Prefab Floating Music Hub to set sail in Cape Verde

July 31, 2020 by  
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International design practice NLÉ has unveiled its designs for the MFS IV, a prefabricated Floating Music Hub for the port city of Mindelo in Cape Verde. Developed as the fourth prototype of the firm’s Makoko Floating System, the project is the first in the series to be built in the Atlantic Ocean. The prefabricated floating hub , which is currently under construction, will consist of a cluster of three buildings of varying sizes that will house a large multipurpose performance hall, a professional recording studio and a small service bar.  Created for ADS (Africa Development Solutions) Cabo Verde, the Floating Music Hub builds on NLÉ’s objective to shape architecture in developing cities and communities. NLÉ first debuted its Makoko Floating System in 2012 with the Makoko Floating School in Lagos; the project collapsed after being adversely affected by heavy rains in 2016. The design firm crafted a second iteration of the school, called MFS II , at the Venice Architectural Biennale 2016. Then, in 2018, NLÉ installed a third iteration, the MFS III, with an improved design in Bruges, Belgium. Related: Floating prefab architecture addresses climate change on Chengdu’s Jincheng Lake NLÉ’s design revisions have led it to bring the Makoko Floating System back to Africa, this time in the beautiful Mindelo Bay in Cape Verde’s São Vicente. “It is designed and engineered to even higher performance specifications and quality for marine environments,” noted the architects, who have teamed up with an array of local and international partners, including the likes of JMP, CFA, SINA and AECOM, among others.  Like its predecessors, the MFS IV Floating Music Hub will be prefabricated out of timber for rapid assembly, mobility and flexibility. The floating community landmark will comprise a trio of triangular buildings — a multipurpose performance hall, a professional recording studio and a service bar — clustered around a triangular floating public plaza designed to promote music, dance, art and other creative industries. + NLÉ Images via NLÉ

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Prefab Floating Music Hub to set sail in Cape Verde

Solar-powered timber home in Chile embraces ocean views

April 15, 2020 by  
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Earlier this year, Chilean architecture firm Cristobal Vial Arquitectos completed Casa Rural #01, a solar-powered holiday home oriented for views of the Pacific Ocean and optimal passive solar conditions. Located just outside the coastal town of Matanzas in Navidad, the building was designed for a reduced environmental footprint, from the use of elevated foundations that minimize site impact to the rooftop solar panels that meet all of the home’s electrical needs. Set atop hilly remote terrain high in the pine-studded mountains, Casa Rural #01 marks the first home to be constructed within a new housing development. Conceived for a single family, the modestly sized building embraces the outdoors with its framed views and material palette. The structure is built entirely of dimensioned wood with structural insulated panels (SIPs) and is topped by a metal butterfly roof with solar panels.  Inside, Casa Rural #01 measures 60 square meters and is organized as three modules, all of which open up to an exterior west-facing terrace . The house includes three bedrooms, an open-plan living room with a kitchen and dining area, and a bathroom. The interior spaces are minimally dressed and wrapped entirely of timber with the roof timber elements exposed.  Related: This elevated prefab home in Chile takes in striking volcano views “The proposed volume is proposed longitudinally in favor of the slope,” explains the architects in a project statement. “That is why a modulation of three separate volumes is solved, which organize the public, private (children) and private (adults) program. The separation of these volumes is done through two cuts that allow having the north-south domain of the land in which it is located. In order not to lose the continuity of these, a broken gable roof is proposed, as an envelope, which seeks to dialogue with the existing slope and at the same time marks what is the circulation space within it and the opening towards the views.”  + Cristobal Vial Arquitectos Images via Cristobal Vial Arquitectos

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Solar-powered timber home in Chile embraces ocean views

Story book of timber designed for University of Arkansas

April 2, 2020 by  
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Dublin-based Grafton Architects and Fayetteville-based Modus Studio have won an international design competition for the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation at the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. Developed to bolster the university’s role as a leader in mass timber advocacy, the $16 million applied research center will be a “story book of timber ” promoting timber and wood design initiatives. The architecture of the Anthony Timberlands Center will also be used as a teaching tool and showcase the versatility and beauty of various timbers to the public. Crowned the competition winner after a months-long process that included a total of 69 firms, Grafton Architects also made recent headlines when its co-founders, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, were named the 2020 recipients of the Pritzker Architecture Prize . The Anthony Timberlands Center will be the firm’s first building in the United States and will be located in Fayetteville, Arkansas on the northeast corner of the University of Arkansas’ Windgate Art and Design District. The new applied research center will house the Fay Jones School’s existing and expanding design/build program and fabrication technologies labs as well as the school’s emerging graduate program in timber and wood design. Created with the public in mind, the Anthony Timberlands Center will draw the eye of passersby with its dramatic cascading roof that responds to the local climate while capturing natural light . Inside, soaring ceiling heights and rhythmical open spaces evoke a forest setting. Related: Canada’s first net-zero carbon, mass-timber college building to rise in Toronto “The basic idea of this new Anthony Timberlands Center is that the building itself is a Story Book of Timber,” said Farrell in a University of Arkansas press release. “We want people to experience the versatility of timber , both as the structural ‘bones’ and the enclosing ‘skin’ of this new building. The building itself is a teaching tool, displaying the strength, color, grain, texture and beauty of the various timbers used.” + Grafton Architects Images via Grafton Architects

