Disney_Den via Flickr// CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Disney_Den via Flickr// CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Massachusetts Home Built with 100,000 Newspapers

Disney_Den via Flickr// CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Disney_Den via Flickr// CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

There are lots of ways to recycle old newspapers—you can use them to wrap a gift, line your bird cage, or build the walls of a house. 

The latter is what Elis F. Stenmen did when he began constructing the frame of his summer home in 1922. As a hobby, the mechanical engineer—whose day job was designing machines that made paper clips—decided to build the walls of his Rockport, Massachusetts house from newspaper. With help from friends and family, Stenmen collected approximately 100,000 newspapers over the next 20 years. The 1-inch walls are made from 215 layers of newspaper that were glued together using flour, water, and apple peels and sealed with a layer of varnish on the outside. 

Laura via Flickr //CC BY-NC 2.0

Stenmen initially chose newspaper because he figured it would make good insulation, but his success with the walls inspired him to take the project one step further. He used tightly rolled-up newspapers to construct functioning chairs, tables, lamps, and a grandfather clock for the inside. The only pieces not made entirely from newspapers are the piano, which is still completely covered in them, and the mantle above the brick fireplace

Disney_Den via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Besides being a quirky piece of architecture, the “Paper House” is also a monument to early 20th century history. The writing desk is made from stories related to Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight, and the radio cabinet displays coverage of Herbert Hoover’s presidential campaign. On the grandfather clock guests will find mastheads from the capital city newspapers of what were, at the time, all 48 states.

Patrick Donovan via Flickr //CC BY-NC 2.0

Stenmen passed away in 1942, and the Paper House has since fallen under the care of his grandniece, Edna Beaudoin. It’s open to visitors every day from 10 am to 5 pm during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. Admission is $1.00 for children and $1.50 for adults, which is a whole dollar less than an issue of The New York Times

[h/t: The Paper House]

Futuristic New Street Toilets Are Coming to San Francisco

San Francisco’s streets are getting shiny new additions: futuristic-looking public toilets. Co.Design reports that San Francisco’s Department of Public Works has chosen a new design for self-cleaning street toilets by the architectural firm SmithGroupJJR that will eventually replace the city’s current public toilets.

The design is a stark contrast to the current San Francisco toilet aesthetic, a green knockoff of Paris’s Sanisettes. (They’re made by the same company that pioneered the Parisian version, JCDecaux.) The tall, curvy silver pods, called AmeniTREES, are topped with green roof gardens designed to collect rainwater that can then be used to flush the toilets and clean the kiosks themselves. They come in several different variations, including a single or double bathroom unit, one with benches, a street kiosk that can be used for retail or information services, and a design that can be topped by a tree. The pavilions also have room for exterior advertising.

Renderings of the silver pod bathrooms from the side and the top

“The design blends sculpture with technology in a way that conceptually, and literally, reflects San Francisco’s unique neighborhoods,” the firm’s design principal, Bill Katz, explained in a press statement. “Together, the varied kiosks and public toilets design will also tell a sustainability story through water re-use and native landscapes.”

San Francisco has a major street-poop problem, in part due to its large homeless population. The city has the second biggest homeless population in the country, behind New York City, and data collected in 2017 shows that the city has around 7500 people living on its streets. Though the city started rolling out sidewalk commodes in 1996, it doesn’t have nearly enough public toilets to match demand. There are only 28 public toilets across the city right now, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

These designs aren’t ready to go straight into construction first—the designers have to work with JCDeaux, which installs the city’s toilets, to adapt them “to the realities of construction and maintenance,” as the Chronicle puts it. Then, those plans will have to be submitted to the city’s arts commission and historic preservation commission before they can be installed.

[h/t Co.Design]

Houben and Van Mierlo Architecten
Dutch City Will Become the World's First to Build Inhabitable 3D-Printed Concrete Houses
Houben and Van Mierlo Architecten
Houben and Van Mierlo Architecten

A new 3D-printed concrete housing development is coming to the Netherlands in 2019, CNN reports. The structures will be the first habitable 3D-printed concrete houses in the world, according to Project Milestone, the organization behind the initiative.

While architects and engineers have been experimenting with 3D-printed buildings for several years, most of those structures have just been prototypes. The Dutch development, located in Eindhoven, is expected to be ready for its first residents by mid-2019.

Project Milestone is a collaboration between the city of Eindhoven, Eindhoven University of Technology, the contractor Van Wijnen, the real estate company Vesteda—which will own and manage the houses—the engineering consultancy Witteveen+Bos, and the construction materials company Weber Beamix.

A rendering of boulder-like homes in the middle of a field
Houben and Van Mierlo Architecten

The five planned homes will be built one by one, giving the architects and engineers time to adjust their process as needed. The development is expected to be completed over the next five years.

The housing development won’t look like your average residential neighborhood: The futuristic houses resemble massive boulders with windows in them. The first house, scheduled for completion in 2019, will be a 1022-square-foot, three-room home. It will be a single-story house, though all the rest of the homes will have multiple stories. The first house will be built using the concrete printer on the Eindhoven University of Technology’s campus, but eventually the researchers hope to move the whole fabrication process on-site.

In the next few years, 3D-printed houses will likely become more commonplace. A 3D-printed home in Tennessee is expected to break ground sometime later in 2018. One nonprofit is currently trying to raise money to build a development of 100 3D-printed houses in El Salvador within the next two years. And there is already a 3D-printed office building open in Dubai.

In Eindhoven, residents appear to be fairly eager for the development to open. Twenty families have already applied to live in the first home.

You can learn more about the construction process in the video below.

[h/t CNN]


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