Add a skylight to any room with these amazingly realistic LED panels

April 15, 2017 by  
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Installing a skylight in a room with little light or a lack of windows can now be as easy as hanging a picture, thanks to the amazing faux skylights by Simar Design . The beautiful panels can bring the look of the sky – be it day or night- into any room. Illuminated with LED lights , the panels can accurately imitate the color, light and look of any time of day by coupling lights with imagery from leading photographers. Simar Design came up with the faux skylight concept when thinking about how daylight can have a profound effect on mood and well being. With many studies linking nature with the effect of relaxation, Simar sought to bring nature inside. The target audience for the screens was to those who are unable to get outside, such as the terminally ill in hospitals, or the immobile in retirement homes. Exposure to blue sky scenes with bursts of fluffy clouds, fronds of green foliage or vines of flowers could help foster the healing process, and give hope to patients. Related: Studies Prove that Desk Plants Can Improve Worker Concentration and Productivity The panels are powered by LED technology , combined with stunning imagery by leading photographers. Pieces can vary in size to suit any room, and last from 50,000 to 100,000 hours. That’s 20 to 40 years of use at 7 hours a day. The best part, is the imagery is completely changeable, and can be switched out at a moment’s notice, making it versatile for any needs. Simar Design’s faux skylight can brighten a drab hotel room, add a place of contemplation for patients, create a imaginative scene for kids, or simply bring a bit of nature to a dark room. + Simar Design Via V2

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Add a skylight to any room with these amazingly realistic LED panels

Students collaborate with starchitect Daniel Libeskind to design university building

March 28, 2017 by  
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Dramatic interlocking volumes and sharp angles define the new green-roofed Central Building at Leuphana University in Germany. Studio Libeskind designed the project in collaboration with students at the university, where Libeskind works as a part-time professor. The result is a distinct zinc-clad building that will serve as an incubator for new ideas, innovation and research. The 139,930-square-foot building, located on the university’s main campus in the southern part of Lüneburg, integrates a Research Center, a Student Center, spaces for seminars and an auditorium into a single structure. Interlocking volumes facilitate cross-disciplinary interaction and collaborative learning. Related: Daniel Libeskind unveils spectacularly green physics center at Durham University Upon entering the building, visitors are greeted by a swooping triple-height atrium awash in natural light coming through a half dozen skylights . Stairs and bridges puncture the volume and communicate the complexity of the space. The cafeteria and workshops are located on the ground floor, labs and offices occupy the upper floors, and the three-story Seminar Center with a curved roof forms the main entry. Exposed concrete and canted walls are combined with smoked oak parquet throughout the building, and red-painted walls provide way-finding and orientation. Related: Daniel Libeskind unveils design for the new green-roofed Lithuanian Modern Art Center in Vilnius The building will operate at zero emissions thanks to its remarkably efficient design and the use of renewable energy sources. Sustainable design features include a green roof, a grey water system and an innovative Cobiax structural system. + Studio Libeskind + Leuphana University

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Students collaborate with starchitect Daniel Libeskind to design university building

Historic Dutch nursery transformed into stunning solar-powered home

March 21, 2017 by  
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A stunning solar-powered home has emerged from the bones of a former school for infants in Leiden, the Netherlands. Design firm ATELIER SPACE completed the beautiful adaptive reuse project , taking care to preserve historic elements while imbuing fresh contemporary touches to the renovation. Energy efficiency was a major focus in the redesign, which includes energy-saving features such as improved insulation, underfloor heating, and home automation. Built in 1925, the historic brick nursery was constructed with great open spaces and tall ceilings filled with natural light from skylights and large windows. These features lend themselves easily to reuse as a residence and the architects made no major changes to the overall structure of the building. A single classroom, for instance, were repurposed into three bedrooms. The architects also preserved the tiled floors in the corridor, original doors, and wooden rafters to maintain a connection to the building’s past. While the tiled corridor was kept intact, the architects replaced the other floors with insulated concrete with underfloor heating . The roof and glass windows were also bolstered with improved insulation to minimize heat loss. A water and air-based heat pump heats and cools the building. Solar panels provide electricity. JUNG KNX home automation allows the homeowners to control aspects of the house, such as lighting and the shutters, remotely from their phones. Related: Cigarette factory reborn as a light-filled city hall in Brussels The spacious 694-square-meter home includes five bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, a media room, workout room, and an open-plan living room, kitchen, and dining area housed in a converted gymnasium. The school’s old playground was transformed into a sunny courtyard with plastered brick banks and planters around a “conversation pit.” The second floor contains a small guesthouse. + ATELIER SPACE Via ArchDaily Images via Brigitte Kroone

