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Nature

This Moss-Covered, Octagonal Micro-Cabin Combines Luxury and Rustic Aesthetic

04:00 - 12 October, 2018
© Madeline Lu
© Madeline Lu

Jacob Witzling may lack formal architectural training, but his passion for nature and cabin architecture has provided him with all the tools needed to both design and construct idyllic living spaces. Witzling’s cabins can be found throughout the United States; these structures are often sequestered to the woods, providing a remote escape from urban centers and suburban sprawl.

Witzling’s interest in cabins began at the age of 16. His father, an architect and engineer, provided him with a preliminary exposure to the world of designing and building. “I needed to exist in the woods, and even though I had never built anything other than a blanket fort, I knew that my passion to create would be sufficient,” says Witzling. “I remember pouring over the pages of my dad’s favorite book, 'Handmade Houses: A Guide to the Woodbutcher’s Art.' I would gaze at the pictures from inside my blanket fort and daydream about building one of my own.”

MAD Revitalizes Abandoned Japanese Mountain Tunnel with Elemental Art Trail

16:00 - 6 August, 2018
MAD Revitalizes Abandoned Japanese Mountain Tunnel with Elemental Art Trail, Light Cave (Water). Image Courtesy of Nacasa & Partners Inc
Light Cave (Water). Image Courtesy of Nacasa & Partners Inc

MAD Architects have completed their restoration work on the Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel in Japan’s Niigata prefecture, transforming the historic lookout tunnel into a trail of artistic spaces. The “Tunnel of Light” was opened as part of the 2018 Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, cutting through 750 meters of rock formations to offer a panoramic view across one of Japan’s great landscapes.

MAD’s scheme seeks to “transform points along the historic tunnel through the realization of several architectural spaces and artistic atmospheres." Inspired by the five elements of wood, earth, metal, fire, and water, the scheme explores the relationship between humans and nature, and "re-connects locals and visitors alike with the majestic beauty of the land."

Periscope (Wood). Image Courtesy of Nacasa & Partners Inc The Drop (Fire). Image Courtesy of Nacasa & Partners Inc The Drop (Fire). Image Courtesy of Nacasa & Partners Inc Expression of Color (Earth). Image Courtesy of Nacasa & Partners Inc + 22

#MATTERS OF FACT - Design and Architecture Summer Workshops at Domaine de Boisbuchet

00:00 - 13 June, 2018
#MATTERS OF FACT - Design and Architecture Summer Workshops at Domaine de Boisbuchet, "Unidentified Funicular Objects" at Boisbuchet by Block Research Group ETH ZURICH | Zito Tseng©CIRECA-Domaine de Boibuchet.
"Unidentified Funicular Objects" at Boisbuchet by Block Research Group ETH ZURICH | Zito Tseng©CIRECA-Domaine de Boibuchet.

Fake news, alternative facts, virtual realities... Media that were meant to connect us are taking on a life of their own. They blur borders between the actual world and its image and they answer questions about true or false with the loudest voice or strongest image. Our workshops this year offer a reality-check. They dip your hands into matter, confront ancient knowledge with high-tech, engage you with innovative companies and let you connect to real people - here and now!

UNStudio’s Ben van Berkel Weaves an Immersive Pavilion for Revolution Precrafted Series

06:00 - 29 May, 2018
UNStudio’s Ben van Berkel Weaves an Immersive Pavilion for Revolution Precrafted Series, Courtesy of UNStudio
Courtesy of UNStudio

Continuing towards its goal of creating design-forward structures that are available to the public and installable anywhere, Revolution Precrafted's series has unveiled its latest pavilion design by Ben van Berkel, founder and principal architect of UNStudio. The limited edition Ellipsicoon (a portmanteau of Ellipse and Cocoon) is available now through Revolution Precrafted’s website, joining the selection of prefabricated pavilions and single-family home designs by the likes of Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel, and Daniel Libeskind.

Courtesy of UNStudio Courtesy of UNStudio Courtesy of UNStudio Courtesy of UNStudio + 8

A Studio Ghibli Theme Park is Coming to Japan in 2022

14:00 - 3 May, 2018
A Studio Ghibli Theme Park is Coming to Japan in 2022, The Big Ghibli Warehouse. Image Courtesy of Studio Ghibli / Aichi Prefecture
The Big Ghibli Warehouse. Image Courtesy of Studio Ghibli / Aichi Prefecture

A Studio Ghibli Theme Park is Coming to Japan in 2022. New images released by Studio Ghibli and Aichi Prefecture showcase the park themed around the Japanese animation film studio, best known for its anime feature films. Located on a 200-hectare area of land previously used to host the 2005 World’s Fair, the park seeks to “inherit the philosophy of the World Expo to the next generation,” with an emphasis placed on leisure, walking, and history.

