sustainable architecture
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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Scooped by Lauren Moss!

The Mont-Laurier Theatre by FABG Combines Local Forestry and New Technologies

The Mont-Laurier Theatre by FABG Combines Local Forestry and New Technologies | sustainable architecture |

Located in the Laurentian Mountains on the southern embankment of the Lievre River in Canada,  the Mont-Laurier Theatre is a multi-purpose venue – theatre, convention centre and concert hall that emphasizes the importance of timber in the region. FABG based the design on an architectural proposition of a structural grid of cross-laminated wood beams that support the roof and create a canopy over the main entrance.

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Aroeira House III in Portugal: Designed with the Elements in Mind

Aroeira House III in Portugal: Designed with the Elements in Mind | sustainable architecture |

ColectivArquitectura designed the U-shaped Aroeira III House in Herdade da Aroeira – Alamada, Portugal to work with the elements of the land it’s built on, maximizing sun exposure. With a natural slope and nearby homes, they went with a horizontal design that was split into two levels, one being partially buried underground.

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Villa F in Rhodes, Greece by Hornung and Jacobi Architecture

Villa F in Rhodes, Greece by Hornung and Jacobi Architecture | sustainable architecture |

Set above and within a natural stone wall which runs along this length of the Greek Rhodes coastline, Villa F is a design by Hornung and Jacobi Architecture for a holiday retreat. There’s a strong emphasis on comfort and minimalism throughout the dwelling with markedly few distinct rooms and a lack of internal walls.

Hornung and Jacobi Architecture opted for a lightweight plaster coated timber framework for its superstructure, as opposed to the typical tendency towards brute force and concrete cantilevers in modern architecture. A key aspect in the design brief was that it should be possible to cool and heat the building relatively quickly in order to reach a comfortable temperature as soon as possible. This was achieved through the use of lightweight components in its construction, and the incorporation of a mechanical roof vent to encourage convectional ventilation to occur throughout Villa F.

mickelin burnes-browne's curator insight, July 10, 2014 5:24 PM

This is totally cool and confirms to what I see in good design--minimalism, clean lines and emphasis on simplicity.


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Point King Residence by HASSELL

Point King Residence by HASSELL | sustainable architecture |

Point King Residence is located at Portsea on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia.

The site is characterised by its cliff top location and orientation towards the north. The entire house sits almost two metres below ground level, limiting the visual mass and as a means to address the scale of the building while linking it to the site.

Generously scaled rooms foster light and natural ventilation flows with ease. The interiors reflect the architecture of the house, using limestone excavated from the site and recycled timber battens.

The palette is sympathetic to the local climate and the client’s desire to ground the house, both physically and figuratively.

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Design Details: Building By Day, Canvas For Light And Shadow By Night

Design Details: Building By Day, Canvas For Light And Shadow By Night | sustainable architecture |

How do you design a building to stand out? Easy: make it sculptural and subtly shaded by day and an exuberant show of light and shadow by night.

That's what Piuarch did with the Bentini Headquarters in Faenza RA, Italy. By setting windows in deep angled depressions the architects created a playground for darkness and illumination. At night the interior lighting bursts onto the building's varied surfaces to stunning effect. Elsewhere, lighting transmits through the fully glazed exterior to showcase its full energy. Lastly, the building's hallways and rooms are surfaced in pure white to echo the play of shadows outside.

Norm Miller's curator insight, August 28, 2013 1:30 PM

Great example of passive design!

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One Patio House: A Contemporary, Efficient Prefab Project in Chile

One Patio House: A Contemporary, Efficient Prefab Project in Chile | sustainable architecture |

One Patio House turns a conventional program into a splendid composition of volumes. Positioned in the suburbs of Santiago de Chile, One Patio House materializes a simple and efficient answer to the unique climate and the desired relation between interior and exterior spaces.

Two volumes were developed following a set of opposite concepts: the ground floor volume expresses heaviness while the first floor refers to lightness. Openings also play a crucial role in the game of opposites: the ground volume has huge sliding windows on both long facades while the upper volume contradicts this rule by opening only the wider facades. When it comes to construction process, the difference is quite visible between the two: concrete for the ground floor area, prefabricated steel structures for the upper floor. The interior treatment respects this dual game by revealing the material properties behind each volume: smooth concrete for the flooring of social areas while wood planks are exclusively used in all private rooms. A black steel staircase establishes the necessary bridge between two opposite atmospheres belonging to a single and unique piece of architecture.

