Aging Portuguese granary transformed into a serene sanctuary in the trees

January 29, 2018 by  
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The Dovecote-Granary in Portugal is a temple in the trees where people can reconnect with nature and themselves. The simple structure stands on the granite foundation of what was once a 19th-century maize granary. Tiago do Vale Arquitectos took cues from traditional local architecture while reconstructing the rotting building as a place of serenity and contemplation. The structure combines three vernacular typologies: granary, dovecote, and drying shed. It is built out of oak wood in the same style as the granaries that stood there for centuries. Sadly, the wood of the granaries had rotted beyond salvage, so the architects documented the existing structure and re-constructed it out of fresh wood. By documenting the original building in its entirety, as well as the building techniques used in its construction, the architects managed to successfully re-create the building stronger than it was originally, while preserving its spirit and giving it new life. Related: Salima Naji’s Preservation of Sacred Moroccan Granary Sites Nominated for Aga Khan Award With farming disappearing from the area, the original function of the structure became obsolete. This prompted its current use as a kind of temple, a sanctuary among the tree canopies, and an iconic shape in the rural landscape of the Minho region. The architects reconstructed the two granaries on the original foundation to act as the walls of the new building and topped them with a dovecote, while the interior re-creates the traditional drying shed. + Tiago do Vale Arquitectos Via ArchDaily Photos by João Morgado

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Aging Portuguese granary transformed into a serene sanctuary in the trees

Y-shaped German hostel looks at sustainability from all angles

January 29, 2018 by  
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A newly opened youth hostel in Bayreuth, Germany offers much more than just a clean bed and shower—the 180-bed Y-shaped building embraces community, holistic sustainability, and a passion for sports. Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) designed the hostel as an extension of the landscape with natural materials and a curvaceous form that’s organic and contemporary. Commissioned by DJH Bayern, the eye-catching youth hostel takes on a distinctive Y shape chosen “because it cleverly generates a connective central space and interweaves the interior and exterior spaces, offering expansive views and multiple accessible openings to the sports fields and gardens.” Sports are a major focus of the design and the hostel is equipped with sports fields, adventure playgrounds and volleyball terraces. The building’s universal design makes it accessible to all kinds of users for optimum use of the facility. Related: Nha Trang’s first hostel built from recycled shipping containers pops up in Vietnam A central atrium at the heart of the hostel serves as the social hub with a light-filled amphitheater that branches out to the reception, seminar rooms, bistro, kitchen, sport facilities, and bedrooms spread out across two floors. Natural, locally sourced materials are used throughout and were built with local techniques. Renewable energy powers the hostel and pollution reduction is integrated in the design. A highly flexible modular wooden wall system with modular custom built-in furniture was used for the hostel’s 45 rooms. The use of modular, replaceable walls also allows for future reuse of the building as a kindergarten, school or retirement home. + Laboratory for Visionary Architecture Images by HN?fele Huber

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Y-shaped German hostel looks at sustainability from all angles

This cozy off-grid cabin shows beauty on a budget in upstate New York

November 8, 2017 by  
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Manhattan studio JacobsChang shows off beauty on a budget with their completion of the Half-Tree House, a one-room cabin tucked into the forests of upstate New York’s Sullivan County. Located on a remote 60-acre site, the 360-square-foot structure operates off-grid and was built by amateur weekend builders with a limited budget of $20,000. Despite the challenging steep slope, the architects and builders achieved an elegant result that dramatically juts out into the landscape. JacobsChang kept construction costs for the Half-tree House low by sourcing most of the materials on-site , including the timber cladding made from locally felled pines. To minimize site work and use of retaining walls , the architects anchored the building on one side with simple concrete footings and then used the existing trees to support the other side with a Garnier Limb anchoring system. Related: Prefab tiny cabin perched on a granite rock to minimize environmental impact Traditional Scandinavian pine tar was used to give the cabin a dark facade, which contrasts with the whitewashed interior. Three floor-to-ceiling pivoting windows open the cabin up to the outdoors, letting in ample natural light and ventilation. Say the architects: “The space is heated with a highly efficient Jotul wood stove and power, if needed, is drawn from a portable generator. The entire construction was performed by its two owners, and in the true spirit of New England barnraising, with a team of dedicated weekend support.” + JacobsChang Via ArchDaily Images © Noah Kalina

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This cozy off-grid cabin shows beauty on a budget in upstate New York

