Church Stone Shelter welcomes hikers in Finland

January 28, 2020 by  
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In the celebrated nature reserve of Kintulammi, Finland, architect Malin Moisio of Tampere-based architecture studio Arkkitehtitoimisto TILASTO has created the Kirkkokiven laavu — the Church Stone Shelter — as a free and welcome respite to hikers. Built mainly from wood and recycled materials, the minimalist and contemporary shelter was inspired by a large natural boulder located close by. The project’s name takes inspiration from the history of the boulder, which once served as a primitive church for local horse shepherds in the 18th century. Developed as part of a network of free shelters in the Kintulammi nature reserve, the Church Stone Shelter primarily serves as a place for rest and meal preparation rather than overnight stays. To improve accessibility, the hiking shelter can also be reached by a wheelchair-accessible path that leads from a nearby parking area. Related: Glowing, celestial-inspired shelter communes with nature in Denmark Constructed from a vertically placed 5-by-5-inch timber frame, the gable-roofed shelter, with its rectangular floor plan, evokes the image of a house with a hearth at its heart. This familiar form, combined with the predominant use of warm-toned timber, gives the shelter its welcoming and cozy quality, while its tall, vaulted ceiling recalls the sacral spaces of a church. Both gable ends are completely open to the outdoors to emphasize a fluid connection with nature; small windows of varying sizes provide carefully framed views of the forest. The use of timber, which is treated with a natural blend of tar and linseed oil, also helps blend the building into its wooded surroundings. The wooden walls were placed atop a plinth made of recycled paving stones. The steeply pitched roof is felted. “The building was developed in cooperation with the city-owned Ekokumppanit Oy and the Parish of Tampere who contributed to the building materials,” the architect said. “All the construction was done on site without electricity, mainly with hand tools. Within a short period of time, the Church Stone Shelter has become an iconic symbol of the Kintulampi Hiking and Nature Reserve.” + Arkkitehtitoimisto TILASTO Photography by Malin Moisio and Julia Kivela? via Arkkitehtitoimisto TILASTO

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Church Stone Shelter welcomes hikers in Finland

Glowing, celestial-inspired shelter communes with nature in Denmark

August 8, 2019 by  
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The Munkeruphus Art Museum on the coast of Denmark has recently gained a striking new addition — the Observatory, an organic pavilion by Danish designer Simon Hjermind Jensen . The commission, which was supported by the Danish Arts Foundation and Knud Højgaards Fond, marks the start of the museum’s long-term vision for integrating art and nature-related projects on its grounds. Crafted with 3D modeling and CNC technology, the curvaceous pavilion has a cave-like interior that encourages visitors to gather within and reconnect with nature. When Jensen received the commission for the project, he started the design process with a 24-hour stay on the site to observe the landscape conditions from dawn to dusk as well as the trajectories of the sun and the moon. The site-specific study inspired the placement of the Observatory as well as the architectural design, which began with a ceramic model he crafted on-site. Related: A mountain refuge in Spain is brought back to life with brickwork Back at his studio, Jensen refined his concept with additional ceramic models before overlaying a construction pattern on top that was 3D-scanned for computer modeling . Finally, the pavilion shell was CNC-cut from plywood and polycarbonate, bent into place and fastened together with custom, leaf-inspired joinery. Thanks to parametric modeling, the Observatory is optimized for strength and material use. Measuring nearly 19 feet in height, the Observatory features an asymmetrical teardrop shape topped with an oculus angled toward the south, framing views of the moon and creating more access to natural light . Inside, the curved interior is weighed down by a gravel floor and includes a built-in wooden bench that accommodates 25 people as well as a concrete podium. The central fire pit, when lit, makes the pavilion glow at night. “Like the characters of our surroundings changes and shift from day to night, the Observatory changes too, especially when a bonfire is lit after nightfall.” Jensen said. “The inside spatial experience changes with the light coming from the ground and, seen from the outside, the upper part glows in a pink color created from the light from the flames.” + Simon Hjermind Jensen Images via Simon Hjermind Jensen

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Glowing, celestial-inspired shelter communes with nature in Denmark

