TBA adds pale brick volume to traditional Montreal "shoebox" home

deNormanville by Thomas Balaban Architect

Curved glass doors puncture the residential extension of this brick house in Montreal, designed by local studio TBA.

Called DeNormanville, the single-storey dwelling is in Montreal’s Rosemont borough, also known as La Petite-Patrie. It comprises a historic red brick home with a paler, more contemporary addition.

deNormanville by Thomas Balaban Architect

Tom Balaban Architect (TBA) designed the extension for the house to both connect and contrast with the original structure, which is known as a shoebox home.

These dwellings were erected in Montreal in the early the 20th century in tandem with the development of the tramway system, but over the decades they have been replaced with low-rise, multi-unit apartment buildings.

deNormanville by Thomas Balaban Architect

Recently, however, regulations have been put in place to retain such homes and TBA’s project joins this movement.

“DeNormanville is part of the first wave of protection-era additions exploring new avenues for a more modest transformation of the city’s ubiquitous one-storey typology,” TBA said.

deNormanville by Thomas Balaban Architect

“The modest flat-roofed, single-storey boxes were built as starter homes, often measuring no more than 600 square feet (55 square metres) in area,” it added.

“The shoebox was usually a self-build, designed to be expanded upon in a piecemeal fashion as need and money arose.”

deNormanville by Thomas Balaban Architect

TBA built the addition close to a street, concealing the traditional home in the rear. It is designed around the property’s mature Siberian elms, and features a glass front door that accesses a foyer and an open-plan kitchen and dining room.

A corridor acts as the structural spine of the addition linking to the original home, and contains a bathroom, storage and laundry.

In the rear of the property, where the original home is located, are a living room, two bedrooms, a bathroom and a separate entrance.

“The goal was to conserve not just the existing house but also the single storey topology,” TBA added.

deNormanville by Thomas Balaban Architect

In total, DeNormanville measures 135 square metres. The extension’s interiors are bright with white walls, pale wood floors and white cabinets and closets.

Large portions of glazing offer a connection to both the front garden and courtyard, including a rounded glass wall that accesses a pebbled courtyard in between the old and new structures. A glazed wall within the home also offers a view from the entry to the enclosed patio.

deNormanville by Thomas Balaban Architect

Montreal is host to a number of home renovations by local studios, including a Victorian townhouse revitalised by Michael Godmer in the city’s Outremont neighbourhood.

Others are Appareil Architecture’s Du Rocher Residence and Hampstead House by Robitaille Curtis, both of which were built in the 1960s and have received a new lease of life.

Photography is by TBA.

Project credits:

Project team: Tom Balaban, Jennifer Thorogood, Mikaèle Fol, Pascale Julien
Engineer: Latéral

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Geographer: Slave To The Rhythm

“I think this song is about being an artist, a creator of consumable emotions, a performer,” Geographer (aka Mike Deni) says to us of “Slave To The Rhythm,” the spellbinding lead track off the celestial synth-pop musician’s upcoming LP, Down And Out In The Garden Of Earthly Delights (out 4 December). Deni recorded the track, a warm wave of emotion and instrumentation, in Tiny Telephone’s B room in San Francisco. He adds, “Perhaps ironically, I decided with this one to not cater to the traditional pop song structure, I guess kind of in opposition to the outcry of the song. I stretched it as far as I could, the vocal chopping section with the saxophones. Recording it was deeply satisfying.” Mirroring that, the experience of listening satisfies, too.


Imbue Design constructs off-grid residence Boar Shoat in Idaho

Boar Shoat by Imbue Design

Architecture firm Imbue Design has designed this low-lying off-grid residence on a desolate, grassy lot in Idaho for a family to “distance themselves from social stresses”.

Boar Shoat by Imbue Design

Boar Shoat was designed for a family looking for an isolated place it could go to as a retreat in Paris, Idaho. Its name is a made-up term that the clients translate as “youthful vivacity”.

