sustainable architecture
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design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Cliffside Ocean Residence Dramatically Adapted to an Irregular Terrain: Tula House

Cliffside Ocean Residence Dramatically Adapted to an Irregular Terrain: Tula House | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Tula house in Quadra Island, British Columbia, Canada, is an example of modern architecture blending in a harsh natural surroundings.

Envisioned by Patkau Architects and perched 44 feet above the Pacific Ocean on a remote island, it reflects the casual irregularity of the sites rock ledges, beach, and forest in both its geometric and spatial order: “The topography of the site is highly irregular; the prospects diverse. Moss covered basalt hills are interspersed among treed expanses and richly vegetated crevices, valleys and swales.”

From a distance, the residence seems to visually fade away into the dark forest. Planted in moss and native ground covers, the continuous roof stands out with its rich geometry. Narrow skylights project lines of light at oblique angles through the inner spaces. “A loose arrangement of concrete walls, clad in staggered fiber-cement panels” define the structure of this unconventional ocean dwelling. A cantilevered wooden deck with steel frames creates a stunning outdoor area for relaxation. The living zone is sober, yet almost hypnotizing with its glazed apertures and incredible views.

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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 | Scoop.it

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...

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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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The Tsunami House by Designs Northwest Architects

The Tsunami House by Designs Northwest Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Designs Northwest Architects have recently completed the Tsunami House, located on Camano Island in Washington State, a waterfront home located on a 3,140 square foot site in a high velocity flood zone.

The 887 square foot main living level is be located 5′ above grade and the foundations are designed on pilings to withstand high velocity tsunami wave action. The lower 748 square foot space is designed with walls able to break away in the event of a storm surge.

The exterior materials of the house are durable and low maintenance; architectural concrete columns are left exposed and the exterior siding is a mixture of composite and galvanized standing seam panels and aluminum windows. The lower level floor is polished concrete with radiant in floor heat and the ceilings are covered with western red cedar to add warmth to the otherwise industrial feeling of the lower level...


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16s3d's curator insight, January 4, 2014 6:30 AM

Je reste dubitatif face à la prétention humaine de maîtriser la forece des événements naturels...

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, January 8, 2014 5:40 PM

Tsunami House, located on Camano Island in Washington State, a waterfront home located on a 3,140 square foot site in a high velocity flood zone.

The 887 square foot main living level is be located 5′ above grade and the foundations are designed on pilings to withstand high velocity tsunami wave action. The lower 748 square foot space is designed with walls able to break away in the event of a storm surge.

Betty Fitzgerald's curator insight, January 9, 2014 6:06 PM

I'm helping friends on a beach cottage remodel. I counted, it's 132 steps from the beach. I dearly love Oregon's beach cottages. And I equally fear the Cascadia Subduction Zone! This looks awesome and er, expensive. :/

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S House by Glamuzina Paterson Architects

S House by Glamuzina Paterson Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This timber-clad house in Auckland by New Zealand studio Glamuzina Paterson Architects zigzags across its site to outline gardens on both its east and west sides.

The residence is named 'S House' in reference to its angular plan, designed to offer an alternative to a typical plot house with rectangular front and back yards.

"The house becomes the active space between the gardens, and affords the occupants multiple views and sectional level changes as they move through the site," explain the architects...

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Alekos Tsimpounis's comment, September 15, 2013 11:43 AM
gi8a
JMS1 Group9's curator insight, September 18, 2013 5:44 AM

I have seen beautiful, attractive and magnificent houses but i would buy or spend time in a house like this with beautiful gardening, a creative and an unsual shape. I love its view and it is unique and most improtant it is surrounded by nature.

 

-Ignesia

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Trish House by Matthew Heywood

Trish House by Matthew Heywood | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This design for this contemporary house was developed in direct response to the site and its location within the village of Yalding in Kent.

The structure is composed to reflect the surrounding woodland with the raking columns representing the irregular angles of tree trunks and branches.  Large expanses of glass fill the gaps between the structure and allow you to appreciate the landscape and setting as if you were peering out from between the trunks and branches of the trees. The traditional Kentish black and white weatherboarding represents the foliage wrapping the building and enclosing the spaces within.  In contrast to the surrounding nature, the form and lines of the house are intentionally very geometric and crisp, creating a dialogue between the organic woodland and the modernist box.

