Tag Archives: Wood

Translucent Home Built Around a Tree in a Kazakh Forest

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Located in a forest on the mountains of Almaty in Kazakhstan, architect Aibek Almasov of A.Masow Design Studio has designed a concept for a modern spiritual retreat. The project, known as “Tree in the house”, presents a cylindrical, four-story glass space featuring an encased tree in the center. A winding white staircase allows visitors who enter the “tree house” to ascend the towering space, spiraling upward around the centric tree.

The intention behind the transparent architectural structure, tucked away in a sea of lofty fir trees, is to merge manmade industrial design with nature and “give up some unnecessary conditions and things.” The project aims to offer an alternative to bustling city life and stifling urban structures by fusing a a protective house and a natural environment without creating a visual separation.

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Staircase by Isay Weinfeld

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Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld created this beautiful staircase in the home called Casa Cobo. He is also the creator of the sculptures in the ceiling on the last photo – the people hanging from their heads.

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Bridge Shelves by Outofstock

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Cool. These Bridge shelves are designed by Barcelona- and Singapore-based Outofstock and produced by the Danish company Bolia.

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Float Table by RPR

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At first glance the Float Table looks like an ordinary coffee table, but it isn’t, the original table designed by RPR (Rock Paper Robot), elastically deforms and stabilizes when force is applied. The levitating wooden cubes are held with a system of tensile steel cables and when pushed reveal the table’s dynamic character.

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Hand-Carved Wood Sculptures of Surreal Figures by Morgan Herrin

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Sculptor Morgan Herrin takes his time to perfect each of his hand-carved wooden sculptures. Each piece in the dedicated craftsman’s collection takes over a year to complete, resulting in intricately detailed works of art. Using otherwise cheap and disposable materials like construction grade 2×4′s, Herrin transforms the recycled lumber into stunning life-size figures infused with elements of surrealism.

Though his collection may not be as vast as other wood sculptors, the artist manages to create works that reflect his concentrated efforts. Also, unlike many other creatives in his field, Herrin takes hundreds of hours working with hand tools to construct each piece.

The meticulous sculptor says, “I immerse myself in the subject matter of my work. Often, several very different forms combine to create one physical object. My process is ultimately a result of the combination of my fascination with figurative sculpture of the past and obsessive research into a subject. I reference the passage of time and its effect on art in terms of both physical change and change in viewer perception.”

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Vallvidrera House by YLAB Arquitectos

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The modern single family house, designed by YLAB Arquitectos, is situated in the Vallvidrera neighborhood, a residential area with views overlooking the city of Barcelona, surrounded by the Collserola natural park, in a very sloped and small plot situated between a valley and a pine forest.

The objectives of the project were to get the maximum possible building area within a tight budget and an optimized orientation of all openings while protecting the privacy of the owners.

To achieve this, a compact three level volume was created. The geometry arises directly from the plot given geometry and slope, reinterpreting the aesthetic of the site’s vernacular architecture with its sloped roof, widening on the upper floors to gain some additional area.

Formally the volume is a single cube in which every face has been divided into four quadrants. The upper faces are extruded upwards to form the roof. The side faces rotate to frame significant scenic moments, mindful of the neighbors’ privacy.

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Fully Functional Hand-Crafted Wooden Vespa by Carlos Alberto

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OMG. Is this ever beautiful crafts!

With more and more people switching to alternative modes of transportation like bikes and scooters, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to stand out from the crowd of nearly identical vehicles. While some turn to new paint jobs or accessories, craftsman Carlos Alberto took a more labor intensive route when designing a Vespa for his daughter, resulting in a beautiful motor scooter named after her (Vespa Daniella) boasting a sleek, wooden finish.

Every part of the fully functional, hardwood scooter was hand-crafted by Alberto from the frame and handles to the solid wood seat. Parts that couldn’t be constructed out of wood such as the engine and gas tank were still carefully tucked away behind eye-catching layers of the richly stained material. Details of the designer’s impressive construction process and everything that went into building this one-of-a-kind ride can be seen on his website.

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The Thorncrown Chapel

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I absolutely love this!

Architect E. Fay Jones designed the Thorncrown Chapel near Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The non-denominational chapel is a shining example of organic architecture, a philosophy of architecture which promotes harmony between human habitation and the natural world.

This magnificent wooden structure, which rises 48 feet into the sky, contains 425 windows and over 6,000 square feet of glass. The chapel is available for daily visitation, weddings, and Sunday services.

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ION Hotel, Iceland

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The Nordic countries are lands of myths and legends, and here in the half light amid the mountains of lava rock might well be one of those myths – the stilted ION hotel, crawling out from the landscape of Iceland like a giant modernist centipede.

