This rammed earth passive house in Japan is shaped like a shell

July 16, 2020 by  
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This small, shell-shaped villa — made using local wood, rammed earth and traditional techniques — is located in the forest of Nagano Prefecture in the center of Japan. Known as the Shell House, the project request came from a client who wanted a contemporary and unique home that could blend into the surrounding forest with minimal environmental impact. <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Shell-House-13-889×592.jpg" alt="small, round wood home with wood door" class="wp-image-2275164" To blend the Shell House into the surrounding environment as organically as possible, the designers chose a rounded, shell-inspired shape and constructed the structure using locally sourced natural materials . Local, FSC-certified wood and earth went most into most of the building, with additional sustainable elements including hand-built construction and the elimination of petrochemical materials. Related: Hawk Nest House combines rammed earth and local stone <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Shell-House-2-889×592.jpg" alt="round wood home in a forest" class="wp-image-2275175" <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Shell-House-7-889×592.jpg" alt="wood kitchen island facing a wall of glass" class="wp-image-2275170" The entire structure was built per passive house principles to Japanese standards. The home satisfies the environmental assessment’s primary energy consumption requirements, and then some, with 11% less energy consumption than the country’s standard. Windows and doors are made of aluminum and resin composite with double- and triple-paned glass. The outside roof is made of asphalt, and the fireplace inside is also made of rammed earth. The earthen walls are combined with 180 millimeter wool insulation to complete the energy-efficient package. <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Shell-House-11-889×592.jpg" alt="fireplace built into a rammed earth wall" class="wp-image-2275166" <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Shell-House-9-889×592.jpg" alt="loft with wood ceiling beams above a kitchen with wooden island and cabinets" class="wp-image-2275168" Interior rooms are finished with local earth and wood as well as the rammed earth wall that makes up the curved surface of the exterior. The southeast wooden fittings are designed to become integrated with the forest through the deck, which is also made of sustainably sourced wood . According to the architects, the seven beams connected to the rammed earth wall are inspired by the cycle of human life and the universe, with the two inscribed circles representing the correspondence of them. Ideally, once the villa has reached the end of its life, the materials can be returned back to the earth. + Tono Mirai Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Tono Mirai Architects <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Shell-House-10-889×592.jpg" alt="kitchen opening up to wooden outdoor deck" class="wp-image-2275167"

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This rammed earth passive house in Japan is shaped like a shell

Award-winning passive tiny house is insulated to combat New Zealand’s weather

June 22, 2020 by  
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Completed in 2018, the Kirimoko tiny house was inspired by a minimalist cycling trip. After previously living out of his bicycle packs, the owner decided to downsize his living conditions by commissioning a 329-square-foot, one-bedroom tiny home in Wanaka, New Zealand. The design features a gabled form with a black rain screen, passive house measures and structural insulated panels. Thanks to the efficient insulation , the house requires virtually no additional energy to maintain comfortable temperatures, despite the New Zealand alpine climate. Related: Luxurious tiny home in New Zealand is off-grid and 100% self-sustaining Architect Barry Condon of Condon Scott Architects utilized each nook and cranny to get the most out of the minimal square footage without compromising scale, so no amount of space is wasted. A double-height volume and a glazed facade help make it feel more airy and spacious, as well. “At first I thought it was a bit ambitious — a 30-square-metre footprint isn’t very much space to fit a kitchen, bathroom, sleeping and living space,” Condon said. “I actually tried a few times to make it a little bit bigger, but the client would always push back and try to make it smaller, which was interesting for me because normally with clients I am the one trying to reduce size! Ultimately we landed on a happy medium.” The tiny home has a kitchen with a full-sized fridge, a bedroom and a separate living space with room for two large couches and a coffee table. Outside, larch weatherboards help to keep out moisture during heavy rains and asphalt shingles add to the functionality of the exterior. Natural ventilation is achieved through minimal openings on the eastern, southern and western sides of the home, and structural insulated panels were chosen for the roof and walls for their high insulation value. The client has reportedly only needed a ceiling fan and a small portable heater to regulate the temperature on extreme weather days. The home has received the NZIA 2019 Southern Architecture Award and a Bronze 2019 DINZ Award. + Condon Scott Architects Images via Condon Scott Architects

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Award-winning passive tiny house is insulated to combat New Zealand’s weather