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Conrado C. Guzmán's curator insight, July 31, 2013 11:06 PM

The modern yurt

lindavi's comment, August 2, 2013 10:00 PM
like
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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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Off-Grid, Design/Build: The House on Limekiln Line

Off-Grid, Design/Build: The House on Limekiln Line | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

An extraordinary off grid home built with local materials, that fits right into the rural Ontario landscape, the House on Limekiln Line is an extraordinary artifact, addressing a 220 year old heritage, with a modern aesthetic.


From the architects:

The House on Limekiln Line, a design-build off-grid house, is sited in a rich agricultural landscape.The house is understood as both a mediator to and a microcosm of its immediate cultural and climatic context. An “observation shed”, the house is composed of a series of scales of spaces, each with distinct vantage points, visual alignments, and framed vistas to the larger context beyond, facilitating stewardship of and respect for the productive landscape in which it sits...

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Natalie Curtis's curator insight, April 19, 2013 9:22 AM

Off grid living at its finest- definitely needs to be explored more in some cases. The local materials are a great way of resourcing too!

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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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CCS Control and Servicies Center by Díaz y Díaz Arquitectos

CCS Control and Servicies Center by Díaz y Díaz Arquitectos | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in the middle of the sea, opened to the impressive view of Ría de Ares, the first challenge that assumes the projected building is the landscape.


To respond to this challenge, a formal repertoire is used, based on pure volumes that are integrated in the geometry of the dock and representative of typical forms of naval architecture.

The location required a high standard in terms of structural strength due to the thrust produced by the wind. Similarly, the high salinity of the environment, led to a study in detail of all building systems to prevent premature degradation of materials..

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Oakpass Residence by Heusch Architects

Oakpass Residence by Heusch Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The Oakpass Residence in Beverly Hillls resembles a sleek modernist box wrapped in floor to ceiling glass, 12 feet above the ground on 10 narrow columns. The structure was elevated to not only circumvent the stringent  setback requirements, but to minimize the impact of development on the beautiful natural site, heavily wooded with oak trees.

This resulted in more light for the interior spaces, views from every room, and more privacy. Also it created a space underneath the house- part carport, part Zen garden. The pool is also elevated on 3 columns and the heavy exterior west facing concrete wall acts as a passive solar heat storage element.

The interior and exterior spaces blend seamlessly into each other due to the use of frameless floor to ceiling glass and a continuity of materials from the inside to the outside.


View more images of this minimalist, passive and site-responsive home at the link...

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Casa Garoza: a contemporary shed in rural Spain

Casa Garoza: a contemporary shed in rural Spain | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Madrid-based architect Juan Herreros sees this no-frills holiday home in rural Spain as an animal occupying but not transforming the landscape.

Casa Garoza – a tiny, elegant shed in the scrubby Spanish countryside near Ávila – sits clearly within the latter camp: a modular anti-villa that is both austere and sophisticated. Derived from continuing research into modular buildings at Juan Herreros’ Madrid-based office, it was commissioned by a city-based designer-artist couple who wanted a no-frills weekend retreat. It’s a pre-fab, but in its modesty and scale, a far cry from the recent American trend for “designer” pre-fabs – reinvented double-wides for the Ikea generation.

Sitting on steel legs that are bolted to the rocks on site – without the need for any excavation – the house, Herreros says, is like an animal that occupies the landscape without transforming it. The ground continues uninterrupted beneath the building, suggesting it could be lifted up and leave no trace, and there is no landscaping apart from a simple, raised deck on one side. It comprises eight modules, which took four months to build in the factory (though Herreros estimates this could have been halved), and a day to install on site...

 

Read the complete story on this modular + innovative project at the link.

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Rammed Earth House by Feldman Architecture

Rammed Earth House by Feldman Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in rolling hillsides of Carmel, California, the Caterpillar House is a 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom dwelling that implements sustainable features and strategies for minimal development impact.


Feldman Architecture gave the client a home that connects seamlessly with the outdoors, in the form of a modern ranch with strong horizontal lines.

The house is quite literally made from the ground it sits on, with repurposed dirt from the site being used in the building of the walls. The “rammed earth walls” help keep the temperature steady because they act as a thermal mass. The house also utilizes natural ventilation to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The roof integrates photovoltaic panels that produce all the required energy, and have been carefully integrated into the design...


View more imagery of the first LEED Platinum Custom Home on the California Central Coast and read the project description at Feldman Architecture.

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Stunning, sustainable design at an Italian hydroelectric plant...

Stunning, sustainable design at an Italian hydroelectric plant... | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

In the South Tyrol province of Italy, Monovolume Architecture has completed a hydro-electric power plant that is elegantly buried into the hills.

