Porous brick walls keep this bold Vietnamese home naturally cool

July 11, 2019 by  
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In an effort to beat the tropical heat in southern Vietnam’s Long An province, Ho Chi Minh City-based architecture firm Tropical Space created a home that maximizes natural ventilation. Dubbed the Long An House, the residence takes inspiration from traditional Vietnamese architecture but uses contemporary design elements to create an energy-efficient house that follows the local vernacular yet stands out with a minimalist design. Topped with a sloped roof divided in two parts, the home features porous brick walls, an open-sky courtyard and a layout that harnesses the region’s cooling crosswinds. Spanning an area of nearly 3,230 square feet, the Long An House includes two floors arranged around a central courtyard open to the sky. A simple construction palette of brick and concrete defines the minimalist building, which is punctuated by views of greenery throughout. Brick is featured in the home in a variety of ways, not only as a structural and facade material but is also used for cooling the home. The front yard is paved with hollow clay bricks, which can absorb the rain and reduce heat on the floor, while porous brick walls let wind and light through without compromising privacy. “The Vietnam traditional house is stretched from front to back creating continuous functional spaces,” the architects noted in a project statement. “These spaces’ boundaries are estimated by light with different intensity and darkness. The layout utilizes the wind direction of the local area in different seasons.” Related: A “green veil” of plants protects this home from Ho Chi Minh City’s heat Oriented east to west, the Long An House is entered from the west-facing front yard with a vegetable garden that connects to the living area through massive glazed doors that fold open to allow cross-breezes to blow through the length of the home. The courtyard with a pool occupies the center of the home and is flanked by two corridors. The one to the north contains a galley kitchen, while a terrace is found on the south side. The rear of the home comprises a master bedroom and another courtyard (also with folding glass doors) with access to the chicken coop. Two en suite bedrooms are located on the upper floor. + Tropical Space Photography by Oki Hiroyuki via Tropical Space

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Porous brick walls keep this bold Vietnamese home naturally cool

Exquisite Japanese house wraps around a generations-old tree

January 1, 2018 by  
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The line between nature and architecture is often blurred in Japan to beautiful effect. Japanese architect Takashi Okuno practices this kind of nature-fused architecture with Hiiragi’s House, a modern Japanese-style residence built around a courtyard and old tree that the client’s family has tended to for generations. Located in the Ehime Prefecture, the house is minimally decorated and built with large expanses of glass to focus the eye on the use of simple, natural materials and courtyard views. Named after the venerated generations-old tree, Hiiragi’s House was built to wrap around a mature hiiragi (Japanese for ‘holly osmanthus’ that’s not seen in the photographs due the tree’s “recuperation”). The architect highlighted the importance of the tree by making the courtyard visible from nearly every room in the home, including the entrance hallway. Floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors frame views of the courtyard from the open-plan living room, where a wood-burning stove visually delineates the lounge from the kitchen and dining area. Related: Beautiful cedar home stands high on stilts to accommodate heavy snowfall in Japan Environmentally friendly practices were also put into place. Rather than solely rely on fans for cooling, natural ventilation is optimized, as is the stack effect, where cool outside air is pulled into the double-height living room and hot air exits through clerestory windows on the second floor. Rain chains collect rainwater runoff from the roof, while cellulose fiber is used for heat insulation. The architect also stressed the use of natural materials throughout the building to create a healthy and welcoming environment, seen from the solid timber framing and straw-floor tatami mats to washi-paper screens and diatomaceous earth used as a finishing material. + Takashi Okuno Via Dezeen Images by Shigeo Ogawa

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Exquisite Japanese house wraps around a generations-old tree

Zen-like Seattle retreat keeps a minimal footprint in a lush landscape

July 20, 2017 by  
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For those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, feast your eyes on this beautiful light-filled cabin just outside Seattle in Greenwater, Washington. Robert Hutchison Architecture designed Crystal River Ranch House, a cedar -clad home hidden in the shadow of Mount Rainier that exudes a zen-like air of tranquility. Crafted to blend into the lush evergreen landscape, the 1,900-square-foot retreat was kept as compact as possible to minimize site impact and to epitomize the small home living movement. Set within a forest on the banks of the White River, the two-bedroom Crystal River Ranch House emphasizes connection with nature through its large glazed walls and natural materials palette . Custom-run and blackened Western Red Cedar planks clad the building and help it blend into the landscape. The entry courtyard serves as a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor environment. Despite the home’s compact size, the interior looks surprisingly spacious thanks to use of a centrally located double-height space , large glazed windows, white-painted surfaces, and abundance of natural light. The modern design is characterized by simple, clean leans and a cozy yet minimalist aesthetic. The communal areas, including the open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living room, as well as a covered patio and outdoor patio, are located on the east and south sides of the home. The two bedrooms are placed on opposite ends of the house, with the master suite on the northeast side and the guest bedroom on the southwest side. Related: Natural material palette brings warmth to minimalist Swiss home The architects write: “Designed as a zen-like retreat from the bustle of the city, the open living area uses large glass walls to create a sense of space and light even on the Northwest’s darkest, rainy days. A steel-clad fireplace mass serves as a central architectural feature and utility, complementing the natural wood interiors while separating the living room from the covered outdoor patio.” + Robert Hutchison Architecture Images by Mark Woods

