Architecture

Home Architecture

A Subterranean Home For The Modern Hobbit

Many buildings attempt to establish a sense of place, a sort of integration with surroundings, but this home by Santiago Viale literally becomes the place; an extended appendage of Mother Nature herself. Worn stone walls and a series of green roofs help reinforce the connection to the site. They also act as natural insulators along with the surrounding earth.

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The House in Q2 is a subterranean dream home that takes advantage of a sloping site to create interior space that is sustainably protected and emotionally visceral. The home emerges as a flat plane that appears sliced into the landscape and becoming a part of the natural aesthetic.

5510f99ee58eceb2700003c3_house-in-q2-santiago-viale_casa_q2_arq_santiago_viale_fotos_g_viramonte_096-530x353 The home opens up at the bottom of the hill as large sliding doors extend the interiors to the sprawling valley beyond. The kitchen and living areas join the master bedroom at the open end of the home and are given the most generous space, views, and cross-ventilation for passive cooling.

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Old Meets New In This Stunning Ancient Stone Home Remodel

Some of the most emotionally visceral architectural achievements are a result of a properly handled adaptive re-use. Blending the old with the new is a delicate exercise in restraint and creativity. So when one comes around that achieves such a sought-after level of success, we feel the obligation to share it with you.

Wespi de Meuron Romeo Architects renovated this ancient stone building, which has long-since resided in a historic and picturesque Swiss village. The rustic, monolithic shell provided an apt base of inspiration for the architect to draw upon when designing the interiors and carving openings into its facades. Although there is much that is new, contemporary and modern to be found inside, you are never far removed from the history that exists in what remains of the stone ruins.

This project shows us the importance of our history, and to take the time to appreciate where we’ve come from as we move to where we are going.

photo credit: Hannes Henz

This Is What Happens When Architects Design Shelters For Cats

As if cats doing adorable things in weird contexts need any explanation. Feast your eyes on these creative design experiments that focus on the space occupied by everybody’s favorite felines.

cat arch1 Yarn? YARN!cat arch2 Stop. Just stop.cat arch3 Everyone can see you hiding there, pal.cat arch4 A saucer of scotch with my mahogany, please. 
cat arch5 I should not have had so much catnip. cat arch6 Make house for cat. Cat sits underneath house.

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Should’ve dibsed top bunk.

The structures were built and put on display as part of an awareness project called “Giving Shelter” put on by Architects for Animals. The shelters were designed by various architects in the Las Angeles area and presented at a local Herman Miller showroom in Culver City, CA.

This Luxury Bunker Will Make Any Prepper/Survivalist Jealous

When most folks build a “bug-out” shelter for the approaching end-of-days scenario, they take a fairly straightforward approach. Dig a hole, bury a container, hide lots of water, and just enough supplies to survive. Not this guy. He wanted a more permanent residence, where his family and a few others could carry on existing in comfort. So he got in touch with Al’s Army Navy Store to arrange the purchase and installation of several 32′ x 10′ corrugated tubes that cost around $60k each.

The foundation for the underground bunker is shown prior to being buried underground.

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An inconspicuous square opens to reveal the entrance to this underground domain.

 

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When the zombies come or the sky begins to fall just climb down the ladder to gain entrance into this hidden home.

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Welcome to your new home! You are now 20′ underground.

luxury-bunker-07Stacked bunk beds offer a place to catch some zz’s while the world falls apart overhead.

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The kiddos don’t seem to mind the prospect of their new digs one bit. We’ll see how well they adapt once they learn there’s no exiting.

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Demonstrating the under storage beneath the beds…

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This news anchor takes a tour of the home, and exits through the secret escape hatch.

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There’s a working kitchen, though we don’t see any stovetop. We’re thinking Sunday mornings without pancakes might not exist in the post-apocalyptic world…

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A diner-style table provides a place to gather and share stories of zombie killings and fending off roaming vagrants.

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A bunch of stinky teenagers living in tight quarters would be enough to drive most people back up the escape hatch to face reality. Luckily there’s a full bathroom, with a 2-in-1 combo washer to ensure your clothes stay fresh.

luxury-bunker-16I hope they have a stockpile of DVDs somewhere!

