Atherton Residence is situated on a peninsula south of San Francisco, California, nestled on an internal suburban flag lot. Designed by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, the previous 1950s house had to be removed due to structural problems, but featured mature landscaping and a manmade pond that the clients wanted to preserve. They wanted their new house to be a private retreat that maximizes the drama of the pond and takes advantage of the privacy of the site. The design solution breaks the program into four buildings – main house, study, pool house and garage – that ring the edge of the site and focus inward on the pond, garden and pool.
Large sliding glass doors open directly out to the pond and terrace. The roofs conceal photovoltaic and solar hot water panels. The house is heated with a radiant system in the stone floors, and despite the hot climate it is not air conditioned, but passively cooled with a combination of overhangs, shades, and operable windows. The house also features many green building materials, including high fly-ash concrete, formaldehyde-free casework and denim insulation. The new house creates a special place for the clients, making a main residence.
Photos: David Wakely Photography
Sundial House has been designed by Eugene Stoltzfus Architect as a beautiful country home situated in Harrisonburg, Virginia that has been developed from the urban concept of two houses unified by the street between them. The integration of the site positioning, the floor plans, the 3 dimensional form, the massing of masonry and the orientation toward the view and the sun, give this passive solar house its distinctive character.
The South House, comprised of 3,660 square feet of living space includes the kitchen, dining room, and living room. It is open to the street, with no interior walls. The North House, comprised of 2,340 square feet with a full basement, including garage, is divided into private rooms: bedrooms, office, laundry, and bathrooms.
The street acts as an Atrium and contains circulation in 3 dimensions: across between the two houses, lengthwise from entrance to back door, and vertically by stair from the basement to the ground floor and on up to the second floor. The Atrium roof holds the skylight with the center rod whose shadow allows the inhabitants of this house to tell time on the walls and floors of this perfectly oriented house.
Photos: Courtesy of Eugene Stoltzfus Architect
Meadowview house, designed by Platform 5 Architects, is situated on the edge of a ribbon development village in rural Bedfordshire, United Kingdom and is surrounded by mature trees, hedgerows and arable fields. The first floor, clad in sweet chestnut, overhangs a solid masonry and glass plinth; from across the fields, it looks like it is floating over the hedgerows. Internally, the living spaces are arranged to relate to different garden spaces and the wider landscape. The house incorporates sustainable technologies such as rainwater recycling, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and photovoltaics on the roof. The landscaping forms a transition between the domestic and agricultural environments.
The sweet chestnut clad box overhangs the ground floor so that from across the fields it looks like it is floating over the hedgerows. The deep recessed balcony acts like a lens hood, framing sunsets over the countryside.
A meandering route through the house creates a sequence of gradually more private internal and external spaces. The entrance hall offers visitors views straight through the house to the pavilion in the back garden whilst screening off the living areas. As you progress though the ground floor, the space expands into a double height living room that is overlooked by the first floor study. From the living room, you can gain access to the courtyard garden where more delicate plants can grow protected from the wind and cold.
To the rear of the house, swathes of long grasses and meadow flowers are animated by the breeze giving the terrace a wharf-like feel. An area of the garden is given over to food production in raised beds, providing all of the household’s fruit and veg over the summer months.
The concept of a hovering building is continued into the details of the ash tread stair that is cantilevered off the wall in the entrance hall.
The house is well insulated, fitted with photovoltaic panles and also incorporates mechanical ventilation with heat recovery to reduce heat losses whilst a rainwater harvesting tank supplies water to the WC’s and the garden irrigation system.
Photos: Courtesy of Platform 5 Architects
This rural home is nestled on an 80-acre agricultural site in California’s Central Coast wine region of Paso Robles. Paso Robles Residence is a 2,667 square foot weekend home that will eventually become the owner’s full-time residence, designed by San Francisco-based studio Aidlin Darling Design. The design directly responds to the wide diurnal temperature fluctuations of its arid climate. The architecture firm had to figure out how to create a building that cools itself naturally, even in 115-desgree temperatures. Masonry walls anchor the building to the earth and structure the primary living spaces, centering activity around a covered outdoor living room. The design integrates the use of thermal mass, night cooling, orientation, shading, deep overhangs, passive ventilation, photovoltaic electricity, solar hot water and radiant heat, thus helping to meet the clients’ goal of living in harmony with the local climate.
The home’s reliance on thermal mass, night cooling, passive solar orientation, shading, and natural ventilation enabled the clients to forgo an active cooling system.
A covered terrace with a fireplace links the home’s public wing with the pool area, facilitating outdoor dining throughout the year.
Sandblasted concrete block becomes both an interior and exterior finish material.
Strong axial relationships establish a connection to the site from every point inside the house.
Aidlin Darling Design used windows to promote cross-ventilation and to frame carefully chosen views.
Weathering steel picks up on the landscape’s darker hues.
Photos: Matthew Millman Photography
This mid-century era residence has been built with great flow and well-proportioned volumes in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Designed by Carver + Schicketanz, the project called for the need of an extra bedroom as well as a new kitchen and bathrooms. In addition, the goal of the architects was to modernize the outdated house technology resulting in a highly efficient home with supplemental photovoltaic power generation. The architects completed the first LEED-certified home in Carmel-by-the-Sea, reaching the highest level: Platinum.
This prefabricated mountain modern home incorporates touches of heavy timber to blend with its surroundings in Truckee, California. This striking home has been designed by architecture studio sagemodern, with 3,170 square feet of living space, the home was designed to blur the boundary between indoor and outdoor living. The functional floor plan maximizes common areas and bedrooms to accommodate family and friends. There is 1,700 square feet of exterior deck space of Ipe and copper-gray slate tile that is perfect for outdoor functions.
