Architectural designs with indoor gardens that make your house feel like a home!

Wake up, work, sleep, lather, and repeat – for a long time we have continued this cycle in our day-to-day life, rarely stopping to look at the world around us and the impact we make on it until the pandemic brought us to a staggering halt. The lack of outside distractions helped increase the focus on the inside – our home and our lives. This time period was when my love for plants really flourished! Looking for the idyllic ways to make my dream house come true, my research brought me across these truly beautiful architectural designs with indoor gardens. Your space can be big or small, these inspirational designs are sure to be great additions to your Pinterest boards.

A simple home in Shiga gets elevated with an indoor garden, that extends upwards to become a sunlight. Designed by Hearth Architects, the Kyomachi House is located in Koga, Japan. The skylight covers a curved patch in the center of the space and the tall plants provide the residents with privacy from the street and providing natural ventilation. “It plays a role as a sunshade in leafy summer and as letting the sunshine in non-leafy winter,” said the studio. “The clients can enjoy the change of the seasons and time through the symbolic tree. There is a symbolic deciduous tree in the inner garden, which is visible from anywhere inside.”

“If you don’t listen to the world with an open heart and head, if you don’t pay attention to what’s going on around you, what the air smells like, what people say, the world starts dictating its rules, cruel rules,” says Serhii Makhno. Bunker project is a trip to a depth of 15 meters and below. It is an autonomous underground house that has several layers: a living space, a floor with a water treatment system and generator, a layer of electrical equipment, and at the very bottom — a well. With indoor gardens and the sky, this design by Sergey Makhno Architects keeps you safe.

An opening in the roof sheds light on this concrete-lined boutique in São Paulo, which Brazilian studio Vão Arquitetura has designed around a lush indoor garden. The Acolá store, located in the Pinheiros area of the city, is set inside a peculiarly shaped townhouse, which gets narrower towards its rear. Before their renovation, the Vão Arquitetura team described the three-storey space as being damp and dark – with only four windows running along its main facade.

Dandelion Chocolate, a San Francisco based chocolatier has created a cafe and shop in a century-old house in Kyoto, Japan. Kyoto being the heritage capital of Japan, this shop is designed in harmony with the surroundings and comprises of a cacao bar where customers can order pairings of alcohol with chocolate desserts, a shop, and a traditional Japanese courtyard garden. “Considering the parallels between craft chocolate and cedar, both require authentic craftsmanship and carefully selected natural ingredients – so I made the decision to place cedar at the center of materials used for this project,” said Fumihiko Sano, who began his career as a Sukiya-Daiku – a carpenter for traditional teahouses. Sano san opted to use cedarwood and retain a moment of tranquility and calm in the oasis of the touristy space by adding a traditional Japanese courtyard garden to the design.

A “dark green geometric volume” with its punctured roof opening to a green area defines a small design studio, ASWA (Architectural Studio of Work – Aholic), located in Bangkok, Thailand. The studio sits on a small land, around 100 m2 that previously used as parking lots. The design uses corrugated sheets to create this minimal structure in this off-center courtyard that is determined by the required width and height of the surrounding spaces regarding their functions, which include working space for 6-8 staff, a meeting area, a displayed physical models, materials cabinets, and restroom.

It is known that the best way to uplift a drab-looking office space is with plants, but the architecture and urbanism studio jvantspijker & partners have taken the idea one step ahead by redesigning a former steam factory and added in a central meeting room topped with plants! This quirky addition to the office is an attention seeker with a small flight of stairs leading up to the garden that provides a space to relax in. ‘The central design idea behind the transformation of the office was to keep the scale, transparency, and lightness in place and to connect the office to the main atrium of the building‘, explains the design team. ‘Therefore the central element was designed as a hybrid between a room, a wall, and a piece of furniture; it divides, connects, and provides service space.’

This “wholesome” structure is a multi-generational family home in the city of Bien Hoa, Vietnam designed by CTA Creative Architects and the only thing they wanted was the living spaces to feel bright and airy. “According to recently published scientific research, indoor air quality is worse than outdoor air quality. Therefore, most of our discussions with the house owner tended to the idea of a house that is able to ‘breathe’ 24/7 by itself,” said the team. Most of the structure’s exterior is covered in perforated square bricks that allow fresh air and natural light to flood in. It also promotes upcycling in design – all of the bricks were salvaged from the building sites of properties nearby and were then punctuated to make four small holes in each of them. Material reusability is as important as creativity. To further add to the natural breathing feeling, a small “garden” was planted around the periphery of the main room which makes the air quality better and also acts as a much-needed soothing contrast to the brick tones.

Studio CORE architecture set up the headquarters for EBIL, with a goal to create an every-efficient building. The tools used by the architect? A raw concrete facade in contrast with lush greenery inside the office space that creates a relaxing oasis while joining the two buildings.‘we believe that only designing for energy efficiency is not enough,’ explains the CORE team. ‘how does one ensure that the users adapt to the design? here we experimented with the psychology of the users.’ the elevator shaft is taken far from the work areas and the access travels through senior management works spaces — this discourages the users to use the elevator and instead, prefer the tropical hillock connecting all the spaces.

This AI-operated villa in the Czech Republic comes with panoramic views and needs no keys!

Artificial-intelligence controls Villa Sophia, designed by Coll Coll, which blooms at the top of a hill above Prague, Czech Republic. Described as the “center of the universe,” by its creators, Michaela Pankova and Karel Panek, the architecture of Villa Sophia really does seem to present itself as a sort of nucleus, quietly blending the omnipresence of today’s technology with timeless values of connectedness and sustainability. The minds behind the hideout, the villa’s habitants, aimed to integrate robust AI technology into each nook and cranny of the home while also ensuring that the villa embodied warmth and intimacy for social gatherings or alone time. 

