Italy-based Benetti Stone Philosophy makes a beautiful mosaic surface called Ivory Dream, which is made from vegetable ivory. In this case, the vegetable ivory — which was used to make buttons before plastic became popular — comes from the seed of an Amazon palm tree called Tagua. The seed is hand-harvested without causing any damage and is then cut and supplied for use as a floor, covering, or other surface mosaic.
When I first mentioned the Mendoza Laneway House, it was one of the first laneway homes in Vancouver under the city’s EcoDensity program. The company behind that efficient SIPs home, Lanefab, and its partners, designer Bryn Davidson and builder Mat Turner, have been busy and recently completed the first Net-Zero Solar Laneway House on a corner lot at 57th and Vivian. It’s beautiful inside and out.
This is a three-level studio and living space by daiken-met architects in Gifu, Japan. Called Sugoroku Office, the space is made with seven used shipping containers and a structural steel frame that holds the intermodal units together. The project sits on a basic parking lot under short-term lease so design for deconstruction and relocation was a critical driver for the end result. Sugoroku Office has about 1,200 square feet, several work stations, a kitchen, and a loft that’s ready for living.
UK-based Blue Forest makes inventive tree houses and recently introduced a new design concept called the eco-PERCH, which I think you’ll be interested in seeing. The four-bed retreat can be delivered, assembled, and commissioned in about five days with things like photovoltaics, a composting toilet, and rainwater harvesting, etc.
Okay, really the only connection to Valentine’s Day is the color of the home, but check out this bold, industrial container home in Lille, France. Designed by Patrick Partouche with eight intermodal shipping container units, the home has about 2,200 square feet with great views through large windows and light through polycarbonate panels. Maison Container Lille installed by crane in three days of site work.
Panasonic Corp. recently announced a breakthrough tankless toilet called “Arauno V,” according to newswire AFP Relax News. This isn’t one of those toilets where the tank is hidden in the wall, rather the toilet draws water directly from the home water supply. And the bowl is engineered like a tornado to cleanly circulate waste down the drain.