Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Compiled by Bored Panda, the list contains everything from a dancing house in Prague and a train station in Lyon to a congress centre in Hangzhou and a research institute in Berlin.

1. Buzludzha, Bulgaria

num-1

2. Philadelphia City Hall, Philadelphia, USA

3. Mahanakhon Tower, Bangkok, Thailand

num-3


4. Polygone Riviera, France

5. Riverside Museum, Glasgow, UK

6. Catholic Church, Paks, Hungary

7. Former Research Institute for Experimental Medicine, Berlin, Germany

8. Bahnof OFfice in a former Atomic Shelter, Stockholm, Sweden

9. Maison St. Cyr, Brussels, Belgium

10. Fort Alexander (Plague fort), Saint Petersburg, Russia

11. Clermont-Ferrand Cathedral, Clermonr-Ferrand, France

12. Dc Tower I, Vienna, Austria


13. The National Library of Belarus, Minsk, Belarus

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Advertisements

By Kate Springer

A tiny scrap of land might not catch your eye.

But to Japanese architect Yasuhiro Yamashita of Atelier Tekuto, there’s nothing more beautiful.

A veteran designer of kyosho jutaku — or micro homes — Yamashita has built more than 300 houses, each uniquely shaped and packed full of personality.

All starkly different, the only thing these homes have in common is their size — Yamashita’s projects start at just 182 square feet.

Demand for small homes in Japan results partly from land scarcity, property prices and taxes, as well as the impending danger posed by the country’s regular earthquakes and typhoons.

But some residents simply prefer a smaller home, seeking a minimalist lifestyle.

“In Japan, there’s a saying (‘tatte hanjo nete ichijo’) that you don’t need more than half a tatami mat to stand and a full mat to sleep,” says Yamashita. “The idea comes from Zen — and a belief that we don’t need more than the fundamentals.”

Of course, the beauty of a well-designed micro home is that it doesn’t appear ‘fundamental’ at all.

Below, Yamashita divulges 10 strategies to make petite properties feel more spacious.

1. Embrace the awkward

“Asymmetrical pieces of land can often be obtained cheaper than others. And it is an architect’s job to work with the land and fulfill the client’s request,” says Yamashita.

“‘Lucky Drops’ — a house in downtown Tokyo — is a good example. It was a leftover scrap of land that was less expensive because of its irregular trapezoid shape. We had to be creative, but the result is beautiful. There’s a saying in Japanese, that the last drop of wine is considered to be lucky. That’s the inspiration.”

2. Build towards the sky

“When you look at an area in 2D, it might seem very small — perhaps the plot is just a few meters wide. But thinking in terms of volume, you can build the home higher and create more space. I try to make the house feel like it’s extending upwards into the sky, so it’s almost like the sky is part of the house. I also build high ceilings, so you don’t feel cramped.”


This Tokyo home, designed by Atelier Tekuto, takes the shape of a polyhedron in order to provide an enormous skylight above the living room.


Aptly named “Framing the Sky,” this Atelier Tekuto home was built on a polygon-shaped site. The architects focused on the relationship between nature and people, by incorporating a large skylight to make the home feel like it was extending upwards into the sky.

3. Incorporate nature

“In Japan, about 70% is mountains and forest and 30% of the land is rather flat, making it more suitable for residences and rice farms. Even so, we are not trying to fight against nature — we’re trying to live along with it. You can see this in the homes we design. Most of our homes incorporate natural materials and large windows to let in lots of natural light.”


A combination of a shop and private home, Wakka incorporates lots of natural touches, such as a small stone garden and a series of sliding doors that offer more alfresco space.


4. Think outside the box

“Instead of traditional square corners, I often cut the edges of the house into triangular shapes. This creates more surface area and more room for windows. There’s always a corner open to the sky. That way, as the sun moves, the home is always filled with natural light.”

Designed by Atelier Tekuto for a family of five, Iron Mask is steel-based house with a unique curving facade that made the most of the site’s shape.

5. Go monochrome

“What you see informs 60% of your perception of a space. Imagine that you’re inside an eggshell, with the same color and texture all over. There’s no real start or finish, no real corners.

It is a visual effect that will make the space expand. I think that the color white makes spaces look larger, but I prefer to use the natural colors of materials rather than painting.”


Designed by Atelier Tekuto for a family of five, Iron Mask is steel-based house with a unique curving facade that made the most of the site’s shape.


The color white can make spaces look larger, but any consistent palette can create a similar effect. Atelier Tekuto often incorporates natural materials and textures rather than painting.

6. Use reflective materials

“To trick the eye, I use polished stainless steel features. They reflect light and make an area seem larger. In ‘Reflection of Mineral,’ for example, I used stainless steel in the kitchen and in the bathroom to make the space feel more expansive.”

