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design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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A Modern House in Nature

A Modern House in Nature | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located about 90 minutes north of Montreal, Spahaus was built by YH2 on the banks of Lac Supérieur (Lake Superior) on a mountain that once housed a religious congregation. In its place, an innovative new approach is being built to help integrate modern architecture into a natural environment. Developers hired YH2 to design the new series of residences to be situated on the northern side of the Mont-Tremblant ski resort in hopes of attracting a new generation of design loving homeowners. Instead of traditional log-style cabins or cottages, they’ve taken a different approach with the first design, name Spahaus, which marries wood and concrete, and boasts amazing panoramic views of its lush location.


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The Håkansson Tegman House by Johan Sundberg

The Håkansson Tegman House by Johan Sundberg | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Johan Sundberg designed the Håkansson Tegman house in Höllviken, Sweden. Angled around an inner garden, the design rests on the tradition of the Danish atrium house from the 60s and 70s. Three small bedrooms form the northern wing of the house, while the western wing is a continuous sequence of spaces consisting of a kitchen, dining room, library, living area, and winter garden.

The outer walls along the streets are clad with clay bricks as a screen. The stucture is a steel-enforced timber frame. Windows and sliding glass doors are made from Schüco aluminum profiles. The front and garage doors are custom made from ammonium smoked oak.

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A Parisian Restaurant Design with a Pixelated Green Facade

A Parisian Restaurant Design with a Pixelated Green Facade | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Architect Stephane Malka’s striking facade proposal for a Parisian restaurant creates an unusual site, sure to stand out in the urban setting of the city. Amidst a city of man-made concrete and glass structures could rise a building essentially comprised of an organically growing “forest.

Malka, who has experience in urban landscaping, created a green facade that wraps around a glass enclosure and is composed of raw wooden blocks arranged in a patchy, pixelating pattern. The uneven surface creates spaces for plant life to grow, spilling flourishing green plants and foliage down the building.

The textured wooden facade, which seems to actively move inward to completely engulf the glass skin, stops to reveal an expansive view of the restaurant’s interior.

Malka’s work presents passersby and restaurant customer with with the interesting paradox of nature abundantly flourishing in an urban environment...

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Rebecca Ashley Martinez's curator insight, June 8, 2013 2:29 PM

Architect Stephane Malka's work of art an urban forest....

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Sustainability, Simplicity and Natural Materials at New York's Won Dharma Center

Sustainability, Simplicity and Natural Materials at New York's Won Dharma Center | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

A retreat designed by Hanrahan Meyers Architects reinforces the Buddhist mantras of simplicity and nature in upstate New York at this beautiful, simple and green meditation center.


Located in the Hudson River Valley, New York, the 22,000 sf project was under construction when Chung Ohun Lee, of the organization's leaders, attended the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. She was so inspired by Obama's speech—in which he vowed to cut emissions by 8% over 40 years—that she asked the architects to switch from conventional building systems already ordered to such energy savers as geothermal heating and solar hot water.

While many of the building systems were changed after Lee's trip, the architecture itself needed few adjustments- wood framing (dimensional lumber and glulam beams) was used rather than steel, and interiors used locally harvested oak for flooring with furniture made of FSC-certified, formaldehyde-free apple plywood. LEED certification would have added $50,000 to the cost, so the client instead opted to spend the funds on green features. It helps, Hanrahan says, that "reducing their carbon footprint is part of their philosophy."

But the real lesson is that even the most advanced systems require the client's participation to achieve significant energy savings...

Lauren Moss's insight:

A beautiful structure that aptly reflects the philosophy of its users serves as an architectural manifestation of key Buddhist principles and values. The minimalist design is an inspiring example of a fundamental commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship- the building employs modern technology and innovative green systems, in conjunction with passive design strategies and the use of locally-sourced materials...

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ParadigmGallery's curator insight, April 5, 2013 4:22 PM

inspiring design, philosophy and implementation...enviable commitment to going greener and owning the responsibility we all have to adapt our approach to new builds....

 

Jasbin's comment, April 22, 2013 2:31 AM
A beautiful photography
Snow Lion Crystals's comment, September 7, 2013 4:14 AM
Lovely article, simply inspiring.
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The Non Program Pavilion by Jesús Torres García

The Non Program Pavilion by Jesús Torres García | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in Spain, near the Mediterranean Sea, this small pavilion is surrounded by a remarkable landscape. The construction is defined by the relation between the landscape and the structure on the field.


