Spherical timber teahouse hides in the treetops of Austria

May 19, 2017 by  
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Teatime is served with a side of enviable treetop views at the pod-shaped Teahouse Riedenthaln nestled in an Austrian garden. Architecture firm a-lp architektur designed the curious igloo-shaped timber hideaway as a modern interpretation of the traditional Japanese teahouse . The 10-square-meter elevated space was largely built from recycled oak wood offcuts. Located in a private garden, the spherical room serves as a place to drink tea, for hosting regression therapy clients, and as a possible sleeping area. A ramp leads up to the low and narrow entrance that opens to a light-filled and surprisingly spacious interior. Natural light fills the cave-like space through a large painted skylight and two rectangular windows. Related: Cocoon Tree: A lightweight, spherical treehouse for sustainable living The tiny teahouse retreat is raised on four black-painted pillars, made of tree trunks. Locally chopped oak timber was used as the main material for the teahouse. The wood cladding was recycled from the small timber offcuts of a local wine barrel-maker and assembled in stacks of over forty layers. The furniture, which includes a counter with a sink, window seat, and sleeping area, is also made from oak timber. + a-lp architektur Via ArchDaily Images by Christine Leuthner

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Circular home boasts 360-degree views so owners can watch their dogs

March 27, 2017 by  
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The biggest motivation behind this circular home’s 360-degree views isn’t the beautiful landscape—it’s the homeowners’ dogs. Dutch architecture firm 123DV designed 360 Villa, a contemporary dwelling in the Netherlands that shows how architecture can be inclusive of humans and animals. Commissioned by a couple who own a pair of beautiful Alaskan Malamutes, the custom home is wrapped in glazing to allow the couple to stay in constant contact with their dogs both in and outside the home. Surrounded by a sloped lawn, the 85-square-meter 360 Villa offers ample space for the homeowners’ two Alaskan Malamutes to play and release their high energy. To give the dogs space and the constant contact they need with their owners, 123DV designed the home with a circular plan and wrapped it in a “continuous window” to provide visual contact between the dogs and couple. The roof extends over the edge of the home to create a wraparound canopy that provides shelter from the rain and sun. Related: This house has a special staircase designed just for dogs To preserve privacy, the architects built up the land into a hill on the street-facing side of the villa so that the owners can see their dogs without needing a full-height window . Despite the small footprint, the 360 Villa feels spacious thanks to the large windows and the open floor plan. The open-plan kitchen, dining room, and living area take up around two-thirds of the interior and open to an outdoor deck. The bedroom and bathroom can be closed off from the living room by sliding doors. A large circular skylight in the middle of the home lets in additional natural light. + 123DV Via ArchDaily Images © Hannah Anthonysz

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Trump administration could open door to geoengineering

March 27, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump’s main stance on climate change is usually denial, but if he does take action it could be with the controversial approach of geoengineering . Large-scale climate engineering didn’t receive much support under President Barack Obama, but now environmental organizations are saying in the new administration interest may be building for solar geoengineering, or spraying sulphate particles in the air with the hope of reflecting the sun’s radiation back into outer space to lower Earth’s temperature. Harvard University scientists David Keith and Frank Keutsch, who started the largest solar geoengineering research program in the world, may find support in the new administration. The two engineers hope to test spraying in 2018 in Arizona via a high-altitude balloon to obtain information of the practice’s impacts at a large scale. At a geoengineering forum last week, Keith seemed to indicate now might be the time to carry the research forward, saying he is ready for field testing. A briefing paper for the form stated the context for talking about solar geoengineering research “has changed substantially since we planned and funded this forum nearly one year ago.” Related: US Congress could fund geoengineering research for the first time Rex Tillerson , current Secretary of State, might also support geoengineering. The Guardian reported ExxonMobil scientists worked on geoengineering techniques like carbon dioxide removal while Tillerson was CEO, and at a 2015 ExxonMobil shareholder meeting Tillerson said “plan B has always been grounded in our beliefs around the continued evolution of technology and engineered solutions.” And one of the Trump Environmental Protection Agency transition architects, David Schnare, has lobbied American lawmakers and testified to the Senate in support of the controversial approach to climate change. Silvia Riberio of watchdog organization ETC Group told The Guardian, “Clearly parts of the Trump administration are very willing to open the door to reckless schemes like David Keith’s, and may well have quietly given the nod to open-air experiments. Worryingly, geoengineering may emerge as this administration’s preferred approach to global warming . In their view, building a big beautiful wall of sulphate in the sky could be a perfect excuse to allow uncontrolled fossil fuel extraction. We need to be focusing on radical emissions cuts, not dangerous and unjust technofixes.” Via The Guardian Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

