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Archive for the ‘Amazing Architecture’ Category

outdoor built in seating   This years #1 favorite home improvement is an Outdoor Living Room.   Homeowners, feeling more confident in the value of their homes, are remodeling and making improvements like we haven’t seen in years.   This year, creating an outdoor living space, is the hands down favorite project for DIYers and professionals, alike.

outdoor living arbor

Must Have/Wish List Features for Outdoor Living:

  •  Arbor. Arbor. Arbor. 
  • Built in seating with cushions
  • Firepit or fireplace
  • Grilling or Kitchen area
  • Drapes for shade and ambiance
  • Dining area
  • Water Feature
  • TV or Projection screen

outdoor living drapes

Consider adding some outdoor life to your dull backyard or builder slab patio.  You not only create more space, economically, you create a whole new spot to relax and entertain.

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Zero Carbon Building Block

Thursday, March 6, 2014 posted by Tommi Crow

zero carbonOne way to reduce consumption is to change what we build our buildings out of.

Zero-Carbon Building Blocks replace traditional cinder blocks.  They are a mixture of CO2, mixed with sand, cement, water and recycled materials such as wood shavings and ash.  Combined, they create the one of the first carbon-negative, masonry, building materials on the planet.

To read more, click http://inhabitat.com/first-ever-carbon-negative-building-block-unveiled-in-the-uk/

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Explore the Lost Garden of Heligan

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

On a palatial estate in Cornwall, a massive and unique garden has been restored to its original beauty after 75 years of languishing unloved.

Since the late 1500s, The Lost Gardens of Heligan belonged to the Tremayne estate evolving and becoming more extravagant with each passing generation. One head of the household inspired the jungle gardens, while another requested that giant rhododendrons be cultivated. Although the Tremayne family often inspired new additions to the garden, they were above manual work and hired countless low-paid gardeners to take on the tasks of improving and maintaining the gardens.

Throughout the 19th century, the gardens thrived, growing larger and requiring greater staff to manage them. Before the outbreak of World War I, the Tremayne estate employed 22 gardeners. Many of those loyal gardeners went to fight, and after the war their numbers had diminished so that the gardens fell into severe disrepair. As the rest of the estate was rented out, the gardens became an afterthought and were not rediscovered until the 1990s.

Their rediscovery by a distant relative of the Tremayne estate, led to a widely publicized attempt to bring the gardens back to life. The restoration of the Heligan Gardens was undertaken by Tim Smit, the same architect who conceived The Eden Project, the largest Greenhouse complex in the world.

Under his innovative and watchful eye, the Heligan Gardens were restored to their original size. Besides restoration, floral art was commissioned as well, resulting in the Giant’s Head and the Mud Maid, a sleeping woman of the forest made out of wood, grass and earth. As the gardens quickly became a tourist attraction, the gardens also served to bring life back to St. Austell, and some of the other neighboring towns in Cornwall.

Today, the spectacular gardens feature everything that they were once renowned for including massive rhododendrons, Italian gardens and the jungle gardens. Along with being beautiful, they are also productive, growing large amounts of vegetables for consumption and sale.

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Awning Canopy Made From Recycled Soda Bottles

Thursday, July 26, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

Garth Britzman’s installation, called (Pop)culture, is a colorful canopy made recycled soda bottles that are filled with a little bit of colored liquid. The bottles, which are suspended by strings, create undulating waves of color that almost remind me of the Dale Chihuly ceiling at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

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The Perforated House by Kavellaris Urban Design

This once vacant site is nestled at the eastern bookend between a row of single fronted Victorian terraces and a double fronted Edwardian weatherboard house.   The strategy was to critique and respond to ongoing research into the Terrace typology.   The built form is essentially an urban infill within a 5.5×14.4m envelope.  The perforated house is our response to establish an alternative language to the accepted notion of our cultural attitude towards critical questions of identity and heritage.

Kavellaris wanted the house to be more than just a facade.   More than just a message or a graphic stuck to a building.  The building was not an urban canvas paying tribute to Venturi’s “decorated shed”, instead the external facade could be experienced internally and is also a multi functional device that constantly transforms the built form from solid to void, from private to public, from opaque to translucent.

By day the building is heavy and reflective and by night inverting into a soft translucent permeable light box. The operable wall or the absence of the facade enabled us to remove the idea that houses are static.

The use of operable walls, doors, curtains and glass walls enables the occupants to change the experience and environment. This architectural manipulation of space blurred the boundaries between inside and outside, the public and private realm. The manipulated spaces overlapped and borrowed the amenity and context of it’s surrounding environment.

The plan inverts the traditional terrace program with the active living zones on the first floor opening onto a north facing terrace thereby generating a primary northerly orientation to a south facing block.  The perforated house incorporates passive sustainable interventions by orientating north glass bifolds doors and louvers for cross ventilation as the primary means of cooling.  In addition, solar hot water and 5 star rated sanitary ware fixtures were incorporated. The north facing terrace redefines the “family” backyard, reinforced by the childlike mural reminiscing on a past era and making commentary on the changing demography of the family unit and ultimately the inner city house typology.   The mural also hides a not so attractive view of the back of the neighbors house.

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