Two stunning entrance gates serve as portals to nature in the historical Amstel Area. Frank Tjepkema (aka Tjep), along with Leonie Janssen, crafted two colored galvanized steel gates coated with epoxy and on a concrete foundation for the Aemstel Schooltuin (school garden).
The new working-garden, where over 500 school children aged 9 to 11 will learn about nature and grow their own plants, is situated on Kalfjeslaan, Amstel – a picturesque place steeped in rich cultural history.
Tjep. had the honour of being asked to create two new sets of entrance gates to the garden, a project commissioned by Stadsdeel Zuid, the Amsterdam South City Council.
Two sets of monumental gates will guard both approaches to Aemstel Schooltuin and add a contemporary element to this historic area. Settled next to the Riekermolen, built in 1636, the area has a long history of natural beauty appreciated by none other than Rembrandt himself. His statue sits next to the new school garden, frozen in the act of painting the famous windmill. One set of gates will mark the entrance from Kalfjeslaan, and the other will sit on the route from Amsteldijk.
“This amazing area deserved a design that paid homage to the unique context, but also brought a new influence to the place.” Says Tjep. founder and lead designer, Frank Tjepkema. The design integrates references to the lush flora and fauna of the surrounding environment, classical era elements with a contemporary urban graffiti construction.
Frank Tjepkema states that “a strict functional requirement was that the gates would stop those notorious plant criminals, rabbits – which we do through tightly woven patterns at the bottom. When constructed, these gates will stand at eight meters wide and four meters tall and become a portal, ushering people from the urban Amstel to the historic landscape beyond. I hope children and others will feel some anticipation, some excitement, as they pass through the gates to discover the verdant wonders of nature.”
Production of the gates by Smederij van Rijn
all photos and information courtesy of Frank Tjepkema
Picto created by Birds For Design for brand Qui est Paul? is a birdhouse that offers a modern attractive shelter for small birds. The simplicity of its 3D shape is inspired by the common 2D symbol or pictogram of a house, hence the name Picto, as in pictogram.
Besides its reduced design, it is mountable on different ways: standing on a wooden spike or suspended. In Fall, when all the birds leave the protective birdhouse, it is easily opened from inside in order to clean it properly. The backside clap consists of translucent-grey Plexiglas window which allows you to observe the nesting birds.
Suspended or perched, the cute and colorful Picto fits all gardens and balconies and it available in tons of color options.
Material : Polyethylene HD (Leg is wood)
Dimensions : Nest box : 25 cm x 20 cm x H 28,5 cm - Leg : H 140 cm
buy it here.
For distribution in various countries, go here
You may recall that I introduced you to an adorable modern colored resin garden gnome a ways back. Normally I am anti-garden gnome, but the Baddy was definitely the cutest outdoor bearded decor I'd ever seen. Designed for the Italian plastics and polyethylene product company PLUST, he's now available in a mini size as well as an indoor/outdoor lamp in two sizes.
“Baddy” is a colored resin sculpture by design by JoeVelluto (JVLT) and Alberto Fabbian
Suitable for both outdoor and indoor settings, the original baddy comes in 8 different finishes including a luminescent version that acts as a “dwarf guard” thanks to a luminous resin that absorbs light momentarily and then releases it for several hours, making it a small presence in the night.
- coloured: dull green, white C2, fucsia, acid green, pearl black
- lacquered: white, black
- metallized: gold
- special effect: photoluminescent
Now, the Baddy also comes in a mini version as well (three colors only):
- coloured: white C2, fucsia, acid green
The Baddy Light (original):
Portable and versatile small luminous sculpture suitable for indoor environments. The Baddy Light can be used as a courtesy light in domestic environments, or as a cheerful and informal luminous object to customise rooms, hotel rooms or environments where there is traffic. Baddy Light is available in various colours and two sizes to adapt to the various types of uses and contexts.
- basic colours: neutral
- colours: fuchsia, acid green
The Baddy Light (mini):
Small abat-jour with a white LED light kit, suitable also as mood light.
- basic colours: neutral
- colours: acid green
Visit Plust for more information
After its initial design in 2007 by Italian Steffano Boeri's architecture firm Boeri Studio, Treehugger, Inhabit and Gizmag recently reported that construction of the Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) in Milan has finally begun. That intrigued me to do a little more research and bring you images of the original renderings , models and diagrams as well as some new construction photos.
above left: computer rendering of Bosco Verticale; above right: construction begins in Milan
With 24 floors (Torre E) and 17 floors (Torre D) respectively, the two residential towers will contain a total of 900 shrubs between 3 and 6 meters tall to help to absorb dust, smog and produce oxygen. The apartment buildings, examples of utilizing ecology in architecture, are expected to be completed next year and will include a restaurant, fitness center, parking garage, and rooftop garden.
