+2edison7 is a stunning renovated LEED platinum residence by Studio 27 Architecture, located at the corner of 27th and Edison Street in Arlington, Virginia. Before the renovation, the home was a modest, two-story colonial, built in the post-war moment when houses were small and cars were large. Today, this mid-century residence is a graceful composition of brick, glass and wood-accented rain screen known as +2edison7—Studio Twenty Seven Architecture’s playfully disjunctive name for this high-performing renovation with humble bones.
As the personal home of one of the principals at Studio Twenty Seven Architecture, this home was a design and research project that sought to revitalize a typical suburban residential building with modern amenities and sustainable retrofits while adjusting the building’s spacial program to account for site conditions and orientation. The renovation more than doubled the volume of the original building, from 1,300 square feet to 2,800 square feet; yet its systems operate at more than 60 percent greater efficiency than before.
The stairway draws inspiration from the way that light dapples down through two maple trees which were on the site. A photo of the maple leaves was adapted to a pixelated contrast pattern and then translated to a template for milling machine, which then milled the wood.
Despite substantially up-sizing the house, the architect’s research led the firm to maintain the neighborhood scale as a reference point. Working off of the existing masonry core, the architects realigned and expanded the home away from the public street and towards the quiet of its garden. The density and rhythm of the neighborhood suggested a design based around scale modulation and precise viewpoints. The house massing builds from the scale of the original core, and a new addition up top opens the house to the site situation. Each window was carefully located to mediate the public-private threshold of the site, focusing on the most compelling views yet allowing privacy and capitalizing on daylighting. The result is a house that is open, capacious and airy from the inside, but discreet and slightly introverted from the exterior.
Sustainable strategies further reduced resource consumption, including energy-efficient LED and CFL lighting, and ENERGY STAR appliances and ceiling fans. To minimize water use, dual-flush and low-flow toilets are used, and showers and faucets are equipped with low-flow aeration devices. Water usage for this single-family home has been cut in half. Additionally, the house’s original wood floors were salvaged, and supplemental flooring was provided by sustainably and regionally harvested forest providers associated with FSC. Countertops are recycled porcelain, glass and mirrors suspended within an epoxy resin. The exterior is a palette of durable, low-maintenance and high recycled content products such as integral color cement board and epoxy resin color panels. Reduced care requirements on products ultimately reduce continued chemical and manufacturing requirements, while also allowing the homeowners to spend more time in their garden.
The home has garnered multiple certifications, including USGBC’s LEED BD+C: Homes v3 Platinum and Home Innovation Research Labs (HIRL, formerly the NAHB Research Center) National Green Building Standard (NGBS) Gold Level. It is also certified as an EPA ENERGY STAR New Home, EPA Indoor airPLUS home, and locally at the Gold level in the Arlington County Green Home Choice award. Finally, the yard is a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat. Indeed, +2edison7 may hold more sustainability accolades than any post-war tract home in the mid-Atlantic.
Photos: Courtesy of Studio 27 Architecture
Casa Atrevida is a luxurious, environmentally friendly vacation retreat designed by Luz de Piedra Arquitectos, located on a woodsy private refuge on the shores of the breathtaking Playa Preciosa, in Puerto Jimenez, the largest town on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.
You can stay at this luxury beachfront property surrounded by a forest abundant with exotic animals, with rates starting at $315 per night, sleeping 10, from here.
This unique 3,229 square foot (300 square meters) house is environmentally friendly, made from bamboo (Guadua), as a structural material for earthquake resistance. Attractive material, from a short cycle of growth, therefore, with a smaller ecological footprint in this environment so rich into biodeversity matters. A roof garden is used to cool down and improve the integration to the landscape from the second level.
The retreat is constructed in a modern tropical style, and was designed to be perfectly integrated into the beautiful natural surroundings.
Guests are sure to have a memorable experience thanks to the immense natural beauty of the region, the personalized service, and an experience designed for your utmost comfort.
This is a recreational house, with it´s own carekeepers studio. It was made with Bambu(Guadua) as the structural element, designed to be seismic resistant. An atractive material that has a short growing cycle, thus reducing carbon footprint in a forested area.
The house has five bedrooms and can accommodate a maximum of ten people. Each bedroom has a walk-in closet and a private bathroom. All of the bedrooms are stylishly decorated and are furnished with a desk or vanity.