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Historic Dutch nursery transformed into stunning solar-powered home

Former Patagonia CEO announces largest land donation in history

March 21, 2017 by  
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Land conservation in Chile could reach a new high with a recent pledge to conserve 11 million acres of wilderness as national parks . As part of the proposal, former Patagonia CEO Kris Tompkins gifted one million acres to the country in what her organization, Tompkins Conservation , says is the “largest land donation in history from a private entity to a country.” Tompkins and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed an agreement to add the one million acres of land from Tompkins Conservation to around 10 million acres of federal land to create a large system of parklands. Under the pledge the government will establish five new national parks. The land under the proposal is three times the size of Yellowstone National Park and Yosemite together. Volcanoes, coastal areas, and forests will be protected under the pledge. In a speech, the president said, “We are bequeathing to the country the greatest creation of protected areas in our history.” Related: Patagonia launches campaign to protect Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument This historic proposal is a step to start a Route of Parks, or a 17-park network, stretching from Cape Horn up to Puerto Montt to conserve Chile’s incredible wilderness and offer outdoor destinations for travelers. The parks could potentially yield around $270 million each year from ecotourism , and could employ as much as 43,000 people, according to Tompkins Conservation. The organization has also committed to start a Friends of National Parks foundation in Chile to support the Route of Parks. Kris said her late husband, conservationist Douglas Tompkins, who passed away in 2015, inspired the pledge. She said, “I know that if Doug were here today, he would speak of national parks being one of the greatest expressions of democracy that a country can realize, preserving the masterpieces of a nation for all of its citizenry.” Via Tompkins Conservation and The Guardian Images via Tompkins Conservation Facebook

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Former Patagonia CEO announces largest land donation in history

Small and windowless garage in Lisbon transformed into an elegant modern loft

February 8, 2017 by  
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Living in a garage isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but an open-minded couple manages to pull it off with style in Lisbon. Local design studio Fala Atelier was asked to convert a 200-square-meter windowless garage into the couple’s new abode. The result is a dramatic transformation from a lifeless gray garage into a bright and contemporary house that still retains a parking spot for the couple’s car. Since the architects weren’t able to add windows on any of the walls besides the entrance, they painted the walls white and created an open-plan living area to create a sense of spaciousness. The ceiling is also painted white and punctuated with large redesigned skylights. The floor is covered in polished concrete to create a neutral base to balance the vibrant pops of colorful furniture. Decoration is kept to a minimum to reduce clutter and large aquamarine curtains allow the homeowners to cordon off spaces as needed. Related: Old garage is transformed into a daylit, treehouse-like library “The proposed intervention intended the clearest reading possible of the existing structure, emphasising its strength,” write the architects. “While the garage was careless and grey, the house is clean and white; its materiality is flat, its light is abstract.” The L-shaped home is entered through a long hallway that then opens up to a large living area. Two bathrooms are tucked behind a curved wall built to replace a broken corner. Limited furnishings and freestanding elements allow the homeowners to easily rearrange the interior space. + Fala Atelier Via ArchDaily Images © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

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Small and windowless garage in Lisbon transformed into an elegant modern loft

A beautiful perforated facade filters natural light into this office building in Rio de Janeiro

November 4, 2016 by  
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The open-plan floors of the building are supported by concrete waffle slabs, peripheral columns and load-bearing walls. All the installations and structural elements are distributed along the perimeter of the building. Related: Tivoli Eco Residences Leave a Light Footprint on the Coast of Northern Brazil The facade of the building comprises three different layers-a lattice of perforated aluminium, a green buffer and soundproof windows. It semi-transparent quality allows natural light into the interior and is aided by a large skylight . The library is separated by glass partitions that filter in daylight. + Bernardes Arquitetura Via Archdaily Photos by Leonardo Finotti

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A beautiful perforated facade filters natural light into this office building in Rio de Janeiro