The home incorporates impressive artificial intelligence throughout such as musical instruments that play themselves, lights that turn on without switches, along with verbal and haptic sensors that track your footsteps, your hand motions, and spoken word. Oh, and did we mention, this smart-house needs no keys! On the home’s AI technology, one of its creators, Michaela Pankova says, “The house is like a brain,” and the home certainly is smart. Aware of where everyone is inside the house, Villa Sophia’s AI system listens and adapts to the growing needs of the home’s residents so that just by inhabiting the home, everyone can enjoy the benefits that come with technological living. Room temperatures will adjust as soon as someone makes note of the cold. Come sunset, blue lighting dissipates so that the house provides optimal lighting for sleep. Deliveries always make it inside as the smart home can unlock and open doors after assessing who’s knocking. The home has as many technological capabilities as the human has thoughts, in this way, artificial and human intelligence work in tandem. 

Considering the home’s catalog of intellectual technology, sustainability and interconnection still breathe inside and outside Villa Sophia. The home is just as eco-friendly as it is tech-savvy, with responsibly sourced wood material and polyurethane floor finishing, the interior design makes the overall home that much more efficient and eco-conscious. From the rich, walnut wood finishes to the living space’s accessible ramp that slithers through a sloped chunk of the staircase, a seamless fusion of distinguished technological innovation with an acute awareness of the human’s urge to control pervade this villa.

Designer: Michaela Pankova and Karel Panek of Coll Coll

This article was sent to us using the ‘Submit A Design’ feature.
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Concrete architectural designs that show why it is the future of modern architecture: Part 2

What is your definition of modern architecture? Is it tall glass skyscrapers? Or is the architecture better defined to you by the futuristic forms it takes rather than the materials? I believe the future is paved by our past and hence the future will include concrete but a more refined version of it. Concrete is the second-most used material on earth. It is also the second-largest emitter of CO2, with cement manufacturing accounting for 5 to 7 percent of annual emission. But can we just stop using a product that is a part of our fabric on such a large scale? And what about the long-term effects of the new material? I believe what we need is a tweak to our existing materials and process to better complement our planet and the use of concrete in these architectural designs tells me the material is here to stay!

Almost surreal in appearance, the ‘House Inside a Rock’ by Amey Kandalgaonkar creates a contrast – using a natural stone shape carved from years of battling with nature and a concrete and glass interior to carve out the living space. Taking influence from the rock-cut tomb architecture of Saudi Arabia’s Madain Saleh, this ancient archaeological site is the perfect mix of the old and the new. The designer of the concept says, “When I first saw the images of rock cut-tomb architecture, I knew I had to use it as an inspiration in an architectural project. There is a huge amount of architectural heritage laid out for us by past builders and I believe they did a great job of integrating built environments in natural elements.”

The vision of Graham Birchall of Birchall & Partners Architects, the ‘Bubble House’ comprises 11 circular domes, each measuring four to eight meters in diameter, resulting in a total of 20 rooms! Located in Australia, the three-level house includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a media room, a workshop, a wine cellar, and a kitchen. The design also boasts large outdoor spaces such as the main terrace, two balconies, and a golf tee. And the best of all, if this unique design catches your eye, it is available for sale at $1,800,000 AUD – Tony Stark, this can be the next Avengers headquarters!

Another exceptional design by architect Amey Kandalgaonkar, this design titles ‘House in the desert’ imagines a shaped carved out by the strong winds that relentlessly blow across the desert landscape. The design wraps around a natural rock formation, almost preserving the texture of the original formation. Almost embracing the rock, the design plays with the juxtaposition of the old against the new and how we see a future where they both could coexist in peace

Heatherwick Studio’s Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) is the world’s largest museum dedicated to African contemporary art and its diaspora. The nine-floor, 9,500 square foot interior pays homage to the industrial history of the town. The silo had fallen into disuse by 1990 and that’s when Heatherwick entered the scene to transform this milestone into a cultural epicenter. The Studio says, “We were excited by the opportunity to unlock this formerly dead structure and transform it into somewhere for people to see and enjoy the most incredible artworks from the continent of Africa. The technical challenge was to find a way to carve out spaces and galleries from the ten-story high tubular honeycomb without completely destroying the authenticity of the original building.”

Czech studios Formafatal and Refuel Works designed the Art Villa, a concrete villa nestled into the jungle in Costa Rica. The villa is a part of a community of resorts that include rentable houses – with each design being sustainable and comes with its own green roof and a multifunctional pavilion. “When designing the interiors, we found inspiration not only in the surrounding wild jungle but also in the work of the Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha,” the Formafatal said.

Designed for a client by Noel Robinson Architects who wanted a timeless and practical holiday home, I imagine he is truly enjoying his quarantine overlooking the Pacific Ocean because that is where I would be living out the pandemic if I had the option. The Domik eco-home has 3 floors, 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, and is one of Australia’s most expensive homes. The exterior is anything but that of a conventional house – it has several large domes stacked upon each other and covered with green roofs to blend in with nature. The unusual shape and use of natural materials truly optimize the natural sunlight and ventilation that Domik gets due to its premium location. It almost looks like the house is wearing a hooded cloak of eco-consciousness. The design also incorporates the collection of roof water to be reused on-site. The internal non-loadbearing walls are made with hempcrete for thermal insulation (and acoustics!). Hempcrete has high carbon sequestration and is a fully recyclable product.

Don’t let the simplicity of this design’s architecture by Kazunori Fujimoto Architect & Associates for a seaside spot in Japan’s Hiroshima Prefecture fool you. The house, named Akitsu, faces the Seto Island Sea and resembles a simple blocky concrete structure with a wide staircase that invites you to enter the home. “The most interesting challenge for this project was to create a comfortable inside silence combined with a new atmosphere of openness,” said the architects. “The use of a polish concrete finish for the living room and the kitchen floor became important in order to give an additional value to the external light.”

