Detox your troubles away in this new public sauna built of natural materials

June 5, 2017 by  
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Helsinkians and visitors take note—a beautiful new public sauna has popped up on a tiny island in the Finnish capital. Architecture firm OOPEAA designed the recently opened Lonna Sauna, a contemporary building constructed solely of natural materials. Built on a former military outpost in front of Helsinki’s city center, the timber sauna is an easily accessible escape that promises tranquility with a view. Commissioned by the Governing Body of Suomenlinna , the Lonna Sauna on Lonna island is one of several initiatives transforming the former sea fortress islands into recreational destinations. Accessible via a short waterbus ride from the city’s harbors, the new 190-square-meter sauna sits on the island’s southeast tip near six heritage-listed buildings that date back to Russian rule of the island in the 19th century. The wood-heated sauna was built as a continuation of Finland’s tradition of public saunas—a dwindling culture seeing recent renewed interest—with a modern twist. The log cabin -like building is constructed of handcrafted wooden logs left untreated and topped with a sculptural pitched roof clad in zinc . Related: Gorgeous year-round bath house in Sweden soaks up the winter sun “The skillful use of larch in the furnishings and the large windows opening a view from the sauna loft into the archipelago create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere,” wrote OOPEAA. “The unique natural features of the Lonna island create a special and authentic atmosphere adding a new aspect to the experience of an urban public sauna. It brings together the calming and peaceful experience of the sauna ritual and the social aspect of the public sauna as a gathering place for people.” The Lonna Sauna is open daily from 2PM to 7PM throughout the summer. + OOPEAA Via Dezeen Images via OOPEAA and Lonna Sauna

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Detox your troubles away in this new public sauna built of natural materials

Gorgeous year-round bath house in Sweden soaks up the winter sun

May 19, 2017 by  
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This minimalist bath house allows inhabitants of Karlshamn, Sweden, to enjoying the sea all year round. White Arkitekter designed the timber-clad building to age naturally for low-maintenance facilities that straddle both the water and the land. The town’s first bath house was carefully situated to soak up as much sunlight as possible all winter long, while protecting visitors from the chilly winter winds. Local organization Kallbadhusets Vänner (Friends of the Bath House) worked with local sponsors and the municipality to realize a project which would allow people to enjoy the sea all year round. Kallbadhus is located along a beach promenade, close to the public swimming hall . Sitting at a height of three meters above sea level, the sharply angled timber-clad volume straddles solid land and water while offering views of the sea. Related: Tiny Norwegian Prefab Bathhouse is Clad in Sustainable Kebony Wood Two glulam beams provide structural support for a small bridge that links the building to the beach. A common room with an adjoining terrace is flanked on one side by the women’s sauna and the by the men’s sauna on the other. The architects designed the saunas to receive optimal amount of sunlight while simultaneously offering protection from the wind. The exterior cladding is treated with a grey-pigmented oil which allows the wood to age naturally. + White Arkitekter Via World Architecture News

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Gorgeous year-round bath house in Sweden soaks up the winter sun

Minimalist Leyda House takes inspiration from local farmer’s huts

May 19, 2017 by  
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When Chilean architect’s Alfredo González Briceño and Ignacio Rojas Hirigoyen were contracted to build a country home in Chile’s Leyda Valley, they were inspired by the fertile nature of the well-known wine-producing region. Using the panoramic views of vineyards as a focus for the home’s layout, the architects designed a timber-clad minimalist structure tucked into the rolling hillside with optimal light to enhance the incredible views of the landscape. Using the area’s agricultural atmosphere as inspiration, the architects based the home’s simplistic design on the “ephemeral shelters” commonly found on the nearby strawberry fields, “We saw on these light constructions a very strong formal guide, with a very impressive visual value, on how this low-cost countryside house could be solved.” The team decided to forgo the typical bells and whistles found in weekend homes, instead choosing to focus on a simple, but strategic design that would showcase the home’s natural setting. Related: Chilean Folding House allows owners to control the temperature to adapt to the season Tucked into the rolling hillside of the valley, the elongated home is clad in dark timber, creating a no-fuss monolithic figure that melds easily into the landscape. The home faces the south, which allows for spectacular views of the vineyard-covered valley that leads to a coastal mountain range in the background. Large windows in different shapes and sizes are found throughout the design, including multiple openings in the roof that allows light to flood the interior – as the architects describe it – with “a gentle sunbath.” On the interior, the two bedrooms, each with its own bath, are located at either end of the home, and separated by the living and dining areas. The interior ceiling and flooring are covered in light wooden planks, further creating a strong connection to nature. + Alfredo Gonzalez Briceño + Ignacio Rojas Hirigoyen Via Dwell Photography by Rodrigo Daza  

