Woman architect travels Europe in her self-built van conversion (Video)

We see and hear a lot about van conversions out here in North America, but over the ocean in Europe, there are apparently a good number of adventurous souls striking out in tricked-out vehicles too.

One of them is Viki, a recovering architect from Germany, who is travelling around Europe with her dog Cleo and her self-built van conversion that she’s named Illa (the pun of “van-illa” is intended). Viki says that she had previously been living a normal life, working long hours in her architecture job, sharing an apartment with friends, and had initially intended to buy a car in order to drive to Norway to find another job. But seeing that a van was about the same price, Viki ended up building out a van home instead, and has since been journeying around for the last six months, visiting fresh new destinations around Europe. We get a look inside via The Indie Projects:

The Indie ProjectsThe Indie Projects/Video screen capture

Van-Illa is a Volkswagen T5 with a long wheel base. Viki has remade the interior to resemble a comfy, feminine bedroom that has all her possessions within reach (including quirky favourites like her collection of Disney movies). One of the interesting design elements here is how she has created a kind of L-shaped counter with shelving up front. The little bright red refrigerator sits here, keeping things cool when needed, though Viki says that over the last few months she has almost been eating only plant-based foods, so she hasn’t been using it much.

The Indie ProjectsThe Indie Projects/Video screen capture

The Indie ProjectsThe Indie Projects/Video screen capture

The Indie ProjectsThe Indie Projects/Video screen capture

The interior is insulated with 4-centimetre-thick cork board. Viki has used salvaged materials wherever possible: cabinet doors her neighbour almost threw out, and linoleum for her counter. Yet another awesome feature is her adjustable bed. With a lift up on folding supports, it becomes a reclining lounge seat-and-bed that looks out through the the rear van doors.

The Indie ProjectsThe Indie Projects/Video screen capture

The Indie ProjectsThe Indie Projects/Video screen capture

The Indie ProjectsThe Indie Projects/Video screen capture

The Indie ProjectsThe Indie Projects/Video screen capture

At the back of the van when the doors are open, Viki can slide out this giant pull-out drawer that functions as her kitchen prep counter and storage. In addition to the small water tank inside, there is another small water tank here.

The Indie ProjectsThe Indie Projects/Video screen capture

The Indie ProjectsThe Indie Projects/Video screen capture

Viki’s van conversion is simple design that features some very intriguing ideas for storage and layout. For now, Viki plans to carry on with her travels, while she can:

I really like my job still and I want to go back to working as an architect, but I felt I was missing out on travel. I’ve never travelled for longer than a month… so I wanted to change something. I will never be that young again, or that independent. I just couldn’t answer the question: ‘why not now’? So I left.

Indeed, for many of us, that’s a question that needs asking at some point in our lives: if not now, then when? To keep updated on Viki’s journey, visit her website.

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/tiny-houses/architects-van-conversion-viki-van-illa-ice-cream.html

Co-working offices are built out of shipping containers inside old bakery

Co-working companies like WeWork are eating up office space around the world. There are many advantages, from food to ping-pong tables, but most importantly, as one tenant described it in Forbes, “the energy: in contrast with our previous warehouse-like office, this offers constant movement, fresh faces and lively conversation. There’s also an unmistakable entrepreneurial vibe, highlighted by the “Embrace the Hustle” neon sign above the spiral staircase.”

But they are not without problems; that same happy tenant noted that ” the walls are, as you’ve probably heard, thin….Privacy is non-existent.”

the bakery view of container studio© Her Architecten

That’s why the BakkeRij in Haarlem, the Netherlands, is so interesting. Instead of getting a little office enclosed in drywall, you get a shipping container; there are now two corrugated steel walls and an air space between you and your neighbor.

inside an office© Her Architecten

Hans van Eeden of HER Architecten tells TreeHugger that a former 14,00m2 (15,600 SF) bakery was turned into business / workshop spaces for small and start-up companies using 60 shipping containers.

The stacking and arranging of the shipping containers created exciting workspaces, traffic areas and places to stay. The containers, provided with their own ventilation, data and electricity connection, each have a full glass wall at the traffic area side. With this the own identity of the various companies can be seen through the various interior designs of the containers.

cafe outside containers© Her Architecten

I usually have issues with putting people in shipping containers, but in this case, it makes a lot of sense; sitting inside the bigger building, they do not have to be insulated or modified to any great extent. It is energy efficient too; the hall is kept at “semi-outdoor climate” and the shipping containers each have toasty electric heating mats underfoot for individual control and comfort.

shipping containers looking down from above© Her Architecten

Within the design, circular principles have been used as much as possible. The concept initially offers a large degree of flexibility. The shipping containers can be moved and adapted for future needs or even completely removed so that a generic empty industrial hall is available without demolition work. The sea containers themselves can also be reused.