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Zen-like Seattle retreat keeps a minimal footprint in a lush landscape

Worlds first Rose Museum in Beijing is wrapped in a beautiful perforated facade

July 13, 2016 by  
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? Set on a 100-hectare rose park that exhibited over 2,000 species of roses for the convention, the Beijing Rose Museum was designed to engage and overlook its stunning surrounding views. The museum is a modern take on the historical Chinese courtyard house that embraces and encloses open spaces, as a nod to traditional Chinese architecture. To showcase the history and culture of rose cultivation in China, which dates back to at least the 11th century B.C., NEXT architects wrapped the building in a 300-meter-wide, 17-meter-tall soft, stainless steel facade perforated with rose-shaped patterns. The detached facade creates a series of walled-off courtyards. Related: Bat bridge provides shelter for our winged friends in the Dutch town of Monster “The main challenge with the Rose Museum was to find a modern Chinese identity for a building which significance is so deeply rooted into Chinese culture,” said John van de Water, partner at NEXT Architects. The semi-transparent stainless steel walls blur the boundaries between the indoor and outdoor landscape. At night, the museum lights up from within for a beautiful glowing appearance that can be enjoyed from across a lake. + NEXT Architects Images via NEXT Architects , by Xiao Kaixiong

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Worlds first Rose Museum in Beijing is wrapped in a beautiful perforated facade

Solar-powered home in Tainan puts a modern twist on the traditional courtyard house

June 27, 2016 by  
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WLA built the Spring House for a single client who wanted a clear delineation of space between her personal living area and the rooms for entertaining guests. As a result, the 288-square-meter home is split into two interconnected sections: a three-story structure that houses the homeowner’s main living areas and is set farthest from the busy roadways on the northeast side; and a two-story L-shaped structure on the opposite side that’s mostly used for visiting friends and family. The communal areas are kept on the ground floor, while the guest bedrooms, master bedroom, and library and located on the upper levels. In keeping with the vernacular courtyard house style, the home is centered on an open-air space used as a light well for bringing natural light and ventilation deep into the building. Like its courtyard house neighbors to the north, the Spring House also makes use of wood and brick building materials. The architects combined those traditional materials with glass, concrete, and a steel framework for a contemporary finish. “The location was formerly agriculture-based settlement, and there are many local industrial factories appeared through the changing times,” said the architects. “After the completion of the high speed railway in recent years, it is becoming increasingly clear that the area is intertwined with old and new, tradition and technology, quiet and speed…such contrast characteristics, these qualities create a unique geographical character. Therefore, while we follow the example of Taiwan’s traditional architecture that combined with wood structure and load-bearing brick structure, and combine them into a modern steel structure with brick, on the one hand, we use this combination to produce a unique local architectural type whereby create the symbol of the janus characteristics of the environment on the other.” Related: Stunning South Korean Courtyard Home Balances Tradition With Modern Design The client’s desire for a self-sufficient, disaster-ready home was born from fears of climate change and seismic activity. Thus, WLA equipped Spring House with rooftop solar panels and rainwater collection . The roofs are sloped to facilitate rainwater runoff and to maximize rooftop solar exposure. Natural ventilation and solar shades were also carefully attended to as a means to mitigate Taiwan’s hot summers. + Wu & Liu Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Wu & Liu Architects , by AKIRA Photography

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Solar-powered home in Tainan puts a modern twist on the traditional courtyard house

‘Tunnel’ linking two parts bathes a house in Australia in natural light

February 22, 2016 by  
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Building Trust International Announces Winners of Competition for Sustainable Low-Income Housing in Cambodia

April 1, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Building Trust International Announces Winners of Competition for Sustainable Low-Income Housing in Cambodia Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Building Trust International , Cambodia , Competition , composting toilets , construction , Courtyard House , cross ventilatio , David Cole , Design Competition , green roofs , habitat for humanity , low income housing , Open Embrace , rainwater collection , solar panels , Sustainable Materials , Wet + Dry House

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Building Trust International Announces Winners of Competition for Sustainable Low-Income Housing in Cambodia

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