Get Sun! Beautiful Examples Of Passive Solar Design

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Cliff House by Altius Architecture, Inc

Imagine freedom from paying your bills. Not all of them, of course. Just a few—namely gas, oil, and electric.

Building a house using passive solar design principles can allow the home to go off the grid for all or many heating and cooling needs. And, with today’s technologies and innovations, without sacrificing aesthetics or functionality.

Modern architects have harnessed the power of the sun since the 1930s. But it was rare: Builders struggled to integrate the beauty of architecture with the utilitarian aspect of engineering. It wasn’t until the oil and energy crisis of the ’70s forced architects to think of creative design solutions that solar passive techniques finally gained traction.

See the full collection I curated for Architizer here.

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Vashon Island Cabin by Vandeventer + Carlander Architects

The Honest Beauty Of Shibui

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House EVTM by OYO

“Shibui” is a Japanese word used to describe a design aesthetic that values simple, unadorned minimalism. It is related to the concept of wabi-sabi, which is the celebration of the imperfect and transitory nature of objects in the world. The seven key components of shibui design are simplicity, implicitness, modesty, silence, naturalness, everydayness, and imperfection.

Read the complete article at Architizer here.

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La Muna by Oppenheim Architecture + Design

An Amazing Visual Tour Of European Architectural Treasures

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Photo: Luke Shepard.

From the Renaissance until the middle of the 20th Century, artists from all over the globe would travel to Europe to pursue their trade—whether painting, sculpting, poetry, or architecture. This artistic rite of passage was known as the Grand Tour, as these cultural pilgrims traveled throughout the Continent in order to absorb what were considered the greatest works of art and architecture.

Luke Shepard, a precocious American photographer based out of Paris, has done a contemporary take on the Grand Tour, wandering through Europe photographing some of his favorite structures at night and turning it into a video named “Nightvision.”

Read the complete article at Architizer here.

NIGHTVISION from Luke Shepard on Vimeo.

IKEA’s Virtual Reality App

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Last week we speculated about the ways in which digital technology will radically alter the way we think about, arrange, and decorate our interiors.Now, we’re one step closer to that future. A new technology, from Swedish furniture manufacturer Ikea, will eliminate our need for such archaic tools as measuring tape or at least expel any lingering doubts that the couch we just ordered will actually fit in our already lived-in living room.

Read the full article at Architizer here.

Naum Gabo’s Material Gamble

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What the statue is supposed to look like. Model for “Construction in Space: Two Cones,” 1927. Photo © Nina & Graham Williams/Tate, London 2011 via the Tate Museum.

Brittle, brown, and crumbling, Naum Gabo’s sculpture “Construction: Two Cones in Space” is a harbinger of what is to come for artwork fabricated out of plastic. The sculpture, part of the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has so deteriorated that it is no longer feasible to display.

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The state of the sculpture today, housed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s storage.

Gabo was a key member of the Russian Constructivists, an avant-garde group active in the beginning of the 20th century. The Constructivists had many radical ideas: the autonomy of material, imbuing everyday objects (such as chairs and utensils) with aesthetic concerns, and using contemporary materials and technology to wipe away the past. Gabo’s use of plastic was rooted in another of their beliefs: in using contemporary materials to create a new art.

Read the full article at Architizer here.

 

Skate This!

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Image via.

 

What makes a great “skate spot”? Smooth surfaces, sweet inclines, and such bonus features like ledges, steps, rails, and transitions help. Now, skateboarders, being a notoriously inventive and industrious bunch, could have fun in any parking lot with a curb. But built environments that push skateboarders to new feats of daring offer more options than just a flat surface to roll on.

Modernist architecture, for example, with its embrace of concrete, marble, and granite, has proved a great boon to the sport. Two of the most famous skate spots in history—the Embarcadero in San Francisco and Love Park in Philadelphia—were built as public plazas in the Modernist style. The Embarcadero’s Gonz Gap, created by a gigantic concrete wave, and Love Park’s low granite benches helped transform these spaces into, to paraphrase Le Corbusier, “machines” for skating.

See the full collection of architectural projects I curated for Architizer here.

 

Public Sculpture As Skatepark

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Traditionally, skateboarding parks are separated from the general public—the skateboarders are relegated to their concrete area, the metal fences a boundary between them and the rest of the city. However, most skateboarders don’t desire this sequestration, no matter how great the park is. Skateboarders want the freedom to take their four wheels and plywood planks where they want, when they want.

Read the complete article at Architizer here.

Photo: RedBullContentPool