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Love where you live

Updated: 2017-07-26T18:06:49-04:00


Modern concrete home in Mexico City unfurls around two courtyards



The T-shaped house is arranged around two courtyards

Another cool, modern home has come out of Mexico City, which is finally being recognized as a cultural and design capital the world over. Designed by local firm DCPP Arquitectos, Casa Campestre, completed in 2013 but still looking fresh, features a simple construction of concrete accented by perforated mud-brick walls in the neighborhood of San Angel.


The two-story floorplan is T-shaped and arranges itself around two courtyards, with the kitchen and dining area dividing the front and rear outdoor spaces on the first floor. A living area, family room, and a bedroom round out the rest of the main level, with additional private quarters found upstairs.


To take advantage of its indoor-outdoor opportunities, the two common areas on the ground floor open directly onto the patios, which are laid in brick. The exterior concrete walls have been finished in a dark, textured coating that references the traditional stucco used throughout the historic neighborhood.


The black finish contrasts starkly against the white interior walls and light hardwood floors, creating a dynamic play between the traditional and the contemporary. The aforementioned adobe screen covers the facade of the house on the second floor for natural ventilation, while the garage is fronted in vertical teak wood slats.


Via: Dezeen

Madrid's massive ‘Desert City’ complex celebrates all things cacti


It includes a garden, greenhouse, exhibition space, restaurant, and shop Cacti are having something of a moment this summer. From a pop-up store in New York City with thousands of plants transported from Los Angeles to this incredible property in Joshua Tree, the spiky succulents seem to be everywhere—including in Madrid, where one of Europe’s biggest cactus centers has recently opened on a former wasteland. Designed by local firm GarciaGerman Arquitectos, Desert City is a biotechnology nursery that celebrates all things xerophytic (plants that require little water to survive) through educational, cultural, and commercial events in an expansive complex that includes a greenhouse, garden, exhibition space, a restaurant, shop, and offices. Its construction is that of a “billboard building,” with elevated horizontal expanses of glass sitting parallel to the road and connecting the greenhouse space (topped by a cable tension roof) on one end to another smaller area on the opposite. A cloister-like outdoor garden with water features centers the complex and extends beyond a glazed walkway, inviting visitors in. Prefabricated elements, along with sustainable solutions like photovoltaic glass, geothermal power, and water recovery systems combine to create a dynamic center that not only exhibits, grows, and breeds cacti, but also offers the public a range of activities. Desert City boasts 5,000 square meters (about 54,000 square feet) of experimental botanical gardens and over 400 xerophytic species. Watch a video below. src="" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> Via: Designboom [...]

Industrial crane transformed into spiffy waterfront rental home




If one more disused industrial crane gets turned into a cool inhabitable space, we’re going to have to call it a trend. First, there was this crane in Bristol, England that became a rustic-chic B&B. Now, over on Copenhagen’s Nordhavn harbor, a former coal crane in been turned into a sleek retreat, meeting space, and spa.

Completed by local firm Arcgency, the project actually includes four parts, each available to rent separately. At the base of the crane is a container reception area. Moving on up, the second floor features a glass-walled meeting room, while the third floor offers a spa and terrace with fab sea views.

The vistas continue all the way on top, where a 540-square-foot “Krane Room” retreat for two comes loaded with custom furniture and a brooding appeal reminiscent of the sexy all-black prefab shelter from Danish homeware brand Vipp.

Hey abandoned cranes of the world, who’s next?


Via: Dezeen

The trendy coffee table that hides all my junk



Not only is it space-efficient, it also rewards bad behavior

My husband and I have hoarding tendencies that are often disguised as being environmental. Plastic take-out containers, twist ties, Trader Joe’s shopping bags—if it can be used again, it stays.

For other items, like clothing and printed matter, it’s about posterity. We keep every issue of the New Yorker and other specialty magazine subscriptions because we’ve heard print is dying. (Also because we can’t possibly read everything in real time, and because we paid for them. Throwing anything away is literally throwing money away!)

Still, our one-bedroom apartment with one closet—which is outside in the hallway, by the way—doesn’t look too much like a dump thanks to inexpensive shelving from Ikea, a generously-sized pantry in the kitchen, and, most importantly, this transforming coffee table from West Elm.

Maybe I love this table so much because of how easily I got it: on a whim and on the cheap and with a minimum expenditure of physical energy. It showed up one Saturday morning on my previous building’s e-bulletin board for $100, posted by a woman three doors down the hall. All I had to do was walk a few feet, hand her the money, then bring the table (with some help) back to my apartment.

Even without its legendary origin story, the Industrial Storage Coffee Table stands on its own. Made of a solid wood body “lofted on airy steel legs” (per West Elm’s copy), the hefty table features a pop-up tabletop that reveals a significant amount of storage space concealed within—perfect for our stacks of magazines, the one game we own (Bananagrams), and whatever else happens to fall inside.

What’s more, the top also extends to the perfect height on which to eat while watching a TV show from the couch. Not only is it space-efficient, it also rewards bad behavior (TV dinners and a pack-rat lifestyle).