The conceptual DESI House by TABARQ is imagined to be set in the serene Austrian Alps with expansive windows that truly add another dimension to the panoramic views. What stands out is the shape of its exterior, it looks like someone rolled a sheet of concrete around a pencil for a crafts class! There seems to be a main tall cylindrical structure with a shorter one enveloping it and “rays” moving from there in different directions that probably divide the mansion into different wings. The detailed 3D renderings show the luxurious features of the house like the infinity lap pool with a jacuzzi and a local vegetation garden that makes the roof come alive – literally.

Architect Gerardo Broissin designed an intriguing pavilion that sits on the lawn at the contemporary art museum Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. The structure looks like it’s right out of another dimension, but it functions as a greenhouse of sorts! The pavilion has been created using concrete panels that come together like a puzzle. Named Egaligilo or equalizer in English, the puzzle-inspired panels of the pavilion are spread out across a steel frame, with bubble-like circles protruding from them.

Nestled between the Caspian Sea and the Sisangan Forest is a private residence designed by MADO Architects in the Sisangan province of Iran. The clients had one request, an intense focus on privacy. The architects placed concrete slabs in a tent-like manner allowing them to intersect one another. The intersecting slabs create interesting geometric angles, adding a bold and unique feel to the structure. The vernacular architecture surrounding the building was used as a source of inspiration, with the villa effortlessly merging with it. The design started off with a square. The sides of the squares were detached, separated and rotated, such that the interior of the villa is always illuminated with natural light. The rotated square sides not only allow light to enter but also create a delicate relationship between the indoors and the outdoors. The sloping solid walls hold up the roof and ensure complete and utter privacy. In fact, the structure looks like a deck of playing cards arranged amusingly! The oblique walls manage to create a deeply personal space while providing a gentle connection with nature.

Is brutalist your style? Check our more inspirational concrete architectural designs in the first part of this series.

Space Architecture designed to be a home to the future humans living on Mars!

SpaceX Crew Dragon’s successful return from the space station has added a new dimension in humanity’s plans for space travel. Granted we have been sending spaceships out for a while, but the successful entry of Elon Musk to this space (literally!) promises a new direction or energy that our plans for living on Mars probably need! While NASA figures out the logistics to get us there, we want to focus more on the quality of life at the red planet and the architecture that will be used to house the people. After all, they promise a great view from any window we get!

Paris-based Interstellar labs have planned to build a network of biomes in the Mojave desert in California to create and study the future of human settlement on Mars. Named EBIOS (experimental bio-regenerative station) the design is a circular village (enclosed on itself) with ‘regenerative life support technologies’. “Sentient life is likely very rare in our universe — complex life may be rare in our solar system,” said founder and CEO Barbara Belvisi. “At Interstellar lab we are building technologies to help its preservation and regeneration on earth now and in the future on other planets. What we need to bring on mars for life is what we need to protect on earth right now. The only path to becoming a multiplanet species is to join our energy in the same direction.” Following this philosophy, Interstellar is working closely with NASA to create the ideal habitat to help humans start the next leg of our journey across the Milky Way. After all, once we settle on Mars, who is to stop us from finding new planets!

SpaceX got their rocket to the space station and back successfully. So it’s only logical the next step for them is to build us a solar-friendly housing there (after all the roadster is already orbiting in space!) and we even have a date for it! The Dragon Crew included a crew of two, whereas rehabilitation requires mass transportation with SpaceX’s 100-passenger reusable rocket design (named Starship) preparing to get us there.  Elon Musk has said it would take 1,000 of SpaceX’s starship rockets 20 years to transport the cargo. A series of tweets by Musk outlines how many rockets he thought it would need to carry the necessary cargo to set up a base on Mars. “A thousand ships will be needed to create a sustainable mars city… as the planets align only once every two years,” he said. Musk also stated a full ‘Mars base alpha’ – a preliminary city on the red planet – could be completed as soon as 2028. SpaceX intends to use the BFR to build a base on the moon and for return trips to and from mars. the most recent images of the mars base photo include the updated BFR design, which this year added bigger fins.

When NASA announced a competition to design the best Martian habitation design, AI SpaceFactory came in second place with its vertical, egg-shaped structure that holds a double shell system to handle the internal atmospheric pressure and the structural stress the design may have to endure. Designed to be constructed on Mars, the design keeps in mind using elements already present on the planet, reducing the dependency of construction materials to be carried from Earth. The team developed an innovative mixture of basalt fiber, extracted from Martian rock, and renewable bioplastic (polylactic acid) derived from plants that would be grown on Mars. The design envisions individual structures instead of a communal habitat but given the area it covers, it should comfortably house more than one Martian at a time!

The winner of NASA’s competition to design 3D-printed habitat for Mars is the Zopherus designed by an Arkansas-based team. The design is envisioned to be built from the materials available on the planet and showcases a settlement with rounded hut-like structures. The construction is designed to be 3D printed, without any human intervention to keep the place ready for the humans before they arrive. The process starts with a lander who settles and looks for a suitable area to start building the settlement, the lander deploys autonomous robots who gather the material for the process to start.

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels’s Mars Science City is designed to operate as a space simulation campus for scientists to understand “humanity’s march into space”. Located in Dubai, the experimental city is built to hold a team for a year which will recreate the conditions expected on Mars. The laboratories are dedicated to investigating self-sufficient forms of energy, food and water for future life on Mars. Ingels, the founder of Danish firm BIG, will work on the AED 500 million (£101 million) project with a team of Emirati scientists, engineers, and designers led by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and the Dubai Municipality. “The UAE seeks to establish international efforts to develop technologies that benefit humankind, and that establishes the foundation of a better future for more generations to come,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, vice president and prime minister of the UAE, and ruler of Dubai.

