This beautiful, barn-inspired visitor center has nine movable sections that let in natural light

March 28, 2018 by  
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Dutch firm 70F architecture has designed a beautiful, barn-inspired visitor center in the Netherlands that “breathes” thanks to nine movable sections that open up the facade in the morning and close it at night. The Hof van Duivenvoorde Center welcomes visitors to the Duivenvoorde Castle and Estate, offering a light-filled restaurant and information center with an innovative, changeable window system engineered by the architects themselves. The Duivenvoorde Foundation requested a simple building that would blend into the surroundings – the castle grounds have an expansive lawn and plenty of green areas – as well as provide a comfortable place where visitors  can relax.  Keeping the natural landscape in mind, the architects created an understated building with an elongated form and vertical slats that evoke a typical, rustic  barn design. The movable panels signal that the building is open for visitors during park hours, but at closing time, they lower back down and the center virtually disappears into the surrounding environment. Related: Visitor center disguised as a hill to welcome visitors to Denmark’s historic Kalø Castle Ruins The movable panels cover glass windows and slide upwards with the help of an innovative engineering system created by Bas ten Brinke, founder of 70F architecture. Once the panels have lifted,  natural light floods the center’s interior, which, at 6 by 30 meters, is relatively small. The large windows both enhance this space and provide a natural ventilation system throughout. The  visitor center houses a restaurant and museum shop, as well as space for the volunteers who give guided tours of the estate. The architects decided to forgo any type of separation between the different areas in order to give the interior an open, airy feel. Out back, a large garden wall provides shade during the warm summer months. And, finally, an open-air patio provides the perfect opportunity to sit back and enjoy the surrounding nature. + 70F architecture Via World Architecture News Images by Luuk Kramer  

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This beautiful, barn-inspired visitor center has nine movable sections that let in natural light

This incredible floating hotel can take you on the voyage of a lifetime in Japan

February 2, 2018 by  
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Guntû is a gorgeous floating hotel that takes passengers on a whirlwind tour of Japan ‘s Seto inland sea. The vessel was designed by Japanese architect Yasushi Horibe , and it includes all the amenities of a luxury cruise ship while upping the ante with a distinctly Japanese experience. Guntû has a total of 19 two-person guest rooms, each outfitted with private terraces that offer unobstructed views of the surrounding sea and shores. You can kick back and relax on the rooftop deck , while common areas like the Grand Suite create a vibrant environment for socialization. Wood dominates the design of the hotel –from the interior of the common areas and private rooms, to the cocktail bars and balcony tubs. Related: This floating hotel and spa in Sweden will fill you with wanderlust Guests can book stays up to three nights, but it isn’t cheap – rates start at 400,000 yen ($3,668 US) per night for two guests. This arrangement includes all meals and on-board services. The floating hotel starts its journey in Onomichi City and allows guests to explore coastal Japan while selecting from a variety of on-shore activities. + Guntû + Yasushi Horibe Architect & Associates Via Apartment Therapy

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This incredible floating hotel can take you on the voyage of a lifetime in Japan

Inconsiderate truck driver scars Peru’s ancient Nazca Lines

February 2, 2018 by  
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The historic Nazca Lines of Peru have been damaged by the actions of an inconsiderate truck driver. The driver, who has since been arrested and will likely face charges related to an attack against cultural heritage, deliberately drove off the Pan-American highway and into the 2,000 year old UNESCO Heritage Site. Ignoring signs identifying the protected area, the driver left “deep scars” through the Nazca geoglyphs across an area of 100 by 300 feet. Fortunately, the damage seems to be fixable, though authorities are still conducting a full investigation of the incident. Carved into the desert by a pre- Inca civilization, the Nazca Lines are thought to have held religious significance and likely served as a site for spiritual ceremonies. Though virtually invisible if viewed from ground level, the geoglpyhs come to life when seen from above, whether on planes or surrounding foothills. The lines were originally created by removing the red pebbles that cover the ground to reveal the pale ground beneath. Because of the climactic stability of the Nazca region, located along Peru’s arid coastal plain , these ancient designs remain relatively untouched, the occasional errant truck driver notwithstanding. Related: Giant curtain built in Peru to study climate change in the cloud forests The Nazca Lines’s proximity to the Pan-American Highway, which runs 19,000 miles long from the United States to Argentina , has increased the potential for human-caused damage to the ancient site. One high-profile instance occurred in 2014, when Greenpeace activists faced criminal charges for damage inflicted on the heritage site whilst setting up a massive sign urging climate change action. While the most recent incident has prompted Peruvian authorities to increase patrols of the area, there are no guarantees. “While the Culture Ministry monitors areas with the largest concentration of geoglyphs every day, it may not be fully protected,” Peruvian Culture Ministry archaeologist Johnny Isla told Andina . “Entry and transit are possible through valleys and streams where the archaeological area spreads out.” Via The New York Times and Andina Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Inconsiderate truck driver scars Peru’s ancient Nazca Lines