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The master bedroom seems nice. Does she come with it?

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These images show the layout of the secret bunker, accessible through the main home.

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The Atlas Survival Shelter comes complete with bunk beds that have under-the-lid storage, an escape hatch for emergency attacks, mudrooms with a lockable laser cut interior door, countertops, a kitchen with a sink, low voltage electric lights, electric outlets and a toilet. If that doesn’t impress you much, you can also go for the optional flatscreen TV, shortwave radios, camera surveillance, 300-5,000 gallon water tanks, 100-500 gallon fuel storage tanks, DVD player, power-generating exercise bicycle, red oak cabinets and beds, solar panels, restroom facility or an electric toilet with tank. Sounds like you’ll have just about everything needed to stay happy, healthy, and safe!

These 10 Buildings Are The Greenest Of Them All

The American Institute of Architects has announced its 10 Best Green Buildings of 2015. The following structures make a point to champion sustainability and energy conservation without sacrificing cutting-edge design or functionality.

1. The Bullitt Center. Seattle, Washington

This office building, opened on earth day in 2013, is the largest certified Living Building in the United States. Designed by The Miller Hull Partnership, the Bullitt Center features 100% renewable energy, water, and waste-management. The entire shed roof canopy is composed of one large solar panel array.

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2. The CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory. Hamilton, Ontario

This LEED Platinum certified laboratory contains 174,300 square feet of research, office and lab space focusing on innovations in material technology. Green features include sun shading on the south facade, green roofs, and renewable energy systems integrated into the building’s exterior shell.

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3. Collaborative Life Sciences Building. Portland, Oregon.

ERA Architects and CO Architects collaborated on this LEED Platinum office and research building. The stark grey exterior gives the building a feeling of cleanliness and sterility, something that the integrated building systems exhibit themselves. Stormwater management, green roofs, atrium heat recovery, and low ventilation fume hoods are features that scream sustainability.

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photo courtesy Jeremy Bitterman

4. E+ Townhouses. Boston, Massachusetts

The E+ Townhouses were built as prototypes for energy efficient living in affordable housing. The replicable model homes were the brain child of a collaboration between Interface Studio Architects (ISA) and Urbanica Design, and were built under Boston’s Energy Plus (E+) Green Building Program. In the prototype, versatility is shown in how the structures march down the slope of the natural terrain.

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photo courtesy Sam Oberter

5. Hughes Warehouse Adaptive Reuse. San Antonio, Texas

Adaptive reuse projects have a prominent role in transitioning into the green era. Overland Partners face-lifted this early 1900’s warehouse was into contemporary studios with state of the art sustainability features. The project features flexible interior spaces and a public courtyard to promote user health and public engagement.

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Photo courtesy Dror Baldinger

6. San Antonio Military Medical Center. San Antonio, Texas

“Doing it Bigger” in Texas appears to apply to sustainability as well! RTKL designed this massive complex that focuses on medical research and care for our nation’s military. A enveloping screen traces around the southern facade, protecting the interiors from heat gain while providing ample natural light.

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photo Charles Davis Smith

7.New Orleans BioInnovation Center. New Orleans, Louisiana

This 65,000 square foot biotech lab achieved a LEED Gold certification, making it the first of it’s kind in New Orleans. The building features a 3,000 square foot central courtyard is prominently visible from famed Canal Street through the building’s transparent, yet UV protected facade. Designed by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple.

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photo courtesy Will Crocker

8. Homes For Adults With Autism. Sonoma, California

LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects built four homes in a complex that champions sustainability and energy conservation. Each of the homes is fit with a powerful rooftop solar array, making good use of the persistent California sun. In addition to the homes, the complex boasts a community center, therapy pools, and even an urban garden.

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photo courtesy Tim Griffith

9. Sustainable Housing Development. Oakland, California

Why build one sustainable building when you can construct an entire neighborhood? That’s exactly what David Baker Architects had in mind when they designed this complex that contains 60 affordable apartments, 77 attached townhouses and 20 additional apartments. The homes are well insulated and promote passive cooling techniques such as natural ventilation.