Compared to a WeWork office in a downtown, the population density here is pretty low. But compared to WeWork the rent is pretty cheap; rent starts at € 295 for a 150SF container whereas WeWork comes out to roughly US$ 600 per desk per month. That is what comes from being in a warehouse in a former industrial site rather than a downtown office building.

double wide conference room© Her Architecten

I also really like the idea that it is designed for disassembly; personally, I believe that WeWork is a house of cards that will collapse shortly after the next economic downturn. I remember when I was in real estate and during an office economic downturn people and companies would try to do “midnight shuffles” to get out of lease obligations. In co-working, nobody has lease obligations and will be gone in sixty seconds.

At least these containers and the spaces can be put to other uses if its co-working business implodes too.

ground floor plan© Her Architecten

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/modular-design/co-working-offices-built-out-shipping-containers-inside-old-bakery.html

The House of Cards the Foreign Federal Reserve Bankers Built

Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin, Boy building a House of Cards , 1735; Rothschild’s Waddesdon Manor, The Rothschild Collection (Rothschild Family Trusts).

Over the last two years, the Federal Reserve has been nudging interest rates higher and their efforts are starting to bear fruit in the marketplace. Bond yields are beginning to climb.

The question is how high can rates go before the house of cards the central bankers built comes tumbling down?

In a podcast last week, Peter Schiff talked about the bond rate that could break the camels back, arguing that yields of around 4% could spark the next economic crisis.

The last time we had a 4% yield on the 10-year was before the 2008 financial crisis. Basically, that was the yield that broke the camel’s back. Remember, the financial crisis was triggered by rising interest rates on the debt that had been accumulated in the years prior as a result of Alan Greenspan keeping interest rates at 1% for a year-and-a-half and then slowly raising them back up over the course of another year-and-a-half. So, as the Fed was moving interest rates up at a measured pace, by the time they got to the point where rates had gone back up to about 5%, the yield on the 10-year was about 4%. That’s about as high as it was able to go. Then the market all fell apart.”

Economist Dr. Thorsten Polleit recently published an article at the Mises Institute that delves into why the “new economy” created by the central bankers cannot endure even modestly higher interest rates.

As Peter alluded to, it has to do with the ever-increasing levels of debt their easy-money, low interest rate policies encourage.

Artificially depressed borrowing costs are fueling a ‘boom.’ Consumer loans are as cheap as never before, seducing people to increasingly spend beyond their means. Low interest rates push down companies’ cost of capital, encouraging additional, and in particular risky investments – they would not have entered into under ‘normal’ interest rate conditions. Financially strained borrowers – in particular states and banks – can refinance their maturing debt load at extremely low interest rates and even take on new debt easily.”

We also get a psychological effect from central bank policy. The Fed, along with the world’s other central banks, have effectively draped a safety net under the markets.

Investors feel assured that monetary authorities will, in case things turning sour, step in and fend off any crisis.

The central banks’ safety net has lowered investors’ risk concern. Investors are willing to lend even to borrowers with relatively poor financial strength.

Furthermore, it has suppressed risk premia in credit yields, having lowered firms’ cost of debt, which encourages them to run up their leverage to increase return on equity.”

Of course, as debt piles up, any increase in the interest rate will strain borrowers. For instance, normalization of interest rates would crush the US budget under interest payments.

Analysts have calculated that if the interest rate on Treasury debt stood at 6.2% – their level in 2000 – the annual interest payment on the current debt would nearly triple to $1.3 trillion annually. And it’s not just governments that will feel the effect.

Highly leveraged corporations and individuals will also struggle in a higher interest rate environment. And they can’t print money in order to kick the can down the road.


The central banks have created a vicious cycle, as Polleit points out. Coming out of the 1990s, the Federal Reserve pushed up rates and ended the “new economy boom,” better-known as the dot-com bubble. In order to “fix” the problem, the Fed slashed rates and created another massive credit boom, primarily centered on the housing market.

That bubble burst in 2007/2008. In the years since, the Fed has repeated the process and we now have a world full of bubbles just waiting to pop.

