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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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University of Cambridge Sports Centre by Arup Associates

University of Cambridge Sports Centre by Arup Associates | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in the expanding western part of the city, the new University of Cambridge Sports Centre by Arup Associates is open to students, academic staff, and the public. The building sits at the edge of the town's green belt and efficiently responds both to its rural environment and to an extremely versatile program, as the first part of a three-phase scheme within the West Cambridge Masterplan.

To achieve an open-plan space that would be flexible enough to adapt to different sporting activities, the centre's dome-like roof, made of glulam beams, spans over 36 metres and opens up to let natural light and ventilation in. Photovoltaic cells, solar hot-water collectors, and external electro-mechanical actuators that control the façade louvers' opening and closing, contribute to the building's energy efficient strategy.

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View Terrace and Pavilion, Latvia: In Harmony with the Environment

View Terrace and Pavilion, Latvia: In Harmony with the Environment | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Designed by Didzis Jaunzems Architecture and Laura Laudere in collaboration with Jaunromans and Abele, the view terrace and pavilion create harmonious environment to discover the spaciousness and faraway horizon over river Daugava in Latvia.

The project has been designed considering and using sights particularities – trees, relief, most stunning view points. Viewing terrace and building has diversified levels of “openness”. This gives the opportunity to use the building in all kinds of weather conditions as well as lets visitors to choose the level which suits them better. The volume of the pavilion is designed so that it gradually grows from a bench into the building. Building is as a platform for harmonious interaction between people and nature.

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La Sentinelle, Quebec: A House Overlooking a Lake & Landscape

La Sentinelle, Quebec: A House Overlooking a Lake & Landscape | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This house in Quebec by Canadian studio naturehumaine has a gently sloping roof that follows the descent of the surrounding landscape.


'Named La Sentinelle, or the Sentinel, the house is described by the architects as "a bird sitting at the edge of the cliff overlooking the lake", as a reference to the L-shape made by the angular metal roof.

The constraints of the site led to an L shaped footprint where an east-west oriented rectangular block was placed at the top of the topography, and a north-south oriented block was slid underneath.

A folded roof rises from the lower block covering the upper block and extending towards the cliffs edge as if it were about to take off, reminiscent of the wings of a bird.'

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River Place: A Contemporary Cantilever with a Strong Energy Conservation Agenda

River Place: A Contemporary Cantilever with a Strong Energy Conservation Agenda | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This contemporary project is located at the end of a single lane road cut into a hillside, on a dry west-facing slope near Juliaetta, Idaho.

To restore the pioneer vineyard for use, the two structures incorporate innovative construction methods in response to unique site requirements.

The location presented a number of challenges: temperatures that can reach 110+degrees F, periodic river flooding, and limited access for construction equipment. A strong energy conservation agenda was also an important requirement and the building forms were influenced by the site and environmental conditions.

Find more details, photos and project information at the article link.

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JMS1kiddz's curator insight, September 26, 2013 3:38 PM

absolutely stunning architecture. - Madi Chaput 

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The Exbury Egg: Art, Architecture + Environmental Awareness

The Exbury Egg: Art, Architecture + Environmental Awareness | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Artist Stephen Turner has worked with PAD Studio to create the Exbury Egg, the first water-borne artist’s studio, designed to combine art, architecture and sustainability of a fragile marine environment.


Turner (who specialises in long term artistic explorations of environmental settings), will now use it as a “residency”, floating in the Beaulieu Estuary for a year, to examine the changing patterns of its marine ecology, while making artworks inspired by his surroundings. “This ambitious project tests the role of artists and architects in sensitive places and contributes to raising awareness of the importance of protecting places like the Estuary”, explains the artist.

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The Team @ E-Side's comment, June 27, 2013 5:53 AM
All the team at www.e-side.co.uk loves it! A great piece of ecodesign
Joram Walukamba's comment, July 3, 2013 8:38 AM
Its nice and still friendly with the eco-system
Hunter Rion's curator insight, May 24, 5:16 PM

Turner raises awareness of the importance of protecting places throughout he creation of his egg studio.

