Solar-powered residence in Thailand takes on a sculptural form with cantilevering cubes

January 29, 2020 by  
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Bangkok-based studio ASWA has unveiled a contemporary home located in the mountainous region of Maehongsorn, Thailand. The 1,000-square-foot, solar-powered home is comprised of three large cubes stacked on top of each other. With massive windows and dual outdoor decks, the energy-efficient house is strategically crafted to let the residents best enjoy the incredible views. Using the surrounding nature as inspiration , the ASWA team came up with the idea to create a structural form that would allow the homeowners to embrace the views from nearly anywhere inside the home. Built out of concrete frames, the blocks, which are of similar height and width, are shifted alternatively as they rise, creating large, covered decks between the levels. Related: A series of cantilevering cubes make up this French social housing complex A smooth cement cladding was used on the three volumes, but the second and third floors were covered in thin panels of artificial wood to create a warm aesthetic that blends in with the surrounding trees. To create a strong connection between the home and its natural setting, the blocks feature floor-to-ceiling windows that offer unobstructed views and natural light throughout the interior spaces. Connected via a stairwell that runs through the middle of the home, the three floors each have a designated use. The ground floor houses the main living area along with the kitchen and dining space, while the second floor has an office space. The large master bedroom is located on the top floor. Thanks to the stacked design, there are covered decks on the top two levels, including one with a hammock and another with a hot tub, as well as a rooftop terrace that allows the residents to take in the views and the fresh air. The Maehongsorn home was also built to be energy efficient and operates almost entirely off the grid . An array of solar panels was installed on the rooftop and provides electricity and hot water for the home. There is also a rainwater catchment system installed. Throughout the house, LED lighting helps reduce the energy consumption. + ASWA Via ArchDaily Images via ASWA

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Solar-powered residence in Thailand takes on a sculptural form with cantilevering cubes

Solar-powered Austin home embraces sustainability in more ways than one

November 13, 2019 by  
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In South Austin, Miró Rivera Architects has completed the Westridge Residence, a contemporary home with an emphasis on sustainable design. Built for a family of four, the sculptural home features rounded roofs on its two structures — the main house and a detached garage with a guest apartment — connected with a trellis of rebar suspended in a natural curve. To minimize its environmental footprint, the house is powered with solar and geothermal energy and was built with durable, long-lasting materials to minimize long-term maintenance. Set on the flattest part of a wooded sloping site in the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, the Westridge Residence was designed to follow the natural terrain and minimize site impact. To take advantage of the site’s natural beauty, the home opens up to the outdoors with large windows, glazed sliding doors and outdoor decks on both levels. The outdoor Ipei deck that connects the two buildings also conceals five 2,000-gallon rainwater storage tanks that are used for irrigation and to compensate for seasonal evaporation loss in the adjacent 40-foot-long swimming pool. Related: Solar-powered Austin home can save owners nearly $100K in energy costs The main house includes an open-plan living area, dining room and kitchen as well as the master suite on the ground floor. The upper level contains two bedrooms, a playroom with a kitchenette, a small media room and a flex room in addition to the open-air covered deck. The detached guest house contains an open-air carport, workshop and storeroom below; the upper level holds a home office and a guest apartment with a bathroom and kitchenette. To reduce the home’s energy demands, the architects specified “double wall” construction for a highly insulated envelope with R-21 walls and R-30 ceilings. Installation of Energy Star-certified lighting fixtures and appliances as well as a 6.8-kW rooftop solar system and a geothermal loop field have translated to energy savings of approximately 22 percent annually as compared to an energy model from a baseline case study. During construction, waste was minimized and recycled wherever possible. In the revegetation of the landscape, invasive species were replaced with native plants. + Miró Rivera Architects Photography by Paul Finkel | Piston Design and Cris DeWitt via Miró Rivera Architects

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Solar-powered Austin home embraces sustainability in more ways than one

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