Passive House-inspired home ushers in spectacular Grand Tetons views

September 17, 2018 by  
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The sublime beauty of the Grand Tetons is fully embraced in the stunning House of Fir, a forever home that boasts sustainable and durable elements throughout. Designed by Wyoming-based architecture firm kt814 for a pair of retirees who actively volunteer for the National Park Service, this Jackson Hole abode was crafted to prioritize low-maintenance comfort with passive house design principles and universal design for aging in place. In fact, the home’s energy-efficient construction was put to the test this past winter, when the homeowners lost power — the home was able to stay comfortably snug for four consecutive days despite below-zero temperatures outside. The House of Fir comprises three connected pavilion-like units clad in Douglas fir and cedar that span a total area of 2,500 square feet, plus a 685-square-foot garage. Sloped rooflines help the structures shed snow in winter. Architects Rich Assenberg and Nathan Gray of kt814 carefully positioned the home to follow passive solar principles and to maximize privacy as well as unobstructed views of the spectacular Teton Range. The key to success was the installation of FSC-certified Thermo Clad Pine, triple-glazed windows that usher in landscape views; the strategic placement of the full-height glazing also blocks views of the homes to the east and west. Related: Modern open-plan home in Jackson Hole reduces construction waste with six prefab units In addition to triple-glazed windows, the House of Fir incorporates an airtight double wall system with superior insulation and hydronic radiant-floor heating . Local designer Jacque Jenkins-Stireman dressed the clean and modern interiors in a natural material palette that matches the architecture to keep the focus on the outdoors. For instance, many of the furnishings, like the kitchen cabinet doors, dining table and master bedroom furniture were constructed from a mixture of walnut. Alex Everett, the homeowner’s son-in-law, also handcrafted custom pieces for the house, giving it a personal touch. + kt814 Images by David Agnello

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Passive House-inspired home ushers in spectacular Grand Tetons views

An off-grid cabin on a remote island is inspired by Japanese design

September 17, 2018 by  
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Tasmania-based firm Maguire + Devine Architects has created a gorgeous Japanese-inspired, off-grid tiny cabin tucked away into a remote island off the coast of Tasmania. The 301-square-foot home is designed to operate completely off the grid and comes complete with solar panels and a rainwater collection system. The tiny cabin is located on 99 acres of Bruny Island, a tranquil destination just off the Tasmanian coast. Using minimalist design features, the architects set about to create a soothing retreat that would evoke a sense of serenity and have a strong connection to the surrounding landscape. Related: This off-grid cabin in the pristine Alaskan wilderness can only be reached by sea or air The compact cabin is clad in bush fire-resistant wood siding at its base and enclosed on one side with zincalume metal siding, which is also used for the sloped roof. The shed-like roofline adds character to the design, but it’s also a strategic feature that allows more space for solar panels . Taking advantage of the location, the architects positioned the cabin to open up to the east and west so that the homeowners could enjoy early morning and afternoon sunshine. According to the architects, the design for the off-grid cabin was inspired by their client’s love of Japanese minimalist design. “Our brief was to capture that love and design a building as a piece of furniture with everything she needs built in,” the firm said. “The only furniture allowed was a low table and mattress on the sleeping loft.” Inside, the living space, which is clad in light-colored wooden panels, is bright and airy, illuminated with natural light from a large skylight. Two large sliding doors open up to two wooden decks facing east and west, creating a seamless connection between the inside and the outside. The low-lying platforms were built without railings, so nothing obstructs the views of the surrounding wilderness. To provide the ultimate retreat experience, one of the decks includes a recessed tub for the resident to relax while watching the sun go down. The two large sliding doors are made out of transparent glazing, another nod to Japanese design . “Translucent glass in the sliding doors references the light qualities of Japanese rice-paper screens, creating a sense of enclosure and privacy at night, while encouraging the occupant to open them during the day,” the architects explained. “They also prevent birds, including the endangered swift parrot, from attempting to fly through the building and striking the glass.” Located at the back of the home is a compact kitchen, equipped with a Nectre Bakers oven that is not only used for cooking but also supplies sustainable heating in the colder months. The bedroom is located in a sleeping loft accessible by ladder. An elevated seating area with a large window provides the most stunning views of the island. + Maguire + Devine Architects Via Dwell Photography by Rob Maver via Maguire + Devine Architects

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An off-grid cabin on a remote island is inspired by Japanese design

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