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Pages tagged with "architecture"

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Tiny houses all round the world.

     
     

    It seems like people are building bigger and bigger and bigger houses. Its not really making sense to me.
    I reckon some families livin in one room huts are way happier than some families living in sprawlin mcmansions.
    Theres some pretty inspiring tiny homes around the world. And when we say tiny we mean tiny. These spaces can be as small as 90 sq feet.
    These guys are takin tiny to a new level.
    But just goes to show what you can do with a very small space.
    We found just a few to show you. Check it out.

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Solar Flower Power Street Lamps

     
     

    For once one of the multi nationals is looking to nature for the answers, and in doing so has come up with something truly beautiful. Inspired by how flowers open up to the sun to collect the suns energy, the Blossom Street Lighting by Philips transforms cityscapes from industrial to ecological featuring photovoltaic petals that open during the day to collect energy, then at night, the light closes and Led lights turn on to brighten city streets.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    Free As A Bird

    No matter how much the wind huffs and puffs through the hills above Byron Bay, the home of Rachel Bending, founder and creative director of leading sustainable fashion and homewares label Bird Textiles, and her partner Campbell is one house that certainly won’t blow down – despite the fact that it’s made of straw.

    As someone who’s passionate about environmental responsibility, Rachel knew straw bale would be the perfect choice for the home she planned to create in the lush Byron Bay hinterland. A traditional building material with serious eco cred – it’s a renewable natural resource with exceptional thermal insulating properties – straw bale is undergoing a renaissance in dwellings. “It’s durable and, when you combine it with passive solar principles and an awareness of the site’s environmental considerations, you can design a house with significantly fewer energy requirements,” says Rachel.

    Read more from this interview with Home Beautiful Magazine May 2010.....

     

    Monday, May 24, 2010

    Deconstructed Architectonics

    Founded in 1948, the Art League is one of the oldest non-profit visual arts organizations in Houston and is the first alternative art space in Texas, USA. 

    But for some time, the Art League has generated relatively little interest amongst either the art crowd or the general public. Perceived (fairly or not) as more of a kaffeeklatsch for local artists of mediocre talent and ambition than as a dynamic organization with interesting programming, the Art League has, for over 30 years, quietly gone about its business of housing classes and exhibitions in a grouping of nondescript white houses in the Montrose.

    Over the years, there have been many abortive attempts to tear down those houses and make a grander architectural gesture; and it seems, finally, that this most recent attempt is actually going to come to fruition. To celebrate, the oft-disregarded Art League has sponsored what is the most exciting installation in Houston in recent memory.

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Treehotel - eco luxury on the Arctic Rim

    Many hotels around the world offer guests the chance to get closer to nature, but only this one, in the forests of Swedish Lapland, lets them disappear within it.

    Treehotel is an eco based boutique design hotel located just outside Harads, a small town just 60km from the Arctic Circle.

    Think abstract luxury tree house.

    Drawn by Sweden’s best architects, a series of unique rooms including a giant birds nest, a mirror cube and a UFO sit high above the ground as a series of suspended sculptures. Each tree house is unique and there are plans to build another 20 over the next five years.

    Tuesday, March 01, 2011

    Egg Nogg for the Urban Chooksta

    In January 2010 we became the proud mama and papa of eight (yes eight!) baby girls.

    Crikey I can hear you cry!  Eight? Yes. Eight darling lickle chooks.

    Our new lickle family, Queenie, Blacky, Glynis, Dorothy, Sharon and M’Lady all lived in a lickle house, under some trees in our orchard on the edge of the rainforest.

    They loved the home we had made for them. Sharon, the Silky, thought her new home was nearly as dapper as her hair do. 

    The girls thought this was a pretty cool place to live. Glynis liked hanging out on her perch. There were mangos dripping off the trees. Citrus. Lychees. Bananas. Figs.

    Queenie and Dorothy had a little natter and decided they were on to a good thing at Rach and Cams nest. And because they were on to such a good thing they laid beautiful fresh golden eggs for our breakfast every morning.

    But, you know, M’Lady ...well M’Lady had an eye for detail. She was a cut above the rest. She yearned for a home, with a little bit more style. Panache. She wanted to nest down in something a little more stylin.

