I don’t read the online magazines that feature opulent houses with overdone window treatments and too many pillows on the sofa. I read the online magazines that talk about the future of design and architecture. That includes building small, building sustainably, and building smart. Check out these three homes.
TSC Architects designed this home in what looks like a Japanese suburb. The website is in Japanese, which unfortunately I don’t speak, so I have no background on the house. But what strikes me is the opportunity that a design like this provides for using passive solar techniques to minimize power needs. Siting the home so that the main exposure is to the south, (if you live in California…check your location for best practice ;)) and protecting the windows with extended eaves accomplishes several things:
- it minimizes summer cooling needs because the hot summer sun is high in the sky and does not reach the protected windows,
- it increases winter heating when the sun is low in the sky and shines through the wide expanses of glass, therefore decreasing the need for artificial heating,
- it allows light to penetrate into the house through the many protected windows reducing the need for artificial light.
All images courtesy TSC Architects.
A Recipe to Live
Another project in Japan, Materia found this one which is built at Waseda University. The home is self heating as a result of walls that continually compost, keeping the home at an even temperature year round. And the house is continually making black gold for the garden!
All images courtesy materia.nl
Built on a small, steep, tree covered lot in Portland, Benjamin Waechter designed this home to go up rather than out to minimize environmental impact. The home is also wrapped in corrugated steel with rounded corners to minimize the additional need for trim at square corners. A beautiful light filled home on a difficult lot…proof that constraints can encourage greater creativity.
All images courtesy Architectural Record/Benjamin Waechter/Lara Swimmer
Happy May Day!