Rustic Creekside Barn Beautifully Converted Into Cozy Contemporary Home

In 1987, acclaimed architect Roderick James transformed a crumbling concrete home into a beautiful barn house. Known as the Seagull House, the charming abode is situated along Old Mill Creek in Devon, England. With its timber construction and rustic aesthetic, the spacious and sunny Seagull House showcases James’ avant-garde approach to architecture.

Originally built in the 1950s, the concrete dwelling was both ill maintained and stylistically outdated when James purchased it as a family home in the 1980s. Describing its appearance as “plain,” the architect decided to give the simple structure a much-needed modern makeover. Inspired by its scenic surroundings and idyllic creekside location, James decided to completely dismantle the concrete home and, in its place, build a beautiful barn house entirely from scratch.

When designing and erecting the space, James did not cut any corners or take any shortcuts. In order to authentically construct a barn house, he did something surprisingly logical: he first built a barn. “The benefit of building a barn from scratch is that you can have the big open spaces of a conversion, but you can also put the bedrooms and windows where you want them,” James told The Telegraph. Once his barn was complete, he skillfully turned it into a living space.

Using oak—James’ signature wood-of-choice—the ambitious architect constructed the frame for the barn house. The oak-shingled roof is sturdily supported by oak arch-braced collar trusses (horizontal, curved beams situated between rafters), which give the space a contemporary cottage feel. In the gallery, an oak ladder leads to a comfy loft complete with fireplace framed by—you guessed it—oak. While obviously overwhelmingly made of oak, James did use other types of timber to construct the space. Douglas Fir—an evergreen known for its durable timber—is another loved lumber, and it was used to build the home’s studio, balcony, and conservatory with a view. 

With its classic construction and modern design, the Seagull House is a perfect combination of cozy and sophisticated.

Roderick James: Website | FacebookTwitter
via [Carpenter Oak, The Telegraph

All images via Carpenter Oak. 

My Modern Met

Supersonic Hyperloop Transit Turns a 2-Hour Trip Into Just 12 Minutes

For most of us, teleportation seems like a futuristic concept from science fiction novels, but we’re now a step closer thanks to Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Los Angeles based start-up Hyperloop One. The two companies, along with engineering and architecture firms AECOM and Arup, are working to introduce the world’s first Hyperloop in Dubai—a near-supersonic transit system that allows travelers to reach their destinations at lightning speeds. Hyperloop One estimates travels at speeds of up to 684 mph (1,100 km/h), cutting the two-hour trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi to an inconceivable 12 minutes.

BIG revealed its designs for the world’s first Hyperloop transportation system earlier in November. It features sleek, glass-walled cubic pods just large enough for six passengers to relax in. The pods themselves can travel on regular roads to pick up passengers before entering onto the Hyperloop’s main transport portals. There, passengers are loaded into larger capsules that travel through a main network of elevated tubes to their ultimate destinations. “With Hyperloop One we have given form to a mobility ecosystem of pods and portals, where the waiting hall has vanished along with waiting itself,” said BIG founder Bjarke Ingels.

Hyperloop One first conducted a full-scale, open-air test of its technology back in May 2016 in the Mojave Desert north of Las Vegas, achieving transportation speeds of 116 mph (187 km/h) in a mere 1.1 seconds. Since then, the start-up has been making immense progress. Hyperloop One has just signed a deal with the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority to conduct research into how the high-speed route can integrate with existing transportation systems in the city. Josh Giegel, President of Engineering at Hyperloop One, enthusiastically indicates that the goal is to provide “a seamless experience that starts the moment you think about being somewhere—not going somewhere. We don’t sell cars, boats, trains, or planes. We sell time.”

Hyperloop technology was originally conceived and coined in 2012 by Elon Musk, founder of Space X, for the high-speed transportation in partially evacuated tubes. Since then, Musk has explicitly open-sourced the technology and encourages others to further develop the concept. SpaceX currently has a one mile (1.6 km) Hyperloop test track on its Hawthorne facility.

Hyperloop One is just one of several companies independently developing the technology, hoping to be the first to achieve successful implementation. Rival company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is currently building a test track in California and is in discussions for a Hyperloop linking the European cities of Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest. The proposed Hyperloop would be the first such system in Europe and would transport passengers between Vienna and Budapest, typically a two-and-a-half hour drive, in less than 20 minutes.