NASA scientists and the University of Arizona’s agricultural department have teamed up to develop this inflatable greenhouse that can be used to grow vegetables in deep space. The result of this experiment is to sustain astronauts on a vegetarian diet while staying for long term on the Moon or Mars. While NASA scientists have been growing crops in the International Space Station, this 18×7 feet design can be used for air revitalization, water recycling, or waste recycling and also repurposing the carbon dioxide exhaled by the astronauts. R. Gene Giacomelli, director of the controlled environment agriculture center at the University of Arizona states “We’re mimicking what the plants would have if they were on earth, and using of these processes for life support. The entire system of the lunar greenhouse does represent, in a small way, the biological systems that are here on earth.”

Warith Zaki and Amir Amzar plan to use the bamboo grown on Mars to actually build the first colony, named Seed of Life, on Mars. The conceptual colony design is actually a series or cluster of structures woven by autonomous robots from bamboos. The aim of the project is to create structures that do not rely on construction materials being shipped from Earth or to use 3D printing. “After doing a lot of research on Mars colonization, we realized that half of the ideas would go about deploying fully synthetic materials made on earth to build shelters, while the other half is about using the locally available regolith,” said Zaki and Amzar. “Human civilization has yet to build anything on any other planet outside of Earth. That fact alone opens up infinite possibilities of what could or should be used. Sure, 3D printing seems to be a viable proposition, but with thousands of years worth of experience and techniques in shelter construction, why shouldn’t we tap on other alternatives too?”

The construction industry emits 4 times more CO2 than the aviation industry and that is enough proof they must focus on ecodesign to reduce their colossal impact especially when sustainable materials, like mycelium composites, already exist! This material is created by growing mycelium–the thread-like main body of a fungus–of certain mushroom-producing fungi on agricultural wastes. The mycelia are composed of a network of filaments called “hyphae,” which are natural binders and they also are self-adhesive to the surface they grow on. This mushroom material is biodegradable, sustainable, and a low-cost alternative to construction materials while also possessing thermal and fire-resistant properties. The Living has designed an organic 42 feet tall mycelium tower to show the potential of using mushrooms for stable structures which is just one of many such projects. Mycelium materials are also being tested for being acoustic absorber, packaging materials, and building insulation. Even NASA is currently researching using mycelium to build sustainable habitable dwellings on Mars – if we have to move into a mushroom house, might as well test it on Earth first, right?

23 shares Dezeen – Mars One

Would you be ready to move to Mars and establish the first civilization on Mars? Well, more than 200,000 people from 140 countries have applied for a one-way ticket to join such a human settlement. Established by non-profit organization Mars One, the £4 billion project, founded by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp in 2012, plans to establish the first permanent human settlement on Mars in 2023 and has proposed that humans will live in a modular environment made up of multiple inflatable units. “As the habitat will be modular, and constructed using fully redundant systems, even if one inflatable unit is damaged beyond repair, the habitat will still be secure and fully functional,” said the organization. “The first footprint on Mars and lives of the crew thereon will captivate and inspire generations; it is this public interest that will help finance this human mission to Mars,” said Mars One.

Texas-based startup Orion Span plans to utilize space in a whole new way, by creating a luxury space hotel designed to open in 2022 (I’m sure COVID was not featured in their plans!) Named Aurora Station, the £70 million space hotel is designed to orbit 200 miles above the earth. The hotel plans to hold four guests and two crew members for a total 12-day trip and is priced at about £6.7 million per person. “Upon launch, Aurora Station goes into service immediately, bringing travelers into space quicker and at a lower price point than ever seen before, while still providing an unforgettable experience,” said Frank Bunger, founder of Orion Span. The entire design will be processed by a team led by Frank Eichstadt, who is credited as being the principal architect on the International Space Station’s Enterprise module. “Orion Span has additionally taken what was historically a 24-month training regimen to prepare travelers to visit a space station and streamlined it to three months, at a fraction of the cost,” said Bunger.

Architectural design renders that give us a glimpse into the future of humanity: Part 2

As a fan of fictional writing, nothing excites me so much as to see a whole new world, unexplored and full of opportunities. That is exactly how I feel every time I see an architectural design posted by @inwardsound, an Italian 3D artist on Instagram who creates these surreal yet realistic views of our future, kind of like showing different versions of Earth in parallel universes where one twist in fate or act of man resulted in the new society that would be formed under their influence. The designer uses a mix of software, including Cinema4D and photoshop to achieve his vision. Just looking at the detailed effort that goes into each of these renders, it is easy to create a story of someone who lives in that space, which hopefully is COVID-free!

Living in cities, with homes that are so close by, we often know the person on the window opposite, they are practically our neighbors too! Habitat imagines a city where gravity is under control, so people reside on the land level and sky level (literally!) in this amazing view of what the world would be like if we run out of space in our cities. New York 2200 is here, and chances are, you will have a friendly neighbor above you as well!

When man overruns all the forest to create cities, how do they balance the green space? By creating a dedicated space on a higher plane to create a forest that gets plenty of sunlight and it thrives enough to sustain the urban population. Titles Urbs, this render brings to mind such a space, with the richest of the people getting the higher floor and most of the benefits of the environment. Altered Carbon vibes anyone?

Whether our future is in space or on another planet, one thing is for sure – we need greenery! Probably if we enforce that lesson earlier, the future won’t come to a moment where we have to leave the planet. Morbid musings aside, this giant space-ship in the render Space Settlements seems to maintain that healthy balance of nature and humans on it that brings hope that these humans won’t be the round-ish blobs Disney’s masterpiece Wall-E envisions.

The year is 2120 and the city is Tokyo. Anyone who has lived or traveled to Japan knows that it is one of the most organized city in terms of its directions and signage. The huge structure that houses various railway and bullet train lines that run through it every minute is the past of this futuristic Central Station that in the next 100 years should account for the VTOL’s, hoverboards and jet packs as well!

What do you do when you run out of horizontal space? You create a parallel plane to create housing for the remaining humans. Seems a tad bit difficult in terms of the logistics, but the design here named Myst has a charm of its own, like the water-filled city of Venice, where the old and the new come together and share a space while allowing nature to flourish around them.

