Derelict property transformed into a vibrant, sunny hostel in Portugal

July 16, 2018 by  
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When design firms Aurora Arquitectos and Furo were asked to transform an old building in the Portuguese coastal resort town of Cascais into a hip hostel, they had their work cut out for them. Though the building was still standing, the interiors were completely rundown. Using a laminated steel frame to reinforce the structure, the architects steadily transformed the building from ruin to welcoming lodgings that play up the Portugal vacation theme with tropical prints and bright, sunny colors. Located near the coast just west of Lisbon , the Hostel in Parede is housed in a stately renovated building painted a beautiful sky blue. The interior was divided into nine modules, with the central module housing a skylit spiral staircase painted a vibrant shade of yellow to evoke the sun and the nearby sandy beaches. The sculptural staircase, which connects the three floors, features rounded corners that hide the utilities. “We were asked to consider the project as having a high level of flexibility in terms of future use,” Aurora Arquitectos and Furo said. “A hostel at first, capable of becoming a single-family house with little changes. This is how the autonomous volumes containing the bathrooms came to be, easily removable should one want larger bedrooms. The overall building’s structure also derived from the logic of easy future transformation.” Related: Y-shaped German hostel looks at sustainability from all angles Bedrooms are distributed across all three floors of the hostel. The semi-basement houses two of the dorm rooms, bathrooms and laundry room, and it opens up to the garage and courtyard . The ground floor comprises the main communal areas including the reception, kitchen, dining room, living room and a bedroom space with shared bathroom facilities. Four more dormitory rooms are located on the first floor, with the bathrooms housed in a freestanding unit placed in the center of each room. + Aurora Arquitectos + Furo Via Dezeen Images © do mal o menos

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Derelict property transformed into a vibrant, sunny hostel in Portugal

The Treebox is an amazing modern home set high up in the treetops

February 12, 2018 by  
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This gorgeous wooden home in Texas captures the experience of living high up in the treetops. Designed by Wernerfield , the PH2 Treebox is raised several meters off the ground, and its living quarters are sheltered by the surrounding forest. Wernerfield was commissioned to design an addition to an existing split-level house on a wooded property in Dallas. The team responded with a design that takes its cues from the form of the main house. Related: Microsoft unveils amazing treehouse office where employees can brainstorm in fresh air “The existing home’s split-level plan provides an elevated deck at the rear that is wrapped by the forest,” said the architects. “This sensation of being elevated and floating in the forest was carried forward as the central design concept throughout the project.” Related: Aging Portuguese granary transformed into a serene sanctuary in the trees The architects set the home on 12-foot-high metal columns, creating space for a sheltered parking area below. A metal staircase leads up to the dwelling area. The home’s exterior is clad in charred wood , which is both discrete and durable. The interior comprises a guest quarters and an office space (separated by a breezeway), and it has a minimalist, warm material palette that accentuates the connection to the forest. + Wernerfield Via Dezeen Photos by Robert Yu

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The Treebox is an amazing modern home set high up in the treetops

President Trump expected to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments by two-thirds

December 4, 2017 by  
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President Trump flew to Utah today to announce plans to drastically reduce Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments. The unprecedented move would rip apart land that is invaluable to the Native American tribes who hold the land sacred, will open pristine wilderness to coal mining and energy exploration and will prevent people from visiting the priceless environment that a majority of Americans want protected. Trump is expected to shrink Bear’s Ears by 85% and Grand Staircase-Escalante by half – even more than Utah officials have previously requested. Leaked maps obtained by the Wilderness Society reveal that the monuments will be selectively chopped up, which could expose archaeological and sacred Native American sites to destruction. The monuments are also home to diverse plant and animal life, including the endangered desert tortoise, and have been the location of invaluable paleontological discoveries. Related: Trump signs executive order aimed at eliminating national monuments Thousands of people gathered at the state Capitol on Saturday to protest the move, and again on Monday while Trump was making his announcement in the Capitol building. Tribal leaders and Salt Lake City mayor Jackie Biskupski spoke, calling on Americans to fight for protecting the land. Mayor @jackiebiskupski says “the future will judge us by what we leave behind”. Trump wants to destroy our past and future. #StandWithBearsEars #grandstaircase #handsoffourlands pic.twitter.com/AY4YrZvXIq — Kristine Lofgren (@Livingston761) December 3, 2017 If you want to help, head to the Bears Ears Coalition , where you can find links to support a lawsuit being brought by the Five tribes coalition in Utah, made up of representatives from the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Ute Mountain Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe and the Pueblo of Zuni. You can also head to Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance to make your voice heard as Secretary Zinke finalizes plans on the monuments. photos by Kristine Lofgren for Inhabitat

