TreeHugger steps aboard a solar-powered Dutch "house barge" that's currently moored — and currently for sale — in London. Called the Bauhaus Barge (after both the German design movement and Peter Murphy's early 80s vampiric goth rock band, apparently), the self-sufficient vessel (pictured above) is powered by a 1.7kw photovoltaic system.
The Telegraph reports that massively rich, formaldehyde-happy British provocateur Damien Hirst is plotting to build 500 green homes complete with "hidden wind turbines in the roofs, photovoltaic solar panels and state-of-the-art insulation" on property near his own residence outside of the seaside resort town of Ilfracombe, Devon. The Telegraph reports that with this proposed development, the conceptual artist best known for selling preserved dead animals and diamond-encrusted human skulls for very big bucks hopes to "create a national blueprint for environmental housing and help regenerate the area." Explains architect Mike Rundell: "As you know, he [Hirst] is a very successful artist and has very high ambitions for this project. He has a horror of building anonymous, lifeless buildings. He wants these houses to be the kind of homes he would want to live in."
... and on the topic of formaldehyde, Atlantic Cities shares news that the very last FEMA trailer has departed the Big Easy. This, of course, means that all of the New Orleans residents once displaced by Hurricane Katrina are now finally, six years later, living in permanent real homes and not government-issued tin boxes.
The New York Times publishes a thought-provoking op-ed piece from MacArthur Fellowship-winning Chicago architect Jeanne Gang and Brooklyn-based journalist Greg Lindsay that outlines a crucial, non-financial remedy for America's housing slump-related woes: design and urban planning. Reads the piece: "Too often during the bubble, banks and builders shunned thoughtful architecture and urban design in favor of cookie-cutter houses that could be easily repackaged as derivatives to be flipped, while architects snubbed housing to pursue more prestigious projects. But better design is precisely what suburban America needs, particularly when it comes to rethinking the basic residential categories that define it, but can no longer accommodate the realities of domestic life." Gang's vision is further fleshed as part of a just-opened group exhibition showing at New York's Museum of Modern Art titled Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream.
The Los Angeles Times breaks out the bolt cutters to share a project from Lorene Edwards Forkner's new DIY backyard project-filled tome, "Handmade Garden Projects."
Apartment Therapy snuggles up in Donna Wilson's Eadie Chair, a "straight up comy" armchair that's made from all-natural materials (no petrochemical-based fire retardants to be found here, folks) and costs, gulp, $2,900.
Dwell digs a modern "granny flat" in Seattle that serves as a playroom, office, and sleeping quarters for visitors, geriatric or not. The creation of design-build firm Ninebark, the 20' x 12' backyard structure features several green elements such as a dual-flush toilet, reclaimed woods, and passive heating and cooling. "It was important for us to be green, but we weren't chasing LEED," resident Jon Zimmerman tells Dwell.
Inhabitat is super jazzed about the Lindal Architects Collaborative from custom home building behemoth Lindal Cedar Homes. Including five new designs by the likes of Marmol Radziner, Batez Mazi + Architects, and others, Inhabitat likens the collaboration to Arts & Architecture magazine's experimental Case Study program from the 1940s, 50s and 60s (a bit of a stretch, I know). The goal of the Lindal Architects Collaborative? To target "Gen-X buyers who place great value on excellent architectural design and believe in environmental responsibility."
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