Bold, monolithic stone home in India reveals its secret gardens

May 15, 2018 by  
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Mumbai-based Spasm Design recently unveiled a bold, monolithic home made from Dhrangadhra stone. The House of Secret Gardens features a cross-shaped layout with various access points to the exterior spaces, which feature vibrant greenery and an elevated rooftop garden . Dhrangadhra stone is a common building material in Ahmedabad that has been used for centuries due to its strong insulative qualities. The stone, which is found in local quarries, keeps homes warm in the winter months and cool during the searing hot summers. Additionally, the stone walls and floors help reduce reflected glare on the interior. Related: This home is a small timber cottage on the inside and an automated concrete monolith on the outside The living space is located in the center of the home. From there, multiple walkways lead to other rooms, including the kitchen, office and bedrooms. The architects used the unique layout to connect the home to its surroundings and installed transparent walls and open spaces to provide access to the outdoors. The result is a breezy home that seamlessly links to the outdoors. Several cutouts and windows throughout the home allow for optimal air ventilation. Because the light in Ahmedabad can be harsh, slatted skylights were included to filter in the sunlight . The interior rooms are clad in lime plaster with a texture similar to the exterior Dhrangadhra stone walls. The monolithic aesthetic is accented with timber statement walls and timber-clad ceilings. An abundance of courtyards and gardens add greenery while aiding the home’s passive climate control . Air moves through the courtyards and into the interiors, cooling off the living spaces. Several passages lead to the lush courtyards. Designed to mature over the years, the green lawn is decorated with trees and bushes. The home also features an extended pond and a stairwell that leads up to the impressive rooftop garden . + Spasm Design Via Archdaily Photography by Umang Shah , Photographix , Edmund Sumner via Spasm Design

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Bold, monolithic stone home in India reveals its secret gardens

Antony Gibbon’s Lucent House is a serene minimalist retreat made of glass and stone

October 19, 2017 by  
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UK-based designer Antony Gibbon never ceases to amaze with his spectacular designs inspired by nature . His latest work, the Lucent House, combines glazed walls and stonework to create a serene, minimalist structure that blends into its environs. Nature is a common theme in Gibbon’s work, which, in the past, has included plenty of unique treehouse designs . The designer explains that through his work, he strives to create a strong, seamless connection between living spaces and their environment. “Each structure is individually created to consider the surroundings using sustainable materials wherever possible. I aim to create organic forms that exist in nature using natural materials that unite the two,” he writes on his website. Related: Antony Gibbon unveils a new light-filled treehouse designed for the ground The Lucent House is comprised of four stone walls that are connected with large glazed panels. A series of geometric forms twist and turn to create an open layout, while large floor-to-ceiling windows flood the interior with natural light . A wooden terrace runs the along the entire outline of the home, creating a beautiful deck that is sheltered by the hanging roof. The Lucent House is designed to sit peacefully on any body of water. However, according to Gibbon, the size and volume of the home can be adapted to suit almost any landscape. + Antony Gibbon Designs Images via Antony Gibbon

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Antony Gibbon’s Lucent House is a serene minimalist retreat made of glass and stone

LEGO launches Women of NASA set

October 19, 2017 by  
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Trailblazing women who have been instrumental in NASA’s space program are being honored in a special way: as LEGO toys. The company just displayed the final design , with an official launch date for the 231-piece set that includes four women: Mae Jemison, Sally Ride, Margaret Hamilton, and Nancy Grace Roman. Science writer and LEGO tinkerer Maia Weinstock proposed the idea for Women of NASA on the LEGO Ideas platform last summer – and reached 10,000 supporters in 15 days. LEGO designers Gemma Anderson and Marie Sertillanges got on board to help transform the idea into an official set, which will launch November 1. Related: BIG’s LEGO House officially opens to the public in Denmark Sally Ride was the first American woman in space , while Mae Jemison was the first woman of color in space. Nancy Grace Roman was the first woman to hold an executive role at NASA, and was instrumental in planning the Hubble Telescope . Margaret Hamilton “led the team that developed the building blocks of software engineering – a term that she coined herself,” according to NASA . Weinstock said in a statement, “…when girls and women are given more encouragement in the STEM fields, they become more likely to pursue careers in these areas. With this project, I wanted to spotlight a fantastic group of women who have made seminal contributions to NASA history. My dream would be to know that the first human on Mars – or an engineer or computer scientist who helped her get there – played with the LEGO Women of NASA as a child and was inspired to pursue a STEM career as a result.” The original proposal included five women, but according to a LEGO statement, “Katherine Johnson chose not to be part of the set.” If you’re in the New York City area, there will be a pre-release event October 28 at the Flatiron District LEGO store on 200 5th Avenue from 10 AM to 2 PM. You can check out details on the Facebook event page here . Via LEGO and LEGO Ideas Blog Images via LEGO

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LEGO launches Women of NASA set

Fantastical off-grid home is the perfect pad for Fred Flintstone and Bilbo Baggins

October 18, 2017 by  
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If Fred Flintstone and Bilbo Baggins were roomies, this crazy stone dome home would be their perfect abode. Located just outside of Eugene, Oregon, the unique structure – which is currently on the market for $175,000 – was originally buried under soil and it has eight round rooms naturally lit by skylights. The interior comes complete with stone tables, reclaimed wood flooring, and Celtic artwork painted on the walls. The 1,826 square feet home was built in 1988 by Bob Adams, pastor of the adjacent Lorane Christian Church, and his wife, Vicki. Designed by Eugene architect Richard Britz, the home was originally covered in plastic and buried under soil as a way to regulate temperature, but is now just partially sheltered by the surrounding landscape. As far as materials, Adams used a number of repurposed materials in its construction such as reclaimed wood from a local gymnasium. Related: This Oregon dome home could be yours – if aliens don’t come for it first At the time of construction, building codes required homes to have a heat source, so Adams installed electric baseboard heaters. However, the interior temperature rarely dropped below or rose above a comfy 68 degrees so heating or air conditioner is rarely necessary . “You could live in that house, in that Lane County climate, and not burn a watt of electricity, as far as heating is concerned,” Adams explained. In addition to needing scant electricity, the home, which sits on almost an acre of property, has the potential to be completely off-grid . Various 6-foot-­diameter domed skylights were installed in the ceiling to provide natural light and natural ventilation is possible thanks to multiple windows. Nolan Scheid purchased the home 13 years ago from foreclosure and has used it for housing guests or just for quiet space ever since. However, the family has recently put it on the market, making it clear that it does need some work to make it a real home, even for ambitious off-gridders . Although the structure is technically complete with running water, it would need some extra wiring work to create a workable electric system. Additionally, the home has been damaged by rain falling through the open skylights over the years, so repairs would definitely be necessary. “It has a long ways to go,” owner Nolan Scheid said. “This is not your standard paint-it-and-be-done kind of house.” + Zillow Via The Register Guard

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Fantastical off-grid home is the perfect pad for Fred Flintstone and Bilbo Baggins

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