Among the first Passive Houses in France, this bamboo-clad farmhouse by the Parisian firm Karawitz Architecture brings a bit of green to tiny Bessancourt.
When architects Milena Karanesheva and Mischa Witzmann—the couple behind Paris-based Karawitz Architecture—decided it was time for more space, they knew that they’d have to move their private lives outside of the French capital. After much research they settled on the small town of Bessancourt, about 17 miles northwest of Paris, because it offered an easy train ride into the city and a five-minute walk to the Montmorency Forest, ideal for their two young kids. But as for the house they’d live in, as Karanesheva puts it, “We wanted to use the opportunity to experiment.”
They commenced building in 2008, with German Passive House standards as their sustainability polestar. By construction’s end they had created a 1,733-square-foot home that uses only 4,200 kilowatt-hours per year—about a tenth of what a conventionally constructed house in France might use. With no other means of heating or cooling than those generated by the structure—a tenet of Passive House design—the new home is modeled on the French country dwellings of the area. Regional aesthetic codes also made their presence felt—out went any plans for a terraced roof, in came the barnhouse slope—but the resulting bamboo-clad abstraction of a farmhouse makes a strikingly modern addition to the rural landscape...
Via Lauren Moss, Wes Thomas