Minimalist Timber Loft House gives you a birds-eye view of the Swedish landscape

September 1, 2017 by  
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This minimalist timber Loft House (Lofthuset) is a serene getaway that offers a birds-eye view of northern Sweden’s mountainous landscapes. Architect Hanna Michelson, who works for Tham & Videga?rd Arkitekter , designed the building as a unique sanctuary and peaceful vantage point for visitors who want to escape into the treetops without damaging the forest landscape. The house is lifted from the ground by a timber framework in an attempt not to disturb the surrounding nature. The lower part of the house offers a more immediate connection to the forest, while the upper part, a roofed outdoor space stripped from walls, provides uninterrupted views of the valley below. Related: Dreamy summer retreat built of salvaged materials sends eclectic vibes in Austin The minimalist interior is stripped down to the essentials, with sleeping accommodations arranged on futon mattresses that can be hung on the wall in order to free the room for daily activities. A wooden bench by the window is a place for reflection, but can also be used as seating during mealtimes. Related: Swedish Örnsro Timber Town relies on wood to lower its carbon footprint Birch plywood and ash dominate the interior and complement the timber framework of the house. Flax fibers, traditionally used in Nordic building practices, provides insulation to the exterior walls made from heart pine and organically treated spruce wood. + Tham & Videga?rd Arkitekter Via Architizer

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Minimalist Timber Loft House gives you a birds-eye view of the Swedish landscape

Zaha Hadid Architects unveil plans for spectacular Eco Park in England

April 7, 2017 by  
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Zaha Hadid Architects just unveiled plans for a state-of-the-art technology hub and slatted-timber footbridge at a new eco park in Gloucestershire, England. The architects previously won a competition to design the entire business park, including its Green Technology Hub, the new Forest Green Rovers football stadium and a footbridge linking the two main sides of the development. The 100-acre Eco Park, commissioned by renewable energy company Ecotricity, will offer state-of-the-arts sporting facilities and an additional 50 acres for a green technology business park expected to create up to 4,000 jobs. Aiming to become carbon neutral or negative by generating energy on-site, Eco Park is expected to enhance biodiversity and create a unique connection between sustainability, sports and technology. Related: Jared Kushner’s 666 tower by Zaha Hadid gets reimagined as the Eye of Sauron Eco Park’s glasshouse-like Green Technology Hub features distinctive timber slates that cover the buildings and match the material of the bowl-shaped stadium and the footbridge . “The Green Technology Hub proposals apply the latest sustainable design technologies with ecologically sound materials and construction methods to create an integrated community for world-leading research and development,” said Zaha Hadid Architects. Related: Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza focuses on environmental sustainability “The bridge design creates one single, fluid form by fusing together individual timber elements,” added the architects. “This important, unifying gesture builds connections for the community, conveying Eco Park as a facility for all.” + Zaha Hadid Architects Via Dezeen

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Zaha Hadid Architects unveil plans for spectacular Eco Park in England

This timber installation challenges students to think about new ways to design homes

August 5, 2016 by  
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The structure was built during a 5-day workshop, involving over 200 students who worked under the guidance of 12 studio directors and the wood engineer Rémy Meylan. Meant to unfold as a series of successive spaces, the structure aims to “invoke questions, contains possibilities, and is open for interpretation. The project was a collaboration meant to challenge the designers to think outside of the architecture box, and helped the students explore how design could take place not from the top down, but as a mutual effort. The space acts as a sort of “genetic code” for future construction concepts. Related: Rintala Eggertsson’s MILU is a Sculptural Wooden Pavilion Made from Locally Sourced Timber One of the main topics explored through the project is the feasibility of architectural design that brings forth a multilayered discourse on space, culture, and ideas. The project has been recently completed and is open to visitors on the EPFL campus in Lausanne . + EPFL | École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne + ALICE Studio Architects Lead photo by Aloys Mutzenberg

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This timber installation challenges students to think about new ways to design homes

