Archive for the ‘house’ Category

O quintal da minha casa

November 5, 2010

O QUINTAL de minha casa trata do morar do homem na Amazônia, mas num recorte que inclui a vivência pessoal d um cineasta-documentarista. Na busca de personagens que possam relatar essa vivência, dois cartões-postais colorizados, especificamente da Cidade Flutuante, servem de mote para a empreitada.

Source:  Aurélio Michiles (O quintal da minha casa)


Icebergs / Daniel Andersson

November 2, 2010

shared with us his project Icebergs.  An iceberg only shows the tip above the water surface, the rest stays hidden below. These floating summer cottages in sheltered bays an lakes around Åland Islands, investigates this concept. See more images and architect’s description after the break.

Cabin villages are a normal sight aroun the Åland Islands. The client Ålands Hotell & Restaurangskola asked for a refine concept to attract more tourists during summer months.

The functions are arranged in a spiral form elevating from the lowest point, the living room and up through the entrance to the roof which serves as a sun deck. The shape of the cottage acts a ship hull pushing away water to stay floating. Secondary pontoons are placed underneath the body and also works as stabilizers.

The floor plan is 60m2 with clear definition between private and public. All functions are arranged around the central atrium that also contains the staircase. The atrium provides the light and underwater windows provide views. A sauna is located in the bathroom and is given easy access to run out, up the stairs to jump into the water.

The cottages are anchored to the seabed in clam areas due to its vulnerability for high waves. Water and electricity is connected through underwater cables and pipes to a central station on the mainland. Precautionary bilge pumps are installed under the staircase to remove all water that would leak over.

Source:  Sebastian J (Archdaily)

The Citadel: A floating apartment complex in Netherlands

November 2, 2010


The Dutch have been fighting the rising and falling tides for centuries, building dikes and pumping water out of areas that are below sea level. Now, rather than fight the water infiltrating their land, the Dutch will use it as part of a new development called ‘New Water‘, which will feature the world’s first floating apartment complex, The Citadel.

This “water-breaking” new project was designed by Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio, and developed by ONW OPP/BNG  in the Netherlands, and will use 25% less energy than a conventional building on land thanks to the use of water cooling techniques.

Source: Bridgette Meinhold (Inhabitat)

Climate Displacement in Bangladesh

October 19, 2010

Bangladesh has among the highest death rates in the world from the hazards of tornadoes, strongwind, lightning, and hail. Current technology provides ineffective warning and communication.Social vulnerability to hazards is high due to poverty, weak housing, illiteracy, and lack ofemergency services. Four steps are proposed to reduce risks from severe local storms in Bangladesh. Install Doppler radar to detect storms, train meteorologists, and developmethods to convey warnings to villages and residents. Develop severe local storm educationmaterials with text and visual information about storms and storm safety. Distribute these toschool children and in billboards, posters, and through emerging technologies such as mobile phones. Construct household-level Bangladesh Ono Storm Shelters in a targeted communityand monitor their acceptance and use. Ensure that women are represented at equal numbers tomen in the education and decision-making for severe local storm reduction and recovery.

CAKED in sweat and slime, Mohamed Abdul Wozad pauses for breath before heaving another basket of river mud on his head, and starting up the slippery path towards the embankment above. A lifetime resident of Gabura Island in southwest Bangladesh, Wozad lives at the battlefront of global climate change, a 28sq km patch of damp earth clasped in the estuarine fingers of Bangladesh’s sprawling river network.

Bangladesh squeezes its roughly 160 million population into an area one-sixth the size of NSW. More than 80 per cent of those people survive on less than $US2 ($2.28) per day; many under constant threat from floods, droughts and cyclones. Together with the Maldives and a few other island states, Bangladesh tops virtually every index of countries most vulnerable to climate change. Experts say Gabura Island and the surrounding areas are the worst affected. In recent years it has been made a poster child by activists, who paint many of the country’s problems as the rotten fruit of Western greed.

“Climate change is not causing anything new, but the frequency and intensity are increasing,” says Ainun Nishat, formerly Bangladesh’s representative at the International Union for Conservation of Nature and now vice-chancellor of BRAC University in Dhaka. “There were massive floods in 1988, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2004 and 2007. Statistically, the 1988 flood was a hundred-year event, but in 1995 and 2000 the water levels were similar [to 1988], and in 2004 they exceeded the 1988 level.”

