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

The energy-efficient Aspen tiny home is built tough to withstand Canadian winters

June 11, 2018 by  
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Over the years, tiny homes have popped up everywhere from coastal landscapes to lush woodlands. But now, one Canadian-based builder is proving that tiny homes can be just as resilient in the harsh frigid winters of British Columbia. Borealis Tiny Homes come installed with various features that keep the interior warm and cozy year-round, including radiant underfloor heating, efficient heat recovery ventilation systems and gel fuel fireplaces. Clad in honey-toned cedar and dark metal slats, the company’s latest project, the Aspen, is a luxurious tiny home on wheels  that boasts a a sleek, cabin-inspired design. According to Borealis, the structure was built with locally-sourced materials whenever possible. A local wood mill crafted the Aspen’s interior paneling and loft area. The cedar siding, metal roofing, hardwood flooring and bamboo countertops are also local products. Related: Custom ordered tiny homes provide compact living options without sacrificing on comfort Inside, the tiny home is quite spacious. There is 200 square feet of living area on the lower level and a 68-square-foot upper level sleeping loft.  The living space is bright and airy thanks to several windows that let in optimal natural light . The home is also equipped with LED lighting. The minimalist decor inside the tiny home is custom-made to be extremely space-efficient. The living room has a fold-out sofa and small working area in the corner. Stairs that double as storage space lead up to the kitchen, which is equipped with a beautiful bamboo countertop. The space is installed with full-sized appliances, and there is additional space for a dishwasher or washer/dryer combo. The sleeping loft , which is big enough for a queen-sized bed, is accessed by climbing some steps up onto a landing and then into bed. Thanks to the high ceiling, the bedroom is incredibly spacious, especially when compared to traditional tiny homes. The Aspen is also equipped with various energy-efficient features to withstand the cold Canadian climate. The radiant flooring has an additional heat recovery system to keep the home at a pleasant temperature all year long. The temperature is also maintained by a gel fuel fireplace, which provides a nice ambiance for the cabin-like tiny house. + Borealis Tiny Homes Via New Atlas Images via Borealis Tiny Homes

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The energy-efficient Aspen tiny home is built tough to withstand Canadian winters

Norwegian-inspired timber cabins unveiled for a landscape hotel in France

April 19, 2018 by  
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Visitors to Breitenbach will soon have the chance to stay one of several tiny timber cabins scattered across the idyllic French countryside. Built of new and recycled timber, the 14 Norwegian-inspired cabins form the proposed Breitenbach Landscape Hotel designed by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter . The 17,000-square-meter hotel will immerse guests in the French landscape with lodgings that offer luxury, privacy, and stunning views of the outdoors. Located on a hillside in northeastern France, Breitenbach Landscape Hotel will be spread out across the slope and include 14 cabins, a main reception building, sauna , and director housing. The project features a natural material palette dominated by new and recycled wood; some of the cabins will also be topped with green roofs. Large glazed sections open the cabins—of which there are four types—to views of the landscape. Related: RRA’s Mandal Slipway offers a contemporary twist on the local Norwegian vernacular Though the minimalist cabins exude a Scandinavian character, the hotel also celebrates the local culture and traditions. “Breitenbach Landscape hotel will have a prominent role linking the hotel activity to the site and local traditions,” wrote the architects. “Breitenbach landscape hotel will also look at art and culture as a part of strategy to enhance the region cultural practices. Visitors will have the possibility to take part of the local culture and art through some areas dedicated to exhibition and local knowledge.” + Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter Images by reiulf ramstad arkitekter, WsBY, tejo

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Norwegian-inspired timber cabins unveiled for a landscape hotel in France

Four living trees grow through this dreamy treehouse retreat in Montana

March 27, 2018 by  
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Many of us can remember having a childhood treehouse, but Montana Treehouse Retreat owners Kati and Daren Robison have taken this idea one step further. Nestled on seven acres of private woods near Glacier National Park in Montana, this two-story cabin has four living trees growing through it—two through the decks and two through the interior. Although spacious enough to accommodate a group of up to five people, the Montana Treehouse Retreat is also a perfect romantic getaway for two. The treehouse’s grand entrance takes the form of a spiral staircase that winds around a giant Douglas fir tree . This unique stairway provides access to 500 square feet of living space, with two outside deck ares, a full kitchen, dishwasher, and three padded benches that double as sleeping quarters. The first floor also has a full bathroom with a full-sized shower and sink. Related: The Treebox is an amazing modern home set high up in the treetops On the second floor, the master suite loft has a queen mattress, private bathroom, and a sliding glass door that leads out to the second-story deck. Here, guests can relax and enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee, all while taking in the secluded forest setting. The cabin also offers a private wooded space with a campfire ring, walking trails, and cross-country ski trails for the winter months. Whether inside the cabin or out, visitors to the Montana Treehouse Retreat can experience a dwelling that harmonizes with nature in a unique and innovative way. + Montana Treehouse Retreat Via Uncrate    

