I am a shadow dwelling twisted green juice guzzling monkie overlord, inhabiting the DarkPlanet. Using my own oozing brain juice, I go about my days infecting the helpless drones who unfortunately find themselves on my domain.
Rantilla Residence by Michael Rantilla The design concept of this private home literally springs upward from the pristine wooded site. Unbuildable as a spec home property, the unique form of the building is a literal response to the significant site challenges. Wedged between zoning setbacks, a stream buffer and a steep slope, the program massing was squeezed vertically into a three story scheme elevated above the uninterrupted ground plane flowing beneath. Each floor level is expressed as a discrete rectangular volume clad in a different material and spun radially from a 40 foot tall, 18 inch thick solid concrete shear wall. This articulation of the volumes creates a wide variety of habitable outdoor spaces. The lowest level ultimately spills onto a large teak deck beneath the house, which then engages the forest via a stepped concrete pyramid. Fully cantilevered stair treads project from the concrete shear wall and shift from aluminum to maple to ipe, constantly varying the sound and feel of each staircase while allowing light and views to pass through. Vertical circulation always maintains a close connection to the diagrammatic and structural centroid of the building.
A true Bike Monkie knows finding the perfect bike is only the first step to creating the perfect bike experience. To be a serious bike monkie, you need the entire car replacing package, which includes things like bags, lights, locks, rain gear, a helmet and yes a horn.
A horn on a bike? Yes, a horn, not a bell, not some digital ring tone emitting toy, you will need a real horn. Something that will blast the ear drums of all those drones who still think they need to drive 2 tons of steel, to pick up 20 pounds of groceries. The best lo-tech horn on the market seems to be the Airzound by Delta Cycle. The Airzound mates an air horn with a small water bottle size plastic bottle to hold the air. The horn attaches to your bikes handle bars with a large Shocking Orange button right under your thumb, ready to be used and easy to see. The air bottle simply straps to your bike frame. You can buy the horn for around $24 on Amazon or $40 on Delta Cycle site.
A beautiful idea, a long glassed roof building sunken into the earth. A low impact way to super insulate a building while still allowing in views of the surrounding nature and bathing your structure with daylight. The architectural offices of Selgas Cano a spanish architecture firm, designed their office as a long narrow building, half buried into the earth. I couldn’t find any details online about the building, so I will have to contact them directly in the next few weeks, but for now, here are some beautiful images of the building to inspire you to think outside the box.
We also, liked the simple use of color to define area’s within the office. Checkout the yellow floors which split the two sides and the black staircase leading to the front door.
Just out the edge of the town of Empoli, the building is the Cabel headquarters (a company producing software systems for banks), it measures 4.500 square meters and it is sited inside the local industrial area.
Partially set into the ground, the building is composed of two extended floors out the ground level and a vault under. Along the main front the facade is protected by a long slice of public green.
The visitor arrives on the ground level through three suspended bridges launched on a large excavation which lights the vault designed to house expositions and art installations. Night time this empty space becomes a lighting pool which raises architecture from the ground.
Quest takes us behind the scene of the Electric Car makers.
If you’re looking to buy an all-electric car you can drive on the freeway, your options are limited. $100,000 will buy you an electric sports car from Tesla. But an affordable all-electric vehicle remains elusive, due to the difficulty in making a battery that is powerful, long-lasting, and cheap. QUEST visits a local battery laboratory and investigates the odds of a breakthrough.
Plug-in hybrids run for a certain distance on batteries. So far, hackers have been able to create plug-in hybrids that run for about 10 miles on batteries. After that, they revert to standard hybrid operation, which uses gas and electricity. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
If your a G/Style queen, this might just be the electric bike for you. The French have come to your rescue, jumping in the electric bike market with the E-Solex 2, which has a blood line running back over 60 years. The first version was the VeloSoleX a 50cc gas fueled motorized bicycle, which rolled out in 1946 in Paris. The new E-Solex drops the gas motor for an electric one, with 400 watts of power pushing this bike up to 21 mph in fast mode. There is also an option to run in eco mode, which brings the speed down to around 16 mph and will get you driving distance of 37 miles before needing a charge. The battery is a rechargeable Lithium-ion, which keeps the weight down and enables quick recharging.
This sexy little electric bike cost around $2100, but we couldn’t find it for sale in the United States yet. Maybe someone should bug their local bike store to carry oh so sexy thing of a bike. I think this would be a hit with college and high school students, who know how to live a G Life.
Architect Michelle Kaufmann shows us how simple it is to make your very own modern clean outdoor non-wood burning fireplace using some simple stones and alcohol filled cans . This is part of Michelle’s Green It Yourself Projects. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
This 3,900 square foot house in Santa Monica tests the hypothesis that it is not necessary to sacrifice beauty for sustainability – that one can have both. Furthermore, it suggests that attentiveness to sustainability can inspire and elicit beauty where it might not be otherwise.