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Minimalist Leyda House takes inspiration from local farmer’s huts

The Grandview Barrel Sauna is a backyard oasis for the entire family

May 3, 2017 by  
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Saunas at resorts are great – but having a personal one in your own backyard is even better! This barrel-shaped wooden sauna by Almost Heaven Saunas is easy to assemble with just a few hand tools, and it can hold up to eight people. That makes it perfect for families to enjoy in the privacy of their own garden or backyard. The Grandview Barrel Sauna is crafted from western red cedar , hemlock fir, or Nordic spruce , depending on your own choice, and it can include a front canopy. Its spacious interior features an electric heater–with an option to upgrade to a wood-burning stove –a bucket, a ladle, and a thermometer/hygrometer. Because it’s larger than the firm’s other classic barrel saunas, the Grandview Barrel allows for wider benches and a flat duckboard flooring section. Related: Giant AT-AT-like recycled tin structure hides an unexpected sauna in Sweden The timber used to build the sauna is naturally resistant to the effects of the elements and is combined with thick tempered glass and stainless steel hardware and fasteners. Soft LED lighting and opposite-facing benches create a relaxing atmosphere. + Almost Heaven Sauna Via Uncrate

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The Grandview Barrel Sauna is a backyard oasis for the entire family

Gorgeous forest home will fulfill your tiny cabin dreams

April 26, 2017 by  
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Get ready for some serious cabin envy. Architecture firm studio PIKAPLUS crafted a gorgeous tiny home that perfectly harmonizes with its surrounding forested wilderness. Built mostly of timber, the Wooden House is a cozy retreat for those who crave connection with the outdoors and also want simple luxuries and protection from the elements. Keep reading for a tour of the cabin’s light-filled interior. With just 82 square meters of space, the compact cabin is the result of thoughtful planning and building constraints on a small plot of land. Set on the edge of a large forest clearing, the tiny home minimizes disruption to the stunning landscape with its simple appearance and wooden construction. The landscaping around the home also respects the natural environment. The sharply pitched roof and angled side walls give the home an eye-catching appearance but run the risk of creating a cramped interior. To make the compact home feel as spacious as possible, the architects lined the walls with untreated timber that reflect the natural light that pours through the large windows. The giant glass facade brings views of the outdoors into every room of the house, with the exception of the bathroom. Related: Beautiful cabin pops up in ten days with minimal landscape disturbance “Simplicity in the design of The Wooden House is complemented by the oblique lateral facade, adding captivating nuances,” wrote the architects. The main entrance opens up to a double-height foyer with the living room on the left and the open-plan dining room and the kitchen to the right. A bathroom and sauna are tucked in the rear. Two bedrooms are located upstairs and overlook the ground floor. The project placed second nationally in 2016 for the best wooden construction in Slovenia. + studio PIKAPLUS Via ArchDaily Images © MIHA BRATINA

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Gorgeous forest home will fulfill your tiny cabin dreams

Explosion of color takes over an abandoned Puerto Rican factory

April 26, 2017 by  
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An artist’s brilliance breathes new life into a desolate tobacco factory in Caguas, Puerto Rico . Bright sprays and colorful drips have seemingly exploded all over the factory’s formerly lifeless walls in local artist Sofia Maldonado’s eye-popping intervention, Kalaña. Created as part of Cromática: Caguas a Color , the community engagement piece transformed the building into a piece of art and new home to educational workshops, presentations, and other artistic events. Puerto Rican artist Sofia Maldonado and her team of helpers used all parts of the factory interior as canvas. Florescent blues to neon pink and yellows are splashed across the concrete walls punctuated by a few scribbled tags while old graffiti peeks out from behind the latex paint. “My work is mainly inspired by colors and also the Caribbean way of living, and experiencing light and color,” said Maldonado. “The idea of the project is to inspire and open the door to different projects that reuse abandoned spaces. Kalaña is my interpretation of public art . It’s intended for the public to explore to get inside an abandoned building and to experience an explosion of color. But it is also a piece that is activated by different social engagements. That’s one of my main goals: how can I integrate the community in my artwork.” Related: Javier de Riba graffitis gorgeous geometric patterns onto the floors of abandoned buildings Kalaña injects a welcoming energy to the space and the bright colors help set the tone for positive community collaboration. Maldonado was one of seven artists to explore the intersection between art, community, and abandoned architecture in Cromática: Caguas a Color. The piece was completed in 2015. + Sofia Maldonado Via Popup City Images via Sofia Maldonado

