Charred timber home perched above Silicon Valley takes cues from nature

January 15, 2018 by  
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High above Silicon Valley sits a striking home with a two-story volume clad in blackened cedar. Schwartz and Architecture designed the residence, named Shou Sugi Ban House after the traditional Japanese method used to burn the wood to wrap it in a layer of carbon highly resistant to water, fire, and mold. The charred timber volume is an extension to an existing one-story home, the interior of which was also substantially remodeled by the architects. Located on the crest of a hill in Los Gatos, California, Shou Sugi Ban House is a 4,350-square-foot renovation and expansion project that takes inspiration from the surrounding landscape, including the texture and look of boulders, bark, and leaves. “Enlarging an existing home that has an already strong and complete architectural character can be challenging,” wrote the architects. “Here, we anchor the existing one-story home with a new two-story independent volume, using it both as punctuation mark and counterpoint to the existing composition. We clad the addition in traditional Japanese Shou Sugi Ban burnt cedar siding both to anchor home with site and to create the visual weight necessary to anchor the existing exuberantly-roofed horizontal building.” Related: Stunning Lake Michigan home is built from dying ash reclaimed onsite In contrast to the extension’s dark facade, the airy interior features whitewashed walls with natural textures applied throughout. A family room occupies the lower level while a bedroom is placed upstairs. Views of the outdoors are framed through large full-height glazing making it feel as if the interior is open to the outdoors. A particularly beautiful feature of the new extension is the minimalist floating staircase made of painted-steel and cantilevered walnut treads that the architects liken to leaves growing on a branch. + Schwartz and Architecture Images via Matthew Millman

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Charred timber home perched above Silicon Valley takes cues from nature

Queens University Students Turn an Abandoned Mill Into a Flourishing Urban Farm

March 13, 2014 by  
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Over the course of 12 months, Queens University Belfast worked alongside the Biospheric Foundation in Salford, England to design and implement a multilevel aquaponic system within an old disused mill. Their intent was to determine whether such a system could be implemented into an ex-industrial building and whether it could be operated successfully in the years to come. Read the rest of Queens University Students Turn an Abandoned Mill Into a Flourishing Urban Farm Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable agriculture” , Biospheric Foundation , Gardening , green design , green renovation , Queens University Belfast , sustainable design , urban agriculture laboratory , urban farm , Urban Farming , urban gardening , vertical farming        

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Queens University Students Turn an Abandoned Mill Into a Flourishing Urban Farm

Wine Racks, Clocks, Sculptures and More Made from Recycled Scrap Metal and Engine Parts

March 5, 2011 by  
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All Images Courtesy of Randy Schwartz One man’s trash is another man’s…sculpture? This twist on the age-old saying is the underlying philosophy of Randy Schwartz , a San Antonio-based artist who sees junkyards as gold mines. Using 99% scrap metal and old engine parts, Schwartz makes objects ranging from the practical – wine racks and business card holders – to the whimsical – sculptures of cowboys and motorcycles….

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Wine Racks, Clocks, Sculptures and More Made from Recycled Scrap Metal and Engine Parts

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