With every cycle, the Fed has had take rates to lower levels and keep them there longer. And with each recovery, the peak interest rate that popped the bubble has been increasingly lower. Polleit explains the dynamics in easy to understand terms.

A destructive side effect of fiat money is that the economy’s level of debt keeps rising over time: The growth of credit keeps outpacing production gains. This is because in a fiat money regime, credit-financed investments fall short of their expected profitability, and credit-financed consumption is unproductive.

Quite a few investments turn out to be flops. The economy gets caught in a debt trap. Credit-financed consumption and government spending make it even worse. To be sure: it has become a problem on a global scale.”

“In an attempt to prevent the day of redemption, central banks slash interest rates to ever lower levels to keep the system going.

Once interest rates are lowered, however, they typically cannot (for political reasons, I should hasten to say) be brought back to pre-crisis levels – as this would make the debt pyramid, and with it the economy and the financial system, come crashing down. It is this economic insight that explains why interest rates show a marked trend decline over the last decades in all countries that have adopted fiat money.”

As economist Ludwig von Mises said, “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion.” This house of cards will collapse. It’s not a question of “if,” but “when.”

Schiff Gold

Related News:

  1. Silver Expected To Outperform Gold In 2018
  2. Americans Want Nullification Of Banker’s Counterfeit Debt
  3. Ron Paul: Repeal The 1913 Rothschild Federal Reserve: The Hidden Treasonists
  4. Silver Is a Strong Buy 2018: “The Last Straw” For The Large Paper Speculators, who have “thrown in the towel”


Source Article from https://politicalvelcraft.org/2018/01/29/the-house-of-cards-the-foreign-federal-reserve-bankers-built/

(Video) This Woman Built A House From Milk Boxes

Next Story

There is no doubt about it, humans have produced an astronomical amount of trash. In fact, the average American consumes about 4.4 pounds of trash every single day and America alone sent 254 million tons of trash to the landfill in 2013.  Where does it all go?

Thankfully, there are certain efforts in place that are aimed at reducing the amount of trash we are producing, as well as to reduce the impact that trash has. We have many recycling programs aimed at keeping this waste out of landfills, and,  although it’s a step in the right direction and certainly helps on some level, there is still way too much garbage that is being produced on a regular basis. What’s really interesting to consider is that no more than a century ago humans, on this planets virtually produced no trash. This, of course, was much easier before plastic was invented and essentially took over many aspects of our lives. Think about it, plastic is likely a part of nearly every aspect of your life.

With the internet, comes awareness and with awareness we can create change. People are doing what they can to protect our environment, because let’s face it, no one really wants to see it destroyed – this is our home. Sure, there are many corporations that put profit before anything at all costs, but surely those individuals don’t actually want to see us destroy our environment.

We can definitely minimize the amount of trash we are producing, there is no doubt about that. In fact, Lauren Singer has produced less than a mason jar full of trash in 5 years and has recently opened up a store to assist others who are interested in living a zero waste lifestyle. The movement is becoming more and more popular. This is a HUGE step in the right direction and we can all do our part to consume less, but what are we supposed to do with the trash that is already existing in our environment? In landfills? In our oceans? In some cases, right in our cities and on the side of the road? Is there something useful that can be done with this pre-existing trash? Unfortunately we can’t snap our fingers and have it disappear, but we can use our intelligence and turn it into something that can assist our lives in some way.

This is exactly what this company from Ecuador has done, by turning trash into useful objects for a much more affordable price. This is especially awesome because there isn’t much of an infrastructure for recycling in Ecuador and many other impoverished nations. Eucaplastic S.C. is changing the game when it comes to trash and turning it into useful objects, including a house, that was made entirely from recycled milk boxes, just imagine how many lives this could impact in a positive way, not to mention the amount of trash it will keep out of the oceans and landfills, check it out!

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Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Collective-evolution/~3/XckpIwLaxsc/

China built the biggest air purifier in the world

The 100-meter high purification tower in Xian is said to cover an area of 10 square kilometers.

Cutting down on the amount of air pollutants being released every day is the best approach for a cleaner local atmosphere, but in areas where massive amounts of smog are produced, finding an efficient way to clean the air is taking center stage. One effort, which at the time was touted as being the world’s largest air purifier, has yielded a 7-meter tall Smog Free Tower in Rotterdam, but when your country boasts of some of the worst air quality around, you have to go bigger. Much bigger.