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Story book of timber designed for University of Arkansas

Temple of Poop grows a flowering rooftop with human waste

March 3, 2020 by  
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Latvian design and build workshop Zeltini has made answering the call of nature into an environmental statement with the “Temple of Poop,” a timber outhouse that composts human waste into fertilizer for a rooftop garden. Built on the designer’s property in Latvia, the project celebrates “humanure” while simultaneously raising awareness of the benefits of human waste compost as a potential replacement to animal-based fertilizers. Designed by Zeltini founder Aigars Lauzis, the Temple of Poop — also known as the Z-BIOLOO — was produced as part of the design studio’s mission to better the world with sustainable projects. Clad in blackened timber to recede into the landscape, the contemporary, timber-framed outhouse features a Biolan composting toilet that automatically separates liquid from solids to turn human excrement into compost. Once ready, the compost can be used to fertilize the rooftop garden or the adjacent field. Related: Mirrored outhouse “disappears” into a lush river valley landscape To elevate the user experience, the Temple of Poop features a large, glazed opening to frame views of the landscape. A chimney with a kinetic revolving cowl was installed to extract unpleasant odors from the outhouse and help speed up the composting process. At the same time, a second chimney with an electric fan draws in the pleasant fragrance from the flowers grown on the roof into the building to continually introduce a fresh flow of oxygen. The outhouse walls are insulated to provide comfortable and stable temperatures year-round. “Being a vegan household, we don’t want to use animal-based fertilizers,” the design studio explained. “More than 7 billion people can easily fertilize this planet, and there is no need for meat / dairy industries to do it for us.” The Temple of Poop project was designed and built by Aigars Lauzis and Andis Veigulis in 2018 for approximately 3,000 euros (approximately $3,270). + Zeltini Images via Zeltini

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Temple of Poop grows a flowering rooftop with human waste

Minimalist, charred-timber tiny cabin is only 129 square feet

March 3, 2020 by  
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Belgian firm dmvA Architects has unveiled a sophisticated and sustainable tiny cabin clad in charred timber. Just shy of 130 square feet, Cabin Y is a lightweight, flexible structure that is easily transportable and reconfigurable. Additionally, the cabin runs on solar power, meaning it doesn’t have to rely on the grid for energy. dmvA architects is known for its long-standing commitment to designing sustainable structures that achieve “maximalism through minimalism.” According to the firm, the inspiration for Cabin Y came from the need for a flexible and lightweight building that could serve a variety of uses, from tiny retreats and art studios to permanent home additions and commercial applications. In fact, the cabin is so lightweight and compact that it is easily transported on a standard-sized flatbed trailer. Related: Transparent, prefab tiny cabin offers the best views of the Italian Alps Using charred larch wood on the tiny cabin’s cladding not only gives the structure a modern, sophisticated aesthetic but makes it more durable. The cabin is comprised of individual wooden sections that are connected by stainless steel tension cables that form an X-shape; this unique construction enables the cabin to be customized to individual needs. Contrasting nicely with the dark exterior, the interior is clad in white oiled pine. The front door to the cabin is a massive glass door that swivels open. This glazed entrance offers sweeping views of the tiny cabin’s setting, wherever that may be, while also allowing the daylight to stream in. The minimalist , 129-square-foot interior consists of one large room with a sleeping loft, which is reached by ladder. The compact bathroom is located in the back of the cabin and includes a toilet and a shower. A rooftop solar array allows Cabin Y to be entirely self-sufficient. The tiny cabin also boasts an impressively tight thermal envelope thanks to hemp insulation . + dmvA architect Via ArchDaily Photography by Bart Gosselin via dmvA architect

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Minimalist, charred-timber tiny cabin is only 129 square feet

