Oakland fire-damaged home transformed into a magnificent naturally-cooled residence

June 14, 2017 by  
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California-based Terry & Terry Architecture rebuilt an existing home damaged in a 1991 Oakland fire as a beautiful residence offering staggering views of San Francisco Bay. The architects designed Skyline House for a young family who wanted an open-plan home with ample ventilation to provide natural cooling. The house sits on a property dominated by large redwood trees, which inspired the use of timber cladding and other natural materials. The designers started off by working with the existing floor plan. They transformed the kitchen area to open out and lead to the front yard garden with an outdoor dining area. Related: Beautiful cliffside home ‘split in half’ by landslide rebuilt with wooden pods The home is situated to take advantage of the bay breezes and the interior roofline flows to both convey the breezes through the home and to recreate the appearance of undulating fog. A wooden tube-like envelope hugs the open common space and visually connects the garden to the front viewing deck at the rear. This form takes advantage of the winds to facilitate natural ventilation , with the main living space acting as a connection between two contrasting outdoor spaces. + Terry & Terry Architecture Via v2com Photos by Bruce Damonte Photography

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Oakland fire-damaged home transformed into a magnificent naturally-cooled residence

The Grandview Barrel Sauna is a backyard oasis for the entire family

May 3, 2017 by  
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Saunas at resorts are great – but having a personal one in your own backyard is even better! This barrel-shaped wooden sauna by Almost Heaven Saunas is easy to assemble with just a few hand tools, and it can hold up to eight people. That makes it perfect for families to enjoy in the privacy of their own garden or backyard. The Grandview Barrel Sauna is crafted from western red cedar , hemlock fir, or Nordic spruce , depending on your own choice, and it can include a front canopy. Its spacious interior features an electric heater–with an option to upgrade to a wood-burning stove –a bucket, a ladle, and a thermometer/hygrometer. Because it’s larger than the firm’s other classic barrel saunas, the Grandview Barrel allows for wider benches and a flat duckboard flooring section. Related: Giant AT-AT-like recycled tin structure hides an unexpected sauna in Sweden The timber used to build the sauna is naturally resistant to the effects of the elements and is combined with thick tempered glass and stainless steel hardware and fasteners. Soft LED lighting and opposite-facing benches create a relaxing atmosphere. + Almost Heaven Sauna Via Uncrate

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The Grandview Barrel Sauna is a backyard oasis for the entire family

This crazy building’s facade is made from 900 black plastic chairs

May 3, 2017 by  
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No, you aren’t crazy – the entire exterior of this building is actually covered in chairs. What was once a former car showroom is now the sleek and modern headquarters for MY DVA group . And, thanks to the architecture firm CHYBIK+KRISTOF , the building is really turning heads with a stunning, economical exterior made from 900 plastic black chairs. When MY DVA first took over the showroom, it was extremely outdated after being built in the 1990s and not remodeled since. So CHYBIK + KRISTOF Architects & Urban Designers were hired to remodel the structure. Architects Ondrej Chybik and Michal Kristof recall that the main instructions for the job were to “Do it cheap, ideally for free,” and around the employees who were already working inside. So, that is exactly what they did. Related: Pavilion made from 300 pairs of blue jeans just popped up in Milan The architects utilized the idea “facade as a functional banner” and repurposed nearly 1,000 plastic black chairs to create a unique exterior. Not only did the concept prove to be economical (each chair costs approximately $3.25 USD), it transformed the building into a giant advertisement for MY DVA since one cannot glimpse the outer surface without innately knowing that the business inside has something to do with interior design . Before the exterior was remodeled, the single-story building was nothing impressive to look at. Now, the memorable covering features layered chairs that create a seamless and eye-catching textural motif. In addition to remodeling the building’s outermost wall, the firm refurbished the former car showroom’s interior. The building now has two parts — a showroom and an office. The former was intentionally created to showcase the group’s products and setups. By utilizing objects which may have otherwise been tossed into landfills, the architects created a unique and cheap exterior which is as eye-catching as it is eco-friendly. via Arch Daily