An industrial-style home designed by Atelier Tekuto, Wafers makes use of reinforced concrete, steel and highly reflective windows.

7. Hide Storage

“People tend to accumulate a lot of things over time. I want it all to be hidden away, out of sight, so I build a lot of invisible storage inside the house. If you keep the area wide open and uncluttered, then it’s hard for people to really comprehend the size of the space.”

The uncluttered space feels spacious and large, an effect that’s accentuated by floor-to-ceiling windows.


The owner of Cell Bricks, also a designer, requested an “out of the norm” home and Atelier Tekuto delivered. The house has lots of natural storage thanks to the stacked steel-box design, making it functional as well as visually engaging.

8. Stay close to home

“In the 20th century, architecture was meant for the masses, for the general public. Designs and buildings were constructed quickly and economically — all with the same materials and same appearance. We were in an era of globalization and everyone wanted the same thing.

But now, people are looking to their own regions, their own local traditions for inspiration. That’s where design is moving — closer to home.”

Using natural materials such as cedar wood and terrazzo floors, Atelier Tekuto created a nature-inspired abode for a Japanese family.


9. Invent new solutions

“I spend a lot of time developing new materials from what other people consider to be ‘waste.’ I’m like a garbage man. If I find materials that are not commonly used or have been discarded, then I get really excited.

If I can’t find the materials that go along with the structure, then I invent a new one. For example, I was unhappy with the cement used for homes in Japan, so I worked with Tokyo University to develop a new type. Our recyclable Shirasu Cement is made from volcanic ash deposits.”

Two chemists own R Torso C and they specifically requested a concrete design with an eco-friendly approach. Atelier Tekuto set out out to develop a new type of environmentally friendly cement, called Shirashu.

10. Personalize your home

“A few factors affect my designs — the specificities of the land, the way the light hits the property, the neighborhood, and the client’s personal requests. A home is very personal. In ‘Reflection of Mineral,’ the clients wanted a strong, sharp-looking design. From there, I choose materials based on the design, depending on what would be best for the space.”

Atelier Tekuto approached Reflection of Mineral with an open mind. The clients requested a strong design that would be a memorable piece of architecture while providing the maximum amount of livable space.

home 16

Also an architect, the owner of Layers requested a home that could accommodate multiple generations, as well as feature outdoor courtyards and connecting staircases. By using a mix of materials, Atelier Tekuto achieved a unique yet functional design.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/22/architecture/japan-micro-homes/index.html

Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

The completion of the world’s first vertical forest is nearing. Located in Milan, Bosco Verticale is Boeri Studio’s effort to make cities greener along with supporting an overly dense urban population. The project kicked off in 2011, and is widely looked at by the rest of the world.

New photographs that have emerged show the appearance of the finished residential tower blocks with 100 different species of trees and shrubs covering the whole place in a vertical forest.

The sunlight filtering through the forest leaves, breathing the fresh air, and everything can just be nothing else than poor bliss. The project will mostly be complete by early 2014.

The project can accommodate in one building about forest that equals 10.000 sq m of forest. Also include 480 large and medium size trees, 250 small size trees, 11,000 groundcover plants and 5,000 shrubs. Greywater recycling is also being pursued, which will eventually water the vegetation and the photovoltaic panels will provide power.

Each tower supports the equivalent population of an area of single family dwellings of nearly 50,000. The smallest apartment of the lot is 65 sqm and has a small woodland terrace. The largest apartment, on the other hand, is 450 sqm with a terrace of around 80 sqm.

The architects say that they are kicked about the next phase when engineers, builders, masons, lawyers and electricians actually finish work and residents begin to live.

They say that every plant has been chosen by botanists to thrive in the present condition. A specialized maintenance company will keep in check of the vertical forest in the coming years.

Dolce Vita Homes worked in collaboration with Coima Image for the interior designing, Residenze Porta Nuova is marketing the project.

http://www.greenpacks.org/2014/01/20/bosco-verticale-vertical-forest-nearing-completion-in-milan/

Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

<img src=https://itsinterestingdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/living-off-the-grid.jpg&#8221; alt=”living off the grid” width=”614″ height=”429″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-7407″ />

At a time when we carry computers in our pockets and our cars practically do the driving for us, a certain subset of people have willingly chosen to cut the cord on modern American life — for good.

Off-the-grid living — that is, using natural resources like sun and wind power to provide amenities like heat and electricity — has become commonplace in places like Terlingua, an isolated community in Southwest Texas. What was once a bustling mining town is now a veritable ghost town, tucked into the foothills of Big Bend National Park in the north Chihuahuan desert.

To Abe Connally, 34, it was the perfect place to go off the map. In 2002, Connally moved to Terlingua, leaving behind a lucrative job as a web designer in Austin, Texas in order to try his hand at rural life.