The structure developed itself as a flower, subscribing to Oscar Niemeyer’s approach. The whole project has been composed in the concept of “how to build in natural landscape?” The non-program pavilion disappears in the landscape, attempting to erase the division between the intervention and the area. This concern of integration reaches the point where the landscape generates the architecture itself.


The non-definition of the program has a wide range of uses, such as providing environmental awareness, doubling as an exposition hall or music hall, and providing activities support for the wider community. The interior space is as free as the liberty of program, furnishing the space with the energy of each use...

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Connected to the Landscape: Contemporary Home in Andros, Greece by Klab Architecture

Connected to the Landscape:  Contemporary Home in Andros, Greece by Klab Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
The country house in the island of Andros sits on a remarkable site of hidden and evident beauty.
With the sloping topography dominant, architects had to follow the path between the trees and to execute a design that would maintain the site as much as possible. The decision was to create a very open house with a protected inner courtyard, designed to maintain privacy and to protect from the elements. The house is situated vertically, with stone retaining walls creating a barrier between the inner space and the country road, allowing views of the city and the sea.
Coming from dense cities, the design highlights the calmness and serenity of the countryside and allows inhabitants to be as close to nature as possible. Large windows bring the outside in, making this beautiful design a house for all seasons...
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Hotel Elqui Domos, Chile: Sitting lightly within the desert landscape

Hotel Elqui Domos, Chile: Sitting lightly within the desert landscape | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Bordering the Atacama Desert in Chile’s Andes Mountains, Valle de Elqui boasts an abundance of natural assets including a stable, hot climate favorable for wine growing and postcard-clear skies, coupled with high natural magnetism for some of the best star gazing in the Southern Hemisphere.

Resting in the heart of the valley, Hotel Elqui Domos provides a unique eco-tourism accommodation experience through its spatial composition and relationship to place. The original complex was designed by architects Rodrigo Duque Motta as a series of seven geodesic dome tents.

Recently, the hotel has added four wooden cabanas, each intended as a private observatory and space for introspection. Perching very lightly on the landscape, the cabins negotiate the views of the valley and mountain from opposing sides. Their stilt-like foundations are sympathetic to the surrounding vegetation and topographical variations in the land, and the upper roof decks accentuate their privileged position within the site’s geography...

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Connection to Site: Qualico Family Centre by TEN Architectural Group

Connection to Site: Qualico Family Centre by TEN Architectural Group | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
The towering elm trees and gentle meadows of Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park have for generations formed an inspiring backdrop to the city’s collective memory.

The Qualico Family Centre connects to the temporality of this landscape, evolving, growing and decaying in harmony with the natural rhythms of its surroundings.

With time, materials will allow the architecture to mature, growing into its site. The zinc fascia will patina to a soft grey, and a permanent record of local weather patterns will be imprinted distinctly on facades clad with weathering steel. Wood soffits of locally-salvaged elm  will weather & a vegetated roof, planted with local grasses, will grow to become a raised piece of the forest floor.

As seasons pass, the reflected colors of the forest transform the building and redefine the experience of interior space. The angular forms channel harsh winter winds in specific ways, shaping snow into extensions of the structure.


See more of this contextual, unique project at the link...

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Between Books & Trees: A unique, ecological design for a new public library

Between Books & Trees: A unique, ecological design for a new public library | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

JAJA shared their latest proposal, which was awarded third prize, for a new public library in Daegu, South Korea.


Pushing the boundary of the notion that a library must be a contained, quiet and nearly isolated space, JAJA’s proposal treats the library as massive public zone for the fostering of communal creativity, and dissolves the separation between inside and nature.

JAJA, typically noted for their form making abilities, have opted for a minimialistic formal language of the architecture, so that the streamlined library can capture the textures of the existing trees and the books within to create a cohesive experience that celebrates both.


“We propose to merge the spatial qualities of the trees and the potential of the library into one cohesive identity. The library will merge the exterior and interior through a series of spatial transitions within an inclusive environment for the local community,” explained the architects.


View additional images and read more about this design that integrates building and nature, on both an aesthetic and functional level, creating a unique experience with light, form and space...

