sustainable architecture
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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Into the woods: a timber-clad Swiss home brings the outside in

Into the woods: a timber-clad Swiss home brings the outside in | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Switzerland's striking natural landscape offers many picture-perfect views –  but Gautschi Lenzin Schenker Architekten's 'House in Rombach' was designed to make particular use of its bucolic setting. Located in a suburb at the edge of Aarau, the capital of Aargau canton, the area's green vistas took centre stage in the design process. Subsequently, the team focussed on creating a generous top floor, from which the owners and their guests can take in the area's picturesque scenery...

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Francoise ROCAFORT's curator insight, June 21, 2015 1:26 AM

Into the woods: a timber-clad Swiss home brings the outside in

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Kicking Horse Residence

Kicking Horse Residence | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

contThe Kicking Horse Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is arranged as two elements: a dense bar along the northern edge containing the sleeping and bath spaces, and an open shell with living and dining spaces oriented toward the extraordinary mountain views.

A glass volume links these forms, with the main entrance at the lower level and an upper landing for ski access on the west side. Careful positioning of program enables a sense of openness and transparency while screening the neighboring homes from view. The linear form of the sleeping spaces cantilevers over a board-formed concrete base containing the garage, mudroom, and playroom.

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Modern Beach House Camouflaged as Driftwood Box: Lamble Residence

Modern Beach House Camouflaged as Driftwood Box: Lamble Residence | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
This modern beach house located on the south coast of New South Wales was envisioned as a timber driftwood box covered by a simple white roof.

The layout of the residence was well adapted to the environmental challenges, as the architects explained : “We chose to make the most of the views, as well as the sunny and protected northern aspect, by positioning the living and sleeping spaces to that side. Service rooms including the bathrooms, laundry, and garage, are located to the south. All of the rooms open onto generous outdoor spaces, on different sides of the house, ensuring protection from the changeable seaside winds.” The minimalist interior design scheme and color palette direct attention towards the natural richness outdoors.


More photos at the link.

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Lori Wilk's curator insight, March 23, 2014 11:17 PM

Love this design#design

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House D by HHF architekten

House D by HHF architekten | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in Nulgar, Switzerland, House D by HHF Architects has an oriention parallel to the landscape, making the view a matter of prime importance- aross more than 180 degrees, vistas include verdant land with mature fruit trees.


The design accentuates the site with a few simple moves: The main level is an open space – with the kitchen as well as dining and living areas – and alongside a concrete core, the stair to the upper and lower floors. The space is entirely glazed and blends seamlessly with the space outdoors. The outdoor space itself is an oversized terrace overlooking a pool. Because the terrain slopes downward slightly, the wood deck is elevated, which protects the main living space from the curious glances of passers-by.

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Connected to the Outdoors: A Modern House with a Modular Folding Wall

Connected to the Outdoors: A Modern House with a Modular Folding Wall | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This unique residence by Pitsou Kedem Architects gives inhabitants the ability to control light entering the space with a modular facade design that also provides for changing views and varying degrees of privacy.


With great attention paid to the relations between outdoors and indoors, this structure has been designed to convert the interior space into the outdoors with great modularity while retaining its simple and clean detailing. The most fascinating views of this residence take place when the pivot shutters open, allowing one to look straight through the interiors to the rear pool side beyond without any restrictions. Standing in the front garden, one is able to look out to the rear landscape connecting the two outside spaces.

The ability to reverse the balanced composition into a dynamic one is made possible thanks to the design of a system of smart blinds that allows them to be lifted upwards and folded into what resembles a roof. As all the rails and fixtures are hidden when the façade is closed, the changing possibilities also hide in the residence's façade. ..

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Bay House by Roger Ferris + Partners

Bay House by Roger Ferris + Partners | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This residence located on the Long Island coastline is designed to capture and frame spectacular water views. The design also maximizes transparency between interior spaces and the link between interior and exterior.


The design embraces sustainability with geothermal design, daylighting, solar shading strategies and xeriscape landscaping...