It’s a fittingly dramatic building for the rugged, elemental surroundings, emerging from the side of Mount Hengill, an active volcano whose energy is harnessed by the nearby power station and heats the hotel.

Although less than an hour’s drive from Reykjavik, ION feels like it’s on a different planet, located near the UNESCO protected Þingvellir National Park and Iceland’s largest lake. As to the hotel, it’s a comfortable blend of modern and natural elements – concrete and wood and animal skins come together harmoniously. There can’t be many more bracing places to do your morning laps than the (thankfully heated) swimming pool on the deck among those angled supports, and what a view, too, maximised by an extensive use of glass throughout the hotel.

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Ladder by Charlie Styrbjörn Design

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Gothenburg designer Charlie Styrbjörn will present a ladder with curving linked rungs during the London Design Festival next month.

Working under Charlie Styrbjörn Design, the designer steam-bent sections of solid wood to maintain the direction of the grain along the shaped sections.

“I wanted to create a unique ladder for interior use with a high decorative value but still functioning as a good ladder should,” Styrbjörn said.

Treads are flat at the centre, but curve up on alternate sides as they rise to create a continuous line between the two long poles either side.

Stained black or left natural, the ladders are not currently in production but will be exhibited at the Tent London exhibition as part of next month’s London Design Festival. Photos are by Jonas Lindstedt.

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Pink Punch installation by Nicholas Croft and Michaela MacLeod

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The installation Pink Punch created by New York-based architect and designer Nicholas Croft and Michaela MacLeod, who works as a landscape designer and artist at POLYMÉTIS, aims to attract visitors by its striking color, off the beaten path, through the shaped garden rooms, and into the forest. The new garden room uses the traditional technique of tree wrapping (used to protect trees from the elements) and the color pink to divide the “wilderness” from the garden, in a non-traditional way.

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Adorable Hand Carved Wooden Puppets By Australian Wez Champion

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With initial training and a mentorship in Prague under Puppet master Michaela Bartonova, Wez Champion is establishing himself as a “one of a kind” puppet carver in the Australia. Combining the traditional Czech carving techniques with the unique Australian experience and “heart”, Wez is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible in wooden puppet building and loves the challenge of custom puppets.

This is where you can buy them.

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St. Moritz Church by John Pawson

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Such awesome, minimalistic design!

British architect John Pawson’s minimalist remodelling of a church in Augsburg, Germany, includes slices of onyx over the windows to diffuse light more softly through the space.

Slices of finely veined translucent white stone were laminated to glass and installed in the choir windows. ”The effect of this is to generate the optimum light conditions, screening out direct sunlight and bathing the space in a haze of diffused luminescence,” John Pawson architects explained.

The apse is the brightest space in the church, followed by the nave where the altar sits on a new podium. Lighting in the side aisles is more subdued, where clerestory windows and carved sculptures of the apostles maintain links to the church’s Baroque past.

At night the illumination comes from LED lights concealed in the choir apse, at the base of columns in the nave and in rings round the cupola domes overhead.

The floor and altar are finished in Portuguese limestone, while the dark stained wood of the pews, choir stalls and organ provides a strong contrast with the otherwise pure white interior.

The St. Moritz Church was founded nearly 1000 years ago and has been transformed many times over by fire, changes in religious practice and bombing. After the Second World War only the baroque outer walls remained and the church was rebuilt by German architect Dominikus Böhm in a simplified post-war style.

“The work has involved the meticulous paring away of selected elements of the church’s complex fabric and the relocation of certain artefacts to achieve a clearer visual field,” said the architects.

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Artist Philippe Handford Reconnects Illegally Cut Trees To Their Stumps

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The site specific installations ”Reconnected 1″ and “Reconnected 2″ by artist Philippe Handford can be found on England’s Pendle Sculpture Trail.  The pieces are a sort of memorial to the area’s gruesome past.  In 1612 Pendle Hill was the site of a witch trail that ended with the execution of ten people.  Handford began his work with illegally felled tree.  He reconnects the trunk each tree to the stump supported by metal hardware.  The trees, though fallen, don’t seem entirely dead or gone.  They strangely bend to the toward the earth as if resting.

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The Impossible Knot of Columns by Henrique Oliveira

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Artist and innovator Henrique Oliveira has transformed the Palais de Tokyo into one of his organic creations that merges from the columns and beams into a whirlwind of branches. With a title of “Baitogogo” this work is one our favorites from this master of intricacy.

On display until September of this year in Paris, the installation is influenced by his Brazilian culture and the constant usage of “tapumes,” or wooden blockades. The organic works are also metaphorically used for the descriptive growth of favelas and tumors all with the simple visual representation. It all draws back around to Brazil, and this particular space is a beautiful analogy.

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