Sculptural Sunset Houses mimic waves with rainwater-collecting roofs

October 9, 2018 by  
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Named after their spectacular sunset views, the Sunset Houses are two seaside homes set into a slope in the idyllic beach town of Tibau do Sul in northeastern Brazil. Architects Mariana Vilela and Daniel F. Florez of the local architecture firm Vilela Florez designed the sculptural pair of homes, which feature bright blue and grounded brown tones to reference the landscape. To reduce the buildings’ environmental footprint, the architects used locally sourced stone and bamboo and engineered the roof to not only collect rainwater but to also promote natural ventilation. Covering a built area of 430 square meters, the recently completed Sunset Houses were sited for stunning vistas of the Guaraíras Lagoon and the dunes of Malemba Beach. Connected by a large pergola , the two homes comprise two floors each with floor plans that mirror each other. On the ground floor is the open-plan living room, kitchen and dining area that opens up to a covered outdoor seating space overlooking a pool. The outdoor living space also branches off to a small bathroom and utility room. Three bedrooms are placed on the upper level of each home, along with two bathrooms. The upper floor is cantilevered to create shade and protection for the lower spaces. Timber features prominently in the project, and treated bamboo sliding panels provide relief from the hot sun. Locally sourced stone was used for the dividing partition and basement walls; volcanic stones were placed atop the concrete-beamed pergola. The double-layered roof was treated as a “fifth facade” that comprises rainwater-collecting, thermoacoustic panels on the first layer and wood shingles for the second layer. Related: Budget-friendly bamboo house completed in just 10 months “The colors are used in a conceptual and sociological way, inspired by the vivid colors of the facades of the local houses and their expression of joy and acceptance,” the architects said. “The tones chosen are mainly bluish tonalities that, due to the condition of being between two bodies of water , seek to reproduce the many variants of tones coming from the sea and the lagoon.” + Vilela Florez Images by Maira Acayaba

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Sculptural Sunset Houses mimic waves with rainwater-collecting roofs

Award-winning glass cabin is nestled inside an Australian rainforest

October 9, 2018 by  
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Lifted into the canopy of a lush rainforest, this guest retreat offers spectacular views while paying homage to Australia’s architectural heritage. Retired journalists and homeowners Colleen Ryan and Stephen Wyatt tapped architect Harley Graham and his Byron Bay-based design practice to realize the Hidden Studio, a breezy one-bedroom addition that complements the property’s two existing buildings — the main home and writer’s cabin — both designed by the late “Sydney School” architect Vale Ian McKay. Sustainability was also a key driver in the design of the raised glass cabin, which has no air conditioning and relies solely on natural ventilation . Located on a 20-acre property in Coopers Shoot Bryon Bay, the Hidden Studio offers sweeping views of the hinterland and Pacific Ocean beyond. Measuring nearly 540 square feet in size, the compact dwelling was conceived as a private refuge, concealed from view and “akin to a raised cave or rock shelf, eaten out by waves.” Built with floor-to-ceiling glass and weathered steel, the cabin boasts a low-maintenance exterior that can be easily washed down when needed. Recycled water is used throughout the building. Inside, the guest suite consists of a spacious bedroom on the east end, as well as a bathroom and an open-plan living area, kitchen and dining room that opens up to an outdoor sheltered terrace. The interior is almost entirely clad in blackbutt hardwood save for the ceiling and bathroom floor. The timber helps give the glass cabin a sense of warmth and balances out the tough exterior. Related: Breezy Ecuadorian brick home on stilts embraces cool tropical winds In keeping with the client’s request for an environmentally sensitive cabin , the architects followed passive solar principles during the design process. The elevated guest retreat features northern orientation, while deep roof overhangs protect the full-height glazing from unwanted solar heat gain. The project statement also noted, “The angled ‘crank’ in the portals makes the roof appear to float over the pavilion, forming a large protective plate and further opening the space.” + Harley Graham Architects Images by Andy MacPherson

