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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Croft by James Stockwell Architects

Croft by James Stockwell Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

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

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

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Susan Schuler Blake's comment, September 27, 2013 2:14 PM
não pra mim mas ecológico
Susan Schuler Blake's comment, September 27, 2013 2:16 PM
hmm... uma ideia ecológica ao menos
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The Modern Seaweed House Brings Old and New Together

The Modern Seaweed House Brings Old and New Together | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This beautiful house located on Danish island Læsø is 100 square meters and is suitable for two families. Architecture studio Vandkunsten decided to bring back to life old method of using seaweed in housing, characteristic for the local architecture of island. The effective insulation – seaweed! – makes it possible to live in the house year-round.

In contrast to the historic houses, the Modern Seaweed House is more contemporary in its expression. The visible seaweed has been stuffed into bolsters made of net knitted in strong wool. The bolsters are attached to the roof in overlapping runs and, in smaller scale, mounted on the façades using the same method.

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Trista Etherton's curator insight, August 17, 2013 4:30 PM

Truly amazing

Bernard Wlodarczyk's comment, August 19, 2013 1:09 PM
La maison caméleon qui se fond dans la nature?
George T. Sipos's comment, August 19, 2013 1:41 PM
Seaweed might turn out to be a true savior of our future. Why not houses made of it? @Bernard Se fonder dans la nature apres la revolution industrielle quand on a essaye de la dominer de subjuguer...C'est ca la vraie voie de l'avenir, n'est ce pas? :)
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Living in 'An Extension of Nature': CasasNaAreia in Portugal

Living in 'An Extension of Nature': CasasNaAreia in Portugal | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

CasasNaAreia is a gorgeous holiday retreat based on the transformation of old masonry buildings into new, contemporary structures.


The property is about the experience of living almost in an extension of the natural environment, especially in the kitchen/dining area – which is laid out with a carpet of fine sand. One of the two wooden volumes was converted into a two-bedroom pavilion and the other is employed for common and social areas.

Surrounded by rice paddies and umbrella pine forest, CasasNaAreia looks out onto the Sado estuary, famous for its stunning sunsets, salt pans, flamingos and flocks of dolphins...

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Materiality, Light + Thermal Control: House in Yamasaki by Tato Architects

Materiality, Light + Thermal Control: House in Yamasaki by Tato Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in a residential area in Hyogo Prefecture, the house was designed for a family with two children. “The residents requested that, as the area has short hours of sunlight in winter, they’d like to bring in as much light as possible,” said Yo Shimada of Tato Architects.


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I wanted to create light, stable indoor climate and came up with a plan of three sheds of house type arranged on a 1.8 m high foundation platform. The first floor was lowered by 760 mm below ground to optimize the heating system and regulate temperature, while preserving views to the surrounding mountains and sky for the entire residential neighborhood.

The bathroom shed and the sunroom shed provide lighting and ventilation for the lower floor and form an overhead courtyard. The sunroom collects heat in winter, and exhausts heat in summer through the five motor-operated windows.

Corrugated polycarbonate panels are used for outer walls of the three sheds to take in solar radiation, with moisture and water-absorbing sheets between the panels and structure.The inside of the walls are formed with a heat insulating layer, and the ceiling and walls of bathroom are further filled up with light transmitting thermal insulation material of reproduced PET bottles.


A house appearing as small as a peasant’s work shed of an innovative material as corrugated panels creates a new vernacular in this agricultural area. Read the article and view more photos of this very unique house that connects new and old within the rural landscape.

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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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Two Sustainable Homes in Luque: In harmony with the environment...

Two Sustainable Homes in Luque: In harmony with the environment... | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

In this project, the realization of a living space that suits the topography, the vegetation, and the tropical climate required the knowledge gained from the study of vernacular architecture. 


The “Culata Jovai” or “House of Confronted Rooms” is a bioclimatic solution to incorporating traditional ways of living harmoniously with the environment in Paraguay. It constitutes a base typology for a reinterpretation of the vernacular, according to new functional programs, needs of symbolic representation and new technologies, framed in a sustainable project.