Imbue Design has nestled the 2,125-square-foot (197-square-metre) compound, which comprises a garage, main residence, and guest house, into a grassy berm surrounded by the Rocky Mountains.

Boar Shoat by Imbue Design

“He wanted a retreat – a place where he and his family could distance themselves from social stresses, withdraw digital connection, and commune with nature and each other,” said Imbue Design, which worked with local company YNot Construction on the project.

Boar Shoat by Imbue Design

Three separated structures clad with strips of brown metal panelling from Kingspan enclose a large outdoor living space.

An expansive roof canopy layered above the connects each of them to form a single volume. Cut into the covering is an oculus that pours light onto the patio, which extends outward from the tri-form structure.

“Intended as a crash pad and base camp, three small structures gather under an open-air pavilion, encapsulating the client’s main concept for the project – a spartan shelter within the Bear River range,” the studio added.

Since there are no utility connections nearby, the house implements several passive and off-grid design strategies, including photovoltaic panelling on the roof and insulation and sealing techniques to achieve a tight building envelope.

Boar Shoat by Imbue Design

The array of solar panels on the roof generate the electricity and heat to power the house, while water is supplied by a cistern container, located in the garage, that is refilled regularly by a local supplier.

All of the windows and sliding glass doors are positioned to take in optimal sunlight that warms the interiors in wintertime, while the roof overhangs provide shade and minimise heat in summer months.

Boar Shoat by Imbue Design

Inside each of the buildings, wood planks line the ceiling and concrete floors are left untreated to preserve the markings that will be left on them over time. All of the interior walls are white to form a backdrop for the artwork created by the client’s daughters.

Boar Shoat by Imbue Design

Sleek wood cabinetry contrasts against the marble backsplash and countertop in the kitchen. A wood dining table extends out from the island counter.

All of the furnishings were selected by the client’s wife and include a curvaceous recliner, a rugged coffee table and rectangular black fireplace.

Boar Shoat by Imbue Design

Imbue Design is a Utah architecture studio founded in 2008. It has completed a number of other houses on rugged, mountainous sites including a timber-clad residence built around a central courtyard and a rusty steel dwelling formed by two L-shaped volumes.

Photography is by Imbue Design.

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Embroidered Yin Yang Hoodie

Embroidered with their Arran Gregory-designed yin yang logo, Ghostly’s newest piece of merchandise subtly nods to the record label’s spooky mascot. The boxy hoodie (available in small to extra large) suits all shapes and genders, and is crafted from 100% cotton. Made in the USA, this garment offers an understated way to represent the indie label.

Dezeen Weekly features houses with yoga and meditation rooms from around the globe

Hatley House by Pelletier de Fontenay

The latest edition of Dezeen Weekly includes houses with yoga and meditation rooms from around the globe and a watch museum designed by BIG resembling a Danish pastry. Subscribe to Dezeen Weekly ›

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To Save His Back, Guy Creates Ingenious Potato Harvesting Machine from Motorcycle Parts and Farm Equipment

Two years ago, Ukrainian farmer and inventor Yuriy Serbin rigged up a self-powered potato digger that drags a rectangular basket behind it. It looked like this:

The problem: Every time the bin fills up, Yuriy must bend over, lift the bin and empty it into a wheelbarrow. Doing this dozens or hundreds of times a day gets hard on the back.

After thinking about the problem, last year he came up with a modification by hacking some motorcycle parts and farm equipment together. It looks like this (all of the new parts are green):

Here’s how it works:

I don’t know if you watched until the end, but Yuriy reveals that 1) he’s no longer exhausted after getting through the whole field, and 2) he knows the design isn’t perfect; the smaller potatoes fall through the cracks.

That may lead to some marital trouble–it’s his wife’s job to pick up the small ones afterwards.

Explaining Black Holes in Five Ways

Research astronomer Varoujan Gorjian (whose team at NASA is called Structure of the Universe Group) explains Black Holes to five different individuals whose understanding exists at five different levels: a five-year old, a teenager, a grad student studying astronomy, and an expert. In the fascinating video for WIRED, super-personable Gorjian begins by explaining how gravity works and ends up discussing low-luminosity active galactic nuclei. While our understanding of the fascinating phenomenon varies, this video is sure to uncover some cosmic facts—and in an accessible manner. Learn more at WIRED.