    If you haven’t had the good fortune to come across Andy Goldsworthy’s work......then be prepared to be amazed.

    I first found out about Goldsworthy whilst I was studying textile design in Glasgow in 1991. He had already been creating his amazing art pieces for fourteen years, and my flatmate, a sculptor, was completely obsessed with his work. It wasn’t long before I was too. Twenty years on, with a vast catalogue of site specific sculptures to his name, he is still, without doubt, my top pick.

    Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist producing  sculptures and land art around the world. He works almost exclusively with the materials he finds in the outdoor environment. He is the grandmaster of wrapping, filling, shaping and balancing. Snow, ice, maple leaves, dandelion heads, twigs, pebbles -  wherever he is, Goldsworthy uses whatever happens to be  around him. Much of his work is ephemeral and he records his creations in colour photographs, many of which, with the accompanying text, form an integral part of his work.

    Tuesday, July 05, 2011

    The curvilicious Villa Nefkens

    Those of you who’ve seen this mama birds nest, will know I have a thing for curves. At my house, the walls are made from strawbales, so we were able to create long ambling organic curves with the bales and a chainsaw (see my blog post on our home from last year).

    But the bottom line is....curves just do it for me. I think being a curvy kinda girl gave me a head start on appreciation for the non straight line. But when you put curves with architecture and a northern European aesthetic, well.... it’s enough to make me think I’ve died and am on my way to curvalicious heaven.

    Enter Mecanoo. That’s Mecanoo the prominent Dutch architectural practice, not Meccano the children’s model construction system...although there are parallels across both brands. Both have a joyful approach to building. Both are the complete opposite of cool, abstract and minimalism. Maximalist might be a more appropriate term for their approach to building. But it’s creating that warm fuzzy feeling that both brands really have down pat.

    DeKalb Market opened last weekend, in downtown Brooklyn, New York.

    Another inner city artist market? Well, maybe. But the thinking behind DeKalb has a little bit more to it.

    Its fair to say Urban Space have been reinventing spaces for over 30 years now, both in the U.S and in the UK. Camden Lock, begun by Urban Space in 1978, is the fourth busiest visitor destination in Greater London. In the 90's it was my local weekend haunt. Many businesses I know, found their feet in Camden markets. Not least, The Body Shop founded by one of my all time greats, the late Anita Roddick. So, knowing Urban Space, in conjunction with local designers Young Woo & Associates are behind this initiative, is as good a place as any to start.

    Brooklyn is known for its history in manufacturing, ship building, and as a commercial port, so it's only fitting that its latest community destination is made up of a collection of salvaged shipping containers.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Richard Rogers' ode to Wales

    ODE  1. A lyric poem in the form of an address to a particular subject, often elevated in style or manner, written in varied or irregular meter and expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion. 2. A poem meant to be sung.

    Many of you will know that I grew up in Wales. That’s Old South Wales, rather than New South Wales. The land of song.  ‘We’ll keep a welcome in the hillside, we’ll keep a welcome in the vales, this land you knew will still be singing, when you come home again to Wales....’ Sigh.

    This Christmas I’ll be going home for Christmas in Wales. We are taking our daughter home to the land of song for the very first time.

    So it seems kinda fitting to share a special bit of Wales with you today. To share with you a building whose structure ebbs and flows with the songs of Wales, encapsulating the heart and soul of its nation.

     

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    The curvilicous Wright House in Durban

    Following up our series of posts on curvy homes, I came across this stunning home in Durban, South Africa. But this one’s a double whammy.

    Those of you who’ve seen our nest, will know I have a thing for curves. Curves.....ahhhh.. But I also have a thing for straw. At our house, the walls are made from strawbales, so we were able to create long ambling organic curves with the bales and a chainsaw (see my blog post on our home from last year).

    What’s fabulous about the Wright house in Durban, is the way they’ve combined the straw and curves. Not strawbales, as we’ve used at our home, but straw thatch.

    South Africans are renowned for their thatched roof homes, its a traditional building technique used for centuries. This take on traditional technique with a very modernist building style is highly unusual...and yet it works. The texture of the straw is divine, and works well with the smooth flowing curved structure.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Eco Chic for Three

    A block of land in Byron Bay, slowly evolved into one couples prefect eco-house, designed to have the lightest possible footprint on the land.

