[ By WebUrbanist
& Fixtures & Interiors
Adding a swimming pool or hot tub means displacing something else – usually a outdoor lawn, yard or deck or dedicated room inside a house. But what if you could have the best of both worlds: a usable space or surface replaced by a body of water when you want it?
These designs effectively let you walk on walk on water, in a sense, thanks to dynamic and on-demand functionality right beneath your feet. Designers of the exterior and interior swimming and wading pools (as well as hot tubs) shown here include companies like Hydrofloors (images above) and Agor (video below).
At the push of a button, decking descends autometically and water fills in the void left behind – conceal, reveal, rise and repeat as desired, turning a cocktail into a pool party and back again.
Depending on the nature of user needs, the mechanically-controlled platforms lower to become pool bottoms but also steps down into the resulting water.
Aside from issues of cost (and one can only imagine how expensive such custom solutions must be – there are no list prices), the question that remains, of course, is: how hard is it to clean and maintain? Perhaps if you have enough money to afford to build one of these liquid luxury machines, that price point is moot.
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& Travel & Places
For all its art and controversy, the desert is perhaps the most unique defining characteristic of Black Rock City, home of the Burning Man Festival in rural Nevada. Potentially even more challenging than harsh heat and dust storms: Emphermisle, a temporary autonomous zone on the water, coming to California again this year in the middle of July.
From its creators: “We construct a floating city on the Sacramento River Delta and live on it for five days. Ephemerisle has elements of Burning Man in the early 1990s: a new adventure into an alien environment, with discoveries, adventures, and mishaps along the way.” Unlike the current form of Black Rock City, though: “There are no tickets, no central organizers, and no rangers to keep you safe.”
Its creation, though, is about more than just at temporary experience: “Seasteading seeks to move human communities out into the vast expanse of our planet covered in water. Ephemerisle gives an introduction into the physical challenges of being water and learning ways to deal with them. It also provides for small scale experimentation in differing forms of governance.”
Atossa Abrahamian describes the experience of arriving this year at the event, with its patchwork neighborhoods, impromptu parties and unpredictable ad hoc public transit system: “It looked, at first, like a shapeless pile of floating junk, but as the boat drew closer, a sense of order emerged. The island was made up of two rows of houseboats, anchored about a hundred feet apart, with a smaller cluster of boats and yachts set off to the west. The boats had been bound together with planks, barrels, cleats, and ropes, assembled ad-hoc by someone with at least a rudimentary understanding of knots and anchors. Residents decorated their decks with banners and flags and tied kayaks and inflatable toys off the sides”
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[ By WebUrbanist
in Boutique & Art Hotels
You may have to move rooms when you arrive at your hotel, but has your room ever had to move you? Instead of static spaces, the sleeping areas in this hotel are dynamic vehicles you can use to depart the core structure in which you are staying.
Ivan Filipovic‘s idea is to let people in different physical contexts to do everything from exploring remote surroundings (in regions difficult to reach by land, for instance) to watching races or other city-side events (in more urban contexts).
The core structure provides all of the expected amenities, including a reservations desks, restaurant, cafe, bar, nightclub, rooftop terrace and swimming pool, but the autonomous room modules are equipped with solar power collectors and global positioning systems to allow them to depart and return on demand.
Whether they can be realized in a practical way is up for debate, but the concept is exceedingly convincing from an experiential perspective. The solution is a best-of-both-worlds hybrid of adventurous semi-independent world tours and luxury scripted cruise-ship expeditions.
[ By WebUrbanist in Boutique & Art Hotels & Global. ] [ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]
[ By WebUrbanist
& Houses & Residential
Floodwaters rise, drench homes, then recede, leaving disaster in their wake – a temporary change renders many structures permanently uninhabitable. But what if houses could ride out the storms, rising with the tides, then settling back down to the ground when the water is gone?
Based on the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Morphosis (along with Brad Pitt’s Make it Right Foundation) has designs for new adaptive architecture, while the Bouyant Foundation Project proposes a system for retrofitting existing homes. Each approach would allow structures to do lift off the ground in an emergency and uses regional shotgun-style dwellings as their baseline typology.
BFP outlines a process that involves attaching buoyancy blocks below the home, connecting them to the sub-frame, and installing four corner guideposts to keep the building in place along horizontal axes while allowing it to lift (and settle) vertically on demand.
Connections to utilities (gas, water, power and so forth) would be either severable or extendable, so they could detach and reattach or simply expand and contract as needed. In plan, nothing changes – in elevation, predictable but periodic disasters are accommodated.
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[ By WebUrbanist
& Vehicles & Mods
Portaging in the wild is one thing, but try walking your canoe or kayak down the street (let alone through an airport) and you may smack someone right in the head – hence this city-friendly creation (25 pounds, 25 inches wide, and 12 feet long when deployed!).
Compact, portable and light-weight, the Oru kayak folds in on itself to form a shoulder-ready carrying case containing, well, itself. It then unfolds and assembles in just five minutes – perfect for those living in crowded urban environments with little storage space.
From its creators: “Stash it in a trunk. Check it on a plane. Stow it on a sailboat. Hike it in to remote waters. No garage, SUV or roof racks necessary. The Oru Kayak makes boating simple, easy, and accessible— so you can spend more time on the water.”
But it is not just about mobility and transit – how the Oru works as a water vehicle matters as well: “The Oru Kayak is fast, stable, and handles incredibly well. Its light weight makes it fast and easy to paddle. The hard chines offer excellent tracking. And the 25″ width makes balancing easy, even for beginners. Check our blog for upcoming demos near you!” The catch? You may need to find the perfect flat-pack paddle to match!
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