War ruins are reborn as a sustainable home in Lebanon

October 11, 2018 by  
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Having survived the Lebanese Civil War as a torture and detention center for militia forces, The House With Two Lives has a colorful past to say the least. So when Lebanese design practice Nabil Gholam Architects was asked to renovate the structure — originally built as a resort building in the 1930s — the firm took its time to sensitively pick apart the site’s history and breathe new and positive life into the property. Described as a “difficult exorcism,” the design process saw the reuse of the historic ruins and the insertion of a brand new home celebrating nature and sustainable design, from rainwater harvesting systems to passive cooling strategies. Located near the Lebanese mountain village of Bois de Boulogne and surrounded by beautiful pine forests, the House With Two Lives was designed to blend in with its idyllic surroundings. To “cleanse the house of its troubled history,” the architects introduced new plant growth to camouflage the building into the landscape, from vines that climb over the ruins to more than 1,000 pine trees planted in the garden, including umbrella pines, oak trees, cork trees, Lebanese cedars and more. The site has also gained a new rose garden. The theme of regrowth and revival has also been applied to the architecture of the house, which comprises a three-story main house of 2,000 square meters as well as an annex and guard house of 850 square meters. The new additions to the existing 1,500-square-meter stone ruins of the main house were articulated as a series of Corten steel -clad boxes that will develop a patina over time and are perforated with tree-shaped patterns. Sustainability guided the design of the renovated structure, which is built with high-performance insulation and follows passive solar strategies. The home also harvests solar energy for winter heating and uses rainwater collection systems. Related: Modern alpine home is built on the ruins of an old rustic structure “The case of this house is as dreadful as it is beautiful,” said the architects, who spent months stripping the existing structure of leftover torture devices, black ashes and graffiti. “The story behind it and the testimonials backing it makes it stand as a powerful message. The House With Two Lives restores faith in man’s will to fight and is with no doubt an example of an architectural work of high precision.” + Nabil Gholam Architects Photography by Geraldine Bruneel, Nabil Gholam, Joe Kesrouani and Richard Saad via Nabil Gholam Architects

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War ruins are reborn as a sustainable home in Lebanon

Abandoned 400-year-old Greek ruins transformed with brilliant bursts of color

August 6, 2018 by  
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Artists Thomas Granseuer and Tomislav Topic of the multidisciplinary German design practice Quintessenz have transformed ancient stone ruins in Kagkatika, Greece into a spectacular work of art that straddles the line between the analog and digital worlds. Commissioned by the Paxos Contemporary Art Project , Quintessenz crafted a large-scale art installation using 120 mesh layers of varying colors. Dubbed Kagkatikas Secret, the colorful artwork flutters in the wind, creating an extra dimension to the surreal piece. Kagkatikas Secret stands in striking contrast to its centuries-old stone backdrop. The mesh panels, strung up with thin wires, were spray painted a variety of colors and then cut into differing sizes. The panels were hung in order of their size—the largest were placed at the rear near the stone windows that frame views of the sea—to create the illusion of depth. This installation builds on Quintessenz’s signature style, which derives inspiration from graffiti culture, graphic design and chromatics. “The work unfolds in an approximately 400-year-old ruin and forms a unique contrast,” explains Quintessenz in a project statement. “It is detached from the usual city bustle and is not in competition with glaring lights or obtrusive advertising. The wind and the sunlight make the installation appear like a digital body in the real world. It forms the interface between analog and digital, between today and then and between old and new. The great contrast makes the installation look almost unreal, as soon as the wind settles in the layers and the sunlight underlines the colors even more, it seems as if there is only one place for this installation. This, in turn, the contrast fits in and creates exciting synergies.” Related: Nendo Unveils Collection of Sculptural Objects Made From Japanese Farming Nets Quintessenz was selected along with seven other artists for the inaugural Paxos Contemporary Art Project, a site-specific artist initiative on the Ionian island of Paxos. + Quintessenz Images via Quintessenz

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Abandoned 400-year-old Greek ruins transformed with brilliant bursts of color

Ruins of Swedens oldest church put on a new A-frame shelter

January 30, 2018 by  
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Medieval history meets modern architecture at Kata Farm, a ninth-century church that now serves as a shelter and exhibition hall in Varnhem, Sweden. Designed by Stockholm-based AIX Arkitekter AB , a new 300-square-meter timber A-frame structure sits atop the remains of Sweden’s oldest Christian church that’s also thought to be the country’s oldest building. Glue-laminated timber was used as the primary material for the new structure. Located on the grounds of Varnhem Abbey, Kata Farm was named after the woman who ruled the farm and allowed the church to be built. The new timber structure, which was built to protect the farm foundations from the elements, is raised on a series of pillars to minimize site impact . An elevated walkway with a glazed railing and signage wraps around the exposed stone ruins and is punctuated by glass panels allowing for top-down views of the burial sites, including Kata’s tomb that dates back to the mid-1000s. Related: Stunning chapel in Japan brings a fractal forest indoors The glue-laminated timber trusses are exposed and timber left unpainted for a minimalist look to complement the excavated grounds. In contrast to the light-colored interior, darker tar-treated pine planks clad the sloped exterior. The building can be accessed via a staircase that leads up to an outdoor deck or a glazed elevator on the opposite side of the building. + AIX Arkitekter AB Via ArchDaily Images © Antonius van Arkel

