Gorgeous timber home in the UK blends local vernacular with sustainable design

February 16, 2018 by  
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The Chalfont Home is gorgeous timber residence located adjacent to the Rye Nature Reserve in East Sussex – one of Britain’s most cherished conservation sites. Built by local firm RX Architects , the family house seamlessly blends into its unique natural setting while leaving as little carbon footprint as possible. The structure was built with numerous sustainable features – including highly-insulated timber cladding and solar thermal panels. The rugged landscape of the nature reserve presented quite few challenges for the project. As the sea receded over the centuries, shingle deposits created a delicate, unstable topography. A small bungalow and a few sheds were previously located on-site, but were all in severe disrepair. Instead of renovating the existing buildings, the architects decided to build a contemporary timber structure that would fit in organically with the natural surroundings. Related: Cozy timber home embraces the Australian bush with a split form The architects decided to clad the home in vertical larch boarding , both externally and internally. The exterior cladding will gradually take on a silver patina over the years. The wooden cladding continues throughout the interior, enhanced by the natural stone flooring. The light-colored walls and floors provide a neutral canvas for the sophisticated interior design. The home takes advantage of numerous energy-efficient features . An air-source heat pump works with solar thermal panels to provide the home’s hot water and heating needs. Additionally, all of the windows and doors are either triple- or double-glazed, further insulating the home and conserving energy while letting in an abundance of natural light. The home is also equipped with a number of wide windows that perfectly frame stunning views of the reserve. All these sustainable features are wrapped in a beautiful, contemporary package that pays homage to the various local heritage structures in the area. The timber home looks out of the reserve to the Mary Standford Lifeboat building, built in 1882. This structure was a pioneering project at its time and is a beloved architectural icon for the area today. To echo the historic building’s presence, the Chalfont home was created in the vernacular shape of the building, devoid of traditional gutters or eaves to emphasize the home’s simple volume. + RX Architects Photography by Ashley Gendek

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Gorgeous timber home in the UK blends local vernacular with sustainable design

This rustic Norwegian cabin looks like four different buildings all joined together

February 6, 2018 by  
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This rustic cottage in Norway looks like a patchwork of different buildings, all mashed together to create a cohesive home. The building, designed by Oslo-based studio Rever & Drage Architects , comprises a sequence of distinct spaces, each one addressing a different daily need of the owners. The cabin has a transparent garage that acts as an entry point and storage area where the family can leave their gear for various outdoor activities. This space leads to a laundry area, bathroom, and kitchen and into the main lounge that offers views of the surrounding landscape. Related: Coastal cabin in Norway is a perfect indoor retreat for outdoor lovers Each of the spaces uses different cladding materials and construction techniques, with the imperative of being able to withstand the harsh weather as an overarching design principle. The cabin, in a way, can be seen as a single building or four separate structures. “The outside composition is that of a traditional row farm, where buildings with different functions and different construction techniques are arranged in a line corresponding with the dominant direction of wind,” explained the architects. Related: Fantastic Norway’s Mountain Hill Cabin is Part Ski Slope, Part Winter Retreat While the north part was built using a late-medieval building technique with large, narrowing logs, the living room features more elegant 19th century notched logs, all stained in a dark tar finish. The kitchen has a contemporary feel, with a green roof. The garage, at the southern end of the building, features an exposed timber frame and polycarbonate sheets to let in tons of light all year long. + Rever & Drage Architects Via Dezeen Photos by Tom Auger

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This rustic Norwegian cabin looks like four different buildings all joined together

Two protective layers keep this angular house in Chile cool in the summer

December 22, 2017 by  
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The angular Two Skins House, designed by architect Veronica Arcos , is enveloped in two insulating layers that help maintain stable temperatures indoors all year roound. Perched on high cliffs north of Santiago, Chile , the house features generous openings that offer views of the Pacific Ocean. The house has a simple rectangular plan and faceted walls that add drama to the space. Dark pine planks used as cladding add additional variation to the exterior surfaces. Pine and other wooden structural panels were used to bring a little warmth and nature into the interior. Related: Angular cedar-clad home in New Zealand is designed to go completely off-grid Thanks to the presence of two outer layers, occupants can benefit from stable temperatures throughout the year. The gap between the layers facilitates natural ventilation and keeps the house cool in the summer. Mineral wool insulates the inner structure, while a zinc coating protects it from humidity. An overhang on the northern side shelters a raised platform and steps that lead to the garden. This wall extends to enclose the east-facing terrace and provide more privacy for this space. Most functions are housed on the ground floor, while the mezzanine , which marks the spot where the sloping roof reaches its highest point, accommodates the master bedroom. Minimalist interior design dominates the living room, with pops of color providing visual accents. + Veronica Arcos Arquitectos Photos by Cristóbal Palma