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Four living trees grow through this dreamy treehouse retreat in Montana

Beautiful cedar-clad Bridge House crosses a ravine in Ontario

February 27, 2018 by  
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This elegant  timber house bridges a ravine near the shores of Mary Lake in Port Sydney, Ontario. Architecture firm LLAMA urban design created the inspiring home to have minimal impact on the landscape and to celebrate the beauty of the surrounding environment. The house is located two hours north of Toronto , and it sits across the steepest part of a wide ravine. Its overall length – 124 feet – creates a strong linear gesture that allows the residents to immerse themselves in the surrounding landscape. The home is held aloft by an inverted V–shaped glulam structure, and the architects used locally sourced wood and unstained cedar siding for the exterior cladding. Related: This Iowa home built across a ravine is heated and cooled by the earth The main façade of the house faces the lake and creates a feeling of being among treetops. The second façade faces the forest and features expansive transparent surfaces. An inverted V–shaped Glulam structure holds up the house and connects the interior social area with the roof deck. + LLAMA urban design Via Archdaily Photos by A-Frame studio/ Ben Rahn

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Beautiful cedar-clad Bridge House crosses a ravine in Ontario

Ephemeral timber pavilion doubles as sculpture and film venue in Portugal

February 21, 2018 by  
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This elegant ephemeral pavilion does double duty as a film venue and sculpture that complements the garden grounds of Portugal’s Serralves Museum. Porto-based Diogo Aguiar Studio designed the architectural object, which is made up of curved timber partitions that come together to form two concentric spaces: the main film viewing area and the interstitial space. Diogo Aguiar Studio was selected to design the pavilion, which formed one of Serralves Museum’s five temporary structures for the architectural exhibition Live Uncertainty, 32nd Bienal de São Paulo that concluded this Sunday, February 18. Like depA’s pavilion design for Serralves, Diogo Aguiar Studio’s contribution is a minimalist affair and its all-timber cladding complements rather than detracts from the wooded surroundings. The pavilion nucleus is a dark space where the film “Os humores artificiais” (2016) by Gabriel Abrantes is shown. The addition of a secondary curved skin helps control the amount of daylight that reaches the interior and adds a sense of mystery: the three openings on the outer facade do not match up with those in the antechamber and force visitors to walk along a mulch pathway. The journey through the pavilion to watch the film thus becomes an experience in itself. Related: Mirrored pavilion all but disappears into nature As the architects put it: “Contributing to the control of natural light in the interior space, the juxtaposition of two façade-plans, curved and parallel, which alternately open double-curved arc spans, guides the visitor to walk through the immersive space of mediation – as an antechamber-path – without revealing the central nucleus – as a space-enclosed – the projection place.” + Diogo Aguiar Studio Via ArchDaily Images © 2017 Francisco Nogueira Architectural Photography

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Ephemeral timber pavilion doubles as sculpture and film venue in Portugal

Minimalist summer retreat in Denmark is like a house within a house

February 6, 2018 by  
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This summer retreat in Denmark may look like a minimalist dream, but there’s a bit of an interesting design twist when you take a closer look. Danish architecture firm CEBRA designed Treldehuset, a timber getaway in Vejle that merges contemporary design with the traditional silhouette of a low gabled roofline. Deep roof overhangs on all side of the home make room for spacious sheltered terraces and give rise to the building’s image as a “double house—a house inside a bigger house,” say the architects, who liken the project to Russian nesting dolls. Set within a beautiful coastal environment with views of the fjord, Treldehuset’s design draws from the surrounding nature and is built to encourage active outdoor living. A restrained materials palette comprising larch cladding outlined by aluminum profiles and dark slate strengthens the building’s clean and simple lines. A sheltered terrace wraps around the inner volume punctuated with large windows and glass doors that slide open for indoor-outdoor living. “The effect of a double house is achieved by placing the thermal envelope beneath and inside a bigger house,” wrote the architects. “In this way, a roofed outdoor area occurs between the thermal envelope, the actual house and the larger shell, which give access to a protected area – a continuation of the interior which allows you, even on rainy summer nights, to eat, grill or maybe clean a newly caught fish. This transitional zone between indoor and outdoor constitutes an interesting space between the characteristic trees with a view of the fjord .” Related: Ancient Bacteria From Norwegian Fjords Could Be Used to Make the Ultimate Sunscreen Larch is used in the interior for continuity and is broken up by whitewashed walls and concrete. The living room, dining area, and kitchen are placed on the west side of the home, where wall-to-wall glazing blur the lines between indoors and out. The private rooms, such as the bathroom and guest room, are located on the east side of the home. + CEBRA Via Dezeen Images via CEBRA by Mikkel Frost

