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Housing

SunBloc was the winner of the 2012 RIBA President Medals Student Awards, a prestigious arc...

A net-zero house project called SunBloc has won the 2012 RIBA President Medals Student Awards, a prestigious architectural competition that takes place annually in the UK. Devised by students from the London Metropolitan University, SunBloc is tailored for the Solar Decathlon Competition, but the students say it can be adapted to other contexts.  Read More

It seems authorities are catching on to the potential of shipping containers (Photo: Gary ...

Independent schemes in the New York, USA and Brighton, UK are putting the humble shipping container to work as an effective source of low-cost housing to combat the problem of homelessness. The two schemes are poles apart in scope, and designed to address vastly differing causes of homelessness, however.  Read More

MVRDV's design for Peruri 88 is a re-imagining of the city of Jakarta, 400 meters tall (Im...

"Vertical city" is not a new descriptor for supertall skyscrapers that combine housing with retail, offices, leisure and goodness knows what else. But it's something of a surprise to see it applied to Peruri 88, which, as we have come to expect from Dutch architectural practice MVRDV, features as many horizontal, skewed, slantwise and sloping lines as it does vertical. That said, with a tower that will top out at 400 m (1,312 ft), it will comfortably join the ranks of the supertall.  Read More

How do micro-dwellings effect the demographic and political structure of major cities? (Im...

Most of us are fascinated by micro-homes and tiny apartments. Along with the urban planning benefits they promise, we love the ingenuity of their organization and debate alternate approaches to using the same space three times over. But how is this small-scale approach playing out in the real world? Let's take a look at the response to introducing micro-dwellings in major cities including New York City and San Francisco.  Read More

Architectural firm St André-Lang has designed and built a compact circular housing prototy...

French architectural firm St. André-Lang has designed and built a compact circular housing prototype that incorporates corn cobs within the walls. The 20 square meter (215 square foot) pavilion style home is located in the protected parklands of Muttersholtz, France and recently won the Archi<20 competition for low-cost, environmentally-friendly architecture. “The total cost of the project was €7,000 [US$8,705],” St. André-Lang architect and co-creator Bastien Saint-André told Gizmag. “But we had some partners (carpenter, woodworker) – the real cost would be around €10,000 [US$12,435].”  Read More

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced a competition for an innovative micro apart...

Here at Gizmag we love some of the micro homes we’ve seen, from the Tiny Leaf House on wheels to the Finnish micro house, and that’s not mentioning the London one room apartment turned into a two-story luxury home! It looks like we’re not the only ones, with New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg catching the tiny home fever and announcing a competition for an innovative micro apartment model.  Read More

Canadian design studio Bioi recently completed this compact home in Warburg, Alberta after...

Canadian design studio Bioi recently completed this compact home in Warburg, Alberta after being given the challenge to create a contemporary and energy-efficient home for under US$100,000. The result is a simple, open and sustainable home, with a reduced space that holds all of the functionality of a regular sized home. “Working alongside our client, we determined the true necessity of the space that they required,” principal architects Jordan Allen and Ryan Trefz told Gizmag. “Throughout the design phase redundant spaces were eliminated, and non-inhabitable spaces were pushed to an absolute minimum.”  Read More

Though there may be no obvious green bells and whistles such as wind turbines or photovolt...

Look up this project on the website of its architects ACXT and you will find that it goes by the rather understated name of 242 Affordable Housing Units in Salburúa (Salburúa being a neighborhood in the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz). In many ways the downplaying of the name is in keeping with ACXT's quiet approaches to sustainable design. Though there may be no obvious green bells and whistles such as wind turbines or photovoltaics, passive architectural methods combined with on-site generation contribute to what ACXT claims is a "considerable reduction" in the building's carbon dioxide emissions.  Read More

The WikiHouse construction system is based on the use of plywood fins that connect togethe...

Created by a group of young designers from London, WikiHouse is an open source construction solution that aims to make it possible for almost anyone, regardless of skill level, to freely download and build affordable housing. The WikiHouse construction system was on display during last month's Milan Design Week, where the creators themselves demonstrated how the technology can be applied. “We believe this could herald in a new industrial revolution,” co-founder Nick Ierodiaconou told Gizmag. “The factory of the future will be everywhere and the designer will be everyone.”  Read More

A schematic of the completed Strand East

When you enter one of IKEA's giant home furnishing stores, it often feels like taking a trip to a distant, uber-modern town where everyone is just a little more hip than where you just came from, and space is used oh-so-efficiently. Now, the iconic Swedish company wants to actually build just such a town in the real world – in London, to be exact.  Read More

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