The residence includes five bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms, with a fresh, clean design. With designer fixtures and finishes throughout, the home features sustainably harvested hand scraped hickory and copper-gray slate tiles with radiant heating on the floor. The exterior facade is comprised of hot rolled steel, cedar channel siding and board formed concrete with heavy timber and trellis details. Energy efficient features include thermal insulation of walls, roofs and floors, energy efficient windows, sun protection and bioclimatic architecture and solar water heaters.
Nestled into a suburban Seattle, Washington neighborhood, this slightly customized prefab house reflects its progressive and environmentally conscious community. The eco-friendly home was designed by West Vancouver-based studio PLACE Architects, with a character that is both friendly and approachable. The homeowners and their two children were downsizing from their 5,000 square foot home to this 2,476 square foot home with the core decision being the idea that we can all live in smaller houses with more outdoor spaces that are preserved for tree growth, play and outdoor activities.
The family has maximized every square inch of the available space in the home. Every functional zone has been clearly defined but offers multiple uses, which meant the home is more efficient and constructed with fewer materials and requiring less expended energy to heat and cool. The cabinetry in the kitchen and living room are formaldehyde free. The residence was assembled onsite from a kit, which took less than seven months to complete. The two car garage is comprised of natural wood shiplap siding and the chartreuse HardiePanel, which are all low-maintenance materials that were carefully detailed to resist the elements gracefully. Above the garage is an office for the homeowner to telecommute part of the week to save time and gas and allow more family time.
With sustainability in mind, all materials in the home are nontoxic and low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The home is equipped with low-flow plumbing fixtures to conserve water and with Energy Star-rated appliances. In-floor radiant heating is cost effective, running off the same boiler that supplements the heat for domestic hot water. The flooring is a structural concrete slab, which minimized the layers of material needed to finish out the space, cut down on waste and eliminated a layer of finish that would otherwise have to be replaced every 10 years or so. A solar-powered domestic hot water system heats the backyard lap pool.
Roll-up doors connect the kitchen and dining area to the outdoor patio and pool area.
The dining table, windowsills and stair treads came from a fir tree that was on the property prior to construction.
The Eagle Harbor Cabin is located on a wooded waterfront property on Lake Superior, at the northerly edge of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, about 300 miles northeast of Minneapolis. Designed by Seattle-based studio, Finne Architects, the wooded 3-acre site features the rocky shoreline of Lake Superior, a lake that sometimes behaves like the ocean. Here is a project description from the architects, “the 2,000 square foot cabin cantilevers out toward the water, with a 40-foot long glass wall facing the spectacular beauty of the lake. The cabin is composed of two simple volumes: a large open living/dining/kitchen space with an open timber ceiling structure and a 2-story “bedroom tower,” with the kids’ bedroom on the ground floor and the parents’ bedroom stacked above.
The interior spaces are wood paneled, with exposed framing in the ceiling. The cabinets use PLYBOO, a FSC-certified bamboo product, with mahogany end panels. The use of mahogany is repeated in the custom mahogany/steel curvilinear dining table and in the custom mahogany coffee table. The cabin has a simple, elemental quality that is enhanced by custom touches such as the curvilinear maple entry screen and the custom furniture pieces. The cabin utilizes native Michigan hardwoods such as maple and birch. The exterior of the cabin is clad in corrugated metal siding, offset by the tall fireplace mass of Montana ledgestone at the east end.
The house has a number of sustainable or “green” building features, including 2×8 construction (40% greater insulation value); generous glass areas to provide natural lighting and ventilation; large overhangs for sun and snow protection; and metal siding for maximum durability. Sustainable interior finish materials include bamboo/plywood cabinets, linoleum floors, locally-grown maple flooring and birch paneling, and low-VOC paints.”
This 1950’s ranch house was brought into the 21st century and integrated with the landscape in Sands Point, New York, by studio Ohlhausen DuBois Architects. A glass pavilion for the daily living, cooking and dining activities was added to the original structure. This glass pavilion ties into a series of terraces, gardens, swimming pool and outdoor living spaces.
The addition of the glass pavilion allows the house to extend out into the property. The use of glass on three sides contrasts with the more closed nature of the original structure, which was converted to bedrooms, bathrooms, and a study. The gardens and outdoor living spaces were designed simultaneously with the glass pavilion and were conceived as extensions of the new indoor living spaces.
The architects incorporated sustainability into their project, which includes, “reuse the existing structure and as much of the landscape as we could, which allowed us to take advantage of the mature plantings and the good south facing orientation of the original house. Highly insulate the existing house and install high performance windows and glass doors. Minimize summer cooling with high performance glazing, deep overhangs, and good sun screening. Minimize winter heating with dark stone floors and a radiant heating system.”
The TuboHotel is an eco-friendly destination spot which came out of the need of having an inexpensive room for users. Made from recycled concrete pipes, the hotel was designed by T3arc in the outskirts of Tepoztlán, Mexico, with excellent panoramic views of the Sierra del Tepozteco. Located in a wooded setting of unusual features, the surrounding environment provides a unique natural environment.
The goal was to have the ability to build a fast and affordable hotel that offered lodging for Tepoztlan tourist. With a projection of 20 rooms, the first modules were built. The rooms (tubes) were placed in three modules stacked on top of each other to gain as much space as possible.
T3arc was commissioned to do a general plan and build the first three tubocretos modules then Tubohotel administration was responsible for building the remaining modules. The order of the tubes is random with respect to the topography. Construction took place over a period of three months.
Photos: Luis Gordoa