Unique meditation pavilion in the Netherlands generates its own mist

September 21, 2016 by  
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The Meditation Pavilion and Garden were designed to cultivate a tranquil atmosphere and harness the calming potential of water. The enclosed volume spreads from bank to bank and draws the water inside to blur the line between the interior and exterior space. It houses changing rooms and a bathroom at the west end, and a summer kitchen and storage at the opposite side. Related: Tiny Meditation Pavilion Sits Ever-So-Quietly Amidst Vermont’s Green Mountains The steel-framed structure features movable partitions that slide to open and close the middle part of the pavilion. Most of the exterior is defined by vertical ash wood slats that make the volume seem permeable. Skylights add natural light to the interior and partly illuminate the water. + GMAA – GM Architectes Associés Via Dezeen

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Unique meditation pavilion in the Netherlands generates its own mist

Breathtaking chapel clings to the cliffside for transcendent sea views

August 30, 2016 by  
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OPA is perhaps most famous for their jaw-dropping Casa Brutale, another cliffside building with confirmed plans for construction . Like its predecessor, Lux Aeterna is dramatically embedded into a rocky cliff and sports a giant cross-shaped facade made of glass that gives the building the appearance of a glowing lighthouse at night. Guests enter the underground chapel via a series of concrete steps that lead down into the earth, which helps create thermal insulation to regulate internal temperatures. “Purity of belief is celebrated in this minimalistic design devoid of earthly distractive elements,” says OPA. “The chapel is the third building of the Terra Mater trilogy of underground buildings. Proposed for the island of Serifos, it possesses a single cliff façade that faces the Aegean sea, positioning the human vis a vis with the beauty and magnanimity of creation.” Related: Crazy home carved into a coastal cliff has a swimming pool roof The interior is minimally decorated and made almost entirely from concrete save for the timber flooring, benches, and door that lend the space a touch of warmth. Aside from the giant east-facing glazed cross, stained glass decorates the other openings. Colorful cross-shaped skylights create a beautiful play of colored light inside the chapel. + Open Platform for Architecture Via ArchDaily Images via Open Platform for Architecture

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Breathtaking chapel clings to the cliffside for transcendent sea views

MIT researchers 3D print objects that remember their shape

August 30, 2016 by  
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3D printing has contributed to plenty of eco-friendly pursuits and artistic innovations, but one often-overlooked application of the technology is its impact on the medical field. MIT researchers have created a 3D printer that creates objects with shape memory , meaning they can take on different shapes depending on the temperature. This opens all sorts of doors for the future of biomedical devices, as well as aerospace technology. By using a 3D printing process called microstereolithography and a unique polymer mix which responds to thermal cues, the team has produced teeny structures that can be manipulated by changing the temperature. The polymer material used either hardens or softens when heated or cooled to certain temperatures, a reaction that could potentially be used in futuristic medical devices . Nicholas X. Fang, associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, told MIT News , “We ultimately want to use body temperature as a trigger.” For instance, the device could deliver flu medication only when in the presence of a warming fever. Related: MIT is 3D printing functional robots that could walk right off the printer The team considers the technology to be beyond the scope of 3D and into 4D printing territory, since the fourth dimension of time is manipulated in the process. The innovation still has a long road ahead, but the researchers envision huge advancements in everything from biomedical devices to shape-changing solar cells  and aerospace technology. Right now, the team has developed a small Eiffel Tower replica and a tiny claw that can grip and release items when manipulated. +MIT Via Engadget Images via Qi (Kevin) Ge at MIT

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MIT researchers 3D print objects that remember their shape

Extraordinary Red Hill rammed-earth residence’s funky funnel shape helps direct light

August 24, 2016 by  
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The single-story residence is located near Melbourne , on the Mornington Peninsula. Built for a winery owner, the house combines modern and traditional building materials and features warm details that reference rural architecture. Its minimalist volume forms a large canopy oriented toward the vineyard, sheltering a large terrace framed with a transparent glass balustrade. Related: Vineyard House uses rammed earth to stay cool in Portugal’s hot summers The open-plan interior received plenty of natural light through large, continuous glass windows and a timber-lined skylight . Toughened-glass panels create a visual connection between the ground floor and a large wine cellar in the basement which is supported by wooden beams . Wood permeates the entire structure, both structurally and in detail. “The home’s use of timber , both in the interior and exterior of the design, allows the materials to age naturally and blend in with the landscape,” explained the architects. + Finnis Architects Via Dezeen Photos by Les Hams

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Extraordinary Red Hill rammed-earth residence’s funky funnel shape helps direct light

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