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Amazing transformation of a decrepit cave into a beautiful modern home

February 7, 2017 by  
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Cave homes may conjure up thoughts of primitive living, but that’s not so for one lucky man who received the cave makeover of his dreams in China’s Shanxi Province. As part of a home renovation TV series called “Wow New Home,” architect Shi Yang of hyperSity Architects renovated a decrepit cave house into a stunning modern home. Despite the dramatic transformation, the new home still preserves elements of the traditional cave design. Read on to see the first episode of Wow New Home (in Chinese, starts at 4:00) and how a ramshackle cave was turned into an incredible new abode for five. Located in the Loess Plateau, the former house was one of many cave homes, called yaodong, typical of the area. These traditional dwellings have long been used for their energy-efficient properties; the earth naturally keeps the cave warm in winters and cool in summer. The house in question belonged to a family of five who lived in a series of dark and damp caves that were in a serious state of disrepair, with tilting and crumbling walls. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u9ty_VyiGg The architects wanted to retain the traditional elements of the cave house while providing a modern refresh. To that end, they preserved the shape of the arched walls and mainly used rammed earth for construction. The interior layout of the home was redesigned in the style of a Chinese courtyard house to open the interior up to natural light and ventilation with space for bamboo gardens. The cave space to the north was mostly left intact, whereas the spaces to the south and west were torn down and reconstructed to make space for five small courtyards connected via a zigzag path. Related: More Than 30 Million People in China Live in Eco-Friendly Caves The renovated home matches the original building height but is strikingly contemporary in appearance. A mix of clay and sand from the nearby mountains were used for the reddish rammed earth walls, creating a visual departure from the original brownish gray earthern walls. The home is entered through the arched doorway that connects to the first courtyard. A path weaves through the new southern-oriented courtyards and cave rooms—which house a kitchen, bedrooms, storage room, dining room, and bathroom—and finally ends at the northernmost space in the rear that’s divided into the grandmother’s bedroom and living room. A skylight punctuates the northernmost space to let in extra light and ventilation. + Wow?? Via ArchDaily

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This Secret Garden House in Singapore is full of elegant surprises

October 27, 2016 by  
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Wallflower’s client commissioned the home design for the upscale area of Bukit Timah in central Singapore. Rising to the request for a “luxurious, tropical, contemporary family home,” the design team produced a unique, airy space with a mostly open floor plan and multiple decks and terraces to take advantage of the region’s temperate climate. The home has a sunken basement and a long swimming pool , which work together to open up the ground-level areas of the house on the sloped lot. Related: Sunny Side House transforms a narrow lot into an airy family home The home’s predominant shapes are rectangular, with an L-shaped footprint comprised of smaller boxes. Interspersed throughout the structure, though, are expansive round skylights that invite wide bright spotlights to dance around the home’s interior, adding curves to what is otherwise a very angular space. The home also features a protected interior atrium, where two-story trees grow in front of a dense privacy wall, offering the homeowners a uniquely cozy living space without sacrificing daylight or views of nature. Perhaps one of the best features about the home itself is the rooftop terrace, which stretches the length of the building’s elegant L shape. With a clear glass perimeter protecting from missteps, the deck features multiple lounging areas and plenty of greenery , a nod to the home’s lush surroundings. Just off in the distance, high-rises obscure the mountainous view, but the Secret Garden House offers plenty of other delicious sights, without the eyestrain. + Wallflower Architecture + Design Via ArchDaily Images via Marc Tey

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This Secret Garden House in Singapore is full of elegant surprises