Bangladeshi scientists say crops are failing in northern parts of the country due to changing weather patterns and, farther south, storms and sea-level rise are destroying property and contaminating arable land with salt. Environmental groups, who blame anthropogenic global warming, argue that if these problems worsen they could trigger catastrophic migration, even though migration experts are sceptical about such claims. In practice, however, it is very difficult to identify the effects of climate change among a welter of other possible causes; far less prove the link between local problems and global emissions.

“It is not yet clear whether these are long-term trends, but our observations on the ground match predictions based on IPCC climate change science, and we are using this as a proxy indicator that climate change is happening in Bangladesh,” says Mozaharul Alam, research fellow at the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies. “The major indications of climate change have come in the past 10 to 15 years, but the locals would say they have begun to observe unusual events over the past five to 10 years. If we really want to claim these problems are due to climate change we need more analysis and more longitudinal data.”

Sources: Risk Factors and Social Vulnerability, Displacement solutions

Belen, Iquitos, Peru – Floating City

October 19, 2010


Amazon river houses – Peru & Brasil

October 19, 2010

In April of 2008, the expedition team crossed from Peru into Brazil. Even though the landscape didn’t change very much between the two countries, they noticed several changes in the way that people lived. Most noticeably is the difference between houses in Peru and houses in Brazil. Houses in Peru were almost always made of materials gathered straight from the rainforest. Roofs were made of woven palms in Peru. Only in larger villages did a few houses have metal roofs. Walls of Peruvian houses were built from wood taken right from the forest. All of the houses were open-air, meaning they didn’t have any windows. The walls were only a few feet tall to let the breeze flow through. It was extremely rare for a community to have electricity while we were in Peru.

A typical house found in the Peruvian Amazon. Note that it’s constructed from materials all found from the rainforest.

Many traditional houses along the Amazon River are built on rafts. The houses then rise and fall with the water levels that change from seasonal flooding.

Look at the difference between this floating house in Brazil, and the Peruvian house above. What differences do you seen between the materials the houses are made from?

Along the Amazon, nearly every house in Brazil has a metal roof. Many houses along the Brazilian Amazon are made of plaster and look very different than the traditional rainforest homes of Peru. In addition to having more modern-looking houses, most Brazilian communities regularly have electricity, but usually only for a few hours each evening.

Brazilian communities consist of houses made from materials bought in cities, like plaster, bricks, and metal. Also note the electrical pole. Most communities have electricity for a few hours each day.

The towns and cities that line the Amazon River are also much more developed than those of Peru or Colombia. In Peru, most families have a small farm located away from their communtiy. These small family farms are called, chakras (CHA-kras). On a typical chakra, famlies grow bananas, yucca, mango, rice, melons, and other fruits and vegetables. The family eats most of what they grow. Some people have food left over, so they’re able to sell it at small markets.

Cities and larger communities are becoming more common along the Amazon as we draw closer to the Atlantic Ocean.

In Brazil, small family farms have been replaced by large cattle ranches. Cattle ranches line the river bank. Nearly all trees have been cut down close to the river. About 1 kilometer back from the river bank, the rainforest is full and has many trees. There is a law in Brazil that says farmers can only deforest 30% of their land. However, most of that land they clear is near the Amazon River.

From talking with older people who have lived along the Amazon for many years, things have changed. People no longer grow the majority of their food, and they rely on buying things from cities to build houses and boats.

What impact do you think these differences in building materials has on the rainforest? Do you think that there is an impact on the small communites if people start buying materials from outside their community? Do you think that the changes between Brazilian and Peruvian lifestyles and uses of the rainforest have an impact on the rainforest, society, or the planet? What would happen if people in Peru started having large cattle ranches like in Brazil?



DUTCH FLOATING HOMES By DuraVermeer and Hans van de Beek

October 19, 2010

Dutch seem to be the masters of designing floating homes — for obvious climatic reasons having to do with their wet marshy landscape. Now Dutch developer DuraVermeer adds their rendition of water-bound living with the addition of 26 amphibious homes in Massbommel in the Netherlands. Each of the brightly colored homes are built on the hollow concrete cube base that is anchored to the land by a single vertical pile. All utilities, including electricity and water are brought into the house through flexible pipes that allows each house to adapt to a 13 foot rise in the water table.

Builder Hans van de Beek’s amphibious houses are an obvious yet genius solution to rising water levels. He explains; “They are pretty much just regular houses, the only difference is that when the water rises, they rise.”


Source: Inhabitat

The Last Resort: A Solar Powered Floating Home

October 19, 2010

Living on the water is a dream for many — fortunately, this design for a solar-powered floating home may soon see open water! Brought to you by the same designers who came up with the futuristic bicycle sharing system for CopenhagenRAFAA Architecture & Designs have conceived of a mobile floating home called The Last Resort. The design recently won a competition, and with funding underway the team expects to begin fabrication on these sleek water homes by the end of the year.