    Rachel Bending remembers the first time she laid eyes on the Byron Bay hinterland and the strong connection she felt to the area. ‘The Byron Shire is very similar to where I grew up in ‘Old’ South Wales in the UK’ she says. ‘Both have stunning, unspoilt beaches, rolling hills and farming land, leading to rugged, wild forests and cliffs’.

    With her partner, Campbell Rowe, Rachel bought a block of land in Byron Bay in 2003. To familiarise themselves with the property and see how it reacted to natures elements, such as the sun and wind, Rachel and Cam spent four years living part time on the site in a caravan, all the while commuting to Byron Bay and Sydney to run Rachel’s environmentally focused business Bird Textiles.

    Read the rest of this interview, from the current November issue of Australian Womens Weekly, by clicking this 'read more' link.

    Tuesday, December 06, 2011

    Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven

    Spontaneous City is a space creation experiment for birds, appearing in a number of urban green spaces across the UK over the last 18 months.

    Started in London in 2010, and continuing in Norwich, Norfolk in 2011 for the Norfolk Festival, the sculptures are installed by art and architecture collective London Fieldworks.

    The sculptures are made from hundreds of bespoke, wooden bird and bug boxes that create a sculptural ‘habitat’ for the birds, insects and invertebrates that occupy the gardens, providing spaces for shelter, nesting or feeding.  The design of the boxes reflects the local architecture, a metaphorical interplay between the condition of the animal and the human.

    Images 1-4 are taken from three new sites in Norwich. The boxes in image 5 reflect the architecture of the nearby Worlds End housing estate in Chelsea whilst images 6-8 refelct the Georgian terrace and 1960's flats that surround the neighbourhood park.

    If you are in the hood check them out. Mama Bird.

    Wednesday, December 28, 2011

    We'll keep a welcome in the hillsides...

    This weeks post from the homeland is on a stunning art installation in Cardiff, the capital of Wales.

    Wales is a land of contrast. The draw of its great natural beauty, the rugged coastline, and magical mountains, moorlands and valleys, contrast with the scars left by the coal mines of the 1900’s. A nation, whose wealth was built exporting coal from the South Wales Valleys to the rest of the world, helped to power the industrial age. In his time, the Third Marquis of Bute, who owned Cardiff Bay docks, was the richest man in the world.

    The regeneration of Cardiff Bay is now widely regarded as one of the most successful urban regeneration projects ever undertaken in the UK.  The area has undergone a massive transformation over the past 20 years, now hosting world class buildings like The Senedd (see my previous post) and Wales Millennium Centre, home to the Welsh National Opera.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    The Too High Tea House

    Maverick Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori is interested in "architecture before civilization," a time when people were more exposed to the elements. And if his Takasugi-an, or Too-High Tea House , is anything to go by you couldn’t really be more exposed.

    Perched 20 feet in the air, atop two chestnut trees, accessible by only free standing ladders, the Too-High Tea House,  more of a Too-High Tree House,  is a one of a kind. As are most of his buildings.  He makes his architectural models by hacking tree stumps into abstract, sculptural shapes using a chainsaw. And when he’s completed the final drawings for a project, he invites his clients to his weekend house in Nagano for a little ceremony he’s devised. Sitting in the private Too-High Tea House, he hands them a hand-rendered version of the final plans. “If they don’t like my design, I shake the building!” he says.

    We love.

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Painting the town red

    In honour of all things red and lovely this Valentines Day,......courtesy of the ever fabulous Dezeen archives.......

    A bright red psychiatric centre in Zaragoza, Spain by Jose Javier Gallardo.
    The waiting room of a health centre by architects Migue Barahona and Luis Castillo in southern Spain.
    The garden of 10,000 bridges by West 8 in Xi'an, China.
    Brazilian architects Metro’s red glass chocolate museum.
    A bright red car showroom in Bangkok, Thailand by Supermachine Studio.
    The Nanhe River Landscape Bridge in the Sichuan province, China by New York studio WXY Architecture.
    A pedestrian crossing by Atelier 9.81 in Tourcoing, France.
    The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Jean Nouvel in London.

    Enjoy.