The increasing sales of air purifiers around the world are proof that we recognize the impact of our actions and the increasing air pollution. But what do we do when the pollution level is so high, that the small scale home purifiers are not enough? We create the O2 Station! Imagine a central, large-scale purifier if you will who stands tall and is responsible for cleaning the toxic air around us, making the environment habitable for humans and plants alike!

What would happen if the circular alien space ship that landed in New York (in Avengers Endgame, of course, this is not a conspiracy reveal) never left? I could imagine it growing earthy vegetation over time and becoming a part of the city’s heritage just like this design titled E-C-C. Population growing at an unprecedented pace causing us to capture space in every form – be it vertical skyscrapers or circular structures – this is a reality we can see sooner rather than later.

Usually, we associate the colour red with vibrance and even violence but there is something about the use of red in this render that brings to mind the zen temples of Kyoto in their fierce autumn glory. The multi-level structures in a grid-like a pattern are random yet organized at the same time, giving the city its name, the Quiet City. Look at this for long and I can almost hear the bells tolling!

We know the importance of the earth’s rotation in our daily lives. Can you imagine living only in the night, with no daylight coming to your rescue? When humans live in space, we will try to replicate what we already know and that is what gives the Rotor City its unique shape. Built around a central axis, the city is built to rotate like Earth, retaining the balance we are familiar with and making the transition from Earth to space easier.

When the people in the 1900s imagined 2020, flying was a legitimate mode of transport and here I am in 2020, stuck in quarantine with no flight in sight. So maybe the future we are envisioning will be not a vastly different route but more of a nod in the right direction, creating that balance we seek. New Life is such a futuristic city, overrun by skyscrapers and plants alike, showing that the new modern must be more green than grey!

Love these design renders as much as we do? Check out more of them in the first part of this series!

Cabins with eco-friendly designs to help you feel at one with nature!

When it comes to holiday getaways, everyone loves the idea of lounging about in a nice cabin surrounded by nature at its best. Whether it’s in the middle of a forest, by the sea, or on a snowy mountaintop, one can never say no to cabin vacations! Architects and designers have been innovating the basic concept of a cabin itself, creating luxurious and cozy holiday destinations. So, we’ve curated a collection of comfortable cabins that will help you reconnect with nature and yourself!

Italian architects Massimo Gnocchi and Paolo Danesi probably also can’t wait to enjoy some downtime and therefore created the Mountain Refuge to express their desire for travel. The cabin was designed as a ‘refuge for the mind’ and radiates warmth and coziness that relaxes you instantly. The visual aesthetic and interiors have been carefully crafted with earthy tones and natural materials. The sweeping polygonal windows let you soak the nature in even if you don’t step outside. It lets in ample sunlight and makes the otherwise small space, spacious. Since it is so compact, the furniture has been kept minimal (in terms of size and design) and the one accent piece is the suspended fireplace which completes the perfect cabin picture. Already pinned this to my board!

The Livit Studypod is a futuristic black-box style cube that you can place anywhere you want and focus on your work, study or even health! This composite cube structure works as your bedroom, home office, or study table and is designed for outdoor use. Easy to place on your backyard, garden, or anywhere with a view, the black-tinted hardened glass window gives an unobstructed view of your scenery. Since the cube is a closed structure, it keeps you safe from the weather across the year. Measuring 2.15 x 1.8 x 2.1 meters, this cube is perfectly sized for you to style it for your comfort, improving your headspace and keeping you stress-free. The pod does weigh 700 kilos but it also comes with optional wheels that let you move it and settle down for a quick change of scenery! The pod has oak flooring, a detachable desk, a power outlet, four downlights, and natural ventilation to keep the place airy.

UK based Studio Koto has unveiled a series of multi-functional modular cabins to join the need for work from home setups. The angular, geometric form of the cabin makes it easily stand out, amplified by the use of dark wood for the exterior. The cabin boasts a large, irregularly shaped window on one side that gives the user sweeping views of their surroundings. ‘We want to disrupt how we see the conventional work office and have created a truly inspiring space that enhances the landscape giving people privacy with direct access to nature.’ said Zoe Little, founding partner at Koto.

AYFRAYM cabin’s A-shaped design at first glance brings to mind childhood memories of fairytale settings, with a modern twist that makes this three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a vaulted kitchen a must-have for a weekend getaway! ‘Everything starts with the box of plans’, the company explains. ‘In other words, there will never be an AYFRAYM that is built, without first purchasing our plans so that the customer has access to all the right specs and information necessary to build one.’

This Birdbox by Livit is actually a prefabricated shipping container-like cabin that offers one-of-a-kind escapes to lush destinations surrounded by nature. The cabins are simple, rectangular structures with huge circular and oval windows to give you a larger than life view of nature. Just like the exterior, the interior also has minimal decor which makes for a cozy space with a queen bed and a handful of chairs. There’s also a separate “Birdbox Bathroom” which features a black tint one-way glass floor-to-ceiling window. These box cabins are designed to be dropped in places with a minimal footprint that brings you closer to nature while providing comfort and shelter.

The classic Volvo 240 was wedged into a quintessential cabin. The designer merged the car with an adorable little red and white Winter Cabin, perfect for those family getaways during the winter vacations. However, this version of the car comprises of two Volvo 240s combined together, creating an inverted mirror image. It’s a winter wonderland with an automotive twist!

Made so that it can be the extra room your house needs (now that everyone’s stuck indoors), the Workstation Cabin is an insulated and soundproof room that can easily serve as a “workstation, a meeting room, a kids playroom, and a perfect hiding place if you are looking for a quiet space to read, relax and exercise”, according to the designers. After work hours, the cabin could even be converted into a makeshift bedroom for a night-out among the stars, or even for guests! Hello Wood Studios built the private retreat with the ability to later add extra features like heating/cooling, mood-lighting, in-built sound system, TV-screen, and WiFi setup, and can be assembled on your lawn/backyard or even on a terrace!

