The itHouse is a design system developed by Taalman Koch that utilizes a series of components prefabricated off-site in order to better control the construction waste, labor, and quality of the finished product. Conceived as a small house with glass walls and open floor plan, the itHouse maximizes the relationship of the occupant to the surrounding landscape while minimizing the impact to delicate site conditions.
Energy efficiency is achieved in the itHouse through passive heating and cooling, utilizing site orientation and cross ventilation, radiant floor heating, hi-efficacy appliances & equipment and the use of solar photovoltaic & thermal panels.
“The Architects” Radio Interview | Click to start playing
We recently stumbled across a very interesting Australian Green Architect Andrew Maynard. His interest is rethinking modern green designs with a look to the future.
Recently named in Wallpaper Magazine’s Architects Directory, an “annual guide to the world’s most innovative practices”, Andrew Maynard’s design practice is quickly becoming recognised as an emerging force on the architectural scene. Since Andrew Maynard Archtects was established in late 2002 it has been recognized internationally in media, awards and exhibitions for its unique body of built work and its experimental conceptual design polemics.
With the Studio lit, furniture in place and The Real G up and running in Room 101… there’s only one thing left to do: Green the Roof! The roof is already pretty “G” with solar panels, a wind monitoring device (surveying the best location for our wind power) and water runoff going into our gardens. But there is more we can do?
In the old days, big city rooftop gardens were found mostly atop hotels or in the apartments of the elite few who could afford greener pastures in lands of concrete and glass shadows. But today’s rooftop garden industry has gone mainstream: now you, too, can take back the slates, tiles and shingles and exchange them for soil, bulbs and brush.
The units are genius: made of recycled materials, they interlock together and can be customized with whatever plants you want. While there are some structural requirements necessary to put them on your roof, they are a great addition to any space. Imagine going on Google Earth and seeing satellite photos of your neighborhood with green everywhere.
CNN highlights the growing trend of using all those wasted shipping containers as building blocks for new homes. CNN producers talk with Architect Peter De Maria, a previous guest on G Living’s Room101. Peter specializes in Container based homes here in Southern California. He is even building a Container home just down the street from the G Living studios.
Architects are designing modern homes from the millions of excess shipping containers that are piling up at the port of LA due to the US trade deficit with China. By using the steel shipping containers as building material, homes can save 50% of construction costs, while reducing the waste and blight caused by trying to store them.
The Biscuit House, designed by aum is located just outside a small village near the French town of Lyon. The house is a 23m x 7m parallelepiped, made of concrete, steel and glass, embedded in the slope of the terrain. It is composed of two floors which both have direct access to the garden. The structure is made both in concrete and steel. All the materials are natural and untreated for them to keep their original aspect. Concrete is used for the envelope and the floors; steel is used for the pillars and for the window frames ; and untreated exotic wood (iroko) is used for the external curtain.
Description from architect Pierre Minassian
The building of the house was very complex for various reasons:
- It was very difficult to get the authorization to build contemporary architecture on that location
- Building was difficult also because there was no way to access the lower part of the building site so that it was necessary to find a compromise with the neighbour for him to allow the building of a path going along his own terrain.
- I made the external wood curtain myself which required more than 200 hours of work.
Australian architect Richard Cole designed the Bluff Farm House. In the tradition of isolated rural buildings, the house is conceived as a singular gesture responding to the strength of the site: a grassy terrace overlooking a meandering river facing north up a spectacular valley, next to an old eucalypt. The essential concept of the house reflects the way in which the owner has always used this place: setting up a table on the grass under the shade of the tree.
The sleeping areas are contained within encasing precast concrete walls. The lightweight steel framed roof shelters a generous living space opening to the terrace and view. A palette of raw materials; concrete, galvanised steel, sandstone, recycled timber and plywood add texture and warmth to the interior. The character of the building deliberately avoids artifice.
Our friend Architect Peter DeMaria is featured by Lexus for their reuse movement ad campaign. The Lexus slogan is: See how the reuse movement is shaping the world and how Lexus practices responsible manufacturing. This is a good way to spread the idea of re-using industrial materials in new projects, such as the shipping containers into cool new modern eco homes.
Nature shouldn’t be a spectator sport. There’s nothing like living, sleeping, breathing and playing amongst Mother Nature’s finest to feel a real connection to the earth. Treehouses epitomize this. They’re the perfect place for children to let their imaginations run wild, a place adults can seek solitude (or possibly some rumpy pumpy), a place creative types can seek inspiration and house guests, possible accommodation.
Lately, a mysterious building in the heart of Mumbai has been growing two floors a day. Literally growing. It’s covered in plants. It’s the greenest kept secret in India, until recently, when owner and oil tycoon Mukesh Ambani finally revealed his plans for what he purports to be the most environmentally friendly building in Mumbai. It’s called the Residence Antilia.
Architecture in Mumbai often looks very green in color because of the popular blend of modern Indian architecture and ancient Indian Vaastu, which calls for a lot of greenery in the design. In the Vaastu tradition, the spine of the building reaches up, towards enlightenment, and the foliage on the building creates “gardens-in-the-sky.” The Residence Antilia takes this concept to the extreme, creating the largest and tallest living wall in the world.
The plans show a variety of landscaping: garden tiers, terraces, waterfalls, ponds and recreational facilities. The Residence Antilia will be one of the tallest buildings in Mumbai, and all of the floors are included in the green wall. The views will also be spectacular, some of the best in the city.
Rantilla Residence by Michael Rantilla The design concept of this private home literally springs upward from the pristine wooded site. Unbuildable as a spec home property, the unique form of the building is a literal response to the significant site challenges. Wedged between zoning setbacks, a stream buffer and a steep slope, the program massing was squeezed vertically into a three story scheme elevated above the uninterrupted ground plane flowing beneath. Each floor level is expressed as a discrete rectangular volume clad in a different material and spun radially from a 40 foot tall, 18 inch thick solid concrete shear wall. This articulation of the volumes creates a wide variety of habitable outdoor spaces. The lowest level ultimately spills onto a large teak deck beneath the house, which then engages the forest via a stepped concrete pyramid. Fully cantilevered stair treads project from the concrete shear wall and shift from aluminum to maple to ipe, constantly varying the sound and feel of each staircase while allowing light and views to pass through. Vertical circulation always maintains a close connection to the diagrammatic and structural centroid of the building.
Just out the edge of the town of Empoli, the building is the Cabel headquarters (a company producing software systems for banks), it measures 4.500 square meters and it is sited inside the local industrial area.
Partially set into the ground, the building is composed of two extended floors out the ground level and a vault under. Along the main front the facade is protected by a long slice of public green.
The visitor arrives on the ground level through three suspended bridges launched on a large excavation which lights the vault designed to house expositions and art installations. Night time this empty space becomes a lighting pool which raises architecture from the ground.