Architect Todd Saunders designed a sleek blackened timber home called Villa S for himself and his family in Bergen, Norway, inspired by advice from his two young children. Set in a former grassy park, the unique house rises on two podiums, which form a sheltered outdoor area below and support a set of swings that the whole family can enjoy. The elevated living area makes the most use of the plot, while also offering Saunders and his family superior views of the lush area outside.
Have a brilliant idea to improve Toronto’s urban fabric? Submit your ideas to studio Distl and Oxford Properties’2015 NXT City Prize and you could win $5,000 to implement your plans. This year’s competition explores the theme of “Opportunity” and how urban design and public space can create new economic, social, and environmental opportunities. In addition to the $5,000 grand prize, category winners will each receive a $1,000 cash prize. You must be under the age of 35 to participate. Entries are due July 31, 2015.
Japanese architect Kengo Kuma is known for rethinking the way we should live and enjoy our spare time. For this project, he designed a super cool community center with a sharp zigzag roof and equally playful hilly indoor terrain made from elegant Japanese cedar wood. Located in the city that gives it its name, the Towada City Plaza was designed for climbing, cooking, learning, meeting others and playing particularly during harsh weather.
The Principality of Monaco has taken on quite a project at the Expo Milan 2015, with its stunning cargotecture project. Created with repurposed shipping containers, this colorful pavilion is filled with subtext about the importance of a cooperative green economy.
From bio-refrigerators that cool food with gel to zero-energy clay alternatives, we see a lot of designs that look to make one of the home’s most energy-hungry appliances more efficient. But in Ikea’s Concept Kitchen 2025 installation at the Milan Design Fair, the Swedish furniture giant goes one step further, and suggests that 10 years from now we might forgo fridges entirely in favor of a “modern pantry” that keeps food cool using a combination of smart technology and traditional methods, with an open display to cut down on waste.
Amid the various incarnations of the future of sustainable agriculture at the 2015 Milan Expo is the New Holland pavilion, named Earth Screening. The pavilion is the long-awaited construction of the design by RecchiEngineering and Carlo Ratti. Selected by New Holland Agriculture, a leader of agricultural machinery production, this arrangement goes far outside the box by incorporating a full 17,000-square-foot field of green atop the pavilion. Inhabitat is on the ground at the Expo to bring you all the details.
America’s largest design event, Dwell on Design, is celebrating its 10th year at the Los Angeles Convention Center from May 29-31, 2015! Curated by the talented editors of Dwell magazine, this inspiring three-day wonderland of modern design will let visitors explore the latest design trends, tour some of L.A.’s most stunning residences, walk through prefab homes and living landscapes, attend thought-provoking conversations, and network face-to-face with industry experts. To secure your spot at the show and save, register here and use promo code INHABITAT15 for $5 off!
The May 1 opening of the Milan Expo 2015 architectural show has been marred by violent clashes between a group of protesters and Italian riot police. Reuters reports that “thick clouds of smoke from burning cars filled parts of central Milan” as masked individuals threw rocks and petrol bombs, and law enforcement retaliated with teargas. The wider, student-organized No Expo protests—which have otherwise been nonviolent—are speaking out against the immense cost of the temporary Expo at a time when Italy is facing economic hardship.
Designed by Southern California based Brenda Sacks, this eco-chic line of contemporary table coverings is made from 100% woven fiber sources entirely from recycled plastic bottles. A consummate entertainer, Sacks couldn’t find a cool, modern tablecloth that was highly functional and sustainable as well, so she decided to create her own line. BottleCloth is an out-door friendly, sophisticated line of eco-chic table linens that maintain the look and feel of fine fabric.
This is the first time in the world expo's history that a private company has its own pavilion and it tells quite a story. Designed by Daniel Libeskind and clad in three dimensional red ceramic tiles fashioned with help from Casalgrande Padana, the Vanke pavilion has a twisted form that culminates in a rooftop garden and symbolizes a traditional Shitang or dining hall. The pavilion designed for China's largest real estate company is located on the edge of Lake Arena at Milan Expo 2015 and highlights the importance of food and socialization to the nation's rich culture.
Japan has taken an almost literal approach to the Milan Expo 2015 theme "Feeding the planet, Energy for life" with a three dimensional wooden pavilion that models a traditional Japanese ceramic Utsuwa bowl. Inside this bowl, designed by Atsushi Kitagawara in the tradition of vernacular architecture exemplified by the famous Horyuji Buddhist Temple, is a showcase of Japan's commitment to building a nation that eats a healthy, sustainable and balanced diet. Take a look through our photographs for a closer look at earthquake resistant 'living construction.'
Believe it or not, there's an American food revolution taking root in the heart of Italy - and it involves a fleet of food trucks and a 7,200 square foot vertical farm! Biber Architects just unveiled the American Food 2.0 pavilion at the 2015 Milan World Expo, and it's packed from top to bottom with green building strategies and agricultural solutions that could revolutionize our food system. The super green smart building is made from reclaimed Coney Island boardwalk wood, it features the world's largest opacity-shifting SPD SmartGlass roof, and it's wrapped with a lush living farmscape that runs the length of a football field. Inhabitat is reporting live from Milan to bring you a first look at this landmark project - hit the jump for more!
Italy-based Enel, Europe's second largest electricity and gas operators and official partner of Milan Expo 2015, unveiled their 900-square-meter pavilion made of 650 polycarbonate grafted vectors. This amazing light installation overlooks the main east-west road in Milan and creates a virtual forest accessed via a meandering ramp and surrounded with green courtyards. Designed by Italian firm PIUARCH, the pavilion is powered entirely by photovoltaic panels.
Tetra Paks are a great invention. They can keep milk and other perishable items fresh for months without refrigeration. It can also be better than commercial canning because the Paks aren’t lined with BPA. But there has been some controversy as to just how green they are. Some have argued that the only way a small portion of the packs are usually recycled is by turning them into toilet paper. But now, an effort is being made to turn those Tetra Paks into useful items—like LED fixtures.
In March, California’s LEGOland resort unveiled the latest addition to its Star Wars Miniland; a 1900lb model of the Death Star that is made from over 500,000 LEGO bricks! The replica weaponry, which measures 13 feet high and eight feet wide, hovers above visitors to the exhibition and is equipped with its own [LEGO] planet-destroying super laser.