Finnish designer Robin Falck created an A-frame mirrored holiday house, ‘Nolla’. Literally meaning ‘zero’ in Finnish, Nolla was designed by Falck for Finnish renewable energy company Neste’s ‘Journey to Zero’ campaign, in an effort to build a world with minimal emissions. Functioning entirely on renewable energy, the cabin is located on the Vallisaari island, near Helsinki. It has been built entirely using sustainable materials such as local plywood and pine. In an attempt to encourage visitors to maintain a ‘zero waste lifestyle’, every element has been designed with the hope of not leaving behind any carbon footprint. Covered by mirrors and supported by wooden stilts, it excludes modern commodities. Nolla is powered by emission-free solar panels, and a Wallas stove that runs on Neste’s MY renewable diesel is provided for heating and cooking purposes.

The LUMIPOD is a series of prefabricated cabins that are installed 1000m above sea level in the French Alps (here is when you start planning your post-pandemic getaway) so you can only imagine how pristine the views are. To do the French Alps justice, the design team built the structure with one aim – giving you a fully immersive experience of being in nature with a luxurious upgrade. The most unique feature about this cabin is its LUMICENE windows – the curved window provides a 180º view and makes you feel like you are in a snow globe. The window is set in aluminum frames sliding between two rails so you can blend the indoors and outdoors by simply opening the window.

Architects Anthony Hunt and Luke Stanley have created their own version of a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ in Australia. This hut at Kimo Estate is an A-shaped construction that is bright and cozy inside built by this two-person team. As per the designers, “the hut’s form was inspired by a classic ‘A’ frame tent, which simultaneously provides both refuge from, and connection with, the natural environment.”

While social distancing remains the logical path to keep ourselves safe in this pandemic, we can build our bucket lists and save up for the time the world will be free and available for travel or just take off in a tiny home!

Living Room designs that inspire your home decoration trends!

We are all acquainted with the expression – first impression is the last impression. It may be a cliché, but we can’t dismiss the fact that we tend to judge everything we set our eyes onto – be it a person, a dress, shoes, or even an apartment! To give an analogy, your living room is your most identifying feature, kind of like the face of your space. It is the first room we enter, it is where we entertain the most and it sets the tone for the rest of your home! To help you create a space that reflects your personality, this collection of designs showcase a warm, comfortable space, each of which is unique in its identity yet carries a strong characteristic of its own!

Given that its been raining where I live, Daniel Reuterswärd’s living room design is the perfect environment for me to curl up in, grab a book and sip a nice cup of hot chocolate, forgetting the COVID-filled world outside these walls! The muted green and rusty colored pallet, an airy coffee table contrasted with minimal wall decor gives this a subtle balance, letting the sofa and the light be the show-stealers!

Julia Skochemaro’s modern living room is a great example of clean lines and neutral colors. The living room is beautifully lit-up with natural light coming in from the big windows on one side while the minimal white lamp adds a minimal touch, merging with the white background and provide lighting without grabbing much attention.

While pastel colors are not the norm, Ira Lysiuk and Liza Nikulina’s living room design uses pale pink to add a breath of freshness to the room! The room boasts of a simple a two-tone palette, shades of neutral white and grey with the pastel color repeating itself in the table and the accent wall while the modern fireplace adds warmth to the entire space.

Here’s an unconventional design for those of you who like to experiment with their room. Igor Sirotov uses an entirely black layout using a hot pink accent furniture piece to brighten up the room. The bonsai holding coffee table reiterates the minimal layout of the room, adding a touch of Japanese element to this unique design.

Elegant, comfortable, and earthy, this living room by SH143 is good enough for me to move in and start living there at once! The earthy color palette is amplified by the use of natural textures and materials such as the grey marble slab behind the TV, the white marble coffee table and leather accent furniture.

Olivia Miller’s living room is an example of using a warm color palette throughout the room without overwhelming the senses. This design also balances the old with the new – with the modern gold-brushed coffee table to the traditional looking jute-woven chair and even the wicker basket that adds a lived-in comfort to the room.

Le Anh at Realhome Visual’s living room design is a beautifully fresh space and we love it! An accent chair, wooden block stools, metallic gold accent pieces, all set against a white palette allows each of the focal pieces to shine without taking away from the balance of the design. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on that rustic lamp!

Peter Janov designed for LUMO visual a living room design worthy of any modern age man! The design does a great job of modernizing traditional elements – from the accent wall that incorporates a minimal fireplace, vertical accent lines as well as a backlit bookshelf. The man-cave feels gets amplified with the dark leather bar as well as a matching dining space.

Alina Ursova’s living room manages the tiny space with ease, balancing a living space, dining space, and a kitchen without overcrowding the room. Added bonus points for the use of house plants, minimal modern light fixtures, and a unique blue to carry the theme across all the rooms.

Bishoy Emad’s living room design is a foodie’s paradise. Warm, fresh and inviting – the design instantly brings to mind the appreciation of fresh homemade food eaten at the comfort of your home.

3D Architectural Renders so beautiful, you want them in your travel bucket list for real!

Imagine sitting on a beach, crystal clear blue waters, no traffic, smog, or dirt for miles – this is the ideal getaway that Paul Milinski at Vaulter brings to life with his 3D architectural renders. Let’s admit it, in these times, we all are secretly hoping the world goes back to normal in a week (whether our previous normal is good for the environment is a different question altogether) so we can go out and roam the streets fearlessly, go get that beach vacation we always wanted and put the entire COVID chapter behind us! The current world stats present a grim reality, so while we stay cooped up at our home to save the planet, let’s have Paul’s work transport us into this alternate dimension – full of serene water bodies, realistic tropical landscape and where pastel colors add a pop of freshness to that space. Paul’s talent in creating these detailed renders is evident from the fact that the first reaction of readers on seeing this image is to ask – where is this place?! So, let’s sit back, relax, and imagine ourselves living it up at these locations.

