Inhabitat’s Week in Green: cliffside homes and The Bark Knight
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.
What if your car was powered by sunlight? It sounds like a dream come true — but that’s exactly what a team of Dutch engineering students have cooked up. The Stella Lux is a four-seater electric car with a powerful solar roof that actually generates more energy than the vehicle uses. In other futuristic transportation news, Local Motors just unveiled plans for the world’s first production line of 3D-printed cars. The ultra-customizable vehicles include a sporty racer and a beach-ready buggy. Automakers and tech companies around the world are fervently working on self-driving cars, and it turns out the technology could be a tremendous boon for the environment. A new study shows that autonomous robocabs could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 94 percent. And this week, two electric airplanes made history by successfully flying across the English Channel.
What’s the craziest home you’ve ever seen? Odds are, it doesn’t compare to two cliff-hanging dwellings we spotted last week. OPA’s Casa Brutale is an amazing home carved into a cliff with an infinity pool for a roof, and the Skylodge is a crystalline pod strapped to a mountain 1,300 feet above Peru’s Sacred Valley. If catching up on some R&R closer to sea level is more your style, check out the Hydro Hammock — a hanging hot tub that takes outdoor relaxation to a whole new level. In other design news, an out-of-this-world UFO-shaped museum is set to land in Mexico, and it looks like the world’s first self-sufficient floating city may actually be built. This past week, the Seasteading Institute’s Floating City graduated to Phase II, and the organization plans to launch the project by the year 2020.
The Ocean Reef Group recently unveiled the world’s first underwater greenhouses off the coast of Italy. The five submerged biospheres are filled with carbon dioxide, so they rapidly grow beans, strawberries, basil and lettuce. Here on land, Philips just launched GrowWise — a groundbreaking indoor farm packed with new technologies that could revolutionize food production. In New Zealand, a man has literally grown a building by weaving a grove of saplings into a living, breathing Tree Church, and designer Christophe Guinet gave the Dark Knight a new spin by crafting a Batman suit from tree bark. Finally, architect Charles Jencks transformed an old coal mine into a sprawling universe made out of plants and stones.