Young carpenter builds cost-effective timber cabin for his first home

February 16, 2017 by  
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When a young carpenter with a modest budget wanted to build his first home, he turned to Atelier l’Abri for help with the design. The Montreal-based architecture firm responded with a modern and uncomplicated design for a cabin that recedes into its forested surroundings of Bolton in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The self-build project is l’Abri’s first built house design and is named Wood Duck in reference to the project’s use of timber for the structure, cladding, and interior finishes. The architects kept the design of the Wood Duck as simple as possible to accommodate the client’s tight budget. To make the most of its compact footprint, the boxy home faces south to overlook the valley with views of the ski slopes of Mount Glen and river below. Three large windows on the south facade take advantage of these vistas and their size help blur the boundary between indoors and outdoors, visually expanding the home’s small footprint. Hemlock spruce, a cost-effective and rugged material, clads the exterior and helps the cabin blend into its surroundings. Related: Stunning Finnish Micro-Cabin Built For Just $10,500! The home is square in plan and spans two floors. Entered from an east door, the Wood Duck’s ground floor features the open-plan and double-height living room, dining area, and kitchen in the south, while the service-oriented rooms, like the laundry and mudroom, are tucked away in the north. The open-plan living areas are bathed in natural light and overlook the landscape and an outdoor deck. The master bedroom, secondary bedroom, office, and shared bathroom are located upstairs. + Atelier l’Abri Via ArchDaily Images via Atelier l’Abri , © Jack Jérôme, Alexandre Desourdy, Jean-Christophe Laniel

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Fan-shaped childrens library wraps around a large cedar in Henan

December 30, 2016 by  
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SLOW Architects found a low-tech yet elegant solution to a small primary school’s need for a library and reading room in Song County in China’s Henan province. Strapped for space but in need of a place to store a growing number of books scattered around in their classrooms, the Tsiaogou teaching school sought to convert a cramped corner of the campus into a reading room for its 49 students. Instead of hiding the building away in a corner as originally planned, SLOW Architects created a small fan-shaped structure that wraps partially around an existing cedar tree and is raised to minimize site impact. A site visit inspired SLOW Architects to build around an existing big cedar tree rather than in the campus corner. They envisioned a reading room that would be “treated as a cottage underneath the tree umbrella.” To minimize site impact on the root system, the architects built an 8-meter-diameter outdoor wood terrace below the tree canopy that’s raised and provides a shaded space for children to read outdoors. The library and reading room is also raised off the ground and constructed in an arc around the terrace and tree. Related: Fan-Shaped Bulhomen Cabin is Disguised by a Sedum-Moss Roof in Norway The 30-square-meter library and reading room is built to the scale of children and is only 1.8 meters in height at its shortest end to make the space feel like a special sanctuary for the kids, rather than adults. Unpainted timber is the main construction material used to minimize cost. The interior is lit via large skylights and solar-powered lighting. The walls are lined with built-in gridded bookshelves with small benches at their base. “This design makes the reading room not just a functional room, but also an interesting connection between indoor and outdoor activities that reconstructs the entire space of the campus,” write the architects. + SLOW Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Rao Fu

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Fan-shaped childrens library wraps around a large cedar in Henan

Fan-shaped childrens library wraps around a large cedar in Henan

December 30, 2016 by  
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SLOW Architects found a low-tech yet elegant solution to a small primary school’s need for a library and reading room in Song County in China’s Henan province. Strapped for space but in need of a place to store a growing number of books scattered around in their classrooms, the Tsiaogou teaching school sought to convert a cramped corner of the campus into a reading room for its 49 students. Instead of hiding the building away in a corner as originally planned, SLOW Architects created a small fan-shaped structure that wraps partially around an existing cedar tree and is raised to minimize site impact. A site visit inspired SLOW Architects to build around an existing big cedar tree rather than in the campus corner. They envisioned a reading room that would be “treated as a cottage underneath the tree umbrella.” To minimize site impact on the root system, the architects built an 8-meter-diameter outdoor wood terrace below the tree canopy that’s raised and provides a shaded space for children to read outdoors. The library and reading room is also raised off the ground and constructed in an arc around the terrace and tree. Related: Fan-Shaped Bulhomen Cabin is Disguised by a Sedum-Moss Roof in Norway The 30-square-meter library and reading room is built to the scale of children and is only 1.8 meters in height at its shortest end to make the space feel like a special sanctuary for the kids, rather than adults. Unpainted timber is the main construction material used to minimize cost. The interior is lit via large skylights and solar-powered lighting. The walls are lined with built-in gridded bookshelves with small benches at their base. “This design makes the reading room not just a functional room, but also an interesting connection between indoor and outdoor activities that reconstructs the entire space of the campus,” write the architects. + SLOW Architects Via ArchDaily Images © Rao Fu

