14 exquisite handmade gifts

December 1, 2016 by  
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If you’re looking for sustainably-sourced gifts that will truly surprise your loved ones, feast your eyes on our collection of exquisitely handmade gift options for this year. Produced by under-the-radar designers, you’ll discover unique items for everyone on your list. From foraged botanical perfume oil to hand-drawn floor plans of your favorite TV characters’ homes, we’ve got you covered with one-of-a-kind gifts that will inspire. UNIQUE HANDMADE GIFTS>

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14 exquisite handmade gifts

Plans for a new underground hotel have been approved in London

December 1, 2016 by  
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London tourists may soon get a chance to spend sleep underground at the upcoming subterranean LDN Hotel, the first of its kind in the city. Ian Chalk Architects is working on the sustainable hotel , which will reportedly feature a plethora of plants , and air that’s cleaner than outside. The underground hotel, slated for construction in London’s West End under St Giles Hotel, will house up to 166 guests at affordable prices. The LDN Hotel would sprawl across what is currently an underground parking lot on the fourth and fifth floors below ground. The LDN Hotel design will be similar to Japanese pod hotels, according to Design Curial, except with a toilet and shower in the room. Related: Incredible eco-friendly mansion is hidden entirely underground While critics raised concern about air quality in an underground hotel, the hotel design features a mechanical ventilation system for air purification that is said to ensure the air will be even fresher than outdoors. Sustainability was also said to be an important consideration, though it is yet unclear what features would make it so, apart from comprising a better use of space than the disused parking lot. Wood paneling, flourishing plants that improve air quality, and bright rooms are among the planned hotel’s interior features. While some may balk at the idea of staying in a room without a window, the hotel will be near to tourist attractions, according to planning inspector David Prentis, and offer unique budget accommodations. The initial proposal for the underground hotel was rejected, but planning officers have since granted permission for its construction. Via Design Curial and Evening Standard Images via Ian Chalk Architects

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Plans for a new underground hotel have been approved in London

Secrets of CBS EcoMedia’s advertising success

October 28, 2016 by  
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It’s one of the fastest-growing divisions of CBS. President and Founder Paul Polizzotto describes the unique business model and the role of purpose.

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Secrets of CBS EcoMedia’s advertising success

Renovated Amsterdam office space features a rooftop of glittering aluminum "leaves"

October 3, 2016 by  
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Goede Doelen Loterijen’s 500 employees are currently scattered amongst fifteen different locations, but soon that will all change. The workers came together to assist in the design of their new building, which will take over a vacant structure in desperate need of a transformation. The renovation is expected to receive an “Outstanding” BREEAM rating , the highest available, for its commitment to sustainable functionality. Related: Benthem Crouwel Architects named designer of new Paris airport metro station Inside the building workers will have access to ample office space, a TV studio, public restaurant, and auditorium, most of which will also be open for public meetings and events. The true charm, however, lies in the unique exterior. An extra floor was added to create a uniform roof spanning across the entire building, as well as extending over the lush courtyard. Columns shaped like the surrounding trees support the roof and a pattern of 6,800 polished aluminum “leaves” give off a glittery luster similar to a swaying forest canopy. A total of 2,400 solar panels power the building and a rooftop rainwater collection system will be used for irrigating the building’s gardens. These features combine to create a structure both green in function and in its reverence for the surrounding environment. + Benthem Crouwel Architects Images via Benthem Crouwel Architects

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Renovated Amsterdam office space features a rooftop of glittering aluminum "leaves"

Foster + Partners breaks ground on Ferring Pharamceuticals headquarters in Copenhagen