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Indoor/outdoor connectivity defines this modern home...

Indoor/outdoor connectivity defines this modern home... | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Using building materials like steel, glass and metal cladding, Australian studio TT Architecture constructed a complex set of architectural details gathered under a simple name: Carey House. This modern family home was designed to include an extensive system of indoor-outdoor connectivity elements, admired by the owners and considered one of the best features of the house, as described by its inhabitants: “The flow of the internal spaces and visual connection between the inside and outside spaces is outstanding.”

This floating aspect is inherent in the cantilevered decks and bay windows and the substantial roof overhangs.” Materializing into a dream home, this joining of textures, surfaces and voids were intended to become a bespoke set of spaces cradling the owner’s lifestyle with extreme attention to details. Resulting in a perfectly adapted cluster of family rooms, the Carey House displays a necessary visual connection to the surrounding landscape...

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Latiesha Leonard's curator insight, March 26, 11:44 PM

In five years i want to own my own home. Preferably to build my home would be wonderful, I have always wanted to build a home that fits in with the environment and had built using recycled items where possible.

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Small sustainable design on North Stradbroke Island

Small sustainable design on North Stradbroke Island | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The architecture of these detached holiday retreats on North Stradbroke Island encapsulates a recent trend towards small, sustainable house design. Paul Butterworth Architect designed the homes in response to a brief requiring cost-effective, versatile design that was carefully tuned to the Stradbroke climate and lifestyle.

Designed to accommodate both large gatherings or an intimate couples retreat, central decks form the core of both dwellings, with the compact interiors opening up to and borrowing from the outdoor deck spaces. The building form, materials and colours were chosen to dissolve into the natural hues, shadows and textures of the bush surrounds...

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Inspired by Nature: Loft 24-7 by Fernanda Marques- São Paulo, Brazil

Inspired by Nature: Loft 24-7 by Fernanda Marques- São Paulo, Brazil | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Wood, stone and books… 3 elements that don’t seem to have very much in common create the main characteristics of the living roomof this loft of 250m, where Fernanda Marques succeeded to make a dream escape from urban frenzy.

The nature plays much more than a mere supporting role: one just has to note the intense use of daylight. The use of materials in their rough state was a fundamental idea for its decoration. Daylight, highlighted textures, fully open to the outside… the key to furnish a house somewhere in between a country villa and a modernist home design.

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Drew House by Simon Laws

Drew House by Simon Laws | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This holiday house aims to create a kind of luxury campsite amongst mature Bloodwoods and Cabbage Palms near the ocean at, Seventeen Seventy, a town just south of Gladstone and the most northerly surf break on the east Australian coast.

Living and sleeping pods along with a bath house were built in Brisbane, close to construction services and transported the 500km to site fully completed. The prefabricated parabolic roofed structure and decks were erected onsite and connect the various pods through a large central outdoor living and dining area. Aramax roof sheeting free spans the two identical, but reversed, hardwood self-braced trusses.

Natural oiled timbers and other low-finished materials create a neutral environment that along with the dynamic indoor/outdoor spaces, allow the maximum enjoyment of the wonderful bushland setting and mild sub-tropical climate. Rainwater tanks, solar hot water and electrical panels and a passive energy efficient design make the house largely self sufficient.

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Anne Pals Bleeksma's curator insight, February 6, 2013 5:16 AM

Goes a long way towards being totally cintextual. Not sure how local the naterials are but then again zero tolerance is not a good idea.

 

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A Twisting Observation Tower at an Italian Forest

A Twisting Observation Tower at an Italian Forest | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Architects Anton Pramstrahler and Alex Niederkofler have unveiled their proposal for a wooden viewing tower near Bruneck, northern Italy, with a twisted body shaped like a tree trunk .

The structure's spiralling form is intended to look like a tree that spreads out at its base and canopy – the result of a hexagonal section that rotates gradually as the tower ascends.

The proposed location is a forest nearby, and the architects want to build 90 per cent of the tower's structure from wood to evoke its natural context.
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Apelle: A Contemporary family home in Karjaa, Finland

Apelle: A Contemporary family home in Karjaa, Finland | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Karjaa-based architectural practice, Casagrande Laboratory, has recently completed the Apelle project, a contemporary family home is located in Karjaa, Finland.

