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Category Archives: sustainable architecture
Dog kennels are generally not renowned for being stylish additions to your home – but you may change your view after seeing these sustainable dog digs! Rooftop gardening is taking off, and there is no reason you can’t try it out on your dog’s very own kennel. Today I have compiled some of my favourite finds, which may just inspire you to make or renovate your dog house.
Some of the designs featured here would be relatively simple to make at home, whilst others such as Azuma Makoto’s impressive garden laden dog house may require a little more time and patience! My personal favourite is the one I found on Inthralld, complete with sun deck and recycled compost bin (?). Not only will these kennels add a stylish addition to your garden, but the thermal properties will keep your kennel cooler in summer and keep out the breezes in winter. Which is your favourite design? If you have created your own dog kennel rooftop garden, please share with us!
Whilst we are on topic this week about building design events (see our Grand Designs Live post here), a must mention is the Future Build expo being held in Melbourne next week from 2 – 4 October 2012. Future Build is no regular building conference. It is a conference directed at those in the commercial construction industry, to inform and educate them on how they can contribute and make a real difference to our future built environment. Over 100 exhibitors will be at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre for 3 days showcasing the latest technologies – An opportunity not to be missed!
Did you know 53% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the commercial sector? At Future Build, designers, architects, builders and others within the construction industry can discover cutting edge sustainable building materials, designs and services. Collectively, when applied to our high rises, housing developments, schools, restaurants, medical institutions and community centres amongst others, building structures are created that are sensitive on the environment in which they sit, conserve energy, reduce waste going to landfill, thus shaping a more sustainable future.
So here’s a call out to all of you in Australia’s commercial construction industry – Head on over to Future Build next week, interrogate all the exhibitors, explore the clean technology pavilion, learn about new technologies, participate in their seminars and help make a difference to our future built environment!
If you are an avid fan of Grand Designs and live in Melbourne, there is a huge chance you made it to the first Grand Designs Live Australia event over the last few days. Whilst many would have attended this event to discover innovative and cutting edge design, it was evident there was also a significant crowd there just to lay eyes upon the very popular host – the charming and amusing Kevin McLeod (we love you too Peter Maddison – it’s just that Kevin won us over first!).
Did I get close to Kevin McLeod? No where near him. Not wanting to stand in line for hours for a personal book signing, instead I stood on tiptoes, and shifted around the crowd for better vantage points – but the crowd held fast – No late comers to his presentations could shuffle/muscle their way to the front!
There was further eye candy however to see, and a number of items caught my attention. Terracotta herb filled pots impressively adorned a kitchen wall. Whilst I wouldn’t like to be the one climbing to the top to water or pick the herbs, it was a striking display.
Lighting was also an attractive feature at Grand Designs. My friends at Who Did That were showing off their sustainable timber flat packed (and award winning) Grandelier light shades (top image), and James (Loz Abberton’s other half) was drawing quite the crowd. Weave by Ed Linacre was also a standout with his 100% recycled veneer honeycomb pendants casting a luminous soft shadow against the rear wall.
The glass lighting display by About Space was incredibly eye catching. Although the filament globes looked stunning, I’m not quite sure of their eco credentials?
The RMIT Landscape Architecture students featured interesting angled and curved ply pieces slotted into one another, and interspersed with flashes of green plants.
And last but not least I am ashamed I didn’t get the details of this room design (above) [Postcript: This room ended up wining Gold and was designed by Natasha Busbridge~Congrats!]. This room looked such a welcome respite. I could have turned on the tap and jumped into that wonderful egg shaped bath – but for the thousands of onlookers …….
Sydneysiders, you’re next. Grand Designs (and Peter Maddison) lands on your doorstep on 5 October. Enjoy!
Have you ever looked twice at that plastic bottle cap from from drink bottle before turfing it into the bin? One creative and imaginative Russian pensioner saw the potential, and turned thousands of recycled plastic bottle tops into decorative wall art for her home!
Over time, Olga Costina has collected over 30,000 caps. This is no mild feat considering each have been carefully sorted by colour andcarefully nailed by hand into the timber frame to create various motifs, including macrame inspired patterns and animals. The result is one standout upcycled home, that pops with colour!
via Dezeen & Oddity Central
It’s funny how the world turns and tastes change… or mature. Growing up, the family home had a living room lined with timber cladding. As a teenager I often looked at it and wished I could lather it with a coat of paint. Thankfully my father held fast, and to this day it remains in its original condition – and I now LOVE it. I now have a mild obsession with timber panelling used on internal applications, and today share with you some of my favourites….