September 6, 2016 by  
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Foster + Partners just kicked off construction on Ferring Pharamceuticals’ new light-filled headquarters in Copenhagen . Surrounded on all sides by water, the 39,000-square-meter office building takes advantage of its waterfront position with a glass envelope that captures surrounding views and natural daylight. The visually striking building is built like an inverted pyramid and the generous use of glass gives the structure a floating appearance that contrasts with the heavy plinth on which it sits. Located near the Copenhagen International airport in the city’s Kastrup area, Ferring Pharamceuticals’ new country headquarters design is strongly informed by its surrounding urban landscape. Since the site is flanked by predominately low-rise development, the architects designed the building facade with a strong horizontal emphasis and clad the structure almost entirely in glass to take advantage of views. The headquarters’ triangular form was dictated by the shape of the waterfront site and is set atop a large stone plinth that protects the building from flooding. Six glazed floors and a cantilevered roof canopy are stacked atop the plinth and are arranged in such a way to create self-shaded spaces on each floor. A large atrium punctuates the heart of the building and comprises the entrance lobby, cafe, breakout spaces, conference facility, and other social, collaborative spaces. The areas for quiet individual work, such as the offices and laboratories, are tucked away at the edges. The workspace layout was determined by in-depth studies of the company’s work culture. Daylight streams in to illuminate the workplaces from all sides. Related: Foster + Partners’ Droneport will launch aerial vehicles to deliver medical supplies in Africa “We wanted to create a very strong base that directly connects to and celebrates this unique waterside location and lifts the building above that level – so that there are uninterrupted views from the ground floor to the strait and the surrounding harbour,” said Grant Brooker, who led the building design. “For such a significant project it was vital that the building reflected the personality of the organisation and that it would create a collaborative and flexible working environment to carry them through the next century.” + Foster + Partners Images via Foster + Partners

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Foster + Partners breaks ground on Ferring Pharamceuticals headquarters in Copenhagen

19th century Dutch water tower refurbished as a modern office with a view

August 12, 2016 by  
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The water tower was originally designed by architect J. Kalff as part of the city’s network of fortifications. Its role as the gate to the city center remains unchanged to this day. Its unique place in the Dutch architectural heritage is strengthened by the fact that it is the only water tower in the Netherlands with two flat-steel water reservoirs. BOEi commissioned ZECC architects to modernize the structure by introducing a mix of functions to its interior. The team came up with a design that included the installation of an elevator, additional floors and a new staircase leading to the top of the tower. The floors in the old water reservoirs were filled with office spaces, meeting rooms, and presentation halls. Related: 19th Century London Water Tower Transformed into a Unique, High-Flying Home A small, transparent structure, meant to function as a meeting room or event space, was placed on the roof of the tower, offering wonderful views of the medieval city and St. Jan’s Cathedral. New window openings on the two closed facades are clearly distinguishable from the original openings, while at the same time referencing the existing windows with their arched form. + ZECC Architecten Photos by Stijnstijl Fotografie

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19th century Dutch water tower refurbished as a modern office with a view

New Karma Revero will be entirely powered by rooftop solar panels

August 11, 2016 by  
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Those awaiting news about Karma Automotive’s new Revero model have some exciting updates to chew on. For starters, solar panels on the roof are expected to generate sufficient energy to fully power the car. A teaser released by the company sheds more light on what aspiring Revero owners can expect – take a look after the jump. Karma Automotive says the solar panels on the Revero’s roof “will create enough energy to power the car.” An individualized, hand-painted Karma badge is another unique feature – a detail so exclusive no other car manufacturer can make the same claim. Lastly, the updated “infotainment” system is described as “simple, intuitive, and beautiful,” sans a thick and burdensome owners manual. Related: The Fisker Karma will be resurrected as the Karma Revero this year Fisker owners and the media are invited to attend a launch party hosted by Karma Automotive , which is owned by Wanxiang Group, on September 8, 2016. At that time, a Revero pre-order window will open up for Fisker owners. The model’s exclusivity is reflected in the comments of Jim Taylor, Karma’s chief revenue officer, who said, “Serving a mass market is not, and never will be, our purpose.” + Karma Automotive Via Auto Blog Images via Karma Automotive

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New Karma Revero will be entirely powered by rooftop solar panels