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Award-winning glass cabin is nestled inside an Australian rainforest

These sustainable sunglasses smell like coffee and decompose into fertilizer

October 9, 2018 by  
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In a world headed toward sustainability at every turn, Ochis Coffee is ahead of the curve with its newly-revealed sunglasses made from natural coffee and flax. Unlike standard plastic frames, this coffee-scented eyewear is biodegradable — according to the company, these sunglasses decompose 100 times faster than traditional glasses and become a natural fertilizer for plants . The only thing better than a morning greeted with sunshine is the smell of coffee , which makes the subtle coffee scent of these sunglasses a win-win. The sleek glasses can be fitted for any prescription lenses, or buyers can select one of four colorful UV options. In an innovative design, the temples flex to comfortably fit all face shapes, and the ear-tips can be bent to further improve the fit. Related: HuskeeCup is an eco-friendly cup made entirely from coffee waste The mastermind behind these eco-friendly sunglasses is Max Gavrilenko, who as a child observed as his dad worked in an optical store. Gavrilenko wanted to do things differently though, and after extensive research and development, he is about to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first five sustainable models of the organic sunglasses. Ochis Coffee isn’t the first to focus on sustainable sunglasses. However, while most other companies tend to focus on bamboo products for the frames, Gavrilenko and his team have developed a process that eliminates all petroleum, opting instead for a biopolymer made from coffee cake (not the breakfast kind, but rather compressed coffee grounds), flax sawdust and a natural glue made from soybean oil. If you garden, you know coffee is good for the soil — these frames will naturally decompose at the end of the wear cycle, taking about 10 years to break down and become fertilizer. The Kickstarter campaign is preparing to launch soon. In the meantime, you can sign up on the Ochis Coffee website to receive notifications and discounts. Glasses are expected to be priced between $69-$120. + Ochis Coffee

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These sustainable sunglasses smell like coffee and decompose into fertilizer

A budget-friendly bamboo house was completed in just 10 months

August 2, 2018 by  
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Brazilian architecture firm Vilela Florez designed Casa Bambu (Bamboo House), a breezy, contemporary home in northeast Brazil that takes its name from its striking use of bamboo for herringbone-patterned exterior paneling. Covering an area of nearly 2,000 square feet, this holiday home was built on a limited budget of 80,000 euros (approximately $93,140 USD) with a tight design and construction deadline of ten months for a couple who spends most of the year on a sailboat traveling through the Mediterranean Sea. The house takes cues from the clients’ travels with its Mediterranean-inspired blue hues and Portuguese mosaic stone floors found in the outdoor living areas. Located outside of a small village near Pipa Beach, Casa Bambu includes three bedrooms and bathrooms placed separately from the outdoor communal living areas. The architects built a two-story volume for the private rooms out of concrete masonry blocks that they then clad in panels of bamboo arranged in a herringbone pattern. In contrast, the primary living areas — including the dining room, kitchen and living space — are located in an adjacent open-air structure that overlooks the pool. Related: How to install bamboo paneling “Given the limited time granted for design and construction, a simple volume with the rooms is proposed and connected by bridges to an outdoor living area, paved in stone as the traditional Portuguese sidewalks,” the architects explained in a project statement. “This living area is protected laterally by two local stone walls and shaded by a wooden roof. Besides the natural color palette, spanning from wood, to bamboo and natural stone , the bedroom volume is painted in Mediterranean blue, a color so familiar to the clients from their many boat trips.” Related: This breezy bamboo amphitheater pops up in just 25 days The house is also oriented to take advantage of cooling cross ventilation . The prevailing winds are cooled when they pass over the outdoor pool and are passed into the living spaces and the bedrooms, which open up through sliding doors. + Vilela Florez Images by Mariana Vilela and Daniel F. Flórez

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A budget-friendly bamboo house was completed in just 10 months

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