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This Family Built A 100% Sustainable Floating Offgrid Eco-Fortress

Growing up, most of us had a friend whose parents owned an impressive house, but I guarantee none of us had a friend with a place like this. Owned by Catherine King and Wayne Adams, this eco-fortress of sorts can be found floating off the coastal inlet of Cypress Bay in British Columbia.

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They call it “Freedom Cove” and the colorful offgrid home consists of a series of 12 structures. They share the place with their two children, Eleanor and Alistair, and seem to have a great system in place that has allowed them to live a self-sustainable existence for 20+ years.

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There’s a greenhouse and garden system that provides food year-round. At one point they even had a hen-house, but were discouraged by the frequent attacks by hungry sea creatures. The family takes advantage of the heavy rain during the winter to collect water, and uses a waterfall nearby in the summer. Electricity comes courtesy solar panels and photovoltaic generators.

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A wooden walkway connects each of the unique structures and the bright pinks and blues accenting the entire layout do more than hint at the couple’s artistic skills.

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The couple earns extra income from their art – Catherine is a painter, writer, and wood carver, and Wayne sells carvings and candles in nearby gift shops.

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Below you can see the workshop where Wayne does most of his carving, along with some close-ups of the finished candles.

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If you’re in the area and want to check this place out, your in luck because curious visitors can take a boat tours of Freedom Cove or a sea kayak tour to get a personal tour.. In fact, they encourage visitors to spend time on the fortress.

This certainly has to be one of the most impressive offgrid homes we’ve seen. While the lifestyle isn’t for everyone, those looking for inspiration to escape mainstream society and forge a life of their own can find inspiration in their story.

Thanks to http://www.vanguarddivers.com/

10+ Wineries With Absolutely Stunning Architecture

Opus One

Scott Johnson of Johnson, Fain & Pereira designed this iconic winery and finished the build in 1991. It brings together traditional European architectural elements and New World aesthetics, a combination that mirrors their epic Cabernet.

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Bodegas Ysios

This spectacular winery is located in Spain’s Rioja region, and was designed by Santiago Calatrava, completed in 2001. The undulating aluminum and cedar roof mimics the mountainous terrain surrounding it, and the name honors Isis and Osiris, two Egyptian gods with close ties to the world of wine.

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Castello di Amorosa

Dario Sattui wanted to build one of the most impressive wineries in the area, and did so by importing an actual castle from Italy, piece by piece, and reassembling it in Napa Valley.

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Lapostolle Clos Apalta

Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle, most known for producing Grand Marinier, began making wine in Chile and completed this estate in 2004. It was designed by Amercanda Architects and features six levels reminiscent of a bird’s nest.

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Vik Winery

When Alex and Carrie Vik wanted to build a winery in Chile, they hosted a competition and this was the winning submission. It features a long, low slung building positioned in the middle of their 11,000 acre estate in Santiago. The shallow pool dotted by boulders not only looks cool, but also keeps the underground levels cool.

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Darioush Winery

Located in Napa, this iconic winery pays honor to its owner’s Persian roots.

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Dornier Winery

The only winery here that was actually designed by its founder, Christopher Dornier. It’s located in South Africa and was meant to blend seamlessly with its surroundings.

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Irius Winery

A distinctly modern winery in Spain, the building was meant to resemble a butterfly.

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Ledson Winery

This massive Sonoma winery became famous before the wine did, and attracted so much attention that they figured they should make some wine and open a tasting room.

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Marques De Riscal

One of the most distinct wineries in the world, this beautiful structure is located in Elciego Spain and was completed in 2006 by Frank Gehry. The pink and titanium exterior looks like a ribbon as it wraps around the surface.

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Mission Hill Winery

This Canadian winery is most noted for its 12-story bell tower which welcomes guests with its bell.

mission-hillPetra Winery

Near the old Tuscan village of Suvereto you’ll find this masterpiece, designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta. It was completed in 2003 and features a unique cylindrical core with plants on the roof.

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Bodegas Portia

Set amidst a barren looking valley, this winery in Ribera del Duero is one of Spains most distinct wineries. It looks like something out of Star Wars and the modern building was designed by Foster + Partners and opened in 2010.

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Raw Concrete Home Wedged Between Rocks And Earth

A bit of imagination and a crate of dynamite was all it took for Olsen Kundig Architects to turn this giant bolder into a luxurious, modern dream home. Raw materials such as exposed concrete were used to compliment the natural feel of the rocky backdrop which flanks the home on two sides. There are even areas where the remnants of the existing stone pokes though on the interior, creating a grotto like feel that offsets the stark finishes that accompany the new space.

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The home was outfitted with rustic antique furniture and artwork, which matches the rugged design.

The-Pierre-by-Olson-Kundig-Architects_dezeen_5 The-Pierre-by-Olson-Kundig-Architects_dezeen_6Leftover rock from the construction was crushed into a work of art and mounted on the wall.

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The bathroom includes a sink basin carved into stone, with three separate bowls where the water cascades through before draining.

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The-Pierre-by-Olson-Kundig-Architects_dezeen_14Photography is by Benjamin Benschneider and Dwight Eschliman

A See-Through Church That Suspends Disbelief

Spaces of prayer and worship have traditionally been designed create suspension of disbelief in order to give the users a grander sense of a higher being. This church, designed by Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh, does just that by appearing to be completely see-through.

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Layers of rusted steel ribs are stacked upon each other with spacers that create gaps between each piece. The result is a structure that is more translucent than it is opaque, allowing light, air and views to flow into one exterior wall and out the other.

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The ephemeral church blends majestically into the surrounding Belgian hillside, especially when backlit by the rising or setting sun. It won’t protect you from rain, wind, floods or snow, but it will provide a serene setting to appreciate the things greater than yourself.

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He Made His PubShed Incredible With 5,500 Pennies

With the growing trend of “pubsheds” comes an increasing amount of creativity, as demonstrated by this guy who turned a simple shed dubbed “The Barn” into a very creative backyard bar where he and his buddies can hang out and enjoy a couple drinks. What makes his build unique though is the peculiar use of a whopping 5,500 pennies which he incorporated into the design. Check it out below.

The gabled barn style shed looks nice on the outside…

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Yet the inside was lacking in proper bar decor, so he went to work building a bar.

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The bar itself isn’t too fancy…yet.

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Here’s where he starts to get creative, setting aside $55 worth of pennies for special use.

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He even sorted the pennies, keeping the pre-1982 ones from the rest. Talk about commitment!

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Before using the pennies, he decided to soak them in vinegar and salt, which removes the oxidization and brings them back to a shiny new state.

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But he also left half of them to dry without polishing, which created a nice variation in the color for his project.

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Then he set to work, laying the pennies in a diamond pattern according to their shades of color.

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You might notice every penny is facing heads up.

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Finally he slathered four quarts of resin over the top, using a blowtorch to remove any bubbles, and was left with a beautiful surface on his new bar.

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And of course he installed a kegerator to dispense ice cold brews for him and his friends.

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The completed project on display, with three local Virginia beers on tap!

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Images via Imgur | American Standard