This wooden structure rests in a natural harbour- a sheltering pocket surrounded by bed rocks and trees. 

From the architects:

“House Apelle is part of nature. The surrounding forest has been architecturally articulated into a shelter for a family of contemporary natives. The house is in the forest as much as the forest is in the house – the architecture is a mediator between  man and nature."

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Lola Ripollés's curator insight, January 29, 2014 4:20 AM

Con un cierto saborcito a Alvar Aalto...esta casa me ha parecido una joyita.

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An Adaptable Shipping Container That Transforms For Different Uses Seamlessly

An Adaptable Shipping Container That Transforms For Different Uses Seamlessly | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Creatives from China’s Jikerzhicheng Product Design has transformed a shipping container to be a beautiful, modular, flexible space. 

The designers used as little material as possible and incorporated circular cutouts at the tops and sides in order to allow natural light to enter, and cutouts at the bottom allow for movement in and out of the container. 

The ability and flow of the space was to be seamlessly integrated to nature. The mobile container also has the potential for constant evolution and multiple uses, such as transforming from a stage set to sleeping quarters and even a tea house, if you desire.

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Living in 'An Extension of Nature': CasasNaAreia in Portugal

Living in 'An Extension of Nature': CasasNaAreia in Portugal | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

CasasNaAreia is a gorgeous holiday retreat based on the transformation of old masonry buildings into new, contemporary structures.


The property is about the experience of living almost in an extension of the natural environment, especially in the kitchen/dining area – which is laid out with a carpet of fine sand. One of the two wooden volumes was converted into a two-bedroom pavilion and the other is employed for common and social areas.

Surrounded by rice paddies and umbrella pine forest, CasasNaAreia looks out onto the Sado estuary, famous for its stunning sunsets, salt pans, flamingos and flocks of dolphins...

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Mullen Street residence by Craig Steely Architecture

Mullen Street residence by Craig Steely Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The quiet, sunny location of this difficult site generated a wholly unique arrangement of space, not typical to the city-- a San Francisco house where the main ideas expressed are transparency, sunlight, and a direct connection to nature.


The house will integrate photovoltaic panels, a sod roof, and 25' timber bamboo growing through the house...

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Biophilic Design at the High Line: 510 West 22nd Street by COOKFOX Architects

Biophilic Design at the High Line: 510 West 22nd Street by COOKFOX Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

COOKFOX designs a biophilic office building along the High Line that looks to connect with nature and serve as the next version of the sustainable workplace...


While One Bryant Park—the firm’s groundbreaking Platinum LEED tower—distinguished itself on the city skyline with a glacial, shard-like glass profile- 510 West 22nd Street responds directly to the neighboring elevated-rail-turned-urban-park and seeks to connect tenants with the landscape.

The building’s glass curtain wall has dark metal mullions that reflect the High Line’s steel structure and brise-soleils that reduce glare and mitigate heat. The building also has a High Line of its own with a rooftop garden, complete with mobile planters on train tracks.

Inside, high ceilings, abundant daylight, and an under-floor ventilation system create a healthy environment. Views were optimized by cantilevering the floor slabs, making way for unbroken expanses of glass on the perimeter. Operable windows provide access to fresh air and let in the sounds of the birds who live in the High Line’s birch thicket just outside.


510 will seek a LEED Platinum rating, banking not just on the energy saving measures of its high-performance envelope and efficient mechanical systems, but on the strides it takes in establishing an environment conducive to the health and well-being of its human inhabitants...

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Prefab Connected to the Land: House for Gudrun, Austria

Prefab Connected to the Land: House for Gudrun, Austria | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

With a tight budget, focusing on the most necessary in terms of floor space and construction was essential for this residential project in Austria. The result is a two-room-apartment of prefabricated timber elements on a concrete foundation.

A large living space, two small bedrooms and the entrance are organized around a central core containing the bathroom and technical installations. Four large openings create unique views into the surrounding landscape. According to their orientation – private or public, varying in size and position, with or without parapet, each deeply cut opening has its own characteristic.

A large window to the west offering an idyllic view of the landscape and an entrance leading to the neighbors and outdoors. Sitting on the wooden terrace, the homeowner finds peace and nature, receiving regular visits of neighbors and even those from local rabbits, foxes and deer...

