Stunning home on Spanish island built partially underground

March 25, 2020 by  
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Formentera-based  Marià Castelló Architecture  has become known for creating incredible homes that deftly combine contemporary design with nature-based inspiration. The firm’s latest project is the Bosc d’en Pep Ferrer, a family home that was partially built deep underground into the rocky terrain to use the landscape as natural insulation to  reduce its energy usage . Local architects have used the natural beauty of Spain’s Balearic islands as inspiration in their  home designs  for years. In addition to the spectacular scenery, the island’s Mediterranean climate allows designers to use several passive features to create energy-efficient buildings that blend into the natural landscape. Related: This earth-sheltered Australian hobbit home stays cozy all year Located in the beach town of Migjorn, the Bosc d’en Pep Ferrer was built on a rocky landscape overlooking the expansive coastal views. Although the terrain would be normally considered a challenge for any type of construction, the team from Marià Castelló Architects used the rocky topography to their advantage, “burying” part of the home deep underground. The underground floor of the home was created by digging an elongated cavity reminiscent of a stone quarry. The shape of the tunneled space is horizontal, which was strategic in providing a base to create several transversal walkways and hovering patios on the upper floors of the design. Walking up from the underground level, the home design features several indoor/outdoor spaces lined by  natural rock  as the main walkway leads up to the home’s main courtyard. The upper levels of the home, which sit perpendicular to its underground base, are comprised of three light modules in cubical volumes. These bright white cubes with large glass facades give the home an undeniable contemporary feel, but once inside the  light-filled space , an array of natural features speak to the home’s incredible setting. Throughout the open-plan living space, there are walls of sculpted rock, locally-sourced limestone, pine and fir wooden elements, recycled cotton panels and several more  natural materials.  Even the rocky gravel was saved from the excavation process to be repurposed into the outdoor spaces around the home. Using the landscape also allowed the home’s design to take advantage of several  bioclimatic passive systems that not only insulate the home, but add substantially to its energy efficiency. Additionally, the Bosc d’en Pep Ferrer is equipped with an integral rainwater collection system that reroutes, collects and filters rainwater for reuse. +  Marià Castelló Architecture Images via Marià Castelló

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Stunning home on Spanish island built partially underground

The Cocoon Smart Home will harvest rainwater, solar energy and organic veggies in the Caribbean

May 17, 2018 by  
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This self-sufficient home topped with a soaring cocoon -like structure envisions new heights of off-grid living. The Cocoon Smart Home, designed by  Richard’s Architecture + Design (RA+D), will be the first  Minergie -ECO certified building in the  Dominican Republic . With solar panels , a geothermal system and rainwater harvesting, this Santo Domingo home fully embraces sustainable design. RA+D wanted to design the ideal automated house that contributes to the health of its inhabitants and the surrounding environment . Multiple sources of clean energy will power the Cocoon Smart Home, including solar, residential wind turbines and a geothermal system. The five-bedroom home will also be equipped with a Viessmann fuel cell heater that uses hydrogen — RA+D says this will be the first one in the Caribbean. Battery storage keeps LED lighting and a water heating system running, and excess power can be rerouted to the public grid or utilized to charge electric cars. Related: Futuristic power plant concept generates clean power through wind, solar and geothermal energy An organic vertical garden , framed with glass and steel cables, comprises the cocoon of the building and allows plenty of natural light into the home. RA+D included cross ventilation, tilted louvers and strategic landscaping to mitigate heat. Cocoon Smart Home employs rainwater harvesting and boasts an on-site water treatment plant. With rainwater collectors and water purification systems, residents will be able to obtain clean drinking water. There’s even enough water and power for food production — RA+D said there is potential for gardens or greenhouses to thrive here. The goal of the home’s interior is to connect its inhabitants to nature. An open floor plan, natural limestone floors and fir and ash wood walls, floors, ceilings and furniture blend together in what the firm calls a Caribbean-chic aesthetic. “Each of these systems working harmoniously in this house represents a historic achievement for this landmark project,” said Kyle Hubert, part of the RA+D design team. “We feel confident that these synergized renewable energy technologies, along with energetically self-sustainable organic food production and water sourcing, will begin a new paradigm for private residency development, moving from smart homes to smart neighborhoods and cities.” Hubert said Cocoon Smart Home is currently under construction. + Richard’s Architecture + Design Images via Richard Moreta Castillo

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Lego-like kindergarten sparks creativity with a playful brick facade