Bioclimatic design creates a highly efficient and healthy home in Spain

November 20, 2019 by  
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Spain’s Rías Baixas area is a picturesque part of the country. Now, in this idyllic region sits a highly energy-efficient home designed by local firm ARKKE . The architects incorporated several bioclimatic features into the design, taking advantage of the local climate and landscape to help reduce the building’s energy use. The Small Bioclimatic House is a compact, two-bedroom home that sits elevated on a steep hill side overlooking the Ría de Arousa, the largest estuary in Galicia. The area is known for its picturesque landscape dotted with quaint fishing villages, so the architects wanted to create an energy-efficient home that harmonizes with the surroundings and complements the existing vernacular. Related: Brazilian timber home uses bioclimatic principles to reduce its environmental footprint The home is just over 900 square feet and is surrounded by natural landscaping. According to the architects, the layout and size of the house was inspired by the limited building space as well as the stunning views. The firm explained, “The essential premise of the commission was to design a small, highly efficient and healthy house capable of making the most of a very narrow plot but with delicious views of the Arosa estuary.” The architects created a simple, one-story design with two bedrooms, a living room, an open kitchen and a bathroom. The front wall is comprised of floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to a front deck; this helps the family to enjoy optimal natural light as well as unobstructed views year-round. To create a strong thermal envelope for the home, the architects chose to build with CLT . The porch extends laterally, forming eaves that shade the interiors from direct solar radiation, again reducing the home’s energy use. Additionally, the entire envelope has been insulated with a unique exterior insulation system (SATE) to withstand both the region’s frigid winters and the searing summer months. + ARKKE Via ArchDaily Images via ARKKE

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Bioclimatic design creates a highly efficient and healthy home in Spain

Dramatically twisted timber weaves together in the Steampunk pavilion

November 8, 2019 by  
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In Tallinn, Estonia, a team of designers have merged traditional craftsmanship with digital modeling to create Steampunk, a sculptural pavilion that uses steam-bent hardwood and computer-aided design. Winner of the Tallinn Architecture Biennial 2019 Installation Program Competition, the spectacular artwork uses the laborious process of steam bending timber by hand, rather than by robotic production, to call attention to the merits of traditional craftsmanship absent in machine building. Gwyllim Jahn, Fologram’s Cameron Newnham, Soomeen Hahm Design and Igor Pantic designed the Steampunk pavilion with the help of digital models that were rendered as holographic overlays during construction. Instead of translating their designs into CNC code for robotic production, the team decided to use a hybrid approach and build the pavilion by hand with the help of a holographic guide.  “While computer aided manufacturing and robotics have given architects unprecedented control over the materialization of their designs, the nuance and subtlety commonly found in traditional craft practices is absent from the artefacts of robotic production because the intuition and understanding of the qualitative aspects of a project as well as the quantitative is difficult to describe in the deterministic and explicit language of these machines,” explain the designs in a statement. “We are interested in approaches to making that hybridize analogue construction with the precision and flexibility of digital models .” Related: Otherworldly tree sculpture mimics plant growth with glowing veins Using standardized 100-by-10-millimeter timber boards, the construction team bagged, steamed and then bent each strip over an adaptable formwork while using the holographic model as a reference. The twisted pieces of timber were then assembled to create the appearance of a woven 3D knot measuring roughly eight meters wide and 4.6 meters in height. The pavilion has four distinct spaces framing views towards the old city of Tallinn as well as the Architecture Museum. + Soomeen Hahm Design Images by Peter Bennetts

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Dramatically twisted timber weaves together in the Steampunk pavilion

