These prefab coral shaped structures are designed to be self-sustaining centres for the coastal community!

Architecture has the power to infuse the local culture and sustainability into the structure. A shining example of such designs is the Cagbalete Sand Clusters in Taguig, Philippines. The organically shaped structure is a multi-use development made while respecting the existing ecology as well as the history of farming and fishing in the area. The unique building is constructed with prefabricated sections that can be placed and added on in a horizontal or vertical direction.

Each of the units, individually or placed together, forms a coral-like shape inspired by the local marine ecology. The lead architect of Carlo Calma Consultancy Inc. and client C Ideation envisioned the development to be community-focused, which they described as “farm leisure.” The self-sustaining group of clusters will rely on electricity produced from solar umbrella pods and passive design techniques such as natural ventilation.

The structures include a private family home and a restaurant that offers farm-to-table endemic plant species and seasonal mud crabs from nearby farms. This not only speaks to healthy living and local industry, but mud crab farming is also credited with preventing soil erosion and protection of vital mangroves.

“They have elevated the humble hapa net into something beyond its utilitarian origins,” stated the press release. “It is now both part of the structure’s construction membrane, a tool for food production, and a web that facilitates the daily activities of the structure’s inhabitants, enmeshing time, culture, and space.”

Hapa nets throughout the structure offer protection from the weather and insects while reflecting the historic use of the nets.

For residents and visitors, the design includes a saltwater grotto, along with mud pools and soaking pools. The designers hope the multi-focused design elements cater to tourists, specifically eco-tourism while honoring the Filipino culture — which spans 7,641 islands made up of varying natural and community elements.

Cagbalete Sand Clusters won the Food Category of the WAFX Awards this year. The architectural design is also a finalist in the “Experimental” category of the World Architecture Festival, which will be held this December 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal. It truly showcases how buildings don’t have to take away from the space they stand on but can co-exist while helping protect the natural environment.

Designer: Carlo Calma Consultancy Inc.

This outdoor sleeping bag and its packaging are made of 100% natural materials!

This sleeping bag is made of 100% natural, from the packaging to the last button. Thanks to our patented, innovative insulation made of RDS-certified down and wool, DownWool, we achieve the best sleeping climate. Down is light and has excellent insulation properties. Wool is insensitive to moisture and regulates the sleeping climate. In DownWool we combine the good properties of down and wool. All individual parts on the sleeping bag are OEKOTEX certified. At the end of its long life, the sleeping bag can be completely composted.

Back to nature. Grüezi bag wanted to create a sleeping bag made from 100% natural materials – from the packaging down to the last button: and they did it! You will be amazed at the sleeping conditions and the sense of well-being you get in the sleeping bag. Once you’ve slept in it, you’ll never want to come out!

Thanks to its natural materials, it feels pleasantly soft and its innovative DownWool filling, a mixture of down and wool, creates an outstanding sleep climate. The down ensures cozy insulation, the wool works like natural air-conditioning. Thanks to its overlapping design, the Nature can be opened entirely; this means that it is easier to get into the sleeping bag.

For extra comfort, its width can also be adjusted if you require more space. The pillow pocket is also great. Just insert a jacket or pullover here and you already have a non-shifting pillow. Have a fantastic sleep with the Nature in nature.

DownWool is an innovative high-end filling composed of 70% down and 30% wool. Down has a very high insulation capacity and a low weight. However, down only provides insulation as long as it is dry. With increasing humidity, the insulating effect of down is significantly reduced. The characteristic of wool is that it provides insulation and absorbs moisture. In this way, the down will stay dry and thus keeps its very high insulation capacity. With the unique mix of DownWool we achieve optimal insulation and a perfect dry sleeping climate with a low weight. The sleeping climate is decisive for sleep quality. The deeper and more relaxed your sleep, the more rested you will be the next morning.

Designer: Grüezi Bag

This concrete bench collects rainwater for plants that are a part of the seating!