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A Dialog Between Environments: City House in Auckland by Architex

A Dialog Between Environments: City House in Auckland by Architex | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Architex has completed a project in Auckland, New Zealand, consisting of a home that exhales transparency and seeks to establish a dialogue between the interior living space and the outdoor environment.


City House is a private oasis of relaxation. With the goal of creating a place that disconnects from a busy professional life, the standard wall configurations disappear, enhancing the feeling of breeziness and freedom. 

“Sliding glass panels disappear into pockets to create open balconies for living and sleeping, and focus on the central courtyard as their oasis. The street facade is particularly private with only a hint of the sophistication that lies beyond in the selection of colour and materials.”


View more images of this beutiful, contextual and modern at the article link...

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Off-grid itHouse: efficiency, passive systems & environmental design

Off-grid itHouse: efficiency, passive systems & environmental design | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The itHouse is a design system developed by Taalman Koch that utilizes a series of components prefabricated off-site to better control the construction waste, labor, and quality of the finished product.


Conceived as a small house with glass walls and open floor plan, the itHouse maximizes the relationship of the occupant to the surrounding landscape while minimizing the building’s impact on delicate site conditions.

Energy efficiency is achieved in the itHouse through passive heating and cooling, utilizing site orientation and cross ventilation, radiant floor heating, hi-efficacy appliances & equipment and the use of solar photovoltaic & thermal panels...

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A Living Bridge by Rotterdam-based Creative Group, Observatorium

A Living Bridge by Rotterdam-based Creative Group, Observatorium | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Since 1997, the group Observatorium, based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, has been committed to creating relationships between art, landscape and society. Designed to be for the common good, their work aims to create a sense of place.


Waiting for the River is a living bridge, with benches, hostel-style rooms, and eco-bathroom  - entirely made of used planks. The 38-metre long zigzag bridge anticipates the new clean river valley Emscher, which is now still an open sewer. It sits over the waste land that will be the site of pastoral landscape in ten years time. It serves as an example for the future development of the Emscher Park in the Ruhr area for which the authorities have coined the description ‘productive park’.

Intended as a temporary structure the house will now be reconstructed and made permanent.
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The Non Program Pavilion by Jesús Torres García

The Non Program Pavilion by Jesús Torres García | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in Spain, near the Mediterranean Sea, this small pavilion is surrounded by a remarkable landscape. The construction is defined by the relation between the landscape and the structure on the field.


The structure developed itself as a flower, subscribing to Oscar Niemeyer’s approach. The whole project has been composed in the concept of “how to build in natural landscape?” The non-program pavilion disappears in the landscape, attempting to erase the division between the intervention and the area. This concern of integration reaches the point where the landscape generates the architecture itself.


The non-definition of the program has a wide range of uses, such as providing environmental awareness, doubling as an exposition hall or music hall, and providing activities support for the wider community. The interior space is as free as the liberty of program, furnishing the space with the energy of each use...

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Sonoma Mountain House by Nielsen Schuh Architects

Sonoma Mountain House by Nielsen Schuh Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The Sonoma Mountain House is organized to enhance this experience of drama and discovery, as an integral part of daily life.


A single fold in the uplifting roof allows the house to pan across the immediate setting, and expand outward, while embracing the upslope. A continuous deck extends the from the pool along the length of the house, bridging over the driveway to the guest house. The curved terrain drops abruptly where the guest house tower floats over the slope.

Guests arrive to find they are in the treetops. Spaces that occupy the sheltering structure are open and flowing, so that boundaries dissolve both inside and outside. Materials and finish balance comfort and refinement with the rustic setting. An exuberant structural framework knits into the forest surrounding the house...

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Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Perot Museum of Nature and Science | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Museums, armatures for collective societal experience and cultural expression, present new ways of interpreting the world.


As our global environment faces ever more critical challenges, a broader understanding of the interdependence of natural systems is becoming more essential to our survival and evolution. Museums dedicated to nature and science play a key role in expanding our understanding of these complex systems.

The new Perot Museum of Nature & Science in Victory Park will create a distinct identity for the Museum, enhance the institution’s prominence in Dallas and enrich the city’s evolving cultural fabric. Designed to engage a broad audience, invigorate young minds, and inspire wonder and curiosity in the daily lives of its visitors, the Museum will cultivate a memorable experience that will persist in the minds of its visitors and that will ultimately broaden indi- viduals’ and society’s understanding of nature and science.