Functional, contextual, and designed with the environment in mind, it 'converts natural forces into useful energy while maintaining an artfully low profile in the alpine environment. A rather simple solution was found for a space full of loud, bulky machinery while visually making an inconsequential impact of the site. A free-flowing concrete structure peels out of the hills, opening a fissure in the hillside supporting a green roof that camouflages the otherwise industrial building. Thin wood planks of varying sizes are revealed in this split in the ground plane to form a lamellar wall, where the warm light from the interior glows in the pitch-dark surroundings.'

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'Low Rise Waves': Science Hills Komatsu by Mari Ito

'Low Rise Waves':  Science Hills Komatsu by Mari Ito | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

On the former site of the Komatsu construction and mining equipment factory in Komatsu city, Ishikawa, Japan, Mari Ito / UAO has created the Science Hills science museum and communication center, a complex of four “low-rise waves”.

“The complex itself is constructed of four low-rise waves blending into the surrounding relatively low-rise buildings, and also into the backdrop of faraway grand peaks.” say the architects. “The Science Museum is located under the waves and consists of a 3D dome theater, a science experience learning center, a local industrial promotion center, and an incubation center.”

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The Floating House by MOS Architects

The Floating House by MOS Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The Floating House is the intersection of a vernacular house typology with the shifting site-specific conditions of this unique place: an island on Lake Huron. The location on the Great Lakes imposed complexities to the house’s fabrication and construction, as well as its relationship to site.

Annual cyclical change related to the change of seasons, compounded with escalating global environmental trends , cause Lake Huron’s water levels to vary drastically from month-to-month, year-to-year. To adapt to this constant, dynamic change, the house floats atop a structure of steel pontoons, allowing it to fluctuate along with the lake.

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scarlettarch's curator insight, July 13, 2014 8:23 AM

simple elegant functional

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Australia's Angophora House by Richard Cole Architecture

Australia's Angophora House by Richard Cole Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Angophora House was designed by Richard Cole Architecture, and it is located in Waverton, a suburb on the lower North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

“Built over an escarpment in a densely urbanised heritage conservation area in Waverton, the form of this house responds to the difficult site using the elements of cave, platform and canopy. On entering the house from the upper road, one passes through a curvaceous enclosing concrete wall with rooftop garden over.

Two platforms launch into the space of the valley, extending out from the anchoring escarpment. Insulated timber moveable walls transform the space from warm and enclosing to open and unimpeded. A sheltering timber lined roof opens to the north, falls in response to the slope of the land and captures framed views of adjacent Angophora trees.

The escarpment is retained, raw and open to the rooms of the lower ground floor. A dramatic lift takes the owners to the garage on the street below.”

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Quince's curator insight, December 17, 2013 12:11 PM

"Utilizing the elements of Cave , Platform, and Canopy"  I haven't heard that one before, but I like it! Very nice open design

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, January 8, 2014 5:50 PM

Preciosa casa en Sydney, con un uso magistral de la madera y el hormigón y una increíble fluidez entre el exterior y el interior.

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Summer Seaside House by Joakim Hoen

Summer Seaside House by Joakim Hoen | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

A holiday home perched on the rocky shoreline was digitally conceived to highlight how contextual parameters – such as weather and topography – can be the main drivers of design.

Seaside Second Home was the master's degree project of Joakim Hoen, undertaken at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design. By creating a model for digitally fabricated houses, Hoen argued that processes which lead to the final architectural designare prioritised. This project attempts to integrate contextual data and human dimensions in the digital conception of a series of second homes.

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Florence Rollin's curator insight, August 5, 2013 2:48 AM

J'adore l'esprit de cette maison de vacances qui épouse le relief par tous les temps !

ParadigmGallery's comment, August 7, 2013 8:51 PM
awesome...
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In Harmony with the Site: New Forest House by PAD Studio

In Harmony with the Site: New Forest House by PAD Studio | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

PAD studio have designed a house located in the New Forest National Park, United Kingdom.

The dwelling is set within an 18.5 acres, located within the New Forest National Park. The massing, form and orientation of the new building has been carefully conceived in order that the proposals minimise the impact on the site and its surroundings. The main dwelling and annex building both have low rise green roofs.

They are oriented to maximise solar gain and utilise ground source heat pump technology, and excavated material from the new basement and pool area has been re-used in the earth berming to provide a visual screen to the north and help to reduce the sound impact of the nearby dual carriageway.