Extraordinary treehouse is a climber’s dream with its own indoor climbing wall

October 12, 2017 by  
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This narrow angular treehouse in Brisbane, Australia , captures the freedom and beauty of the outdoor-indoor lifestyle. The Taringa Treehouse, designed by Phorm Architecture + Design , is nestled under a large tree and houses a study, bedroom and a climbing wall. The entire main floor can be opened up to the exterior via sliding glass walls. The building is detached from the main residence and occupies a cozy spot under an existing tree in the backyard of the property. It’s wedge-like form points toward the residence, with its wider side facing out into the yard. A ground floor patio with a climbing wall is located at the tip of the two-story structure and opens up toward the garden via large sliding glass walls. Related: Incredible luxury tree house is hidden away in a Cape Town forest “These backyards tend to be overgrown, unruly spaces and are the domain of children and makeshift structures. The treehouse is devised as an invitation to visit and engage with this distinct yet typically unchartered territory,” said Paul Hotston of Brisbane-based Phorm Architecture + Design. Weatherboard covers the garden-facing elevation, while metal cladding dominates the western facade which creates a contrast with the verdant surroundings. The shape and materials of the house are inspired by traditional local architecture , translated into a modern-day t reehouse that’s playful and fun. + Phorm Architecture + Design Via Dezeen

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Extraordinary treehouse is a climber’s dream with its own indoor climbing wall

Sleep among the treetops in a nomadic hotel design with minimal impact

October 12, 2017 by  
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Reconnection with nature doesn’t always mean roughing it on a campsite. Environmental consulting firm EoA Inc created Living the Till, a unique treetop hotel resort concept that rescues guests from the stresses of everyday life by elevating them into the tree canopy. Conceived as a nomadic resort, the Till can be easily assembled in a variety of environments and then disassembled and moved without impacting the environment. Described by the team as a camping on a “hovering, transparent magic carpet,” Living the Till comprises a series of conical tents suspended on ropes tied to nearby trees. A large net stretched taut and secured to trees is placed beneath the tents. Bridges between the trees provide access between campsites. “Living the Till allows for seasonal inhabitation in remote areas, such as the stunning and perfectly preserved forests of Ecuador, Malaysia, Borneo, the Amazon, California, Australia, or Japan,” wrote the designers. “The concept was inspired by the air plant Tillandsia, which lives in harmony with a host tree. Conceived as a temporary nomadic structure, the Till can be assembled and taken down in pristine, coveted areas by a small team of climbers with simple tools without impacting the environment during the process or duration of a guest’s stay.” Related: Gorgeous Robin’s Nest Treehouse Hotel immerses you in nature Living the Till was recently honored as this year’s Radical Innovation Award winner. The design team was awarded a $10,000 reward at the New Museum last week. Founder of Radical Innovation John Hardy commended the project as “the perfect antidote to city dwelling.” Play Design Hotel , located in Taipei, received the second place prize of $5,000. + Radical Innovation Award Images via EoA Inc

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Sleep among the treetops in a nomadic hotel design with minimal impact

Fly down a zipline in the Willy Wonka-esque Future Forest in London

August 24, 2017 by  
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Bompas & Parr are like real-life Willy Wonkas—and they brought their magic touch to the inside of a UK shopping mall. The design duo launched a free ‘Future Forest’ in the Westfield London shopping center with the theme of urban reforestation. The immersive experience is an incredible indoor forest playground with a fantastical Fruit Cloud, electricity-producing plants, a historic tree circus, and even a 40-meter-long zip-line that starts atop a 5.3-meter-high treehouse. The Future Forest is envisioned as rural escapism in the concrete jungle that promotes relaxation, health, and wellness as well as environmental awareness . “Imagining how we can co-exist in nature is one of the key challenges facing our collective future, where we face increased urban populations while climate change and pollution threatens the stability of the natural world,” says Harry Parr, Director of Bompas & Parr. “We’ve tried to bring to life these concerns in a fun and interactive way that conveys important messages and delivers big on the fun factor too. What better way to engage young people in the future of our urban environment than by zorbing through Westfield or experiencing the fruit cloud?” Related: London to Launch Edible Fireworks Display to Ring in the New Year! The temporary nature-inspired installation first popped up earlier this summer at Westfield Stratford City and has now moved to Westfield London , where it will stay until August 28. The move to Westfield also comes with the new addition of the Adventure Zip-Line that offers an exhilarating 40-meter descent front the top of a treehouse . It is the only indoor zip-line in the UK, and free to the public. A Fruit Cloud that immerses visitors in a breathable aromatic cloud with regularly changing flavors, as well as other inspiring installations, complements the zip-line. + Bompas & Parr Images © Ann Charlott Ommedal and Bompas & Parr

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Fly down a zipline in the Willy Wonka-esque Future Forest in London

These wooden blocks can be stacked up to create cabins, treehouses, and wilderness shelters