CGI renderings and the architectural models of the towers:
Architectural models by One Off Protoyping
The construction has begun at Via De Castilla & Via Confalonieri, Puorta Nova I-20100 in Milan, Italy:
description of the project from the architect's site:
Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) is a project for metropolitan reforestation that contributes to the regeneration of the environment and urban biodiversity without the implication of expanding the city upon the territory. Bosco Verticale is a model of vertical densification of nature within the city. It is a model that operates correlated to the policies for reforestation and naturalization of the large urban and metropolitan borders (Metrosbosco). Metrobosco and Bosco Verticale are devices for the environmental survival of contemporary European cities. Together they create two modes of building links between nature and city within the territory and within the cities of contemporary Europe.
The first example of a Bosco Verticale composed of two residential towers of 110 and 76 meters height, will be realized in the centre of Milan, on the edge of the Isola neighbourhood, and will host 900 trees (each measuring 3, 6 or 9 m tall) apart from a wide range of shrubs and floral plants.
On flat land, each Bosco Verticale equals, in amount of trees, an area equal to 10.000 sqm of forest. In terms of urban densification the equivalent of an area of single family dwellings of nearly 50.000 sqm.
The Bosco Verticale is a system that optimizes, recuperates and produces energy. The Bosco Verticale aids in the creation of a microclimate and in filtering the dust particles contained in the urban environment. The diversity of the plants and their characteristics produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles, producing oxygen and protect from radiation and acoustic pollution, improving the quality of living spaces and saving energy.
Plant irrigation will be produced to great extent through the filtering and reuse of the grey waters produced by the building. Additionally Aeolian and photovoltaic energy systems will contribute, together with the aforementioned microclimate to increase the degree of energetic self sufficiency of the two towers. The management and maintenance of the Bosco Verticale’s vegetation will be centralised and entrusted to an agency with an office counter open to the public.
location: Milano, Italy
year: 2007 (on going)
client: Hines Italia
built area: 40.000 sqm
BOERISTUDIO (Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca, Giovanni La Varra)
Phase 1 – Urban plan and preliminary design
Frederic de Smet (coordinator), Daniele Barillari, Julien Boitard, Matilde Cassani, Andrea Casetto, Francesca Cesa Bianchi, Inge Lengwenus, Corrado Longa, Eleanna Kotsikou, Matteo Marzi, Emanuela Messina, Andrea Sellanes.
Phase 2 – Final design and working plan
Gianni Bertoldi (coordinator), Alessandro Agosti, Andrea Casetto, Matteo Colognese, Angela Parrozzani, Stefano Onnis.
Consultant for the vegetation project: Emanuela Borio, Laura Gatti
images in this post courtesy of ©Boeri Studio, some diagrams by Salottobuono and architectural models by OneOff Protoyping
Artist and silversmith Sarah Hood combines miniature scale railroad materials like plastic trees, grasses, bushes and pebbles with sterling silver to culminate is one of a kind pieces that are nothing short of wearable art.
Her expert metal work and unique whimsical style is why several of the pieces from her Landscape Series reside in the Tacoma Art Museum's permanent collection.
Below are examples of one-of-a-kind sterling silver rings, necklaces and bracelets made with miniature plastic trees - some spray painted black-, tiny phony bushes, greenery and in some cases, gemstones. Beautiful detailing in the cast silver twigs and touches like bird toggles accentuate the craftsmanship in these unique pieces.
Many of the following fabulous pieces are available for purchase.
detail of above bracelet:
detail of above necklace:
detail of above necklace:
detail of above necklace:
Her 2001 Living Rings actually used live plants and succulents in tiny terracotta pots upon silver ring shanks:
She also crafts beautiful cherry wood bases to display her rings:
Silversmith and artist Sarah Hood at work:
Sarah's studio and furry friend:
all images ©Sarah Hood Jewelry
In the artist's own words:
"For years I’ve been working within the intersection of archetypal form and the natural world, creating one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces from organic materials. In Landscape, I’ve taken a break from the real natural materials--leaves, pods, seeds--which have compelled my work for many years to create miniature, artificial worlds within the context of jewelry. Working with model railroad landscape materials lets me create tiny snapshots of the natural world, scenes that can trick the eyes into believing they are seeing something much larger. In several pieces, this deceit is challenged by the combination of these small constructed natural forms with full scale, cast sterling branches, buds and leaves which, in material, are equally unreal and illusionary." -- Sarah Hood, Jewelry Artist
In addition to her inventive landscape jewelry/art, she creates what one might consider 'more wearable' pieces in gold, silver and enamel. Earrings, bracelets and necklaces are available in her etsy store.