The Museum will strive to achieve the highest standards of sustainability possible for a building of its type. High performance design and incorporation of state of the art technologies will yield a new building that will minimize its impact on the environment.

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Connected to the Landscape: Contemporary Home in Andros, Greece by Klab Architecture

Connected to the Landscape:  Contemporary Home in Andros, Greece by Klab Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
The country house in the island of Andros sits on a remarkable site of hidden and evident beauty.
With the sloping topography dominant, architects had to follow the path between the trees and to execute a design that would maintain the site as much as possible. The decision was to create a very open house with a protected inner courtyard, designed to maintain privacy and to protect from the elements. The house is situated vertically, with stone retaining walls creating a barrier between the inner space and the country road, allowing views of the city and the sea.
Coming from dense cities, the design highlights the calmness and serenity of the countryside and allows inhabitants to be as close to nature as possible. Large windows bring the outside in, making this beautiful design a house for all seasons...
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House in Belas: function + beauty within its surrounding environment

House in Belas: function + beauty within its surrounding environment | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The House in Belas is a contemporary and inclusive project in tune with nature and reflective of local vernacular design.

The design intends to express a contemporary look onto the main aspects of traditional Portuguese architecture, with special attention to the balance and harmony between each building. The house consists of five different bodies, linked through passages.

Spaces between each body create a series of relationships, distances and views are generated, providing a rich and diverse atmosphere. The social areas are located in the core of it all, benefitting from the surrounding environment, and allowing a simple and functional distribution throughout the house.


Visit the link for a gallery of images of this beautiful and simple design...

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A Desert Oasis by assemblageSTUDIO

A Desert Oasis by assemblageSTUDIO | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

There are two ways to live with Las Vegas’ harsh climate. The first, epitomized by the hermetically-sealed tract houses ringing the Strip, rejects the reality of the desert in favor of air conditioning and architecture evoking far-off places.

The second strategy embraces the environment for what it is, and looks to the natural world for cues about how to adapt. In their tresARCA house, assemblageSTUDIO took the latter approach. Glass and granite punctuated by a folded steel screen surrounding the second-floor bedrooms, tresARCA’s facade is a meditation on the resilience of the desert landscape.

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Eco-Friendly Architecture: 13 Buildings Made From Recycled Shipping Containers

Eco-Friendly Architecture: 13 Buildings Made From Recycled Shipping Containers | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

All over the world, architects are repurposing old shipping containers and turning them into innovative, beautiful houses, hotels, libraries, workspaces, and even seaside observation decks. Shipping container buildings are designed to have a minimal impact on the environment, are cost-effective, and modular designs can easily be moved from place to place.

We hope you'll be as inspired as we are by these 13 buildings made out of shipping containers.

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Cathryn Wellner's curator insight, January 8, 2:00 PM

Shipping containers aren't just rectangular boxes - at least not in creative hands.

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, January 8, 5:39 PM

One of the architectural trends we hope to see more of in 2014 is eco-friendly architecture, and these buildings are excellent examples of that. All over the world, architects are repurposing old shipping containers and turning them into innovative, beautiful houses, hotels, libraries, workspaces, and even seaside observation decks. Shipping container buildings are designed to have a minimal impact on the environment, are cost-effective, and modular designs can easily be moved from place to place. We hope you'll be as inspired as we are by these 13 buildings made out of shipping containers.

Betty Fitzgerald's curator insight, January 9, 6:01 PM

It's nice to see shipping containers beautified. Not just an ugly extra garage for the old buick.:D

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Low Impact House by Schlyter / Gezelius Arkitektkontor

Low Impact House by Schlyter / Gezelius Arkitektkontor | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This design responds to the waste of space in today´s interiors and exteriors, the lack of respect for the natural landscape, the global use of non-renewable materials, and how all of this in various ways is linked to our digital tools.

The house is built by a local contractor and a local carpentry shop has milled all the building parts. Every part of the building was designed specifically for this project to awoid waste material, using different kinds of wood from sustainably forested woodland...