Striking green-roofed house cantilevers over a cliff in Japan

November 30, 2017 by  
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This striking concrete house extends from a cliff above a river in Japan , providing spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. The two-floor green-roofed structure, designed by architecture firm Planet Creations , establishes a delicate balance between rugged and warm materials, with raw wood contrasting against stark concrete walls. The villa is located in Tenkawa village, and it cantilevers over the Tenokawa River, 56 feet below. It’s built into flat bedrock, and the layout is split along the length of the structure. A bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom occupy one side, while the master bedroom, living room and deck area occupy the other. Related: Organic Japanese Shell Residence Wraps Around a Centenarian Fir Tree The steep slope dictated the design of the house and constrained the flatland space to only 64 square feet – enough to accommodate two cars and not much else. In order to ensure structural stability, the architect decided to “submerge the building near the rock so as to melt into this surrounding environment.” + Planet Creations Via Ignant Photos by Masato Sekiya

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Striking green-roofed house cantilevers over a cliff in Japan

Sprawling MW House blends into the Peruvian landscape with an undulating green roof

July 13, 2017 by  
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MW House by Riofrio+Rodrigo Arquitectos acts as an extension of the desert hills in Peru . Resembling the relief of the rocky landscape and featuring an undulating green roof, this seasonal house establishes a direct relationship with its surroundings and offers a series of rich indoor and outdoor spaces to its occupants. The house comprises two L-shaped blocks that house different functions. The first one is the main house which accommodates the living room, dining room, kitchen, wine cellar and a bedroom. This volume also features spaces that direct the view of the main rooms of the house towards the nearest hills. Related: Peru’s Chontay house was made using locally-sourced wood and clay to help it blend in with the surrounding mountains The second, smaller side houses service rooms and the entrance, laundry, bedrooms, car parking, kitchen and a storage space . An open courtyard connects the main house with secondary and guest bedrooms and allows occupants to enjoy a direct connection to nature. All of this is enclosed under a green roof that helps the home blend seamlessly with the landscape. + Riofrio+Rodrigo Arquitectos Via Archdaily Photos by Juan Solano Ojasi

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Sprawling MW House blends into the Peruvian landscape with an undulating green roof

Incredible teepee-shaped ORKA house is made from 24 interlacing beams

May 23, 2017 by  
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This   teepee-shaped home is made from twenty four interlacing beams that shelter a large open-plan living space. Antony Gibbon Designs ‘ ORKA house explores different geometric shapes and unconventional forms for residential architecture. The three-story dwelling features a rooftop platform with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The house has twenty four wooden beams that coalesce, forming a pivoted illusion which transforms angles into a seemingly curved hyperboloid form. Using the frame as an aesthetic starting point, the architects interlaced the beams to naturally create diamond-shaped patterns. These patterns become part of the geometry and symmetry of the structure. Related: This charred wood cabin can be rearranged in an infinite number of ways The envelope wraps around an area 10 meters in diameter (33 feet), allowing for a large open-plan living space. A spiral staircase connects the ground floor to another three floors, with the top floor doubling as an outdoor viewing platform and balcony offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. + Antony Gibbon Designs

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Incredible teepee-shaped ORKA house is made from 24 interlacing beams

Sophisticated minimalist house in Denmark lets you enjoy the outdoors even in the winter

October 5, 2016 by  
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The house references traditional Scandinavian craftsmanship and the region’s authentic principles of working with relief and texture. Providing a serene environment far from city bustle, the house facilitates a connection between the residents and the surrounding landscape. Related: Beautiful timber home is striking in its rugged Scandinavian simplicity The house comprises two volumes-the left one accommodates the main living room which offers views of the forest, and a combined kitchen and dining space on the first floor. The second floor houses the bedrooms and cabinet. Relaxation zones – sauna, swimming pool and play areas- and utility rooms, bathrooms and a garage are housed in the other volume. A glazed gallery connects the two volumes and functions as a winter garden that acts as a continuation of the landscape. + KAVA Architects Images by iddqd Studio