It looks good, too, if you can forgive its trendy natural-wood-and-steel construction, which has held up very well after four years of constant use—in addition to the time it spent with its previous owner.

When the inside of the coffee table gets full, that’s when we know it’s time to reorganize. That means placing any magazine six months or older in a bankers box and hauling it up to the attic, where our landlady has given us an extra closet for storage. We’re spilling out of it, of course, but she hasn’t said anything yet.

5 cool camper trailers you can order right now


Not your grandma’s camper trailers Editor's Note: This post was originally published in February 2017 and has been updated with the most recent information. When it comes to hitting the road for an extended adventure, folks have a lot of options, ranging from add-on solutions like vehicle rooftop tents and portable kitchens to entirely tricked-out RVs and vans. Somewhere in between lies the camper-trailer, which offers a small, but efficient, home on the go. Trailers are far from a new idea—people are still mad about Airstreams, for one—but today’s designers and manufacturers haven’t shied away from riffing on tradition, either. Below, take a look at some of the inventive new offerings in camper-trailer-land. Name: The Meerkat by Little Guy TrailersCost: $17,820 with custom colors available for an extra $1,450Key features: Lightweight (900 pounds) trailer can be towed by almost any 4-cylinder car and fits in a standard garage, dinette area transforms into two-person bed, kitchen has wood cabinetry, sink, 120-volt electrical system, pops open for more head room, three windows for ventilation Name: AIR OPUS Cost: $2,400 for the Air Tent System add-on, available for all OPUS trailers, which range from $18,999 to $22,799 Key features: Pop-out tent inflates in 90 seconds, double beds with inner privacy tents, leatherette seating, kitchenette with stainless steel sink, portable toilet, skylights Name: The Cricket by Taxa OutdoorsCost: $27,800 MSRP Key features: Lightweight, 1,450 pounds for easy towing, sleeps two adults and two children, includes integrated plumbing and electrical, swing windows with shade and mesh screens, covered sink and six kitchen cubbies, 12-volt lighting throughout, fridge, freezer, shower tent Name: Tvan Firetail by Track TrailerCost: $57,900 Key features: Burly chassis and suspension with five-year warranty, jet-black exterior color highlights, slide-out kitchen with three-stove burner, Queen-size sleeping area, weatherproofing awning, attachable tent for additional living space Name: Alto R Series Trailer by Safari CondoCost: $28,275Key features: Ultra-light travel trailer that has an exterior height of 83.5 inches so it fits in a garage, aluminum roof pops up electronically to reveal 7 feet of interior space, two dining areas that convert to sleeping quarters for three to four people, kitchen, fixed flush toiler, interior shower [...]

UK will ban all gas and diesel vehicles by 2040



It’s part of the country’s $3 billion plan to curb emissions and help its residents go car-free

Hot on the heels of France’s announcement to ban all gasoline-powered vehicles by 2040, the UK will follow suit, with a plan to end sales of all gas and diesel vehicles by 2040. The move is part of an ambitious transportation initiative meant to both eliminate emissions and reduce car use.

According to The Guardian, the announcement addresses the country’s air pollution, which it claims kills 40,000 people per year. But it will also help the country more quickly achieve the climate goals outlined in the Paris agreement.

The UK’s plan comes with several strategies to help citizens break their fossil-fueled habits. A £3 billion transportation fund (about $3.9 billion) will build new charging stations for electric vehicles, buy new low-emission taxis, and convert bus fleets to carbon-neutral. Almost half the fund (about $1.5 billion) will pay for new walking and biking infrastructure.

London already has a comprehensive congestion pricing scheme that charges private vehicles to enter its densely populated urban center, and a separate program that taxes the oldest and dirtiest vehicles on the road. Similarly, the new UK plan would allow local municipalities to levy fees on cars that drive in designated “clean air zones,” with the money collected helping to fund even more transportation improvements.

The announcement also dovetails nicely with a sweeping strategy recently announced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to shoo cars from the city’s center. In addition to a new goal for the city to operate a zero-emission public transit system by 2050, a new zero-emission zone for private vehicles will be established by 2025 that will eventually be expanded to encompass the entire city.

Khan also announced benchmarks for success in London: By 2041, the city will reduce car trips by three million each day while increasing the number of people walking, biking or riding transit daily to 80 percent. Right now about two-thirds of Londoners don’t drive cars on a daily basis.

Gorgeously restored midcentury house asks $800K in San Diego


The home by Case Study architect Craig Ellwood is Southern California indoor-outdoor living at its best Have a nomination for a jaw-dropping listing that would make a mighty fine House of the Day? Get thee to the tipline and send us your suggestions. We'd love to see what you've got. Location: San Diego, California Price: $800,000 An incredibly restored midcentury modern home by Case Study architect Craig Ellwood has come on the market in San Diego, California. Originally designed in 1953 for Gerry and Charles Bobertz, the three-bedroom has since undergone a complete transformation that has returned the home to its intended state after years of modifications and wear. The current owner Keith York bought the home in 2000 and began an extensive renovation that tore down an addition and brought back as many original elements as possible, consulting plans and even historians of Ellwood’s work. The result is a gorgeous yet simple home that showcases Ellwood’s commitment to clarity, materials, and structure. Defined by clean lines and glass expanses, the 1,870-square-foot residence’s main attraction is the airy open-plan living and dining space with full-height windows and sliding glass doors that open onto the landscaped backyard. A kitchen with color-blocked cabinet sliders and a grey-brick fireplace round out the space. Throughout the flat-roofed dwelling, walls are paneled in stained redwood, the floors are cork, and the tongue-and-groove ceilings feature exposed beams. Each of the three bedrooms also boasts full glazing, allowing seamless indoor-outdoor access to a secluded courtyard, in the case of a master suite, and another patio off the two smaller rooms. Located at 5503 Dorothy Drive, it’s offered at $800,000 in its first public sale since 1967. Courtesy of Keith York [...]