Pop-up art studios challenge the rising costs of Londons creative workforce

July 4, 2016 by  
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The Minima Moralia pop-up studio asks the question, “Will London still be the capital of creativity, arts and crafts in 10 years time?” The pair points out that soon only the independently wealthy will be able to afford the necessary means to be a productive member of the creative industry, as rental fees and training costs soar. Their studio could serve as a beginning to more affordable and accessible creative spaces. Related: The Observatory is a duo of charred-timber, off-grid art studios traveling around the UK Inspired by Theodor Adorno’s commentary on the “damaged lives” of London’s artists, the studio challenges its inhabitants to simplify their necessities in the tight quarters, yet also draw influence from the surroundings. Described as a type of “urban acupuncture,” the studios target and revive areas in the city most typically discarded or ignored. A modular steel frame is the starting point for the studio’s design, allowing a variety of different window, shelving, and desk configurations. A folding canopy completely opens up one side of the space, while a smaller vertical window gives an at-home feel to the artist inside. Bright sun or stars can filter in through an overhead skylight, furthering the connection to the space and inspiration outdoors. +Minima Moralia Via  Dezeen Images via Tomaso Boano and Jonas Prišmontas

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Luxurious tiny home lets owner live off-grid and rent-free

July 4, 2016 by  
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Created for client Marjolein Jonker, Walden Studio’s abode is the first tiny house to be legally placed with a temporary permit by a municipality in the Netherlands . Despite its small 17-square-meter footprint, the compact house creates the illusion of spaciousness with an open-plan layout and large glazed windows, two of which form the front door and blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living. Natural daylight spills into the home and reflects off the white-finished walls, cork floors, and birch plywood paneling. The largest area of the tiny home is the multifunctional seating area, just beyond the front doors, that includes a multipurpose, transforming piece of furniture that morphs from a couch with hidden storage space to a dining table that can seat four. The kitchen, desk, and stairs with storage are located in the center of the home, while the bathroom with a composting toilet and shower are tucked away in the rear. The bedroom and a closet are on the loft level. Related: Tiny Off-Grid Cabin in Maine is Completely Self-Sustaining “The house is inspired by the tiny house movement,” said the architects. “Living small generates more freedom; there is less junk in your house, you have to clean less and you don’t have to worry about a high mortgage since the average price is a fifth of a ‘normal’ house.” Thermally modified pine wood, spruce wood studs, and Ecoboard clad the tiny house and are bolstered by sheep wool insulation so that only a small wood stove is needed to heat the entire building. Rooftop solar panels power the off-grid home, while rainwater is harvested and wastewater is treated using a natural system. + Walden Studio Images via Walden Studio

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Daring, glass-bottomed loft maximizes space in an edgy Romanian home

January 8, 2016 by  
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Henning Larsen Architects reveal plans for a new mosque in Copenhagen that marries Islamic and Nordic design

March 26, 2015 by  
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Henning Larsen Architects  has released its plans for a new mosque and Islamic community centre in Dortheavej—an area in northern  Copenhagen , Denmark. Commissioned by The Islamic Society of Denmark , the building will be oriented towards Mecca, and will be comprised of a series of interlocking domes that will stand 2, 890 square meters in size upon completion. Larsen’s team is melding Nordic and Islamic architectural traditions in the mosque’s design; a first for the Scandinavian country. Read the rest of Henning Larsen Architects reveal plans for a new mosque in Copenhagen that marries Islamic and Nordic design Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: copenhagen , Copenhagen mosque , Daylighting , Denmark Mosque , henning larsen , henning larsen architects , islamic architecture , Islamic community center , Islamic Society of Denmark , mosque , mosque pool , Nordic and Islamic , nordic architecture , reflective pool , sacred space , Scandinavian architecture , skylight

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Henning Larsen Architects reveal plans for a new mosque in Copenhagen that marries Islamic and Nordic design

Flour power DIY: use a coffee grinder to make gluten-free flours at home

March 26, 2015 by  
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As I’m writing this, I’m stuffing a delicious piece of toast into my face and crunching on it rather happily. That might not seem like a big deal for most people, but for those of us who have to adhere to a gluten-free (GF) diet, a gorgeous piece of toast is worthy of a fair amount of celebration. Although more GF products are appearing on shelves, there’s something to be said for being able to bake one’s own items from scratch as well, but many GF flours are still insanely expensive. Luckily for us, milling our own flours isn’t just cost effective, it’s crazy easy too. Read the rest of Flour power DIY: use a coffee grinder to make gluten-free flours at home Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: amaranth , amaranth flour , baking , buckwheat flour , DIY , gluten free , gluten-free baking , gluten-free flour , oat flour , oats , quinoa , quinoa flour , rice , rice flour , sorghum

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