A mountain refuge in Spain is brought back to life with brickwork

April 30, 2019 by  
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In the mountains of the southeastern Spanish town of Jumilla sits “La Casa del Ángel,” a small shelter where outdoor enthusiasts have long sought shelter. To bring more people to the shelter, the local government commissioned Murcia-based firm Martin Lejarraga Oficina de Arquitectura to refurbish the small building, which had been worn down by use and the outdoor elements. In renovating the space, the architects reinforced the structural strength and clad the facade in a variety of brickwork to make the building pop against its lush green surroundings. After decades of use, La Casa del Ángel has become a known fixture in the town of Jumilla. To pay respect to the site history, the architects wanted to turn the building into a “landscape piece” that can be used internally and externally. As a result, a sculptural bench was added to the exterior that wraps around two walls while an extra opening has been added to the covered entrance area to invite passersby to take shelter beneath the roof, which has been reinforced with concrete construction. Inside, the architects improved the building’s thermal and acoustic insulation and added natural materials that create a warm and inviting atmosphere. The wood used in the structure, windows and doors complement the unique original masonry. Vertically laid brick is also used in the interiors for a portion of the walls and the floors, matching the vertically oriented brick that covers half of the facade. The other half of the facade comprises horizontally oriented brick perforated to let in light and natural ventilation. Related: Towering prefab cabins envisioned for Iceland’s rugged landscape “None of the materials are coated, taking advantage of its bareness for giving refuge also to other kind of inhabitants: plants, insects, birds, etc.,” the architects explained. “Because of all this, the refurbishing of ‘La Casa del Ángel’ turns out to be a sustainable and recognizable intervention and, on top of this, a proposal with the goal of being the shelter of people, animal and plants within the wonderful landscape it is inserted.” + Martin Lejarraga Oficina de Arquitectura Photography by David Frutos via Martin Lejarraga Oficina de Arquitectura

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A mountain refuge in Spain is brought back to life with brickwork

A bivouac is lightly perched on a rocky peak of the Italian Alps

January 14, 2019 by  
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Designed by Italian architects Roberto Dini and Stefano Girodo , the Luca Pasqualetti Bivouac is a prefab mountain shelter that was airlifted to the very peak of the incredibly remote Morion ridge in Valpelline at an altitude of 3290 meters. The tiny bivouac  was built with sustainable and recyclable materials and designed to cause minimal impact to the stunning landscape. The tiny shelter was the brainchild of a group of local alpine guides called Espri Sarvadzo (“Wild Spirit”). Their objective was to attract more adventurous hikers and climbers to the Morion ridge of Valpelline, which, due to its remote location, is often overlooked. The team worked with the parents of Luca Pasqualettie to dedicate the bivouac to their son who passed away in the same area. Related: Tiny alpine hut is a cozy refuge in the harsh yet spectacular Slovenian Alps The rough location and extreme climate (temperatures reach -20°C and winds up to 200 km/h) in the area meant that the shelter had to be incredibly durable and resilient to wind and snow loads. The rugged terrain made building on the site impossible, so complicating the issue further was the fact that the structure had to be lightweight enough to be transported by helicopter to its destination. To bring the project to fruition, the architects designed and built a prefab structure. All of the building’s components, which were chosen for their durability and low-maintenance properties, are also recyclable and ecologically certified. As for the design itself, the shelter is a simple hut with a large pitched roof made out of two composite sandwich panels, wood and steel and can be split into four parts for easy transport. In addition to being sustainable, the design also called for a building that would cause minimal impact on the landscape. As such, the shelter was installed on non-permanent foundations that were anchored into the rock. This will enable the building to be dismounted at the end of its lifecycle without leaving a permanent trace. The interior of the tiny shelter is a minimalist space, optimized to live comfortably in a compact area. A large panoramic window on the main facade was oriented to face the east to take advantage of natural light and heat as well as to provide stunning views. A small solar panel provides additional lighting. As for furnishings, the interior houses a dining table and eight stools, as well as chests for additional seating and storage. There is also a sideboard that folds down for food preparation and various compartments for equipment. At the rear of the shelter ‘s living space is the sleeping area, which is made up of two wooden platforms with mattresses and blankets. + Roberto Dini + Stefano Girodo Via Archdaily Photography by Roberto Dini, Stefano Girodo, Adele Muscolino and Grzegorz Grodzicki via Bivacco Morion

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A bivouac is lightly perched on a rocky peak of the Italian Alps