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photo courtesy Brian Rose

10. University Center – The New School. New York, New York

Famous architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) designed this university that was conceptualized on the platform of combined heat and power systems that were specifically designed for water management. It was enough to afford the building a LEED Gold certification. The facade seen here seamlessly shades glazed openings, providing UV protection and reducing energy consumption.

3045264-inline-i-9-univeristycenterthenewschooljamesewingcorridor07-copyphoto courtesy James Ewing

 

Keep Your Man Cave – I’ll Daydream In My “She Shed”

For years we’ve heard about “man caves” and seen them in all their glory, the wooden walls adorned with pennants from their favorite sports teams and poster of pin-up girls, big screen television in one corner and a fridge stocked with Coors Light next to the leather sofa. But what about the women in their life? Surely they must have an equivalent type of space to find solace right?

They do, and we call them “she sheds”, a phenomenon which has undoubtedly existed in one form or another for centuries. Unlike their male counterparts, women tend to have a bit more decorating sense, and infuse their personal space with a unique style that’s purposeful. Today we share some of our favorite she-sheds with you, and perhaps you’ll draw inspiration from these to create your own backyard haven.

#1. It’s always ladies night in this retro diner. Milkshakes and Marghertas anyone?

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Anne and Ian Bate via dailymail.co.uk

#2. Your man won’t be caught dead stepping inside this garden oasis!

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Via Cottage Gardening

#3. A fitting spot to do a bit of writing perhaps, summoning the soul of Virgina Woolf.

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Via Wooden House

#4. A scarlet bohemian style place to enjoy a cup of tea perhaps, or hang out with your reading circle.

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Cuprinol via dailymail.co.uk

#5. A potting paradise for the garderner

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Via Heather Bullard

#6. My quiet spot, surrounded by nature and fresh air…

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Ann and Brian Bailey via Goodreadsdailymail.co.uk

#7. I’ll just be in my yoga studio, you know, drinking wine…

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Cuprinol via dailymail.co.uk

#8. The she shed is where the heart is!

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Jamie and Gemma Dix via dailymail.co.uk

#9. Because you need the right inspiration for your potting studio.

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Via Wooden House

#10. Put a palm tree in here and have a staycation.

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Via Coastal Home

#11. And to think men put lawnmowers and tools in here – this seems like a much better use of the space!

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Via House to Home

#12. Even your plants need a bit of inspiration.

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Via Better Homes and Gardens

#13. A shabby chic Victorian styled escape to romanticize the day away

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Via tinyhouseblog

#14. While he’s watching the “big game” with the guys I’ll be in my Victorian manor with my ladies enjoying a peaceful spot of tea.

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#15. The perfect setting for a secret ladies-only dinner club.

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via pinterest.com

#16. Don’t even try to park your lawnmower in here!

class-andIf you could have your own she-shed what would you use it for? Let us know in the comments below!

I could see plenty of excuses to retreat to my own personal space like this. All I’d need is an electric wire fence around the perimeter to ensure total privacy from the kids and husband, am I right?

 

These Awe-Inspiring Treehouses Will Sweep You Off Your Feet…Literally

No matter what your age, the idea of having a treehouse always captivates our imagination, spurring a sense of freedom and escape. And nobody does it better than Artistree, the skilled builder who created these magnificent examples for Cypress Valley Canopy Tours.

The Nest, inspired by the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, features a number of inter-connected units accessible via stairs, ladders, and bridges.

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I love the feeling of awe. We’ve all felt it at some point or another in our lives, probably more when we were kids. Feelings of awe seemingly break the shackles off one’s imagination, and open a world of possibilities.”

– Will Beilharz, treehouse designer / ArtisTree Homes

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The Lofthaven is a smaller, albeit still incredible option for guests, designed to accommodate two people.

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Photo courtesy of Artistree Homes

Aside from offering a magical escape for its guests, Cypress Canopy has plenty of other things to keep you entertained, from an exciting zipline to a more relaxing private waterfall bath.

 

Off-the-Grid Sustainable Masterpiece of New Zealand

The roof hosts a 600-watt solar panel and rainwater collection system, contributing to the home's sustainability.

