A beachside resort on a remote Indonesian island resembles a traditional village

February 4, 2019 by  
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Indonesian firm Atelier Riri has designed a stunning eco-resort on the Indonesian island of Lombok. The small Kiyakabin Resort is an intimate, village-esque layout with just four cabins that open up to breathtaking, beachside views of the Bali Sea. The retreat’s cabins were made with locally-sourced charred timber and built with traditional construction methods by local builders. The Kiyakabin resort has just four units: three accommodations and a communal restaurant and dining area. The guest rooms are arranged in a strategic manner with the swimming pool at the center. This was an intentional decision by the architects to pay homage to the traditional villages of the local Sasak ethnic group. Related: Eco-resort in Tulum features luxury beach huts made of natural materials “Kiyakabin was designed and built to represent the Sasak culture,” the architecture studio explained. “Built in collaboration with local artisans, Kiyakabin wants to combine the characters of local vernacular living with a modern yet low-energy building concept.” The four cabins were constructed out of a timber frame and clad in locally-grown teak wood that was charred using the Shou Sugi Ban technique . The charred timber facades not only give the resort a modern feel; it is also a strategic feature that will protect the buildings from the affects of the sea climate. Two of the four timber cabins sit on the ground, with one facing the beach and one facing the swimming pool. The third cabin is raised off the ground on stilts to provide stunning views of the natural surroundings. The fourth and largest cabin houses the restaurant and dining area. This space is open on two sides to provide beautiful views as well as natural air circulation while dining. The interior of the guests rooms were clad in the same natural teak wood as the exteriors but without the charred finish. The exposed natural wood, also used in the furniture, creates a soothing living space that contrasts nicely with the dark exteriors. Simple but luxurious bedding and natural woven textures add a bit of local style into the interior design . + Atelier Riri Via Dezeen Photography by William Sutanto via Atelier Riri

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A beachside resort on a remote Indonesian island resembles a traditional village

Man plans to swim the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness for plastic pollution

May 25, 2018 by  
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You’ve heard a lot about the ocean plastic crisis, and may even know a fair amount about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch . But for many of us, the issue can still seem far away when we drink out of a plastic bottle or tote groceries in a plastic bag. Professional distance swimmer Ben Lecomte aims to offer a fresh, personal perspective on ocean health as he swims 5,500 miles across the Pacific Ocean . Inhabitat caught up with Lecomte just days before he plans to leave for the potentially record-setting trek. Lecomte could be the first man to swim across the Pacific Ocean, but that’s not his goal for this venture. “My goal is to do something a little bit out there, a little bit extreme, to get the attention on an issue very important to everybody: the state of the ocean ,” he told Inhabitat. He’ll leave from Tokyo and swim to San Francisco, across thousands of miles, in a journey that could take around six months. Related: The Ocean Cleanup is about to send a giant plastic collector to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch Lecomte’s father taught him how to swim in the Atlantic Ocean . “I remember spending a lot of summers on the beach and never seeing plastic. Within my lifetime, now it has suddenly changed. I cannot walk on a beach where I don’t see any plastic,” he said. “I have children, and I ask myself, how is it going to be for them when they are older and they walk with their kids, is it going to be worse, is it going to be better? The only way to make it better is first of all, we have to be aware of the problem, and second of all, we have to start taking action. And it’s something that we can do. We have a solution, but it means we change our habit, we change our behavior, and then by our collective action, we can make a difference.” A volunteer-staffed, wind – and solar -powered sailboat will accompany Lecomte as he swims for around eight hours a day. He’ll need to consume about 8,000 calories daily, but he said he won’t take breaks on the boat and so won’t each much during those eight hours, just liquids like soup. He’ll eat two large meals in the morning and at night, and eat if he wakes up in the middle of the night. Will the sailboat inadvertently cover some of the distance? Lecomte says they’ll try to keep the boat in the place where he stops, but if they move, they will travel back so he can pick up where he left off. Along the way, they’ll gather over 1,000 samples for 27 scientific partners with two main research focuses: ocean health and human health . Lecomte said that in the past, scientists typically haven’t been able to gather samples from across an entire ocean — that would take too long. But his journey offers a perfect opportunity to do so. Plastic is a primary emphasis; Lecomte will swim right through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Radiation from Fukushima and phytoplankton are among other ocean research areas. To delve into human health, Lecomte will be working with NASA . “Since I’m going to be in low gravity, there are a few things they would like to find out how it’s going to affect me or not. My bone density is going to change; pressure on my eyes is also something that affects astronauts, [and they want] to find out if that’s going to change for me,” he said. The wealth of information Lecomte could collect, and awareness he could raise, has the potential to be immense. But will such a voyage leave its own impact on the Pacific Ocean? Lecomte told Inhabitat renewable energy will generate the power they need. They won’t throw out trash, keeping everything on the boat, and will limit plastic packaging . The team has partnered with several organizations, including Mission Blue , the Ocean Voyages Institute , and the Ocean Institute . “They already have initiatives in place we want to reinforce,” said Lecomte. “For example, the Ocean Institute has 2,500 kids that go to their activities and learn about the plastic problem in the ocean, and that will do some of the data and collect some of the samples we’ve collected, and replicate some of what we do. We’ll try to be in connection with them and interact with those kids so they know what they are doing is being done in the middle of the ocean as well.” Lecomte is scheduled to leave on Wednesday, May 30. Seeker and Discovery are partnering for a project to cover Lecomte’s journey called The Swim , and they’ll produce content with Nomadica Films . Live coverage, mid-form and short-form videos, weekly Instagram stories, and weekly Discovery updates will all be part of The Swim, and the groups plan to release a feature-length documentary next year. You can also see where Lecomte is via The Longest Swim’s live tracker . + The Longest Swim + The Swim Images courtesy of Ben Lecomte