Concrete jungle is not just something Alicia Keys sang once, cities are becoming more paved with every passing day leaving scarce patches of greenery. Having concrete structures everywhere is not appealing to the eye but at the same time makes it harder for cities to use rainwater because they don’t have surfaces to absorb it. This makes it harder for them to maintain natural public spaces and green starts turning to gray. To solve this problem, Barbara Standaert made the Waterbench – it is exactly what you think. The design combines a bench, a rainwater barrel, and a planter into one to restore some greenery into the urban landscape.

Rainwater is used in public spaces to create self-sufficient green. The permanent water supply always guarantees a dry seat, even in rainy weather, requires hardly any maintenance, and ensures a permanent green touch in the city.

The rainwater naturally seeps through the porous concrete cover and is collected in a water-tight concrete reservoir where the plants find their water and food. The water is naturally absorbed and transported to the plants by a nylon cord. The Waterbench Rainwater buffer + water reservoir for plants Cover made of permeable concrete Collection trough in architectonic concrete water reservoir: +/- 280 liters.

Length 250 cm, Width 174 cm, Height 45 cm Weight: +/- 1,300 kg for the collection tray, +/- 1,100 kg for the cover. It is available in grey, other shades possible upon request. Overflow, allowing water to escape if the tank is full. The element rests on rubber stands, allowing excess water to run off. Another advantage of the Waterbench is the option to ‘plant’ the bench with little prior effort, in line with the particular needs of the environment.

Starting with the design question “How can we restore natural processes and give back some green to our urbanized landscape?” – I started researching what is being done today to direct rainwater to nature. Porous rainwater pipes were one example. The material fascinated me. I brought it to the surface to show what it did to the audience. After this, the function to combine the material and water storage with greenery was quickly made. During my studies I made the prototype all by myself. I carved out the some mold by using my football shoes. I filled the mold in cooperation with a concrete manufacturer and transported the (way too heavy) concrete block in a rented van. One day before the jury, I still had to apply the porous top layer… After I graduated I found a manufacturer who is now producing the market suitable Waterbench.

Designer: Barbara Standaert

This tiny house has been designed for sustainable, energy-efficient, off-the-grid living!

I love tiny houses but even more if they are designed to be sustainable, energy-efficient, and on wheels – that is exactly what Project Ursa is! The mobile home is made for off-the-grid living featuring solar panels, water harvesting systems, and the coziest interiors that makes the “cabin in the woods” aesthetic into a lifestyle.

Tiny houses on wheels have to have a length of 4m, 5m, and respectively 7m, to be 2,5m wide and to have a maximum height of 4m. The Ursa tiny house is currently located in Cascais, Portugal, and can function completely off-grid.

To ensure that, the roof features a subtle 5% slope which allows rainwater to drain easily into a couple of water tanks with a total capacity of 650 liters. This water is then redirected to the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, and the shower where it’s filtered and reused. After that, the reused water goes into another tank and from there is used for watering plants.

On top of the roof, Ursa features solar panels which are facing South. Their inclination can be adjusted up to 30% in order to maximize the energy product all year round, making this a very efficient off-grid tiny house.

The energy produced by these solar panels is being converted and stored for later uses so the inhabitants can always have energy on demand when needed. Check out our informational article covering solar panel companies if you’re interesting in this subject.

This tiny house offers 17 square meters of living space in total which is organized into a kitchen, a full bathroom with a dry toilet that produces compost, a living area, two sleeping areas, and also an outdoor deck. Of course, each of these spaces is small and they all blend into one another which creates a cozy ambiance inside. This is accentuated by the warmth of the wood used for both the interior and the exterior of the Ursa tiny house.

Designer: Madeiguincho

This shipping container has been transformed into a getaway by the sea!

When designers repurpose shipping containers into shelters, it feels like the adult version of building forts and tents! It’s taking something that doesn’t resemble a shelter – like bedsheets or shipping containers – and turning them into the most wonderful getaways. This MUA getaway cabin is right by the Tbilisi Sea, in Georgia, and gives our summer imagination a life. The cabin is located 20 minutes away from the city center and has been designed by the architecture team to serve as a relaxing space where they can recharge their creative batteries – it’s like when a doctor prescribes medicine for themself, win-win!

You won’t believe that these psychedelic art pieces are actually close-ups of molds and fungi!