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New Forest House by PAD Studio

New Forest House by PAD Studio | sustainable architecture |

British architects and interior designers PAD Studio have designed the New Forest Park House, a contemporary and eco-friendly home located in the south of England.

According to the architects: “The dwelling is set within an 18.5 acre plot, located adjacent to ancient woodland and heath, within the New Forest National Park. The massing, form and orientation of the new building has been carefully conceived to minimise the impact on the site and its surroundings. The main dwelling and annexe building both have low rise green roofs. The buildings are orientated to maximise solar gain, using ground source heat pump technology and a log boiler for heating and hot water requirements."

The design also incorporates rain water harvesting, grey water recycling and a natural swimming pond to further increase biodiversity within the site. The materials used throughout are sustainable, durable and in harmony with the site and its surroundings.

The Team @ E-Side's comment, July 10, 2013 5:38 AM
Love it!
James Hurt's curator insight, October 5, 2013 4:47 PM
Very Cool ECO house
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A Few Favorite Green Buildings...

A Few Favorite Green Buildings... | sustainable architecture |

Sustainable architecture is a term that represents a broad range of concepts, processes and ideologies, and can be interpreted and realized in countless ways.

Sustainability represents a design process that accounts for the environment on both the micro and macro scales, serves the needs of the program with as minimal an impact on the planet as possible, and positively contributes to the community, not only aesthetically, but in social, economic and cultural realms, as well.

So, to celebrate Earth Week, here are a few of our favorite green buildings...

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Edgeland Residence by Bercy Chen Studio

Edgeland Residence by Bercy Chen Studio | sustainable architecture |

Bercy Chen Studio have designed the Edgeland Residence on the shores of the Colorado River.

Located on a rehabilitated brownfield site, the project is a modern re-interpretation of one of the oldest housing typologies in North America, the Native American Pit House. The Pit House, typically sunken, takes advantage of the earth’s mass to maintain thermal comfort throughout the year.

Edgeland Residence’s relationship to the landscape both in terms of approach as well as building performance involves an insulative green roof and a 7-foot excavation – gaining benefits from the earth’s mass to help it stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Such an architectural setting presents an opportunity for maximum energy efficiency when combined with high performance systems such as the integrated hydronic HVAC system...

ParadigmGallery's comment, February 18, 2013 11:26 AM
Wow...great much light and beautiful architectural the green details and efficiency of the "underground" factor...
ParadigmGallery's curator insight, February 18, 2013 4:38 PM

Typically I have focused on large commercial architecture. Today I am sharing this great scoop from our friend Lauren Moss. The architects are Bercy Chen Studio LP based in Austin, Texas.

Thomas is from Belgium and Calvin is from Taiwan by way of Australia; the partners’ European and Asian backgrounds form a design philosophy of unique perspectives. The work is influenced by vernacular precedents from various cultures- whether Islamic, Indian, African or pre-columbian, while maintaining respect for the particular contemporary contextual conditions.


After you view this project I am certain you too will be impressed. What stands out from a visual perspective is the light and angles of the home... then all the details of the energy efficiency....have a read and see and do leave comments....

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In Harmony with the Environment: Wind-dyed House, Japan

In Harmony with the Environment: Wind-dyed House, Japan | sustainable architecture |

Wind-dyed House by acaa in Yokosuka Kanagawa, Japan

From the architect:

A residential building located halfway up a cliff, overlooking the ocean. Thick clumps of trees that grow along the slope of the land surrounding the house cast a series of organic silhouettes that make the slope seem to come alive. We decided that the appropriate form to build would be as low-lying as possible, while also allowing the architecture to become embedded in the surrounding landscape according to the contours of the terrain. This would allow us to minimize the impact of the building on its environment.

The design of the walls plays an important role in creating the overall sense of presence that a building projects. As such, we also tried to prevent the walls of this house from becoming surfaces that would obstruct or impede movement and sight. Glass and screens along the enclosed perimeter of the house gives the second floor of this residence a certain transparency. Slender, deep-set eaves cast deep shadows on the facade of the building, softening the impact of the building's physical presence in relation to its environment.

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70F | Sheep stable Almere

70F | Sheep stable Almere | sustainable architecture |

The city of Almere has a sheep population of about 80 sheep. The sheep are mobilized to keep the powerful weed “acanthus” or “bears-breech” that grows in the “vroege vogel” – forest and “kromsloot” – park in Almere under control.