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Eco-Friendly + Energy Conscious Architecture on the Cliffs of Scotland

Eco-Friendly + Energy Conscious Architecture on the Cliffs of Scotland | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

There are no boundaries when it comes to developing extensive architectural projects that focus on alternative energy sources and environmentally friendly materials. Scotland’s climate had a lot to do with completing the project, named The Houl. The team of architects stated that their work is so impressive because it’s based on “an energy conscious design”.

The house was built by taking into account the benefits of Scotland’s windy weather. The roof is sloping at different angles and the main reason for choosing such an unusual shape for it, is the summer sun. The house makes use of natural materials, such as hardwood for the inside floors and bricks for the side façade. The Houl keeps a cozy appearance, the inside walls are painted in a luminous white, making the place more spacious and relaxing. With a stunning panoramic view, this house is simply delightful. Utterly immersed into an isolated spot, The Houl makes its inhabitants feel the sweet scent of freedom. A breezy, ventilated place for those who prefer the solitary landscapes...

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A Smart Hillside Home Incorporates Solar Orientation & Passive Ventilation

A Smart Hillside Home Incorporates Solar Orientation & Passive Ventilation | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Capturing distant views of Mt. Diablo and East Bay, this 4,400 square feet modern home is perched on a steep slope in the Californian Sonoma hills.

Vista Del Valle accentuates its location with its slightly sloping roof, under which modern interior spaces define the inhabitant’s lifestyle.  

Inside, warm spaces reconstruct the feeling of being outside, but keep the atmosphere unburdened by swift weather changes. Overhangs protect the light-flooded kitchen, dining and living spaces from overheating, while windows and glass doors welcome the cooling breeze. Clerestory windows, solar hot water heating, radiant floor heating, alongside the orientation and passive ventilation create a comfortable atmosphere without charging the bills.

Imagined as a modern oasis of comfort within natural surroundings, the residence was designed by Zimmerman and Associates, who dressed the whole house in a carefully constructed skin – horizontal cedar siding and stucco intertwine to compose a suite of volumetric spaces adapted to the existing site conditions, natural lighting and needs of a modern lifestyle.

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Rosalie Residence: A Sustainable Modern Home in Australia

Rosalie Residence: A Sustainable Modern Home in Australia | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Wrapped in zinc cladding and rising up three levels, the modern Rosalie Residence takes advantage of a hillside location in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The environmentally-friendly five-bedroom home was envisioned by Richard Kirk Architects.

The exterior is given an original touch with the help of operable timber screens and venetian blinds, which ensure both sun-shading and privacy. The inner structure and use of materials is briefly characterized by the architects as follows: “The planning of the house is organized to address the views towards the city on the North-East and Mt Coot-tha on the South-West. The resulting building footprint provides private courtyards and landscaped terraces adjacent to the main living spaces.

The interior is an ensemble of Red Mahogany timber flooring and Jarrah timber paneling on backdrop of white plaster walls and white-set ceilings”. Sustainable features of the residence include solar hot water, in-ground rainwater storage for landscape irrigation and low energy lighting...

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G House - Sydney

G House - Sydney | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

A typical eastern Suburbs harbour view site; long, narrow and sloping away from the road toward harbour and Manly views. As the house is set lower than the road with living spaces opening back toward the street, a lightweight timber screen filters street views and creates privacy, yet allows light and ventilation to the private living spaces. The house has two living levels; the primary living level opens out toward an elevated view and the lower living area flows out to a pool deck and private courtyards. The sleeping level is positioned on the top level, providing privacy, quiet and commanding views. Our primary design generator was to link vertical and horizontal circulation through double and triple volume spaces and a dialog of floating planes and connected textural elements. Finished such as polished concrete floors internally and externally, tinted concrete bench tops, raw basalt, timber and steel are assembled in a contemporary composition to facilitate easy living and a seamless flow between inside and out.

