Friday 16 August 2013

    Portable Home Aph80 by Abaton

     

    Attention adventure seekers and global nomads, now you can truly stay stylish while enjoying the perks of remote living! I’m soooo tempted…

    This prefabricated, stone housing by Madrid-based Abaton that can be transported anywhere is yours for only 32,000 euros.  It’s 27 square meters, sized for two people, and comes equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, and double bedroom.  Fabricated in a mix of Spanish fir, local lumber and grey cement wood board, a timber skeleton befits the interior and assembly time is one day.

     

    Source: Trendland 

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    Sunday 14 July 2013

    Tír na nÓg house :: Drew Heath

     

    An ‘Otherworld’ is the meaning of Tír na nÓg.  This “ jungle” house is inspired by the overgrown outlying ancient temples at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

    Designed by Drew Heath, this house in McMahons Point, an old harbour-side suburb in Sydney, has just won the NSW Wilkinson Award for Residential Architecture and was informed  by a trip to the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat.

    Tír na nÓg house by Drew Heath Architects

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    Tír na nÓg house by Drew Heath Architects

    The garden and summer pavilion are covered with plants that create the ‘jungle’ and the property is protected in parts by a dense bamboo fence. The house seems to disappear into the greenery. The NSW AIA jury chair, Sam Crawford, in summing up the jury decision, said: ‘[Drew] was so inspired [by Cambodia], he attempted to create the sublime in his own home, layering building and landscape in a tight urban setting. He set out to achieve something very ambitious, and we think he’s succeeded.’

    You enter the house from a tiny street in Sydney’s McMahon’s Point, an inner north-shore harbour suburb. The late 1900s worker’s cottage is now a pavilion of bedrooms and sleeping spaces.  From this old house you then walk through to the central garden to the new open-plan summer pavilion, once the old cottage’s back yard, but now a beautiful building housing the large kitchen and reading room. The long central table in the kitchen extends into the central garden, and seats 20.

    A glass wall, the full height and width of the kitchen wall, is able to be opened, as one would a large garage door, completely transforming the kitchen into a larger living room/garden space. I asked Mr Heath to give us his comments on the house and the inspiration behind its peculiar, breathtaking design:

    ‘It’s a community house in that it presents greenery to the suburb, but I also wanted to remove myself from the suburb. I want to live within the suburb in the little village, but I don’t necessarily want to see the things that go on outside it. I don’t mind hearing it and you hear the hum of the city and the traffic going by, but I actually wanted to live in a place where I felt I had complete control of the aesthetic and the materials and so I have used the landscape around us, be it as fencing or a green back-drop, so I see no other architecture.’

    ‘A lot of the things I do have no definition, so when we presented this roof garden/terrace deck to council, I just claimed it as outdoor landscape space, whether it is on the ground or not, and push it through as that so the building is a simple form. I have tried to make it almost terrace-like from the exterior, [but] it’s a building that’s not walled in, that appears as a green landscaped building where the back façade is completely covered in vine. There is no architectural façade there, there’s no grand architectural statement, there is just a gift of things growing, which is probably better than an architectural façade. We have young twins [nearly two years old] and the children develop their own barriers very quickly. The bamboo that surrounds the house is a fast growing screen and wall, it becomes so dense it just becomes the fence and the barrier, so over time bamboo is impenetrable. Why make a fence when you can grow a fence.’

    ‘My major architectural challenge was not the summer pavilion, but renovating the old worker’s cottage. I liked the idea of having a contrast between the old and new. It obviously made sense for us to sleep back in the house, in a series of rooms, so there are various little nooks and crannies throughout the building. The whole house is designed to sleep 10–12 people. There’s a winter bathroom [in the old house] and a summer bathroom [in the central garden], which is an outdoor bathroom, really a bath house.  It’s open on two sides to the bamboo and the landscape and the shower is underneath an open skylight. This whole area is a hose-out area, so it doesn’t matter how wet it gets, how intense the rain is.’

    ‘When it gets cold we use the winter bathroom, which is really just a little room on the side of the old house.  It’s only  800mm wide, and about  4 metres long. Sometimes I have referred to it as a metre box attached to the side of the house. It was the minimum size I thought we could do. Things like the basin are recessed back into the old chimney, so everything is tucked into whatever space it can be. [Yes] the window in the bathroom looks from the shower over the neighbour’s garden, but there is no privacy issue here, the window steams up and that becomes the curtain. No-one believed it would work, but it does perfectly.

    Connecting with the outside
    Source: By Design on Radio National, ABC. Story here.
    Images: Brett Boardman

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