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Fan-shaped childrens library wraps around a large cedar in Henan

Beautiful timber office sequesters carbon in Austria

August 19, 2016 by  
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Located in Mödling, Austria, 52 Cubic Wood is mostly clad in vertical strips of timber carefully crafted and joined together. In addition to its beautiful appearance, timber was chosen over concrete and steel because of its advantage as a “carbon sink” thanks to trees’ absorption of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. That carbon is not released until the timber decomposes or is burnt. Aside from the timber cladding, a mirrored facade partially covers the ground level. The angled mirrors reflect the foliage of the outdoor gardens. Large windows also frame views of the outdoor landscape and bring in natural light to illuminate the interior. Related: World’s tallest hybrid timber tower by Shigeru Ban coming to Vancouver The office spaces span two floors and are similarly clad in light-colored wooden surfaces and complemented with timber furnishings. “52 cubic wood – produces carbohydrate (glucose) from carbon dioxide CO2 (which equates to 260.000km by car) with the help of the sun,” write the architects. “Additionally oxygen is released in the form of breathable air for 100 years per person. This happens interference-free without waste and emissions, it‘s quiet and fully automatic. This is the beauty of the factory called ‘The forest’.” + JOSEP + Atelier Gerhard Haumer Via ArchDaily Images via JOSEP , © Bernhard Fiedler

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How America’s dirtiest city in 1969 became one of the greenest

August 19, 2016 by  
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One of America’s dirtiest cities has completely altered its legacy as one of the country’s greenest. Over the last few decades, Chattanooga, Tennessee has been transformed from a smog-filled city named America’s dirtiest in 1969 to a clean livable community. A pioneer in green urban policy, the Chattanooga city government has enacted a series of bold sustainability policies, through which its citizens enjoy the benefits of a clean environment and cutting-edge clean technology. Chattanooga in its current green renaissance is far from its 20th century form. In 1969, the EPA declared Chattanooga to be the dirtiest city in the United States after identifying high levels of ozone, particulates and other toxic substances in the local air. This prompted some serious soul-searching. “There was a huge push to turn the city around and make it inviting,” says Andrew Griffin Frye, an engineer at the Tennessee Valley Authority . The first major move towards a better city came in 1992 with the introduction of free, all-electric shuttle buses in the downtown area. The electric shuttle system serves 1,000,000 passengers per year and has helped to reduce the area’s congestion and air pollution . Related: 1920’s Grocery Store Renovated Into an Energy-Efficient Home in Chattanooga In 2012, the city opened its bike-sharing system, Bike Chattanooga, which currently consists of 300 bikes at 33 stations. Other cities, including much-promoted bike haven Portland, Oregon, have consulted with Chattanooga in creating their own bike-share system. Chattanooga’s latest venture is its soon-to-open electric car-sharing program, which will feature twenty Nissan Leafs by the end of the summer. These electric cars will be powered by three new solar power generation sites. This clean energy is then sent to the car charging lot, where owners of electric vehicles may also charge their vehicles for free. To combat air pollution, the city has decommissioned all but five of its coal plants. In 2014, Chattanooga was recognized as one of the top 15 Americans cities for air quality improvement. The clean air complements the region’s natural beauty of rolling hills, scenic valleys, and mountainous wilderness. Other American cities could learn much from Chattanooga’s trailblazing work to build a more sustainable, healthy urban environment. Via Good Images via Wikipedia  and Woody Hibbard

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World’s tallest hybrid timber tower by Shigeru Ban coming to Vancouver