To centralize and house this population, a sheep stable was needed. The stable is designed with an a-symmetrical homogeneous cross-section. The part of the building where the sheep reside is relatively low; the high part is situated above the (public) pathway and the hay storage section, making it possible to store a maximum amount of hay.

This shape also creates a natural flow for the air inside the building, which is refreshed by two slits at the foot of each long side of the building.  The detailing of the corner of the building, where the long façade ends and the gable starts, is extremely important for the overall experience of the architecture of this building. It emphasises the cross sectional shape of the building, and finishes the long façade of the building, which starts as a façade and slowly becomes roof...

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Pop-up stars: temporary contemporary architecture

Pop-up stars: temporary contemporary architecture | sustainable architecture |
From huge temporary stadia to tiny transitory event spaces, pop-up architecture fulfils many roles and comes in many guises.

In some cases the very latest technologies are used to engineer complex structures, while in others a readymade approach using scavenged materials is more appropriate. Several noteworthy examples include semi-permanent structures, container architecture and event pavilions.

This article examines some key pop-up projects that are designed to make the most of their short lifespans...

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Sustainable Technology at the National Museum of Art, Architecture & Design in Oslo, Norawy

Sustainable Technology at the National Museum of Art, Architecture & Design in Oslo, Norawy | sustainable architecture |

The new Museum of Modern Art needed to address the role and function of art in Oslo's city center, as a place for the interpretation of both the historical and contemporary reality. The museum uses twisted geometry standing on a massive footing to introduce series of event spaces, from landscape to interior exhibition to roofscape.

Facing the water front the massing rises and pedestrians are invited into the area through multiple accesses on the landscape, leading to the radial center of the museum lobby. The volume creates a protected plaza, or canopy for temporary outside exhibitions.

Sustainability: The technology came in the form of self-compacting concrete in which chemical additives are introduced into the concrete mix, significantly increasing its workability without any resultant loss in strength. The project is conceived like a bridge. Sustainable design integrates environmental, economic, and social issues of sustainability together with users’ goals and needs. The NMAAD Museum employs sustainable design to reduce energy consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, encourage water conservation, and provide high indoor environmental quality.

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Ehrlich Retreat + // LEED Platinum by John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects

Ehrlich Retreat + // LEED Platinum by John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects | sustainable architecture |

Ehrlich Retreat + by John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects:

“The Ehrlich Retreat + consists of a new guest house, pool, and shade structure that combine with the original house (previously designed by JFAK) to create a family compound. The new structure is contextually related to the original house, borrowing many of its architectural elements, yet has its own identity.

"The LEED Platinum project is also a model of “integrated sustainability,” in which its green strategies are seamlessly integrated into a unique sculptural aesthetic: the structure’s broad frame embraces and gives presence to the new yard, while shading the house’s southern orientation; the triangular cut-out over the office creates a dramatic form, but also introduces generous amounts of ambient northern light; the steel and wood trellis provides welcoming shade for the yard, and at the same time hosts a 2.4kW photovoltaic array that powers the house and pool.

The overall result is a responsible, light-filled, and joyful environment.”

Catherine Devin's curator insight, January 9, 2015 1:59 AM

Bâtiment performant certifié et manifestement agréable à vivre pour ce bâtiment annexe à la maison principale.

Une preuve que les deux objectifs  ne sont pas antinomiques.

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JVA's Rabot Tourist Cabin: A Neutral Volume in the Landscape

JVA's Rabot Tourist Cabin: A Neutral Volume in the Landscape | sustainable architecture |

The Rabot Tourist Cabin is one of many DNT (Norwegian Trekking Association) lodging facilities throughout Norway. At 1200 meters above sea level, close to the glacier at Okstindan in northern Norway, the site is spectacular. The weather can be extremely harsh and the structure is constructed for heavy winds and storm.

A secondary rescue hut is placed 50 meters away from the main cabin as a safe shelter in case of destruction of the main cabin. The site inaccessible by road and is only reachable on foot or on skis. The cabin is named after the French glaciologist and geographer Charles Rabot who thoroughly explored the mountain areas in the province of Nordland. It is planned and built with local materials and with great local commitment...

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, September 2, 2014 5:29 AM

Cabina turística en Noruega. Con una unidad de rescate/refugio a 50 metros de la principal y con acceso sólo a pie. 

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Croft by James Stockwell Architects

Croft by James Stockwell Architects | sustainable architecture |

Along the South coast of Victoria near Inverloch, the geography turns away from the prevailing wind. The house forms a protected garden from which peripheral vision of the sea and sky is permitted by tapered facades.