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Lola Ripollés's curator insight, November 2, 2013 4:39 AM

A little jewel, crafted with care in every detail. It really melts into the lanscape in a non intruding manner.

victor vasquez's curator insight, January 10, 2:35 AM

building things from renewable materials, in my opinion is a great idea. Not only will buildings and houses be constructed, but less wood will be needed to be cut down and i think that would not just help the planet and all of us on it.

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Geometric Inspiration + Green Building: Taiwan's Zero-Carbon Swallows Nest

Geometric Inspiration + Green Building: Taiwan's Zero-Carbon Swallows Nest | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Taking inspiration from a geometric möbius strip, architect Vincent Callebaut has designed an impressive new building for Taiwan's Taichung gateway park.


The Swallows Nest's form starts out with a triangle that is then rotated around an elipse. Reaching a height of eight-stories, the building will house shops, cafes, and an "endless patio" which opens up into the park and is found in the center of the structure. It will host a variety of art within the many interior galleries.

The Swallows Nest also features various eco-friendly features. The undulating roof will have a number of solar panels attached to it, while the building's glass construction allows for natural light to enter. Three vertical gardens are found in the park's center, with one at each arched entrance. Most impressively, there will be continued efforts to make the Swallows Nest a zero carbon emissions structure.

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Norm Miller's curator insight, June 29, 2013 8:05 AM

Great desigam somewhat akin to Frank Gehry with lots of natural light.

Hotels in Stansted's comment, July 1, 2013 11:21 AM
what a lovely building.. reminds me the Bird's NEst Beijing National Olympic Stadium..
Joram Walukamba's comment, July 3, 2013 7:48 AM
Love the exterior. I wonder how the interior would look like considering the thematic principles, creativity and artistic beauty of the design ... curious!!!
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An Abandoned Stable Becomes a Beautiful Off-Grid Home in Spain

An Abandoned Stable Becomes a Beautiful Off-Grid Home in Spain | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in the province of Cáceres, high on a hill and far from city water or an electrical grid, this home is positioned as it was originally and the material used are also the same as the existing structure.


The original orientation allows for the sun to be the main source of heat during the winter, while a generous eave prevents heat from entering the home during summer. Large wooden shutters that slide closed like a second skin, cover the large windows at night to trap in most of the home's daily solar heat gain.

In the interior nature has been incorporated almost to every room: bathrooms with views of the interior patio and stone water fountain and bedrooms with picture windows overlooking the countryside.

Supporting walls were replaced by light metal pillars, the haylofts in the upper area were converted into bedrooms and the enormous central lounge serves different purposes.

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Ursula O'Reilly Traynor's comment, May 22, 2013 4:19 AM
shared on Pinterest.thank you Lauren!
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Rural Peacefulness: Sustainable Cornege-Preston House in New Zealand

Rural Peacefulness: Sustainable Cornege-Preston House in New Zealand | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in Martinborough, New Zealand, Cornege-Preston House cleverly mixes modern amenities with a peaceful rural environment atmosphere.

Envisioned by architectural firm Bonnifait + Giesen, the 2,153 square foot contemporary residence offers plenty of sustainable features, such as double-glazed windows and skylights for cross-room solar penetration and heat retention, water heating by solar hot water panel on roof topped up by thermostat-controlled electricity and two 25,000 litre tanks capturing rainwater...

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Creatively Adapted to A Moderate Climate: Yatsugatake Villa in Japan

Creatively Adapted to A Moderate Climate: Yatsugatake Villa in Japan | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This countryside retreat by MDS features contemporary massing and beautiful wood interiors. Located in the foothills of the Yatsugatake mountains, in a relatively moderate climate, the residence reflects a lifestyle connected to nature and the surroundings. The project was developed using three adjacent volumes of different heights, with overhangs to control natural light and heat.


Wood is visible in the exposed beams, floors and window frames. Cross-ventilation is ensured through strategically placed windows. Two narrow terraces sheltered beneath the roof overhangs contribute to the building’s originality. “The fan-shaped design – opening to the south – means plenty of sun streams in during the cold winters: no matter the time of day there’s always a place to bask in the sun”, explained architects Kiyotoshi Mori and Natsuko Kawamura.