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Sophisticated minimalist house in Denmark lets you enjoy the outdoors even in the winter

Street artist makes this Lithuania trolleybus vanish for a fleeting moment every day

September 2, 2016 by  
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The streets of Vilnius, Lithuania are connected by a system of trolleybuses, one of which is receiving a captivating makeover by street artist Liudas Parulskis. For one moment out of the day, the trolleybus seems to disappear against the city landscape. The artist was asked to collaborate with Studio Vieta for the 4th annual Vilnius Street Art festival. Parulskis developed the Vanishing Trolleybus project for his hometown and nation’s capital as a way to give a new perspective to the city. To transform the vehicle, he propped it up and wrapped it in images of the streets over which it crosses. The project even includes the figure of a wolf crossing the street, known to be an influential icon in the legend of how the city was founded. Related: Old Bulgarian trolleybus transformed into awesome new Otets Paisiy public library Passersby can momentarily observe the trolleybus camouflage itself into the surrounding cityscape as it crosses over Tumo Vaizganto street and Gediminas Avenue. An eerie, but mesmerizing sight, and one of many of the annual Vilnius Street Art festival. + Studio Vieta Via  Demilked Images via Studio Vieta, Liudas Parulskis

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Street artist makes this Lithuania trolleybus vanish for a fleeting moment every day

Hurricane Hermine downgraded to tropical storm after wreaking havoc in Florida

September 2, 2016 by  
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Hurricane Hermine made landfall shortly after 1:30 a.m. local time in northwest Florida , and has continued on its northeasterly path toward George and the Carolinas. As is common with late season hurricanes in Florida, Hermine lost a tremendous amount of energy after hitting land, and has been downgraded to a tropical storm. Still, the storm brought enough wind and rain to cause widespread power outages, and many residents evacuated their homes in flood-prone areas, taking refuge in community hurricane shelters overnight. Prior to making landfall, the Hermine was a Category 1 Hurricane, the weakest in the five-level ranking system used to classify storms, with top wind speeds of 95 miles per hour. The front end of the hurricane caused storm surges early Thursday evening in Alligator Point that rose as much as six feet. Despite the winds and rising waters, only minor damage was reported there. Once the storm made landfall, though, it wreaked havoc on the power grid, leaving 100,000 customers in Tallahassee without power—but officials expect to have the affected substations back online within a few hours. Related: Unchecked global warming could bring the worst hurricanes ever seen by the end of this century Weather officials are urging residents in the storm’s path to take advisories seriously. Despite being downgraded to a tropical storm, Hermine still carries threats from wind and excessive rain. Officials in Florida have asked residents to stay off the roadways, so that emergency and utility crews can work to clear downed trees and power lines over the next several hours. Tornado watches were issued for Georgia and parts of South Carolina and North Carolina and until 4 p.m. EDT Friday, and several downspouts were reported in the Gulf of Mexico. As the storm continues moving northeast, it is expected to travel up the East coast through the Carolinas before heading back over the Atlantic Ocean sometime Sunday morning. There, the storm could gather more strength before pounding the Mid-Atlantic coast with even more rain and high winds. The National Weather Service reports that Hurricane Hermine is the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida in 11 years. Although many storms have pummeled the state with wind and rain, Hermine is the only hurricane-strength storm during that time period to actually cross over the state. Via The Weather Channel Images via NOAA and The Weather Channel

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Hurricane Hermine downgraded to tropical storm after wreaking havoc in Florida

Fiji is the first country in the world to ratify the Paris agreement

February 16, 2016 by  
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Last Friday, the island nation of Fiji became the first to ratify the UN climate deal reached in Paris last December . Climate change is an issue of major concern in Fiji and other pacific island nations, which are already seeing the effects of rising sea levels flooding what little land they have. Fiji’s prime minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, told the nation’s parliament it was important to act now to protect the archipelago from floods, increasingly destructive tropical storms, and the loss of fish stocks as the surrounding seas warm. Read the rest of Fiji is the first country in the world to ratify the Paris agreement

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Fiji is the first country in the world to ratify the Paris agreement

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