Photokina 2014 highlights

Prefabricated

The Cliff House, by Australian firm Modscape (Image: Modscape)

Australian firm Modscape offers food-for-thought with this five-story concept home called Cliff House that clings to the side of a cliff in rural Australia.  Read More

The Vivood could serve as glamping retreat, guesthouse, or a basic tiny house (Photo: Vivo...

Spanish architectural collective Vivood recently produced an eponymous shelter that could serve as glamping retreat, guesthouse, or basic tiny house. The prefabricated structure is delivered in "easy-to-fit" modular sections that have the electrics and plumbing already installed, and it can be assembled within a day by a small group of people.  Read More

Robots have helped to create a lightweight, ultra-thin wooden exhibition hall (Photo: ICD/...

The Landesgartenschau Exhibition Hall in Stuttgart, Germany, is claimed to be the first building to have its core structure made entirely from interlocking timber sections created by robots. Made up of over 240 individual segments of beech plywood created using a robotic fabrication method, the 17 meter (55 ft) tall, 245 square meter (2,637 sq ft) structure required just 12 cubic meters (424 cubic feet) of timber to construct.  Read More

Casa GG, by Alventosa Morell Arquitectes (Photo: Adrià Goula)

Spain's Alventosa Morell Arquitectes recently completed work on a prefabricated energy-efficient residence that's located in the Montseny mountain range, to the north-west of Barcelona. Named Casa GG, the home was built in just four months – however this fact belies the impressive effort that went into studying how best to minimize energy-use before construction even began.  Read More

Drop XL was designed by Barcelona-based architecture and design studio IN-TENTA (Image: Es...

Spanish architecture and design firm In-Tenta has unveiled an interesting eco-hotel concept that can also serve as a small home or guest accommodation. Drop XL is a flexible and minimal-impact living unit that sports a range of additional options, including a choice of operating either on or off-grid.  Read More

The Skit, by Georgia-based Dachi Papuashvili (Image: Dachi Papuashvili)

One could be forgiven for thinking that shipping container-based architecture may have reached saturation point. After all, Gizmag has previously reported on student digs, a passively-cooled home, and a cruise ship terminal, to name just a few examples. However, Georgia-based Dachi Papuashvili has produced a charming cross-shaped tiny house concept called the Skit that proves the continuing ability of the useful boxes to inspire.  Read More

The Nannup Holiday House, by Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects (Photo: Peter Bennetts)

The Nannup Holiday House, by Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects, strikes a careful balance between allowing its owners to get in touch with nature, while preventing nature from taking over completely. Raised on stilts to help avoid hazards which include local wild pigs, venomous snakes, and floods, the home also features sustainable technology such as solar panels and grey water recycling.  Read More

Kingsgate House by Horden Cherry Lee Architects (Photo: Horden Cherry Lee)

Forget the "Shard," the "Walkie Talkie" and the "Cheese Grater," the real revolution in UK buildings is in timber construction, which saves on build time, carbon emissions and boasts energy efficiency. One new apartment block in Chelsea is calculated to use the same energy as a Smart car.  Read More

Y:Cube is the result of a partnership between YMCA London South West and architectural fir...

Rising house prices and changes to the UK's housing benefits system have resulted in rent becoming too expensive for many London residents, leading to an increasing number of people living on the streets or in shared hostels. YMCA London South West and architectural firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners have joined forces to provide a potential solution to the burgeoning housing crisis. Dubbed the Y:Cube, the tiny home is built using mostly renewable materials, and offers residents independence and privacy that exceeds what can be offered in a shared hostel.  Read More

Minimod, by MAPA Architects (Photo: Leonardo Finotti)

Though embracing small footprint living doesn't always require one deal with a challenging interior layout, a compact home that's designed to be flexible certainly bodes well for a harmonious lifestyle. It would appear that MAPA Architects had this in mind with its Minimod (or Minimal Modular) prototype home, which sports an adaptable interior layout comprising four living spaces.  Read More

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