The floating home is about 5 meters wide and 15 meters long with two levels. Sleeping bunks, mechanical equipment and hatches are on the lower level and the upper level contains living space, a kitchen, a bathroom and two bedrooms. In total there are six beds and a sliding panel helps close off the rooms for more privacy. Vertical blinds on the facade act as shading devices for the interior as well as a privacy system. Stairs lead up to the roof, which serves as an extra deck, and roof-integrated solar panels generate electricity for the two electric engines that propel the home.

RAFAA entered their design for mobile floating architecture in a design competition organized by the Internationale Bauausstellung in Germany. They recently brought home first prize, and construction on several of these houses is expected to begin by the end of the year. The homes were designed for Lusatian Lakeland and the form of the homes was actually inspired by the waterfront. We’re looking forward seeing these efficient floating comes come to life.

Source: Inhabitat, Rafaa

Lake Union Floating Home by Vandeventer + Carlander Architects

October 9, 2010

Some floating homes have been built on Lake Union, and this design is one of them. This design was done by Vandeventer + Carlander Architects, located at the second position from the end of the dock. It affords views to the south of downtown Seattle and diagonally to Lake Union. The final design strives to meet comfortable living and gracious entertaining   that transforms what could be a banal “box” into one with architectural integrity.

The public spaces are located on 2nd floor, and the private spaces are located on float level to maximize both interior volume and outdoor entertaining spaces. With these strategy will make entertaining spaces look out onto a large south facing terrace. It is accessed by a sliding wall system that enables it to become a direct extension of the interior spaces, blurring the distinction between inside and outside.

The entry, guest bed room, bath rooms and master bedroom can be found at float level. The moorage of a boat are provided at the east side. The master bedroom’s private terrace is located at the south. More glass windows are used for each bedroom to provide lights and views. A translucent stair tower knits the two floors together and becomes a central visual element at night when lit.

Aluminum panels complement  the storefront windows on the float level, and Slatescape Xtreme panels blend with Alaskan Yellow Cedar windows on the second level. Second level public spaces are clad in Slatescape Xtreme fiber cement panels. Service areas are clad in aluminum panels. The selection of woods such as mahogany for entry level casework and zebrawood on upper level cabinets build on the clientsí rich and eclectic furniture collection. Light hued bamboo flooring and Alaskan yellow panels at walls and ceilings recede into the background allowing the stronger furnishing elements to come forward.

In response to environmental concerns, the location and treatment of glazing promote passive heating and cooling while providing abundant natural light. Sun screens and overhangs provide effective summer shading. Efficient hydronic in-floor heating utilizes an energy efficient heat pump system and the fresh air ventilation system utilizes an energy saving heat exchanger.

Source:  Vandeventer + Carlander ArchitectsArchitecture 4 us



Lake Huron Floating House by MOS

October 8, 2010

Designed by: MOS

The Floating House is the intersection of a vernacular house typology with the shifting site-specific conditions of this unique place: an island on Lake Huron. The location on the Great Lakes imposed complexities to the house’s fabrication and construction, as well as its relationship to site. Annual cyclical change related to the change of seasons, compounded with escalating global environmental trends , cause Lake Huron’s water levels to vary drastically from month-to-month, year-to-year. To adapt to this constant, dynamic change, the house floats atop a structure of steel pontoons, allowing it to fluctuate along with the lake. Locating the house on a remote island posed another set of constraints. Using traditional construction processes would have been prohibitively expensive; the majority of costs would have been applied toward transporting building materials to the remote island. Instead, we worked with the contractor to devise a prefabrication and construction process that maximized the use of the unique character of the site: Lake Huron as a waterway. Construction materials were instead delivered to the contractor’s fabrication shop, located on the lake shore. The steel platform structure with incorporated pontoons was built first and towed to the lake outside the workshop. On the frozen lake, near the shore, the fabricators constructed the house. The structure was then towed to the site and anchored. In total, between the various construction stages, the house traveled a total distance of approximately 80 km on the lake.
The formal envelope of the house experiments with the cedar siding of the vernacular home. This familiar form not only encloses the interior living space, but also enclosed exterior space as well as open voids for direct engagement with the lake. A “rainscreen” envelope of cedar strips condense to shelter interior space and expand to either filter light entering interior spaces or screen and enclose exterior spaces giving a modulated yet singular character to the house, while performing pragmatically in reducing wind load and heat gain.

Source:  MOS & Archdaily