No, this isn’t an alien planet. It’s a psychedelic work of art by Dasha Plesen using paints, pigments, foodstuff, and bacterial/fungal cultures from everyday life.

I don’t know about you, but when I see mold growing on something, my knee-jerk reaction is to throw it away. Daria Fedorova, on the other hand, busts out her camera, mounts a macro lens, and gets to work! Fedorova’s psychedelic artworks are more of a collaboration than anything else. She uses paints, yeasts, foodstuff, and biofilms to compose her art pieces, introduces microscopic fungal and bacterial cultures to the mix, and then lets nature take over as the molds grow on top of her abstract pieces of art, giving it a new appearance altogether.

Fedorova (who goes by her online moniker Dasha Plesen) hopes to redefine what it means to “create” art, and to explore how much of a role she plays in the creation. A lot of the artwork’s process is unpredictable, as Fedorova just allows the cultures to incubate over a period of 3-4 weeks, growing on top of the canvas she creates. The Russia-based artist spent 7 years researching microcultures and learning how to develop and control them. Most of her artwork occurs in controlled environments inside Petri dishes, and her microculture samples come from a variety of places, including “air, surroundings, body, and objects”, according to the artist.

It’s worth noting that no two molds/cultures in her artpieces are the same. They come from different locations and samples, and are the result of multiple natural bacterial and fungal colonies naturally propagating. Fedorova’s experimented with bodily fluids (like sweat, saliva, mucus, and milk) and even decorated her art with sprinkles and granules of sugar, adding pops of color to her “disgusting” art. The results are undeniably fabulous, that is, if you can somehow get yourself to look beyond the fact that those microbiotic cultures are incredibly unhealthy and potentially dangerous if exposed to humans (Fedorova does make it a point to safely dispose of them once she’s done). However, they make for great prints (Fedorova actually sells posters and tee-shirts)… and if you’re into NFTs, you can get your hands on some “CryptoFungi” too!

Designer: Daria Fedorova (Dasha Plesen)

This cabin can easily transported to remote places & reduces construction carbon emissions!

Ever since the pandemic, escapes to secluded local destinations have become the norm which means more cabin designs for us to explore! This is Cabana, a compact and functional cabin that is designed to facilitate a unique experience. Cabana was made to fit in any space and location while making sure it had minimum impact on the environment which guided every detail such as the choice of materials or the process of assembly. The black, boxy unit with contrasting warm wooden interiors feels like the perfect place to read my entire pile of unread books for days!

It offers a cozy refuge from the chaos of our fast-paced lives. Since reducing construction impact on the surrounding was a priority, the team chose steel, cement slabs, and reforested wood for the structure as well as sealing materials. This minimized material waste through leftovers, water consumption, and carbon emissions which increased the overall energy efficiency of Cabana from design to construction and ultimately its usage.

Cabana has a very warm ambiance which it owes to the thermal, lighting, and acoustic comfort provided by rock wool on the walls and ceiling, as well as large PVC frames – a material known for its excellent insulation – that are strategically positioned in order to facilitate cross-ventilation. I would have loved to see a rainwater harvesting system or solar panels to make it more energy-efficient and sustainable.

Additionally, the use of LED strips and a wood-burning stove also help maintain a cozy atmosphere without using excessive energy. “All these actions aim to reduce the need to use air conditioning systems, improve performance in the use of artificial lighting, and consequently minimize the consumption of electricity,” elaborates the team.

Cabana was developed so that it could bring a sustainable cabin design to remote locations. To make that easier, it was divided into multiple modules that could be carried by two people which eliminated the need for cranes and allowed the cabin to be assembled quickly and in usually hard-to-access places.

It can also be transported with the aid of just one box truck which reduces the logistics and all the adversities caused in the process. The metallic pile foundation was designed to minimize its impact on the surroundings and to reduce the use of concrete which actually is the construction industry’s biggest generator of carbon emissions.

The building system is suitable for most terrains, but if necessary, a specialized engineering team will consult the terrain conditions and a specific new foundation will be developed. The team will also accompany the owner with materials and tools to assemble the cabin efficiently and quickly.