A playful home built of recycled materials takes in sunrise views in Ecuador

August 19, 2019 by  
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Built largely from recycled materials, the home that architect Daniel Moreno Flores recently completed for an artistically inclined client in Ecuador oozes playfulness and creativity as well as a reduced environmental footprint. Located in the town of Pifo less than an hour’s drive east from Quito, the House of the Flying Tiles is strategically sited to embrace views. The house is named after its massive installation of hanging tiles — reclaimed and new — placed at the entrance to create visual interest and help shield the glass-walled home from unwanted solar heat gain. When deciding where to place the home, Flores began with a site study. Along with the client, he arrived early at the site to observe the direction of the sunrise and the best positions for framing landscape views. To make the home look “as if it had always been there,” Flores also let the site-specific placement of the home be informed by the existing trees and fauna. No trees were removed during the construction process. Related: This staggered, residential tower is draped with greenery in Quito “The house is oriented to the view, for the contemplation of the mountain, of the neighborhoods, and of all the plants and trees of the place,” Flores explained. “These spaces seek an intensification in the relationship with some externalities such as the mountain, the low vegetation, the sky and with the Guirachuro (a kind of bird of the place).” Using a mix of new materials and reclaimed wood and tiles from three houses in Quito , the architect created a 130-square-meter home with three main spaces: a double-height living area that opens up to an outdoor reading terrace and connects to a mezzanine office space; the bedroom area that overlooks mountain views; and the ground-floor bathroom that is built around an existing tree. The roofs of the structure are also designed to be accessible to create a variety of vantage points for enjoying the landscape. + Daniel Moreno Flores Photography by JAG Studio , Santiago Vaca Jaramillo and Daniel Moreno Flores

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A playful home built of recycled materials takes in sunrise views in Ecuador

A gorgeous houseboat with a shockingly spacious interior can be yours for $375K

November 7, 2018 by  
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Tiny home builders are always popping up with new and ingenious ways to make a small space seem larger, and this gorgeous houseboat is no exception. The amazing interior design will make you forget all about the home’s 510-square-footage. Located on Seattle’s ship canal just minutes from downtown, the charming cottage on the water comes with plenty of unique features, including a Japanese-style, cedar soaking tub, a custom-made elevator bed and an open-air rooftop lounge. The beautiful houseboat, which is currently listed for $375,000 , is clad in a serene blue hue that pays homage to its aquatic environment. Inside, the design is simply jaw-dropping. Light wood panels on the ceiling complement the calming white walls, while large windows naturally brighten the entire space. Throughout the home, unique cork flooring leads from the living room to the kitchen to the two bedrooms, seamlessly connecting the spaces. Related: This whimsical houseboat in Seattle is straight out of a fairytale The interior, which has recently been renovated, uses a number of space-saving techniques  and fabulous furnishings to open up the tiny home. The living room is a welcoming area with a long comfy couch meant for socializing. The sofa and most of the furnishings were kept in neutral shades to keep the atmosphere peaceful. Strategic pops of color here and there add a modern vibrancy to the design. In this home, every room has a strong personality. The kitchen was renovated with rustic, live-edge counters and backsplash. Salvaged slate cabinets were installed to lend an industrial touch to the design. The spa-like bathroom boasts a soothing pebble floor and an aromatic, cedar soaking tub. The two bedrooms also hide a few fun secrets, such as the vertical lift bed that converts one of the bedrooms into an office space or playroom when raised. Throughout the home, ample storage in the walls and stairs helps to avoid clutter. Of course, the heart of the home is found on the upper level lounge with a small sitting area, which leads to an open-air rooftop balcony . This space is perfect for entertaining, al fresco dining or just enjoying the serene water views. + Metropolist Via Apartment Therapy Photography by Diwas Photography via Metropolist

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A gorgeous houseboat with a shockingly spacious interior can be yours for $375K

A 1972 Airstream becomes a bright, 198-square-foot home for a family of four

October 16, 2018 by  
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Minimalist living in a tiny home is quite common for a couple, but when designing a compact space for a family of four (plus a fur baby), strategic planning is essential. When Colleen and Zachary Cashio purchased a 1972 Airstream trailer that was just 31 feet long, they knew they had a big renovation project on their hands, but they took it head on with some impressive DIY skills. Today, the Steady Streamin’ Cashios is a space-efficient, sophisticated home, which was handcrafted to meet the needs of the family. At one time, the Cashio family was following the path toward the “American Dream” when they had a revelation — they needed to simplify . The couple realized that they wanted to teach their two kids about the importance of enjoying life and experiences without the distractions of material things. Related: Artist revamps dingy interior of a 1962 Airstream with vibrant florals The big chance to renovate their lifestyle came in the form of a 1972 Airstream Sovereign. Naturally gifted in the DIY department, the ambitious couple did all of the work on the Airstream conversion themselves. After buying the trailer, they gutted the interior and started with a hollowed-out shell. In the process, they did find a few structural issues, but they were able to take off the shell and fix some of these problems thanks to Zach’s welding skills. The trailer was then outfitted with a new electrical system (thanks to Colleen’s father and father-in-law) with LED lighting , new ultra-efficient windows and an elastomeric reflective rooftop coating to insulate and cool off the Airstream’s interior. Once the basics were all in place, they began to layout the design  of their new living space. They decided to go with a black and white color scheme that added a contemporary feel to the living space. All-white walls and natural light open up the compact space, and strategic storage was installed wherever possible to curb clutter. The living space is light and airy with a sofa nested into the curved shape of the trailer. The sofa has ample storage underneath for kids toys, magazines and more. The kitchen, which is quite large for a tiny home of this size, was installed with a black and white backsplash and wooden countertops to add a modern touch. The bedroom, which fits a king-sized bed, is located past the kitchen and bathroom. You can follow the family’s journey in their sleek, minimalist Airstream home on their website or Instagram . + Steady Streamin’ Cashios Via Apartment Therapy Photography via Colleen Cashio

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A 1972 Airstream becomes a bright, 198-square-foot home for a family of four

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