You can view BIG’s full design video below, as well as other conceptual images of their Dubai Hyperloop from BIG and Hyperloop One.

Hyperloop One: Website | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Linkedin 
Bjarke Ingels Group: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter 
via [designboom, Dezeen]

All images via Bjarke Ingels Group and Hyperloop One.

My Modern Met

Stunning “Pink Mosque” Bathes Early Morning Visitors in a Brilliant Kaleidoscopic Light

You wouldn’t realize it from the outside, but the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran is bursting at the seams with vibrant interior hues. Known as the Pink Mosque, its design earns the nickname with its overwhelming amount of rose-colored tiles, punctuated by many patterned stained glass windows. Together, they immerse the visitor in a dizzying array of artistry that’s present at every turn.

Although the 19th-century mosque never wavers in its breathtaking beauty, the morning is the best time to appreciate it. According to one photographer named Koach, it’s when the light beams through the windows and illuminates the tile in rainbows. “The sight of the morning sunlight shining through the colorful stained glass,” he explained, “then falling over the tightly woven Persian carpet, is so bewitching that it seems to be from another world.”

Above photo credit: Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji

Photo credit: kholmang

Photo credit: kholmang

Photo credit: Koach

Photo credit: Dave Wong

Photo credit: kholmang

Photo credit: Amin Abedini

Photo credit: Omid Jafarnezhad

Photo credit: Martin Yhlen

Photo credit: Martin Yhlen

Photo credit: Marco Antonini

via [Reddit]

My Modern Met

Sophisticated Above-Ground Concert Hall Will Be Opening Its Doors to the Public

Conceived thirteen years ago by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie concert hall has had a tumultuous history that has seen delays, litigation, and rising budgets. Better days are now on the horizon, with a grand opening concert planned for January 11, 2017. When the first musical notes are played within the hall, they’ll have 10,000 acoustic panels ensuring perfect sound quality.

In advance of the first concert, the public plaza located 120 feet above ground level—between the historic brick base and sleek new glass construction—has opened. Free to the public, the plaza was conceived as an outward compliment to the insular world of the concert hall beneath it. The plaza is accessed by a 269-foot-long, curved escalator and affords panoramic views of the city and harbor; its opening is a triumph for all involved, as it marks the beginning of a new era on Hamburg’s cultural landscape. The sculptural glass structure—fitted with 600 curved glass panes—curves upward to asymmetric peaks, like frozen waves. Its windows illuminate beautifully in the evening, as it seems to glow from within.

In addition to the concert hall, the complex houses a restaurant, luxury apartments, and a five-star hotel complete with a fitness center and restaurant, making it a true hive of activity. With the final price tag cashing in at around $870 million—ten times the original budget—the world will be watching to see how the incredible journey of this architectural masterpiece ends.

Herzog & de Meuron: Website
via [Arch Daily]

All images via Iwan Baan

My Modern Met

Illustrations Reveal the Detailed Floor Plans of Homes in Beloved TV Shows

When you’re really invested in a television show, a character’s home can feel like yours, too. Taking this love to the next level, has visualized the places near and dear to our hearts with detailed floor plans of eight fictional locales, specifically focusing on productions with a cult following: Arrested Development; Breaking Bad; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Gilmore Girls; It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia; Mr. RobotSherlock; and Stranger Things.

Each colorful poster offers a bird’s-eye view of the home—the roofs are removed and there’s an all-over look at where everything is situated. They represent the sites of the shows’ most memorable moments, like where Gilmore Girls’ Lorelai and Rory sat and watched movies with Dean (eating Red Vines, of course), or where Stranger Things’ Joyce Byers desperately tried to communicate with her son Will. As you visually travel through each room, you’re sure to relive the stories all over again. Website
via [ArchDaily]

My Modern Met

At Home With Frida Kahlo


As cultural commentators, we’re often reluctant to describe important figures from history as ‘homebodies’, preferring instead that they travel the world in search of their individual fulfilment. When it comes to Frida Kahlo, however – as with many of her similarly revolutionary female peers – it is in part because of her affiliation with her home that her legacy has become such a powerful one. One only need look to Georgia O’Keeffe’s New Mexico farmhouse, or Ray Eames’ role in creating she and husband Charles’ eponymous modernist LA landmark, to see how, in the hands of women artists, the domestic is swiftly and organically transformed into the iconic.

