About space

Colorful Climb

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Proving that a little color can go a long way, a group of Syrian students recently painted a vibrant colored pattern onto the longest public stairs in Syria, completely transforming the drab concrete into a beautiful statement. With hopes to bring a little light and color to the politically embattled nation, architecture academic Salmo al-Bata organized a crew of volunteer students to paint the path in shades of green, blue, yellow, orange, pink and red.

Greenest Homes

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Designer Julia Torres Moskovitz’s book The Greenest Home, released this summer, came about from her frustration with the lack of case studies and information around building passive houses. Her team at Brooklyn’s Fabrica 718 designed New York’s first passive house, consuming 90% less heat energy and 75% less overall energy than the typical home. Moskovitz’s great book details 18 of the best-designed examples of passive homes, with project plans, photographs and construction techniques to help others forge ahead to build their own. Check out this interview with the author.

Silken House

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Studies in MIT Media Lab’s Mediated Matter group have led to a silkworm-created structure reminiscent of a geodesic dome. After researching the behaviors and patterns of silkworms, the group created a CNC program based on their findings which wove together a base frame with overlapping threads. 6500 silkworms were then released onto the structure and guided with light to reinforce the form, covering it with silk. See the incredible process video here.

Flowering Stockholm

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The beautiful, experimental flower shop Landet Järna in Stockholm is focused on finding and working with local, organically-grown plants, sourced from a town south of the city, Järna. Bunches of dried flowers and plants hang throughout the shop, bringing it to life. The shop is also connected to a restaurant and bar next door, where the owners work together to pair food and wine with seasonal botanicals from the shop.

Kid Design Lab

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The New York Hall of Science is getting kids into the making and building process, through 5 new zones comprising a larger, 10,000 square foot “Design Lab.” Each of the spaces will be built out to encourage different design-minded functions – the Maker Space, completed last year, houses activities related to computer programming and 3D printing. They also will teach kids elements of the design process: from problem ideation, to testing, iteration, documentation, and sharing solutions.

Collaborative Healthcare

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The Gates Vascular Institute in Buffalo, NY is setting a new standard for innovation and healthcare with its considered and thoughtful design. Architects Cannon Design created the building and its various labs, departments and rooms, to encourage transparency and collaboration between typically silo’ed practices. The building is centered around a 2-story  “collaborative core,” where researchers and doctors connect and interact, sharing knowledge that can be passed on to improvements for patient experience.

World Landscape Prize

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A vast, breathtaking botanical garden at a former quarry in Australia recently won the World Architecture Festival’s Best Landscape Prize. Landscape studio Taylor Cullity Lethlean and plant expert Paul Thompson worked together on the project, which is laid out in a beautifully organic way as a journey through the range of Australian fauna. 1700 species are represented in 170,000 plants exhibiting the range of the country’s landscape, from desert to forest.

Branched Screen

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British designer Benjamin Hubert has created a system of 3 branched modules that connect together in various ways to form screens and installations. Amass was designed for this year’s 100% Design Festival in London when Hubert, concerned about the amount of waste produced by trade shows and festivals, wanted to create something that could be re-usable. The parts can be easily taken apart and re-installed elsewhere, and the components will soon be sold as a kit. For more, check out this timelapse video of the construction at the Festival.

Paper Waves

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London architects Studio Glowacka and Maria Fulford created a dramatic environment for 100% Design’s Paper Space in September. The pair draped 1500 meters of blank, white, A4 paper rolls to form an undulating ceiling of varying heights. Elegantly draped paper rolls vertically lined the perimeter of the space, delineating it from other areas while showing off the humble nature of the material.

Treetop Getaway

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A bit of a step up from typical national park accommodations here in the States – a gorgeous pair of woodland cabins were created for visitors to Pedras Salgadas Park, at the edge of a spa town in Portugal. Architects Luís Rebelo de Andrade and Tiago Rebelo de Andrade created the cantilevered cabins with long bridges leading into them, inspired by the long and narrow bodies of snakes. Constructed of timber and slate tiles, the minimal, white space inside offers views of the trees with one large window and various skylights.

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