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President Trump expected to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments by two-thirds

Electric cars are already less expensive to own and operate than gas-guzzling vehicles, according to study

December 4, 2017 by  
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Exciting news for electric car fans: a new study shows that EVs already cost less over four years than diesel or gasoline-fueled cars in Japan, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States. Four researchers at the University of Leeds came up with the discovery after scrutinizing the total price tag of ownership including insurance, fuel , maintenance, taxation, purchase price and depreciation. And although the low cost is aided by government support right now, in a few years EVs are expected to be the least expensive option without subsidies. EVs are already cheaper to operate and own in the markets the researchers looked at: California, Texas, Japan, and the UK. They said this lower expense is an important factor propelling the surge in EV sales. Electricity is less expensive than diesel or petrol, and maintenance costs are lower, as pure electric cars have simpler engines. Related: Stanford study says fossil-fueled cars will vanish in 8 years as ‘big oil’ collapses Study co-author James Tate of the University of Leeds told The Guardian , “We were surprised and encouraged because, as we scale up production, [pure] electric vehicles are going to be becoming cheaper and we expect battery costs are going to fall.” Hybrid cars tend to be slightly more expensive than gas-fueled cars, as they tend to draw lower subsidies. The researchers said people are basically forking out money for two engines in one car. Japan is one exception, as it provides higher subsidies for plug-in hybrids. In Japan and the UK, pure electric cars get a sales subsidy of around $6,729. In the US, the subsidy is around $8,748. Tate told The Guardian an EV like the Nissan Leaf could be as cheap to operate and own as a petrol car sans subsidy by 2025. The journal Applied Energy published the study online in November. + Applied Energy Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

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Electric cars are already less expensive to own and operate than gas-guzzling vehicles, according to study

A spectacular staircase draws you into this breathtaking daylit loft in Vienna

June 7, 2017 by  
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This renovated loft in Vienna has a sculptural staircase at its core that appears to support the entire upper floor. Design studio Smartvoll sought to preserve as much of the original space as possible while cultivating a minimalist feel reminiscent of Adolf Loos’s interiors. The renovation of the 3,767-square-foot Loft Panzerhalle introduced an abundance of natural light into the interior. The architects left the ribbon windows on the upper floor intact instead of creating galleries typical in modern loft design . An impressive central staircase sweeps upwards like a concrete sculpture, rounding off the composition. The staircase also divides the room while creating a roof over the kitchen, recesses and elevations. Related: Architects turn a cramped apartment into a gorgeous loft where the owner’s cats can roam freely While concrete dominates the space, semi-transparent materials were used to delineate the guest area and bedroom. All the furniture looks integrated into the construction, celebrating free space and minimalist aesthetics. “We wanted to revitalize the space’s original charm,” said the architects. “Magnanimity and a spatial experience of both storeys were priorities. In all dimensions.” + Smartvoll Architects Via v2com Photos by Tobias Colz/smartvoll

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A spectacular staircase draws you into this breathtaking daylit loft in Vienna

MAP Architects masterfully restores access to a 700-year-old medieval ruin

January 24, 2017 by  
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Denmark’s oldest surviving medieval site is finally accessible to the public thanks to an elegant architectural solution. MAP Architects restored access to the 700-year-old Kalø Slotsruin with a minimally invasive entrance and staircase that allow views of the archaeological layers and surrounding landscape. The extremely challenging task of creating access without damaging the ruins was made possible through the 3D scanning of every single brick and computer generated models. The Danish Ministry of the Environment, with support from Realdania , commissioned MAP Architects to design visitor access to Kalø Slotsruin, a Danish archeological gem located on an isthmus projecting from the Jutland peninsula. The 38-square-meter intervention is a timber zigzagging staircase that winds up the three-story high and two-story deep brick tower that has lacked an internal structure for centuries. The strategically located landings allow visitors to view the historical layers of construction up close and culminate in a pathway that opens up the sky. Related: Visitor center disguised as a hill to welcome visitors to Denmark’s historic Kalø Castle Ruins “The desire to allow the visitor to ‘touch’ the archaeological layers of the tower, and simultaneously ‘leave’ the ruin and ‘levitate’ in the landscape was pivotal,” write the architects. “The architectural gesture is the geometric result of connecting openings and landings, while aiming to offer the richness of the archaeological site and the surrounding landscape.” Clad in the ash wood , the steel-framed staircase is supported with only four points to minimize damage to the historical monument and entrances are made through the existing eroded openings. The staircase was prefabricated offsite in seven large pieces and then assembled in place with a crane. The project has been nominated for the 2017 European Mies van der Rohe Award . + MAP Architects Via ArchDaily Images © David A. Garcia and Bjørn Pierri Enevoldsen