It has two levels – the lower area is the living space with a kitchenette and a fireplace while the upper area is entirely a sleeping zone. The bed mattress rests on a raised wooden platform and is positioned in a way to let catch the view of the sky through a window on the angular roof without leaving your bed. Cabana offers a complete cozy cabin-in-the-woods vibe but with a modern aesthetic and a sustainable construction process!

Designer: Liga Arquitetura e Urbanismo

The world’s first solar-powered luxury yacht is actually a floating villa worth $10.5 million!

Do you also think about living in a modern luxury villa that is also a yacht powered by solar panels so you can lead the ultimate sustainable lifestyle of your dreams? Me too, and lucky for us (if being lucky also includes the $5.5 million base model cost) Waterstudio.NL and a Miami-based shipping company called Arkup have designed this insane dreamboat – literally! Called the Arkup 75, this flagship product combines luxury with off-the-grid living.

Arkup 75 lets you live in comfort and luxury in total autonomy – enjoy life between the sea, the sky, and the city. The 75 feet long yacht has a total living space of 4,350 sqft!

Arkup is a game-changer for the hospitality market when it comes to self-sustainable, blue developments. floating and overwater eco-resorts a reality with the versatility to scale, configure, even relocate. “We are revolutionizing life on the water. We leverage Arkup products and expertise for fast deployment, modular, floating communities that you scale according to market demands,” says the team.

The livable villa has 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, a giant living space, a spacious kitchen, and a sliding deck all divided between two levels. It also has a rainwater harvesting system and solar panels so let you live off the grid comfortably!

Arkup livable yachts combine the best attributes of yachts, floating houses, and waterfront villas, with the added benefits of being self-sufficient, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. The Arkup livable yacht was conceived to be “future-proof”, from its ability to withstand or avoid extreme weather events to its self-contained systems that allow fully off-the-grid living.

The base model will cost $5.5 million and will come with the core amenities as well as the furniture but if you want a fully specced out version, the Arkup 75 can go well up to $10.5 million!

It is built to be energy efficient and incorporate a sustainable lifestyle with technology and systems in place like multiple solar panels on the roof and an intricate rainwater harvesting system with two 4000 gallon water tanks.

It also is modular and has stilts in case you want to dock your luxury home in the shallow waters of a remote island instead of drifting along the skyline of a big city.

The 2,300 sqft roof collects the rainwater and is covered with 36 kW solar electric panels which generate sufficient green energy to live off-the-grid. Live ecologically while being self-sufficient with water and electricity. Enjoy living off the grid and feel the satisfaction of minimizing your carbon footprint.

The smart communications system including satellite TV and WI-FI antennas, LTE, and VHF to stay connected at all times.

Rainwater is collected from the roof, then stored in the hull and purified to ensure freshwater full-autonomy. The hull also accommodates separate technical rooms for hydraulic, electrical, and storage room.

The 2,300 sqft roof is covered with 36 kW solar electric panels which generate sufficient green energy to live off-the-grid.

Two noise-free electric thrusters of 136 hp each rotate 180° for the best maneuverability to propel the yacht up to 5 knots.

The four 40ft long hydraulic legs allow to anchor in up to 20ft water depths and lift the livable yacht above the sea level.

Arkup 75 is also designed to be resistant against category 4 hurricane winds and have high insulation so that you can choose to live your best remote/flexible lifestyle in different climates while being safe.

The 456 sqft retractable terrace adds plenty of outdoor space and is surrounded by shock resistant glass railings. The sun deck located at the stern can be immersed, turning into a sea pool.

Designer: Waterstudio.NL

The post The world’s first solar-powered luxury yacht is actually a floating villa worth $10.5 million! first appeared on Yanko Design.

This wooden treehouse is constructed without a tree to minimize environmental impact & maximize adventure!

Normalize adults living and chilling in treehouses because we are certainly going through a lot more than children and this is the escape we need! Cassiopeia is one such shelter that every grown-up dreams of having, it is a treehouse that was born in a garden without a tree for us to disconnect from the virtual world. It has multiple levels, a fire-man pole, a slide, a swing, a zip-line, a net bed, monkey bars and a climbing wall in sculptural form with legs that grow in the garden!