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Man plans to swim the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness for plastic pollution

UNStudio designs cocoon-like pavilion made of 100% recyclable materials

May 25, 2018 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamed of cocooning yourself in nature, this woven prefabricated pavilion may be right up your alley. Dutch architect Ben van Berkel of UNStudio has unveiled the Ellipsicoon, a digitally developed and handwoven pavilion that can pop up anywhere as a sculptural and meditative retreat. The curvaceous Ellipsicoon was created as part of the pavilion series for Revolution Precrafted , a collection of limited-edition prefabricated homes and pavilions designed by the world’s leading architects, artists and designers. Inspired by the organic curves found in nature, Ben van Berkel designed the 160-square-foot Ellipsicoon with soft sinuous curves generated from 3D-modeling computer programs. Although the pavilion was designed and developed digitally, production will be done entirely by hand. Highly skilled craftsmen will hand-weave the Ellipsicoon’s continuous sculptural surface using strands of 100% recyclable high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The pavilion measures 18.7 feet in length, 13.45 feet in width and 8.53 feet in height. To enter the Ellipsicoon, users must first step over the raised threshold to reach a sunken area with built-in seating that follows the fluid curves of the space. The round openings on either side taper inwards near the top to create the sensation of being simultaneously inside and outside. Gaps in the woven structure let in natural light while the two differently sized elliptical openings frame views of the outdoors. Related: Ron Arad designs the modular Armadillo Tea Pavilion for indoor and outdoor use “I have long been interested in exploring spaces which extend function to replace the reality of the everyday with the potential for more nuanced, reflective experiences,” van Berkel said. “The Ellipsicoon offers a place of temporary disengagement, where the practicalities, duties and interruptions of daily life can momentarily fade and the imagination can take over.” Revolution Precrafted will produce limited quantities of the Ellipsicoon. The price and additional details about the pavilion are available upon request . + UNStudio Images via Revolution Precrafted

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UNStudio designs cocoon-like pavilion made of 100% recyclable materials

Stunning Tournesol swimming pool in France opens up like a futuristic flower

August 1, 2016 by  
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The swimming pool is one among several dome-shaped swimming pools, named Tournesol, built in France during the 1970s and 1980s. Designed by architect Bernard Schoeller, the column-free dome structures resemble sunflowers and can be partially opened in the summer. Their compact form makes it difficult to introduce new auxiliary spaces without significantly compromising the integrity of the original design. Related: Shell House provides unlimited peace and tranquility in Kazahkstan Urbane Kultur and Hi-Macs demolished the extensions built over time and moved the changing rooms to allow three stainless steel basins to take place under the dome. The extension, independent from the original structure, houses the entrance hall, changing rooms, office spaces and technical rooms. Several transparent parts offer a stronger connection between the halls, pools and locker rooms. + Urbane Kultur + Hi-Macs Via Yanko Design Photos by Jean Baptiste Dorner

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Stunning Tournesol swimming pool in France opens up like a futuristic flower

10% of U.S. Beaches Are Too Polluted for Swimming: How Does Your Favorite Rate?