China’s latest attempt to mitigate some of its air pollution is an experimental air purification tower standing 100 meters high, located in Xian in the north central part of the country, and preliminary tests indicate that it can improve air quality over an area some 10 square kilometers in size. The smog tower, which is a project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, isn’t a power hog, either, thanks to the design that uses large greenhouses at the base of it to heat incoming air with solar energy so that it rises passively through the tower’s multiple filters before exiting the top much cleaner than before.

The tower, which was completed last year, is said to produce about 10 million cubic meters (353 million cubic feet) of clean air per day, with an average reduction in PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns or less in width) of 15% in local air during periods of heavy pollution. Anecdotal evidence gathered by the South China Morning Post was mixed when it came to the efficacy of the smog tower, with some residents claiming to not notice any difference in the air quality, while others said “the improvement was quite noticeable.”

If the testing results continue to bear out over time, the Academy group behind the smog tower hopes to build a much bigger version measuring 500 meters tall and 200 meters wide, with the greenhouses feeding it covering some 30 square kilometers. It’s thought that a smog tower of this size could clean the air for an entire small city.

hat tip CleanTechnica

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/china-built-biggest-air-purifier-world.html

Nomadic home prototype built out of a shipping container (Video)

Repurposing shipping containers for human habitation is a bit of a hit-or-miss affair: sometimes it makes sense, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped designers from trying. Natural mattress company Coco-mat of Greece (previously) teamed up with Greek shipping container architecture startup Cocoon Modules to create this fresh-looking prototype for an earthquake-resistant modular home that features smart, energy-efficient technology.

Cocoon Modules© Cocoon Modules
Cocoon Modules© Cocoon Modules

As the Cocoon Modules design team explains:

Our modules are more than 15% cheaper than the prefabricated construction in Greece and 30% cheaper than the traditional [construction]. They can be built within weeks in designated industrial spaces and can then be transported and placed on site. By using the modularity of the container we create ergonomic spaces of great design that can be expanded as LEGOs do.

Cocoon Modules© Cocoon Modules

The main living area features a long built-in couch, a table and a small kitchen and bathroom. The interior of the container home feels larger than most, thanks to the large glass patio doors, which can open up the space to the outside, therefore expanding it and eliminating that tunnel-like feel that other designs might fall prey to. The prototype has been furnished with Coco-mat’s line of wooden furniture and linens.

Cocoon Modules© Cocoon Modules
Cocoon Modules© Cocoon Modules

The bedroom is at one end, furnished with one of Coco-mat’s comfortable mattresses, which use natural materials from renewable sources, such as coconut fibre, natural rubber, wool, cotton, sea grass, horsehair, silk, linen, wood and goose down.

Cocoon Modules© Cocoon Modules

The roof has been waterproofed and a green roof put in. Having a green roof helps to better insulate and regulate interior temperatures, but it’s not clear if having all that extra weight on the roof is a good idea, especially in this case with a shipping container — though it’s apparent from the construction time-lapse video that extra structural reinforcement was put in.

Cocoon Modules© Cocoon Modules

Cocoon Modules© Cocoon Modules

Even if reusing shipping containers themselves can be problematic, the underlying idea of creating housing that’s modular and easy to transport is nevertheless a relevant one that could potentially remake how we build and view our homes. No word on how much this particular prototype might cost, but you can find out more over at Cocoon Modules.

[Via: Designboom]

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/shipping-container-home-cocoon-modules-coco-mat.html

A Solar Power Plant Is Being Built In Chernobyl, Ground Zero

By Fattima Mahdi Truth Theory

What was once a fallout zone, after the catastrophic explosion had plagued the Ukrainian atmosphere, has now become the site for an Ukrainian-German renewable energy project called Solar Chernobyl. It will be a 1MW (megawatt) plant, with 3,800 photovoltaic panels. The structure spans two football pitches in size,“This solar power plant can cover the needs of a medium-sized village”, said Yevgen Varyagin, head of Solar Chernobyl.

The company already has a 4.2MW plant in the Republic of Belarus, a neighbouring country, however, their latest Chernobyl project is one of 60 proposals recognised by the Ukrainian government since the land around the destroyed nuclear power plant was made safe for such developments. A steel shelter was constructed around the infamous nuclear plant in 2016 to contain further fall-out. In fact, Solar Chernobyl’s panels had to be installed on concrete slabs as the soil is still contaminated, making drilling and digging into the ground forbidden. Despite the extra measures, building at the site proved convenient for Solar Chernobyl, as they were able to utilise the nuclear power plant’s already established connection to the power grid following completion of their structure. “Bit by bit we want to optimise the Chernobyl zone,” Said Yevgen Varyagin. “It shouldn’t be a black hole in the middle of Ukraine.”