Kahlo’s case is nonetheless an extraordinary one. Confined for large stretches of her life to a sickbed, first in her childhood home and later in the Casa Azul, or Blue House at Coyoacán, her home was at once a sanctuary, a studio, a palace and a prison, displaying all the paraphernalia of a prolific artist and animal lover alongside those of a woman confined. This autumn, a new book published by Frances Lincoln celebrates the profound pleasure Kahlo took in arranging and organising her various homes throughout the course of her 47 years; Frida Kahlo at Home is a voluptuous celebration of the life and work of the artist, viewed through the prism of her various residences. In its pages, decorative artworks become a highly curated archive, and the development and use of different rooms a biographical progression.

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Another Mag

Graphic Designer Reimagines Iconic Buildings with Kaleidoscopic Colors

Brooklyn-based “media-agnostic designer” Ramzy Masri believes in a “brighter world through design.” While this colorful approach is evident in his sleek and stylish graphics and bold typographic projects, it is particularly—and quite literally—apparent in #spectrumedit, his polychromatic collection of colorized buildings and scenes of city life.

To create each vibrant piece, Masri starts with an architectural photograph that inspires him. None of the photos featured in #spectrumedit are taken by the artist. Rather, he appropriates images from his favorite Instagrammers and transforms them into experimental, colorful creations—with this approach, the featured locations are limitless. In addition to the New York sites that surround him, Masri has also spruced up scenes of Austin, Boston, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Bilbao, and Lisbon. Fittingly, the skilled photo editor shares his series exclusively on his Instagram page.

In #spectrumedit, both intimate interiors and grand-scale exteriors receive the technicolor treatment. Masri edits the images in meticulous detail, dying everything from individual bricks to tiny window panes in wonderful washes of color. Once colorized, the inside of Los Angeles’ famous Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall resembles an abstract painting, while museum hallways and atriums become colossal kaleidoscopes. Similarly, the familiar art deco façade of the Empire State Building is transformed into a dazzling display of pastel pigments, while San Francisco’s famous “Painted Ladies”—a row of already-colorful Victorian homes—are turned into a radiant rainbow.

With his focus on capturing and creating art that is both beautiful and uplifting, Masri uses #spectrumedit to challenge traditional perspectives and invite you to “find the rainbow in your day tomorrow.” 

Ramsy Masri: WebsiteInstagramFacebook | BehanceDribble 
via [Fubiz]

All images via Ramzy Masri.

My Modern Met

Zaha Hadid Architects Win Competition to Build Wetland Preservation Center in Saudi Arabia

Like a glittering oasis in the valley, Zaha Hadid Architect‘s planned Urban Heritage Administration Center will be a standout landmark in the Saudi Arabian city of Diriyah. The firm recently won the competition for the new 95,000-square-foot head office of the Heritage Museum, an educational institution founded to preserve the UNESCO world heritage sites of Diriyah and the surrounding Wadi Hanifah valley. Wishing to strike a balance between authenticity and innovation, the winning design engages with the area’s geographical and cultural context. Diriyah is a natural oasis within the Wadi Hanifah valley, thus the building is centered around a large water feature in an atrium marked with branching columns, and the exterior has four scooped oases carved into a seemingly solid facade.

The center is wrapped in an outer skin that is carefully perforated in order to allow a visual connection with the surroundings while limiting interior sun exposure—the double facade also acting as a contemporary nod to the rammed-earth construction found in historic Diriyah. The firm shares that “the design relates to Diriyah’s local vernacular, not through mimicry or a limiting adherence to references of the past, but by developing a deeper understanding of its traditions and composition—expressed in a contemporary interpretation informed by the same natural forces that defined Diryah’s historical architecture.”

A permanent exhibition gallery, library, lecture hall, educational spaces, and a new scientific institute that will conduct field research at the archeological sites will also be housed within the center, which was one of 36 projects initiated prior to Zaha Hadid’s passing early this year.