Courtesy of Studio Ghibli / Aichi Prefecture Witch Valley. Image Courtesy of Studio Ghibli / Aichi Prefecture 19th century gatehouse themed around "Howl's Moving Castle". Image Courtesy of Studio Ghibli / Aichi Prefecture Princess Mononoke Village. Image Courtesy of Studio Ghibli / Aichi Prefecture + 5

RIBA Announces Competition Shortlist for Innovative Nature and Wellbeing Center in Sevenoaks

12:00 - 21 April, 2018
RIBA Announces Competition Shortlist for Innovative Nature and Wellbeing Center in Sevenoaks, Courtesy of RIBA
Courtesy of RIBA

The shortlisted schemes for the RIBA Competition to design the new Innovative Nature and Wellbeing Center, located in Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, are now on display to the public. The competition launched last October by Kent Wildlife Trust, in partnership with The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), as an open design competition "seeking worldwide architects and teams to put forward designs that promote learning, wellbeing, curiosity and nature" for a new visitor center at Sevenoaks.

Meditate In This Mobile Nature-Inspired Pinecone Gazebo

06:00 - 19 April, 2018

Designed by Czech designers Atelier SAD and distributed by mmcité1, this mobile, nature-inspired gazebo is a playground must-have for children and adults alike. 109 waterproof, plywood scales are treated with resistant glaze and connected by galvanized joints to create a self-supporting, sustainable structure.

Courtesy of mmcité1 Courtesy of mmcité1 Courtesy of mmcité1 Courtesy of mmcité1 + 45

Is This the Most Beautiful Ghost Town Ever? Drone Video Captures Chinese Village Reclaimed by Nature

09:30 - 15 April, 2018

As the shadows of the past loom around what’s left of the overgrown houses and pathways, videographer Joe Nafis has perfectly captured the rare charm of the abandoned fishing village of Houtouwan using his drone. From above, you can appreciate the extent of the foliage carpeting the walls, roofs, and openings. It was the promise of this unlikely setting that first led Nafis to visit the village as part of a fashion shoot.

© Joe Nafis © Joe Nafis © Joe Nafis © Joe Nafis + 25

Florence Experiment To Show How Watching Movies Impacts Plant Growth

12:01 - 10 April, 2018
Courtesy of Michele Giuseppe Onali
Courtesy of Michele Giuseppe Onali

Throughout the spring and summer of 2018, the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy will host a new site-specific project seeking to further our understanding of ecology, and the relationship between humans and the natural world. “The Florence Experiment” will connect internal and external spaces of the famed Renaissance palace through two separate experiences: an intertwined set of 65-foot-high (20-meter-high) slides, and a “live analysis” of the impact of human emotion on plant growth.

The Florence Experiment has been devised by German artist Carsten Höller and plant neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso, with the vision of turning the Palazzo Strozzi’s façade and courtyard into engaging areas of scientific and artistic experiment. Inspired by the Renaissance alliance between art and science, the project aims to create a new awareness of the way we see, understand, and interact with plant life.

© Martino Margheri Courtesy of Michele Giuseppe Onali © Martino Margheri Courtesy of Michele Giuseppe Onali + 8

MVRDV Releases Alternative Proposal for Taoyuan Museum of Art

12:00 - 20 March, 2018
MVRDV Releases Alternative Proposal for Taoyuan Museum of Art, Courtesy of MVRDV + JJP
Courtesy of MVRDV + JJP

MVRDV has released details of their alternative design for the Taoyuan Museum of Art, an entry for an international competition ultimately won by Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop. The MVRDV scheme, developed in collaboration with JJP Architects and Planners, seeks to become a nature-centered cultural destination, transforming the area into a “cherry room for the city.”

Throughout the design process, MVRDV drew inspiration from the natural world, recognizing the potential for public spaces in the rapidly-expanding Taoyuan City to blur the boundaries between the built and natural environment.

Courtesy of MVRDV + JJP Courtesy of MVRDV + JJP Courtesy of MVRDV + JJP Courtesy of MVRDV + JJP + 8

Nordic Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale to Explore Nature's Relationship to the Built Environment

16:00 - 16 March, 2018
Nordic Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale to Explore Nature's Relationship to the Built Environment, Courtesy of Maurizio Mucciola
Courtesy of Maurizio Mucciola

As part of our 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale coverage we present the proposal for the Nordic Pavilion. Below, the participants describe their contribution in their own words.

Finnish architect Lundén Architecture Company has been chosen to design the Nordic contribution to the 2018 International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. Eero Lundén’s proposal, entitled Another Generosity, explores the relationship between nature and the built environment.

The goal is to explore new ways of making buildings that emphasise the delicate but often invisible interactions between the built and natural worlds.

Sou Fujimoto and Coldefy & Associés Propose a Sweeping Canopy for French Court House

12:00 - 10 March, 2018
Sou Fujimoto and Coldefy & Associés Propose a Sweeping Canopy for French Court House, Courtesy of MIR
Courtesy of MIR

Sou Fujimoto and Coldefy & Associés Architects Urban Planners’ proposal for a pale sweeping canopy enclosing a stacked glazed volume was among the four finalists for the new Palais de justice in Lille, France organized by the Public Agency for Justice’s Real Estate (APIJ). Though the competition drew 139 international proposals, from which OMA was ultimately selected, Fujimoto and Coldefy & Associés' graceful structure was designed to house the high and district courts as well as public spaces within a facility in dialogue with its natural surroundings.

