Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vancouver Land Bridge - How it SHOULD be done!

Project: Vancouver Land Bridge; The Confluence Project
Architect: Jones & Jones
Location: Vancouver, Washington

Kudos, Vancouver, good on you. This pedestrian overpass - designed to reconnect Fort Vancouver to its waterfront and link the Discovery Trail system - utilizes a rainwater collection system to irrigate its indigenous landscape plantings. Sweeping across the State Route 14 in a simple, elegant arch, the interpretive landscape or the bridge is meant to pay homage to the native peoples encountered by the Lewis and Clark expedition.
"The land bridge is a link back to the Klickitat Trail, Lewis and Clark, and the development of the Northwest. It completes a circle that's been broken."
   -Johnpaul Jones (architect)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Casa Corallo: Ultimate Modern Treehouse

Project: Casa Corallo
Architect: Alejandro Paz
Firm: Paz Arquitectura
Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Constructed: 2008-2011
Simply an amazing project that needed sharing - tree houses are already my weakness, and this project's modern geometry and raw materials make it everything I fantasize about... I am so in love with this house.
Working with a site containing dozens of big trees, the design team chose to fully integrate this modern home into the existing landscape, laying the foundation around the trees with room to accommodate future growth.
In architect Alejandro Paz' s own words:
"The design process began with the aim to preserve the existing trees, in order to have the trees interact with the living space. The floor plan is free of columns and the changes in level adapt to the existing topography.”
Situated in a lush wooded hillside in Santa Rosalía, the house actually incorporates mature trees right into the living rooms. With its linear geometric planes, sharp right angles, and contrasting materials of concrete, wood paneling, and glass, the juxtaposition of living trees within is made all the more striking. The large windows and openings really help connect the indoors with the natural world outside. And the best part: the tiered home features catwalks on the highest level, which pass through the trees to the home’s entrance. Perfecto!

Friday, May 11, 2012

WOBO: Beer Bottle, Brick, or... BOTH!

This is an old idea, but the growing interest in cradle-to-cradle design has shone the spotlight back on this innovative idea. Back in 1963, Alfred Heineken (yes, the beer guy) and Dutch architect John Habraken devised the concept of the beer-brick. The glass bottle was designed so it could be reused as a building material. As the story goes, Heineken initially came up with the idea after visiting the Caribbean, and witnessing tons of bottles littering the beaches. Combined with the lack of affordable building supplies on the islands, he saw the necessity of building in a double life into his beer’s packaging.

The WOBO’s interlocking design was three years in the making, made to work like brick and mortar construction. The final bottle designs came in two sizes - 350 and 500 mm. A thousand bottles bonded with cement mortar could build a 10″ x 10″ shack, and construction would be simple because the instructions could be printed right on the beer label.

The use of bottles in wall construction dates back much earlier, like the famous example of Tom Kelly's house in 1902, nicknamed "The House of a Thousand Headaches" for all the hangovers it held. But the step to embrace mass production is credited all to Heineken - I'll drink to that! Cheers guys.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

zecOO: new electric motorcycle

Designer: Kota Nezu
Company: Znug Design
Country: Japan  
Speed: 130 km/h
Charge time: 6 hours

Completely electric powered, the zecOO was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show this March and is reportedly headed for small scale production at the end of the year. As a design artifact, the body impresses with its single-sided swing-arm, hub-center steering and long, raking windshield (how aerodynamic the latter is, I'm not sure?). Although the performance specs aren't quite as bad-ass as its sleek low-rider aesthetic, it still promises to breathe new life into the e-bike movement. (Probably at a pretty penny, however... hey I can dream)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I NEED this couch/bunk-bed transformer

I had to post this, as it is just pure awesomeness. I love convertible toys!

Find it at Bonbon: Compact Living Solutions:

Starry Night: LED Installations by Lee Eunyeol

Photographer Lee Eunyeol constructs elaborate low-energy LED light installations that appear as if the night sky was flipped upside down with glowing stars and planets nested inside tall grass or between deep earthen cracks.

In his own words:
"Starry night expresses private spaces given by night and various emotions that are not able to be defined and described in the space. I’ve chosen analogue type for the expression which attempts to install electric bulbs in an object to be expressed using back space of night by taking advantage of huge studio. There are two spaces in photographs. One is a space before electric bulbs of familiar landscape are installed and the other is a space after electric bulbs expressed by dispersing personal emotion are installed. Unified light from these two spaces generates a mysterious landscape"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

AirHotel: Mobile Hanging Hotel

Time Circus, a group of Belgian artists, have designed a temporary mobile aerial hotel alternative – a pop-up installation comprised of sleeping pods made entirely of recycled materials. AirHotel will be moving to different festival locations, starting in the woods of Norfolk, England, and will offer guests themed pods such as The Drop, The Lotus, and El Ambassador. After a healthy breakfast and visit to the sauna, you can request room service (a love song, a sweet music box or a disco party) by "airhostesses" and waiters. Accommodations are ~$50 CAD/night.

For more info, check out the Time Circus website: