This bamboo building in Bali is a marvel born from engineering, sustainability and architecture!





Bamboo-based architecture is common in Bali, but even then the Arc gymnasium by Ibuku is a feat unlike any other in the world of sustainable architecture! The structure has been designed for a private school campus featuring a complex double-curved roof made entirely from bamboo. The Green School has a 12-year history of pushing boundaries and pioneering for sustainable education and Arc is the first of its kind!

Designer: Ibuku

The bamboo structure is built from a series of intersecting 14-meter tall bamboo arches spanning 19 meters, interconnected by anticlastic gridshells which derive their strength from curving in two opposite directions. It employs one of nature’s greatest strategies for creating large spaces with minimal founding pillars. For example, in a human ribcage, there are a series of ribs working in compression are held in place by a tensioned flexible layer of muscle and skin. This creates a thin but strong encasement for the lungs. Similarly in Arc, arches working in compression are held in place by tensioned anticlastic gridshells. These fields of gridshells appear to drape across the spaces between impossibly thin arches soaring overhead and although the gridshells appear to hang from the arches, they actually hold them up.

Its unique shape forms a protective roof sheltering a multipurpose sports court with a floor area of 760 square meters. The lightweight building’s geometry brings the structure into a state of equilibrium, which means a dramatically decreased necessity for structural material. This also means an unprecedented inner volume with an impossibly thin structure and without any distracting trusses. The Arc is truly a magnificent, minimal, and organic structure that shows we can dream big, make an impact, and strive to be more sustainable on a grand scale without compromising on our purpose.

“The concept structure for The Arc is totally unprecedented,” claimed Ibuku project architect Rowland Sauls. “Embarking on a design never before executed required some bravery and optimism. We were creative and stubborn enough to research and develop the answers needed for the success of the project.”

“The gridshells use shape stiffness to form the roof enclosure and provide buckling resistance to the parabolic arches,” said Atelier One director, Neil Thomas. “The two systems together create a unique and highly efficient structure,” he added, “able to flex under load allowing the structure to redistribute weight, easing localised forces on the arches.”

This cabin’s hexagonal extension forms an interesting geometric focal point for this rustic yet modern home

Adding extensions to your home is always a delicate job. Since it’s an extension, it should only complement the rest of your home like a pair of shoes that tie your whole outfit together. Finding balance in geometric, angular framing and exterior metal ribbing, architecture firm Reddymade collaborated with contemporary artist Ai Weiwei to build an artfully understated hexagonal extension on a Salt Point home in upstate New York.

The six-sided extension connects to and extrudes from an enclosed, glass corridor, perching above a green, hilly lawn to overlook the home’s rural landscape. The project’s metal ribbing and optic white exterior offer contemporary flairs to the extension’s farmhouse style layout and rustic setting. Setting the tone for the interior’s airy, white, open spaces, the extension’s bright exterior feels right at home. Inside the home’s extension, Reddymade and Ai Weiwei made room for two bedrooms and living space.

Adorning the walls with a curated collection of framed artworks, Ai Weiwei and Reddymade hit a collaborative sweet spot in their shared love for poetry and visual art. The extension’s gleaming inside walls provide a white canvas for furniture and a collection of artworks to take center stage. Similarly, the spotless white metal exterior merges seamlessly with the glass facades and white framing of the pre-existing home, bringing attention to and brightening the property’s rolling green hills.

“The extension was designed to be strikingly simple and minimal, which is reflected not only in its graphic language but also in its materiality. The metal rib exterior allows for a crisp edge and ensures project longevity. Through its materiality, it also has a relationship with the previously completed Artfarm on the property,” describes Reddymade founder, Suchi Reddy.

Designers: Ai Weiwei & Reddymade

Perched atop a rolling hill in Upstate New York, this minimalist home extension adds a rustic twist to a midcentury modern home.

The hexagonal add-on extrudes from a glass corridor, attaching the extension to the pre-existing home.

20th-century Italian interior design elements and glazed glass facades are brightened with optic white walls.

“Its simplicity and clarity of concept make it special. It is about adding an object to the property, on which the clients have installed sculptural artworks,” explains Suchi Reddy

Antique furnishings and modern touches tie up each room with balance in design.

“The extension has its own sculptural quality but simultaneously doesn’t feel like a showpiece. It’s humble,” Reddy continues.

Sculptural art pieces give the home a distinct personality that hovers between midcentury and contemporary design.

These Solar-powered Cabins + architectural designs use green energy storage system to be eco-destinations!

Solar power is an amazing source of energy and a sustainable and cleaner alternative to fossil fuels. Today solar energy is being used to power almost everything – from tiny battery packs to whole houses! There are no exceptions. And solar-powered architecture seems to be the new craze and a very green one too! From holiday cabins to tiny homes, solar energy is being used to power and support all kinds of architectural structures. And we’ve curated a collection of well-designed, functional, and solar-powered architectural designs that are comfortable to live or work in, aesthetic to look at, and also a boon to the planet. These structures coexist in harmony with their surroundings and do not drain but in fact, respect the natural environment around them!

Pekka Littow’s Majamaja concept was born from life on Finland’s archipelago and essentially speaks to a building tradition that prioritizes harmony between humans and nature. Majamaja Wuorio units are prefabricated, transportable, and by making use of off-grid technologies such as solar panels and a recirculating water treatment system, the units can be situated anywhere. The tiny cabin’s closed-loop water treatment system collects both rainwater and air humidity in order to store it, then sends it to the integrated water purification system for residents to use in the shower, kitchen, or bathroom. Waste from dry toilets is also composted and reused as fertilizer. The water purification system is powered by solar panels and a fuel cell, which also provides green energy storage for additional household appliances such as stovetops, air conditioners, and light fixtures.

Designed by Mexico-based Sanzpont Arquitectura, ‘Living In The Noom’ puts you in the lap of nature and luxury. Its sanctuary-esque design focuses on three broad pillars – Wellness, Sustainability, and Flexibility. The community features multiple 4-storeyed houses with a uniquely alluring triangular shape, characterized by vertical bamboo channels and a vertical forest growing on the outer facade of the building. Finally, the structure culminates in a terrace on the fifth floor that has solar panels for harvesting energy, and an urban garden where the residents can grow their own food.

Catering to the necessities and casual family pastimes, the tiny home is doused in modular and multifunctional design that’s surrounded by creamy poplar plywood walls and silvery fittings that add a touch of refinement to an otherwise bare interior. Ohariu’s roof is asymmetrical with six solar panels lined up on its longer side and a mezzanine bedroom cozying up beneath its sloped short side. Entirely powered by the solar panels that make a grid on the roof, Ohariu is net-zero, featuring amenities like an LPG gas cylinder, LED lighting, low-water usage fittings, as well as a composting toilet. Enhancing the tiny home’s sustainable build, the materials used to construct Ohariu are recyclable for the most part and low-maintenance, durable, and locally sourced.

Offering their own solution to the unpredictable circumstances of today’s world, furniture studio Duffy London debuted the Minka Solar Pod, an outdoor companion to their indoor office pod. The Minka Solar Pod operates primarily as an alternative to meeting places and WFH spots like WeWork and cafes with WiFi. Unlike their indoor counterpart, the Minka Solar Pod and its amenities are entirely powered by photovoltaic panels and lithium-ion batteries. Using solar energy for power allows Minka Solar Pods to be placed anywhere, from busy city plazas like Union Square or public grounds like Hyde Park. Designed to be an outdoor working space, Minka Solar Pods come complete with four USB ports for charging and acoustic panels to quiet outdoor noise while amplifying the conversations taking place inside the pod.

Primarily conceived of as a cluster of research stations, Moon Village would host an array of functions spanning from sustainability research opportunities to the future prospect of Moon tourism. The south polar region of the Moon supports the possibility of a self-sufficient settlement, receiving near eternal sunlight that could be harnessed and stored for energy. This part of the Moon also hosts a variety of untouched matter that could offer insight into the Solar System’s early history as well as the general emergence of our larger universe. Above all else, the structure of each individual hub comprises a modular frame and protective exterior to cater to the varied projects taking place inside.

Bjarke Ingels designed a student center for John Hopkins University’s Homewood Campus in Baltimore, Maryland. The 150,000 square foot building will function as a social engagement hub for all the students, with spaces for relaxation, performing arts, support services, lounges, and more. It will be a mass timber structure with photovoltaic roof panels, creating a warm, comfortable and sustainable space!

On average, the Australian home uses 19 kWh of energy on any given day. Turning that statistic on its head, Garden House produces 100kwh of energy with help from a 26 kWh Tesla battery. Finding the future of home sustainability through this sharing of energy, Garden House is powered by solar energy and powers the block’s shared energy grid. Since many Australians utilize solar panels to power up their homes, Garden House is in good company on a narrow street filled with garden oases and blooming greenery. Careful not to disrupt the natural terrain in and around the house’s lot, AMA developed Garden House’s layout and connected pavilions based around the network of pre-existing garden spaces and trees. This set the stage and literally the foundation for the home’s commitment to producing more sustainable energy than it requires to run.

E-glamp is a product/service that has been designed to boost economic and tourist development in rural areas. Think of it as an Airbnb-style tiny house merged with a biking network like Bird or Lime. It is an integrated system of modern cabins that are all independently powered by solar panels. These tiny homes are also fitted with smart tech and are connected to the e-bike system which encourages carbon-neutral exploration of the landscape. Biking not only helps to maintain the pristine air quality of the rural area but also helps in getting an enjoyable workout in. All the E-glamp houses are modular, movable, and constructed with sustainable materials like timber. Along with solar panels, it will be interesting to see how the design is able to also repurpose and reuse rainwater for the guest’s needs.

Reimagining the garage space as an interactive family space and biophilic greenway, Montreal designer Tiam Maeiyat’s Parking Parc was chosen as the winning concept for merging clean design with sustainability. Parking Parc was inspired by the pun in its own name– Maeiyat reinterpreted the garage as both a space for parking the vehicle and as an actual greenway that resembles a children’s park. Shaped like a rolling hillside, Parking Parc provides a storage area for parked vehicles that rests beneath the garage’s grassy, recreational exterior. As currently conceptualized, photovoltaic panels punctuate the taller regions of the garage’s exterior, providing clean energy for Volvo’s XC40 Recharge to well, recharge, and enough energy to sustain the rest of the garage’s inside operations.

Many people who live in cities are taking to biking for their preferred mode of transportation, prompting designers and city officials to reimagine bike paths and public transport. Bike roads, also known as Veloroutes are steadily becoming city staples, even mainstays for commuters on foot or bike. With the demand for Veloroutes increasing, Kuczia created a Solar Veloroute that comprises a photovoltaic tunnel structure that serves as a solar canopy for cyclists and pedestrians as well as a public facility where commuters can enjoy lit pathways at night and charging stations for bicycles or smartphones. Solar Veloroute presents as a partly-enclosed, rounded archway constructed from overlaid non-reflective glass-glass solar panels, which are attached to round tube steel purlins.

Modular Cabin + Architecture Designs that expand according to your living as well as working needs!

Modular architecture is officially on the rise! They give us the freedom and ability to create a home, office, or even a holiday cabin according to our needs and wants. Customizing or putting together a space exactly the way we want isn’t a far-off dream anymore. Your dream home or dream cabin retreat is now a reality with these amazing modular architectural designs. From a prefab modular tiny home that expands as you need, to a modular dome that can function as a greenhouse or tiny home – this collection of modular architectural designs can be anything you want them to be! The possibilities are endless.

Woonpioniers, an Amsterdam-based architecture, and design studio has created Indigo, a modular building system that designs homes to replicate one of your dreams. Depending on the home you’d like to build with Woonpioniers, Indigo’s structure and shape may vary. Recently, Lia Harmsen collaborated with Woonpioniers to design her live-in workspace for sculpting. The finished custom two-floor home measures 861-square-feet and features fixed-end moment building practices that produce a beautiful, curved interior leading from the wall to the ceiling. The fixed-end moment frame of the home offers an open-air floor plan, giving complete access for the building’s interior layout to take shape, leaving behind the spatial restriction of support beams and partitions.

Casa Ojalá has been constructed with carefully selected timbers, fabrics made from recycled plastic, and handmade ceramics. It also has integrated photovoltaic panels, a rainwater recovery system, and a black water depuration advanced biological plant – all of which allow it to be set up even in the most remote locations. Each cabin will source local materials and therefore no destination will have the same casa but each will be woven with the roots of the land creating infinite possibilities within the same floor area anywhere in the world.

Dubbed Micro Home, UOOU Studio developed the tiny home to be anything from a weekend retreat to a remote office space. Micro Home’s versatility comes through with its convertible roof that incorporates sliding awnings to open and close throughout the day as needed. This means that space can transform throughout the day from a sunbathing bungalow to a sheltered home office. Micro Home is constructed off-site with sustainable building materials like wood and OSB paneling, leaving a low carbon footprint and making it lightweight for easy shipping and handling. After it’s been positioned into place, Micro Home’s roof is tiled with solar panels to generate the home with power. While the building material and solar panels outfit each individual Micro Home, UOOU Studio made it so that owners can customize the interior and overall shape of their Micro Home.

Plant Prefab, a California-based architecture firm that prefabricates sustainable homes, recently collaborated with Koto, a UK-based studio that designs modular homes, to build two residences called LivingHomes. Devised to meet both LEED Platinum and net-zero standards, the homes were also designed and built on some Scandinavian design principles: minimalism and biophilia. Biophilia is the hypothetical human tendency to interact with nature. Biophilic design, which could be inherently minimalist, interprets that human tendency for both interior and exterior spaces, producing a design concept used to increase the connectivity between a building’s residents and the natural world. In order to meet sustainability standards that match Plant Prefab’s mission statement, Koto looked toward Scandinavian design standards.

This cluster of prefab cabins is located in a Slovakian forest for Hotel Björnson but can also be stand-alone homes. The minimalist shelters have a Scandinavian aesthetic and give you an eco-friendly getaway with minimal environmental impact. Ark Shelter has also won a Cezaar award in the category Architectural Fenomena – a recognition for the most exceptional architectural achievements of the year. The modern retreat is made of 11 cabins and four wellness units that include saunas and relaxation rooms. The shelters are built in one piece, which gives the incredible mobility to reach your dream location. Every cabin rests on stilts to minimize site impact and has been carefully placed in between the trees to give you maximum privacy and maximum views!

Úbáli, which means chameleon in Bribri, designed their first modular cabin, called Kabëk, specifically to befit mountain living. The first model for the Úbáli Tropical Living’s eco-tourism initiative dons an inclined roof, which allows the modular house to tuck right into mountainous terrains and offers travelers the chance to fully immerse themselves and their stays in the quiet of the wood. The modular cabin has a simple design layout of four walls that enclose a bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, and dining room. The construction process also promotes frugality in regard to both time and money in that its modularity and simple layout caters to the prospect of easy and relatively affordable replication.

Amsterdam-based architecture firm GG-loop collaborated with Arup to design a modular building system that focuses on regenerative sustainable living and urban development. Created with biophilic principles and parametric design tools, the hypnotizing prefab timber modules we see will be optimized to be flexible and scalable. This will let the building continue expansion with time in several different urban settings while accommodating the changing times which often results in changing needs. The ability to expand the structural hub is where the building gets its name from. Mitosis can be used for a wide range right from creating communities with off-grid, single-family homes to high-density, mixed-use zones in cities. GG-loop’s pilot project Freebooter was the foundation for Mitosis and is in itself an award-winning pair of prefabricated, cross-laminated timber apartments that were completed last year in Amsterdam.

Treehouses inherently exude an air of myth and adventure. When stationed either in dense jungles as a natural hub to study wildlife or placed in a suburban backyard for kids, the treehouse is the place where the escapist can let their hair down. Take the treehouse and tuck it next to an old French castle in the countryside and it’s something straight from the storybooks. Forma Atelier, a Mexico-based architecture firm, turned that storybook setting into reality with their modular treehouse concept that cleverly combines razor-sharp triangular roofs with sweeping glass window panes to share the rural hills with that of an old French château.

Think of Ekodome as the grown-up version of building forts with bedsheets and pillows. Just like your fort could be anything you imagined from a storefront to a palace, these geometric domes are also designed to be anything from tiny homes to greenhouses! The modular design of these geodesic dome kits gives you endless possibilities and I, for one, would love to convert it into a creative home office. Ekodome is a New York City-based company and they have many different models and sizes for you to choose from. The base concept is simple, it involves an aluminum frame that you can easily assemble DIY-style. The dome is crafted from high-quality and durable materials so that it is more than a temporary shelter while still retaining its modular, scalable, and lightweight nature. Your kit will come with the aluminum hub and hub caps with an EPDM seal on.

In creating HOM3, which stands for ‘Home Office Module Cubed,’ the designers at JaK Studio felt inspired by the home-building system featured in Minecraft– the best part of playing video games. To build your own multifunctional HOM3 cabin, JaK Studio is currently working with game designers from AI Interactive to make the process of creating the floor plan feel and look very similar to the process of building your Minecraft home. HOM3 essentially turns the virtual home design process of Minecraft into reality. Speaking to this, founding partner of JaK Studio, Jacob Low says, “During [the] lockdown, our team became fascinated by the principles of games such as Minecraft which allow people to transform and customize their environments, and we began experimenting with the idea of customizable, modular micro-architecture. HOM3 transports what we found in the gaming world to the physical space, offering a really unique design solution for modern living.”

The rolling green roof of this modern art museum was built with to merge art preservation with futuristic technology!

On one hand, museums are known for keeping paintings and artifacts of ancient civilizations with preservation being the goal. On the other, more modern museums incorporate some of the most advanced technology of today into their exhibitions to introduce the exciting possibilities for the art of tomorrow. Enacting his own preferred modern technology to conceptualize a modern art museum for the city of Tehran, architect Milad Eshtiyaghi hopes to evolve this relationship between today’s technology and the preservation of Islamic and Iranian art.

Known for designing bold, daredevil retreats stationed on the edge of mountain summits and cliffsides, Eshtiyaghi maintained the same mythical energy for his most recent rendering of Tehran’s Modern Art Museum. From an aerial viewpoint, Eshtiyaghi’s museum does not form any distinct shape, progressing past geometric, sharp angles for a gleaming white roof that slopes and bulges like a white tarp covering a wild landscape. Modern museums are generally known for their conceptual architecture, a form Milad Eshtiyaghi executes well considering his wide array of escapist hideaways. The green space that surrounds Eshtiyaghi’s museum tightens the museum’s abstract energy with rolling green roofs that mimic the overlapping lines of soundwaves, offering a place to rest on its manicured lawns.

Inside, the shapelessness of Tehran’s Modern Art Museum provides an eccentric stage for contemporary art exhibits. The museum’s tower wing spirals above the rest of the exhibition space, bringing guests to the museum’s highest vantage point via a web of winding, interconnected staircases. Etched along the tower’s facades and the museum’s main lobby, circular holes infuse the museum’s industrial interior with plenty of sunlight. Throughout the museum’s interior and exterior spaces, Eshtiyaghi hoped to communicate the significance of modern technology when used for art preservation, merging the age-old practice of museum work with today’s technological advancements.

Designer: Milad Eshtiyaghi

Without any distinct shape, Eshtiyaghi’s Modern Art Museum welcomes contemporary art, for all its abstract, shapeless glory.

Like many modern museum spaces, Eshtiyaghi’s Modern Art Museum features an outdoor plaza and interconnected green spaces.

Various vantage points puncture the museum’s facades.

The museum’s tower spirals above slopes and bulges of the museum’s white roof.

Holes are dotted across facades to bring in natural sunlight to the museum’s industrial interior.

 

Rolling green roofs mimic the flow of soundwaves.

Inside, staircases interconnect to form webs of walkways for guests to explore.

This spaceship from the 1960s was restored for guests to stay for some Jetsons-inspired staycation!

Nowadays, our gaze is set on outer space. Modern times feel eerily similar to the thrill of the days during the 20th-century Space Race. While the goals of the Space Race change over time, our interest in the starry sky remains. On earth, we watch films like The Jetsons and marvel at Elon Musk’s Starlink, if only because it looks like a moving constellation, just to feel closer to Outer Space. Today, artist Craig Barnes restored a saucer-shaped structure, designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in the late 1960s, calling it Futuro House in his ode to the cosmos.

Landed in Somerset’s Marston Park for guests to rent out, stay the night, and pretend they’ve landed on Mars, the Futuro House is a tiny home can accommodate up to four people and features an array of earthly amenities. Barnes happened upon one of Suuronen’s 68 saucer-shaped structures while out in South Africa, bringing it back to the UK, where he began restoration work.

Easily transportable, Barnes describes how he managed to bring Futuro House to Somerset, “Some workers were knocking down a building nearby and we thought perhaps they were going to tear it down too. It was a wreck, there was no front door left, the windows were smashed in, but they let us in. It was horrible and grotty, but we found out who owned it. On an impulse while on top of Table Mountain, we agreed to buy it. So we bought it and shipped it home.”