The house incorporates a number of passive and active green strategies, as well as a number of recycled and sustainably harvested materials. The structure’s openness and siting not only provide the sense of continuous space and connection to the garden that the client desired, but also allow sunlight and ocean breezes to warm and cool the house naturally. The koi pond cools the air before it enters the house; the concrete floor absorbs the sun’s heat, saving it to be released at night. Motorized skylights over the stair atrium draw warm air out of the house and also provide museum-quality lighting for the client’s art collection. A diagonal void carved through the house not only allows southern light to penetrate deep into the northern areas of the house, but also intensifies the abstract spatial qualities that are at the heart of the house’s aesthetic.
Q’orianka sat down with us a while back and told us how much she loved her Honda Fuel Cell (video below). Now it looks like she has scored an upgrade. The new Honda FCX Clarity, which is another million dollar car Honda leases at a major loss, to a few selected individuals. The lucky few all live in California and they serve as beta testers for the technology, as well as sales tools. Seeing them drive around excites a future customer base for Honda.
Here is what Q’orianka said when she picked up the car: “Since my first car was the Honda FCX, I am proud to say that I have never pumped a gallon of gasoline,” said Kilcher. “As a young person, I feel it is my responsibility to always try my best to think about the consequences of my actions and choices as a consumer, and the impact they have on our planet.”
Kilcher, winner of numerous environmental youth awards, is the world’s youngest FCX Clarity owner at 19 years old. The zero-emissions vehicle can be refueled at a Shell hydrogen station in West Los Angeles, which is the first retail hydrogen station to produce hydrogen from water via a roof-mounted electrolysis unit.
Another Hybrid motorcycle type of vehicle, which just might appeal to the masses. This one comes from Peugeot. A fairly big automaker in Europe, has come up with the HYmotion3. This machine provides some protection from the weather with a glass canopy and also allows the drive to have some fun, with its ability to really lean in to the curves. The HYmotion3 is also extremely fuel efficient, recording 118 miles per gallon.
Here is the official press release:
Occupying a half-way house between the world of the scooter and the car, the HYmotion3 compressor is a highly original proposal designed to facilitate urban mobility. Attractive thanks to its dynamic, streamlined and futuristic style; it is an interesting concept combining numerous benefits (size, safety and comfort) with “HYmotion” hybrid/petrol technology. This new generation technology creates a three wheel drive vehicle, benefiting safety and driveability and combining economy with an environmentally-friendly specification (CO2 emissions of only 47 g/km in the combined cycle, zero in electric only mode).
The HYmotion3 compressor concept is a means of transport with no affiliation to a particular type of vehicle. With its three wheels and its streamlined body, it is something of a missing link between two worlds which to date are quite distinct: that of the scooter and that of the car. With an electric motor in each of its two front wheels, coupled at the rear with a petrol engine, it brings into play very innovative hybrid technologies allowing each of its wheels to provide motive power.
In a world of intensifying urban traffic where everyone is trying to save time, where oil prices are skyrocketing and the environment is more than ever a priority, design departments are vying in ingenuity to develop solutions for the future.
Giving full rein to their creativity and expertise, two separate Peugeot teams converged on a similar idea and finally worked in tandem to develop a particularly original project: the HYmotion3 compressor.
Giant jellyfish have invaded the northern coasts of the Japanese islands and they’re causing problems. Frustrated local fishermen are hauling in little else. So one company, RIKEN, is trying to make marketable products from these gelatinous monsters. They’re exploring everything from artificial gastric fluids made from jellyfish mucin to a jellyfish-based ice cream topping. If they succeed, they’ll turn a costly problem into gooey gold. An original GOOD video.
So, what to do with all those extra shipping containers flowing in from China? Well, if you work out the architecture firm MMW in Norway you use them a green building material. The firm seems to really specialize in re-using this waste product generated by the shipping industry. I know what your thinking, how is this a waste product? Well, you see, there is no value in shipping empty containers all the way back to China. So, basically these ultra tough steel containers are really nothing more that giant size cardboard boxes and we all know what we do with those.
So, using these industrial cardboard boxes, MMW created a new Gallery building for Alexandra Dyvi. She wanted a semi temporary gallery.
To make an open feelingMMW has let a huge amount of fresh crispy northern light through the building by placing circular windows opposite each others. These shapes bring on the history from way back where at this site many of the most beautiful ships from Oslo where built at this site. Also the traditional industry ladders/stairs gives an impression of linking it all together with the shipbuilding industry from last century. Huge safety glasses at the end of each container give wanted supply with water and weather, sun and sky. The start of it all came with 10 ordinary containers, insulated on the inside, and covered with sheets of plywood and sheetrock (gwb) all painted like a classical with cube.