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Knitted Bricks Give New Life to a Forgotten Material

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Young and innovative architecture firm Tropical Space in Vietnam shake up all the assumptions about dowdy old brick.

Termitary House in Da Nang City, Vietnam revolutionises how brick is used in buildings.

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On the ground floor, directly inside the street entrance is the open plan living, cooking and dining area.

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Leading out to a modest back courtyard, the brick is paired with generous bamboo french doors.

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Although right on the street, there is a sense of privacy.

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In their imaginative rethink, the architects envision brick knitted into a cooling screen for the ground floor living room.

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The bright red brick is improbably paired with bamboo bookcases – and it works.

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Even constructing a second floor, the knitted brick is used to create a breezy throughway for the most private rooms.

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The same bamboo screen is used to conceal the street through the front door.

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The multiple junctions between various treatments of brick creates graphic interest.

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A double stairway is a gallery of knitted brick textures.

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Altogether a rich and fascinating series of contrasts.

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Along with the knitted brick screen wall, a screen door by the day bed also facilitates air flow.

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The warmth of the brick is a real surprise.

Sunlight filters in from every wall.

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In the double height central space an overhead skylight brings daylight down.

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The result is an innovative and utterly porous house that is also completely private.

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Sculptural Home for Art Collectors Includes Rooftop Pool

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A three story home at Samosaguas on the outskirts of Madrid by A-cero Architects houses an art studio and pool on the top floor.

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Who would suspect there is a reservoir-like swimming pool hiding in plain sight here at this sculptural entry suggesting natural stratified rock formation.

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Yet almost the entire top floor, which also houses an art studio, is actually swimmable.

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The architectural textured concrete swoop that appears to be pure art also conceals the swimmers from the street.

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When lit from below, there is a hint of the very large scale of this body of water.

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Housing a second children’s indoor pool inside, the exterior of the top floors is textured horizontally in the concrete formwork to appear like natural stratified rock.

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The shapes of these swooping elements when reflected in the pool are pretty out there!

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The shape of the house is highly unusual, but it is not quite as sci-fi looking as the reflection in the top floor pool suggests!

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The home is designed to house a stunning art collection.

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The beautiful swoop shape of the pool is repeated to very elegantly contain a different element – not water but fire.

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Art fills the hallways and public spaces of the home.

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To present the art in a gallery-like neutrality, huge white ceramic tiles are used throughout.

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The sense of a gallery is reinforced by large expanses of white on the ground floor.

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Even the furnishings like this dining table are conceived as art objects within the space.

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When not in use, the dining room table and chairs closes up into a pure box shape.

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Even the tiniest children get starter art in their own way.

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The architects designed some of the exterior forms for repetition inside.

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In this way, the very sculptural forms of the building exterior are continued seamlessly inside.

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Custom-designed kitchen chairs slide under a cantilevered section of the kitchen prep zone.

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The shape is repeated in the bedroom to create a sleeping platform.

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From the stunning art collection on the lowest level, one can walk out to a nearby lake.

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Looking back from here one really appreciates the choice of materials and shape which stacks naturally like a stratified rock formation, in complete harmony with the landscape.

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6 Ways a Get Money from Your Home Without Selling

Whether you’re looking to get some money for a home renovation or want to pad your retirement fund, you can get money from your home. You can either tap into the equity of your home in several ways or use your home itself to earn you extra money. Keep reading for six ways that you can get money from your home without selling it.

Cash-out Refinance

When you have a high percentage of equity in your home, you can do a cash-out refinance to pay off your current loan and give you a lower interest rate. You get cashback from the refinance because the new loan is above that of your previous payoff amount. You can use this money to perform major home renovations or remodeling projects to increase the overall value of your home. If you prefer, you can tuck that money away for a rainy day or retirement.

Reverse Mortgage

If you’re approaching retirement age and feel that you need to put a large chunk of money in your account, a reverse mortgage could be the best choice for you. A reverse mortgage is called such because it works in nearly the exact opposite way of a traditional mortgage in that a lender pays the homeowner a dollar amounts equal to a determined percentage of the equity in their home.

This does not mean that the lender then owns the home. The homeowner continues living in the home until it is sold when they either pass away or move to a long-term care facility. At which time, the loan will come due and either the homeowner or their heirs will repay the loan.

Because of the unique nature of a reverse mortgage, there are strict requirements that must be met for a homeowner to qualify. Requirements include but are not limited to:

  • The borrower must be at least 62 years old.
  • The borrower must own at least 40% equity in the home.
  • The home must be the primary residence (vacation homes and rental properties aren’t eligible).
  • The borrower must meet with a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved reverse mortgage counselor.

You can get an estimate of interest rates and dollar amounts by using a reverse mortgage calculator by All Reverse Mortgage.

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Rent Out a Room

It’s not uncommon to end up with more homes than we need as we get older. You can put that room to work for you by renting it out to a tenant. This is a great way to bring in extra money as you can often charge a few hundred dollars for someone to rent a room by including utilities on top of the initial rent charges.

The room you rent can be as small as a single room on one side of your home or as large as your basement. Assess what you have available and get it ready to rent. Often people who rent out rooms or basements in homes understand the unique situation in which they live and are courteous to you as the landlord and fellow resident.

Allow Crews to Film at Your Home

If you’ve ever noticed that commercials, TV shows, and movies are often filmed at some of the same locations, it’s because these homes have been registered as a filming location. You can get your home on a list to be paid to allow filming by registering with advertising agencies and film studios. Share with them what makes your home unique and why they would want to film there. It might not be the next popular location to shoot, but it could bring in a nice check for a single use.

Grow a Garden

If you’ve ever been to a farmer’s market, it doesn’t take long to realize that many of the people there aren’t actual farmers. They’re average people who grow fruits and vegetables in their yard and are looking to make some money off their harvest. You can do the same thing. Turn a corner of your yard into a vegetable garden that you can harvest throughout the year and take to a farmer’s market.

Should you decide that the farmer’s market route isn’t for you, a garden can still be beneficial. By growing and picking your own vegetables, you can save hundreds of dollars each year on buying produce at the grocery store. Not only is this an excellent way to cut your grocery bill, but you also know exactly where your fresh vegetables come from before they make it to your kitchen table each day.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

When you take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC), it’s much like opening a credit card that has a credit line equal to a determined amount from the equity of your home. A lender will make those funds available to you to use. Rather than paying off a loan, you can continue to use the HELOC as you repay the debt. This means that the line of credit functions more like a credit card than a loan as the money will continue to be available.