The design reinforces the language of the rural context of corrugated iron and purposefulness. More broadly itʼs ambitions are to illustrate the suitability of low embodied energy local materials in contemporary architecture and that architecture be able to tell a story of place and vernacular of local craftsmanship and materials...

Susan Schuler Blake's comment, September 27, 2013 2:14 PM
não pra mim mas ecológico
Susan Schuler Blake's comment, September 27, 2013 2:16 PM
hmm... uma ideia ecológica ao menos
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The Warehaus by Residential Attitudes

The Warehaus by Residential Attitudes | sustainable architecture |

Light, volume & space were the primary influences behind this passive solar residence designed for multi-generational living. A central courtyard with two storey mezzanine walkway forms the focal point of the home.

The free form living area features a central polished plaster ethanol fireplace and is adjacent to the state of the art kitchen with a concealed cool room and pantry. The remainder of the ground floor is comprised of a library, powder room, laundry and a separate master wing with dressing room, ensuite and private courtyard.

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A Heat Exchanger is Transformed into a Contemporary Cultural + Sports Center

A Heat Exchanger is Transformed into a Contemporary Cultural + Sports Center | sustainable architecture |

The transformation of this heat exchanger into a culture and sports center by slovakian firm atrium studio was part of a project for the EHMK 2013.

The angular exterior form extends the building out into the public space, with a dramatic climbing wall feature. The exchanger center has five different interconnected floors that have all been turned into gallery spaces - each fulfilling a different function. a secluded rooftop consists of four trees and a large lounge area.

The structure stands out within its surrounding context of industrial-type buildings, with the existing heat exchanger wrapped with a bold geometric facade. The folded triangular shapes define the building's exterior- cut out pieces of the twisted volume expose slanted view shafts of the interior windows, helping to express the new transformation.

View more images at the link...

richardsphotography's comment, August 9, 2013 6:45 PM
That is a wild looking building. Technology and builders have come a long way in the way of designing.
ParadigmGallery's comment, August 9, 2013 10:10 PM
wonderful...interesting inside and out...
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Contemporary Green Design: Merricks House by Robson Rak Architects

Contemporary Green Design: Merricks House by Robson Rak Architects | sustainable architecture |

Robson Rak Architects have designed a house on a 10-acre farm located in Merricks North near Melbourne, Australia. The property was bought as a weekender with the intention of building a new house with enough room for their family to grow and enjoy through the generations.

From the architects: 

In accordance to the client’s desire for simplicity and material honesty, the house has been reduced to a modest palette of earth, glass and timber. The majority of the internal walls are rammed earth, creating a beautiful, warm, textural look and feel.

The walls are 400mm thick with an internal strip of 100mm thick foam insulation, assisting the natural qualities of the rammed earth in maintaining a consistent internal temperature. The R-value of the walls up to a very high level, and the double-glazing of all windows and doors assists the building in being extremely environmentally efficient as attested by our clients. The high thermal mass of these walls has made the house thermally efficient. Openable windows on the east, west, north and south allows cross ventilation.

Travis Haggerty's curator insight, July 14, 2013 1:07 PM

I would love to design my own place like this one day. Gerogoues, green, and contemporary. What more could you ask for? 

Window Revival's comment, July 17, 2013 12:18 AM
A really lovely home. Rustic yet very modern.
aboali's comment, July 17, 2013 5:04 AM
that nice desing
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Zacatitos 004 Residence: Off the Grid in Mexico

Zacatitos 004 Residence: Off the Grid in Mexico | sustainable architecture |

Designed by Campos Leckie Studio, the Zacatitos 004 Residence is the fourth and smallest home of a series of structures successfully operating off-the-grid. Located in a tiny Mexican town, roughly 45 minutes up a dirt road from San José del Cabo, this project is part of the collective of four innovative seasonal retreats.

The house greets guests into a stucco hallway that leads to a courtyard, where the house’s environmental control strategies come into play. The courtyard is properly shaded from the intense sun rays and the two entrance walls catch and amplify the winds, drawing air across the pool to naturally air-condition the exterior deck and kitchen/dining area.

Different areas of the home are slightly separated, Campos and Leckie used the separations in the architecture to fill the gaps with light and wind. The presence and orientation of walls along with choices of material passively temper the environment..