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House in Belas: function + beauty within its surrounding environment

House in Belas: function + beauty within its surrounding environment | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The House in Belas is a contemporary and inclusive project in tune with nature and reflective of local vernacular design.

The design intends to express a contemporary look onto the main aspects of traditional Portuguese architecture, with special attention to the balance and harmony between each building. The house consists of five different bodies, linked through passages.

Spaces between each body create a series of relationships, distances and views are generated, providing a rich and diverse atmosphere. The social areas are located in the core of it all, benefitting from the surrounding environment, and allowing a simple and functional distribution throughout the house.


Visit the link for a gallery of images of this beautiful and simple design...

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Greenhouse of steel trees in Switzerland: a pavilion inspired by nature

Greenhouse of steel trees in Switzerland: a pavilion inspired by nature | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Steel trees with sprawling branches support the glass roof of this greenhouse in Switzerland. Designed by Buehrer Wuest Architekten and located in a botanical garden outside the village of Grüningen, the greenhouse is used for growing subtropical plants such as banana and papaya.

The architects borrowed structural patterns found in nature, like the membranes of a leaf, to create the geometric structure of the roof. 

 

From the architects: 'The new pavilion at the botanical garden at Grueningen relates strongly to its context. The design was inspired by the surrounding forest, not the built environment. Both the formal vocabulary and the structural concept derive from nature. The pavilion is conceived to harmonize with and expand the forest. The geometry of the roof as surrounding membrane was determined by the position of the old and new trunks. The forest was augmented by four steel trees that form the primary structural system of the pavilion. At about five meters, the trunks branch toward the treetop, which forms the natural roof. A secondary glass construction, suspended from the steel branches, encloses the inner space of the greenhouse.'

 

See more images of this innovative and contextually-inspired project at the link...

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House in Rodaun by Caramel Architects

House in Rodaun by Caramel Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

A family with one child moved from their apartment in the city to a house at the periphery with plenty of green for children to play in the grass, parents and friends sitting amongst them- all around nothing but green, trees, pure nature. The site is a 500 sq. meter plot, a grassy meadow with trees.

Four levels, three above ground and one below, are to yield a total of 300 m⊃2; of living space.

In order to retain the character of the original meadow, the ground-floor living and dining area are tied to the garden in a sweeping gesture. This gives the feeling of a living room composed of outdoor and indoor spaces. The end of the form tapers to human scale forming smooth shallow depressions for sitting, curvilinear furniture, a pool and terrace with rounded corners.

On the rooftop, the patch of meadow removed from below is woven into the undulating green office landscape, with grassy green fields on several levels interspersed with ephemeral swooshes of space.

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Quinta Do Vallado Winery Hotel by Guedes + DeCampos

Quinta Do Vallado Winery Hotel by Guedes + DeCampos | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Guedes + DeCampos have designed the Quinta Do Vallado Winery Hotel in Vilarinho dos Freires, Peso da Régua, Portugal. The project for the new Rural Hotel at Quinta do Vallado fits in a strategy that balances the need for expansion of the existing facilities of with the correct integration into the landscape so that the solution, as a whole, has a minimal impact. The two strands linked to wine – production and leisure – are addressed in a single project with a distinctive and contemporary language.

Given the strong impact of the surrounding landscape, characterized by a natural architecture that gives the area a singular character – World Heritage – the resort hotel project focuses on solving the insertion of a new volume conditioned by a long and impressive wall in shale, which draws a sharp curve on the ground...

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Skirt + Rock House by MCK Architects

Skirt + Rock House by MCK Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The site was home to a modest bungalow perched on a hill overlooking Vaucluse House. The clients were equally modest, simply needing more space for their family with better connection to the garden, sunlight and air.

The garden was very important, and it became intrinsic to the design. A large rock that sat in the hill to the rear of the house became our focal and pivotal natural element in the new architectural composition. With the underlying philosophy of relative modesty, the new form is setback, maintaining existing amenity enjoyed by neighbours. The first floor is concealed in the black roof form, providing a recessive appearance from the street, nestling into the landscape. Resting on two legs at opposite corners allowed the possibility of a clear opening to the garden at ground and main living level. Opening like an eye to the sky and trees it folds along the perimeter of the plan. When describing to the client the experience one might feel standing in the lounge room looking out, the analogy of a skirt was used and then stuck, hence skirt and rock.

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