July 12, 2016 by  
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Pritzker laureate Shigeru Ban has been tapped to design his first building in Canada: an innovative high-rise set to be the world’s tallest hybrid timber tower once complete. Created in collaboration with real estate developer PortLiving , the luxury tower will be developed in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour neighborhood. As with all of Ban’s projects, the Vancouver project will showcase an environmentally sustainable design approach and a pioneering use of materials. ? Shigeru Ban has designed residential projects around the world, from the Metal Shutter House in Manhattan to the Curtain Wall House in Tokyo, however, the Vancouver residential development will be the architect’s tallest structure designed to-date. The building will be set in one of the last available locations in Coal Harbor, and is expected to set a new standard for luxury urban development, sustainability, and engineering innovation. Related: 10 Incredible Designs by Pritzker Prize Laureate Shigeru Ban ? “We are honoured to be working with Shigeru Ban and his team to bring a visionary design and new landmark to the City of Vancouver ,” said Macario (Tobi) Reyes, founder and CEO of PortLiving. “We are extremely excited by Shigeru Ban’s decision to bring his craft to the Pacific Northwest, where we expect he will be embraced for his environmentally-sustainable approach, creative integration of outdoor living, and his leadership in innovation.” Specific project details and designs will be revealed later this year. + Shigeru Ban Images via PortLiving

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French architects create stunning timber addition to historic Parisian boarding school

June 29, 2016 by  
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Founded by the French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte and inaugurated in 1811, the renowned school sits in a park adjacent to a medieval basilica. This natural environment led the architects to create a nature-focused design using a light timber exterior , large floor-to-ceiling windows, and an open design concept. Related: Gorgeous timber-clad home cantilevers over a stone plinth Added onto the gable end of a 1950s infirmary building, the new addition is a three-story building with two elongated wings. The dormitory spaces are on the top two floors and the educational center takes up space on the ground floor. The building’s layout was strategically planned to use the surrounding nature as a focal point in the design. Strolling down one wing of the building, lucky students can enjoy beautiful views of the natural woodland area that was left almost untouched during the construction process. Heading in the other direction, students get an expansive view of the more formal landscaped gardens . “We wanted to continue the lines of the existing buildings and let the landscape dialogue with the new building in an inside-out composition,” architect Adrien Hénocq told Dezeen . “The bayonet-shaped plan articulates the landscape sequences, including the urban environment of nearby Saint-Denis, the classic garden and the wood where the building sits. It also allowed us to keep the most beautiful trees.” + Belus & Hénocq Architectes Via Dezeen Photography by Raphaël Chipault

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French architects create stunning timber addition to historic Parisian boarding school

White Arkitekter wins bid to design Swedens tallest timber building

June 8, 2016 by  
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Located just below the Arctic Circle, the city of Skellefteå is surrounded by dense forests and renowned for its wooden buildings and timber construction techniques that range from traditional methods to modern technology. The 76-meter-tall Kulturhus i Skellefteå celebrates that heritage and will be built of locally sourced wood treated to withstand the harsh elements. The building’s lower, publicly accessible levels will be home to “Västerbottensteatern,” the county theater of Västerbotten; the City Library; the Anna Nordlander Museum; and “Konsthall,” Skellefteå’s art gallery. A hotel will occupy the top sixteen floors. Related: Vienna set to build the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper “A cultural centre in Skellefteå just has to be built using wood!” Said Oskar Norelius, lead architect at White. “We’re paying homage to the region’s rich tradition and we’re hoping to collaborate with the local timber industry. Together we will create a beautiful venue, open for everyone, which will both have a contemporary expression and age with grace.” The tower will be built with prefabricated glue-laminated timber modules reinforced with concrete slabs and steel trusses. Glazing will wrap around the building to offer stunning views of the landscape. The building will also be topped with a green roof and integrated with bicycle and pedestrian pathways. The building is slated for completion by 2019. + White Arkitekter Via Dezeen Images via White Arkitekter

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Disneyland mountain house is a modern interpritation of the vernacular architecture of Alsace

April 15, 2016 by  
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World’s tallest timber skyscraper proposed for London

April 12, 2016 by  
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PLP Architecture and Cambridge University have unveiled plans for London’s first timber skyscraper at the Barbican Estate. If built, the 300-meter-tall wooden building would be the tallest of its kind in the world and the second tallest building in London after the Shard. In addition to the use of renewable materials, the skyscraper’s timber frame could also lock in 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide—equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of 5,000 Londoners. Read the rest of World’s tallest timber skyscraper proposed for London

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