Living in a glass house isn’t always practical, and more often than not, it’s also not very sustainable. But this one, the so-called Hidden Pavilion recently built in a forest near Madrid, Spain, was designed in a way that renders most shortcomings of glass homes null and void.
All the exterior walls of the Hidden Pavilion are made of glass, which was set into a steel frame. Since the home was built in the middle of a forest and is surrounded by tall trees, privacy is not an issue. The home was also designed and built in a way that did not require chopping down any of the trees. This includes a 200-year-old oak tree, while they also left gaps in the terraced areas of the home so that younger trees will be able to continue growing through them.
The Hidden Pavilion measures 753 sq ft (70 sq m) and was designed by the firm Penelas Architects as a quiet countryside retreat. It has two floors, as well as a veranda on the second floor and a terrace on the roof. The interior is mostly finished in cherry wood. The first floor houses the bedroom, bathroom and a walk-in closet. The second floor, which is accessible via a spiral staircase, features a spacious kitchen and dining area, and opens onto the veranda, which cantilevers over a small waterfall. Another set of stairs leads to a spacious roof terrace.
The chimney-like structures on the roof terrace are actually light tubes, which ensure that the interior gets sufficient natural light, since the home is well shaded by trees. The ample shading by the trees also ensures that the interior temperature is comfortable even in the hotter months of the year.
Construction of the cabin began in 2010, but was put on hold for a while, and then finally completed in December 2016.
One of the things I love about being a freelancer is the ability to work virtually anywhere I please, even from the sofa or bed. But regular, 9-to-5 office spaces have been changing too, with cubicles giving way to more open plan setups. Design students at ÉCAL University have come up with this ingenious work space layout as part of a workshop, which they call Workbay Village. It is a flexible, fun workspace, which allows employees to work, nap, and even grow plants.
Workbay Village is made up of custom-designed office pods, which were inspired by the so-called Workbays system of office dividers originally designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. The workshop was led by Erwan Bouroullec and Camille Blin, and the main goal was to create an office which fosters greater interaction between people by giving workers a chance to step away from work and exchange ideas in a more casual manner.
One of the pods that makes up this office set-up is the so-called Farm Bay, which was created by ÉCAL student Paula Cermeno. It allows employees to grow and care for plants, while also purifying the air inside the office. Another of the pods is the so-called Bar Bay, which was created by student Sara de Campos, and it is a sort of bar, which lets employees have their happy hour right in the office. The style of this pod was inspired by Japanese sushi bars.
The Nap Bay, as the name suggests, is a pod where people can take a quick nap during the workday. It features a comfy looking bed and curtains for privacy, and was designed by Yasunori Morinaga. Another sleeping area was designed by Antoine Chauvin and is called Capsule Bay. It was inspired by Japanese capsule hotels, and it is made up of two small bedrooms one on top of the other, with the top one accessible via a set of rungs. The lamps, standing desk chairs, wall bins and the bungee-cord storage system, were also designed by the students specifically for this project.