It has utmost privacy and was constructed with a very low impact on the territory. Cassiopeia is a playground for kids at its core but has been designed to provide the same nostalgia and whimsy for adults too. It seeks to touch the ground lightly through clever architectural design and woodworking which also ensures that it is durable and environmentally sustainable.

The contemporary treehouse aims to blend into its surroundings while providing a sanctuary for adults and kids to escape the monotony of everyday life. Especially since the pandemic, people are avoiding public spaces which restrict outdoor activities but Cassiopeia brings that adventure back to your backyard!

Cassiopeia, in astronomy, is a constellation of the northern sky easily recognized by a group of five bright stars forming a slightly irregular W. The multi-level playground is a privileged place to watch the complexity of the universe through the telescope lens.

The foundation of the treehouse is the invisible metal ground screws that give support to columns and beams. “At the top of it, we built the skeleton (interior frame) that receives the skin (walls and roof) that are built with CLT panels painted black that receive a horizontal slatted wood system that follows the treehouse shape,” adds the team.

This project highlights Madeiguincho’s combined heritage of both architecture and carpentry. The Portugal-based studio retains the charm of a traditional treehouse with the warm wooden aesthetic but brings modern architecture into play without needing a tree in the first place. The angular shape, systems for multiple activities, large windows and doors truly encourage us to take a break, play and bring back the innocent joy from our childhood.

Designer: Madeiguincho

This 3D printed cabin was designed to give you an escape from the everyday urban lifestyle!

If you are looking for an unconventional staycation, this 3D-printed Urban Cabin could be it! It has transformed a former industrial area in Amsterdam from a vast empty space into an urban retreat with a pocket park for picnics and an outdoor bathtub that will teach you to not focus on what others might be thinking. The compact sustainable dwelling is actually born from research about building in urban environments. It is entirely 3D printed with bio-plastic and can be fully recycled to be reprinted in the following years!

The compact sustainable dwelling is actually born from research about building in urban environments by Amsterdam-based firm Dus Architects. DUS designs indoor and outdoor furniture, interiors, and architectural installations made by means of 3D printing, to accelerate a new way of building: smart, 100% circular, and on-demand.

The design plays with the relations between indoor and outdoor spaces creating luxury within a minimum footprint. Entirely 3D printed with black-colored bio-based material, it showcases different types of façade ornament, form-optimization techniques, and smart solutions for insulation and material consumption. The floor and stepped porch are combined with a concrete finish creating a beautiful pattern that extends into a path in the pocket park. In the green around the cabin, you can enjoy the sculptural printed bathtub, and watch the sunset surrounded by waving poplar trees.

The 8 m2 x 25 m3 house fits the ‘tiny house’ trend in which small dwelling designs solve large housing issues. The design comprises a mini-porch and indoor space in which a sofa can be doubled up as a twin bed. 3D printing techniques can be used particularly well for small temporary dwellings or in disaster areas. After use, the bio print material can be shredded entirely and re-printed into new designs.

The Urban Cabin is part of the 3D Print Living Lab by DUS architects. It is another step in using the in-house developed 3D print technology to build sustainable, customizable, and on-demand housing solutions for the fast-growing cities around the globe.

The 3D Printed Urban Cabin rethinks intimacy and individual space within the city. A precise insertion changed the former industrial area from a vast empty non-place into a retreat to escape the speed of everyday life and to enjoy summer, the waterfront, and the sunset with friends or by yourself.

The Summer House is the first step in using our 3D print technology in developing sustainable, customizable and on-demand housing solutions for the fast-growing cities around the globe.

The design plays with the relations between indoor and outdoor spaces creating luxury within a minimum footprint. Entirely 3D printed with black colored bio-based material it showcases different types of façade ornament, form-optimization techniques, and smart solutions for insulation and material consumption.

The floor and stepped porch are combined with a concrete finish creating a beautiful pattern that extends into the pocket park. In the green created around the house, you can enjoy the sculptural outdoor printed bathtub. Urban Cabin truly offers a unique perspective into urban architecture, sustainable construction and one-of-a-kind experience in your own city!

Designer: DUS architects