Sparing Suuronen’s retrofitted relic from a future spent in obsolescence, Barnes restored Futuro House into a sparkling ski lodge, allowing guests to stay the night for £400–£1,200 ( around $550–$1,412) per night, a rent scale depending on the number of adults staying inside the ship. Inside and outside the saucer, guests can enjoy plenty of onboard amenities, like private bathrooms, fresh linen, and towels, hot water, changeable mood lighting, midrange studio monitor speakers, food services, options for coffee and tea, as well as an outdoor fire pit where guests can sit around and recline into the night. Going on to note his thrill over his own interpretation of today’s Space Race, Barnes says,

“It was always important to me that wherever it goes, it functions as a space to live and experience – an inspiring place that everyone can see. I never wanted this to be something that you cannot touch. I believe in the power of art and architecture and how it affects us. We have never opened [the house] up as a rental before; we hadn’t found the right home for it. At Marston Park, they want to make unique experiences and there is a realm for artworks you can stay in and people are interested in that. It is the fulfillment of a longstanding dream to offer this womb-like structure for people to stay in and be in this otherworldly space.”

Designers: Chris Barnes x Matti Suuronen

Stationed beside a quiet lake amongst the trees of Somerset’s Marston Park, Futuro House appears as a UFO landed for a pitstop.

Inside, the 60s space themes continue with spaceship seating arrangements and oval-shaped windows that wrap the entire circumference of the saucer.

Tulip kitchen seats hearken back to the 60s when the Space Race reached a peak.

While there is only one main sleeping area, four people can stay the night.

Come dark, the spaceship glows into a golden lantern.

While on a midnight stroll in the park, onlookers could even mistake Futuro House for a real UFO.

Stationed against orange night skies, guests can pretend they’ve landed on Mars.

Breathtaking residential building in Mexico comes with its own vertical forest and solar panels on its terrace

Living The Noom’s design is everything you want from a building – an unusually beautiful organic structure, covered with a lush tone of green brought about by the vertical forests running along its surface, and running almost entirely on renewable energy.

Designed by Mexico-based Sanzpont Arquitectura, ‘Living In The Noom’ puts you in the lap of nature and luxury. Its sanctuary-esque design focuses on three broad pillars – Wellness, Sustainability, and Flexibility. The community features multiple 4-storeyed houses with a uniquely alluring triangular shape, characterized by vertical bamboo channels and a vertical forest growing on the outer facade of the building. Finally, the structure culminates in a terrace on the fifth floor that has solar panels for harvesting energy, and an urban garden where the residents can grow their own food.

A winner of multiple architecture awards, the Noom project focuses on creating a community for people that focuses on their individual needs. This meant visualizing the entire project as something multi-faceted, rather than a building made of boxes that simply ‘contained’ their occupants. Aside from giving Noom’s residents a stellar home to live in, the project even comes with amenities like greenery (70% of the project’s area is covered in nature – the buildings occupy just 30% of the overall space), as well as rejuvenation centers, meditation areas, parks, pools, workshop-centers for art, and even the organic garden for healthy eating.

The project integrates bioclimatic and sustainable strategies such as rainwater harvesting, wastewater separation, wetland for greywater treatment, biodigesters, compost area, and more notably the vertical forest on the outside of each building, which aside from providing a touch of greenery, also filters/purifies the air coming through into the house, and helps reduce the temperature of homes – a phenomenon more commonly known as the Heat Island Effect.

The overall Noom community comprises 3 buildings of 5 stories each. The apartments on each floor are 120 and 60 square meters, having 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms. The unique layout allows each room to have access to ample indirect sunlight. The design of the house also promotes natural ventilation to renew the indoor air and ensure an optimal level of comfort. The architects at Sanzpont say that their unique layout helps reduce energy consumption (lights and air conditioning) by as much as 85%. For the rest, solar panels on the roof and a high-efficiency LED artificial lighting system helps power the buildings at night.

‘Living In The Noom’ is a Platinum Winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2021.

Designers: Sanzpont Arquitectura and Pedrajo Mas Pedrajo Arquitectos

These eco-friendly meeting pods use solar energy to power up charging ports so you bring WFH outdoors!

