National Trust (March 27, 2023) – In this episode of The Wild Life, a new series of nature films from the National Trust, Paralympic medallist and TV presenter, Ade Adepitan explores Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve – one of Europe’s most important wetlands.
The Fen, which has been under the care of the National Trust since 1899, supports more than 9,000 species, including a wide variety of plants, birds and dragonflies. The raised boardwalk allows easy access to a landscape of flowering meadows, sedge and reed beds, home to water voles and rare birds, including hen harrier and bittern. Introduced by presenter Julia Bradbury, this film sheds light on how climate change is affecting Wicken Fen and the biodiversity it supports.
You’ll also find out about the work being done to protect wildlife habitats and ensure the peat here continues to store carbon. Ade discovers how Wicken Fen connects people to nature and learns more about future plans to extend the site. He also meets the Konik ponies and Highland cattle, which help to support this fragile landscape through conservation grazing.
CBS Sunday Morning (March 26, 2023) – To photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher, the rapidly vanishing industrial architecture of Western Europe and North America were works of art. The German couple’s documentary images of transmission towers, gas tanks, blast furnaces and smokestacks – structures that signified the end of an industrial era – are being celebrated in a comprehensive retrospective now at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Lee Cowan offers us a tour.
The renowned German artists Bernd and Hilla Becher (1931–2007; 1934–2015) changed the course of late twentieth-century photography. Working as a rare artist couple, they focused on a single subject: the disappearing industrial architecture of Western Europe and North America that fueled the modern era.
Their seemingly objective style recalled nineteenth- and early twentieth-century precedents but also resonated with the serial approach of contemporary Minimalism and Conceptual art. Equally significant, it challenged the perceived gap between documentary and fine art photography.
The Local Project – (March 21, 2023) – Only reachable by boat, Marra Marra Shack by Leopold Banchini Architects is a hidden eco-friendly timber cabin that embraces a quiet lifestyle removed from the bustle of city living.
Video timeline:00:00 – Introduction to the Eco-Friendly Timber Cabin 00:46 – The Site and its Location 01:06 – The Brief: Simplicity and Discovery 01:30 – Working with a Remote Construction Site 01:59 – Hand Built and Off-Grid 02:32 – A Walkthrough of the Cabin 03:06 – The Feature Window 03:57 – A Timber Structure 04:29 – Custom Made Furniture 05:00 – The Materials 05:36 – Hidden in Plain Sight
As Leopold Banchini Architects’s first Australian project, the hidden eco-friendly timber cabin required only two bedrooms, easy living spaces and a connection to landscape. Using the occasion to discover the Australian landscape, the Swiss architect has used the unique crafts only available in this country. The entire building has been completed by two carpenters and using materials that required no heavy machinery.
Additionally, each chosen material responds directly to the complexity of weather, tides and floods experienced in the unique riverside location. Sitting on a slope, the hidden eco-friendly timber cabin welcomes guests with an awe-inspiring reveal upon arrival at the renovated jetty. After walking up the stairs the house tour begins at the entrance to the main living spaces, which includes the living room, dining area and kitchen. Located to the rear of the shack are two smaller bedrooms with bathrooms, both of which have been designed to offer solitude where the owners can enjoy their own space.
Finished with a large window that overlooks the river, the living room gives the impression that the home sits upon the water instead of above. By using counterweights, the opened window turns the living space into an inside and outside deck, allowing a deeper connection to the wider surrounds. The interior of the hidden eco-friendly timber cabin has been imbued with locally sourced timbers, including iron bark that is used for the pillars that hold the home together. Other elements within the home, including the stairs and flooring, are made from turpentine wood from the old jetty, while spotted gum forms the structural beams along the roof of the cabin.
Additionally, the furniture of the home has been designed specifically for Marra Marra Shack by using leftover wood from the construction. Other elements in the home, including the fireplace, sink and all steel elements, have been custom made to resolve the few needs of the owners while staying in the house. Being in the middle of an Australian national park, the architect had to respond to certain elemental outcomes including floods, fire and tide heights. Built up on a slope to respond to the conditions, the exterior of the home has also been covered in fibre cement and plaster board to address fire safety in the warmer months.