Jeff Hobbs, ex-boat and cabinet-maker, founded his newest venture, Room to Move, in anticipation that the tiny house movement would continue its momentum and to introduce the movement to the people of New Zealand. In this project for his client, Briar Hale, the craftsmanship, attention to detail, and meticulous planning that Jeff puts into his work is showcased flawlessly in the end result of this home. This tiny home was built in the spirit of sustainability, from the solar panels to the salvaged native wood used for construction material. New Zealand should be proud to host these futuristic, sustainable homes!

The roof hosts a 600-watt solar panel and rainwater collection system, contributing to the home’s sustainability.

The roof hosts a 600-watt solar panel and rainwater collection system, contributing to the home's sustainability.

Among other clever space-saving features, this L-shaped sofa conceals a double bed. The wood stove is another sustainable feature responsible for providing the home with hot water.

Among other clever space-saving features, this L-shaped sofa conceals a double bed. The wood stove is another sustainable feature responsible for water-heating.

The kitchen in all of its glory: kauri bench tops, hand-crafted ceramic sink, gas stove, and a 130-liter solar fridge.

The kitchen is fully featured, with kauri bench tops, a hand crafted ceramic sink, gas stove-oven, and a 130 liter solar fridge. All available spaces haven been transformed to offer ample storage.

The cavernous bedroom loft with a skylight for sleepless nights of stargazing.

The cavernous bedroom loft with a skylight for stargazing and access to the various systems on the roof.

5 Dull Garages Reincarnated As Beautiful Backyard Cottages

If you have a garage that doesn’t get much use, sometimes it makes sense to convert it into an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), which can serve as an extra place to host guests or even a secondary income generator.

The Piedmont

This 300sf cottage sits in the backyard behind the owners primary North Portland residence and serves as a vacation rental unit that earns some extra income.

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Coastal Retreat

Arguably one of the more stylish conversions we’ve seen, this sunny California cottage was designed by Beth Dana Design.

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Michelle De La Vega’s Conversion

This artist wanted to earn a bit of extra income and decided to convert her garage into this industrial-chic dwelling. An artist and metalworker by trade, you can tell she stamped her own style into the construction, which she did herself.

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Photographs by Ira Lippke for New York Times

Maison Garage

Located in Bordeaux, France, this garage underwent the most dramatic transformation on the list. While searching for properties in Bordeaux, the only place within his budget was a dusty garage that his friends thought was a terrible idea – but he purchased it anyway and enlisted help from an architect friend to transform it into a modern bachelor pad that’s oozing with style.

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interior2-600x314Bright & Spacious Cottage

When the owner of this backyard cottage contacted ART Design Build, they devised a plan to convert the seldom used one car garage into a bright and airy little cottage. Judging by the results, that was a great decision, and the execution was flawless, resulting in a stylish space with a folding murphy bed, loft, full kitchen and bathroom.

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Photos by Tsantes Photography

While these designs might get your creative juices flowing, unfortunately it’s not always that easy to get permission to convert your garage into a space like this because of local ordinances. However, assuming you live in an area where you can legally modify your garage in such a way, it seems like a great idea.

She Left A High Fashion Job In NYC To Build Incredible Bamboo Homes In Bali

There comes a time in most of our lives when you need to switch gears, or maybe even swap your entire car; change your job, your relationship, or your outlook. That’s what Elora Hardy did when she left her established career in the NY fashion scene to build bamboo houses in Indonesia.

Elora is a resident of Bali and spent the past five years working with bamboo construction, a sustainable resource that she believes could be used more readily. And when you see what she built, you might agree. Inspired by her father, who used bamboo in the campus buildings he helped create, she has long known the benefits of this highly available resource.

Bamboo doesn’t just look good. It grows incredibly fast, and has a strength-to-weight ratio that rivals steel. Like many woods, it does have one weakness, which comes in the form of damage from insects and moisture. Otherwise, when treated, it can serve as an integral component of building that last’s a lifetime. To learn more about these magnificent homes and Elora’s vision, check out her TED talk video, below.

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