In recent months, cafes and outdoor workspaces have limited their public amenities to avoid crowding. No more WiFi, the bathrooms are always locked, and time limits for tables are used to control foot traffic. Even still, with pandemic mandates resurfacing, the first taste of bringing our laptops to our favorite cafe to get our work done is hard to kick. Offering their own solution to the unpredictable circumstances of today’s world, furniture studio Duffy London debuted the Minka Solar Pod, an outdoor companion to their indoor office pod.

The Minka Solar Pod operates primarily as an alternative to meeting places and WFH spots like WeWork and cafes with WiFi. Unlike their indoor counterpart, the Minka Solar Pod and its amenities are entirely powered by photovoltaic panels and lithium-ion batteries. Using solar energy for power allows Minka Solar Pods to be placed anywhere, from busy city plazas like Union Square or public grounds like Hyde Park. Designed to be an outdoor working space, Minka Solar Pods come complete with four USB ports for charging and acoustic panels to quiet outdoor noise while amplifying the conversations taking place inside the pod.

Each Minka Solar Pod also accommodates up to four people, which means work meetings that would typically remain indoors could be taken outdoors for some fresh air and a change of scenery. Minka Solar Pods were also built to be weather-resistant, with high-grade walnut and oak veneers finished with powder-coated mild steel. So come drizzle or shine, there’s always an excuse to bring work outdoors. Describing his own inspiration behind the Minka Solar Pod and its indoor companion, Duffy London founder, and director, Chris Duffy says,

“We wanted to design a piece of communal furniture that can meet the needs of the modern working and municipal environment. Indoor or outdoor, our Minka PODs serve as highly adaptable, non-defined spaces that act like mini-hives for human interactions.”

Designer: Duffy London

Clad with powder-coated mild steel, Minka Solar Pods are built to brace the weather.

Minka Solar Pods were initially designed to provide an outdoor workspace for small business meetings or a change of scenery for those of us still working from home.

Outside of work, Minka Solar Pods can function as social meeting hubs for friends and coworkers alike.

Developed in varying structures, Minka Solar Pods embrace the same open-air, collaborative environment.

Each Minka Solar Pod comes equipped with four USB ports and photovoltaic panels to stay powered and charge your devices.

With acoustic panels, Minka Solar Pods quiet the outside noise while amplifying the conversations taking place inside of the pod.

The pod’s high-grade walnut and oak veneers were derived from sustainably sourced forests under the supervision of the Forest Stewardship Council.

This tiny living home made from wheatgrass, jute, and felt brings nature into our brutal cityscape

Getting close to nature through architecture comes in many forms. Some homes take to glass facades, dissolving the barrier between the outdoors and inside, then some homes feature blueprints that wrap around trees, incorporating their canopies and trunks into the lay of the house. Omri Cohen, a student designer at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, has a different idea. Cohen developed the Living Shell, an architectural shell built by growing jute, felt, and wheatgrass into a form of a textile that’s laid over a bamboo frame.

Turning to textile technology, Living Shell was born from Cohen’s quest to evolve layers of wheatgrass root systems into elastic, textile materials. Settling on the shell’s curvilinear structural shape, the wheatgrass textile wraps over its bamboo frame, forming layers of insulation and shade while it continues to grow. Cohen found durability in the inexpensive building material he developed from jute, felt, and wheatgrass. Layering the different roots together in a pattern that allows room for sustained growth periods, the textile’s thickness and durability increase over time as the roots continue to interlace and grow. While he has yet to build a life-size Living Shell, Cohen crafted 1:10 models to demonstrate the feasibility of introducing the Living Shell into rural and urban environments alike. Connecting the structure to an irrigation system, the textile overwrap would most likely receive nourishment from a programmed watering method.

While Living Shell functions like a house, it would more likely offer natural refuge hubs for small animals to gather nesting materials from and inhabit. Additionally, Cohen developed Living Shell so that urban dwellers and rural farmers have the opportunity to watch nature in action, for all of its natural growth, regenerative, and decay processes.

Designer: Omri Cohen

Layered around a bamboo frame, Cohen’s Living Shell is made from a textile developed from jute, felt, and wheatgrass.

Before building its life-size debut, Cohen created tiny 1:10 models of Living Shell.

Following tests to show how wheatgrass root systems grew through textile sheets, Cohen settled on some that could be woven together into a single textile sheet.