“I’ve always enjoyed rural life, and the thought of sustainability and home-scale energy production intrigued me,” says Abe, who grew up in New Mexico and Texas. “On top of that, I wanted to see how integrating systems to reduce waste and improve efficiency would affect the architecture and other components of this lifestyle.”

Within a year, he met and married his wife, Josie, a British expat who was raised in Africa, Portugal and England before she finally settled out West. They never questioned whether to build their own home or not. It was only a matter of finding the right land and the right resources.

“When we started building our first home, we figured that if we could build a sustainable homestead from scratch in the desert, then we could do it anywhere,” Josie says. “We realized that if we could reduce our needs and resources, our lifestyle would be cheaper to maintain, giving us money to save or invest.”

More than a decade, two hand-built homes and a pair of energetic sons later, they’ve dedicated their lives to maintaining their sustainable home, using their blog VelaCreations to teach others how to follow in their footsteps.

Here’s what it’s like to live really off-the-grid:

“When we built our first home, we had almost no money,” Josie says. “We bought 20 acres of pristine desert land for $1,000 and moved an old bus onto it. The bus — retrofitted with a bed, small stove, solar panel and batteries, etc. — was our home until we could build a better quality one.”

pic1

Neither Abe nor Josie were particularly experienced home builders — far from it. They relied on books, blogs and online tutorials to learn everything from bricklaying to building solar panels for energy.

Abe: “[Renowned architect] Michael Reynolds introduced us to the concepts of architecture as a group of integrated systems. From passive solar designs to using waste as construction materials, his books showed us that it was possible to live like we wanted to.”

pic2

They built their first sustainable home in 2002 near Terlingua, but they were 30 miles from the closest schools and hospitals — not exactly ideal for raising small children. In 2007, they moved closer to town and started constructing home No. 2.

pic3

Like their own personal Rome, their new home took years to complete and is a constant work in progress.

Abe: “We added to each system as we could afford it, in other words, little by little. For the house itself, we used adobe, mixing the mud with our feet and putting it into forms (made from scrap materials) straight on the walls. It took a long time, but cost almost nothing.”

pic4

For off-the-gridders, the sun is crucial. The Connallys rely on solar power for all of their heat and electricity (with help from a homemade wind generator).

“The house is partially buried in a south-facing hill [and] the thermal mass of the hill helps to keep a constant temperature inside the house year-round, like a cave,” Abe explains. “The house stays about 70 degrees for most of the year.”

pic5

Abe: “Our water is collected from the roof. We live in a desert, so rainfall is limited, and the majority of our rain comes from July through September. We store this water in large tanks we make ourselves and then filter for domestic use.”

pic6

“The first part of off-grid living is to conserve, and reduce your needs, so that it’s easier to produce your necessities for yourself,” Abe says. By using a composting toilet, which requires no water, they cut down on waste and fertilize their land at the same time.

pic7

The interior has a modern feel, with hand-laid brick floors and painstakingly carved entryways.

pic8

Their $9,600 annual budget is planned down to the dollar. They earn a small income through Abe’s web consulting business and some freelance writing, but their farm is their real paycheck.

When they decided to rebuild, they sought out more fertile land with enough rainfall to sustain a garden and livestock.

pic9

As a family, they bring new meaning to the term “farm to table”:

“We’ve had tomato plants that produce for several years, and they become these jungles of fresh food right in the dining room,” Abe says. “In fact, our youngest son, Nico, will sit there and eat every red tomato he can reach, but if you put one on his plate, he refuses to touch it.”

pic10

Josie: “We grow a wide variety of things, depending on our tastes at the time. We regularly grow tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, okra, cucumbers, squash, corn, sunflowers, melons, greens, roots and several herbs. We also have a few fruit trees (plums, apricots, peaches).”

pic11

“There is no food fresher than that, and it’s something you get kind of used to,” she says.

pic12

They’ve even got a tiny village of beehives for fresh honey.

pic13

Meat is also on the menu. The Connallys have gradually raised a menagerie of livestock, including pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and chickens. It’s vastly cheaper than purchasing their meat from stores.

pic14

One of their pigs just had a litter.

pic15

They’re cute now, but eventually they’ll be sold in the village or, more often than not, wind up on the dinner menu. The Connallys have become quite the bacon connoisseurs.

pic16

Everyone lends a hand in the family harvest.

Josie: “The kids collect eggs and feed all the poultry. We feed the rabbits, pigs and all the other little critters. We then all go look at any baby rabbits and the kids often get out their guinea pigs to play with.”

pic17

Nothing goes to waste.

