The Architecture of the City
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The Architecture of the City
a closer look at urbanism and architecture
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Historic modern house renovated to Passivhaus standard

Historic modern house renovated to Passivhaus standard | The Architecture of the City | Scoop.it

A mantra here is that "the greenest building is the one already standing." There have been far too many posts about the loss of yet another Paul Rudolph houseor the razing of yet another brutalist classic. Often it is claimed that modern buildings are energy sinkholes and are impossible to modernize.

Then there is the Williams-Levant house, built by architect and former Frank Lloyd Wright employee Barry Byrne in 1934 for the pianist/ comedian Oscar Levant in Westport, Connecticut. It not only has been saved and modernized, but it actually has been renovated to Passivhaus standards, no easy feat, by Doug Mcdonald of Mudagreen.com, with Ken Levenson and Gregory Duncan as Passive House consultant...

 

The original Passivhaus standard was designed for new construction, with siting and sun angles being an important consideration. You can't do much about that in a renovation, so a special standard, EnerPHit, was developed by the German Passivhaus Institute. It calls for a reduction in thermal bridges, improved air tightness, high quality windows and a LOT of insulation, resulting in energy savings of between 75 and 90%...

 

Read the complete article for more on the strategies employed in the modernization of this historic structure.


Via Lauren Moss
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John Lasschuit ®™'s comment, March 8, 2013 2:22 PM
Great!
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Round Tower in the Uk Converted Into Contemporary Family Home

Round Tower in the Uk Converted Into Contemporary Family Home | The Architecture of the City | Scoop.it

This tower in the UK was transformed by London-based studio De Matos Ryan into a modern family home. Located in Glouchestershire, a county in South West England, UK, The Round Tower is said to be a Grade II Listed folly, which had been neglected over the years and reduced to ruin. Here is more from the architects: “The design approach maintains the open relationship with the surrounding agricultural landscape by developing a discreet and substantial underground extension to the tower. This underground extension provides the main open plan living spaces and is lit by both a central open sunken courtyard and a lateral landscape scoop concealing the new swimming pool and associated sun terraces from public view. The tower remains clearly the dominant structure, providing the front door to the 4 bedroom family house and the means of vertical circulation.”

Located on the highest part of a hill, the tower also provides lovely panoramic views of the neighboring picturesque village.


Via Lauren Moss
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Nature-Embedded Retreats: Tea Houses by Swatt Miers Architects

Nature-Embedded Retreats: Tea Houses by Swatt Miers Architects | The Architecture of the City | Scoop.it

The idea for these minimalist Tea Houses was triggered by the need of a nature retreat, located not far from a family home in Silicon Valley, California. The creative team at Swatt Miers Architects was in charge with transforming a vision into reality, designing the three tea houses as perfect observation spots.

According to the official description provided by the project developers, each new tea house was created as a “transparent steel and glass pavilion, hovering like a lantern over the natural landscape. Cast-in-place concrete core elements anchor the pavilions, supporting steel channel rim joists, which cantilever beyond the cores to support the floor and roof planes. With its minimal footprint, the design treads lightly on the land, minimizing grading and preserving the delicate root systems of the native oaks“.


Via Lauren Moss, Maguelonne Cintas
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