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Explosion of color takes over an abandoned Puerto Rican factory

Alpine meadows extend onto the roof of the renovated Lanserhof Lans health center

November 2, 2016 by  
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Nestled at the foothills of Tyrolean Alps, the luxurious Lanserhof health facility offers a serene environment with stunning views of the mountainous landscape. Undergoing major expansion helmed by international firm ingenhoven architects , the complex will soon include a beautiful new oval building will 16 rooms, topped by a terraced alpine meadow on the roof. Image by bloomimages The Lanserhof Lans combines the luxury of a hotel and modern patient care on par with the most advanced medical facilities in the world. The three-part complex comprises a main building and several annexes and extensions . According to the design, a brand new building will replace one of the guest houses, while several structural adjustments will be needed for the entrance building which houses the reception, restaurant, shop, fireplace lounge and library. The addition will include a bathroom area with saunas , showers, expanded medical rooms in addition to an indoor and outdoor swimming pool . Related: Prefabricated green residential building is slated for Berlin’s new ‘live-work city’ Image by bloomimages Natural materials and simple forms dominate the design of the extension. Its facade will feature balconies of varying depths that create an interesting rhythm and offer optimal wind protection. A green roof featuring seven private terraces will extend the surrounding Alpine meadow to the roof of the new building. + ingenhoven architects Images by bloomimages and Alexander Schmitz

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Alpine meadows extend onto the roof of the renovated Lanserhof Lans health center

Historic Dutch farm in South Africa renovated for ultimate bliss and relaxation

May 20, 2016 by  
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The farm at Babylonstoren , where more than eight acres of fruits and vegetables are grown, dates back to 1692. Over the years, a slow series of renovations have seen some original farm buildings renewed to benefit visitors, such as the disused cow shed that was transformed into the current-day Babel restaurant, one of two on the grounds. The Farmhouse renovation is the latest in a series of investments by owner Karen Roos and general manager Terry de Waal, and it officially opened this year. Related: South Africa’s historic Babylonstoren farm retreat reconnects guests with nature Chris Fick of Malherbe Rust Architects partnered with the farm ’s management to design a renovation befitting the historic nature of the property, similar to previous renovations on the farm. The result is an indulgent getaway, where guests can enjoy a heated swimming pool in the Farmhouse’s courtyard, or step inside the spa, where there is a salt room, sauna, steam room, experience shower, and ozonated vitality pool. The guest rooms and suites are cozy and simply adorned, featuring a mixture of modern and Victorian furniture. The common area Butterfly Room, so named for the rare butterfly collection on display, houses a library and fireplace, creating an inviting space for relaxation after a long, hard day of soaking and steaming. Via Visi Images via Dook

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Historic Dutch farm in South Africa renovated for ultimate bliss and relaxation

Handsome lakeside cabin supports a cantilevered timber gallery in Wisconsin

April 22, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Handsome lakeside cabin supports a cantilevered timber gallery in Wisconsin Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aging cedar , basswood , cabin , cantilevered , clear basswood , family retreat , gallery , Lake Superior , lakeside cabin , paper-resin composite , Salmela Architects , sauna , timber cabin , timber gallery , V-shaped roof , wisconsin

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Handsome lakeside cabin supports a cantilevered timber gallery in Wisconsin

The 6 Most Pressing Environmental Issues—And What You Can Do to Help Solve Them

April 22, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of The 6 Most Pressing Environmental Issues—And What You Can Do to Help Solve Them Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Biodiversity , Climate Change , deforestation , earth day , Environment , Pollution , soil erosion and degradation , water scarcity

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