When a Silicon Valley executive asked architect Robert Swatt to design teahouses for his backyard, Swatt wasn’t sure where to begin, but his client explained that he wanted one for tea, one for life and one for work.
Swatt created 8 or 9 models trying to determine the ideal shape for these tiny houses and finally settled on the simplest design. All glass with steel and concrete for support, each tea house floats over the landscape. Cantilevered in place, the buildings help preserve the delicate root systems of the surrounding native oaks.
Swatt says they’ve received many requests to recreate these nearly transparent structures, even as stand-alone tiny houses, and he says it could work as a modern prefab. “We could do something like this, if you keep it down to something you could drive on the highway and you could lift into place with a crane, you could probably do that and probably save a lot of money too by building it in a factory.”
the great bear rainforest in british columbia is one of the largest coastal temperate rain forests in the world, with twenty five thousand square miles of mist shrouded fjords and densely forested islands that are home to black bears with white fur.
neither albino nor polar bear, these rare black bears (there are fewer than five hundred) are known as kermode bears, or what the gitga’at first nation call mooksgm’ol, the spirit bear — a word no first nations person spoke of to european fur traders lest they be discovered and hunted. to this day, it remains taboo to hunt a spirit bear, or to mention them to outsiders.
the white fur in these bears is triggered by a recessive mutation of the same gene associated with red hair and fair skin in humans. though it remains unclear as to how the trait arose (or disappeared), it is especially pronounced on certain islands, and is known to confer a day time fishing advantage over the black furred bears (consider the first photo).