Sustainable Airport Terminal Built in Norway

There is nothing very sustainable about air travel, but the airport terminals can be, as has now been proven by the architects of Nordic – Office of Architecture who designed and built a new terminal at Norway’s Oslo Airport. The new terminal is equipped with many sustainable and energy-efficient features and was built using recycled materials.

The new extension to the airport is basically a 984 ft (300 m)-long structure and it provides an additional floorspace of 1,237,849 sq ft (115,000 sq m). It was built using primarily recycled and natural materials, such as recycled steel, curved glulam beams, as well as concrete mixed with volcanic ash. The latter is thought to be more sustainable than regular cement, since lower temperatures are needed to mix it, and it is said to have a longer expected lifespan. The cladding and flooring is mostly oak.

The terminal is insulated to Passive House standards, while they also achieved the BREEAM “Excellent” sustainability rating, which is a first for an airport building. They will also be storing the snow collected off the runways in winter and using it to cool the building in the summer. The curved shape of the terminal also maximizes solar heat gain, while the generous glazing lets in ample amounts of natural daylight and eliminates the need for artificial lighting. Oslo only gets about 6 hours of daylight in the winter months, so I suppose artificial lighting will be needed then. As for heating, the terminal utilizes low-carbon technologies like district heating and natural thermal energy.

Overall, this is a great example of large scale sustainable architecture, which needs to become the norm going forward if we wish to preserve the planet.

Stylish Kitchen That Can Adapt to Small Spaces

Living in small apartments or tiny houses calls for some clever solutions to make the most of the available space. This often involves custom-made solutions and hacks, but more and more firms are also starting to offer ready-made furniture elements designed specially for small dwellings. One such was recently developed by the Mexico City-based design firm LC-MX. They created a modular kitchen system, which can be made as big or as small as you need it to be.

They named this kitchen system Latifolia and its minimalist, modern aesthetic makes it suitable for pretty much every home. The system features a self-supporting steel structure, which in turn supports the wooden shelves that can be placed in a whole range of positions taking into account the space requirements as well as the owners needs in terms of storage and the placing of kitchenware, appliances, and so on.

The supporting structure is made out of strong but lightweight powder-coated steel, which is very durable. The shelves and counters can be order in walnut, American oak, or tzalam depending on what the client prefers. There is a timeless aesthetic in combining wood and metal elements, and this modular kitchen system takes maximum advantage of it. The steel supports can also be extended out for increased stability and to support heavier items.

There isn’t much information of how the materials used in this system are sourced (i.e. if the wood is sustainably sourced, and if the steel used is recycled). The price has also not yet been revealed. However, this kitchen system is a great addition to the arsenal of those wishing to downsize to a small apartment or a tiny home without needing to custom design all the pieces of furniture, or get creative with furniture made for bigger spaces.

Former Office Reimagined as a Cozy Micro Apartment

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Living in a small space is not for everyone, especially when it comes to living in densely populated urban areas. With a towable tiny house, you can park it anywhere and have as much nature and space around it as you wish, but in an apartment you’re pretty much stuck where you are.

But the current state of the market is such that city dwellings are very expensive, and more and more people who do not want to move to the country are opting to live in micro apartments. When designing such spaces, maximizing the available space is of the utmost importance, and the Danish firm Studiomama did an awesome job in that regard with this former mini-cab office, which they turned into a cozy home.

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The space was bought at an auction and measures 139 sq ft (13 sq m). The designers then set out to turn it into an apartment with the aim of proving that with clever solutions even such a small space can become a comfortable home. The achieved this by installing seamless walls which hide the storage areas, and give the sense of spaciousness. They were inspired by boat design in coming up with this solution. They also placed mirrors along one of the walls, as well as in the kitchen, which further adds to the illusion of this being a larger space than it actually is. Since this apartment has so little floorspace they integrated all that was needed into the built-in furniture.

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The home features a dining nook with a built-in bench to sit on, while this bench can also be extended to increase the sitting space. The bench also has a footrest built into it, which can be stored away when not in use. The bed can also be folded away when not in use. The home also features a work area in the form of a standing desk, which has it’s own storage area. I suppose the dining table can be used if you wish to sit while working. The home also features a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom, which is the only part of this home that is separated off from the rest of the apartment for privacy.

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Tiny Home That Can Sleep Ten

The tiny house firm Escape has just released the so-called Traveler XL Limited, which is an upgraded and expanded version of their 2015 model of the same name. The new model is bigger than the original and can sleep up to 10 people, which is very impressive for a tiny house.

The Traveler XL rests atop a triple-axle trailer an is 30 ft (9.1 m) long. The interior measures 344 sq ft (32 sq m). the home features plenty of large windows, which let in lots of light making it appear even more spacious. Much of the ground floor is taken up by the living area, which includes a sofa bed. Next to this is the kitchenette, which features regular sized appliances, including a fridge and a range cooker. There is also a good amount of counter space and a sink.

The bathroom is located on one end of the tiny house and is big enough to contain a 5 ft (1.5 m)-long tub, which is impressive. It also has a toilet, sink and cabinet, and enough space to install a washer/dryer unit.

The standard configuration of the home has 2 bedrooms. The master is on the ground floor, with enough headroom to stand up in. The second bedroom is in a loft, which is accessible via a ladder. The company offers the option of adding a second loft, which is large enough for several beds. In this case, and with the sofa bed, the house Is big enough for ten people to sleep in. This would get a bit cramped, I imagine, but is still quite a feat to get that much sleeping space out of a tiny home.

They also offer a number of add-ons to take this home off-the-grid. They offer two solar power packages. The first has a 500 W solar panel array, which is connected to a 200 Ah battery storage unit. They also offer a version with a 1 kW solar panel array that is linked to a 400 Ah battery storage unit. The home can also be ordered with a normal RV hookup for electricity, and customers have the choice of installing a composting toilet.

The standard version of the Traveler XL Limited costs $78,500.

Camping in Style

While going camping in a tent has its charms, a lot of people prefer the more comfortable alternative of “glamping”. And the Spanish firm In-Tenta has recently designed a gorgeous micro cabin, which is intended to be deployed in some of the most picturesque landscapes, so that residents can enjoy the best of untouched nature in style and comfort.

The so-called Drop Box micro-cabin is actually just one of the firm’s offerings in the area of modular hotel suites, which are available in different sizes and models. They can all be erected easily and virtually anywhere. They don’t require a foundation, and are made from natural materials to further minimize the impact they have on nature.

The modules are made of sustainable materials like wood and are easy to transport. The Drop Box cabin features a bedroom for two, though adding a bunk bed for children is also an option. There is also a bathroom, with a spacious shower. The cabin also features an outdoor deck, while the house itself also has plenty of glazing to offer the best views possible. Even the bathroom, or more specifically the shower, offers panoramic views of the surrounding nature, which is great when glamping in a secluded spot, but you might need some opaque curtains otherwise.

Both ends of the cabin are glazed, which connects the indoor space with the outdoors beautifully, almost like you would get in a tent. There are very little details on how the modules are constructed, what type of insulation was used and what kind of off-the-grid features it has. But as far as design inspiration goes, I’m sure it can provide lots of ideas. There is also no word on price yet.