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Catch the Views House by LAND Arquitectos

Catch the Views House by LAND Arquitectos | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Catch the Views House by LAND Arquitectos:

“Catch the Views House is originated from an intention of capturing and framing the different existing views at the inside spaces toward the sea and surrounding landscape. To achieve this initial objective, plus considering the strong slope of the site, we arrange and stacked one above the other a set of volumes directed to the selected views from a previous view-shed study. Arranging the interior and exterior program in relation with sunlight and wind exposure, and interconnectedness of the spaces.

The volumes are stacked one above the other, remembering how randomly shoreline rocks are stacked in this coastal landscape. We use a similar color from the rocks too, a dark grey, for the exterior facades of the house.

For the house structure, we use a system of prefabricated concrete panels, with a high isolation performance, which also reduces construction time. Material selection criteria were based on the performance, durability and maintenance of the materials in harsh coastal environments.”

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JandLInteriors, LLC's curator insight, October 30, 2014 3:23 PM

Beautiful modern floor plan in Chile.

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Partly Hidden Beach House with Unobstructed Sea Views in Norway

Partly Hidden Beach House with Unobstructed Sea Views in Norway | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Split House is a peculiar beach house partly hidden under ground. The house's two levels are made of natural materials. Each level enables lovely sea views.

The Oslo-based architectural studio JVA designed a beach house that folds into the landscape. Located near the sea, the residence is partly hidden under ground, allowing unobstructed sea views for the neighbours. Capturing the best panoramic views, the house offers a unique living experience.

The roof is covered with grass and can be also used as a terrace whilst large expanses of glass enable panoramic views to relax and inspire. The interior feels light and airy, opening up to the landscape, with transparency playing a key role in this project, providing an incredibly warm and bright environment.

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Betty Fitzgerald's curator insight, April 15, 2014 11:41 AM

I love the uncluttered approach to this beach house. And the sleek contemporary siding combined with the natural curving cobbled walk is perfect. Can I live here!?

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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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Truro Residence: Contemporary Green Architecture by ZeroEnergy Design

Truro Residence: Contemporary Green Architecture by ZeroEnergy Design | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Designed by ZeroEnergy Design, this modern green home featuring a spectacular water and sunset view is located in Truro, Massachusetts.


The west-facing orientation for glazing isn’t ideal for energy performance, so the rest of the building envelope was designed to offset the expansive view windows. Double stud framing allows a continuous layer of foam insulation and a geothermal system, coupled with a radiant heating system, will supply all of the heating and cooling for the year. In addition to energy efficient appliances and water heaters, all of the spaces are well illuminated using energy efficient fixtures.

The roof sports a large solar electric array to offset energy usage through the use of net metering. A battery back-up and energy management system will store electricity from the solar array; the combination the energy efficient building envelope and systems will allow the home to produce nearly as much energy as it uses over the course of a year...


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Sustainable Development: South Chase housing by Alison Brooks Architects

Sustainable Development: South Chase housing by Alison Brooks Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Suburban housing development in Essex by Alison Brooks Architects that reinterprets the local rural architecture of wood and sloping roofs..


London firm Alison Brooks Architects used dark-stained timber and sloping rooftops for this suburban housing development.

Describing the goals of the development, Alison Brooks says she wanted to create "a completely new and more sustainable suburban housing typology where open-plan flexible houses are integrated with outdoor spaces to increase the sense of space and light".


The architect also emphasised the importance of creating "dedicated working spaces" in each house, adapting to the growing number of people who work from home and "helping to create an economically active suburb". In line with this, each house comes with an accessible loft that can be converted into an office and the larger houses also include a ground-floor study that doubles up as a spare bedroom...

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Modernism + Nature: the Tower Studio in Shoal Bay, Newfoundland

Modernism + Nature: the Tower Studio in Shoal Bay, Newfoundland | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The ‘Tower Studio’ is dramatically situated on a stretch of rocky coastline in Shoal Bay, Newfoundland, where no roads guide your way and which is only reached by hiking.