Cohen found a textile sheet that he could sew together and integrate the seeds of jute, felt, and wheatgrass.

Wheatgrass growing through the textile sheets.

The growth process of wheatgrass shows that the textile’s thickness would increase with continued irrigation.

The Top 10 cabin designs of July are here to provide the perfect architectural escapism!

Cabins are probably some of the calmest spaces on planet Earth. Away from the hustle-bustle of the city, nestled in a cosy little cabin, surrounded by nature – sounds like heaven, doesn’t it? Cabins are a beautiful chance to reconnect with nature, breathe in some fresh oxygen, and simply rejuvenate yourself with a clear mind and even clearer surroundings. I don’t know when I’ll be able to embark on a cabin vacation next, but in anticipation of one, here’s a list of the best architectural cabin designs Yanko Design has seen this July, that are sure to give you the travel bug! Enjoy!

Casa Ojalá has been constructed with carefully selected timbers, fabrics made from recycled plastic, and handmade ceramics. It also has integrated photovoltaic panels, a rainwater recovery system, and a black water depuration advanced biological plant – all of which allow it to be set up even in the most remote locations. Each cabin will source local materials and therefore no destination will have the same casa but each will be woven with the roots of the land creating infinite possibilities within the same floor area anywhere in the world.

Italian architects Massimo Gnocchi and Paolo Danesi can’t wait to enjoy some downtime and therefore created the Mountain Refuge to express their desire for travel. It is a wooden, square, prefabricated cabin with an angular roof. While the geometric cabin is a structural contrast to its natural setting, it still blends in well while showing off its modern design. “The project acts as a contemporary interpretation of old traditional mountain refuges, bringing in architectural character and spatial quality,” say the designers. The wooden cabin comes in different modules and each has the capability to be flexible and expandable.

The Project Ö Cabin in the Finnish Archipelago is a beautiful summer cabin designed by Aleksi Hautamäki. Located on a 5-acre island, the main cabin is accompanied by a sauna and a workshop. The entire structure has been inspired by and is an ode to the traditional Finnish Archipelago aesthetics. The cabled roof and long eaves are a result of that.

LaRue Architects renovated a 1950s waterfront cabin in Austin by turning it into a residence inspired by dogtrot houses. This, basically, consists of two structures – the main house and the guest quarters, which are connected by a central breezeway. The result is a revamped yet rustic and homely cabin that is an open-plan living space.

Leckie Studio designed a series of mirrored cabins to be built in a forest in Ontario, Canada. Deemed Arcana, the exact location of the cabins will be kept a secret, and they will be designed to blend into the surrounding forest. A wooden frame and sheets of polished stainless steel will be used to build the hidden cabins!

Mini Blok is a freestanding, simple cabin with a footprint of 21.6m2 that doesn’t require a permit to build or own. Without any foundation anchoring Mini Blok to the ground, the tiny cabin can be positioned in any location, from the backyard to a warehouse. With fully glazed walls, Mini Blok brings you up, close, and personal with nature. Novablok felt inspired to design their collection of tiny cabins, including Mini Blok, to create isolated spaces where working professionals and even individuals looking for a bit of a solitary respite can retreat and work or rest however they like.

Studio Puisto designed a prefabricated and modular cabin called Space of Mind that can be built anywhere. It can be used as a backyard office or as an off-grid retreat! Space of Mind was designed to serve as a hideout, a place to catch a break in this pandemic stricken world. The cabin’s modular interiors allow it to easily adapt to a resident’s changing needs.

The Spanish architecture studio Delavegacanolasso designed a modular, prefabricated cabin called Tini! Tini can be ordered online, and it functions as a home office or a weekend retreat! The cabin arrives assembled, and fully furnished. How convenient is that?!

Built by MuDD Architects, The Writer’s Cabin was designed for a children’s books writer. The cabin was built using digital fabrication, making it quite unique. Local maple wood was used to create a contemporary twist within the otherwise simple and humble cabin.

This cabin is built on Lake Saimaa and is right on the border of lush woods and endless serene water. The prefabricated cabin only takes one day to be assembled. Helsinki-based architecture firm constructed Kynttilä from cross-laminated timber (CLT) with the exteriors featuring larch board cladding. CLT is a wonderfully eco-friendly construction material that offers high strength and structural simplicity for cost-effective buildings. It has a much lighter environmental footprint than concrete or steel.