A 1920 Swiss barn is reborn as a modern home for a family of five

June 11, 2018 by  
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Swiss design studio Ralph Germann architectes  has overhauled an old drafty barn into a beautiful contemporary home with a new timber annex. Located in the rural village of Orsières in southeast Switzerland, the barn renovation and expansion project was commissioned by a family of five who sought a modern and light-filled abode. The adaptive reuse project—named the House EKC—was built with locally sourced materials and is equipped with an air-water heat pump, solar thermal panels, and dimmable LEDs. The House EKC covers an area of 2,153 square feet and includes a 108-square-feet outdoor terrace . The old barn had originally been used for hay storage in the upper loft while the lower volume was used as a stable for goats or sheep. Ralph Germann completely gutted the barn and rebuilt a reinforced concrete structure, including the walls and slabs, to meet seismic code. Thermal insulation was applied in the interior in order to preserve the barn’s “‘vernacular’ aesthetics.” “The insertion of large windows into the masonry respected “the principle of origin”,” said the architects. “The glass simply took the place where wood has originally been and supplies light and passive heat. A balcony-loggia made out of concrete and wood took the place of the old balcony which was used to sun-dry the hay.” The new wooden annex mimics the proportions and low gabled roofline of the historic barn. The timber, which includes larch and spruce wood, were sourced locally from the Val Ferret region. Related: The rustic exterior of this abandoned barn hides a surprising space to get away from it all The light-filled interior features plaster walls and ceilings finished in mineral paint “white RAL 9010” that reflect light and helps create the illusion of more space. Oiled-brush larch wood lines the floors. The main staircase is built of solid larch and serves as the backbone of the house. The solid larch furniture was designed by Ralph Germann to ensure a cohesive interior design. The custom design also presented the opportunity to create a high-back bench in the dining area that doubles as a guardrail for the staircase. The kitchen features white laminate with “Dekton gray concrete” countertops. + Ralph Germann architectes Images by Lionel Henriod

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A 1920 Swiss barn is reborn as a modern home for a family of five

Curvaceous algae-covered towers proposed for Hangzhou

May 11, 2018 by  
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Paris-based studio XTU Architects recently unveiled designs for a futuristic high-rise in Hangzhou that blends sustainable technologies into an organic, sculptural design. Cloaked in a “bio facade” of micro algae -covered panels, the curvaceous towers can produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. Dubbed French Dream Towers, the mixed-use complex would also incorporate rainwater harvesting, a greenhouse, and an aquaponics system. Currently under review, French Dream Towers comprises four buildings clustered around a central water body. The towers feature sloped facades that give the project its organic shape and help facilitate rainwater collection . The mixed-use complex includes a French Tech Hub with offices and co-working spaces; an Art Center comprising galleries, artist residences, and market space; a hotel with wellness facilities; and a luxury restaurant with French fusion cuisine and a bar. Related: Incredible Algae Dome absorbs sun and CO2 to produce superfood and oxygen “The culture of micro-algae on the building facade is a process developed by XTU for several years,” said the architects of their patent-pending micro-algae panels. “It allows the symbiosis: the bio facade uses the thermal building to regulate the culture temperature of algae and at the same time these facades allow a much better insulation of buildings.” + XTU Architects Via Dezeen Images via XTU Architects

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Foster + Partners masterplans the new Indian state capital Amaravati

May 11, 2018 by  
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Foster + Partners has moved one step closer to bringing to life the new Indian state capital of Amaravati—a city that’s projected to be “one of the most sustainable in the world.” The city will form the new administrative capital of the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, which transferred its former capital of Hyderabad to the state of Telangana when state boundaries were redrawn in 2014. The acclaimed British architecture firm won an international competition to design the 83-square-mile city as well as key administrative buildings. Now in the design development phase, the Amaravati masterplan builds on Foster + Partners’ decades-long research on sustainable cities . The new city is located on the banks of the River Krishna and will be organized along a clearly defined green spine and a strong urban grid. The 550-hectare government complex will occupy the heart of the city and will feature two key buildings—the Legislature Assembly and High Court Complex—also designed by Foster + Partners. Related: Foster + Partners’ DJI HQ will be a “creative community in the sky” According to a project statement, the city will be designed to “the highest standards of sustainability, including the widespread use of solar energy.” At least 60-percent of the masterplan will be occupied by greenery or water in a pedestrian-friendly layout that encourages people to walk through the city. A comprehensive transportation plan will also include electric vehicles, water taxis, and dedicated cycling paths. A mixed-use quarter south of the riverbank will be organized around 13 urban plazas in a nod to the 13 state districts in Andhra Pradesh. + Foster + Partners Images via Foster + Partners

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Foster + Partners masterplans the new Indian state capital Amaravati

Black mountain cabin lights up like a lantern at night

April 18, 2017 by  
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Architect Tomislav Soldo designed a handsome mountain cabin that owes its existence to a fortuitously placed walnut tree. Set on a sloped site in the Croatian mountains, the 100-square-meter home was designed and built as an afterthought following the completion of a terrace beneath the shade of a walnut tree. Clad in Siberian larch painted black, the modern building features a ventilated facade and large windows that allow it to glow like a lantern at night. Located in Ogulin, the two-story compact cabin echoes the local vernacular with its use of timber and simple pitched roof . Two layers of black wood tar were painted onto the facade to protect the building from the elements and to minimize maintenance. The 30-centimeter-thick walls were constructed from aerated concrete blocks, saving the architects from adding extra thermal insulation and allowing for speedy construction. Thermal efficiency is improved with the installation of a ventilated facade made from Siberian larch cladding. Related: Salvaged wood clads handsome mountain cabin in Vermont In contrast to the dark facade, the interior features white-painted walls, light-toned timber floors, and black accents such as the wood-burning stove and window trim. The use of a light color palette, high ceilings, and large windows that overlook the mountains and forests give the home a spacious feel despite the small footprint. An open-plan kitchen, living, and dining room are located on the ground floor. The bedroom is placed on the mezzanine level and overlooks the living room below. + Tomislav Soldo Via ArchDaily Images by Jure Živkovi?

