Beautiful Wellington Welcome Pavilion glows like a lantern at night

August 7, 2018 by  
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Calgary-based architecture firm Studio North led a team of architecture students from the University of Toronto Daniels School of Architecture in a design build seminar to realize a stunning new Welcome Pavilion for the village of Wellington, Ontario. Erected in just two weeks, the compact 100-square-foot structure is both sculptural and functional, featuring geometric CNC-milled cutouts inspired by barn quilts, a local craft and tradition unique to that area. The Welcome Pavilion offers shelter, seating and shelving for maps, pamphlets and information about Wellington and Prince Edward County. Sessional Professors Mark Erickson and Matthew Kennedy of Studio North led—with the help of teaching assistant Allison Home-Douglas—a team of fifteen undergraduate architecture students through the design-build process. The design was developed in collaboration with the local community, who taught the team about the village’s traditional culture and crafts. “The design is inspired by barn quilts; a local craft and tradition unique to the county,” explains Studio North in a project statement. “These quilts have colourful geometric patterns that express the character and quality of the place, akin to family crests that distinguish one building from the next. We used the geometric language of these quilt patterns as inspiration for the CNC milled plywood screens that wrap the entire building. These screens paint the middle dividing wall with intricate shadows that transform throughout the day and the season.” Related: Architecture students build a tiny CLT classroom in just 3 weeks The 100-square-foot Welcome Pavilion was built primarily of CNC-milled plywood and semi-translucent polycarbonate , which allows diffused sunlight to pass through. The interior is split into two parts: one half that serves as a covered outdoor public space with benches and a town map; the other half houses the promotional materials. The backside of the plywood screen in the interior was painted with bright colors that, when illuminated by sunlight, fill the space with colorful light. + Studio North Images via Studio North

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Beautiful Wellington Welcome Pavilion glows like a lantern at night

Breezy Ecuadorian brick home on stilts embraces cool tropical winds

August 7, 2018 by  
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Ecuadorian architecture firm Natura Futura Arquitectura has completed the Stilts House, an elevated brick home that opens up to the outdoors with a perforated facade. Located in General Villamil, a coastal canton of the province of Guayas, the Stilts House celebrates the UNESCO-recognized region’s superb climate and culture of great craftsmanship through its site-specific design. Built of local natural materials and concrete, the home spans 1,722 square feet across two floors. Named after its system of teak pillars, the Stilts House includes three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchenette, dining area, an enclosed outdoor courtyard , hammock space and two living areas, one on each floor. The main living spaces of the brick home, including the hammock area, are placed on the first floor, and the secondary living area and the bedrooms are located above. To tie the residence into its surroundings, the architects used locally sourced materials including traditional baked bricks laid in a pattern that allows ventilation; no glass was used. Related: This weekend home in Mexico blends in with the forest landscape “On the ground floor, and integrated with the outside and their day-to-day activities, there is a social area that closes in on itself, and opens toward the interior of the house as a rest area with hammocks ,” said Natura Futura Arquitectura in its project statement. “This will generate micro-climates, through the material and its new features.” Timber shutters and sliding doors provide additional privacy and can be easily opened up to connect the interior with the outdoors. + Natura Futura Arquitectura Images via JAG Studio

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Breezy Ecuadorian brick home on stilts embraces cool tropical winds

The net-zero Lightbox 23 boasts sustainable features and stunning views

August 7, 2018 by  
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Portland residents in search of an energy-efficient home need look no further than Lightbox 23, the new net-zero project from Lightbox Portland and Steelhead Architecture . A speculative development project in northeast Portland, Lightbox 23 has two units and numerous sustainable features, including super-insulated walls, high-performance ventilation systems, and two 10-kW solar arrays. But sustainablity isn’t the project’s only draw – it also boasts beautiful design and stunning views of Mt. St. Helens’ and Mt. Adams’ snow-capped peaks. A set of floating stairs, which provides access from each floor to the half-levels above and below, serves as the duplex’s backbone. A deck on the building’s north side can be accessed from the exterior. From this deck, residents can enjoy the open air and, on a clear day, the distant peaks of the two mountains. Related: Net-zero Acacia Avenue House saves up to 90% of heating and cooling costs While the solar array on top of the building provides the building with its energy, part of making the project net-zero included finding ways to reduce the energy load overall. To tackle this problem, Steelhead Architecture turned to affordable super-insulation. Each unit has two-by-eight walls filled with blown-in cellulose, along with two inches of rigid insulation affixed to the exterior of the plywood. The concrete slabs have 3 more inches of rigid insulation. The roof construction has a similar mix of insulation, which eliminates the need for any vents. The home’s mechanical system further supports the unit’s net-zero goals. All-electric ducted heat pumps, which are much more efficient than gas systems, provide heat for the apartments. Furthermore, nothing on the project uses gas at all. A heat recovery ventilator with its own ducts effectively controls air exchanges with zero energy loss. To ensure a low heat/cooling loss, the architects sought out leaks and used repetitive joint sealing, further reducing the project’s energy use. Lightbox 23 is an exploratory project of Lightbox Portland, which is devoted to high performance, high-density modern progress. There are three additional Lightbox Portland/Steelhead Architecture projects presently underway. + Steelhead Architecture Images via Josh Partee Photography

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The net-zero Lightbox 23 boasts sustainable features and stunning views

Island’s Invasive "Killing Machine" Finally Captured

February 18, 2011 by  
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Photo: Impy Malting The tiny island of Kapiti, located five miles off the coast of Wellington, New Zealand, is one of the last refuges for a menagerie of wildlife driven to near-extinction elsewhere by invasive species. Since the late 1980s, when all non-native animals were meticulously cleared from the island, it has been designated as a sanctuary, an important safe-haven for a host of birds species unaccustomed to predatory mammals. Late last year, however, a single stoat was spotted on the pristine island — prompting an intensive, three month long search for the rogue …

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Island’s Invasive "Killing Machine" Finally Captured

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