The geometric Black House captures light and views from multiple angles

February 1, 2019 by  
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When architect Benjamin Heller of Radolfzell-based architectural practice Freier Architekt designed the Black House, he took design inspiration from the project’s location near the boundary of Germany and Switzerland . Created to mimic a boundary stone cut by hand, the Black House is an angular, multifaceted building that appears to conspicuously mark the edge of the small village in which it resides on the German border. More than just an exercise to emulate a distinctive stone, the home’s geometric form is optimized to take in panoramic views of the landscape and natural light as part of the project’s embrace of nature. Located in the charming health resort Öhningen located close to Lake Constance, Germany, the Black House expresses the client’s love of nature in not only its location and framed landscape views, but also with its solid timber construction and energy-efficient technical equipment. For example, the house is sustainably heated with a system that uses a ground collector and heat pump . Spanning an area of 325 square meters, the Black House features two floors with a mix of public, semi-public and private spaces throughout as requested by the client. The home is entered from the east side, where a door opens up to a long hallway that branches off to a variety of rooms that includes sitting rooms, bathrooms and the ground-floor bedroom. Upstairs, an open-plan living room, kitchen and dining area dominate the majority of the floor plan and connect to a south-facing outdoor patio . On the east side is the master bedroom. Related: Experimental prefab home eschews fossil fuels in Geneva “The ‘Black House’ is explicitly oriented toward the landscape and the water,” the architect explained of the massing and the large expanses of glass. “The spacious areas and rooms inside the building are extended in southern direction. The clear and restrained interior design directs one’s eye instinctively to the outstanding panoramic view with the beautiful landscape. The light, polished screed and the parquet flooring of dark oak result in a harmonic but also contrasting interaction.” + Benjamin Heller Via ArchDaily Images via Benjamin Heller

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The geometric Black House captures light and views from multiple angles

A modern, solar-powered home breathes new life into the Dutch countryside

November 20, 2018 by  
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In the Twente countryside of Rijssen, the Netherlands, Dutch practice Reitsema & partners architects and landscape architecture firm Eelerwoude recently completed a new solar-powered dwelling that — despite its contemporary design — looks surprisingly at home with its bucolic surroundings. Taking inspiration from the rural vernacular, the designers styled the three-building project after farmhouse architecture with a modern twist. Dubbed Erve BE and powered by solar energy, the energy-efficient abode consists of a main building and two annexes, all with simple gabled forms and strong sight lines to the landscape. The long and slender volumes of the Erve BE country estate were created in reference to the traditional Twente barns distinguished by their low roof gutters; the new construction is also marked by an absence of gutters to create minimalist eaves. The architects gave the barn architecture more contemporary flair with modern roof trusses and walls of glass as well as with striking patinated zinc roofs over 200 feet in length. The cladding, window frames and roof trusses were built from pre-grayed wood to blend the structures in with the environment. In addition to the abundance of glass and slender floor plan, the main residence and both annexes are set up along two axes that reinforce sight lines toward the Regge River Valley and allow for views straight through the house. Related: A historic farmhouse is transformed into a modern home with a green roof “The buildings are characterized by their slender floor plans and calmly designed roof surfaces, which appear almost as natural parts of the landscape,” the architects explained. “The house is characterized by a strong relationship between the interior and exterior. A long hallway runs along the front, linking the various functions. Large windows frame the landscape. The facilities are grouped near the entrance, and the living room and kitchen are separated by a veranda , which provides access to a patio that extends into the meadow.” Sustainability was also a guiding principle in the design. To keep energy use to a minimum, the home was built with timber-frame construction with a high insulation value. A hidden solar photovoltaic system also helps offset the electricity footprint. + Reitsema & partners architects Photography by Ronald Tilleman via Reitsema & partners architects

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A modern, solar-powered home breathes new life into the Dutch countryside