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An example of beautiful architecture highlighting a combination of location-responsive design strategies along with a vernacular aesthetic, resulting in a unique, yet comfortable and pragmatic, dwelling...

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Seamless and sustainable architecture in Big Sur, California

Seamless and sustainable architecture in Big Sur, California | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Set into the hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur, California, this retreat, seamlessly integrated into the landscape,was designed by Carver & Schicketanz Architects.


Built as a vacation home, the key elements were to build as least disruptively to the landscape as possible and minimise visibility of and from distant neighbors.

In the words of the architects, "We wanted the home to blend with the land, and give the clients a perfect retreat. We accomplished this by cutting a wedge into the gentle hillside and using this space to accommodate multiple functions (garage, laundry, powder room, pantry, mechanical room) underground. As a result the native meadow rolls onto the northern part of the house and ties the building to the landscape. Therefore the house is barely visible to the uphill neighbors."

Sustainable features include hydrotech roofing system planted with native grasses for insulation and minimising aesthetic impact on environment, thermal mass from limestone flooring, rainwater harvesting and cross-ventilation.

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Selene Wong's comment, February 25, 2013 7:34 PM
thanks!
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Blu Homes Prefab: Breezehouse

Blu Homes Prefab: Breezehouse | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The Breezehouse, one of Michelle Kaufmann’s iconic designs, is the model for the first Blu Homes development in New York State, consisting of 12 home sites ranging from 6.8 to 24 acres overlooking the Hudson River Valley and the Catskills.


The local developer worked with conservancy groups to sustainably develop the project set amid woods, streams, ponds, and vistas. The three-bedroom, three-bath dwelling features a light-filled indoor environment that connects seamlessly with the natural landscape. Structural steel framing and advanced building science make it possible to withstand extreme weather, including high snow loads and wind gusts of up to 110 mph.


Blu Homes are LEED Silver certifiable upon leaving the factory and are solar-ready. Beyond the standard green features that Blu includes in every home, such as recycled steel framing, radiant heat flooring, high R-value walls and energy-efficient appliances, Blu Homes can achieve net zero energy status, Energy Star rating and higher LEED certifications with the inclusion of other available green elements.

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Debbie Walsh's comment, February 2, 2013 4:23 PM
Very cool!
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Caterpillar House by Feldman Architecture

Caterpillar House by Feldman Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

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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Beautiful, Innovative, and Sustainable: The Future of Green Architecture

Beautiful, Innovative, and Sustainable: The Future of Green Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Today, architecture finds itself at a crossroads.

Building materials and new construction, along with the operation and maintenance of buildings, account for a significant sum of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.


Faced with this fact, how are architects to responsibly pursue the act (and art) of architecture without further deteriorating the planet’s environmental make-up or depleting its resources?

What forms of high and low technology can be developed to curtail the injurious side of building?

Can good—or even great—architecture be sustainable?


The answer, of course, is yes. The best buildings have always shown a concern for their immediate environs and how they fit in them, whether they were conscious of “sustainability” or not. Now, all architects and buildings are expected to be engaged with sustainable standards, such as LEED titles, photovoltaic cells, or green roofs—all things that these 10 projects have in common. Check out our favorite projects in architecture + sustainability...

Lauren Moss's insight:

A curated collection of (relatively) recent sustainable building projects that highlight innovative approaches to environmental design and green building, with links provided for additional information and details.

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Paige's curator insight, August 6, 2:47 PM

Green architecture! I've dreamt and have considered going into a field of real estate specializing in the building and selling of eco-friendly homes!

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A modern treehouse designed to dissolve into the landscape

A modern treehouse designed to dissolve into the landscape | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This home, known as the "Tree house”, is perched on a steep forested hillside above the Great Ocean Road and Bass Strait in Victoria.

In designing the Tree house, architects Jackson Clements Burrows, drew on the modest local vernacular of 1950’s painted fibro shacks, by using cement sheets with expressed batten joints to dissolve the house into the surrounding landscape. The 2 tone green colour scheme used for the exterior helped to merge the building with the vegetation on the hillside on which it sits. The vertical timber battens on the building are a naturally stained timber, which will silver over time like the branches and trunks of trees in the bush surrounds.

The changing light and colours throughout the day further engage the home with its bushland context...

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