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Street artist uses reverse graffiti to transform dirty cars into animal art

April 18, 2017 by  
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Moscow’s filthy cars are getting a brand new look thanks to opportunistic street artist Nikita Golubev . Using reverse graffiti, a method of creating temporary art by removing dirt from a surface, Golubev etches amazing images of animals and other figures onto the sides of dirty vehicles. These unlikely works of art are part of his latest works in his “Dirty Art” series. Cars, vans, and large trucks are all fair game to Golubev, who uses his fingers and paintbrushes to wipe, scrape, and embellish images made on each surface. White vehicles encrusted in layers of dirt and grime offer up the ideal canvases for reverse graffiti , also known as “clean graffiti.” Depending on how much Golubev chooses to scrub away, he can create different shades of gray that give surprising depth and realism to his art. Related: REVERSE GRAFFITI: Street Artists Tag Walls by Scrubbing Them Clean These eye-catching pieces are temporary and will disappear over time or whenever the vehicle is cleaned. The prolific Moscow-based artist, who signs with the name ProBoyNick, drew on his ample art repertoire for the Dirty Art series, from his experience in painting to digital art. You can see more of his work on Instagram and Behance . + Nikita Gobulev Via Colossal Images via Nikita Gobulev

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Screens made out of raw concrete pipes provide privacy for this chic modern home

January 10, 2017 by  
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Cyprus-based architects Varda Studio are proving that industrial chic can be sustainable . The designers have just unveiled an amazing home complete with an exterior made out of hundreds of stacked concrete tube pipes . The AB Residence uses the massive concrete wall to provide privacy as well as diffuse natural light and ventilation to the elongated home, which also features a wraparound veranda and water corridor. The 190-square-meter home is comprised of a load-bearing metal structure, topped with a corrugated metal sheet. On the interior, exposed beams and columns complement the concrete pipe tubes which envelope the interior base. The pipes are purposely visible from the interior, but are separated from the living space by a wooden exterior walkway that doubles as an outdoor sitting deck. The interior space is a linear layout that has living area, dining area and sitting area making up one side of the home. Three bedrooms and an office are located further along a hallway that runs the length of the house. Related: Totally Tubular TubeHotel In Mexico Offers Up Accommodations In Recycled Concrete Pipes Large glass doors slide open on a single 76-meter continuous track onto the wooden veranda that runs north to south, integrating the exterior into the interior. Intimate garden pockets and a water corridor further brings the surrounding nature into the man-made design. Although the home certainly emits an industrial chic vibe, there is a method to its madness. More than just a whimsical focal point of the home’s aesthetic, the concrete tubes actually provide a sturdy barrier from the strong winds that are common in the area. They also pull double duty as a privacy feature, simultaneously hiding the interior from the outside while diffusing natural light and air circulation throughout the interior. The interior design actually benefits from the openness thanks to the strategic Envelope 3D system. For temperature control, the design implements a number of passive strategies, making use of passive solar gains in the witner and using an awning installed above the glass windows and doors to provide shade in the hot summer months. As part of the strategic insulative system , the walls contain polystryrene and fiberglass thermal insulation, which reduces the need for artificial temperature control. + Varda Studio Via Archdaily Photographs by Creative Photo Room

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Screens made out of raw concrete pipes provide privacy for this chic modern home

Tidy Japanese home mimics the greenhouse effect to keep warm

December 23, 2015 by  
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Cellular Morphology Facade uses design to allow buildings to adapt to different climatic conditions

April 3, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Cellular Morphology Facade uses design to allow buildings to adapt to different climatic conditions Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: digital design , digital fabrication , digital facade , digital prototyping , high performance facade , London architects , natural lighting , parametric facade , rat[LAB] , responsive design , smart facade , thermal insulation

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‘The Burden’ film shows how the U.S. military is fighting for a clean energy future

April 3, 2015 by  
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America’s dependence on fossil fuels is the greatest long-term national security threat facing the nation, according to a new documentary  The Burden  that held its world premiere in Washington, D.C. last Friday evening as part of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital . The 40-minute film is directed, produced and written by Roger Sorkin, who participated in a post-screening panel discussion about how the men and women of the armed forces are leading the charge in the transition away from oil to a clean energy future. Read the rest of ‘The Burden’ film shows how the U.S. military is fighting for a clean energy future Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , Climate Change , fossil fuels , military clean energy , military documentary , military fossil fuels , national security , The Burden , the burden documentary

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What’s next: Sustainable homes made using styrofoam

June 16, 2011 by  
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Sudhir Raikar: styrofoam house by international dome This prefab dome created from Styrofoam and futuristic design from International Dome House Inc. The company, based in Japan, has developed a modern design house will be accompanied by a long list of benefits. As we know it Styrofoam has been conventionally used to make disposable packaging material

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