Other companies and authorities in the Ukraine are also looking to take advantage of the wide expanse of land that was once quarantined.

Read More: South Australia Is Building The World’s Largest Thermal Plant

Image Credit: Wikimedia

Source Article from https://truththeory.com/2018/01/17/solar-power-plant-built-chernobyl-ground-zero/

Guastavian vaults are still being built, and are as thin and elegant as ever

Have you been in the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station? Or the Boston Public Library? Then you have been in a Guastavian vault a dome built by Rafael Guastavino and his family. He brought the Catalan or Timbrel vault from Spain and built many in the USA. They are ingenious, very thin structures that are built without reinforcement, just the bonding of ceramic tiles together into thin, shallow arches. Kris at Low-Tech Magazine described them in the definitive post on the subject:

vault from above© Vegas&Mileto via V2.com

The timbrel vault does not rely on gravity but on the adhesion of several layers of overlapping tiles which are woven together with fast-setting mortar. If just one layer of thin tiles was used, the structure would collapse, but adding two or three layers makes the resulting laminated shell almost as strong as reinforced concrete.

catalan vaults from side© Vegas&Mileto via V2.com

Timbrel vaults are also known as Catalan vaults, because it is thought that they were invented in Catalonia. Not far down the Mediterranian coast from Catalonia is Villarreal, where Fernando Vegas and Camilla Mileto have designed a Pantheon (defined as “a building in which the illustrious dead of a nation are buried or honored”), but which in North America we would call a mausoleum. This one is for the Soriano – Manzanet Family, who may or may not be illustrious but certainly, have style.

catalan vaults closeup © Vegas&Mileto via V2.com

According to the V2.com press release,

Special 3D programs were required to design the pantheon and the final solution was only agreed on after 23 consecutive variations aiming for optimum aesthetic and structural results. All the curves in the pantheon were produced using catenary profiles. These curves are incredibly difficult to express mathematically and graphically to successfully optimise the construction’s overall structural operation.

end view looking down vaults© Vegas&Mileto via V2.com

Close to 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles were used in construction following tests to establish the type of clay, fuel and flame, texture, durability and aging tests. The size and thickness, both dependent on the curves of the pantheon, and the necessary weight were calculated for the three ceramic layers to compensate for the effect of wind suction.

Catalan vaults under construction need no formwork © Vegas&Mileto via V2.com

Timbrel vaults don’t need a lot of expensive formwork; usually just a bit of light moveable stuff for the first layer. But these vaults were designed without any formwork at all.

The vault is comprised of four interlinked hyperbolic paraboloids and is very light yet incredibly resistant because of its curves. Formwork was not required and only some metal guides were used to ensure curvature was guaranteed at all times.

curvy vault roof © Vegas&Mileto via V2.com

It is a very light structure, coming in at 12.5 tonnes; they say that a conventional masonry pantheon weighs between 15 and 20 times as much. It was built with only tiles plaster and white cement, and no reinforcement. “Nevertheless, the pantheon vault is designed to withstand possible earthquakes given the rigid curves and the addition of fiberglass rods at the springings to absorb shear force.”

vaults lit up at night© Vegas&Mileto via V2.com

It is sort of ironic, using such an efficient and light structure for such a silly function as a family mausoleum/ pantheon; it would be more exciting if it was something useful, like a tapas bar. Perhaps architects will be inspired to use this incredible technology for a more lively function.

vaults under vaults © Vegas&Mileto via V2.com

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/guastavian-vaults-are-still-being-built-and-are-thin-and-elegant-ever.html

Google’s Artificial Intelligence Built An AI That Outperforms Any Made By Humans

An AI That Can Build AI

In May 2017, researchers at Google Brain announced the creation of AutoML, an artificial intelligence (AI) that’s capable of generating its own AIs. More recently, they decided to present AutoML with its biggest challenge to date, and the AI that can build AI created a “child” that outperformed all of its human-made counterparts.

The Google researchers automated the design of machine learning models using an approach called reinforcement learning. AutoML acts as a controller neural network that develops a child AI network for a specific task. For this particular child AI, which the researchers called NASNet, the task was recognizing objects — people, cars, traffic lights, handbags, backpacks, etc. — in a video in real-time.