July 31, 2017 by  
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Most cabins lie flat upon the earth – but Ofis Arhitekti just unveiled a wooden retreat that’s stacked up into the sky. The architects worked with C+C , C28 and AKT to create a beautiful library made from modular blocks at Ljubljana’s landmark medieval fortress. The basic modular unit provides accommodation for two people, with a kitchen, a bathroom, a bed and seating. If that isn’t enough space, the units can be stacked horizontally or vertically in order to form different configurations to accommodate a variety of locations and needs. Related: Three stacked spruce ‘shoeboxes’ reimagine a 1934 house in Ljubljana The units can be used as holiday cabins, tree houses, research units and shelters . The cabin can be fixed on the ground either by steel anchors or removable concrete cubes, making the interior space endlessly flexible and adjustable based on changing needs. The unit at Ljubljana Castle will serve as a temporary library, with each floor containing books on various topics. Spaces for reading and rest are tucked underneath the underpasses, and offer stunning views of the city. Both the structure and cladding promote Slovenian woodworking, traditional wood crafts and carpentry. + Ofis Arhitekti Photos by Janez Martincic  

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These wooden blocks can be stacked up to create cabins, treehouses, and wilderness shelters

Modern Mount Qiyun treehouse immerses guests in nature

May 11, 2017 by  
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A romantic weekend escape awaits lucky couples on China’s Mount Qiyun. Cambridge graduates Andong Lu and Pingping Dou of lanD studio designed Treehouse M, a prefabricated timber structure perched high in the tree canopy with sweeping panoramic views. The contemporary design and luxurious feel elevates the structure into a kind of glamping in the treetops. Prefabricated offsite with timber and steel elements, Treehouse M was assembled within a short time with minimal site impact and waste. The designers carefully sited the treehouse to immerse guests in nature at the forest resort. Panoramic views can be enjoyed from the room without compromising privacy. Related: This playful Airbnb treehouse near San Francisco lets you sleep in a 150-year-old oak tree The treehouse derives its name from its inverted roof that gives the building its M shape. Ample glazing blurs the line between indoor and outdoor living. The simple 40-square-meter interior houses a large bed, dresser, bathroom, and lounge chair. A bathtub is located on the semi-covered outdoor terrace . + lanD studio Via IGNANT Images © Bowen Hou

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Modern Mount Qiyun treehouse immerses guests in nature

Build your own tiny home or treehouse with these stackable wooden micro-units

March 29, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever wanted to build your own tiny home or treehouse , this wild design might give you some ideas. These self-contained wooden living units can be stacked both vertically or horizontally to create the shelter of your dreams. Ofis Arhitekti teamed up with C+C, C28 and AKT and contractor Permiz to develop the basic unit to comfortably hold two people, and they’re presenting a vertical version, which is also available for purchase, at the 2017 Milan Design Week this April. The Living Unit has a timber frame structure reinforced with plywood boards on both sides. As a single unit, it can be fixed to the ground either by steel anchors or removable concrete cubes. Small and versatile, the structure can cater to different programmatic needs for two. They are easy to transport, and pretty much anyone can combine them in a variety of custom configurations. Related: 7 new micro-cabins in Colorado provide superior insulation in extreme weather The basic unit includes a double bed, wardrobe and a dining table, with the possibility of expanding it to include a small bathroom and kitchenette. Users can combine two or more cabins to create larger structures that can easily fit 4 to 6 people. The architects used natural and sustainable materials , offering flexibility in the choice of finishes, making sure to keep the design lightweight in order to facilitate ease of transportation. This allows the cabin to adapt to different locations, functions and climates. + Ofis Arhitekti

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Build your own tiny home or treehouse with these stackable wooden micro-units

Meandering 2y House in Chile immerses inhabitants in its wooded surroundings

December 30, 2016 by  
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Few things in life produce the kind of peace and serenity found in a forest. This meandering treehouse in Chile provides a complete immersion into its wooded surroundings. Sebastian Irarrazaval Arquitectos designed 2y House as a solitary retreat that enhances the unique experience of being surrounded by trees. The house is located near Lake Colico, some 470 miles south of the Chilean capital, Santiago . Locally-sourced timber anchors the house to the place and references the sense of infinity that is present in forests. Natural light filters through broad windows and wooden screens, mimicking the effect created by tree tops. Related: Gorgeous Robin’s Nest Treehouse Hotel immerses you in nature This arboreal aesthetic is further enhanced by the use of red-painted wood on the exterior. Using a natural palette of reds, browns and greens marks a departure from the concrete and glass architecture that tends to dominate Chilean residential design. + Sebastian Irarrazaval Arquitectos Via Curbed

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Meandering 2y House in Chile immerses inhabitants in its wooded surroundings

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