Life on the Pier at the edge of the water, where the sand means water is full of soothing pastels as imagined by Paul Milinski. The scene rendered out by Paul shows serene waters, almost like an escape in Bali or a scenic island, free of crowds and COVID of course!

Date night gets a whole new twist with this render titled ‘Table for Two’. Quiet, secluded, and chatting over the moonlit and candlelit dinner tables, that place is zen come to life, with water lapping at your feet. The table for two is the way to connect yourself with your partner, your surroundings and enjoy being in the present.

Titled the Peninsula, this cable car/ ropeway seats your group and provides panoramic views of your surroundings, allowing you to hang out in style. Continuing the theme of pastels to execute his design, Paul’s design once again provides that fantastic escapism we all crave right now!

An architectural render created in collaboration with Charlotte Taylor, this Palm Springs Villa design is the vacation home you didn’t know you wanted!

This design titled the ‘Beach House’ is perfect for every water-baby! With a private pool and a beach at your disposal, this home is designed to heal you with water and sounds of water surrounding you, making the environment just right!

People love a day at the beach, but I personally love the beach on a moonlit night. Firstly the place is quieter, and there is a serenity in the inky blue waters reflecting the silver moonlight, allowing you to speak to yourself and hear what your mind has to say. For such deep reflections, the Moonlight Bay is the house I need.

Forget new year resolutions, we are all out making post-COVID resolutions. One such resolution is to treat myself with a guilt-free spa day! Now, none of the spa’s I know match up to this Spa Mountain design, but it sure promises to heal and rejuvenate you for life!

The Occulus House, named for the circular windows I presume, challenges the traditional window design and adds plenty of sunlight and spotlight in the house by using these circular cutouts. The result, a modern home creating a modern look without any of the old-school window-frames!

Brutalist architecture has long been a favorite of mine, and Paul’s design merges modern architecture with the brutalist style to create my ideal home. The raw-ness of the design is contrasted with the clarity of the blue waters to create a balanced and relaxing environment.

The Towel Chair showcased here is the result of Paul’s exceptional rendering skills and his design skills – creating a product that makes you want to sit on it while the ‘towel’ texture of the design keeps you dry and the furniture safe!

Wooden Architectural Designs that show why wood, as a material, will always be in trend!

Wood has been the material of choice for construction across centuries. From a simple abode to even a sustainable football stadium, wooden designs are back to rule the future. The reason for it is simple, wood ages beautifully – anything built with wood will retain the character of your house. From the floorboards to the roof, each of this wooden house designs showcase this material in a spectacular way that will meet your style- be it modern or traditional!

Persimmon Hills Architect, a Japanese architectural studio has designed this timber Kannondō, or main hall to the Buddhist Houshouin temple for the once prosperous town of Sugito. The studio hopes to revive this local community that has thinned out due to the population moving out to the bigger cities. The revived Houshouin Kannondō feels airy, spiritual, modern yet accessible., encouraging the community interaction and lift their spirits.

The Yomogidai house in Nagoya, Japan designed by Tomoaki Uno architects holds a long and narrow construction with a blind street facade, with it’s windowless design making it stand out in the crowd. To allow for natural lighting, the back of the house holds a complete window with a gable roof to provide a sheltered roof.

These cabins hover almost five meters above the ground, keeping the cabins free from the snow-covered slopes while being surrounded by trees to maintain the privacy of each cabin. Built by Minnesota-based HGA Architects and Engineers, the designers say “The concept for the cabins riffs on the idea of a tree house, but instead makes them accessible to all by building ‘houses in the trees’ that can be entered from a bridge at the crest of the hill, along adjacent ski and hiking trails,” The studio used red cedar wood to create the design, “Dark cedar shingles on the exterior blend seamlessly with the beauty of the pine forest while the interior is stained naturally to create an immersive warm environment,” said the firm.

Cantilevering off the edge of the mountain slope, this restaurant designed by architects Peter Pichler Architecture and Pavol Mikolajcak, the Oberholz Mountain Hut restaurant for the Oberholz ski resort is set on a small mound, giving sweeping views of the ski slopes! The structure splits into three volumes that face off into different angles of the hillside.

Stacking up 61 tree trunks, John Pawson creates a space of rest and contemplation on a cycle route in southwest Germany. Named the Wooden Chapel, Pawson said “The client wanted to provide sanctuary or contemplation space.” Using trunks of Douglas fir with minimal cutting or enhancement of design, Pawson explains, “It’s just trunks of Douglas fir stacked on top of each other, there’s a minimum of cuts, so everything is solid.”

The world’s first wooden football stadium is being built by Zaha Hadid Architects in Gloucestershire, England for football club Forest Green Rovers. The aim of the design is to be the greenest football stadium by being powered by sustainable energy sources. The 5000-seat timber stadium includes an all-weather pitch and included a different landscaping strategy to mitigate worries that the stadium design did not sufficiently make up for the loss of green fields it will be built on.

Antony Gibbons presents an combination of geometric designs to create this house named ‘Kuroi Ki’, which literally translates to ‘black wood’. This dark wooden exterior is derived from the use of clad charred wood finish for this dwelling. The angular structure is organized around a patio space that allows for a private space protected by the tall structures on each side.

Bangkok-based firm Department of Architecture Co. incorporates a façade of wood and polycarbonate shingles, laid out like fish scales that shimmer in the daylight. ‘Although working with the traditional shingle system, the uninterrupted translucency surface is achieved by a special detail design using translucent studs and special transparent screws,’ the studio explains. ‘The façade is glittering in the sun as the light touches different material grains, from the solid wood shingles to the different translucency levels of the polycarbonate shingles.’