While the exterior of the hidden eco-friendly timber cabin appears to be made of other materials, it is evident when entering the home that the interior is entirely made of timber. Elevated and surrounded by trees, Marra Marra Shack does not transform the landscape but becomes one with it.
The Local Project – (March 21, 2023) – Celebrating a 1970s clifftop house and its original design, Stawell House by Architects EAT is a culmination of subtle restorations and additions that bring a modern liveliness to the home’s 50-year-old history.
Video timeline:00:00 – Introduction to the 1970s Clifftop House 00:26 – The Location and The History 00:56 – Clifftop Views 01:14 – A Walkthrough of the Home 01:53 – Experiencing Everything Nature Has to Offer 02:08 – The Materials 03:18 – A Personal Project for the Owners 03:57 – The Landscape 04:18 – A Restoration Project not a Redesign
Located in Studley Park, Melbourne, the 1970s clifftop house showcased original architecture that could not be replicated. However, desiring a respectful and modern update the clients chose to collaborate with Architects EAT, who agreed that retaining Stawell House’s character was important. While also taking on the role of project managers, the owners were able to maintain an intimate and collaborative throughout the entire process of restorations. Overlooking the Yarra River, the 1970s clifftop house asserts itself as part of the landscape blending effortlessly into the topography.
As the house tour begins, Stawell House’s modern renovations unfold like a sincere love letter to its original form. Beginning from the façade, the red brick home references the traditional build, yet once the door opens modern uplifts begin to take centre stage. After a linear skylight leads onto the kitchen and dining space, guests and owners make way to the balcony, which overlooks the west. Additionally, a spare bedroom and bathroom and the master bedroom have been installed on the entrance level to allow the owners ease of movement from private rooms to the public spaces.
Located downstairs, the guest room has been built with an ensuite containing an outdoor bathtub allowing the guest to fully experience the elements. To deal with the effects of a west-facing house, the architects have delivered a range of architectural devices which includes external steel shading. The external materials used for the 1970s clifftop house provide a weather resistance while also maintaining a tree like appearance to fit in with the surrounds. Honouring the original layout of the home, the floorplan remains wide as to allow an ease of movement and living.
Furthermore, timber cladding has been heavily featured on the internal walls and windows. Taken from the original home, the timber has been painstakingly removed, sanded and oiled again before re-use. Managing the entire construction process themselves, the owners work closely with the builders and trades to deliver personal modern updates to the 1970s clifftop house. Showing Architects EAT a range of design inspirations found in magazines, the owners were able to collaborate and create a home that reflects their personalities.
Additionally, the owner has also worked on the landscape, adding a deep personal touch that will grow with the home. Focused more on restoration rather than redesign, Architects EAT have worked closely with the owners and the trades to create a defining home for the modern age.
Curves Magazin (March 20, 2023) – An epic road trip through Patagonia in Southern Argentina.
Patagonia, semiarid scrub plateau that covers nearly all of the southern portion of mainland Argentina. With an area of about 260,000 square miles (673,000 square kilometres), it constitutes a vast area of steppe and desert that extends south from latitude 37° to 51° S.
It is bounded, approximately, by the Patagonian Andes to the west, the Colorado River to the north (except where the region extends north of the river into the Andean borderlands), the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Strait of Magellan to the south; the region south of the strait—Tierra del Fuego, which is divided between Argentina and Chile—also is often included in Patagonia.
Desert and semidesert cover the Patagonian tableland that extends from the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean. The general aspect of this tableland is one of vast steppelike (i.e., virtually treeless) plains, rising in terrace fashion from high coastal cliffs to the foot of the Andes; but the true aspect of the plains is by no means as simple as such a general description would imply. The land along the Negro River rises in a series of fairly level terraces from about 300 feet (90 metres) at the coast to about 1,300 feet at the junction of the Limay and Neuquén rivers and 3,000 feet at the base of the Andes. The tableland region rises to an altitude of 5,000 feet.
South of the Negro River, the plains are much more irregular. Volcanic eruptions occurred in this area until fairly recent times, and basaltic sheets covered the tableland east of Lakes Buenos Aires and Pueyrredón. Near the Chico and Santa Cruz rivers, the plains have spread to within about 50 miles (80 kilometres) of the coast and reach almost to the coast south of the Coig and Gallegos rivers. In places, basaltic massifs (mountain masses) are the salient features of the landscape.
