If you happened upon this little cabin while trekking through the woods, at first you might think it was some sort of portal to another dimension. Located in Bergen, Norway, this interesting abode is the result of a design-build workshop at the School of Architecture. Their aim was to build a unique all-wood cabin using a mixture of techniques borrowed from places like Japan and Norway. While the front door looks like it might be moving at warp speed, the interior shows off a relaxing atmosphere of pure Nordic inspired simplicity.
The team at Dwell Development has been working on a pretty incredible project in Seattle, building a 2000+ square foot home using mostly recycled and reclaimed material. Focusing on sustainability first and foremost, the team aims to garner a Built Green Emerald Star certification, which would be the first such certification awarded in the whole city.
The roof boasts a large 6.6 kW solar setup, which powers the entire home. Windows were placed to maximize natural light benefits, and nearly every design aspect was built with both aesthetics and energy in mind. Other features they added include the heat recovery ventilation system and a water heating system that uses 78 percent less energy than a normal system.
The exterior and framing of the home includes FSC-certified timber, with paneling from reclaimed Douglas fir. The room was made from reclaimed steel sourced from a cannery in Willamette Valley, and most of the interior finishes like the cabinets, countertops, and tile were made by local craftsmen.
Who needs doors, right? That’s exactly what Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects said when he designed this pair of isolated structures off the coast of New Zealand. The cabins are completely open air and can be entered via a large square opening that steps you down into the main living area. The interiors are simple and clean, utilizing the warmth of native wood to tie the spaces to the adjacent landscape.
There is modesty and serenity in the way the buildings are anchored to the hillside. A quick glance would make them seem as if they were dark boulders jutting up and out of the grassy plains that carpet the surrounding countryside. They become a part of the iconic terrain rather than fight to visually overpower it. This harmony is echoed by the openness that results from having no doors. Protection might be limited, but the visceral experience is not.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An inconspicuous square opens to reveal the entrance to this underground domain.
When the zombies come or the sky begins to fall just climb down the ladder to gain entrance into this hidden home.
Welcome to your new home! You are now 20′ underground.
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.
Demonstrating the under storage beneath the beds…
This news anchor takes a tour of the home, and exits through the secret escape hatch.
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…
A diner-style table provides a place to gather and share stories of zombie killings and fending off roaming vagrants.
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.
The master bedroom seems nice. Does she come with it?
These images show the layout of the secret bunker, accessible through the main home.
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!
Forest cabins hold a special place in many of our hearts. There is a calm serenity, a quiet solitude, a comforting familiarity that accompanies a rustic old cottage. For your viewing pleasure, here is a collection of 19 such structures, all neatly tucked into their surrounding canopy of elms, oaks, maples and pines. Enjoy!
Someone definitely wrote a novel here.
Just stop with that sun perfectly filtering through the trees.
I guess Fall is when you take pictures of your cabin.
Lights, camera, cabin!
No cabin is complete without a creepy, overgrown driveway.
If there isn’t a German living in there, I’ll give you a thousand dollars (I won’t, actually).
Every forest cabin needs a pool. Wait, what?
For the modernly inclined forest dweller.
Abe Lincoln would be proud.
No swing? You call that a porch?
Pretty run of the mill, right? Get it?
I got nothing.
Be one with the forest.
Ghost face cabin.
Use the forest, Luke. Use the forest.
Did I already use my ‘mill’ pun?
Peeping Tom’s cabin.
All that’s missing is an ogre and a talking donkey.
Green roofs have plenty to offer. Not only are they architecturally interesting, they have a drastic effect on reducing a building’s carbon footprint. Covering any roof in a thick layer of properly drained vegetation naturally insulates the interior, but also absorbs heat that would typically be reflected back into the sky, preventing all kinds of ecological problems on a large enough scale.
Architects have taken notice, and are beginning to embrace green roofs as a focal point of their designs. Here are 9 green roofs that will knock your socks off (which is good, because no one wants to walk on grass with socks on).