Jean Jullien’s First-Ever Virtual Exhibition, “Home Slice”

“With painting, I enjoy trying to tell more, to visually translate moments. The time told is longer, the action less immediate, the point less important,” French artist Jean Jullien explains in text that appears throughout the interactive exhibition, Home Slice—his first-ever online show. Presented by San Francisco’s Chandran Gallery, the solo showcase acts as a prequel to the painter’s NYC exhibit (titled Slices), which aims to open in September. Home Slice is more than a website of charming illustrations paired with whimsical paintings of private moments (all set to a soundtrack); it offers a periscope into Jullien’s process, and a thoughtfully considered procession through the collection. Further, a percentage of the proceeds benefit the efforts of Fondation de France‘s direct support of healthcare workers. Check out the exhibition at homeslice.show.

The Cheat Sheets let you hack your oven and cook separate dishes together!

This article is a strong testament to how incredible silicone is as a material, but first and foremost, let’s just address the fact that Cheat Sheets is a creative-spark that was just waiting to happen. If you’ve ever made an elaborate roast, or experimented with multi-flavor desserts, or just watched a video on Buzzfeed Tasty, you’ll notice that oftentimes, your ingredients end up fighting for space on a single tray. Veggies, meats, breads, all end up on one platform, cooking for the same amount of time, and mixing up with each other. Some vegetables like broccoli cook faster, while others like potatoes take longer. Doughs require a very specific temperature setting while cheeses don’t. The baking tray often forces you to follow a one-setting-fits-all approach to cooking, which can often be a problem when foods end up getting over/undercooked, or mixed up with each other even though you want them to remain separated and compartmentalized. It’s almost a metaphor for the time we’re living in.

The Cheat Sheets are basically, and this reference couldn’t be more relevant, social distancing containers for your ingredients. You use the same baking tray, but the Cheat Sheets silicone containers sit ON the tray, giving you miniature compartments to cook your food in. Veggies like asparagus that need shorter cook times can be added in the same tray as salmon, which needs more time in the oven. Once you feel like the asparagus is done, just reach in with your baking mitten and pull just the asparagus container out of the oven and let the salmon still cook inside. It’s easy, simple, and here’s the best part – your baking tray never gets dirty!

Designed for better control, the Cheat Sheets don’t just allow you to segregate separate ingredients for the same dish, they let you simultaneously cook two separate dishes together too, separating them according to flavor. The most obvious instance is in desserts, where people tend to get picky. I, for instance, am a basic vanilla and fruit junkie, while others around me usually tend to gravitate towards decadent chocolate desserts. The Cheat Sheets allow you to simultaneously cook two separate dishes in their respective containers – as opposed to using rudimentary aluminum foil dividers, or running your oven for two separate cycles. The Cheat Sheets let you responsibly divide and utilize real estate on your baking tray, giving you the ability to be versatile, and still be in control of your cooking. In fact, each Cheat Sheet container-set comes with its own baking tray, as well as a handy guide that gives you cooking times and temperatures for all your food, so you never over or undercook any ingredient again.

The Cheat Sheets are made from high-quality food-grade silicone. In short, they’re safe to cook in, can withstand high temperatures, are extremely easy to clean, and can go right into a dishwasher. The silicone containers can go right into the fridge after they’ve cooled down too, and are classy-looking enough to directly eat from… because the last thing we need in this lockdown is to have to wash more dishes!

Designers: Chris Place & Will Matters of Prepd

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Cheat Sheets – Sheet Pan Cooking Reimagined

The Cheat Sheets is a completely new approach to sheet pan cooking. Oven-safe, non-stick silicone dividers that will streamline your cooking and divide your ingredients, to make one-pan meals and meal prepping a breeze.