Part of an architectural series by Saunders Architecture the Fogo Island Arts Corporation, the studio’s sculptural silhouette leans both forward and backward as it twists upward.

The studio is comprised of three levels with an overall height of thirty-two feet. Its entry area is equipped with a kitchenette, a compost toilet and wood- burning fireplace. Its second level is a studio, day lit by generous skylight.

At times, the stark abstract forms of the studios all painted black seem to disappear into the foggy weather, typical on Fogo Island. Inside everything is painted in a shiny white and as one passes up the white ladder through the horizontal opening one will stand on the roof- top deck with the view of the ocean and the rocky wind-swept terrain around you...

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Altius Architecture Inc. | Clearview Residence

Altius Architecture Inc. | Clearview Residence | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Designed for a local artist to enjoy, this residence is located just south of Collingwood, in the heart of the Clearview area.

A broad selection of sustainable technologies, including a geothermal lake loop and green house set this project apart from others in the area. The building itself draws inspiration from a number of intimate relationships and views, both through the adjacent woodland, as well as across the nearby pond.

The buildings program is extensive and with the clients desire to maintain the majority of this over one level the design team were particularly aware of the need to integrate the building into its surroundings in a subtle way. Consequently this quickly became a main focus, and thus gave the scheme real direction,  with each space located appropriately within the overall layout so to take advantage of the site and its beauty as well as to make sure that the building was as user friendly and functional as possible...

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North Fork Residence by Thielsen Architects

North Fork Residence by Thielsen Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Perched on the edge of a wooded cliff overlooking Tate Creek, the North Fork Residence occupies a small shelf of land on the east face of a mountainous site. In response to the harsh environment, portions of the house are sheathed in metal, which will patina with the passage of time and exposure to the elements. The interior is organized along a central circulation spine with spaces transitioning from public to private along its length.

A crucial component of the project was the owners’ desire to restore the portion of Tate Creek which flows through their property. After years of abuse and neglect the channelized creek banks were choked with blackberries and other invasive plants. The channel berms were removed and the stream banks cleared of invasive species and restored with native trees, shrubs and perennials. A large meadow east of the creek now provides natural habitat and flood storage capacity relieving pressure on downstream areas...

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Modern Tree House in Australia Opening Up Towards a Lush Landscape

Modern Tree House in Australia Opening Up Towards a Lush Landscape | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
With the purpose of implementing a low maintenance home, perfectly integrated in its natural landscape, mmp Architects developed Hp Tree House, a building that seemingly floats on a galvanized steel support, minimizing its effects on the environment. Here are more details on the structure of this intriguing tree-house: “Three pavilions separated by breezeways form the single level of the home suspended above the natural slope. Outdoor dining overlooks the slightly lower lounge ‘tree-house’ which rests under a large canopy roof and is open on all sides. The main bedroom and ensuite pavilion is accessed across this breezeway and features framed views of the adjoining rock face which becomes a wet season cascade. Guest bedrooms and shared ablution facilities comprise the west pavilion which is separated from the living area by the entry breezeway and laundry/drying area.” The project is located on a secluded terrain on the flanks of Mt Whitfield in Cairns, Australia and opens up towards the forest and the views beyond through large windows, while remaining invisible to the city below.
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Small House by Cooper Joseph Studio

Small House by Cooper Joseph Studio | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
The owners asked for an efficient, off-the-grid, house that would be one with their site. It is a “diamond in the rough”, a precisely detailed modern structure within a rustic, agricultural farm.

 

The 850 square-foot, one bedroom, structure is anchored to the steep hillside with a series of retaining walls and cascading exterior decks each linked to an interior space. This act of at once embracing the hillside and relating inside and outside at every level is an ambitious concept for such a small house yet the one least intrusive to the natural topography. The circulation directs you to the views while the fenestration protects from the hot southern sun in favor of soft northern light. The main interior stair skewers the levels along the predominant central concrete wall. The exterior is predominantly light-grey zinc expressed in horizontal panels with articulated reveals running horizontally. Stained redwood is used for sunscreens and decking.

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