1 | 8 House | Bjark Ingles Group (BIG)
BIG is known for going…well…big! This green roof is no different. The symmetrical shed roofs provide the perfect opportunity for the dual cascading green carpets that meet at an exterior courtyard at the base of the structure. (source)
2 | CR Land Guanganmen Green Tech Showroom | Vector Architects
When a green roof isn’t enough, why no couple it with some green walls? Vector Architects have left no exterior sufrace naked, creating an extruded square shell that naturally protects the interiors from swings in temperature. (source)
3 | California Academy Of Sciences | Renzo Piano
If I didn’t use ‘undulating’ and ‘elegant’ in the same sentence to describe this one I’d have an angry gathering of former architecture professors burning me at the stake (not literally). Mr. Piano is a master of his craft, and this is one of the truly iconic contemporary buildings in the Western Hemisphere. (source)
4 | Marcel Sembat High School | archi5
High school has changed a lot since my day. This beautiful structure is highlighted by the (don’t say undulating…don’t say undulating) faceted curvilinear roof structure (nailed it). (source)
5 | Beijing Capital International Airport | Foster + Partners
In a stroke of perfect irony, visitors to the world’s most industrial, pollutant contributing city are greeted with one of the world’s most sprawling green roof. China is no stranger to environmental paradox, as they are a leader in sustainable development, yet continue to degrade the planet through their bustling industry. (source)
6 | School of Art, Media, and Design | CPG
Two interlocking sloped green roofs wrap around a central public space in this project by Singapore based firm CPG. The roofs are accessilble to visitors, providing a lush carpet to make a picinic and take in a view of the surrounding Nanyang. (source)
7 | Villa Bio | Enric Ruiz-Geli
Spanish architect Enric Ruiz-Geli designed this home intented to reflect the landscape of the area. Even though it’s surrounded by homes that are less-than-camouflage, the green roof acts as a bridge between natural and man-made.(source)
8 | Chicago City Hall | City of Chicago
In 2001, the City of Chicago tasked a team of architects, landscape architects and engineers to design and build a 38,800 square feet of green space. It is an initiative that makes great strides towards covering our cities in well-manicured lawns. (source)
9 | Vancouver Convention Center | LMN + DA with MCM
A lush carpet of green velvet covers this convention center, which sits in a prestigious waterfront site in the heart of downtown Vancouver, BC. The architectural team created a man-made peninsula that mirrors the surrounding landscape. (source)
A fully recyclable home that has the potential for self-sufficiency, environmental and functional adaptability, and out of this world curb appeal was the dream that eventually gave way to the Waternest 100. Designed by London-based EcoFloLife in collaboration with Giancarlo Zema Design Group, this dome-shaped structure can be configured as an office, home, restaurant or exhibition space and is entirely powered by solar panels that are smartly integrated into the convex roof.
The generous 1,000 square foot allow for a multitude of interior uses while never feeling cramped or starved for space. This particular model of a housing application has a kitchen, living and dining areas, two bedrooms and a full bath. A simplified version of the design could even be mass-produced and deployed as relief shelters. When the life-span of the home comes to an end, the materials used for construction are 98% recyclable, making the home as fundamentally eco-friendly as it looks.
Sometimes it’s the little things that remind us of the beauties of nature, and the importance of place. The “Sky House” designed by Vancouver based Platform Architects and set in the dusty, rolling planes of Eastern Washington single-handily juggles the stark juxtaposition of earth and sky. This modest cabin built for two is firmly rooted in its relationship to the ground, yet sits atop a raised plain and emphasizes verticality in a way that pulls attention to the sky.
The 840 square foot building is composed of pre-fabricated panels that made delivery of materials and on-site construction cost-efficient and minimally invasive. Stacking the interior spaces on two stories allowed the cabin to maintain a small footprint while utilizing the tall volume to maximize stack ventilation. In addition to being aesthetically beautiful, the house is also completely off the grid, a necessity given its seclusion.
The exterior is clad in raw steel panels. Over time, seasonal rains give the steel a reddish patina, matching the color of the surrounding bedrock and further cementing the structure in its setting.
Interiors are subdued and industrial, creating a cold, yet intimate space that offsets the endless views beyond.
Space-savers such as this operable bed platform combine uses to maximize functionality in such a tiny space. Because of this, nothing ever feels cramped or constricted.
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.