Architecture

Home Architecture

Stunning Solar Powered Offgrid Shipping Container Home

Anyone can buy a used shipping container for pretty cheap, but it takes a certain amount of creative vision and skill to make it into a place to call home. And yet, this 355-square-foot trio of containers built by Joseph Dupuis proves that not only can you use them to build a home, but a beautiful one at that. Joseph works at Algonquin College in Otttawa as a researcher on renewable energy and built this masterpiece as a sort of experiment. While he currently lives here, he has the home listed for sale at a remarkably low price of $58k, not including shipping.

The cabin is fully insulated, heated by an in-floor radiant heating system (propane fired hotwater tank for heating purposes and domestic water), and a wood stove. The cabin is designed to be dismantled, moved and erected in a new location with limited resources and time.”

photos courtesy S7vn Photography

This Artist’s Home Exudes Modern Rustic Style

Demolition of an old house made room for this elegant new home/studio complex in the Barton Heights neighborhood of Austin. Not a lot of room, because there was already a swimming pool on the property, as well as oak and cypress trees that owner Laurie Frick didn’t want to knock down. But designer KRBD still found a way to give Laurie 1,600 square feet of residential space in addition to the 700-square-foot art studio she asked for by building around a gallery of steel bays.

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Around the home, that steel is covered with tigerwood; the studio has a stucco exterior.

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Once you get inside you’re met with a long hallway displaying rugs, books, and some of Laurie’s own art pieces. Such an outstanding collection really cries out for a place to show it off, making the hallway a very nice touch for this particular owner.

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After you pass through, you’re in a large, open living room/dining room/kitchen area which gives way to the pool in the back. An enclosed glass walkway connects the house to the studio, which is naturally lit by a skylight and clerestory windows (Laurie needed the wall space for her paintings, so ground-level windows were out of the question).

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A clerestory window also features in the master bedroom, which is located at the other end of the entry hall. The ensuite bathroom has one too, and there’s a skylight in the hallway guest bathroom. The home office to the front of the house has a more conventional picture window which looks out on a very pleasant street view.

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Home Owner Converts Her Garage Into A Beautiful Income-Generating ADU

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are becoming more and more popular in cities that are trying to increase density in single family zones, without incentivising the demolition of historic architecture. As most of these strucutres are being build in backyards and limited to modest footprints, designers must get creative in terms of getting the most out of their small stature. This bright and spacious ADU shows just how much functionality one can get out of a small footprint, which also happened to be a conversion of an existing detached garage.

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Susan Moray had large aspirations when she began her journey to create new space on her small lot in Portland, Oregon. She had 550 square feet to work with and was looking to build-out the garage into a guest house, even with potential to rent out to long-term or short term tenants.

susan-morays-adu-living-roomVaulted ceilings add space vertically, which makes the interiors feel larger and more bright.

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Historic neighborhood standards kept Susan from going design-crazy on the exterior. The form of the existing garage provided a solid framework to build on, adding contemporary touches like fully glazed sliding doors, a patio, and garden features.

susan-morays-adu-courtyard The kitchen occupies a nicely lit corner in the ADU, with functional open shelving and a funky orange refrigerator.

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EcoCottage Plan

Seattle’s 5-Foot-Wide “Spite House” Up For Sale

2022 24th Avenue E of Montlake in Seattle, Washington seems like any other tiny home recently inspired by the Tiny House Movement. The home is 850 square feet, barely five feet wide, is currently on the market for $519,000 – and is in the heart of local legend.

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In 1925, a judge presiding over a vicious and bitter divorce ruled that the husband would keep the marital home, and his wife was awarded a sliver of land just in front of the home. To add insult to injury, the husband offered what was to her an unacceptably low offer to purchase the land. As a result, she began construction of what has now come to be known as “The Montlake Spite House” by the community. She even went as far as to paint the wall facing their formal marital home black as to further obstruct his view!

In this photo, you can see just how narrow this house really is!

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A view of the living room. While it may be too small to hold a television set, it has plenty of space to seat guests comfortably!

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The master bedroom. Believe it or not, this home has two bedrooms, and two full baths!

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The place where you really begin to feel cramped may be the kitchen – but it’s worth it just to be able to look at your ex-now-neighbor through the kitchen window with a look of triumph!

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There’s even a two-car garage!

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She proved her point to her ex-husband, and since then the house has only ever steadily increased in worth: The Montlake Spite House sold in 1996 for $140,550; $235,500 in 2000; and $375,000 in 2014. How much of a factor the notoriety and legends surrounding the of home plays into that increase is up for speculation.

The Acacia from Minamaliste

Welcome to the Acacia, the fifth home built by French/Canadian company Minimaliste. This home features some seriously eye-catching design elements, and borrows a lot of “big home” feel for such a small space.

There’s a 4-burner stove, a couch that converts to a bed, fold down dining/work table, and much more!

Miracle “Algae Canopy” Makes The Oxygen Equivalent Of 10 Forest Acres In One Day

That thick green film that collects on rocks at the floor of a body of water may just be the solution to the excess CO2 in our atmosphere. In the past two decades researchers have been searching for ways to apply the positive atmospheric attributes of algae to design technology. EcoLogic Studio has done just that with the Urban Algae Canopy.

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The structure is currently in the prototype stage of development and will be the first of its kind on display at the Expo Milano 2015. The canopies are completely reactive, and can produce and move energy and oxygen based on a number of inputs, including weather patterns and user movement. EcoLogic Studio claims that the canopies have the capability of producing the oxygen equivalent of four hectares of woodland area.

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The ambitious project presents an innovative intersection between technology and biology, and fits in with the ever-growing movement of integrating natural processes into man-made structures.

Woman Converts The Bank She Once Worked At Into Her Dream Home

Before Cathy Calhoun eventually became a jewelry store owner, she worked as a bank teller at The National Bank of Spring City in Spring City, PA. In 1989, the old bank went up for sale and Cathy jumped at the opportunity to own it, paying a paltry $52,000 for the vacant building. She had a vision. A vision that would take 24 years of tireless renovation to become what it is today: a Pennsylvania girl’s dream home.

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Scroll down to watch a video tour of the up-cycled old building, which includes a trip through the 2-story boardroom-turned-master suite complete with seating, a fireplace, jacuzzi and a big-screen TV. What she did with both the original vault and the newer one is truly unique, but we’ll let the video do the talking for that one.

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A spiral staircase adds a dramatic curve to the otherwise boxed layout of the bank.

bank-house-interiorPhoto Credits: YouTube

Cathy’s modern updates are extensive and eclectic, but have managed to preserve, even celebrate the bank’s historic aesthetic. All said, it’s clear that the money she put into this bank was a very wise investment, indeed.

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.

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Rustic Opulence Defines This Camp Martis Residence On Lake Tahoe

You’ve heard of modern-rustic, and now you’ll see what happens when sheer decadence collides with a rustic design. This spectacular modern home was designed by Swaback Partners and is situated on a large lot in the private community of Camp Martis, located on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

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“A home for the high Sierra’s that does not fall in line with the traditional regional architecture that mostly is a dark and heavy composition. Instead, the concept was to celebrate the light and airy feeling of snow and the effects that it can bring to the interiors.”

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Photos by Vance Fox

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?