7 plants that could save the world

August 5, 2016 by  
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Perennial Wheat Grains are the staple food of humanity: the vast majority of people on the planet eat either rice, wheat, or corn on a daily basis, and those are all annual crops. The issue with annuals, which complete their life cycle in a few months and must then be replanted, is that they require tremendous inputs of water, fertilizer and, often, pesticides, and herbicides, in order to remain productive on the same plot of land each year. The constant tillage required to plant and replant grains slowly degrades soil over time and leads to erosion by water and wind. That said, many modern plant breeders have been hard at work in recent years attempting to domesticate some of the perennial grains that are found in nature, because they require a fraction of the agricultural inputs for the amount of yield when compared to their annual cousins. Researchers at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas are leading the way and have already developed a strain of perennial wheat called Kernza , though they say it may be another ten years before they have perfected it as a crop to replace annual wheat. Azolla Azolla is a tiny floating aquatic fern that grows naturally in wetlands all over the world. Individual azolla ferns are about the size of a thumbtack, but they are considered one of the fastest growing species on the planet, as they can double their quantity every other day in warm shallow water. The reason for this is their ability to absorb atmospheric nitrogen and convert into a form of all-natural, fast-acting fertilizer. Humans have been taking advantage of this trait for millennia, incorporating azolla as a member of aquatic polycultures, primarily in the rice padis of Asia. In recent times, azolla has been grown as a form of organic fertilizer, a source of bio-energy and as a sustainable alternative to corn and soy for use in livestock feed. Its phenomenal growth rate makes it a promising plant for the purposes of carbon sequestration, which is currently under study at the Azolla Institute . Related: INFOGRAPHIC – Edible, Medicinal, or Just Bizarre, Here are 50 Amazing Facts About Plants Algae Algae range in size from unicellular organisms to giant kelp over a hundred feet in length. Like azolla, their aquatic nature allows an incredibly fast growth rate making them a prime target for biological research. Some species are edible, bringing micronutrients into the human diet that are deficient in modern agricultural crops. Some species are grown as organic fertilizer, while others are used in biological filtration of sewage. But the potential of algae as a fuel source is where it gets really exciting. They can grow in shallow water, even salty water, making it possible to produce fuel on land unsuitable for agriculture. Algae grows so fast, it is harvested weekly, rather than annually. It is estimated that 15,000 square miles of algae production could supply the United States with all of its fuel needs – that’s about 1/7 of the land currently planted in corn in this country. Some algae fuel is already being sold and experts predict that by 2025 the technology will be refined to the point where the price per gallon will break even with the cost of petroleum. Sedum Unlike algae and azolla, sedums like it dry. They grow naturally from cracks in the sides of cliffs, meaning they survive both intense heat and extreme cold equally well and have little need for either soil or water. These traits make sedums perfect for vegetating rooftops and walls — they are the preeminent species for living architecture and are already in widespread use for this purpose. Plus, they have beautiful succulent foliage that comes in an array of soft color tones, making it possible for buildings to become living works of art. Bamboo Bamboo is probably the fastest growing terrestrial plant—some species shoot up 2 to 3 feet a day, creating enchanting groves in the process. Bamboo is edible, useful for building and can be used to make fiber, paper and a biodegradable alternative to plastic. Of course, there are many other plants that fulfill these purposes, but bamboo has the advantage of being a perennial grass. It can be harvested again and again without replanting, making it useful for reforestation projects to heal land that has been degraded by conventional forms of forestry and agriculture. Bracken Fern Some plants grow surprisingly well in conditions that are toxic to others. Bracken ferns, which are a weedy fern species growing on disturbed land all over the world, have an uncanny ability to grow in soils polluted with heavy metals, like lead, nickel, cadmium, copper and arsenic. Scientists have been experimenting with using them to remove heavy metals from contaminated industrial sites, as the ferns actually absorb them from the soil and store them in their tissues. After being allowed to mature, the ferns are then harvested and incinerated. The resulting ash contains large quantities of the precious metals which are then recycled for other uses. Related: Before Supermarkets, People Foraged for Food Out in Nature (and We Still Can) Chestnuts Like perennial wheat, chestnuts have the potential to serve as a staple food source that improves environmental quality rather than degrades it, as most modern agricultural systems do. They are enormous trees that live for hundreds of years, and, unlike most nut crops, they are relatively low in protein and high in carbohydrates, with a nutritional composition roughly equivalent to potatoes. Their high-calorie, low-protein nutritional profile makes them one of the only tree nuts suitable as a staple food. In fact, they were the number one staple food in the hilly regions of the Mediterranean basin in southern Europe until the early 19 th century, where they were ground into flour and used for bread. Chestnut trees thrive in the dry, infertile soils of the region, where grains cannot be cultivated on a large scale. Thus, they have the potential to make marginal agricultural lands into highly productive forested landscapes, with all the benefits of natural forests and none of the environmental costs associated with the large-scale production of annual grains.   Images via Shutterstock

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7 plants that could save the world

Full-size replica of Noah’s ark is Kentucky amusement park’s mainstay attraction

June 29, 2016 by  
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The project, brainchild of Ken Ham, evolution-denier and president of the Creationist Christian organization Answers in Genesis (AiG), is partially funded by the secular state of Kentucky through sales tax incentives, despite the fact that it is a for-profit enterprise. Adults will have the opportunity to “experience the pages of the Bible like never before” for $40, while people with kids will have to pay $28 for a 1-day ticket for their young ones. Related: Ride a wind turbine in this crazy wind farm amusement park Ham claims that, once completed, the Ark will become the world’s biggest timber frame structure. It took thousands of workers two years to build the 510-foot-long, 85-foot-wide structure in Williamstown, northern Kentucky . Beside various educational programs, the structure will also feature an upscale restaurant on the top deck. + Ark Encounter Via Artnet News and CNN Images via Ark Encounter

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Full-size replica of Noah’s ark is Kentucky amusement park’s mainstay attraction

Sophus Søbye Arkitekter’s parkside meetings spot in Copenhagen changes with the seasons

September 22, 2015 by  
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Tiny Off-Grid Hawk House has Soaring Views of the California Mountains

August 30, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Tiny Off-Grid Hawk House has Soaring Views of the California Mountains Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Alex Wyndham , California cabana , Hawk House , Hawk House Alex Wyndham , mountain refuge , Mountain Retreat , off the grid home , off-grid houses , Santa Lucia Mountains , small dwellings , small spaces , small timber houses , timber , timber house Californi , timber structure , tiny houses

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Spektrum Arkitekter Unveils a Rugged Semi-Outdoor Community Hub in Northern Denmark

March 13, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Spektrum Arkitekter Unveils a Rugged Semi-Outdoor Community Hub in Northern Denmark Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: community centers , Danish architects , danish architecture , Fjelstervang community hub , Fjelstervang Village , multi-purpose spaces , northern Denmark architecture , recreational spaces , Spektrum Arkitekter , timber structure , transparent roofs , wooden architecture        

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BIG Proposes Twisting Timber Eco Tower for the Kimball Art Center in Park City

January 3, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of BIG Proposes Twisting Timber Eco Tower for the Kimball Art Center in Park City Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , art center , arts and cultural center , big , bjarke ingels , eco design , green architecture , Green Building , green design , green renovation , historic renovation , kimball , kimball art center , park city , reclaimed timber , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , timber structure , trestlewood , UT , Utah

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BIG Proposes Twisting Timber Eco Tower for the Kimball Art Center in Park City

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