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MAP Architects masterfully restores access to a 700-year-old medieval ruin

Hundreds of repurposed orange crates make up striking facade in Italy

January 20, 2017 by  
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Orange crates never looked so good. Studio NOWA (Navarra Office Walking Architecture) repurposed hundreds of the plastic crates to for the facade of two former artisan sheds in Italy. Converted into a striking rehabilitation and treatment center for people with disabilities, the building’s facade has a unique pixelated texture that dominates the surrounding area. The project, called Protiro, was designed and built for Concetta D’Alessandro Foundation, a non-profit organization that deals with the treatment and rehabilitation of people with disabilities . The architects transformed two former artisan sheds into a multi-functional space, using basic materials to make its exterior distinctive and recognizable. Related: Gorgeous Glass Clad Groot Klimmendaal Rehabilitation Centre Sits Tucked Amongst the Trees A guesthouse occupies the ground floor of the building, while the first floor, sheltered under a vaulted roof, functions as a large space for group activities. Service areas occupy the two low volumes which form an entrance vestibule to the main hall. A new lift and staircase were added to this space. The patterned skin envelops the entire structure, strengthening its visual identity. + StudioNOWA Via Archdaily Photos by Peppe Maisto

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Hundreds of repurposed orange crates make up striking facade in Italy

Congress maneuvers to give away 640 million acres of American land

January 20, 2017 by  
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Republican Congressmen would love to keep you distracted with the healthcare battle. And while that fight is of huge importance, they’re using that publicity to quietly pave the way to toss away 640 million acres of American land – even if the government loses money on the transaction. In the rules for the 115th Congress , lawmakers altered one little line that has the potential to allow the government to callously throw away national treasures. The line reads, “In the One Hundred Fifteenth Congress, for all purposes in the House, a provision in a bill or joint resolution, or in an amendment thereto or a conference report thereon, requiring or authorizing a conveyance of Federal land to a State, local government, or tribal entity shall not be considered as providing new budget authority, decreasing revenues, increasing mandatory spending, or increasing outlays.” What that jargon basically means is Congress has made it easy to dispose of federal land. That single line allows them to skirt requirements that a bill handing over federal land must not decrease federal revenue or add to the government’s debt. Related: Big Oil celebrates Trump’s goal to open up drilling in national parks In essence Congress is denying federal land possesses any value whatsoever, according to the Guardian, which said such lands may include spaces near the Grand Canyon . The land in question is far from worthless. It provides 6.1 million jobs, and around $646 billion yearly in economic stimulus due to recreation . Some federal land is already leased to energy and logging companies, and generated $2 billion in royalty revenue in 2016 alone, according to the Bureau of Land Management . Federal tax revenue from recreation was nearly $40 billion, according to the Outdoor Industry Association . If land is transferred to states, as some Republican representatives wish, large quantities could go towards property or energy development, and public access could be limited. The Wilderness Society Senior Director of Government Relations for Lands Alan Rowsome told The Guardian, “We didn’t see it coming. I think it was sneaky and underhanded. It exemplifies an effort to not play by the rules. This is the worst Congress for public lands ever.” Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Congress maneuvers to give away 640 million acres of American land

The Tiny House of Slow Town is ready for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games

November 25, 2016 by  
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The house was built in Gangwon city, the host city for the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and one of the cleanest left in South Korea. The area’s pristine quality calls for designs that preserve the natural beauty of the landscape. Related: Alek Lisefki’s Tiny House is a luxurious eco-friendly dream on wheels The Tiny House of Slow Town does just that; in addition to maximizing housing facilities for the upcoming Olympic Games, the building features environmentally friendly materials and has a small footprint . Its interior comprises a living room, built-in kitchen, a small bathroom and a large bed accessible via a steep staircase that also functions as a storage space. + The Plus Partners + DNC Architects Via Archdaily Photos by Moobum Jang

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The Tiny House of Slow Town is ready for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games

MVRDV’s gigantic staircase of scaffolding celebrates the rebuilding of Rotterdam

April 12, 2016 by  
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This year marks the 75th year since Rotterdam began its city reconstruction following the devastating World War II bombardment that killed 850 people and left 80,000 people homeless. In honor of Rotterdam’s resilience and growth since that time, MVRDV has unveiled plans to install a gigantic staircase out of scaffolding in front of Rotterdam Central Station. Set to open to the public this summer, the 180-step temporary installation, titled the Stairs, will offer sweeping views overlooking the entire city. Read the rest of MVRDV’s gigantic staircase of scaffolding celebrates the rebuilding of Rotterdam

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MVRDV’s gigantic staircase of scaffolding celebrates the rebuilding of Rotterdam

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