Barn-inspired home offers back-to-nature living with a crisp, contemporary twist

October 15, 2018 by  
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Reconnecting with rural roots has never looked better than at Silvernails, a beautiful hillside home fashioned as a rural barn in Rhinebeck, New York. Set on a picturesque 120-acre property near the east side of the Hudson River, the gabled holiday retreat is the first “ground-up” residential work of Manhattan-based Amalgam Studio . In addition to its modern good looks and spectacular outdoor views, Silvernails also boasts an energy-efficient design optimized for cross-ventilation and daylighting. Spanning 5,000 square feet, the timber-clad home is organized as a long and linear rectangular mass clad in timber inside and out. “Much like the traditional communal barn-raising events of the region, the double-height Bent Frames were raised and bolted into place, with the entire timber structure completed in one day,” explained Amalgam Studio founder Ben Albury, who noted that although many people are drawn to the airy and warm character of barns , the rural buildings’ lack of insulation and comfort are turn-offs. To make the barn-inspired residence a comfortable and welcome place to call home, the architects used high-performance glazing and insulation to ensure stable indoor temperatures year-round. In-wall heat-recovery ventilation units and operable windows also promote continuous fresh air. “From the very beginning, the clients wanted a comfortable house. I believe it would have been irresponsible for me not to look at, and ultimately follow, Passive House Standards,” Albury said. “As far as I’m aware, the home features the longest triple-glazed Passive House Certified residential skylight in North America.” In addition to natural ventilation and lighting, Silvernails features LED lighting, an energy-efficient multi-split heat-pump air conditioning system and locally sourced materials. Related: A Michigan farmhouse is reborn as a beautiful modern vacation retreat The exterior is clad with unpainted “plantation pine” treated to withstand rot and pests and applied using a “unique, innovative clip system to the standing seams of roof sheeting.” The interiors include white oak flooring and lining, walnut cabinetry and hickory vanity units. The timber palette is complemented with domestically quarried stone, including granite and slate. + Amalgam Studio Via ArchDaily Images by Oliver Mint

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This tiny shipping container home adapts to your needs

October 15, 2018 by  
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The tiny-living movement is thriving for a variety of reasons. An emphasis on minimalism, financial benefits and location freedom top the list. Many people who consider investing in a tiny home worry about size constraints, but the Calico tiny home by Katz Box offers a solution to that concern by offering a shipping container structure that adapts to its residents’ needs. Sustainability drives the Ohio-based Katz Box company with the goal of lowering the environmental impact of housing through reclaimed and recycled shipping containers. On the manufacturing end, the team is also committed to focusing on processing that minimizes waste. Related: Old shipping container repurposed as a 40-foot-tall parking booth In addition to creating an eco-friendly option through upcycling , the Calico design highlights a modular blueprint, meaning that each section of the interior is customizable to suit a variety of functions. An option for commercial or individual needs, the Calico provides a universal model to suit an endless array of demands, yet is completely tailored for a personal touch. The adaptable components don’t stop with the interior modular variations. In fact, this home can grow or shrink with the needs of the family. When more space is required, an additional shipping container or two can be added, making for a thoughtful and completely scalable design. Similarly, when the kids move out and it’s time to minimize, the added shipping containers can be removed. Mobility is another feature of the Calico, which can be relocated with ease. Appealing for the individual who moves often, it’s also an option for retail locations or temporary housing and offices, such as those on construction sites. Katz Box, the passion project company born from the sustainable mindset of owner Tobias Katz, is a relatively new option in the tiny-living movement. Founded in 2017, the objectives of Katz Box are many, including the goals of universal design elements and an accessible price point. Katz Box also aims to employ ultra-efficient building practices such as renewable energy and water conservation. + Katz Box Images via Tobias Katz

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Solar-powered Swiss home uses prefabrication to minimize site impact

July 3, 2018 by  
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Ralph Germann architectes  has completed the House MW, a contemporary prefabricated home designed to overlook views of the Lac de Joux in Vallee de Joux, Switzerland. Built for a couple and their child on a budget, the dwelling was constructed using prefab systems to reduce waste, costs, and site impact. The home was built with a concrete “skeleton” clad in locally sourced spruce with fiberglass insulation. Created as a modern home with traditional farmhouse influences, the House MW is topped with a simple black corrugated iron roof and embraces the outdoors with a shaded terrace measuring 592 square feet. The timber facades and gables were constructed through off-site prefabrication in a carpenter’s workshop and were later transported by truck to the site. Locally sourced spruce boards clad the facade. “The ‘skeleton of the house was made of concrete (raft foundation, slab and staircase),” explains Ralph Germann architectes. “After the concrete masonry part was completed, the prefabricated wooden facades were attached against this interior concrete structure. By using this method we could build a house for a reasonable cost, with low ecological impact and at the same time we were able to reduce the construction time.” Related: A 1920 Swiss barn is reborn as a modern home for a family of five The interior of the home, which is nearly 2,500 square feet, is bright, airy and lined with birch plywood panels. Concrete partitions finished with plaster, painted with RAL 9010 mineral paint, round out the interior siding. The ground floor ceiling and staircase are made from unfinished concrete. All furniture designed by the architects was constructed from birch venee,r save for the solid larch indoor and outdoor dining tables. An air / water heat pump and photovoltaic solar panels power the home. + Ralph Germann architectes Images © Lionel Henriod

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Dreamy cabin harvests rainwater and natural light for a minimal carbon footprint

