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

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

Slovenia built a habitable structure with latticed wooden bookshelves

May 30, 2016 by  
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The project responds to the Biennale’s theme “Reporting from the Front” by functioning like an abstract home doubling as a curated library that allows visitors to explore the concept of dwelling. It is also a nod to the seminal 1956 Patio & Pavilion project by Alison and Peter Smithson. Curators Aljoša Dekleva and Tina Gregori? of Dekleva Gregori? Architects conceived an inhabitable wooden structure made of a latticed system of bookshelves that marries public and private space. It creates a temporary domestic environment based on user experience. Related: Australian Pavilion will become a pool for 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale The use of wood reflects the historical connection between Venice and Slovenia. Slovenia also has a very developed timber industry, which explains the architects’ desire to explore its potential use in creating domestic spaces. They used low-tech and high-tech construction techniques in building the structure. The main cavity acts as both a living space and library. + Dekleva Gregori? Architects

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Slovenia built a habitable structure with latticed wooden bookshelves

President Obama visits Hiroshima, speaks out against nuclear weapons

May 30, 2016 by  
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About 71 years after the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan , President Obama visited the site and placed a wreath before the cenotaph at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park . It is the first visit by a ” sitting U.S. President .” Both Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Obama delivered speeches, and Obama spoke out against nuclear weapons. According to The Washington Post, Japanese citizens ” longed ” for a U.S. president to publicly recognize those lost when nuclear bombs were dropped on Japan, first in Hiroshima and three days later on Nagasaki. An estimated 140,000 and 80,000 were killed in the bombings. The majority were civilians. Related: America’s most polluted nuclear site is now a national park In his speech, President Obama said, “The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well…the memory of the morning of August 6, 1945 must never fade. That memory allows us to fight complacency. It fuels our moral imagination. It allows us to change.” The president denounced nuclear weapons and spoke of the terror faced by children, men, and women that day in Hiroshima. He said nations should “ultimately eliminate” nuclear weapons. At a visit to a Marine Corps Air Station about an hour away from Hiroshima, he spoke to Japanese and American soldiers about working for “peace and security” so no nation would feel they needed the destructive weapons. President Obama said in his speech, “That is the future we can choose, a future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not for the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening.” The president also spoke about the progress that has been made, from forming an international organization that works to prevent wars to the development of a positive relationship between Japan and America. He said, “The United States and Japan forged not only an alliance, but a friendship that has won far more for our people than we could ever claim through war.” Via The Washington Post Images via screenshot and Wikimedia Commons

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President Obama visits Hiroshima, speaks out against nuclear weapons

AntiRoom II is a circular wooden meditation space floating off the coast of Malta

January 11, 2016 by  
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