Perfectly Cooked, Every Time

Sheet pan cooking isn’t always as simple as putting everything in the oven together and coming back to find it has all cooked evenly. Reality is, not everything takes the same amount of time to cook. With Cheat Sheets, you can easily remove ingredients when they’re ready and never overcook them again. They even tested the most popular everyday ingredients and created an easy timing guide so that you’ll get perfect results every time.

Meal Prep Made Easy

Cheat Sheets are made for meal prep. With their modular dividers, you can cook all of your ingredients with even better organization and control.

You can fit up to 6x small portions or 3x large portions on a single sheet pan and with multiple sets, you’ll have everything you need to prep for the family or a week’s worth of meals.

Keep’em Separated

With Cheat Sheets you can easily separate ingredients and flavors without having them mingle. Whether you want to use different marinades, cook savory and sweet dishes at the same time, or simply don’t want your food to touch, Cheat Sheets has you covered.

Separation also comes in handy for families with different preferences, allowing you to create different portions for those with special dietary requirements or specific tastes.

Zero Waste, Zero Mess

Aluminum foil and parchment paper are hugely wasteful and non-recyclable. Sheet pans are also notoriously difficult to clean, collecting stains and grime with every meal.

With Cheat Sheets you’ll never have to scrub another sheet pan again and you’ll save tonnes of wasted paper and foil. Cheat Sheets are naturally non-stick so clean-up is a breeze. They’re also dishwasher safe.

Click Here to Buy Now: $39 $59 (33% off). Hurry, only 9/1875 left! Raised over $930,000.

A/D/O creative space closes permanently due to pandemic

A/D/O creative space closes due to pandemic

Car brand MINI is closing A/D/O, its creative hub in Brooklyn, due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

A/D/O said that MINI will not renew investment “given the current climate of uncertainty resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic” in a statement released today.

Its rentable studios The Workspace, The Shop and the open space for casual working, exhibitions and events, will be shut by 31 May.

“A/D/O was launched by MINI to empower the design community to explore creative solutions to improve urban life and it has always been a communal effort,” said A/D/O managing director Nate Pinsley.

“We are profoundly grateful to our Greenpoint neighbours, the international creative community and our Brooklyn-based team and partners who made this unusual endeavour into something truly unique.”

URBAN-X by MINI accelerator to continue virtually

The Rule of Thirds restaurant by Sunday Hospitality Group, which opened last month in place of the initial Norman eatery, will continue to operate separately.

The car brand will also continue with URBAN-X by MINI, its accelerator for startups focused on city life. It said the initiative will continue to function virtually during the pandemic and later find a new physical space.

Established in an old warehouse 2017, following a conversion designed by New York studio nArchitects, A/D/O was intended as a space for designers and the public to congregate and share ideas.

A/D/O hosted design exhibits and talks

Over the past three years it held a series of design-focused talks, including the Spirit of the City series with Dezeen, and small-scale exhibitions, such as a temporary clay-extruding factory designed by London studio Assemble.

It also presented a pavilion as part of the city’s annual design festival NYCxDesign festival, with projects such as Studio INI’s morphing canopy and United Visual Artists gold-mirrored columns.

“Although we’ve made the difficult decision to close our doors, we’re confident the idea which has permeated everything we’ve done – the belief that good design can change the world – will continue to inspire everyone who has been a part of our journey,” Pinsley added.

Museums, events and shows are shut, cancelled or postponed

The coronavirus pandemic has caused lockdown restrictions in countries across the globe and an economic downturn that has been likened to the 2008 financial crash.

Across the world, museums have been shut and events and shows have either been cancelled or postponed due to the crisis further stifling activity. These include Salone del Mobile and the Venice Architecture Biennale, which are considered the design and architecture industry’s biggest events.

A number of creative businesses are at risk and fear they could go out of business as the economy slows down. The American Insitute of Architects recently asked for improved aid, including loans and tax breaks, to help architecture firms in the US.

Photograph is courtesy of A/D/O.

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