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Ruins of Swedens oldest church put on a new A-frame shelter

MAP Architects masterfully restores access to a 700-year-old medieval ruin

January 24, 2017 by  
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Denmark’s oldest surviving medieval site is finally accessible to the public thanks to an elegant architectural solution. MAP Architects restored access to the 700-year-old Kalø Slotsruin with a minimally invasive entrance and staircase that allow views of the archaeological layers and surrounding landscape. The extremely challenging task of creating access without damaging the ruins was made possible through the 3D scanning of every single brick and computer generated models. The Danish Ministry of the Environment, with support from Realdania , commissioned MAP Architects to design visitor access to Kalø Slotsruin, a Danish archeological gem located on an isthmus projecting from the Jutland peninsula. The 38-square-meter intervention is a timber zigzagging staircase that winds up the three-story high and two-story deep brick tower that has lacked an internal structure for centuries. The strategically located landings allow visitors to view the historical layers of construction up close and culminate in a pathway that opens up the sky. Related: Visitor center disguised as a hill to welcome visitors to Denmark’s historic Kalø Castle Ruins “The desire to allow the visitor to ‘touch’ the archaeological layers of the tower, and simultaneously ‘leave’ the ruin and ‘levitate’ in the landscape was pivotal,” write the architects. “The architectural gesture is the geometric result of connecting openings and landings, while aiming to offer the richness of the archaeological site and the surrounding landscape.” Clad in the ash wood , the steel-framed staircase is supported with only four points to minimize damage to the historical monument and entrances are made through the existing eroded openings. The staircase was prefabricated offsite in seven large pieces and then assembled in place with a crane. The project has been nominated for the 2017 European Mies van der Rohe Award . + MAP Architects Via ArchDaily Images © David A. Garcia and Bjørn Pierri Enevoldsen

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MAP Architects masterfully restores access to a 700-year-old medieval ruin

1800-Year-Old Chedworth Roman Villa Wins 2013 RIBA Architecture Award

June 20, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of 1800-Year-Old Chedworth Roman Villa Wins 2013 RIBA Architecture Award Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Chedworth , Chedworth Roman Villa , England , English Hertage and Cotswold District Council , National Trust , preservation , RIBA , roman , ruins        

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1800-Year-Old Chedworth Roman Villa Wins 2013 RIBA Architecture Award

CVDB Arquitectos’ Ljubljana National Library is Inspired by the Shape of a Standing Book

January 7, 2013 by  
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CVDB Arquitectos ‘ proposed National and University Library of Ljubljana building (NUKII) is a symbol of knowledge and culture as well as an archive for historical and national heritage that constitutes a precious legacy in Slovenia . The new energy-efficient, V-shaped building is intended to resemble the shape of a standing book. The new library will be built above Roman ruins, which will be both preserved and showcased beneath a protective transparent shell. Read the rest of CVDB Arquitectos’ Ljubljana National Library is Inspired by the Shape of a Standing Book Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: energy efficient design , Ministry of Higher Education , National and University Library II , Nukii Library , Pieter Bannenberg , roman ruins , ruins , Science and Technology , Slovenia , solar gain

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CVDB Arquitectos’ Ljubljana National Library is Inspired by the Shape of a Standing Book

Belkin Unveils WeMo Light Switch That Can Be Remote Controlled By Your Smartphone

January 7, 2013 by  
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Remote home appliances are the biggest things to hit the household market in a long time. Just witness the success of the Nest Thermostat and remote-control light bulbs like the iLumi . Consumer electronics manufacturer Belkin has tapped into this market with their WeMo series, which allows users to control home electronics from anywhere on the planet – and they just announced a new wireless light switch at CES 2013 which allows users to flip their wired lights on and off from anywhere! Read the rest of Belkin Unveils WeMo Light Switch That Can Be Remote Controlled By Your Smartphone Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Belkin Consumer Electronics , CES 2013 , Consumer Electronics Show Las Vegas , green lighting control , remote home appliance control , Remote Lighting control , smartphone lighting control

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Belkin Unveils WeMo Light Switch That Can Be Remote Controlled By Your Smartphone

Urban Ruins: Abandoned Building Houses Architecture Academy

March 2, 2011 by  
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[ By Delana in Art & Design , Nature & Ecosystems , Science & Research .

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Urban Ruins: Abandoned Building Houses Architecture Academy

Out of the Ruins, A More Sustainable Haiti?

February 7, 2010 by  
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Photo credit: Getty Images. With over a million left homeless and its capital city all but destroyed, Haiti is set to become the focus of an enormous rebuilding effort

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Out of the Ruins, A More Sustainable Haiti?

American Pika Denied Endangered Species Protection

February 7, 2010 by  
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courtesy via www.americanpika.org A woman I work with has the sound of an American Pika as her ringtone. It’s a high-pitch squeal recognizable to anyone who has heard it before, and she has it on her phone to draw attention to the plight of the Pika, a small furry creature under threat from climate change.

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American Pika Denied Endangered Species Protection

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