The proposal also incorporates rain water harvesting, grey water recycling and a natural swimming pond to further increase biodiversity within the site...

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Tower House: Architecture that Camouflages into the Tree Canopy

Tower House: Architecture that Camouflages into the Tree Canopy | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This small vacation house is designed as a stairway to the treetops.


Keeping the footprint to a minimum so as not to disturb the wooded site, each of the three floors has only one small bedroom and bath, each a tiny private suite. The fourth floor, which contains the living spaces, spreads out from the tower like the surrounding forest canopy, providing views of the lake and mountains in the distance, virtually the entire Catskill Mountain range. The glass-enclosed stair highlights the procession from forest floor to treetop aerie, while the dark green enameled exterior camouflages the house by reflecting the surrounding woods, and dematerializing its form...

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ignaciano13's comment, April 19, 2013 2:30 PM
Ok Muy bonito. ¡Precioso!
Geovanni's curator insight, April 30, 2013 10:01 AM

What an interesting house to take a vacation at. :)

Clem Stanyon's comment, May 14, 2013 8:46 PM
Nice concept, I'm not sure that geometrical shapes are goign to 'blend' with fractal ones, though.
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G house: Passive Design in Normandy, France

G house: Passive Design in Normandy, France | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The intermittent use of this structure near the Seine estuary, built as a holiday home, strongly influenced the environmental choices of the project. The challenge was to give priority to passive devices and architecture, offering a gain in terms of energy performance, but also for the comfort of the occupants.


The exposure has been a main priority : East-West orientation, oversized opening to the South, natural shades and solar control strategy, North side blind.

Great attention has been given to thermal insulation. Choosing wood slab, and a wood panelling structure insulated from the outside, has allowed us to obtain good levels of insulation and air tightness. Furthermore, the low-thermal-mass building, offered by the wooden structure is interesting in the context of a weekend home, that needs to heat up quickly, for short periods. A wood stove thus is sufficient to heat the home.Finally, the building is based on the dry process framework, with the benefits of prefabrication : quality building, swift assembly, and site protection...

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Michael John Carter's curator insight, March 7, 2013 12:41 AM

Starting point is about the design!!

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

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

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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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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An Archipelago Getaway by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter

An Archipelago Getaway by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
The site is situated on a bed of rock along the edge of Stockholm’s largest archipelago, and the architecture commands views in all directions, to the water ahead and a thicket of greenery behind. A parallelogram in plan, the home angles towards the coast, with a long west facade that drinks in panoramic vistas of the Baltic.
Glass volumes are staggered in a zigzag formation and inset from the lip of the house footprint, creating a deep, shaded patio. Despite its gun-metal color associated with steel, the structure is entirely of wood, from the exterior frame down to the furniture inside. The simple form and the exquisite details all around come together in a rich, nuanced design that more than fulfills the promise of the site...
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The Rock House in Norway Adjusts to the Terrain...

The Rock House in Norway Adjusts to the Terrain... | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The Rock House replaces an older building at the site and had to be well adjusted to the terrain, both in terms of shape, scale, material and color. The house and terraces are partly built upon existing stone walls, the parts of the walls which are new are made of stones from the blasting at the site. The low elongated volume is cut into to allow for wind shielded outdoor areas, embraced by the house itself. These cuts also bring down the scale of the building, and together with the local variations of the section, make the building relate to the surrounding cliff formations.

On the outer perimeter of terraces and pool, a glass fence also protects against wind, but allows for maximum view. The house is clad with Kebony wood, a sustainable process of treating the wood to allow for good durability towards the exposure to salt water...

 

View the link for more great images of the Rock House...

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Climate-responsive architecture: Villa 921 by Harunatsu-Archi

Climate-responsive architecture: Villa 921 by Harunatsu-Archi | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Villa 921 is a single-story concrete house designed to protect residents from extreme climate conditions. Located in Japan, at a remote island accessible only by boat, this unique home was designed by Harunatsu-Archi. 

Architecturally, wood and glass walls slide open across the front and rear of the building, allowing the wind to move through the spaces for natural ventilation, while projecting canopies shade the rooms and terrace from the harsh sun. During typhoons, the house and terrace can be screened behind protective coverings, which fasten onto the protruding eaves...

 

More from the architects:

“The usable area of the house only amounts to about 70 square metres,” said architects Shoko Murakaji and Naoto Murakaji. “This is by no means large, but thanks to the amazing views of the landscape, there is never a feeling of narrowness.”

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