June 26, 2014 by  
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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) just released its 24th annual Beach Report, “ Testing the Waters 2014 ,” which identifies the most polluted beaches in the U.S. Shockingly, 10 percent of the nation’s beaches failed to meet water quality standards for safe swimming. The NRDC has released an interactive map to accompany the report, so you can see whether your favorite beaches are safe, or if they are going to give you something more than sunburn to worry about this summer. Read the rest of 10% of U.S. Beaches Are Too Polluted for Swimming: How Does Your Favorite Rate? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bacteria , beaches , contaminated beaches , contaminated water , great lakes , interactive map , most polluted beaches in the US , Natural Resources Defense Council , nrdc , safe swimming , sewerage , swimming , water issues , water pollution , water quality

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10% of U.S. Beaches Are Too Polluted for Swimming: How Does Your Favorite Rate?

Design Build Bluff Creates Inspiring Solar-Powered Green Home for Navajo Mother of Four

June 26, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Design Build Bluff Creates Inspiring Solar-Powered Green Home for Navajo Mother of Four Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: clay , design build bluff , glazing , natural cooling , natural ventilation , Navajo , passive design , rammed earth , solar gain , solar panels , solar water heater , southern exposure , Suzie Whitehorse , Utah

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Design Build Bluff Creates Inspiring Solar-Powered Green Home for Navajo Mother of Four

Researchers Discover DC is Swimming in Leaked Natural Gas

January 22, 2014 by  
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A street-by-street survey of the District of Columbia has found nearly 6,000 natural gas leaks in the city’s aging pipes. A dozen of those leaks were found beneath manholes, where methane has accumulated to potentially explosive levels. Even after warning Washington Gas of the dangerous levels in those locations, four months later, retesting revealed 8 of the 12 locations were still at potentially dangerous concentrations. Read the rest of Researchers Discover DC is Swimming in Leaked Natural Gas Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: gas companies , gas leaks , gas washington , methane emissions , methane gas , methane leaks , natural gas pipelines , public infrastructure , public utilities , Washington DC        

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Researchers Discover DC is Swimming in Leaked Natural Gas

Visitors Warned Against Skinny Dipping as Testicle-Munching Fish Invade European Beaches

August 23, 2013 by  
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Ever been skinny dipping? There’s something exhilarating about gliding through the water in nothing but your birthday suit. But if you’re in Sweden or Denmark, now’s not the time to try it. A frightening invasive species related to the piranha has suddenly been spotted in the Danish/Swedish strait of Øresund. At just about 7 inches long, the  pacu  has a mouth full of powerful, crushing teeth, and it loves to nibble on stuff that happens to be, uh, floating through the water. Animal experts in the region are warning the boldest of male swimmers to keep their delicate parts under wraps to avoid a nasty accident. Read the rest of Visitors Warned Against Skinny Dipping as Testicle-Munching Fish Invade European Beaches Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: beaches , Denmark , fish , invasive species , ocean , pacu , piranha , skinny sipping , Sweden , swimming , testicles        

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Visitors Warned Against Skinny Dipping as Testicle-Munching Fish Invade European Beaches

6 Hot Ways to Stay Cool Today

July 20, 2013 by  
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Temperatures are soaring across the northeastern US at present , with several areas experiencing their longest heatwaves in over a decade . If you’re looking to keep cool through this sweltering summer, but you don’t want to blast your air conditioning 24/7, check out our six tips to beat the heat today. From mastering the art of popsicle-making to testing out your swimming skills, there are plenty of ways to stay cool and healthy. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , air conditioning , east coast heat , heatwave , high temperatures , picnics , popsicle making , stay cool , staying cool , swimming        

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6 Hot Ways to Stay Cool Today

6 Hot Ways to Stay Cool Today

July 20, 2013 by  
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Temperatures are soaring across the northeastern US at present , with several areas experiencing their longest heatwaves in over a decade . If you’re looking to keep cool through this sweltering summer, but you don’t want to blast your air conditioning 24/7, check out our six tips to beat the heat today. From mastering the art of popsicle-making to testing out your swimming skills, there are plenty of ways to stay cool and healthy. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , air conditioning , east coast heat , heatwave , high temperatures , picnics , popsicle making , stay cool , staying cool , swimming        

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6 Hot Ways to Stay Cool Today

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