‘We wanted to build a house with the same consideration and attention to detail we put into our furniture and lighting,’ explains Tom Raffield. ‘Designing objects for other people to put in their home is an incredible privilege, we’d never design anything that we wouldn’t have in our own home, but we’d never had a chance to design for our own space before.’ This two-storey dwelling in rural England has been wrapped with stream-bent wood which is what Raffield’s company is known for – using a pioneering form of steam-bending to create hand-shaped items of furniture and sculptural works of art.

Tomoaki Uno Architects is back with the Ogimachi House, a pared-back and therapeutic home.The sky-lit dwelling in Nagoya was commissioned by a young client for his mother, who required a private and calming space to help her recover from an illness. Tomoaki Uno Architects’ design is deliberately simple, and built almost entirely from wood in recognition of the material’s physical and psychological benefits. The house is constructed without any windows, and instead relies on 37 skylights for natural light to create an environment of healing. “One of the most important considerations in this home is how it relates to private and social,” added Uno.

Studiobase Architects features a sustainable design that focuses on nature in this restaurant located in Taichung, Taiwan. The restaurant is located in front of a discarded train station mainly used for timber transportation, uses this as an inspiration that is replicated throughout the design.

If you love innovative architectural designs, check out more concrete and brick-based architectural designs to inspire you!

Brick Architectural Designs that pay homage to the past while inspiring the future!

Imagine a castle and it will be made of stone or bricks…that is how old bricks are! Red and rustic, bricks have come back in fashion with the brutal or raw architectural trend that has gripped modern architecture. And we have to agree, they provide a jarring contrast to the sleek glass towers, standing like gentle giants or wise kings of the old in the modern cityscape. Using bricks to give a modern-day look, all the designs featured here are futuristic yet preserve the heritage aesthetics that add value or character to your building!

Brick being a traditionally tough material, it is difficult to envision this material for creating a curved surface. But that is exactly what Studio Olafur Eliasson has done with their very first construction in Denmark. Named the Fjord House, the project is commissioned by KIRK Capital to showcase the building’s relationship to the harbor. ‘I am very thankful for the trust shown by the Kirk Johansen family in inviting me, with my studio, to conceive Fjordenhus,’ Eliasson says. ‘This allowed us to turn years of research — on perception, physical movement, light, nature, and the experience of space — into a building that is at once a total work of art and a fully functional architectural structure. In the design team, we experimented from early on with how to create an organic building that would respond to the ebb and flow of the tides, to the shimmering surface of the water, changing at different times of the day and of the year. The curving walls of the building transform our perception of it as we move through its spaces. I hope the residents of Vejle will embrace Fjordenhus and identify with it as a new landmark for the harbor and their city.’

MVRDV continues to awe, astonish, and wow us with this transparent brick store created for Hermès, situated in Amsterdam. Using glass bricks, the studio created the jewel-like sparkling exterior to merge the high-end luxury aesthetics necessary for Hermès with the historical brick facade that has been iconic to the Amsterdam landscape.

Tadao Ando, a Japanese architect had transformed a Chicago based building into an architecture exhibition center, using raw concrete and glass to create a wealth of contrast along with balancing the feel of old and new. This exhibition center, named Wrightwood 659 is a four-storey structure with a concrete staircase that wraps around one pillar while being highlighted with rectangular windows that provide ample natural lighting. Looking ta this, it looks like Tadao tried to highlight all the essential building blocks to great architecture – brick, concrete, glass – which is fitting for an architectural exhibit.

It’s always interesting when architects design and create their own homes. It is a chance for them to unleash their creativity as they see fit, build that dream design they always wanted to build and that is exactly what Dutch architects Gwendolyn Huisman and Marijn Boterman did when creating this skinny black brick building that is their home. The house, while looking opulent in black bricks from outside houses hidden windows and a huge indoor hammock to add fun to the place!

The Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech (mYSLm) stands tall with a two-toned brick facade that pays homage to the natural environment found in Marrakesh. The museum houses important selection from the fondation Pierre bergé – Yves Saint Laurent’s impressive collection, which includes 5,000 items of clothing, 15,000 haute couture accessories, along with tens of thousands of sketches and assorted objects. Designed by the French Studio KO, the building is made up of cubic forms, that come to form a pattern that resembles interwoven threads.

With sweeping arches made of brick and an abundance of natural lighting, this residential complex by Muhamad Samiei is the perfect example of how modern architecture can adopt brick surfaces. In an attempt at changing the traditional tower design, this design uses the flow of the structure to create separate spaces within the enclosure, resulting in a harmonious balance of space-saving and utilizing space whereas the use of bricks pays homage to the past while looking futuristic in the same design.

India is known for its vibrant colors and it is those colors that the Surat-based studio Design Work Group has brought to life in this rippling brick facade. The Location of the building, being on a crossroads inspired the architects to have some fun with it, by using two different materials – concrete and brick to create a unique look on each road-facing side of the structure.

When a building is named ‘Cuckoo House’, you know you are in for a fun treat! This unusually shaped residence is by the architectural firm Tropical Space in Vietnam and sits above a coffee shop. The entrance to this home starts with an elevated terrace with more smaller terraces created to add ventilation and natural light inside the home. Given the local climate, the house is designed to make complete use of the indoors as well as the outdoors on warm balmy days.

CTA | creative architects have designed the Wall House in Vietnam, named for the use of unique breathing walls designed by the STudio for this house. After realizing that indoor air pollution was a major health hazard in Vietnam, the team decided to build a protective layer of hollow bricks around the house to facilitate the growth of greenery in the walls with ease. This technique creates an all-natural purification system that works on its own!

A drama theater built with some more drama, that is what Drozdov & Partners have created when they redesigned the ‘Teatr na Podoli’, a drama theater in Ukraine. What is the drama you ask? Its the use of recycled bricks made up of titanium and zinc that clad the higher levels of this theater, balancing the old school aesthetics with the beige brick-work in contrast to the modern metallic bricks that highlight the top.

Think concrete is the better choice of materials rather than brick? Check these concrete-based designs that show why concrete may be the futuristic material of choice!