Prefab DublDom home delivered via helicopter as a gift to a remote Russian town

June 19, 2018 by  
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Moscow-based design studio BIO Architects has installed its latest prefab DublDom in the snowy mountains of Kandalaksha, a ski town in northeastern Russia. The DublDom was installed as a gift for the town after resident Alexander Trunkovkiy won the competition “Find Your Place 2016,” which asked participants to submit location proposals for a DublDom and explain how a prefab home would benefit the area. Lifted into place by helicopter, this new tiny cabin in Kandalaksha serves as a shelter for tourists who flock to the mountainous region for outdoor recreation. Alexander Trunkovkiy’s winning competition entry was selected from more than 500 submissions. Trunkovkiy made a persuasive case when he implored BIO Architects to install a DublDom as a replacement for a mountain shelter that had burned down. The DublDom, he said, would serve as a place where townspeople and visitors could rest while enjoying skiing in winter, hiking in summer and views of the mountains year-round. Clad in bright red panels, the tiny cabin in Kandalaksha uses the standard DublDom modules but with a reconfigured interior optimized for high-altitude use. The lightweight,  prefab structure was constructed to the highest standards of durability and energy efficiency and then dropped into place by helicopter. “Due to combining high-tech materials, we managed to halve the weight of the modules,” the architects said. “The materials and the coating are calculated to be used at the low temperatures and high wind loads.” Related: Tiny and Affordable Russian DublDom Home Can Be Assembled in Just One Day Elevated on six pillars, the metal-framed mountain shelter comfortably accommodates up to eight people. The interior is minimally furnished with a warming stove and table in the center flanked by rack-beds on the perimeter of the large central room. The space beneath the beds is used for storage. A glazed, gabled end wall provides passive heating and panoramic views of the southern Kandalaksha gulf and islands. + BIO Architects Via ArchDaily Images by Art Lasovsky

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Prefab DublDom home delivered via helicopter as a gift to a remote Russian town

Man buries 42 school buses to build North America’s largest nuclear fallout shelter

November 29, 2017 by  
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When doomsday arrives, Bruce and Jean Beach have no intention of elbowing their neighbors for space. The retired couple, who reside on 12.5 acres in the rural town of Horning’s Mills just outside of Toronto, Canada, have built themselves a massive, 10,000-square-foot underground bunker. Beyond being the largest private nuclear fallout shelter in North America (as far as we know, at least), the post-apocalyptic den has also been craftily built using 42 decommissioned school buses entombed in concrete. Dubbed “The Ark Two,” the creation, spearheaded by 83-year-old Bruce Beach, sits 15 feet beneath the earth and can accommodate 500 people for several months. The bunker has in fact been designed to support a community, equipped with everything from months worth of food supplies to plumbing, a well, kitchen, laundry, library, dentist, nursery, daycare, ER/surgery room, and even a morgue. And why buses? He says they were cheap (just $300 a pop) and have reinforced steel roofs, which make for ideal bomb shelter molds. Related: Reclaimed Bunker Offers Doomsday Luxury Accommodations Beach built the shelter 35 years ago he says “not for survival, but rather for the reconstruction of society” after an atomic catastrophe. He told the  National Post,  “People think, ‘What a nut,’ and I know that, but I don’t mind, I understand the world looks upon me that way.” Indeed, Beach’s endeavor has not been free of conflict. Because he built the shelter without a permit, he’s been in and out of court over 30 times with the Canadian government. Officials want the bunker welded shut, citing public safety issues. However, Beach argues that “it’s the very opposite of something that is hazardous,” rather “something that is protective in hazardous situations.” To try to win public support, Beach has built relationships with the media to drum up positive publicity—and it’s worked. For the time being, officials have backed off. Beach now even holds volunteer opportunities and “work weekends” at the site. Visitors who are willing to put in a little elbow grease are guaranteed admission into the Ark—that is, “so long as they do so before the catastrophe occurs,” Beach writes on his site . “I used to always say the end of the world was going to be two years from now,” said Beach to the National Post. “But now I say it is going to be two weeks from now—and if I am wrong, I will revise my date.” Via Oddity Central All images via Bruce Beach’s website

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Man buries 42 school buses to build North America’s largest nuclear fallout shelter