Image Credit: Google Research

AutoML would evaluate NASNet’s performance and use that information to improve its child AI, repeating the process thousands of times. When tested on the ImageNet image classification and COCO object detection data sets, which the Google researchers call “two of the most respected large-scale academic data sets in computer vision,” NASNet outperformed all other computer vision systems.

According to the researchers, NASNet was 82.7 percent accurate at predicting images on ImageNet’s validation set. This is 1.2 percent better than any previously published results, and the system is also 4 percent more efficient, with a 43.1 percent mean Average Precision (mAP). Additionally, a less computationally demanding version of NASNet outperformed the best similarly sized models for mobile platforms by 3.1 percent.

A View of the Future

Machine learning is what gives many AI systems their ability to perform specific tasks. Although the concept behind it is fairly simple — an algorithm learns by being fed a ton of data — the process requires a huge amount of time and effort. By automating the process of creating accurate, efficient AI systems, an AI that can build AI takes on the brunt of that work. Ultimately, that means AutoML could open up the field of machine learning and AI to non-experts.

As for NASNet specifically, accurate, efficient computer vision algorithms are highly sought after due to the number of potential applications. They could be used to create sophisticated, AI-powered robots or to help visually impaired people regain sight, as one researcher suggested. They could also help designers improve self-driving vehicle technologies. The faster an autonomous vehicle can recognize objects in its path, the faster it can react to them, thereby increasing the safety of such vehicles.

The Google researchers acknowledge that NASNet could prove useful for a wide range of applications and have open-sourced the AI for inference on image classification and object detection. “We hope that the larger machine learning community will be able to build on these models to address multitudes of computer vision problems we have not yet imagined,” they wrote in their blog post.

Though the applications for NASNet and AutoML are plentiful, the creation of an AI that can build AI does raise some concerns. For instance, what’s to prevent the parent from passing down unwanted biases to its child? What if AutoML creates systems so fast that society can’t keep up? It’s not very difficult to see how NASNet could be employed in automated surveillance systems in the near future, perhaps sooner than regulations could be put in place to control such systems.

Thankfully, world leaders are working fast to ensure such systems don’t lead to any sort of dystopian future.

Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and several others are all members of the Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society, an organization focused on the responsible development of AI. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEE) has proposed ethical standards for AI, and DeepMind, a research company owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, recently announced the creation of group focused on the moral and ethical implications of AI.

Various governments are also working on regulations to prevent the use of AI for dangerous purposes, such as autonomous weapons, and so long as humans maintain control of the overall direction of AI development, the benefits of having an AI that can build AI should far outweigh any potential pitfalls.

Source Article from https://truththeory.com/2017/12/07/googles-artificial-intelligence-built-ai-outperforms-made-humans/

Built on a tilt: climbable bookshelf is also earthquake resistant

We love books, and we love wood, and we love being prepared. I even used to love rock climbing. So I am especially fond of the House in Shinyoshida by Shinsuke Fujii Architects. It doesn’t need a ladder to reach high in the bookshelves; the whole bookshelf is a ladder.

According to Johnny at Spoon and Tamago, it was designed shortly after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, so the sloping shelves have an additional benefit:

The solution was to slant the entire western-facing façade and create a built-in slanted bookshelf whose shelves also function as a ladder. The slant allowed family members of all ages to climb up and reach books, but also keeps the books from falling should an earthquake ever shake the home. The slanted façade also had the effect of creating an open feeling in the family room, where the home’s high perch allowed for plenty of sunlight to enter through the large windows.

dining area from above© Tsukui Teruaki

The dining table and kitchen are on the lower level,

living room © Tsukui Teruaki/ I wonder what was on TV that they felt they had to block it out

while the bookshelves extend into a living area above.

looking up at ceiling© Tsukui Teruaki

This is something more of us could do in North America: insulate above the ceiling, on the roof and expose all that lovely wood instead of burying it in drywall.

exterior of house© Tsukui Teruaki

A nice little house. I wonder why it’s black. More photos at Spoon and Tamago via Apartment Therapy.

In the plans below, you can see how one enters at the side above the garage, at bedroom and bathroom level, then up to kitchen and dining, and then further up to living, dining and what I think is another very small bedroom on the far side of a light well or exterior deck.

plans of house© Shinsuke Fujii

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/tiny-houses/built-tilt-bookshelves-climbable-bookshelf-also-earthquake-resistant.html