January 8, 2018 by  
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Nevada-based INCLINEDESIGN proves sustainable design can be beautiful in this dreamy timber cabin on Lopez Island, Washington. Available in the summer as a vacation rental, the Barn Gallery guesthouse is a showcase of eco-friendly design – from its use of reclaimed timber and metal to its elegantly crafted rainwater catchment system. Surrounded by four acres of woodland and private meadow, the guesthouse faces southwest for views of a secluded waterfront bluff. The Barn Gallery project began as a “deconstruction” of a 1970s-era home, with the designers recycling materials where possible while retaining the original building footprint. The new home’s untreated timber siding was reclaimed from the original home’s floor joists, which were milled from trees felled on the property in 1970. Corten steel frames the single-pitched roof and walls and reclaimed metal components compliment the timber palette that will naturally develop a silvery patina over time. The light-filled interior is modern and minimalist with custom artistic touches like the unique sandblasted shower glass and the copper towel warmers plumbed inline with the in-floor hot water pipes. Reclaimed timber can also be seen indoors in the form of new custom furnishings. Per its name, Barn Gallery regularly hosts rotating art exhibits featuring local artists. Related: Rammed-charcoal home is a handsome oasis between the trees To keep energy use to a minimum, the designers installed smart energy monitoring, a structural insulated panel roof, and underfloor radiant heating with heat recovery ventilation and heat pump technologies. A solar array was omitted due to budget. Rainwater is captured and filtered on-site through a rain garden and is also harvested in a large timber-clad rain barrel. + INCLINEDESIGN Via Dwell Images by Steve Horn

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Spiraling timber temple revealed for Burning Man 2018

January 8, 2018 by  
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A massive spiraling temple of timber is set to rise in the middle of a Nevada desert for Burning Man 2018. Designed by London-based French architect Arthur Mamou-Mani of Mamou-Mani Architects , the winning 2018 Burning Man Temple design is titled Galaxia as a nod to the cosmos from which the structure takes inspiration. The 65-foot-wide temporary pavilion will be made of timber modules twisted and lifted to converge into a central tower rising 200 feet in height. 3D computer modeling tools were used to design Galaxia, which will be made up of 20 timber triangular trusses. The trusses are twisted to frame a central space where a large 3D-printed mandala will be placed. Burning Man attendees will be able to enter the temple and sit in small alcoves built into the timber structure. Related: First designed for Burning Man, foldable Shiftpods now shelter refugees around the world “Galaxia celebrates hope in the unknown, stars, planets, black holes, the movement uniting us in swirling galaxies of dreams,” wrote Mamou-Mani Architects. “A superior form of Gaia in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, Galaxia is the ultimate network, the fabric of the universe connecting living beings into one entity.” Galaxia will be ritually burned at the end of the event. Burning Man 2018 will take place August 26 to September 3 in Nevada’s Black Rock City . + Mamou-Mani Architects Via Dezeen Images via Mamou-Mani Architects

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Solar-powered Cloverdale house is made of reclaimed wood from a 1970s kit home

June 23, 2017 by  
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This solar-powered home in Cloverdale, California was built using reclaimed wood from an existing 1970s kit log home. Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects utilized existing site elements to create the new 2150-square-foot house with minimal impact on the environment. The owners of the property commissioned the architects to design a sustainable home that’s easy to use and doesn’t disrupt its natural surroundings. Inspired by traditional screened porches , the architects designed a screened-in living space and included the porch in the body of the house as an entry to the guest bedrooms. This double role of the porch reduced the need for circulation and helped keep the footprint of the house to it minimum . Related: Kentfield Hillside Residence Rises Under a Green Roof North of San Francisco A solar array installed on the south-facing roof, along with solar hot water panels, provide enough power to meet most of the energy requirements of the house. PV-powered heat pumps provide radiant heating or cooling, depending on the weather conditions and seasonal needs. In order to reduce construction costs, the architects reused the wood of the original kit log house as decking, interior and exterior wood paneling. + Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects Via Dwell Photos by Matthew Millman

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Solar-powered Cloverdale house is made of reclaimed wood from a 1970s kit home

Atelier Space turn a 1925 nursery into a daylit solar-powered residence in the Netherlands

May 26, 2017 by  
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Smart adaptive reuse can do wonders with old, abandoned and disused buildings. Dutch firm Atelier Space breathed new life into this 1925 nursery in Leiden, the Netherlands by converting it into a beautiful, daylit residence with amenities, technology and polish worthy of a modern urban home. The architects preserved much of the original 1925 nursery, turned the former gym into an airy, open-plan living, dining, and kitchen area. They also divided a large classroom into three separate bedrooms. Related: Patalab Architects transform dank mechanics garage into light-filled London home The entire residence features 13-foot-high ceilings with restored skylights and windows that bring natural light into the interior. A guesthouse occupies the floor above the living room, and the toilet, technical area, and storage room are all placed on one side. The converted schoolhouse also includes sustainable design features such as rooftop solar panels , improved building insulation, and centrally controlled lighting, climate, shading and security systems that allow occupants to control every aspect the interior environment. To top it all off, a heat pump heats and cools the house. + Atelier Space Via Curbed Photos by Brigitte Kroone

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Former museum in Rotterdam is transformed into a luxury energy-saving villa

April 13, 2016 by  
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