With the inclusion of green roof, the original space of vegetation displaced by the construction was recovered, also reducing the heat gain due to the thermal inertia of the underground spaces, therefore reducing greatly the conventional energy consumption of homes.


View more images of this unique sustainable home at the article link...

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Greening Japan: sustainable trends in architecture + reconstruction

Greening Japan: sustainable trends in architecture + reconstruction | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Japan’s historic architecture was among the most sustainable and environmentally friendly on the planet. Think of a traditional machiya (merchant’s house) or even a palace, such as the Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto; made of local materials such as wood, tatami, paper.
The 20th century’s rush to modernize favored new technologies over tradition, and Japan became one of the most exciting architectural landscapes on the globe. There are few environments as adventurous: a place where microhouses are built on microscopic building sites, where skyscrapers rise on seismic quake lines and where material and form are pushed to new heights- it is a constantly changing architectural landscape... 

But the price for this constant reinvention is often environmental; with global economic uncertainty and recent disasters, Japan has had to rethink how it wants to go forward. It could be the beginning of a quiet architectural revolution, as architects and urban planners – as well as the public – question architectural ideals since 1945 and ask: how can this be done better?


Now, with reconstruction beginning, the need and desire to find innovative and sustainable ways of building is growing. Japanese architecture has traditionally prized and worked in response to nature, so it's no surprise that architects are not only looking to new green technology but also back to Japan’s architectural traditions; a shoji screen can be as relevant as a solar panel in sustainable architecture...


Visit the link for the complete article for case studies, example projects and more images that address this new phase of architecture and sustainable development in Japan.

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Picturesque Barn Extension in France by PPA Architects

Picturesque Barn Extension in France by PPA Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The architecture team of PPA worked on the reconstruction of an old barn in the highlands of Hautes-Pyrénées, France. The result is a welcoming rustic retreat, with appreciation for the local tradition:

“Our purpose was to add an extension to the existing barn conversion, creating new living spaces (a guest room and multi-purpose room), along with a utility area and garage. The specificity of the extension project is rooted both in the character of its natural setting and that of the existing building, and creates a double bind in terms of both typology and design. The extension was positioned in the southern portion of the site, on equal footings with the barn, and slips effortlessly into the naturally excavated lay of the land“.

With a highly original facade defined by glass and logs, the addition originally combines raw materials like stone and wood, with a minimalist, modern design approach.

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Interaction between a home and its context: Ramm Salbu Architects, Kalvaneset Cottage

Interaction between a home and its context: Ramm Salbu Architects, Kalvaneset Cottage | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

A home on the west coast of Norway- two  structures that interact with each other and with nature- was based on a contemporary interpretation of local building traditions. Ramm Salbu Architects of Norway built Kalvanaset Cottage, a home with a spectacular view of the sea, in Byrknesøy.

The two volumes, a main home for the family and a guesthouse are linked by a glass corridor that makes it possible to enjoy the beauty of nature without feeling the cold.

The material used on the façades, the side walls and the roof is solid untreated pine, assembled on the basis of the traditional construction principles of the vernacular building tradition on the coast. Untreated timber is a living material which changes its look over the years, taking on a warm grey hue ensuring that the Cottage will blend into its natural surroundings even better with time...

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Lakeside Retreat | Peter Gluck and Partners

Lakeside Retreat | Peter Gluck and Partners | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Architect Peter Gluck and his architect-led design build firm ARCS have created a sustainable family compound in the Adirondacks using concrete geometrical forms buried into the earth.

Conceptually and programmatically, the two buried buildings—a family house and a recreation building with an interior courtyard, amphitheater, gallery, and indoor pool—are essential pieces of a compound on a steeply sloped 21-acre site. The entire grouping, with two guest houses and abundant walking trails, and culminating in a 2,200-square-foot boathouse and dock, fulfills the same purpose as the nearby Adirondack great camps that cropped up in the mid- to late 19th century.

