Rammed-earth walls make up a beautiful retreat hidden in the Zhejiang mountains

October 10, 2019 by  
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Hidden in the misty mountains of Zhejiang , a new eco-sensitive resort made from local materials entices visitors with spectacular views and laid-back charms. International architecture firm kooo architects designed the Retreat Village, which comprises a cluster of luxury suites, for their client Hangzhou Origin Villa Hotel & Resort in the Dashan Village in Zhejiang, China. Taking inspiration from the local vernacular, the architects used local materials and techniques, such as rammed-earth construction, to create a resort that blends into its surroundings. Completed over the course of two years, the new Retreat Village is located on a remote, rural mountain. Although most of the original village architecture was built from rammed earth walls using local soils, the architects decided to only use rammed earth for a portion of the new construction so as to keep the interior from feeling too dark and constrained. The earthen walls are complemented by a natural material palette of bamboo, red bricks, stone and carbonized wood. To reduce site impact, the architects used locally produced as well as recycled materials and carefully sited the buildings to follow the natural contours of the mountain. Each of the buildings point in different directions to preserve privacy and to maximize views. An indoor- outdoor living experience is also emphasized in the design. Moreover, the use of natural materials and careful siting help make the village disappear into the landscape. Related: MAD’s ethereal Yiwu Grand Theater will “float” on Zhejiang waters “There is no light coming from this lonely village’s surrounding at night, so one can feel sufficient brightness even with a minimum amount of lighting,” adds the firm. “We kept the lights that can illuminate the entire space uniformly, such as downlights, to the minimum, and used all-directional soft umbrella-like lights such as free-standing lamps and table lights throughout the space. These fixtures project soft arches of light and shadow, illuminating the seamless finish and rounded edges of the walls and ceilings. Wrapped with the warmth of light, the rooms feel more calming and comfortable.” + kooo architects Images by Keishin Horikoshi / SS

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Rammed-earth walls make up a beautiful retreat hidden in the Zhejiang mountains

Light your pumpkins the EEK-o-friendly way this Halloween

October 10, 2019 by  
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With spooky season upon us, consider illuminating your jack-o’-lanterns in an eco-friendly way. But what are some good light sources to place within or even near pumpkins? You, of course, want to avoid toxins from certain sources, so here are some of Inhabitat’s sustainable suggestions this autumn. Soy or beeswax candles Steer clear of paraffin, because it is a petroleum-based product that produces soot. Paraffin candles have also been known to release acetaldehyde, acrolein, benzene, formaldehyde, naphthalene and toluene — all of which are toxins . Instead, choose “cleaner” candles made either of soy or beeswax. These options are all-natural, burn at lower temperatures, and last longer — ensuring a healthier light to place within your carved pumpkins. Related: Time to put the flame out — scented candles can cause disease and poor air quality Flameless LED artificial lights LED lights can be in the form of tea lights, string lights, even bike lights — making them wonderful choices for your jack-o’-lanterns. They are, after all, more energy-efficient and have longer lifespans than other types of artificial lighting. They are also a safer choice for inside a pumpkin because they don’t emit much heat, thereby lowering the risk of fire. They can operate at a wide range of temperatures — whether hot or cold — without significant degradation. For these reasons, LED lights are safer and more budget-friendly for a sustainable Halloween. Solar lights Go green this year by utilizing your garden decor to fashion a solar-powered jack-o’-lantern. How does one solarize pumpkins? First, you’ll have to allow your solar garden lights to collect energy from the sun throughout the day. While your yard’s solar lights are soaking up the sun, that is when you can cut out the bottom of your carved pumpkins. Then, at night, you can place those jack-o-lanterns atop the now-glowing solar garden lights. Voila! Your yard will come alive with solarized jack-o’-lanterns to ghoulishly light up your Halloween night . So this Halloween, if the kids are asking why your pumpkins have bigger smiles, goofier faces or even epic expressions, you can explain that it is all because they are all lit up in EEK-o-friendlier ways. Via Chester Energy and Policy Image via David Menidrey

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Light your pumpkins the EEK-o-friendly way this Halloween

This beautiful planted bridge doubles as a public gathering place in China

July 16, 2018 by  
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When Beijing-based practice DnA Design and Architecture was tapped to renovate an old stone masonry bridge in Zhejiang, China, founding architect Xu Tiantian saw it as an opportunity to create a transformative and culturally significant gathering space for the public. Spanning the Songyin River, the updated Shimen Bridge now features a beautiful timber addition with built-in seating, planters, and even a centrally located square with trees. Here, villagers are encouraged to come and enjoy their surroundings and the historic bridge in an entirely new light. Built of stone masonry in the 1950s, the arch bridge over the Songyin River connects the two villages of Shimen and Shimenyu. Although it was originally constructed to accommodate vehicular traffic, the local government has rerouted traffic and designated the bridge crossing as a pedestrian-friendly space shared with bicyclists and scooters. To make the bridge more attractive to villagers, DnA Design and Architecture Studio added a series of gabled timber elements. Part of the structure is covered with a roof while other sections are left open to the elements. “With the renovation and upgrading of the bridge, Xu Tiantian designed a social location that unites the two previously connected villages from a cultural perspective,” wrote DnA Design and Architecture Studio. “What has consequently been created is a roofed-over bridge space that calls to mind the historic Wind and Rain Bridge. The cultural-historically relevant dam system, which has regulated the waters of the Songyin River for 1500 years as part of a larger system, is situated in the river.” Related: Unusual Dutch bridge embraces flooding in a thought-provoking way The Shimen Bridge is designed for enjoyment year-round and at all hours. At night, embedded lights turn on and transform the bridge into a beautiful glowing icon seen from across the water. The bridge project was completed last year. + DnA Design and Architecture Images by Ziling, Wang; Dan, Han