Lookout Loop bird observatory in Latvia doubles as a temporary shelter

November 23, 2017 by  
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Ulf Mejergren Architects just unveiled plans for a beautiful bird observatory in Latvia that doubles as a temporary shelter. The Lookout Loop has a sinuous, sculptural form that allows visitors to enjoy expansive views of the wetlands and rest before continuing on one of the paths through Pape Nature Park. The observatory rises from the ground like a dock, with three pairs of curved stair sections joining in a loop, leaving a void in the center. The stairs gets wider closer to the top and the upper landing serves as an observation deck on each pair of stairs. Covered spaces for shelter are located on both sides of the entrance. Related: X-Studio’s Lightweave Palm Observatory is Made Entirely From Palm Leaves The entire structure is made of rot-resistant Siberian larch heartwood. Small gaps between the planks were left in order to allow the wood to dry properly. This also creates a nice visual effect– light filters through the gaps and create the impression of permeability. The main structure is composed of poles interlocked with a treated wood truss-system. + Ulf Mejergren Architects

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Lookout Loop bird observatory in Latvia doubles as a temporary shelter

This man has saved over 700 stray dogs in China over the last 8 years

September 18, 2017 by  
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Zhou Yusong is a dog’s best friend. Over the last eight years, Yusong has rescued over 700 stray dogs and given them homes at his animal protection center China’s Henan Province. Though he didn’t intend on becoming the “Guardian of Dogs,” this is what he is called in his home city of Zhengzhou. It all started in 2008, when Zhou Yusong was walking down a road in Zhengzhou and noticed a stray dog that had clearly been hit by a car. It was fighting for its life, yet was ignored by those who passed by. Yusong was unable to ignore the frightened animal, so he picked it up and took it to a nearby dog shelter as he could never care for it in his tiny apartment. When the man reached the shelter, he was overwhelmed by the large number of stray dogs that had already been collected. To ease the shelter’s burden, he began donating 200 yuan ($30) every month to support the dogs’ food and medical treatments. Inspired to do more, Yusong later convinced his friend to invest 800,000 yuan ($122,000 USD) in a new animal shelter . It would be located on the banks of the Yellow River and care for the abundance of stray dogs. His friend agreed and allowed Yusong to be in charge of the facility. Within a short period of time, the animal lover quit his job and began managing the rescue center full-time. Related: South Korea’s President adopts rescue puppy, saving it from the dog meat trade To date, Yusong has rescued over 700 stray dogs, as well as a number of other small and medium-sized animals. Over the past eight years, he hasn’t taken a single vacation, as he is dedicated to ensuring all of the dogs are well taken care of. To reduce the shelter’s costs, Yusong also manages maintenance work, which includes fixing fences and trimming the bushes. He spends the remainder of his time feeding the dogs, cleaning up their kennels, and administering various medical treatments . Though Yusong wasn’t seeking recognition for his work, the world couldn’t help but give it to him after photographs of him and hundreds of dogs went viral on social media. Via Oddity Central ,  Xwtuotiao Images via  Xwtuotiao

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This man has saved over 700 stray dogs in China over the last 8 years

New Orleans golf course transformed into citys biggest urban farm with an Eco-Campus