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This crazy building’s facade is made from 900 black plastic chairs

Tiny meditation shelters are the perfect place for hikers to connect with the forest

February 20, 2017 by  
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These tiny  meditation shelters offer protection and a place to rest for hikers exploring the Lithuanian forests. The shelters are a place where people can find solitude to reconnect with nature and find harmony with the environment. A slithering stone pathway that weaves throughout the forest garden was inspired by a Lithuanian fairy tale about serpents. The project, named Gapahuk, is part of a larger Meditation Garden designed by Bjørnådal Arkitektstudio which won the American Architecture Prize 2016. Used for individual meditation and as a place where hikers can rest and get warm, this cluster of shelters was built during the Human Birdhouse Workshop in Lithuania last August. The team cleared a forest clearing and shaped pathways that naturally weave in and around the garden. Two fireplaces installed in front of the shelters are surrounded with sitting areas. Holy stones added to the site look like totems of masculine and feminine origin, while a symbolic stone pathway represents a Lithuanian fairy tale about serpents. Related: FORÊT II is a Meditation Pavilion Made from 810 Reclaimed Shipping Pallets The workshop took place on the property of famous Lithuanian children books author, poet and film/theatre director Vytautas V. Landsbergis. The idea was to design and build architecture in the style of Constructive Shamanism, which brings together architects, builders and spiritual practitioners to strengthen and reveal the connection between humans and nature. References to Lithuanian mythology dominate the project, with visitors participating in spiritual ceremonies and singing mantras around a bonfire. + Bjørnådal Arkitektsudio Via v2com Lead photo by Lidija Kaleinikovaite

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This train station which doubles as city hall in Sweden will function as an "urban living room"

February 2, 2017 by  
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The new station and city hall in the southern Swedish city of Växjö is an urban living room that gathers several functions under one striking, prismatic roof. White Arkitekter ‘s winning proposal for an anonymous competition, the building combines an expressive form with accessibility, and provides a series of public spaces for citizens, visitors and employees. The 150,000-square-foot wooden structure is topped with an elegant, sloping roof that ensures lower energy consumption . The three main entrances connect these spaces to the city and lead to a central space that functions as a public living room with a tourist office, exhibition area, waiting room, cafés and shops, meeting rooms  for various occasions and a modern workplace for municipal employees. While glass dominates the exterior of the building, the interior prominently features wood. Related: White Arkitekter wins bid to design Sweden’s tallest timber building “Our goal has been to create a building at the forefront of development in sustainable construction as well as to achieve the highest Swedish environment certification,” said Klara Frosterud, Lead Architect at White Arkitekter. “People are placed at the heart of this building which will be socially, economically and ecologically sustainable over time,” she added. + White Arkitekter Via World Architecture News Images by Tegmark

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This train station which doubles as city hall in Sweden will function as an "urban living room"

Timber ‘prosthesis’ gives Mexican tiny apartment more flexibility

January 27, 2017 by  
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Supportive scaffolding typically comes down after a construction project is complete, but MANADA Architectural Boundaries has used the wooden “prosthesis” to add flexibility to a tiny apartment in Mexico City. The wooden skeleton is interwoven throughout the interior, creating a second level loft space and extending out to the patio, where its serves as the frame for a vertical garden . The apartment, located in La Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City, has a layout typical to the area, with double-height ceilings, a simple interior, and a strong connection to nature. Updating the space was essential, but not at the cost of losing its original character. Related: MVRDV’s massive staircase made of scaffolding opens in Rotterdam According to the architects, the concept behind “Essay 4 Spatial Prosthesis” was inspired by artificial prostheses that are designed to “correct a damaged organ’s function; second, to extend an organ’s inherent capability.” Using this as the inspiration for the apartment’s renovation, the architects choose the wooden skeleton structure to provide a second floor loft space. In addition to providing another level to the home, the wooden “prosthesis” is strategically integrated throughout the space, creating new sitting nooks and functional space where possible. Continuing out into the apartment’s open-air patio, the structure serves as a light and airy frame for a lovely vertical garden . + MANADA Architectural Boundaries Via Archdaily Photographs by Jaime Navarro