Zaha Hadid Architects: Website | Facebook | Twitter
via [dezeen, Zaha Hadid Architects]

All renderings and animation via Methanoia.

My Modern Met

Vertical Forest Hotel Offers Eco-Friendly Luxury While Helping Restore Natural Landscape

A vertical forest is much more than just an architectural style—for firm Stefano Boeri Architetti (SBA), it is a way of achieving symbiosis with nature. Widely known for establishing the world’s first vertical forest, SBA Studios created the prototype Bosco Vericale in Milan that encompassed the idea of giving back to nature while integrating it with continuous urban sprawl. The towering 27-story structure was certainly an impressive feat; and shortly following, Boeri revealed a second vertical forest called The Tower of the Cedars in Lausanne, Switzerland. Afterwards, it was clear that this innovative approach was a style all his own. 

Boeri is now back with his third plant-covered structure, the Mountain Forest Hotel, which is designed to be a 250-room hotel located in Guizhou, China. The concept was inspired by the unique topography and natural scenery of the 10 Thousand Peaks valley, the region wherein the hotel will be built. Its design is intended to restore and emulate the original landscape that had been flattened out years ago and help to reconstruct a former existing hill.

As indicated on SBA’s website, their approach to eco-friendly architecture is multifaceted. “Sustainability not only depends on energy conservation, but on a wider biodiversity. The symbiosis between man, architecture and nature is the real sustainability.” They also state that the trend of vertical forests and green architecture is “extremely important for the future of architecture and the Future of our planet, because the single thought can have certain impact, but thousands of thoughts can change the world. Slowing down the climate changes, reducing CO2 emissions, making our living sustainable and in harmony with nature.”

Ultimately, the hotel will be sustainable while also luxurious. It will feature a gym, bar, lounge, VIP area, conference room, and restaurant, and the interior will be designed by a local artist named Simon Ma. If that’s not reason enough to visit, The New York Times also named China’s Guizhou region on its list of 52 Places to Go in 2016, and the government established a $20 billion high-speed railway through the region in 2014.

Stefano Boeri Architetti: Website | Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Vimeo 
via [Inhabitat]

All images via Stefano Boeri Architetti.

My Modern Met

Tiny Home Housing Program Gives Low-Income Families the Opportunity to be Homeowners

Many Americans dream of owning their own home, but it’s not always feasible—especially for those who have low incomes or were recently homeless. With these obstacles, ownership might seem like an unattainable goal, but the Tiny Homes project in Detroit wants to change that. Started by a non profit called Cass Community Social Services (CCSS), it aims to give this group of unlikely homeowners the opportunity to have their own place.

The Tiny Homes project is run by Reverend Faith Fowler, who saw property in a different light after her mother died—she realized that it’s something passed down within families. If one member of the family owns a home, by extension, others can have access to this symbol of stability for generations to come. “We were looking for a way to help homeless and other low-income people gain an asset,” Fowler explained to Upworthy.

Tiny homes are a hot housing trend, partly because they aren’t as expensive as larger structures. CCSS makes it even more convenient for families to eventually own a house by making their unique program rent-to-own. To get started, prospective tenants are identified by shelters and neighborhood canvassing. These groups find people who are ready to move but can’t afford to buy a home. There’s a review and interview process, and if the tenant is selected, they enter into a year-long lease on the tiny unit.

The rent for these homes is no more than a third of the tenant’s monthly salary, with the price equaling to a dollar per square foot. A 325-square-foot house, for example, would be $325 a month in rent. After seven years of making payments—along with mandatory financial coaching and home-ownership classes—the tenant officially owns their tiny home.

So, how many tiny structures can CCSS build? As of now, the Tiny Homes project has enough property to construct 25 of these single-family homes that are between 250 and 400 square feet large. Each house will have its own unique facade, and no two homes will look alike. “We want to instill a sense of pride in the residents,” Fowler said. “Most people will be coming from situations where everyone had the same bland setting (shelters in particular). We also believe by having so many styles in a concentrated area that others will be drawn to the neighborhood.”

The initial six units are now in construction, and the first house was completed in September of 2016. They share a border with the CCSS campus, allowing for a mixed income community of program participants, students, and staff of the CCSS.

Cass Community Social Services: Website | Facebook
via [Upworthy]

My Modern Met