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This beautiful planted bridge doubles as a public gathering place in China

Shimmering fin-like twin towers to rise as beacons of sustainability in Hangzhou

June 14, 2016 by  
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Inspired by the Chinese character for ‘gate,’ the Zhejiang Gate Towers will stand 280 meters in height with a total area of 370,000 square meters. “The high-rise towers are an interpretation of the Chinese characters meaning ‘gate’ or entrance to a city,” said Tobias Wallisser, director of LAVA. “The development is located at a major interchange into the city so we wanted to create an iconic gateway to Hangzhou. Utilizing our extensive view studies we positioned the tower ensemble so it is recognizable as a twin structure, a gate, from both near and far.” Related: Stone apartments appear to float above a lush wetland in Hangzhou Both towers are clad in self-shading aluminum fins that create curvaceous shapes on the facade and are paired with high-performance glass to reduce glare and solar heat gain . Different colors of glass and the fins’ varying depths give the facade an attractive and dynamic appearance that changes depending on perspective. The towers also include eight super-columns that reduce the structural system by nearly a third as compared to a traditional scheme. The Zhejiang Gate Towers will be joined by a third 90-meter-tall building, a pair of pavilions, roof gardens, and a landscaped covered plaza that connects all the buildings. The towers are slated for completion in 2019. + LAVA Images via LAVA

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Shimmering fin-like twin towers to rise as beacons of sustainability in Hangzhou

LYCS Architecture unveils nature-filled urban high-rise in Hangzhou

May 21, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of LYCS Architecture unveils nature-filled urban high-rise in Hangzhou Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Corner of Hangzhou , green roof , Hangzhou , LYCS Architecture , natural ventilation , sky garden , urban high rise natural daylighting , West Lake , West Lake Hangzhou , Zhejiang Printing Group Headquarters

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LYCS Architecture unveils nature-filled urban high-rise in Hangzhou

Ancient City Flooded by the Chinese Government Becomes Major Tourist Attraction

February 12, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Ancient City Flooded by the Chinese Government Becomes Major Tourist Attraction Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: China’s Atlantis , Chinese tourist attractions , diving in China , Five Lion Mountain , flooded Chinese city , Flooded Lion City , Lion City , Qiandao lake hydroelectric station , Qiandao Lake Zhejiang , submerged city in China , tourism , underwater streets        

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Ancient City Flooded by the Chinese Government Becomes Major Tourist Attraction

Toyota Recalls 1.9 Million Prius Hybrids to Fix a Software Glitch

February 12, 2014 by  
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Toyota has issued a recall of 1.9 million Toyota Prius hybrids to reprogram software in the third-generation Prius. The recall is needed to update a hybrid control glitch that can cause the Prius to shutdown and enter a failsafe mode. When this happens, drivers have barely enough power to pull over to the side of the road. Read the rest of Toyota Recalls 1.9 Million Prius Hybrids to Fix a Software Glitch Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: car recall , electric car , electric motor , green car , green transportation , hybrid car , Prius defects , third generation Prius recall , Toyota , Toyota electric car , toyota prius , Toyota Prius recall , Toyota recall        

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Typhoon Fitow Tears Through Southeastern China with 93 MPH Winds

October 7, 2013 by  
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Typhoon Fitow touched down in Fuding, China on Monday after tearing through the eastern provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang and forcing more than 700,000 people to be evacuated . With winds of up to 93mph (151kmp/h), the typhoon caused the suspension of bullet trains and coach services in several cities in the area, and it cancelled flights to and from Wenzhou airport in Zhejiang. At least two people have been killed by the typhoon, state-run news agency Xinhua reported, one of whom was trying to rescue a fisherman when he was blown off a hill by strong winds on Sunday. Read the rest of Typhoon Fitow Tears Through Southeastern China with 93 MPH Winds Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: china , evacuation , Fuding City , Fujian Province , tropical storm , Typhoon Fitow , typhoon usagi , Zhejiang province        

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Typhoon Fitow Tears Through Southeastern China with 93 MPH Winds

Typhoon Fitow Tears Through Southeastern China with 93 MPH Winds

October 7, 2013 by  
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Typhoon Fitow touched down in Fuding, China on Monday after tearing through the eastern provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang and forcing more than 700,000 people to be evacuated . With winds of up to 93mph (151kmp/h), the typhoon caused the suspension of bullet trains and coach services in several cities in the area, and it cancelled flights to and from Wenzhou airport in Zhejiang. At least two people have been killed by the typhoon, state-run news agency Xinhua reported, one of whom was trying to rescue a fisherman when he was blown off a hill by strong winds on Sunday. Read the rest of Typhoon Fitow Tears Through Southeastern China with 93 MPH Winds Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: china , evacuation , Fuding City , Fujian Province , tropical storm , Typhoon Fitow , typhoon usagi , Zhejiang province        

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Typhoon Fitow Tears Through Southeastern China with 93 MPH Winds

Luzinterruptus Creates Colorful Fishing in Light Installation Using Borrowed Containers

October 7, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Luzinterruptus Creates Colorful Fishing in Light Installation Using Borrowed Containers Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Culture Festival in Rivas Vaciamadrid , eco art projects in Spain , eco design , fishing at night art project , Fishing in Light , green design , illuminated fishing in Spain , luzinterruptus , recycle art , Rivas Vaciamadrid , Spain , sustainable design , waste-free art project        

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Luzinterruptus Creates Colorful Fishing in Light Installation Using Borrowed Containers

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