Zero-carbon masterplan on the water aims to revitalize Bergens urban growth

July 22, 2019 by  
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In a bid to revitalize the Norwegian city of Bergen, London-based architectural practice Waugh Thistleton Architects has proposed Trenezia, a masterplan that would transform the coastal city into a shining example of zero-carbon urban development. The mixed-use development would consist of over 1,600 homes and be built on the waters of Store Lungegårdsvann, a bay that separates the city center from the southern boroughs of the city. Energy demands and the carbon footprint would be minimized through site-specific, environmentally responsible design and the use of carbon-sequestering timber as a primary construction material for all of the houses. Created in collaboration with local architects Artec, Urban System Design, Degree of Freedom and landscape design firm East, the zero-carbon Trenezia masterplan was created for the BOB, a Norwegian housing association with a goal of building sustainably in urban areas. In addition to promoting sustainable ideals, Trenezia aims to revitalize the city center, which the architects said is currently suffering from depopulation as people move to the outskirts to live in suburban family homes. Related: Industrial building is reimagined as a zero-carbon paragon for Paris 2024 Olympics Edged in by mountains and water, Bergen’s city center has little land left for development. As a result, the architects decided to build on the lake. “Perfectly placed between the historic town and the new cultural arts hub to the east, the Store Lungegårdsvannet Lake is the ideal site for a new cultural and residential center,” the team explained in a press release. A new boardwalk would span the lake and serve as a ‘central spine’ that connects the public-facing elements, which includes a swimming pool and sailing club, retail, performance spaces and cafes. More than 1,600 homes would be placed behind the boardwalk . The new homes would stress intergenerational interaction and offer a range of accommodation from family houses to co-living to student flats to sheltered housing both for private sale and rent. The homes, which will be built from timber, echo the gabled rooflines of Bergen’s iconic wooden houses that helped earn the city a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. “The masterplan, by virtue of its form, responds to the local climate through the creation of solar corridors through the site to maximize sunlight and daylight into every home,” the architects said. “Residential fingers are separated by canals with individual and communal boat moorings and pontoons for residents, creating a comfortable environment where people can be healthy, happy and productive.” + Waugh Thistleton Architects Images by Darc Studio and Artec via Waugh Thistleton Architects

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Zero-carbon masterplan on the water aims to revitalize Bergens urban growth

A timber observation tower with a vertical forest is proposed for Zagreb

July 10, 2019 by  
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Istanbul-based design studio SUPERSPACE has proposed a new landmark for Croatia’s capital of Zagreb that combines an architecturally striking observation tower with a vertical forest in the heart of the city. Dubbed Ascension, the timber structure would serve as a “new gate” between the historic parts of the city and the post-war areas. If built, the tower would be the 10th tallest building in all of Zagreb and one of the tallest wooden structures in Europe. Proposed for the heart of Zagreb , the Ascension tower is optimally positioned to take in views of the natural landscape, from the south bank of the Sava river to the forests of Medvednica Mountain. The tower location also marks the split between the old and the new parts of the city, from which the architects drew design inspiration. The history of Zagreb dates as far back as 1094 A.D. and much of the city prior to the 20th century was developed north of the Sava river. After World War II, a construction boom that took place south of the Sava river resulted in a modern development now called Novi Zagreb (“New Zagreb”). Related: Foster + Partners designs solar-powered Tulip observation tower for London “As the Novi Zagreb is the future and modern face of Zagreb, Ascension represents and empowers the connection with the past and future; nature and man-made; old and new; as though the ground ascended to the sky and created this void, to engage this dialogue with a strong flow and visual relation,” the designers explained in a press statement. “As a connecting and reflective feature of the old and the new city, Ascension greets the landmarks of the downtown with respect and claims a unique form with analogical proportions.” The Ascension tower features three main parts: a white and convex outer “shell” that symbolizes the revitalization of the new city; a timber-lined inner “shell” that symbolizes the identity of the old city; and a vertical forest of trees planted on multiple levels of the high-rise to create a visual link to Zagreb’s forested landscape. Viewing platforms are located on different heights of the tower to overlook select vistas including the Sava river, the city and the mountains. + SUPERSPACE Images via SUPERSPACE

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Minimalist villa in Japan boasts dark timber exterior and bright white interior

June 11, 2019 by  
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Japanese firm, TAPO Architects have unveiled a beautiful timber house located in Sakura City in the Japanese prefecture of Chiba. Surrounded by peaceful forest, the Sakura Villa is a sophisticated minimalist design that features a simple mono-pitched roof with a charred timber exterior and bright white interior. Located on a small lot surrounded by forestscape, the villa was designed to blend in seamlessly with the landscape. To create a strong connection with the wooded surroundings, the 2,300 square-foot home is clad in a mix of charred timber siding and black standing seam metal sheeting. Related: Black timber Villa S makes more energy than it consumes The elongated volume of the structure is punctuated by a spacious glass and wood entranceway which is flanked by large windows on either side. The entrance to the home is through a central courtyard that leads to the living space through a set of sliding glass doors. Walking past the doors, the walkway leads to the outdoor patio space, creating an integral connection between the indoor and outdoor worlds. On the interior of the home, its jet black exterior facade is exchanged for an open-plan living area with all-white walls and exposed timber beams and columns. Almost entirely devoid of furnishings save for a long wooden dining table located opposite the kitchen, the space is minimalist, modern and fresh. Beyond the social areas found on the south side of the home, the private areas such as the bedrooms and bathrooms, are located on the north side. The sloped ceiling adds additional space on this side of the home, which was built out with two attic spaces accessible by ladders. This area is used for storage or playrooms for the family’s kids. + TAPO Via Design Boom Photography by Masayoshi Ishii via TAPO

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