Josie: “We sell any surplus. We often have extra meat (especially rabbit), which we sell locally. We also sell eggs, as well as trading them for raw milk. Any vegetables and such we tend to preserve (drying, canning, kimchi) as we don’t yet grow enough to fill our yearly needs.”

pic18

Even rabbit fur gets turned into cozy hats and slippers.

pic19

Josie: “Right now, we’re spending about $800 a month: $100 on fuel, $500 on [feed for the animals], groceries and other household items, and $100 on Internet and phone. We also continue to improve our homestead, which costs a little extra, depending on the task at hand.”

pic20

Their bedrooms are cozy and get a lot of natural light, which helps them conserve electricity.

pic21

Abe: “I think there’s a certain pride that comes from being able to say ‘I made that’. We are surrounded by things we’ve made ourselves, including our home and energy infrastructure.”

pic22

With two kids under the age of 5, the Connallys admit they’ve made some allowances in their off-grid lifestyle. They have games for game nights and keep a healthy stock of books and DVDs for entertainment.

pic24

But, naturally, they spend most of their free time outdoors.

pic25

They keep a car handy for trips to town and to cart the kids to and from school each day. Their goal this year is to get their car running on natural fuel supplies.

Josie: “We live about a 20-minute drive from a small village, where there’s a kindergarten, primary school, clinic and a couple of basic stores. That’s actually one of the main reasons we moved here before starting a family: still very rural, but with everything needed for small kids.”

pic26

The kids seem to dig it.

pic27

Laundry gets done the old-fashioned way.

pic28

Sunlight and fresh air are all the dryer they’ll ever need.

pic29

It’s always nice to have relatives visit, like the kids’ grandparents.

pic30

Josie: “We’re in constant contact with family and friends over the Internet (huge fans of Skype and the like). However, visits are unfortunately much less frequent. If we ever get around to building the blimp we’ve always wanted, we’ll be sure to stop by a lot more often.”

Abe: “We’ve been able to save a few years worth of income, but also, because of our lifestyle, we don’t have to earn as much. So instead of working 40-hour weeks for money, we work 5-10 hours a week. This gives us enough for savings and expenses. The real value is the 30 hours a week we gain.”

pic31

Abe: “It took a long time, but cost almost nothing. That was 12 years ago and we are still amazed by how far we’ve come since then.”

pic31

To see more from the Connallys’ off-the-grid home, check out their blog, VelaCreations: http://velacreations.com/

Read more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/family-life-off-the-grid-abe-connally-vela-creations-144054081.html

Thanks to Ray Gaudette for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

Dumpster 8

Dumpster 7

Dumpster 6

Dumpster 5

Dumpster 4

Dumpster 3

Dumpster 2

dumpster 1

A California designer has turned a $2,000 dumpster into a fully functional home, complete with a bathroom, bed, kitchen and sun deck.

Gregory Kloehn converted the dumpster in Brooklyn off of a hunch, and now he uses it whenever he stays in New York.

‘It just hit me,’ he said on HGTV’s show, ‘You Live in What?’ ‘I thought hey, this is the perfect shape for a home.’

Kloehn added wheels to the bottom of the dumpster so it could be more easily transported and carved a custom door on the side for easy entry and exit.

For drinking water, he installed a six-gallon water tank on the roof.

The same water is funneled into the tiny toilet when he needs to use the bathroom. The water is also hooked up to an outdoor shower.

The red-and-black-colored interior is insulated with padding and features a small seating area. But sleeping appears uncomfortable. He appears to only barely fit inside when he lies down.

The small kitchen takes up one corner of the dumpster and features a microwave and mini stove. Both run on electricity.

A small grill is also attached to the outside of the dumpster. On the roof, an umbrella provides some shade for outdoor lounging.

If he wants to get some extra sunlight inside, as well, he can lift the retractable roof to expose two windows and let in the light.

‘I think [passersby] are just surprised that someone would take something like this and spend enough time to make it a home,’ he told HGTV.

Thanks to Mr. Cuomo for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2387619/Gregory-Kloehn-California-designer-turns-DUMPSTER-into-Brooklyn-getaway-complete-toilet-stove-sun-deck.html#ixzz2bcXoXQFm

Keret-Narrow-House-4

Keret-Narrow-House-3

Keret-Narrow-Hosue-2

Keret-Narrow-House-1

A four-foot-wide space between two buildings in Warsaw, Poland has become the world’s thinnest house. Architect Jakub Szczesny built a series of vertical spaces into the void including a kitchen, bathroom, Keret House will function as a place for artist residencies lasting from five to seven days. Its size prevents it from being considered a full-time residence. Szczesny, who has been working on the narrow home for three years, was inspired by the work of Israeli writer Etgar Keret, who writes extremely short stories.

You might imagine that such a thin house, crammed between two large buildings, would feel dark and claustrophobic inside. But a transparent roof, open stairways and a wall of windows enable lots of sunlight to stream inside. The house is set about ten feet above the ground, is 33 feet in depth and about 30 feet tall.

http://weburbanist.com/2012/11/06/slim-living-worlds-thinnest-house-is-just-four-feet-wide/