Tokyo opens ‘Good Design’ store designed by Jasper Morrison



Beige takes center stage

Since 1957, Japan has been honoring life-enriching designs with its Good Design Award, but for the first time, the program has a physical space where visitors can see (and even buy) the year’s nominees. Located in a shopping center near the Tokyo rail station Tokyo Station, the store also features a curated collection of award-winning products from the span of Good Design’s 60-year tenure—all available for purchase, of course.


The beige-dominated shop was designed by famed British industrialist designer Jasper Morrison—known for creating economic, efficient, and tasteful designs in an era of fashionable flamboyance. It’s only natural that Morrison’s store design would provide a tastefully neutral backdrop for the items on display. Simple but elegant shelves, cabinets, and tables offer ample display space.


The shop items were curated from among Good Design’s 44,000 designated products by Yu Yamada. The store’s identity and logos were designed by Masaaki Hiromura.


Via: Spoon & Tamago

Sleek modern home looks like it’s floating



Complete with a huge cantilever

The clients who commissioned this sleek modern home in Kent, England couldn’t have asked for something more different from their previous abode: a 15th-century Tudor house. But variety is the spice of life, right? The couple, a retired engineer and interior designer, tapped AR Design Studio—designers of the house “that ate its modern neighbor”—to build their vision of contemporary domestic paradise.


The result is a rectangular volume with perpendicular planes, slightly elevated above the lawn by a recessed brick base, creating the impression that the home is floating. This sense of lightness is enhanced by a large section of the home that’s cantilevered out over the driveway.


The design essentially comprises a set of five rectangular volumes clustered around a large interior courtyard. The massing and orientation of each section was created to frame the best views of the surrounding countryside.


“Each block is linked to a distinct aspect of the garden, with a final connecting view provided from the roof of a brick tower,” the architects write on their website.

“These volumes are all connected by the central courtyard, an area of extensive glazing allowing light and fresh air to continually penetrate the house, and provide year round sheltered outdoor space.”


Where the wood-clad exterior of the home feels dark and dominant, the interior is all light and air with strategically placed windows and skylights.


Via: Contemporist

Where the housing shortage is getting worse


When job growth outpaces new construction, renters pay for the mismatch Construction of new houses and apartments hasn’t kept pace with job growth in major cities, according to a new Apartment List report, which compared employment stats and housing permits to find which cities are falling behind the most. A strong contributor to both the nation’s housing shortage and dearth of affordable housing, the gap is widespread. The report discovered that only 10 of the nation’s 50 largest metros has managed to create enough new housing to keep up with job growth. A prime example of a city falling behind is San Francisco. It was already falling short directly before and after the Great Recession, generating three jobs for every one new housing unit between 2005 and 2010. But since then, the mismatch has only gotten worse: the rate more than doubled to 6.8 jobs per new housing unit between 2010 and 2015. Apartment List These kind of gaps have led to rising rental costs as well as extended commutes, as workers forced out of increasingly expensive downtowns seek the next nearest home or apartment they can afford. Construction of new units nationally hit a low point after the Great Recession, with the number of permits issued hitting a record low in May of 2009. While the industry has recovered, it still isn’t keeping pace with economic growth. The construction labor shortage—the number of companies building homes dropped by half between 2007 and 2012—has only exacerbated the problem. Nationally, the number of households grew by 11.2 million between 2005 and 2015, while only 9.9 million new housing units were constructed during the same period. In many booming metros areas, the lack of housing has been a stark lesson in supply and demand. During that 10-year period, San Jose had both the largest undersupply of new construction, as well as the fastest rent growth, 57 percent. The report also found that, not surprisingly, downtowns and core counties were even more supply burdened than surrounding areas. The report found that core counties accounted for 57 percent of the new jobs generated, but just 49 percent of new units, a dynamic pushing more workers to live in the suburbs. Apartment List While the general trend has been upward, those cities with robust construction have been able to slow growth. A few examples from the Apartment List report illustrate this point: Charlotte added about the same number of jobs as San Jose. It also issued permits for three times as many housing units, so rents only rose 30 percent Denver, another city grappling with growth, added 2.9 new jobs for every new housing unit; rents shot up by 52 percent between 2005 and 2015 For comparison, Atlanta, which only added 25,000 less jobs than Denver, permitted twice as many units and saw rent only increase by 25 percent. Apartment List drew from U.S. Census data on building permits and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on employment for metros and counties across the nation. [...]