The four bedrooms on the second level are identical and have views of the garden/terrace and the treetops around the house. Two of the bedrooms are furnished with two twin-sized beds. The other two are each furnished with a queen-sized bed. All rooms are protected from insects by mosquito nets or mashrabiyas so that you can fully take advantage of the natural beauty that the property has to offer.
The fifth bedroom, which is located on the ground floor, is a luxurious master bedroom. Furnished with a king-sized bed, a spacious bathroom, and a desk, the master bedroom includes wonderful views of the natural surroundings. Each bedroom comes equipped with a ceiling fan. The kitchen is fully equipped. The kitchen/dining room/living room area is designed to be a comfortable interior with beautiful views of the exterior to optimize your experience.
Photos: Sergio Pucci
The Cluny House is a cozy and luxurious yet sustainable family home that has been designed by Guz Architects, situated in Singapore. The residence demonstrates how technology, planning and design can be applied sensitively to generate a comfortable, luxurious, yet sustainable family home.
Photovoltaic cells and solar water heaters are employed together with design for passive cooling and cross ventilation to reduce energy usage. Irrigation tanks and roof gardens collect and recycle rainwater; and the use of materials such as recycled teak and artificial timber adds warmth without compromising the finite resources of our environment.
The house is laid out around a central water court that forms the focal point of the project. Lushly planted roof gardens surround this and add to the effect that nature is evident in every part of the house.
Although the house is high tech – using state of the art EIB systems, photovoltaic cells, security systems – these are integrated discreetly and work with the natural environment of the house rather than against it.
This integration of technology and nature deserves special mention in a compelling design that could realistically become the model for sustainable living.
Photos: Patrick Bingham Hall
We just received images of this net zero home that was designed by HMH Architecture + Interiors in Boulder, Colorado, for two environmental attorneys. One of the attorneys works for the Environmental Protection Agency so maximum sustainability was the only option. However, the environment wasn’t the only design caveat. The owners—a small family with two dogs—also needed a showcase for their expansive art collection of two- and three-dimensional pieces, and requested casual living spaces to accommodate everyday living.
The house was designed in three zones: public, private and the garage. An entry that functions as an airlock separates the garage from the public zone defining the entry as well as help keeping pollutants from entering the main house.
After interviewing several firms in the area, the owners chose HMH Architecture + Interiors in Boulder, Colorado, a firm that specializes in art collection-driven home design, to create home that would be a work of art in its own right.
A seamless integration of the environment, art and family life, the home is a sculptural plan with long, uninterrupted walls throughout to accommodate and complement the art collection. Windows were carefully sized and located throughout to optimize daylight and art lighting while sheltering the works from direct sunlight.
A living room designed for living. This great room area includes the kitchen, dining area, an open office for homework and telecommuting, a living area for family interaction, and a covered porch for eating and playing outdoors.
To achieve an architectural balance between high-concept design and environmental efficiency, the home was built with sustainable materials throughout, including more cost-effective stucco and metal for the exterior.
“The main goal was to build a house that didn’t leave a carbon footprint,” says principal Harvey Hine, who conducted energy modeling prior to construction, which dictated that the house had to be built with fewer windows than originally intended.
The window design was a study of transparency and heat control optimizing the ideal amount of sunlight to keep the home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. With a 10kW solar intake system on the roof and a hot water solar system, the home produces 140% of its energy every year, and the homeowners sell the excess back to Xcel Energy.
No matter how sustainable or sculptural, a home ultimately has to be comfortable and livable, which was the top priority for this small family who wanted the home to serve as a social center for guests and entertaining. The great room includes a kitchen, dining area and an open office for family interaction as well as a covered porch for eating and enjoying the legendary Colorado weather.
An open office for homework and telecommuting. The result is an integration of the environment, living and art, customized for a specific family.
The house is bright, airy and acts as a backdrop for the art, the landscape, and daily family activity. The result of the integration of the environment, art, and daily family activity which has been customized for a specific family and location.
Photos: Courtesy of HMH Architecture + Interiors
Hupomone Ranch is a certified LEED Platinum project designed by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, nestled on 150 acres in the Chileno Valley, just west of downtown Petaluma, a city in Sonoma County, California. The ranch is an original homestead that had been neglected for over 30 years and the owners wanted to build a family house that would reflect their commitment to sustainable farming, draw on the natural serenity of the site and build on the sense of place in western Petaluma where farming and ranching are still a part of people’s daily lives.