See the full proposal below.

Courtesy of MIR Courtesy of MIR Courtesy of MIR Courtesy of MIR + 17

Architecture That Can Feed You: Penda's Yin & Yang House Addresses Our Detachment With Food

08:00 - 6 March, 2018
Architecture That Can Feed You: Penda's Yin & Yang House Addresses Our Detachment With Food, Courtesy of Penda Austria
Courtesy of Penda Austria

As a generation that has the most flexibility in day-to-day life, live-work dwellings are becoming more and more popular; a topic that is expected to be seen everywhere in 2018. We can now work anywhere as long as we have a decent internet connection and something to type on. Penda’s latest design, Yin & Yang house, calls upon millennials to take advantage of this ability and move back to the countryside for a better quality of life.

Courtesy of Penda Austria Courtesy of Penda Austria Courtesy of Penda Austria Courtesy of Penda Austria + 29

Michael Reynolds to Build Sustainable Public School in Argentina

16:00 - 17 February, 2018
Michael Reynolds to Build Sustainable Public School in Argentina, The sustainable school built by Michael Reynolds in Uruguay. Image via Earthship Biotecture / Tagma
The sustainable school built by Michael Reynolds in Uruguay. Image via Earthship Biotecture / Tagma

After a successful project in Uruguay—the first in Latin America—it's now Argentina's turn to build its first sustainable public school. The design will use the recycled materials of "garbage warrior" Michael Reynolds, the founder of Earthship Biotecture, and will be constructed as part of the program "A Sustainable School" in the unique biosphere of Mar Chiquita, in the Province of Buenos Aires, from March 1 to 28.

Read on for more information about the new project.

These Modernist Birdhouses are Inspired by Famous Architects

06:00 - 28 December, 2017
These Modernist Birdhouses are Inspired by Famous Architects, via Sourgrassbuilt.com
via Sourgrassbuilt.com

Douglas Barnhard, the owner of the home decor company Sourgrassbuilt, designs and builds birdhouses. Built out of repurposed materials, his designs are inspired by mid-century modernism and pay homage to the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Joseph Eichler and the Bauhaus School in Germany yet mix with Barnhard's experience of the rich surf and skate scene in Santa Cruz.

Fantastic Images of Architecture in the Fog: The Best Photos of the Week

12:00 - 3 December, 2017
Fantastic Images of Architecture in the Fog: The Best Photos of the Week, © Richard Barnes
© Richard Barnes

Taking photographs in fog can be an experience as chaotic as it is enchanting. Although working with this phenomenon can be risky, since fog dramatically modifies the available light and the atmosphere of a scene, if you know how to take advantage of it, the result can lead to perfect photographs. Below is a selection of 10 images from prominent photographers such as Kevin Scott, Richard Barnes, and Koichi Torimura.

© Fernando Guerra © Ligang Huang © Sophie Mayer © Cornbread Works + 10

How (and Why) to Let Weather Into Your Buildings

09:30 - 24 August, 2017
How (and Why) to Let Weather Into Your Buildings

Bringing the weather inside is usually the opposite of what you want from a building envelope. However, new research from the University of Oregon, described in an article by The Washington Post, aims to show the physical and psychological benefits of letting nature inside. Signs of nature and change are both beneficial to our well-being, yet we don’t always have access to them when inside buildings—and humans are now spending 90% of our lives inside. But even in an urban setting, where nature may be hard to come by, there’s no escaping the weather. When researchers found ways to bring things like wind and dappled reflections of the sun inside, they found that exposure to these natural movements lowered heart rates, while being less distracting than similar artificially generated movements.

By now, green buildings are a familiar concept, but the article in The Washington Post proposes moving beyond green buildings as we know them today. While green building can be great in new construction, that excludes a lot of existing buildings that could and should also benefit from an intervention of nature. Ideally, buildings should actively demonstrate their relationship with nature, moving beyond simply “doing no harm.”

© Hiroyuki Oki © Carlos Chen © Alex de Rijke © Alejandro Arango + 7

Power to the Bower: A Bird’s Architectural Method of Seduction

16:00 - 11 June, 2017
Power to the Bower: A Bird’s Architectural Method of Seduction , Courtesy of Flickr User Will Brown, licensed under CC BY 2.0
Courtesy of Flickr User Will Brown, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Think your decked-out bachelor pad is the slickest on the block? Think again. That reputation now resides in the carefully constructed abode of the bowerbird, which transforms the art of building into the art of seduction. Native to Australia and New Guinea, the bowerbird dedicates months to construct elaborate woven nests, known as bowers, as a means of attracting mates in one of nature’s most unique courting rituals.