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Two protective layers keep this angular house in Chile cool in the summer

Gorgeous year-round bath house in Sweden soaks up the winter sun

May 19, 2017 by  
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This minimalist bath house allows inhabitants of Karlshamn, Sweden, to enjoying the sea all year round. White Arkitekter designed the timber-clad building to age naturally for low-maintenance facilities that straddle both the water and the land. The town’s first bath house was carefully situated to soak up as much sunlight as possible all winter long, while protecting visitors from the chilly winter winds. Local organization Kallbadhusets Vänner (Friends of the Bath House) worked with local sponsors and the municipality to realize a project which would allow people to enjoy the sea all year round. Kallbadhus is located along a beach promenade, close to the public swimming hall . Sitting at a height of three meters above sea level, the sharply angled timber-clad volume straddles solid land and water while offering views of the sea. Related: Tiny Norwegian Prefab Bathhouse is Clad in Sustainable Kebony Wood Two glulam beams provide structural support for a small bridge that links the building to the beach. A common room with an adjoining terrace is flanked on one side by the women’s sauna and the by the men’s sauna on the other. The architects designed the saunas to receive optimal amount of sunlight while simultaneously offering protection from the wind. The exterior cladding is treated with a grey-pigmented oil which allows the wood to age naturally. + White Arkitekter Via World Architecture News

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Gorgeous year-round bath house in Sweden soaks up the winter sun

Minimalist Leyda House takes inspiration from local farmer’s huts

May 19, 2017 by  
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When Chilean architect’s Alfredo González Briceño and Ignacio Rojas Hirigoyen were contracted to build a country home in Chile’s Leyda Valley, they were inspired by the fertile nature of the well-known wine-producing region. Using the panoramic views of vineyards as a focus for the home’s layout, the architects designed a timber-clad minimalist structure tucked into the rolling hillside with optimal light to enhance the incredible views of the landscape. Using the area’s agricultural atmosphere as inspiration, the architects based the home’s simplistic design on the “ephemeral shelters” commonly found on the nearby strawberry fields, “We saw on these light constructions a very strong formal guide, with a very impressive visual value, on how this low-cost countryside house could be solved.” The team decided to forgo the typical bells and whistles found in weekend homes, instead choosing to focus on a simple, but strategic design that would showcase the home’s natural setting. Related: Chilean Folding House allows owners to control the temperature to adapt to the season Tucked into the rolling hillside of the valley, the elongated home is clad in dark timber, creating a no-fuss monolithic figure that melds easily into the landscape. The home faces the south, which allows for spectacular views of the vineyard-covered valley that leads to a coastal mountain range in the background. Large windows in different shapes and sizes are found throughout the design, including multiple openings in the roof that allows light to flood the interior – as the architects describe it – with “a gentle sunbath.” On the interior, the two bedrooms, each with its own bath, are located at either end of the home, and separated by the living and dining areas. The interior ceiling and flooring are covered in light wooden planks, further creating a strong connection to nature. + Alfredo Gonzalez Briceño + Ignacio Rojas Hirigoyen Via Dwell Photography by Rodrigo Daza  

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Minimalist Leyda House takes inspiration from local farmer’s huts

Teen creates world’s lightest satellite and NASA is sending it to space

May 19, 2017 by  
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An 18-year-old from Tamil Nadu in India has built what experts are hailing as the “world’s lightest satellite.” Bonus: NASA’s going to send it into space. Rifath Shaarook’s 1.5-inch cube weighs a mite 2.2 ounces—lighter than many smartphones. “We built it completely from scratch,” Shaarook told India’s Business Standard . “It will have a new kind of on-board computer and eight indigenous built-in sensors to measure acceleration, rotation and the magnetosphere of the Earth.” The satellite beat more than 86,000 entries from 57 countries to win Cubes in Space , a design competition organized by education nonprofit iDoodle with the support of NASA and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium . Shaarook named his design KalamSat after A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, India’s former president and a famous aerospace scientist in his own right. Related: Egyptian teenager creates next-generation quantum space propulsion system Come June 22, NASA will send the cube on a four-hour suborbital spaceflight, where it’ll operate for 12 minutes under microgravity conditions. Shaarook currently works as lead scientist at Space Kidz India , an organization in Chennai that promotes science and education for the country’s youth. Via BBC News

