , the tiny home was built for just $15,000 – and it’s full of personality. Owners Robert and Rebekah Sofia designed and built this whimsical tiny home in just 20 months. From the beginning, the empty nesters knew they wanted the space to reflect their vibrant lifestyle. Looking to stay within budget, they used as many reclaimed materials as possible. Related: Firefighter’s self-built tiny house is an earthship on wheels The 800-degree wood-fired pizza oven in the home speaks volumes about the couple’s appreciation for the finer things in life. Not many people would consider putting such a hot-burning amenity in a compact space, but the couple achieved temperature control by using multiple layers of plaster and cement, along with a very heavy metal door. In addition to having one of the more intersting features we’ve ever seen in a tiny house, the beautiful home also has an outdoor soaking tub, a formal dining room with a chandelier, and even a music loft. + Zillow Via Apartment Therapy Photography by John Jernigan via Zillow

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This whimsical tiny house with its own pizza oven was built for just $15,000

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