Inhabitat does a good job of bringing design news to me with the environmental bent. Here are 2 recent Architectural designs with their fair share of cool.
First the MirrorCube treehouse hotel room, one of a set of individually designed hotel retreat rooms in the Swedish woods. The Treehotel features other rooms like the birds nest and blue cone. I really love the mirror idea, a clearly very man-made creation that feels so technological and futuristic, yet it sits so divinely in the landscape - reflecting back the nature all around. The design of this room is by Tham & Videgard Architects which should be applauded I think despite criticism for possible impact on birds and cleaning etc. This from their site "To prevent birds colliding with the tree hotel, a infrared film, visible for birds only, will be laminated into the glass panes." which also sounds pretty clever. See the official site for more.
[Mirrocube images via Inhabitat]
MAD Architects have designed a new museum for Xiamen in China which again features mirrors, this time on an amorphous cloud structure standing high above the ground below. I am liking this boom in China, that we are seeing some innovative designs coming through, far beyond any basic needs. Though the images dont illustrate the solar panels and green landscape to occupy the rooftop, the whole thing is another interesting mix of extreme high-tech and communion with nature and the environment. See Inhabitat article for more.
[Metallic cloud museum by MAD via Inhabitat]