Design (94)

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Stunning Treehouse



There is something about the idea of a treehouse that truly captures the imagination. For builders, it’s a licence to let their creativity run wild and construct something which is playful and adventurous. For years now the team at Nelson Treehouse and Supply (better known as the Treehouse Masters from their hit TV show) have been doing just that. This week we were fortunate enough to be able to visit one of their latest projects in Seattle, Washington.

The treehouse is accessed by a rustic set of stairs which wrap around the trunk of the tree and curve down to the ground below.

The exterior of the treehouse is exquisitely finished, with spectacular yellow cedar shingles. A large porch area provides plenty of space to relax, entertain and enjoy being up amongst the trees…

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Urban Treehouse 63-Unit Apartment Building in Italy

…The undulating structure creates a transition from outdoors to in, holding 150 trees that absorb close to 200,000 liters of carbon dioxide an hour. This natural absorption brings pollution protection to its residents, helping to eliminate harmful gasses caused by cars and harsh sounds from the bustling streets outside. The trees’ seasonal progression also creates the ideal microclimate inside the building, steadying temperature extremes during the cold and warmer months…

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My America

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On a trip to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona in 1989

This political nightmare we’ve been going through for some months now may have led me to choosing the subject for my next book.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do after Small Homes:

  • 50 Years of Natural Building
  • A book on my trips
  • A book on barns

Some kind of context for the 10,000+ photos I’ve taken over the years.

The idea about a book on the U.S.A. popped into my head a few days ago. This would be my version of America. It would start with me riding the rails and hitchhiking from San Francisco to New York in 1965, along with a copy of Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous — seeking enlightenment, if you will, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life — as the cultural revolution of the ’60s–’70s unfolded. (Upon return a month later, I quit my job as an insurance broker and went to work as a builder.)

I would show the America that I love, the people in every state who were kind and friendly and helpful, Pop’s Diner in Page, Arizona; pressmen at Courier Printing in Kendallville, Indiana; squirrel hunters in Tennessee; the waitress in an Oklahoma diner serving me coconut cream pie with coffee at 2:30 AM; farmers, surfers, skateboarders, lawyers, and bankers (yes — there are some good ones); book lovers, musicians, builders; makers…

This just may be the next book: the glass-half-full take on America.

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Meet West Wing – Shed of the Year

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The West Wing, a family-friendly labour of love over eight years, has three separate sections including a spacious loft which as an area to sleep and wind down, a large workshop space for ‘shedworking’ and a secret bookcase that reveals a hidden room for the kids to enjoy. The eco-friendly shed, with its warm and cozy charm, is a quirky getaway at the bottom of the garden…

Made from 90% recycled materials and set across three sections, the West Wing includes a bed in loft space, an area to relax and escape, a secret bookcase, a play area, storage and workshop…

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Eccentric North Hollywood Home for $760,000

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A very quirky NoHo home is on the market for $760,000. The three-bed, two-bath home was built in 1928, and has plenty of private outdoor space for you to read books with cups of tea, play with your adorable dogs or take a dip in the shapely pool. While a nightmare for someone who prefers a clean, minimalist design, you have to admire the care that went into carefully cluttering every bit of the place in patterns and folk art. There are also some fun design choices, including bright colors, fabric on the walls, and a cherry red clawfoot tub. There is also a guest house…

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Villa Malaparte

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Villa Malaparte, built in 1938 by the Rationalist architect Adalberto Libera in Punta Massullo on the Isle of Capri, is considered to be one of the best examples of Modern Italian architecture. The house, a red structure with inverted pyramid stairs, sits 32 meters over a cliff on the Gulf of Salerno. It is completely isolated from civilization, only accessible by foot or by boat.

The house was commissioned by the Italian writer, Curzio Malaparte whose eccentric character eventually led him to dominate the design process, causing serious conflict with Libera. Malaparte wanted the house to reflect his own personal character and become a place for solitary contemplation and writing.…

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Expandable Lightweight Camper Built by Jergen Jas

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…Unable to find a camper that he liked, Dutch tinkerer Jurgen Jas built this impressive micro-camper himself…

Apparently this camper, which weighs less than 500 kilograms (1,100 lbs), gets 37.16 miles per gallon when towed. Jas’ website provides more photos of the DIY build. Using a USD $54 trailer base found in a rummage sale, Jas installed a thick plywood floor with insulation. He then installed wooden ribs for the framing, with insulated plywood for walls, and aluminum sheet for the exterior cladding…

The interior looks incredibly well-made. There’s a small stove, sink, toaster, refrigerator and built-in cabinets for storage, above and along the walls. There is a speaker system installed among the cabinets overhead. The dining table is a drop-down leaf type, which can be put away when not needed…

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