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Minimalist summer retreat in Denmark is like a house within a house

This floating hotel and spa in Sweden will fill you with wanderlust

January 23, 2018 by  
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The team behind the famous Treehotel in Sweden just unveiled plans for a new floating hotel and spa on the Lule River in that will fill you with wanderlust. The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa might be the perfect place to enjoy the Northern Lights and work on your well-being while being surrounded by stunning landscapes. As a company that specializes in luxury adventure holidays, Off the Map Travel aims to provide people with exotic travel options and allow them to reach authentic destinations. The newest addition to their handpicked offering is this floating hotel and spa that freezes into the ice in the winter and floats on top of the Lule River in the summer. Related: Floating sauna with charred timber cladding boasts minimal site impact The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa is a circular building that will house a spa treatment room, four saunas , an outside cold bath, a hot bath, outside and inside showers, and two dressing rooms for visitors. The six hotel rooms included also float or remain frozen into the ice, depending on the time of year. The project is being built using locally available materials and will be open for overnight stays as soon as early 2018. + Off the Map Travel Via AFAR

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This floating hotel and spa in Sweden will fill you with wanderlust

Researchers decipher one of last unpublished Dead Sea Scrolls

January 23, 2018 by  
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Since the first Dead Sea Scrolls were found in a Qumran cave in 1947, most have been restored and published. But the University of Haifa said two researchers from their Department of Bible Studies deciphered one of the last remaining unpublished scrolls – and they uncovered some surprises. Eshbal Ratson and Jonathan Ben-Dov reassembled around 60 fragments – some smaller than 0.155 square inches – that an earlier researcher said had come from different scrolls in a period of over one year. The University of Haifa researchers found these pieces “actually constitute a single scroll,” according to the university, and discovered for the first time that the name given to “special days marking the transitions between the four seasons” by the Judean Desert sect is Tekufah. This word in today’s Hebrew means ‘period.’ Related: Believed tomb of Jesus Christ is far older than previously thought The researchers also obtained new insight into the 364-day calendar the sect used. They said in a statement, “The lunar calendar, which Judaism follows to this day, requires a large number of human decisions. People must look at the stars and moon and report on their observations, and someone must be empowered to decide on the new month and the application of leap years. By contrast, the 364-day calendar was perfect. Because this number can be divided into four and seven, special occasions always fall on the same day…The Qumran calendar is unchanging, and it appears to have embodied the beliefs of the members of this community regarding perfection and holiness.” Another finding was that a scribe corrected errors made by the person who wrote the scroll. The researchers said the author “made a number of mistakes” and another scribe added in “missing dates in the margins between the columns of text.” The Journal of Biblical Literature published the work, and the researchers now plan to decipher the last remaining scroll. + University of Haifa Via The Jerusalem Post and the BBC Images via Haifa University/The Jerusalem Post and Depositphotos

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Researchers decipher one of last unpublished Dead Sea Scrolls

Gorgeous staggered timber home offers panoramic views of Idaho’s wilderness

January 22, 2018 by  
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This unique property in Idaho offers panoramic views  of Clearwater River Canyon, and it’s the perfect getaway for those who enjoy spending time outdoors. Built into a hillside overlooking the river, the Clearwater Canyon House has a stepped silhouette that follows the curve of the land and a wrap-around timber deck. Sound good? You can nab it from Sotheby’s for $649,000. The building sits on 46 acres overlooking the Clearwater River, an area with rich wildlife.   Mule and white-tailed deer, over 100 types of birds, including eagles and geese, salmon and steelhead are just some of the species that inhabit the region. The property offers opportunities to engage in a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including canoeing, fishing, hiking, hunting, rafting, and swimming. Related: Portable Bridge Home Cantilevers Over a Flood Plain in Idaho The form of the house follows the topography of the terrain. Its timber-lined interior was designed using the same approach and, through the presence of several large openings, blurs the line between the inside and outside. A wrap-around timber deck strengthens this approach and offers stunning views of the canyon. Amenities include the main house, which functions as a studio, guest house , shop and a wine cellar. + Sotheby’s International Realty Via Uncrate Photos via Sotheby’s International Realty

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