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This charred wood cabin can be rearranged in an infinite number of ways

May 12, 2017 by  
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This beautiful prefab house by Antony Gibbon Designs is made up of six modules that can be configured in an endless number of ways. Each unit has one or more open sides that can be attached together, providing the opportunity to build an incredible variety of layouts. The closed sides of each module are clad in charred wood siding for an elegant, low-maintenance facade. Called the Moduu House, it is comprised of six different variations of a single staggered form. Each module measures 2.5 x 2.5 meters with one or more sides ‘open’ to allow each unit to be connected onto another increasing the interior space. The structures can be connected in a wide variety of spatial sequences to create the house you want. Related: These gorgeous glass homes can pop up in 8 hours for under $50k Traditional Japanese charred wood cladding known as Shou Sugi Ban cover the exterior of the house, giving it a natural appearance. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow ample natural light into each structure, with the option of adding sliding doors for direct access to the terraces, also available as modules. + Antony Gibbon Designs

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This charred wood cabin can be rearranged in an infinite number of ways

Green makeover transforms cedar-clad Virginia house into a lifelong retreat

January 26, 2017 by  
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A few easy steps has transformed a normal Virginia home into a charming, lifelong retreat. A couple approaching retirement commissioned Thrive Architecture to renovate their Hickory House into an accessible home that uses less energy than it did before. The architects expanded the existing space to include a living room, bedroom, bathroom, dressing room and laundry, all organized on a single story. The main sitting area offers views of the surrounding forest. Related: Gorgeous cedar-clad house boasts stunning mountain views in Canada Three types locally-sourced hardwoods were used for the interior, including Hickory. This choice of materials complements the exterior cladding, dominated by ship-lapped oiled cedar . To make the house more energy efficient, the team added air-tight spray foam insulation, LED lighting and low-flow plumbing fixtures. + Thrive Architecture Photos by Ansel Olson

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Discreet new home in North Carolina acts like a gateway to the surrounding wilderness

January 5, 2017 by  
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The cypress-clad Carolina Hillside House perches over a thick forest near North Wilkesboro’s Kerr Scott Lake, providing stunning views of untouched nature. ARCHITECTUREFIRM designed the building as a habitable gateway that connects an abandoned logging road, the only access to the house, with the surrounding wilderness. The house is located above North Wilkesboro’s Kerr Scott Lake and is accessed by an abandoned logging road. Clad in untreated cypress that acquires a beautiful patina over time, the house blends into its wooded surroundings. Related: Snøhetta’s New Library at North Carolina State University Aims for LEED Silver A large opening separates the main living area and sleeping quarters, forming a sheltered patio with a beautiful outdoor fireplace . This space provides sensational views of the surrounding forest and allows the owners to enjoy the outdoors even during harsh winters. + ARCHITECTUREFIRM Via Uncrate Photos by James Ewing

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Discreet new home in North Carolina acts like a gateway to the surrounding wilderness

Old Dutch farmhouse gets a modern makeover with locally-sourced materials

December 2, 2016 by  
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Architect Jeanne Dekkers converted this brick farmhouse in the Dutch village of Banholt into a beautiful family house and studio. The team renovated the existing building with spruce-clad extensions that line the edges of an inner courtyard, resulting in a bright and airy space with a gentle environmental footprint. The farmhouse is located on the outskirts of an agricultural region in the Netherlands . The architects converted a former shed into a studio space and connected it to the new carport, creating a layout that resembles that of traditional farmhouses of the region. The additions are separated from the existing brick structures thanks to horizontal timber cladding. The old horse stable was transformed into a light and modern living space with an office. Two large openings made of Iroko wood frame the landscape and let the light inside. A stainless steel core containing the kitchen, bathroom and toilet occupies the central area of the building. Two round staircases clad in wood connect the ground floor with the second floor. Related: Historic Belgian farmhouse renovated into a modern solar-powered home The team collaborated with local artisans through the project, prioritizing local materials and local building techniques. They also reused some of the original materials, including old steel ledgers, roof tiles and bricks. + Jeanne Dekkers Architecture Via Dezeen Photos by Holly Marder

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