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Timber ‘prosthesis’ gives Mexican tiny apartment more flexibility

Dutch architects turn a 19th century coach house into a gorgeous residence and home office

October 13, 2016 by  
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The original structure was originally built in 1895 as a coach house for an aristocrat living on the property located in Utrecht, the Netherlands . In 1955, the owners built another temporary structure between the residence and the coach house. This building remained on the property for 57 years, before it was demolished by the new owner, architect Rolf Bruggink, in 2011. Bruggink recovered the waste materials from the demolished outbuilding and created a new sculptural structure within the renovated coach house. Related: Zecc Architecten and BYTR Architects Convert Rustic 1760 Coach House into Spacious Breukelen House Designed in collaboration between Bruggink, his partner Niek Wagemans and Bruggink’s girlfriend Yffi van den Berg, the House of Rolf features a traditional brick shell with five trusses supporting the roof. Its structural configuration dictated the layout of the house and divided the space into three zones, each housing two bays. The first zone was left empty, the middle zone features the freestanding wooden structure built from reclaimed materials , with the kitchen, bedroom, toilet, shower, bath and office located in the second section of this space. Another wooden structure, this time attached to the shell of the house, is located in the third zone. All the furnishings in the house were either created from re-used materials or designed by renowned Dutch designers. + Studio Ralf

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Dutch architects turn a 19th century coach house into a gorgeous residence and home office

This amazing living sculpture is covered in over 3,000 plants

July 18, 2016 by  
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The Infinite Green is based on the designer’s previous project The Green Wall- a system which dynamically interacts with the environment and uses changes in temperature and morning dew as an additional source of water for the plants. The new sculpture follows a similar principle. Related: Nikolay Polissky’s Selpo Pavilion envelops a dilapidated Soviet building with wood scraps The steel and wood structure forms a green-roofed infinity loop of shelves which house over 3,000 plants that blossom at different times of the year. The diversity of perennials, succulents and other plant types create an evergreen environment which visitors can access and observe from the inside. Kalinowski’s work is focused on “nature untouched by human hand, not idyllic landscape petrified by human values and sense of handiness but ancient nature being changed only by natural processes of passing time in incredible long cycles.” The Infinite Green continues in the same vein and could be considered an inspirational work of art for architects. + Adam Kalinowski Photos by Adam Kalinowski

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This amazing living sculpture is covered in over 3,000 plants

How to make your home more energy efficient

July 18, 2016 by  
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Whether you’re looking to save the environment or save on your utility bills, making your home more energy efficient is always a smart move. Senator Windows put together an infographic with some energy saving tips and tricks for all the major rooms of the house. From advice on new appliances to buy to easy suggestions on how to cut back on energy use, the infographic explores many ways for making your home more energy efficient. + Senator Windows

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How to make your home more energy efficient

Rickety old Russian cottage reinvigorated as a cozy country home

June 14, 2016 by  
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The renovation required the introduction of new foundations for the addition. A light wooden frame was added on top, which allowed carpenters and builders to complete the structure in a few months. A veranda , a porch and bay window transformed the house into a spacious residence and provided room for a dining area. Related: Villa Eder-Hederus is a gorgeous renovated timber cottage from the 1850’s The architects also added a doorway and terrace on the south side, with direct access to the garden. In the main living space, the team added a cozy fireplace and lots of glazing, referencing the traditional architecture of the region. A round log replaces the asbestos pipe which previously supported the roof. + Architectural bureau PROJECT905 Via Archdaily Photos by Sergey Krasyuk

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Rickety old Russian cottage reinvigorated as a cozy country home

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