Mysterious object near Neptune just made space a lot weirder

August 11, 2016 by  
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With each new space discovery, we realize how much we still don’t know about the solar system . Astronomers recently detected a mysterious object near Neptune that doesn’t move through space as expected. The trans-Neptunian object (TNO) actually moves backwards around the sun, and it has scientists scratching their heads. Using the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System 1 Survey (Pan-STARRS 1) in Hawaii, a team of astronomers discovered the mysterious object. They nicknamed the TNO “Niku,” a Chinese word for ‘rebellious.’ Niku’s odd movement is so weird because angular momentum generally dictates that objects in a planetary system move in the same direction. Astronomer Michele Bannister of Queens University, Belfast told New Scientist, “Angular momentum forces everything to have that one spin direction all the same way. It’s the same thing with a spinning top, every particle is spinning the same direction.” Related: NASA confirms a second mini moon is circling Earth Except, of course, for Niku. Since the TNO is moving backwards, and also upwards, the astronomers think it must have been ” knocked off course .” But we don’t yet know what exactly bumped the TNO. At first the astronomers thought Niku’s abnormal movement could be related to Planet Nine, another baffling object even further away than Neptune. But they’ve tossed that theory out for now, as Niku is ” too close to the solar system ” to really be influenced by Planet Nine. Matthew Holman of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said, “It suggests that there’s more going on in the outer solar system than we’re fully aware of.” Bannister tweeted , “I hope everyone has buckled their seatbelts because the outer solar system just got a lot weirder.” A group of astronomers including Holman and 16 other scientists from institutions in Taiwan, Hawaii, the UK and Germany submitted a paper earlier this month detailing the find, and it has been accepted for publication in the journal ApJ Letters . Via New Scientist Images via Wikimedia Commons and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Flickr

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Mysterious object near Neptune just made space a lot weirder

Denmark’s 116-year-old lighthouse transformed into a giant kaleidoscope

July 21, 2016 by  
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http://vimeo.com/171521055 Having first been lit in 1900, the lighthouse was abandoned for years prior to this revitalization project. In 1968, a giant sand dune destroyed much of the Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse, leaving the tower as the only remaining structure. The surrounding cliffs are rapidly eroding into the sea, posing an ever-growing danger to the lighthouse itself—a fact the designers embraced with their outward-in kaleidoscope installation. Related: JAJA Architects reinvent the parking garage into a green community gathering space with park ‘n’ play An enormous inverted pyramid, clad in kaleidoscope mirrors, was mounted in the lighthouse’s tower where the beacon usually resides. Instead of sending beams of light to illuminate the waves, the lighthouse captures daylight and turns it inward. Bouncing off the kaleidoscope’s mirrors, the light and images of the seascape are reflected and multiplied in a marvelous game of hide and seek. In effect, the installation is a metaphor for turning the lighthouse inside out, which is precisely what may happen when the cliff beneath finally succumbs to the sea. This cool project is actually just one part of a nationwide effort to reclaim and revitalize landmarks across the Danish landscape . The series of architectural renovations, with artistic flair, is meant to invigorate the public’s awareness and education of many of the unique and remarkable areas of the country. As with the Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse, many of the projects highlight locations of historical significance that may not endure much longer, as the changing landscape continues to evolve. + Bessards’ Studio + JAJA Architects Via urdesign Images via Hampus Per Berndtson

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Denmark’s 116-year-old lighthouse transformed into a giant kaleidoscope

New wave energy generator taps into hard-to-reach low frequencies of the ocean

June 23, 2016 by  
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Wave power —energy harvested from ocean currents—is likely to be the next big thing in renewable energy generation, so researchers are spending quite a bit of time on new technologies to take advantage of the sustainable energy source. A new device has emerged that taps into hard-to-reach low frequencies of the ocean wave energy spectrum, utilizing energy that most harvesters cannot access. This makes it possible to draw even more power from calm, slow-moving seas, amplifying the potential of wave energy. Zhong Lin Wang of Georgia Institute of Technology created the new device to capture “blue energy,” another name for wave power. It’s a hybrid system that combines the efforts of two generators: an electromagnetic generator (EMG) and a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG). EMG systems are the most common in existing wave energy harvesters, because they target high frequencies of fast-moving ocean currents. The more recently developed TENG technology is the one that taps into the lower frequencies, making Wang’s wave energy generator more efficient than existing models. By combining the two approaches, the generator captures a broader spectrum of ocean energy. Related: New Swedish wave energy buoy boasts 5x the output of existing technology “The TENG has the unique advantage of high output voltage, and its output power is linearly scaled with frequency, making it ideal for harvesting low-frequency energy,” Wang told Phys.org. “On the other hand, the EMG’s output power is proportional to the square of the frequency, so the EMG is ideally suited for harvesting high-frequency energy. At low frequency, (< 5 Hz), the effective output of the TENG is much higher than that of the EMG.” The research results were recently published in the journal ACS Nano . Via Phys.org Images via Saltvand/Flickr and Zhong Lin Wang

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New wave energy generator taps into hard-to-reach low frequencies of the ocean

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