The site has a wonderful balanced quality to it, and the simple grounded form of the barn is sited to compliment this setting and capture the long views to the coastal range beyond. Entering a low porch on the more opaque north side under the loft above, the light-filled house opens up to the expansive view of Sonoma hills to the south and gathers the bedrooms and kitchen to either side.
The house is certified LEED Platinum and features a number of energy saving features exceeding title 24 by over 50 percent. Passive heating and cooling with thermal mass and insulation, Geothermal, radiant cooling and heating along with solar and photovoltaic panels contribute to the house’s energy efficiency. All materials for the project also had to meet specific guidelines, such as lumber that had been sustainably harvested , products produced within a certain distance from the project, or a specified percentage of recycled content.
An integral part of the design, the landscaping by Lutsko Associates includes several outdoor living areas, organized along a riparian restoration and native plantings. To tie it all together, Erin Martin’s interiors compliment the flow of indoor/outdoor living.
Photos: David Wakely
The Sunshine Canyon Residence has been designed by THA Architecture, nestled at an elevation of 7,000 feet in the mountains just west of Boulder, Colorado. Completed in 2013, this home was a replacement to a home that the owners had lost the Fourmile Canyon fire of Labor Day weekend in 2010. They sold their property and purchased a larger parcel of eight acres for $150,000 on a higher perch, seven miles above downtown. The new structure was more modest in size to their previous home, coming in at 2,200 square feet and costing $1.2 million to build. The dwelling is set on tall steel columns and encased in corrugated, fire-resistant steel siding that is quickly taking on the patina of an old mining shack. “With passive house features, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and a solar array out back, the house is practically net zero in terms of energy consumption”, states THA Architecture.
The panoramic views are ever-changing and offer their own form of entertainment. Where others may have cleared away the expanse of burned trees, the couple saw beauty and left them standing.
Cliffside Drive Residence is a family home designed by Natasha Barrault Design, offering an easy-living vibe and a strong connection to the outdoors in Point Dume, Malibu, California. This partial remodel, interior and exterior design is a joint project collaboration with architect-designer Hervé Daridan. The property 7,500 square foot (including guesthouse) belongs to a couple in the fitness industry and their 4-year-old son who had two main interests throughout the project: To get the property off the grid and do the entire project as sustainably as possible, and to create a truly comfortable home in which warmth and a peaceful atmosphere mattered most and the result would not be “overdecorated”.
From the designer: We achieved this in part by designing a lot of built in cabinetry which helped define spaces clearly whilst “melting” into the fabric of the house and contributing to the airy feel of the rooms. We choose organic materials in a definite but soft color palette and textiles are an important element throughout. We also assembled a selection of Art and objects for the house and collaborated on the exterior with Armfield Design & Construction.
Barrault strove for an easy-living, laid-back spirit in the furnishings. Slipcovered sofas and throw pillows in neutral hues, along with the option of floor seating, give the living room an informal feel.
One way that Daridan (the architect) let more light in was to replace all the railings on the decks and balconies with less obscuring materials. Today the living room feels bright because light easily enters the home.
The taupe tones in the Farrow & Ball wallpaper are brought out by the concrete countertop and sink in the guest bath. The combination of colors and the lotus pattern of the wall treatment enliven the entire space.
The multidirectional sofa allows the family to use and orient it according to their needs.
The living room is designed to shape shift into a language arts room for the clients’ home school. “We added specially designed furniture and elegantly protected the Paola Lenti ottomans and other pieces. When school is in session, the clients cover the Hans Wegner coffee table so that it can withstand the wear and tear of the school day,” states the designer.
Bolsters and cushions can be moved around for play or for guest seating, or even cleared to transform the sofa into a daybed.
The credenza was custom designed for the family; it houses books, toys and recycled plastic storage tubs by Plastica.
Instead of a gallery wall of framed photos, the clients opted for a magnetic wall that showcases artwork, family photos and love notes. “The wall is constantly evolving and keeps the space from feeling static,” states the designer.
Animal-shaped, whimsical throw pillows are scattered on the bed. Storage space and ample drawers give toys and other articles a place of their own.
The boy’s room has a table and Knoll chair for endless hours of reading, drawing and daydreaming. Balcony doors connect the space to the outside.
This bath was designed both for safety and fun. The tub floor is covered with an anti-slip mat; the shower can be filled as a shallow bath or used as a wading pool while an adult sits on the ledge to supervise.
Photos: Courtesy of Natasha Barrault Design