Ursula O'Reilly Traynor's curator insight, May 22, 2013 3:50 AM

sounds cool :)

Luiz F. Costa's comment, May 22, 2013 8:08 AM
Excelente projetos eu particularmente gosto muito obrigado abs.
Dalila Sälvatore's curator insight, October 21, 2014 10:52 AM
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Libeskind's Villa: Sculptural Design & Prefab Construction

Libeskind's Villa: Sculptural Design & Prefab Construction | sustainable architecture |

The Libeskind Villa is a 2 floor (with full basement), 4 bedroom, 5,000-square-foot signature series home that can be constructed anywhere in the world. The Villa creates a new dialogue between contemporary living and a completely new experience of space.

Built from premium wood and zinc, this German-made, sculptural living space meets the highest standards of design, craftsmanship and sustainability. In addition to the design standards, it meets compliance with some of the toughest energy-saving standards worldwide.

A trio of interlocking architectural bands envelops the Villa in striking angles, creating a dramatic, asymmetrical interior of spiraling, two-story peaks and smooth transitions to secluded terraces. Design details reveal style and functionality: A balcony adjacent to the master bedroom is adorned with elaborate metalwork; light wells direct daylight into a sauna; and recessed wardrobes streamline dressing spaces.

In addition to large floor-to-ceiling windows, the aluminum façade, adorned with mullions and concealed fittings, offers maximum thermal insulation, noise reduction and weather resistance...

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Caterpillar House by Feldman Architecture

Caterpillar House by Feldman Architecture | sustainable architecture |

San Francisco-based Feldman Architecture have designed the Caterpillar House.

The design for the Caterpillar House, sited on the softly rolling hills of the Santa Lucia Preserve, sought to accentuate a connection to the land.  Having lived in a Cliff May home, the client came to the project with a love of modern ranch houses and looking for an environmentally-conscious response to a beautiful site.

The Caterpillar House implements sustainable elements while exploring a contemporary version of the ranch ideals: massing that is low and horizontal, an open plan with a strong connection between indoor and outdoor spaces, and main living areas which center informally on the kitchen...

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Bridge House: Self-Sufficient Residence in the Netherlands

Bridge House: Self-Sufficient Residence in the Netherlands | sustainable architecture |

Designed by 123DV, the Bridge House in the Netherlands is set in a newly developed estate in the unique, tree-lined landscape of the Dutch Achterhoek, where unexpected scenes of rural beauty are always just around the bend.

Its setting is a wide-open space that frames the park, which blends into the landscape around it, and the property has been carefully restored to its original state. To make the soil less fertile, the top layer was removed and in the interest of sustainability, this soil was reused to form a raised area beneath the house. The result is a traditional Dutch terp dwelling, a house on top of a hill that contains the cellar.

Sustainability inspired the design, and the villa is self-sufficient. At any time, the occupants can go off the grid without losing their energy supply. Water is drawn from a private well, and the practical and sustainable built-in features include solar panels, roof and floor heating through thermal energy storage, reuse of rainwater, a septic tank, shielded power cables, and Heat Mirror glass. This unique glass acts as an efficient and environmentally friendly awning, cooling the house and keeping out excess heat...

More photos and information at the article link...

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B House in Shimasaki by Anderson Anderson Architecture

B House in Shimasaki by Anderson Anderson Architecture | sustainable architecture |

This hillside cabin in Japan by Anderson Anderson Architecture generates energy using photovoltaic panels and a ground-sourced heat pump.

Despite being surrounded by electricity pylons, this cabin by San Francisco firm generates all its own energy and heating using photovoltaic panels and a ground-sourced heat pump. Named B-House, the single-storey building is positioned on a slope overlooking Kumamoto.

The house was built on a tight budget and sustainability was key to the design. “The extremely modest budget required a close collaboration of the architects and builder to achieve a high quality, off-site fabricated timber frame construction meeting high sustainability standards,” explain the architects.

Read more about the sustainable features of this unique contemporary home and view more images at the article link...

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Contemporary, Sustainable Multi-Generational House in Germany

Contemporary, Sustainable Multi-Generational House in Germany | sustainable architecture |

Especially developed for a large family in Stuttgart, Germany, the Strauss Residence was envisioned by Alexander Brenner Architekten.

According to the architects, the house consists of “two autonomous house-halves, which if required can be combined in parts or completely. The entire building was created according to ecological standpoints and supplied almost exclusively with renewable energy. The heating energy is provided by air source heat pumps. At extremely low temperatures these peaks are met with a low temperature gas boiler. Water is heated up by high performance solar collectors."

Stop by the article link to view photos of the minimalist and highly functional interiors for this home serving the diverse living needs of its inhabitants...

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