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design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Australia's Angophora House by Richard Cole Architecture

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

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.”

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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Casa Oruga: Containers for Nature

Casa Oruga: Containers for Nature | sustainable architecture |
A unique prefab house by Sebastian Irarrazaval architects uses recycled shipping containers on a sloped site in Santiago de Chile to create a family home.

To reduce construction time and costs in architecture, the option is quite simple: prefab. In Santiago de Chile there’s a prefabricated house that reinforces this statement by using second hand shipping containers as the main module for the design of this unusual home. The challenge was to adapt these modular pieces to a very sloped site near the Andes Mountains. An ingenious solution was adopted by letting the containers rest on the slope, following the natural topography of the site… hence, the name of the project: Casa Oruga, whichs Caterpillar House.

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Tyrolean Festival Hall Reflects the Dramatic Landscape of the Austrian Alps

Tyrolean Festival Hall Reflects the Dramatic Landscape of the Austrian Alps | sustainable architecture |

A concert hall carves its own niche in the Austrian Alps while bowing to the neighboring midcentury playhouse and the breathtaking landscape.

In the picturesque Austrian village of Erl, where the rugged Alps descend to meet the undulating valley below, a striking, angular structure, the Tyrolean Festspielhaus, or Festival Hall, pierces the landscape that inspired it. “We conceived of the building as tectonic plates shifting over one another,” says Sebastian Brunke, a project architect from the Viennese firm Delugan Meissl Associated Architects. “The opening between the two plates forms the foyer, which glows at night and through which the Alpine landscape flows like a carpet.” Reflecting the mountains above, the upper volume's sharply pointed cantilever juts out almost 100 feet.

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, October 10, 2013 6:57 AM

Me gustaría asistir a algún concierto allí.

Como gesto arquitectónico, me parece de una fuerza increíble. Además encaja perfectamente posándose en el paisaje e integrándose en él. Arquitectura o escultura?

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Oakpass Residence by Heusch Architects

Oakpass Residence by Heusch Architects | sustainable architecture |

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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An Architect’s Live Work Studio on Formentera

An Architect’s Live Work Studio on Formentera | sustainable architecture |
Here's another classic villa from the studio of Marià Castelló Martínez on the island of Formentera.

In Es Pujol De Sera they realise their contemporary version of the spare architectural tradition of Formentera. Set far from the sea in the inland region, one entire side of the compact and simple live/work space houses an architecture studio. The program is work on one side, live on the other. Even the plan displays the austere geometry that is their signature. The spacious studio provides an unhurried setting for devising thoughtful architecture. The working side of the house is just as open and inviting as the basking and lazing side.

The villa is surrounded by the smell of rosemary, and is set in a region with wheat and barley fields. The topography inland is flat and the inertia of these surroundings is reflected in the flat affect of the villa itself. A small setback around the edge in section creates the sensation that the building is floating over the site to transition between the manmade and the natural environment...

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Small House by Cooper Joseph Studio

Small House by Cooper Joseph Studio | sustainable architecture |
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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Paläon, Germany: A Futuristic Design Reflects the Surroundings

Paläon, Germany: A Futuristic Design Reflects the Surroundings | sustainable architecture |

Paläon is located at the edge of the town of Schöningen and the site of a remarkable, world-famous Stone-Age find: the Schöningen Spears – the oldest ever hunting weapons used by man. It is now also home to the new and emblematic research and experience centre that reflects the location in concept and form.

The building conveys the location’s importance as an archaeological site by rising above the natural topography like layered earth. Its futuristic shape stems from the horizontal landscape and the building’s volume, ground plan and section are defined by references to the landscape and lines of sight. The slightly offset contours create subtly different internal and external spaces. Designed with reflective cladding, the volume mirrors the landscape, with large recessed window openings that underscore the expressive dynamism of the architecture.

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

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

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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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 |
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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Bioclimatic House in the Canary Islands, Spain

Bioclimatic House in the Canary Islands, Spain | sustainable architecture |

This bioclimatic house, by Estudio José Luis Rodríguez, is a self-sufficient structure integrated into the terrain of the Canary Islands, a landscape characterized by a continuous terracing of the extreme topography.

In response to this site, the design features a basalt stone wall that supports a light structure of plywood, galvanized steel walls and glass.

The building's orientation is determined by solar radiation; photovoltaic panels produce electricity, in order to achieve zero carbon emissions. The living area is connected to the outside with a space that is protected from sun and wind, while a wall located in the sleeping area to the north has a high thermal mass for passive temperature control.

The design also aims to reduce its ecological footprint on the use of materials and construction systems by using local materials (basalt wall insulation covered with volcanic lapilli, for example), environmentally certified materials and no harmful elements, such as VOC compounds in synthetic paints and varnishes.

View more images of this unique, contextural and contemporary green project at the link to ArchDaily's feature...

FUCOL INGENIERIA's curator insight, April 12, 10:23 AM

añada su visión ...

David Regalado's curator insight, July 3, 7:47 AM

Que gran trabajo!!!! Esto es lo que queremos en las Islas Canarias;)

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Forestry Center at the Edge of the Urban Fabric in Switzerland...

Forestry Center at the Edge of the Urban Fabric in Switzerland... | sustainable architecture |
The site of the forestry center extends on both sides of the 'Reuchenette' road. To facilitate it's function, the program's content focused on only one side.

Following the topography of the land, two buildings form an elongated space ending with a court for the maneuvers.

The single level building dominates the main street façade and differs, both in form and aspect, from the urban architecture. Its envelope is of untreated strips of wood, generating a vertically-oriented texture that connects with the forest structure, filtering light and external views.

The second building, on two levels, is positioned behind the first. It's covered with simple wood cladding, pierced with large windows. The ground floor houses the changing rooms, the carpentry workshop and the technical rooms, while upstairs, the administration. Located on the edge of the urban fabric between the city and the forest, the project -through its form and materiality- gives visibility to this singular institution...

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