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Green School Building in Bali... Built with Bamboo

Green School Building in Bali... Built with Bamboo | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

John and Cynthia Hardy has left everyone with an open mouth showing that you can live in harmony with the environment without changing much. This is because the green school has created a bamboo base also contains solar panels. Aesthetically could not be better and all this with the addition that the structure will blend with nature in place...

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Floating House

Floating House | 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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Living Infrastructure

Living Infrastructure | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Growing your own house may seem like a new idea, but what about growing pieces of functional infrastructure? That’s exactly what the locals of Nongriat in Meghalaya, India have been doing for the past 500 years. In that time, they’ve grown bridges over one hundred feet in length and strong enough to support the weight of more than 50 people. There are even “double decker” bridges...

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House at the Pyrenees: Vernacular Construction at a Contemporary Addition

House at the Pyrenees: Vernacular Construction at a Contemporary Addition | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

With their project ‘House at the Pyrenees’, Cadaval & Solà-Morales aimed at preserving the original structure of the house and doing a minimal yet contrasted intervention, the idea is to generate new and contemporary spaces for living, respecting the historic envelope.


The project seeks to recuperate the construction values of an old existing vernacular house which was made out of dry stone, a traditional technique of the area of great tectonic value. It elaborates on a series of interior horizontal partitions that are supported by two vertical containers that behave both as structural elements and as divisions of the continuous spaces...

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Alekos Tsimpounis's comment, September 15, 2013 11:11 AM
axaxxaxaxaxaxaaxxa
Lola Ripollés's curator insight, September 15, 2013 5:55 PM

Preciosa ubicación con vistas al valle y preciosa casa!

JMS1kiddz's curator insight, September 16, 2013 4:33 PM

Amazing architecture that fuses modern style with the exsisting style and preserves the original architecture of the house.

- Madi Chaput

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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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Self-Sufficient Farmhouse by Studio Moffitt

Self-Sufficient Farmhouse by Studio Moffitt | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This self-sufficient farmhouse residence in Ontario, Canada by Studio Moffitt is entirely off-grid and generates all its own electricity using solar panels on the roof, as well as from passive strategies. Windows are triple-glazed to prevent heat from escaping, while the concrete floor acts as a thermal mass.


The architectural language of the exterior, a monolithic galvanised steel shed, is informed by the local agricultural vernacular to ensure visual coherence within the landscape and to facilitate construction with locally available and sourced materials. Construction was completed largely by local farmers familiar with agricultural building practices.The rich dialogue with local craftsman ensured that the house is rooted in the building practices and conventions of context while also offering the community exposure to innovative resource and energy-conserving construction practices...

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ParadigmGallery's comment, February 23, 2013 8:08 AM
Love this piece...the house is perfectly lovely and sits comfortably in the setting....the story warms my heart...and the fields and farmland exports me to Iowa.....
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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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H House: a modular + contemporary interpretation of traditional architecture

H House: a modular + contemporary interpretation of traditional architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Not far from Budapest, on the fringes of a forest, there stands Tamás Dévényi’s shingle covered new house. The disarmingly simple building creates generous spatial relations on the 1,5 hectare land. The proximity of the bustling city life doesn’t mean that we can not relish the convenience of nature and the separation of a farmhouse. Borrowing its form and use of materials from the Central-European peasant architecture, the building’s modular structure follows contemporary design thinking.


The requirements for a country house have changed a lot during the past hundred years, but using the old Hungarian peasant house’s archetype was a good starting point for the design in a situation where the strict local building regulations tie the architects’ freedom, according to local resources.


Read further to learn how the project team incorporated vernacular typologies to create a contemporary, modular + green farmhouse in a rural context...

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Modular materiality at House K by Auerbach Halevy Architects

Modular materiality at House K by Auerbach Halevy Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

A unique example of sustainable and modular design influenced and reflective of the vernacular and local tradition, while incorporating modern materials and concepts...