September 18, 2017 by  
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A former golf course in New Orleans’ City Park has been transformed into the city’s biggest urban farm— Grow Dat Youth Farm . The seven-acre sustainable farming nonprofit features a low-energy Eco-Campus built with seven recycled shipping containers and designed by Tulane University architecture students. The urban farming and leadership program teaches local youth how to sustainably grow fruits and veggies that are then sold to CSAs, local restaurants, and markets, as well as donated to neighborhoods lacking access to healthy, fresh food. Founded in 2012, Grow Dat Youth Farm wants to do much more than grow delicious chemical-free food. The nonprofit farm’s central mission is to bring local youth and adults from different backgrounds together in a safe collaborative environment where they can learn how to grow their own food and develop personal, social, and environmental change. Most of the educational workshops take place within the Eco-Campus, a simple low-energy structure with an open-air classroom, two climate-controlled offices, kitchen, bathroom with composting toilets , and storage. A bioswale under the front timber walkway prevents flooding and manages water sustainably. The City Park birding corridor runs along the side of farm and provides a more wild contrast to the farmed environment. Grow Dat Youth Farm has a long-term lease for seven acres of land in New Orlean’s City Park and is currently growing on two acres with plans for expansion. Formerly a golf course that had been uninhabited before Katrina, the site comprised very sandy or mostly clay soils—poor conditions for farming. The team remediated the soil with lots of organic matter—mainly a mixture of coffee grounds, processed dried sugar cane, and chicken manure—and use crop rotations to add minerals back into the earth. Today, the diversified farm grows over 50 varieties of fruits and vegetables, from avocados and satsuma to beets and kale. “Food justice is a big part of who we are,” said Michael Kantor, Interim Director at Grow Dat Youth Farm, who stressed the program’s primary purpose to develop youth leadership skills. “Black farmers in particular have historically been marginalized so we create opportunities here to give young people of different races the chance to take control of food production, either here or in their neighborhoods, and increase access to fresh healthy produce—something many New Orleans neighborhoods do not have.” Grow Dat Youth Farm partners with nine local schools to recruit around 60 high school students annually. Starting January, these youth Crew Members participate in a paid, five-month leadership program held after school and on Saturday that prioritizes diversity and inclusion. The program time is evenly split between lessons on sustainable food , cooking, and farming, and team-building and leadership exercises. Graduates of the program are invited to enroll in the next tiered leadership position as Assistant Crew Leaders; a fellowship program brings in extra help around the year. Related: Inspiring urban farm teaches kids how to grow their own organic food “Our farm is pretty active from September to June,” said Michael. “That’s when we’re harvesting crops for the CSA , our main distribution channel that starts in October, or for the Crescent City Farmers Market or farm stand. We’ve also sold to restaurants and have been in Whole Foods too. We donate 30% of our food to households without access through our Shared Harvest program.” Grow Dat Youth Farm has donated over 26,000 pounds of food. In addition to funding from grants, donors, and market sales, Grow Dat Youth Farm raises funds through their seasonal farm dinners , where they invite celebrated local chefs to cook up locally focused, family-style meals on the farm. This year’s first farm dinner, on September 28, features chefs from Cochon and Peche, while the October 8th dinner features a chef from Shaya. Tickets are still available for these farm dinners. Learn more information about Grow Dat Youth Farm by following the link below. + Grow Dat Youth Farm Images © Lucy Wang

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New Orleans golf course transformed into citys biggest urban farm with an Eco-Campus

First designed for Burning Man, foldable Shiftpods now shelter refugees around the world

August 22, 2017 by  
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The 70,000 people that venture each year to Burning Man in Black Rock Desert, Nevada need shelter that will protect them from the elements – and refugees around the world need them even more. Christian Weber, who has been going to the desert festival for over 20 years, decided there had to be a better way than the fragile old hexayurts that were hard to assemble. So he designed foldable Shiftpods that now provide warmth and safety for displaced people all over the world. Weber started by making his shelters for friends headed to Burning Man , not thinking he’d just started what would turn into a multimillion-dollar business. He ended up with 300 orders. So he launched his own company, Advanced Shelter Systems Inc (ASSI), in California, and from the beginning decided to donate one Shiftpod for every 20 sold. Related: Self-shaping shelters that could revolutionize emergency housing Weber designed a shelter that can fold up into one piece. Shiftpods are insulated and tall enough for most people to stand up inside. It also stands up to wind – in a recent test at John Brown University the shelter didn’t blow away until winds from a giant fan placed by the Shiftpod reached 109 miles per hour. ASSI recently started offering their Shiftpod 2.0, which weighs 64 pounds. When it’s popped open, it offers 12.5 feet by 12.5 feet by six feet and ten inches of space. Folded up, it’s 76 by 13 by 13 inches. It costs $1,499.99, but is currently on sale for $1,299. But Weber didn’t stop with festival shelters. He told Fast Company, “There’s 53.4 million forcibly displaced in the world right now because of wars and politics. A lot of them are living in shanty shacks with blue tarps, so we’re trying to create a low-cost, easy-to-ship, easy-to-set-up unit that people can live in for up to five years.” Now Shiftpods have popped up in Nepal, Japan, Ecuador, Haiti, and North Dakota, to name a few countries. ASSI now offers Shelterpods and Responsepods, both targeted for disaster relief . ASSI eventually aims to offer kits that offer more than just shelter. Every year at Burning Man, Weber’s group of campers transport their Shiftpods in a shipping container that then serves as an air-conditioned kitchen with fold-down tables. Weber’s goal “…is to set up kits for individuals to take with them that have a shelter, water filtration, and everything you need for a family of four to survive for 30 days. And to build systems for up to 1,600 people [that can be stored] in one container.” + Advanced Shelter Systems Inc. Via Fast Company Images via ASSI and Shiftpod Facebook

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First designed for Burning Man, foldable Shiftpods now shelter refugees around the world

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