If you told Ryan Frank that his Strata collection was garbage, he would probably smile proudly and nod.
This native South African has found a use for the battered redundant office furniture that East London apparently has an abundance of. He’s designed Strata, a beautiful set consisting of a chair, dining table, coffee table and stool. In order to create the unique look, Frank laces different woods together, so the collection is 60%-70% salvaged material and the rest is FSC-certified birch ply.
We’re all familiar with coffee to go, but what about a “To Go” coffee house? The world’s first “instant café” is the brainchild of architect and artist Adam Kalkin, whose work involves the design and implementation of “Quik Houses” created from used shipping containers. The instant coffee house was born out of the concept of crate internet cafés (Where’s there’s a computer, there must be coffee, right?) and redesigned from Kalkin’s Push Button House, which previewed at Art Basel Miami Beach.
The Cargo Café can be delivered just about anywhere by truck. From there, it’s a mere push of a button and a 90 second wait for it to open (which it does like a blooming flower) before the fully furnished café it’s ready for business – lights, tables, seats, even a kitchen are included.
There’s no arguing that people are more nomadic than ever before. Technology has made it easier to travel, communicate and move from place to place. So, why shouldn’t you have a house designed to suit your on-the-go lifestyle? Just as air travel, cell phones and the internet have made picking up and moving easier and more commonplace, our homes are changing with the times as well.
Buying and selling property could become a thing of the past — at least the way we know it. Instead of purchasing a plot of land with a house, what if all you bought was the house itself? That’s what French company Drop Architectes had in mind when they built their prototype “drop house”, which won the Algeco design contest.
The idea behind the drop house is that you can literally purchase your home, drop it wherever you want and live happily ever after. (Or if you get tired of the location, you can have the house picked up and transported someplace else by truck. For someone liked me, who’s lived in four cities in the last several years, this would be great!)
Envision rusting metal mesh, glass boxes, steel frames and wide open blue skies, and you may just start to see The Xeros house in your mind. This building design fully embraces the idea of recycled materials. And while I love recycled materials, I’m completely giddy about the idea of recycling a neighborhood — which was one of the major objectives in choosing the Sunnyslope area of Phoenix, Arizona as the home’s location. “We feel the most important thing we did was to go into a place like Sunnyslope that had not only economic depression but also some social questionability. It needed a second life. A residence like Xeros can turn that around,” says architect Matthew Trzebiatowski in a Dwell magazine interview.
THOMAS SMALL is an accomplished cook, so it’s important for him to try new and exotic ingredients every now and then. When it came to the construction of his eco-friendly house, that’s exactly what his architects gave him. After all, crushed sunflower husks and shredded blue jeans don’t sound like typical building blocks.
But in the world of green design, such ingredients are not rare. So now, Mr. Small and his wife, Joanna Brody, along with their two very young children and a pair of large French Briard dogs, share a prefabricated urban building that has become an example for others looking for creative ways to go green. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Nick Foley, a New York industrial design student, has added another artistic light fixture to his portfolio. His latest design is an artistic hand-forged hollow steel tree that serves as the charging station for three urethane pear-shaped lights. He states, “Each pear contains ten ultra bright white LEDs, an autonomous charging circuit, and rare-earth magnets that allow it to be ‘picked’ from the tree and remain fully illuminated for over an hour.”
The design and concept are quite innovative and unique. I’m not sure of the practicality of plucking glowing bulbs from the tree rather than grabbing a flashlight, but I have to admit it would make quite a conversation piece. In addition, anytime you have the opportunity to use an art piece as a functional accessory, it gives you the best of both worlds.
The name of world famous French designer Philippe Starck first entered my lexicon back in 1999. I had just set foot inside the newly opened Starck-Schrager boutique hotel, St Martins Lane, and I was smitten. A combination of modern, baroque, minimalism, wit and irony, it was a design like I’d never seen before. Next came the lavishly luxurious Sanderson, which is best described as a “surreal Cocteau-like dreamworld”. Stateside, you’d already been spoilt by NYC’s Paramount, Miami’s Delano and LA’s Mondrian — but at that time in London, the Starck influence was epic.
Once on my radar, there was no stopping me. I greedily devoured everything Starck from the ambience of Cafe Costes in Paris and the stunning interiors of the Felix restaurant at the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong to the cult Juicy Salif he designed for Alessi.
There’s nothing an ecological scientist likes better than to walk into her office on a hot day and not turn on the air conditioning. So, when it was time to create a new facility for the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution of Washington located at Stanford University in California, their scientists answered the age-old question, “What better way to study the environment than in a revolutionary green building?”
The Department of Global Ecology is the oracle of environmental studies, divining the future of the Earth’s systems based on responses to future changes. It’s not magic; it’s the study of biodiversity and global climate change with a heavy focus on water issues. Because their crystal ball is a little smoggy at the moment, the Global Ecology Center, in collaboration with the San Francisco-based architectural firm EHDD, decided to take matters into its own hands and insist on a four million dollar new sustainable building that exceeds many LEED environmental standards. The Global Ecology Research Center is a pioneering building that employs innovative solutions and sleek architecture to create a healthy and beautiful research facility for their scientists and students, all the while reducing its carbon emissions by 72%. Yes, 72%. Seem like a lot? Here are a few simple guidelines they used to create their super-green building:
If yurts intrigue you but you’re not ready to be a canvass dweller, the Wall home by Chilean-based FAR architects might be for you. The design is based on the idea that homes should not draw such distinct lines between inside and outside; instead there should be a gentle transition. To create this transition, the house is built in layers — four layers to be exact.
Pretty cool idea, huh? Here’s how it works…
The first layer forms the core. Made from concrete, the “Cave” is home to two bathrooms, which are covered completely in ceramic tiles. The second layer is made from engineered wood and plywood, forming stacked shelves that surround the home’s traditional rooms. The third layer is a translucent shell made from high-strength plastic panels that let in plenty of light and wrap the house in sunshine. The layer four is made of fabric that both filters solar energy and keeps out nasty flying pests.
Blue is my favorite color and I’ve often been criticized for the lack of diversity in my wardrobe, so when I saw this building I was immediately intrigued. The Blue Tower by Bernard Tschumi opened in New York City late last year, housing 32 apartments and a 3rd floor commercial space. If you’re an architectural traditionalist, don’t read any further.
It sticks out like a sore thumb in the neighborhood of old, brick buildings and it rises high above the current landscape. I’m not convinced that the shape is really what people want either; it looks like an unfinished headquarters for Planet Hollywood.
Many believe that if you can think it and picture it in your mind, you can build it. Italian architect David Fisher is employing that philosophy with his plan for the world’s first moving skyscraper. Although Fisher hasn’t ever built a skyscraper, and there’re some discrepancies with his professional background, he’s pressing on with his swirling skyscraper. (video after the jump) Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Atelier Workshop’s Port-a-Bach shipping container home might just make standard RVs obsolete. A veritable home on-the-go, you can roll into place, fold down one side, make your bed and be right at home. As long as you have some property, of course.
Taking the portability of shipping container housing to an altogether new level of portability, this 20-foot container has been outfitted with an entire studio apartment, including a kitchen and a full bath with a composting toilet. It also has a “non-invasive foundation”, which allows for plenty of flexibility in terms of ground placement.