In a rural area in Israel, Auerbach-Halevy has designed a distinctive house.  The design is a concrete block, and the north elevation facing the street and both side facades seem completely opaque, yet they are not alienated to their environment.
The entire structure is covered with a uniform system of prefabricated exposed concrete panels, which are integrated with heavy wood Latticework – A reminder to the traditional oriental element – the eastern trellis (“mashrabia”). The combination of materials and distribution arrangements add warmth, and ease the rigid system.


In HOUSE K the pre-cast concrete panels participate in the interior design, dictate the rhythm in the house and affect its scale.
The unique appearance of the house expresses locality, and by combining the exposed concrete elements with the trellis wooden work, creates a unified and coherent language. This combination of elements transcends beyond the contrasting and complementary nature of the materials, resolves the symbolic collision produced by the components, and therefore creating a unity between tradition Arab style and modernist building.

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Self-sufficient house for all seasons by architect John Lin

Self-sufficient house for all seasons by architect John Lin | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Self-sufficient house adapted from traditional Chinese rural architecture by John Lin, winner of the AR House award 2012.

Lin, who is an architecture professor at the University of Hong Kong, designed the house in Shijia Village, north-eastern China, as a model that would encourage village residents to be less dependent on outside goods and services.

The Architectural Review has presented its 2012 House Award to John Lin, a Hong Kong-based architect whose innovative work takes him into the interstices of the extraordinary transformation underway in China’s cities, towns and rural areas.

Lin’s winning project is an updated version of the vernacular mud brick courtyard house that populates China’s vast rural areas. His design for a modern prototype of this traditional locus of rural life, increasingly at risk, brings together both old and new, incorporating concrete technology with original mud brick construction...

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Back to Earth | Vernacular Architecture

Back to Earth | Vernacular Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
In Ma'anqiao, the 2008 earthquake destroyed 263 out of 272 houses.

Today, with the help of a group of university researchers, this remote Sichuan village has become a workshop of design experimentation, in which the region's inhabitants and artisans are re-learning the ancient art of rammed-earth constructions.

To do so, it was essential to give villagers a demonstration of how to rebuild with all the readily available resources. As a prototype, a new rammed-earth courtyard dwelling was constructed for an elderly couple in one month by the project team together with villagers mobilised from each family. Providing families with a participative training course on the basic techniques developed in previous studies, this hands-on approach allowed them to be convinced by the new construction and further understand how to rebuild their houses by themselves...

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A Multi-funtional Green Living Environment by Drost + van Veen

A Multi-funtional Green Living Environment by Drost + van Veen | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Architecture with the quality and character of the surrounding green living environment – that was the starting point for a multifunctional building designed by Drost + van Veen in the suburb of Oosseld.

The building, which comprises a primary school, a sports hall, café, care centre and community services, is the hub of Oosseld's new 'village campus'.

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Sustainable Architecture: Moza House, Timisoara, Romania

Sustainable Architecture: Moza House, Timisoara, Romania | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

MOZA HOUSE: A traditional house from Timisoara, Timis county, Romania was brought to life by a sustainable architectural project that aimed to rediscover old materials and techniques. We usually see reconverted houses in a completely new, modern scheme, but this one maintains the old spirit and identity, considering that it is normal to offer a continuity of the past to the present.

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La Concha House by MOOARC

La Concha House by MOOARC | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The house was developed as a fluid, three-dimensional plan, inspired by ‘The Nolli plan of Rome’ 1748.

The internal volume of the 15th Century barn forms the heart of the home. On the lower level, kitchen and dining is position below a more formal living space up on a mezzanine level.

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Nishorgo Oirabot Nature Interpretation Centre

Nishorgo Oirabot Nature Interpretation Centre | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The main objectives of this centre, located in a protected forest and nature reserve in Chittagong District in the south of Bangladesh, are nature education and interpretation tours, in an effort to create awareness and promote biodiversity, conservation and eco-tourism.

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