Adorable owl cabins let you camp inside for free and off the grid in France

July 7, 2017 by  
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A giant trio of adorable timber owls has popped up in rural France—and you can sleep inside them for free! Perfect for summer camping in Bourdeaux, these beautiful cabins are the work of Bruit du Frigo partner Zebra3/Buy-Sellf and built as part of the Refuges Périurbains (Peri-urban shelters) in the Bordeaux region. Named “Les Guetteurs” (The Watchers), this sixth unique cabin of the series is located off the grid along the edge of the city and is designed to encourage urban hiking and exploration of lesser-known sites. Zebra3/Buy-Sellf designed and built “Les Guetteurs” in the likeness of Bourdeaux’s ground-dwelling owls that live in open landscapes. The three enchanting owls are huddled together as a single mass, creating a large cabin with three floors. The building features a circular plywood frame clad in strips of curved wood. Shingles cut to look like feathers top the roof, while giant circular windows are installed for the owl’s “eyes.” The shelter is built atop a boardwalk elevated over a wetlands area. Related: MVRDV to upgrade historic French city with modern, ecological design A forest-inspired glazed door opens up to a light-filled interior with faceted timber walls. Operating off-grid without running water or electricity, the cabin is fairly bare bones yet its timber palette creates a cozy environment. Circular white beds built to look like nests are located on the different levels connected via ladders. Like all of the shelters in the Refuges Périurbains project, “Les Guetteurs” can host up to nine people and helps encourage locals and visitors to reconnect with Bourdeaux’s landscape and environment. Bookings for the free lodging can be made on the Refuges Périurbains website. + Zebra3/Buy-Sellf Via Tiny House Blog

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Adorable owl cabins let you camp inside for free and off the grid in France

Minimalist wine-tasting pavilions sustainably embrace Napa Valley

July 7, 2017 by  
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There are few places better to enjoy fantastic wines and views than Napa Valley , and Walker Warner Architects has elevated that experience with a series of elegant wine tasting pavilions. Crafted with environmental sustainability in mind, the pavilions were built for Quintessa Estate Winery, a Napa Valley estate also designed by Walker Warner Architects in 2003. The minimalist structures harmonize with nature with locally sourced and reclaimed materials, as well as prefabricated construction to minimize site impact. Winner of a recent American Institute of Architects San Francisco (AIA SF) Citation Award , the Quintessa Pavilions is commended for exemplifying “the ideal fusion of architecture and nature” on the ridgeline of a beautiful 280-acre winery estate. Carefully placed amongst existing oak trees and surrounded by drought-resistant native grasses , each 250-square-foot pavilion was crafted to provide an immersive, privately hosted wine-tasting experience. The pavilions’ industrial materials palette references the winery’s architecture and will age elegantly over time. Related: The Bardessono is Napa Valley’s Newest Eco Resort and Spa The architects carefully sited each pavilion to shade visitors beneath tree canopies, optimize views, and protect existing mature oaks. Visitors access the pavilion through a doorway carved into a concrete wall, built of fly ash, that runs along the ridgeline. Once inside the prefabricated steel structure, the visitors enjoy plenty of natural light, cross winds, and panoramic views through full-height glazed operable doors. Custom furnishings are built of FSC-certified Afromosia. Reclaimed Sinker cypress was used for casework and ceilings, while locally prefabricated concrete pavers cover the terrace surface and Napa syar stone retaining walls hold back earth. + Walker Warner Architects Photo credit: © Matthew Millman

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Minimalist wine-tasting pavilions sustainably embrace Napa Valley

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