May 17, 2018 by  
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Brick may often be seen as boring and traditional, but that’s not the case when the material falls into the hands of KIENTRUC O . The Vietnamese architecture studio creatively used the ancient building block to breathe life into Ho Chi Minh City’s new Chuon Chuon Kim 2 Kindergarten located in the city’s District 2. The building is made entirely from bare brick arranged in patterns to form an eye-catching and playful facade that also promotes natural ventilation. Likened to a “giant Lego building,” the Chuon Chuon Kim 2 Kindergarten features perforated brick walls with sections painted vibrant yellow for a spectacular effect. While a playful atmosphere conducive to exploration was crucial in the design, the architects also wanted to create a space that felt calm and relaxed. To that end, the building is organized around a central active core that branches out to serene  classroom settings. “Instilled within the school is an openness with a spark of curiosity that allows people of all ages to venture and explore the space in a relaxing and calming atmosphere,” the architects wrote. “As we have engaged in numerous educational projects, we recognize that these experiences are equally as important as the responsibility of nurturing the kids. It invokes a sense of pride, and interests within the teacher and the staffs. It inspires and embraces them, for they have chosen to dedicate their life for the education and the well-being of the children on a daily basis.” Related: This stunning brick “cave house” in Vietnam is open to the elements Each floor features alternating patterns that encourages children to become more attuned to their surroundings. The walls are punctuated by large windows for continuous views inside and out. Access to daylight , cross breezes and a natural material palette help promote a healthful environment. A rooftop garden tops the building with panoramic views of the Saigon River. + KIENTRUC O Via ArchDaily Images by Hiroyuki Oki

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The all-natural ‘Wellness Kitchen’ includes a beautiful living herb wall

May 17, 2018 by  
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Kitchens are often the heart of any home, and now an innovative company is giving our beloved cooking space a healthy and sustainable makeover. Interior design company  Finch London recently unveiled its beautiful bespoke rose-colored “Wellness Kitchen” that’s built with various chemical-free and eco-friendly materials  and features a stunning herb wall. The London-based company’s Wellness Kitchen — which recently took home the grand prize at the Grand Designs Live event for its spectacular design — offers a glimpse into the future of eco-friendly kitchen design . The space includes a number of wellness features such as incandescent Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) light bulbs, a doTerra essential oil diffuser, a steam oven, an alkaline water purifier and much more. The countertops are made of Jesmonite, a water-based material that, unlike cast concrete, does not release volatile organic compounds . Related: Artisan Moss ‘plant paintings’ are maintenance-free alternatives to living walls The flooring is made from natural cork  harvested through an environmentally-friendly process. Resistant to dust and toxic absorption, cork is an ideal choice for people who suffer from allergies. It’s also antimicrobial and water-resistant, which helps to combat mold. A major feature of the kitchen is its verdant living herb wall installed on the kitchen island. In addition to various air-purifying plants found hanging throughout the space, the indoor herb garden allows homeowners to grow their own herbs and spices organically. + Finch London Via Household Beautiful Images via Finch London

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The all-natural ‘Wellness Kitchen’ includes a beautiful living herb wall

Self-sufficient Platypus Bend House was built to float above torrential flooding

March 4, 2016 by  
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German scientists design state-of-the-art floating home for Europe’s largest artificial lake district

December 8, 2015 by  
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This angular house combines two things we really love – floating architecture and self-sufficient design. FreiLichtHaus can produce its own water, electricity and heat and is currently being developed by scientists for the largest artificial lake district in Europe located in Germany. The project coordinators claim these state-of-the-art green homes can boost the regional economy and transform the lake district, which is currently poorly served by utilities. Read the rest of German scientists design state-of-the-art floating home for Europe’s largest artificial lake district

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German scientists design state-of-the-art floating home for Europe’s largest artificial lake district

Key questions left unanswered in the draft climate deal

December 8, 2015 by  
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The international climate deal in Paris has now reached the “rough draft” stage. As global leaders from 195 countries attempt to nail down the details and draft a final agreement by this Friday, many concerns remain surrounding the contents of the deal. National Geographic’s Craig Welch outlined four such issues , arguing that the current state of the climate deal doesn’t address key questions that could make or break the efficacy of the agreement. Read the rest of Key questions left unanswered in the draft climate deal

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Earthship Cologne: Why Germany needs this self-sufficient house made from rubbish

April 22, 2015 by  
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We can take our hats off to Germany, a country which has been leading the way with investment in renewable energy , and pioneering Passivhaus standard homes and public buildings. However Germany’s Earthship builders point out that most buildings have a long way to go before they’re truly sustainable. A new Earthship Biotecture project in Cologne seeks to educate the next generation in how to build radically self sufficient structures, without complicated machines or an engineering degree. There’s even a chance for you to get involved and learn alongside the team! Read the rest of Earthship Cologne: Why Germany needs this self-sufficient house made from rubbish Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , “sustainable architecture” , Earthship Biotecture , Earthship Cologne , eco design , german green building , green architecture , Green Building , green energy Germany , michael reynolds , Recycled Materials , renewable energy , self-sufficient homes , Sustainability in Education , sustainable design

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Carl Turner’s Floating House is a sustainable solution for flood zones

February 4, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Carl Turner’s Floating House is a sustainable solution for flood zones Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carl turner , Carl Turner Architects , Carl Turner houseboat , cta , floating homes , floating house , floating house by Carl Turner , houses in flood zones , houses on water , self-sufficient homes , Sustainable Home Design

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“Hanging House” Made from Bay Bridge Scraps Wins Prestigious Student Competition

November 1, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of “Hanging House” Made from Bay Bridge Scraps Wins Prestigious Student Competition Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: architectural competition , Bay Bridge House Competition , Bay Bridge San Francisco , demolished bridge , eco-friendly housing , Hanging House made from Bay Bridge scraps , Oakland Bay Bridge , recycled building materials , self-sufficient homes , student architecture competition , Sustainable Homes , sustainable housing San Francisco        

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