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Posts Tagged Design

Cape Russell Retreat

front overview

Architects: Sanders Pace Architecture
Location: Tennessee, USA
Project Team: Brandon F. Pace, John L. Sanders, Michael A. Davis
Client: Suzanne Shelton & Corinne Nicolas
Project Area: 16.3 sqm
Budget: $47,200.00
Project Year: 2009

The owners commissioned the architect to design and coordinate construction of an off-the-grid lakeside pavilion with integrated water reclamation and photovoltaic technology for weekend use. A lightweight steel structure was chosen for durability and ease of fabrication. This structure was shop fitted with tabs to allow for the attachment of a secondary skin. In developing this skin the desire for transparency coupled with a passive cooling approach led to a shop fabricated structural screen of 2×4 vertical cedar boards backed with insect screen. Structural blocking located between the vertical structure lends a delicate pattern to the structural skin camouflaging the structure within its densely wooded setting. Towards the water view the cedar skin dissolves and becomes a series of screen panels allowing unobstructed views to the water and mountains beyond. A single 8’x8’ sliding screen panel provides direct access to the water.

Cape Russell Pavilion

Cape Russell Pavilion

layout

assembly

elevationVia

A Dialogue Of Hope

So the other night I had just went to see a movie and soon afterwards ran into some other folks from my high school years.  We started talking about what everyone was doing when one of my friends chimed in that he was writing a thesis about New Urbanism.   We started talking about all these issues surrounding this topic: gentrification, neighborhood schools, the need for anchors in the community and how Charlotte, NC has approached the issues surrounding new urbanism.

two houses and shared space

Later we talked about how the Tiny House Movement fits into this notion of urbanism.  My friend noted that when he reads this site, he gets the notion of building the Tiny House in the woods, away from it all.  It’s true, I tend to focus on this, which I am at odds with.  The fact is to truly maximize sustainability in the highly populated world we live in today, we must come together and live in a more dense area.  I know that to truly usher in my way of living, one that is green and ecofriendly, one that is sustainable, one that focuses on local, one that focuses on community I must live in an area that is more densely packed.  The issues of course is how do you live in close proximity to others, while still having room to roam, to connect with nature and ensure a high quality of life.

Today’s urban centers are as my favorite author/speaker  James Kunstler “the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world, you can call it a technosis externality clusterfuck and it’s a tremendous problem for us, the outstanding problem is that there are places no one cares about”.  And that’s the rub, the urban manifestation is a place that no one cares about, that pushes out the poor, the minorities or if that isn’t possible, we turn to the phenomenon of “white flight”.  We talked about how we need to create places that are local, have your anchors (schools, stores, grocery, churches, living, office space and a non-salient parking plan for double the intended capacity), how these need to be with in walking distance to each other, but where you can go to other centers via mass transit that people actually want to ride.  Preferably we want a place where cars aren’t allowed in the main pedestrian areas, so long as you have lots of parking underground that allows the area to be permeable.

Main Street Spring2

As we discussed all these huge issues I realized that this was a really extraordinary event happening, I was in awe!  Each person standing in that circle, talking about these huge issues, these progressive issues, these ideas that I feel will change the world in an impactful way, we were from such wildly different backgrounds.  I am the only self described “eco friendly” person, the others were not a polar opposite, but represented many different sects of society.  I was astonished, not that I think of them as stupid, but that they don’t have a logical reason to know this much about new urbanism and surrounding issues.  That essentially regular people had their finger on the pulse of such progressive and important issues was amazing.

It gave me a glimmer of hope that this dialogue that we were having about new urbanism, environmental issues, sustainability and community/local focus might be happening as a whole with people my age, that this generation, which has been sometimes labeled as useless, might be growing to inspire a new age of responsible and progressive thinking.

ScreenHunter_02 Nov. 21 11.38

Now before I get too excited I took a step back to really look at the group and who we were.  I am seeking a PhD, working for Americorp and running a Tiny House blog, my other friend is a researcher at Duke University, the next girl is a social psychologist pursing her masters at Columbia, finally my friend who is a politician/going to Davidson College, who lost while running for a major office in Charlotte by only 3% at the age of 22 with no money.  These are admittedly not normal people.  But I hope that this dialogue is happening outside of these circles.  That my generation is talking about these issues with their friends, so that when we start taking hold as the baby boomers slip into retirement, that we can usher in a new age of socially and environmentally responsible corporatism in all areas of our lives.

small houses close to each other

Awesome Concept Hotel / Tiny House

hotel-in-tree

Found this awesome concept for a hotel that would translate nicely to a Tiny House.  The really neat thing about this is that the skin of the structure is highly reflective so when placed in a forest it reflects the forest and almost blends in.  The skin more specifically is mirrored so it reflects outside, but you can see through it from the inside.  This affords a 360 degree view of the natural surroundings.  The architect says it would be “hung” from the tree, which seems both unrealistic and very high impact on the tree even if it could hold it.  None the less its a great idea!  Check the architect’s firm out here

camouflage-tree-hotel

tree-hotel-design-drawing

Space Saving Toilet

sink toilet

If you asked me a year ago if I would ever be blogging about toilets, well I most likely would have laughed at you.

I have seen these before, but they are most often conversion kits and a never looked quite as nice.  The Caroma Profile Smart is a Small profile toilet that has an integrated sink that uses the water before it goes into the toilet.  I have told folks about these before and often get this disgusted look, if you have never had to fix one you might not know how they work.  First the water fills a reservoir tank, that tank empties down into the bow through small holes at the top, the water collects in the bowl and well you know the rest.   The water that goes into the reservoir is 100% clean water, same stuff you drink from the tap.

If you are in another country this may not be the case as they sometimes use grey water, which I hope catches on here, but here in the US of A we use the regular water to fill the bowl.  What is more many folks put what are essentially chlorine tablets in the reservoir which creates a barrier if you will.  In fact if you read any disaster preparedness guide they talk about if push comes to shove, you can drink from the reservoir (best to boil).

sink toilet 2

So what’s so great about this toilet first it actually looks somewhat attractive, the second is that it is a very narrow profile, perfect for tiny houses.

  • High efficiency dual flush toilet – 1.28/0.8 gallons (4.8/3 liters) per flush
  • Integrated sink for enhanced water savings
  • After flushing, fresh cold water is directed through the faucet for hand washing and drains into the tank to be used for the next flush
  • Unique water and space saving design
  • Chrome buttons built-in to tapware design
  • Easy installation
  • Large trapway virtually eliminates blockages
  • 12″ rough-in

more here

Billboard Refit

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I have been preaching the need for us to live allot more locally, for a variety of reasons.   As we do the old infrastructure of our 1600 mile salad will no longer have its usefulness. I wrote about how retrofitting a grocery store was one example of this, well here is another.  Dornob talked about this great concept

There are nearly 500,000 freestanding billboards in the United States alone. What if any number of these could be converted en mass into functional, modular prefab homes that could be shipped and installed in rural and urban areas around the country – eco-friendly, cheap new housing from recycled old billboards.

Prefabrication and portability are nothing new in architecture and transportation, but world-changing modular and mass-producible visions  like this concept by Nocturnal Design Labs are few and far between. Unlike most conventional prefabs, these spaces are planned with interior layouts, sun paths and wind patterns in mind, giving the result a distictive and dynamic shape.

rom the curved modern shell and functional interior spaces to the high-up locations with varied views, there is more to this than simply a clever idea from a forward-thinking designer – these are best understood as prefab building prototypes, the potential start of an entire movement in adaptive reuse already being explored by various architects and designs.

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