Spain Revealed (March 19, 2023) – The cuisine from the Region of Valencia enjoys great prestige at both a national and international level. Its traditional recipes are prepared using natural ingredients such as oil, vegetables, spices, fruit, fresh meat or fish and has come to be known as “the Mediterranean Diet”.
The incredible variety of rice dishes and desserts is outstanding. All this without forgetting the great variety of fruit which the Region of Valencia produces in abundance. Its traditional soft drinks have also become well-known, such as tiger nut milk (“horchata de chufa”). Its long wine-growing tradition has given rise to a delicious range of wines with their Denominations of Origin, which when added to the local soups comprise some of the most exquisite recipes of Valencian cooking.
The Local Project – (March 17, 2023) – Located on the Mornington Peninsula, Somers House is a dream home that enjoys close proximity to the beach and the native coastal landscape. Crafted by Kennedy Nolan, the house presents both sustainability and accessibility as a design priority, embodying the concept of a coastal retreat and playing into the experience of the unique Australian biome.
Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Coastal Retreat 00:37 – The Importance of Accessibility and Sustainability 01:12 – A Weather Responsive Home 01:34 – A Private and Hidden Retreat 01:59 – Abstract and Composed Facade 02:24 – Easy and Hidden Accessibility 02:58 – Amanda Oliver – Long-Term Collaborator 03:38 – The Details and Materials 04:10 – Proud Moments
Responding to its beachfront location, Somers House provides residents with a sense of protection from the strong, salty winds, creating opportunities for them to comfortably watch changing weather roll in from multiple vistas. The design brief detailed a dream home in which architecture and interior design work in unison to embrace the changing seasons, welcoming in the warm weather and sealing off from the cold.
Externally, Somers House engages the imagination of onlookers whilst revealing little of the true nature of its interiority. A large, shallow arch forms a cave into which cars can be parked and the abstract architecture of the dream home enhances the sense of privacy afforded to its residents. The red ochre colour of the exterior is intended to reference the colours of the earth and both grounds the home and allows it stand out among the colours of the surrounding flora.
A house tour of the dream home instantly reveals the ways in which accessibility has been considered. Wheelchair access is ensured across all three levels and the bathrooms are especially designed in order to establish maximum levels of comfort. Sliding doors allow residents access to the fresh coastal air and draw the sound of the sea into the home. Precise detailing solidifies the status of Somers House as a dream home.
The presentation of each fireplace is refined and sophisticated, reflecting the client’s interest in craftmanship. A sustainable material palette of concrete, steel, timber, stone and brass allows for a multi-faceted tactile experience to take place across the home. Representing the complete realisation of an idea, Somers House forms a compelling response to its beachfront location. An accessible coastal retreat, the dream home is a testament to the ability of Kennedy Nolan to be led by both client and site.
March 17, 2023: We take a trip on the JR Yosan Line through the local history and culture of Ehime Prefecture. Learn modern history at a railroad museum featuring exhibits you can touch and a theme park located on the former site of a copper mine. Dive into an age-old culture at a hot spring town where Geiko entertainers delight guests. A beloved tourist train with dining cars takes us right along the sea and stops at a popular lookout. Experience Gagaku Imperial Court Music at an ancient Shinto shrine.
Smithsonian Channel (March 16, 2023) – No one is allowed up the historic Chania lighthouse anymore which, for hundreds of years, had guided sailors along the coast. But historian Bettany Hughes has special permission–and she’s taking us with her.
The original Venetian lighthouse was built around the late 16th century to protect the harbour. A chain could be connected from the base of the lighthouse to the fortress of Firkas in oder to close the harbour.
During the Turkish occupation the lighthouse fell into disrepair and was eventually rebuilt between 1824 and 1832 in the form of a minaret. The modern lighthouse is often referred to as ‘ Egyptian’ because it was built during a time where Crete was occupied by Egyptian troops who were supporting the weakening Ottoman Empire against the rebelious Cretans.
Architectural Digest (March 16, 2023) – Architect Nicholas Potts returns for another history-revealing walking tour, this time exploring the ever-evolving look of SoHo in New York City. From stone-mimicking cast-iron details to repurposed mercantile buildings with soaring glass windows, Nick breaks down the surprising history and motivations that led to the distinctive style “South of Houston.”