Timber panelling adds such a warmth to a room, that plaster lining cannot – no matter which way you dress it up. Insert a fireplace into the wall and a comfortable couch close by and voila – a relaxing haven is created.
Not just the reserve of holiday houses, and snow chalets, used wisely, timber cladding can add real character. And it’s low maintenance too! No need for touch up paints (maybe an occasional oil), and potential toxic fumes. And the wonderful scent of timber – ahh – there is no match for it!.
The shearers down on Bruny Island have something wonderful to look forward to at the end of a hard days work. Sitting pretty on a hilltop near the southern most tip of Australia, is the Shearers Quarters designed by John Wardle Architects, which has just received Tasmanian Architecture’s Esmond Dorney Award for Residential Architecture.
Located on a working sheep farm, the shearers quarters has been designed to sit lightly on the landscape. Double glazed windows ward off the chill of the icy temperatures sweeping off the ocean, ventilation louvers sweep cool air through the house during summer, and on site waste water treatment and solar panels make the home self sufficient.
Inside timber wall cladding and recycled materials have been used throughout, creating a soft and welcoming atmosphere – just what a shearer needs at the end of a shift.
Architects: John Wardle Architects
Photography by Trevor Mein
Last year, our post on the Cubby House Challenge rated in the top ten articles of the year (read here) – clearly striking a cord with many of our readers. Well folks, here’s a heads up – this great fund raising initiative for the Kids Undercover Program will be on again next month at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2012. Five “unique” cubby houses designed by leading architects and public figures will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, raising much needed funds to assist homeless kids around Australia – and we have just obtained a sneek peek at some of the designs currently under construction!
Who knew Premier Ted Baillieu held a university degree in architecture (am I alone?). Putting his skills to good use, together with Australand he is using recycled and re-usable materials to create what clearly looks like one cosy and inviting haven – aptly named The Bird’s Nest.
Rob Palmer from Better Homes & Gardens is going to show us how we can all replicate his cubby house at home whilst making the most from recycled materials. It sounds like lots of fun as there’s a loft, fireman’s pole and a climbing net all incorporated into its design – The Cubby House of Hidden Surprises will be raffled off on the last day!
The “Cubby Life” house created by Six Degrees Architects and Ducon is all about creating a sanctuary for kids to retreat and connect with nature – there will be a edible growing wall for herbs and vegetables, a snuggle cocoon to curl up in and read a favourite book, and a rainwater collection unit too!
Burbank are helping kids imaginations run wild. Their Cubby Cube design incorporates a giant sized set of building blocks that can be assembled in various configuartions. Perfect for your little budding architects.
How many adults out there wish they still had their own cubby house retreat in the backyard? Smith Madden and Harris HMC are designing a structure that remains relevant and useful to your family as it grows – from small kids to the biggest of big kids. It will even sport a roof top garden!
Please get behind this fun and worthwhile initiative – You may not only score a funky and fun addition to your back yard, but most importantly you will be helping kids in need (Please share this with others!). The auction will be held on the final day of the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2012 (make a day of it!), and they are hoping to raise $115, 000 – Alternatively if you can’t make it in person, you can bid online! We will bring you pics of the finished cubby house designs just beforehand so you can get your cheque books ready and help the Kids Undercover program surpass expectations…..Stay tuned.
AUCTION: April 1 at 3pm
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Do you need a backyard office, artist studio, or quick housing option? We just spotted the “house arc”, developed by San Francisco based bellomo architects, and just had to share it!
The house arc looks like a cute 1950’s caravan on stilts, but its intended function packs much more of a punch. Designed to be used as a quick housing option for areas affected by natural disaster, it carries some impressive attributes – It operates 100% off the grid, can withstand tropical storms, features large windows and shading trellis to control temperature, has a lightweight frame and can be assembled straight from the box – IKEA style!!
The application of the house arc extends beyond emergency use – We can see it set up in backyards as accommodation for teenagers or guests, used as a funky home office or extravagant cubby house, or as a consultation room for your home based practice. What would you use it for?