Montreal home updated with corrugated metal cladding and a vibrant staircase

La Shed Architecture has renovated an old residence in a Montreal neighbourhood, adding a roof terrace flanked by corrugated metal and a bright red-orange staircase (+ slideshow). (more…)


۱۱ Ways to Save Water at Home (11 photos)

Americans have been blessed with a steady supply of clean water, for outdoor as well as indoor use. It’s a privilege we often take for granted. But with much of the Western United States in severe, years-long drought, attention is turning to water use —...


How Induction Cooking Works

How Induction Cooktops Work

۱) A coiled metal induction element is located beneath the cooktop’s surface, which is typically glass. Electricity flows into the coils, creating a powerful magnetic field.

۲) Ferromagnetic cookware placed within that field acts as the second conductor, and a current is induced onto it.

۳) Eddy currents are created within the cookware itself; the cookware has its own magnetic field, which resists the currents generated by the induction element.

۴) Energy created by the opposing magnetic fields is released in the form of heat within the vessel; the vessel, in turn, heats its contents.


Warm Up to Induction Cooking with These Clean Cooktops

Modern kitchen induction cooktop appliances for the kitchen like the 36-inch benchmark by Bosch

۳۶-inch Benchmark Induction cooktop by Bosch, $2,799 -- For greater control and precision, Bosch has integrated 17 cooking levels and an AutoChef feature to help prevent burning. An extra-long induction zone accommodates long pans and griddles.


Today’s chef can choose from an array of appliances promising to help make better food at home: steam ovens; dual-fuel ranges; gas and electric cooktops—and that’s not counting specialty devices, like rotisseries and sous vide machines. But one method is gaining traction: Induction cooking, long-popular internationally, is catching on stateside. 

To boil it down to basics, induction cooktops generate heat through electromagnetic forces. “It’s a strong option for those who want the power and control of gas but may not have the ability to have a gas unit,” says Michele Bedard of Sub-Zero and Wolf, whose sales of induction cooktops surpassed electric in 2014.

While searing a steak over a gas flame might appeal to a primitive part of the brain, energy is wasted in the process, in the form of excess heat. “Induction is much faster in boil times as compared to gas or electric and over 90 percent more energy efficient,” says Tim Tyler of Viking Range. 

But is it all marketing hype, or are there genuine benefits? “I like induction systems for many reasons,” says Daniel Boulud, the renowned chef and restaurateur. “They are precise, they are safe, and they are great for families since you can’t really burn yourself on them. But since nothing ‘burns off’ the surface, they tend to get dirty and greasy from spilled food—not a big deal, but you need to wipe them down regularly.”

Curious how induction cooking works? We break it down here.


Houzz Tour: Cascades Retreat Blends In and Stands Out (19 photos)

Several years ago this couple purchased a 20-acre piece of land deep in the remote reaches of the Cascade Range, about two hours north of their Seattle home. The idea was to build a simple, small retreat where the two of them — she’s a healthcare administrator, he’s a furniture maker and...


hunton XRS52 luxury powerboat offers a max speed of 65 knots

defining the brand's future and the next generation of luxury powerboats, the hunton 'XRS52' combines the very best of british design and engineering.

The post hunton XRS52 luxury powerboat offers a max speed of 65 knots appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.


Carl Hansen & Søn delves into its archives for Colonial furniture collection

Danish design brand Carl Hansen & Søn has put Ole Wanscher's 1964 Colonial Sofa back into production to complement the designer's popular Colonial Chair. (more…)


Great Furniture Pieces That Work Indoors and Out (17 photos)

If you live in a climate with a harsh winter season, summertime can be a blessing and curse: You want to soak up all the sun you can, but it can be hard to justify investing in a set of furnishings you’ll use only one-half to one-third (or even less) of the year. Fear not. There are many great outdoor...


History Stays Alive in This Brooklyn Home

Modern Brooklyn renovation street facade

Margarita McGrath and Scott Oliver of Noroof Architects termed the 1,650-square-foot house in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, “Pushmi-Pullyu,” in reference to the interior-exterior flow they created. Resident Jill Magid, pictured on her front steps with son Linus, is a conceptual artist; she fabricated the neon house numbers.


