Archive | April 2012

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

 

Located in Paris’ 7th district, this apartment was redesigned by the Paris-based architect Alia Bengana. The building was built in the 1920s and while the owners wanted to keep the original feel of the space, they also wanted to modernize it for their family’s needs.

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

The central living room is the heart of the home with five doors leading to other rooms of the apartment. The main wall in the living room is deep, offering hidden storage and open cubbies to display artwork. This also provides the custom-made doors to pivot around revealing space hidden behind them for even more storage.

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

The master bath has a clean and simple design with added interest coming from the white mosaic tiles.

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

Check out the mosaic tile pattern and narrow sink in the half bath.

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

Paris Apartment by Alia Bengana Architecte

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Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

 

Located in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, Casa Mecano is a residence designed by Robles Arquitectos that’s situated on a hilltop for natural ventilation and spectacular views. Seeing that it’s built in a tropical environment with lots of sunlight and rain, it was important to incorporate ways to control the direct rays with the use of a controllable sail. They’ve also put to use a tank to collect rainwater that is then used for irrigation.

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

Their goal was to integrate environmentally friendly practices during construction but also into the design of the home. They kept the footprint to a minimum with a scaled back design and the use of a modular steel structural system, which reduced the need for materials and the debris that they left behind.

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

The large paneled windows also allow for the house to be filled with natural light.

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

I really want to go for a dip in this pool!

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos

Casa Mecano by Robles Arquitectos
The roof

Koby Cottage by Garrison Architects

 

The Koby Cottage was designed by the Brooklyn-based Garrison Architects as a weekend retreat for families visiting their teens at the non-profit Starr Commonwealth in Albion, Michigan. It’s an 1100-square-foot prefab that consists of two modules that intersect with a central dining area. The cottage is broken into two volumes to create more light and it’s cantilevered off of the sloping lot for privacy from below.

Koby Cottage by Garrison Architects

The structure has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and living room with a dining room in between. The cottage even has a rooftop deck to enjoy views of the lake.

Koby Cottage by Garrison Architects

The interior is filled with light wood and white walls giving an open and airy feel.

Koby Cottage by Garrison Architects

Koby Cottage by Garrison Architects

Koby Cottage by Garrison Architects

Check out the building process:

Koby Cottage by Garrison Architects

Koby Cottage by Garrison Architects

Koby Cottage by Garrison Architects

Koby Cottage by Garrison Architects

Koby Cottage by Garrison Architects

Koby Cottage by Garrison Architects

Koby Cottage by Garrison Architects

NASA READIs early detection GPS network, aids first responders with earthquake warnings

After tacking space shuttle Discovery onto the back of a 747, the brainy gang over at NASA‘s READI for a new challenge — earthquake detection. The agency’s GPS-monitoring system, known as the Real-time Earthquake Analysis for Disaster Mitigation Network, is being tested with the goal of more accurately detecting the scale of quakes and, consequently, getting tsunami warnings out as soon as possible. The setup, made possible by a partnership between the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Geological Survey, works by measuring ground displacement in real-time to provide a faster, more detailed assessment of imminent damage, thereby giving first responders a head start on determining aid. So the next time you look up to the night sky and wish upon a tracking star, keep in mind that sometimes privacy-skewing, positioning tech could just save your life.

Google bringing extra bytes to Hawkeye State with $300 million data center

You’re a multinational search company that has just rolled out a new cloud storage offering. You’ve also just given your millions and millions of email users an extra 2.5GB of storage, free of charge. What do you do next? Build another data center. The big G has announced its intentions to raise a $300 million information barn in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Construction on a 1,000 acre plot will begin immediately and, for its efforts, the Search Sultan will be gifted with a handful of tax incentives totaling over $9 million. Google is no stranger to the mean streets (we’re not sure if they’re actually mean) of Council Bluffs, though, as the company already operates a $600 million data facility within that city’s limits. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s a $900 million stimulus for the Hawkeye State.

Google sells SketchUp to Trimble Navigation for undisclosed sum

While we’re probably more accustomed to Google buying assets than selling them ’round here, every now and again the search giant does shed some skin. El Goog’s 3D modeling platform, SketchUp, is to be sold to Trimble Navigation for an undisclosed sum reports Reuters. Trimble says it’s hoping to use the acquisition to enhance its office-to-field platform. The two firms will also work together to develop SketchUp’s online repository of 3D models for designers to use, share and contribute to. SketchUp’s blog reassures users that the free version won’t change under the move. The deal should get the final nod in Q2 this year.

Google Translate now serving over 200 million people per month

This may surprise you, but as Google keeps adding languages to its translation service’s repertoire, the number of folks using it continues to increase accordingly. Google Translate’s about to celebrate its 6th anniversary of machine translation, and now boasts over 200 million users each month — with 92 percent of those folks coming from outside the US. Keep up the good work fellas, and as long as you expand Translate’s beatboxing abilities, we’re sure the online interpreter will be serving 300 million folks monthly in no time.

Twitter app update brings improved discover, search and notifications to iOS and Android

It’s not like there’s any shortage of alternatives, but those sticking with the ooh-ficial Twitter app on iOS and Android woke up to a rather pleasant update today. Briefly, the company’s promising improvements to discover, search and notifications, with the new build allowing users to view “Activity” — described as a “stream of updates that shows which tweets are favorited or retweeted by the people you follow and which accounts those people follow or add to lists.” Search has also been made simpler in both programs, with the Connect tab allowing you to start typing the first or last name or username of the person you’re looking for and watching autocomplete handle the rest. Finally (and perhaps most importantly), notifications for Interactions are in place, enabling busybodies to know right away when a tweet has been retweeted or favorited. Hit up your market of choice to get the new bytes.

Google MapsGL updates 3D buildings, improves virtual tourism

Google’s been spending some quality time with its Maps offering of late. Most recently, it overhauled the 3D buildings and landmarks to make them, well, better. This time, its Maps’ juiced up sibling MapsGL that’s been feeling the paternal love. The WebGL-based 3D renderings have been the same treatment, making your virtual aerial tours all the more realistic. Now, as you glide over the landscape, your view of the buildings is much more like real life. Or you could just take the lazy tourism one step further.

Micromax’s Superfone A50 Ninja enters India with AISHA voice assistant, forgets its shuriken

Hoping to compete with the Siris of the world, Micromax has announced its new Superfone A50 Ninja alongside a novel feature dubbed AISHA — which is short for Artificial Intelligence Speech Handset Assistant. Similar to Cupertino’s personal secretary, AISHA vows to help folks with every-day elements such as making calls, setting up calendar events and even reporting what the weather looks like. Much to our disappointment, however, the A50 Ninja runs a not-so-new flavor of Android — Gingerbread to be exact — and Micromax left out any mention of Android 4.0. On the specs front, the dual-SIM Superfone sports a 3.1-inch display (mum’s the word on the resolution), a two-megapixel shooter, Bluetooth 2.0 capabilities and an unspecified 650MHz processor. All in all, thanks to its 4,999 rupees (around $95) budget price, we can’t imagine you’d complain too much. Be sure to hit up the Micromax link below if you’re interested in grabbing one of these.