Wednesday, July 22, 2009

FOREST FORMATIONS: 8 Modern Forest Homes

1. The 'Dragspelhuset' Accordion House

Architect firm:
24H architects
Location: Övre Gla, Sweden

The solar-powered off-grid cabin retreat is owned and designed by Maartje Lammers and Boris Zeisser of 24H Architecture. It is called the Accordion house because one of the rooms is capable of extending outwards over the nearby stream. Lammers and Zeisser succeeded in designing a moveable room that can be rolled out along two steel rails with a series of ropes and pulleys.

2. The Hoke House (aka the Cullen house from the movie 'Twilight')

Architect firm: Skylab architecture
Location: Portland’s Forest Park, USA

The Hoke private residence is an interplay between the vibrant outdoor environment and dramatic interior spaces that simultaneously shelter occupants and frames it's surroundings. The home features an extensive system of decks and patios connected to the interior spaces by floor to ceiling openings. The outdoor living zones are located strategically in opposite directions from the core living spaces, to provide generous outdoor spaces useable at different times of day and through different seasons.

3. The Shell Villa

Architect firm: ARTechnic
Location: Nagano, Japan

The exterior curves of this remote forest retreat arc around a central tree. The interior of the home is as organic as the exterior, flowing and curving as the shell would suggest from the outside. Natural ventilation carries throughout the whole house. All in all, the results are a blend of ultramodern contextual elements.

4. Wilkinson Residence

Architect firm: Robert Harvey Oshatz
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

A lover of music, the client wanted a house that not only became part of the natural landscape but also addressed the flow of music. One must actually stroll through the house to grasp its complexities and its connection to the exterior. Douglas fir is used as expressive structural elements within the home. The design uses a natural wood ceiling that floats on curving laminated wood and passes through glass walls which wraps around the main living room. Private spaces such as bedrooms and bathrooms are located downstairs, while the upper floor of the home accommodates more public functions.

'Dancing trees, Singing birds'

Architect firm: Hiroshi Nakamura
Location: Tokyo, Japan

'Dancing trees, Singing birds'
is a housing complex in Tokyo designed by architect Hiroshi Nakamura. You would never think that it is located in central Tokyo, but that’s just where you can look to find Dancing Trees, Singing Birds. Six apartments come together to complete the extraordinary vision of designer Hiroshi Nakamura. Each apartment nests quietly in the grove becoming one with the trees and the nature surrounding it. The Spa House, Library house, Tea House, Pool House, Terrace House, or Theater House are the individual apartment names you will find. Small birdhouses are included in the design to ensure there will always be the sounds of singing birds and ensure that the tree's has music to dance to.

6. Casa Tuscania

Architect firm: Cincopatasalgato
Location: San Salvador, El Salvador, Brazil

This modern house in Northern Brazil's rainforest was designed by architect Jose Roberto Paredes for his family of four. Paredes spent nine months interviewing his wife and daughters about what they wanted for their ideal home. Afterwards he went sketching – and re­sketching – their future house. They added an exterior chalkboard wall. It serves as an ever-changing greeter to mark who lives at the residence, and any other thoughts the residents would like to share with the world – that’s great Feng Shui.

7. The "Tree House"

Architect firm: Bates Masi Architects
Location: Fire Island, New York

From rough-cut cyprus walls to bleached-oak floors and exposed structural fir this home is much more than your average tree house. This tree haven by Bates Masi Architects surrounds residents with woods of all kinds in every possible way, from each vertical and horizontal wall and surface within the home to the exterior cladding and surrounding forest.

8. The Rantilla Residence

Architect firm: Freelon Group
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Architect Michael Rantilla, a Senior Associate with the Freelon Group, designed this house for himself in a woodsy area south-west of Raleigh, North Carolina. The design of the home overcame setbacks such as a stream buffer and a steep slope.

Click here to see some amazing tree houses


These men in South Asia, have taken fishing to the next level. It is said that this is their traditional way of fishing. Whatever the history behind this kind of fishing, it definately takes a lot of skill.


Is that a panda with a trunk?

Elephants were painted as pandas at the Royal Elephant Kraal in Ayutthaya province, Bangkok. Zoo staff arranged this event to remind the Thais, who are fans of yarymi pandas that the elephant, a symbol of their country, as well as the pandas, need attention and care.