If it’s not the raw brick siding, it’s the house numbers—a sleek neon “175” in sans serif font—that give it away. The miniature, functional art piece is the work of Jill Magid, a conceptual artist. She and her husband, advertising executive Jonny Bauer, finished a head-to-toe remodel of their row house in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn in mid-2013, and those neon house numbers act as a modern beacon on an otherwise unremarkable street. 

The couple bought the home—located at the end of a row of three matching turn-of-the-century workers’ homes—in June of 2011, then hired local firm Noroof Architects for the renovation. The five-month permitting process was the first stumbling block; during inspections with their architects, engineers, contractors, and city officials, they learned that the light remodel they had anticipated was turning into a major gut job. “But we were so determined to keep the shell,” says Bauer. 

To start, the circa-1899 house had no real foundation: It was situated on sand. The structure was so unsound that the contractor wanted to take down the street-facing facade, but Magid and Bauer put their collective foot down. Houses on the street all had brick fronts until the 1970s, when local contracting companies started selling vinyl siding—now the  dominant facade material in Greenpoint. The original brick front tied the structure to its historical fabric, a main selling point for the couple. In order to shore up the exterior, the architects had to painstakingly add a poured-concrete load-bearing wall into the brick shell. Noroof partner Scott Oliver says, “We took the studs off inside of the brick. Every four feet, we had to pour concrete, let it set, and pour a little more.”

The city also recommended covering the original ceiling beams on the first floor, which Magid and Bauer wanted to expose. The beams were “the only thing I fell on my sword for,” says Bauer. After some investigating, Noroof found a fireproofing paint for steel that is also made for wood, but only in one color—white. “I had to write to the city to get special permission to use it,” Noroof partner Margarita McGrath says. Both architect and client agree the trouble was worth it: “We were all really worried about it looking like a condo.”

Several updated touches define the first-floor living space. To make sure it didn’t look too new, the homeowners chose reclaimed wood: Elm for the window seat was handpicked by their older son, Linus, from a tree farm outside of Hudson, New York; the ash flooring was reclaimed from a demolished church in Ohio. Noroof designed a canted window, set into the thick, property-line-adjacent party wall, which they call the “Breuer window” for its resemblance to the iconic fenestration of the Whitney Museum. They used a matching blackened steel for the custom staircase, which, though open between the risers and along the sides, hews to the city’s mandated maximum gap of four-and-a-half inches. The decoration is kept spare: Patterned Moroccan concrete tiles delineate the entry area, and seamless built-in storage by the front door jamb keeps detritus in check. (“We’re very messy people, and we need as much stuff to be stowed away as possible,” Bauer says.)

Because of the extensive structural work required in the renovation, material decisions were not taken lightly. Magid and Bauer invested most of their funds in the reclaimed flooring and a few pieces of custom woodwork in the kitchen that surround off-the-rack Ikea cabinetry. They also splurged on an outdoor barbecue by Tec that the family regularly uses to cook, even in the winter. “Being Australian, this is most important to me,” Bauer explains. “We cook 70 percent of our meals here.” Economical choices include James Hardie cement-panel lap siding for the back facade, simple Decorators White paint by Benjamin Moore, and concrete masonry unit walls and a concrete floor slab for the first-floor rear extension.

Despite well-laid plans once the construction got underway, the layout changed when the family learned that Linus would be getting a younger sibling. The family had Noroof reconfigure the upstairs so that the master bedroom, initially slated for the front of the house, moved to the rear extension, next to a shared bathroom. Baby Banks, now a year old, occupies a petite chamber carved out on top of the stairwell—complete with a window onto the upstairs landing and a built-in changing table—next to his older brother’s room. Linus resides in the “quietest room in the house,” which is outfitted with a bunk bed by Oeuf, nautical wallpaper, custom floor-to-ceiling built-in storage, and a rocket-ship mobile scored on a trip to Mexico City. 

In the year since its completion, the neighbors have taken to the reconstructed home. “Some of the old houses have been demolished, so people have thanked us for saving ours,” says Bauer. “They bring us cheesecake once a week. Our son walks their dog. It’s pretty safe, and it’s a real neighborhood.” Judging from the number of passersby ringing the doorbell to catch a glimpse of the makeover, the new-old house is a welcome addition indeed.


Soap bubbles traverse colourful landscapes in A Love Like Pi’s music video

Music: photographer Kim Pimmel used soap, water and food dyes to create the multicoloured visuals in this music video for A Love Like Pi's single Jack and the Giant (+ movie). (more…)


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Architect Mahmood Fallahian

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