Dwell in a minimalist modernist new house designed by Replinger Hossner Architects. Uncompromising design, masterly attention to detail and total livability. Kitchen with Bosch and Bertazoni designed for entertaining. Floor to ceiling commercial quality windows with views of West Seattle Golf Course, Elliot Bay and the Seattle skyline. Custom VG Fir built in cabinetry. Dynamic steel, glass and ebonized oak stair system. State of the art systems and green without green washing.
Looking to spend a few winter weeks in the Swiss Alps skiing, eating, hot tubing and oh yeah, living underground? Fantastic, I just found the place for you. An ultra modern designers military bunker wet dream of a villa which sleeps 10 hmm un-comfortably. Yes, the Villa Vals has opened up their hill for you by designing a very eco-earthen dwelling, with all kidding aside, isn’t to bad. I love the circle entrance, but it’s just the concrete cold hard interiors which are throw me.
The location couldn’t be more stunning, why design something with such hard interiors? Couldn’t the designers some how bring in the coziness of nature or at least make it feel open and spacious? Some of these photos remind me of a hip MTV style Juvi Center. I am just saying. Would you fork over $4000 a week to live a Swiss underground bunker? Is it just me?
Maybe in person it has that seemingly missing homy feeling and for some reason the photos just can’t represent it accurately. If any of you flesh monkies out there in “G” land end up doing time here, please share your thoughts and experiences. Oh and photos if you got them. Also, let us know if you spent some time in the Third Reich, which might explain your preference for this underground kind of thing.
Neil Harrison and I have started a 3 year project to document the sociology, topography, and recent history of the USA. We will hit every state as we travel in a diesel converted LandCruiser with a tent system built into the roof rack. We have started a website (futureroadmaps.tumblr.com) and twitter account in the event that anyone is interested in following the project. The eventual goal is a coffee table book and accompanying exhibits that make up our contemporary survey of American life. We are on the first week of trip 1.
The Earthship is by far the most genius piece of architecture we have ever seen
Now i’m pleased to introduce you to the Earthship. This pictured is one of the earliest Earthships designed. We stayed here for 3 days. It sits in a very tough environment and is now getting a bit of an overhaul on the outside adobe on account of 15 years of neglect. Pretty impressive that a few cracks are all it has sustained. A regular house would have collapsed at 8000 feet with snowy winters and heat wave summers. Every thing in it is built from old tires and mud, the roof is a rain water catch, and the water is held in the large drum and then used for the dishes and toilet. It is as off of the grid as you can get, solar, gray water etc. In the below and above shots from Neil’s digi you can see the tires under the adobe styling.
This is an Orange Alert for all you West Siders living L.A. The center of our green universe is about to lose it’s anchor. I am talking about Abbot Kinney, and all those greenish businesses which are starting to dominate the street. The anchor company epOxyGreen on the corner of Venice Blvd and Abbot Kinney is pulling up it’s roots and heading North. Well, only a few blocks North, to the traffic chocked artery of Lincoln Blvd. They are moving in with our friends at Sander Architects in the belly of the Orange Office. From the email Catherine sent over, it sounds like they leased the bottom two floors.
epOxyGreen over the last few years has transformed their business to focus on green design and home improvement. opOxyGreen grew out of opOxybOx which is a gallery and event spot. Some time ago, the gallery started filling up with green paints, bamboo floor samples and assorted furnishings. Now with a larger space and a prime location on one of L.A. busiest streets, maybe epOxyGreen is about to transform it’s self once again. Photos after the jump
In the world of Architecture, choosing to build your career and business on the leading fringe edge is a dangerous choice. Leaving the safety of the pack, just like in nature, might just prove to be unwise. So, when an Architect hangs out his shingle and declares, I will build my homes on a factory floor, he or she might just be committing business suicide. A few architecture firms over the last five years have done exactly that. They defined their business around a new way to be smarter, modern luxury custom homes, sustainably and most of all green. Predictably most of these companies have either failed already or are on the ropes. Higher start up cost, and the small pool of buyers is mostly to blame. This is why, when a company emerges successfully out of the start up phase and into full production, they definitely deserve a closer look.
One such company which has emerged out of the woods and seems to be on the road to success is Flatpak House, founded by Charles Lazor. Charles entered into the prefab housing market with a little more knowledge than most, since he is also a co-founder of Blu Dot, a flatpack modern furniture business. His approach to green prefab building is a little different than most of the other Architects as well. Instead of building the entire house in a factory, such as LivingHomes, and Office of Mobile Design, has done, he decided to build only the key components of the building. Using these components, the new home buyer could pick and choose which ones to use, like a giant lego set, to make their home. This flexibility is why Lazor calls his house “manufactured architecture” rather than prefab. (Also, like any good designer, he knows that naming, packaging, and marketing are essential to the success of a product.) “This way of designing is all about finding an answer to a problem,” he says, “rather than expressing the will of an architect. It’s the opposite of the individual genius model.”
Here is a very interesting interview we did with John Picard, one of the Advisors for the BP Oil company. His job was to help them go green. See how he explains their thinking at the time and how they changed the companies name for British Petroleum to Beyond Petroleum. A name they thought would announce their new direction as world leaders in the new clean renewable energy market. Clean and green, is what BP wants to present, but reality is a whole other thing. Just ask the people living in the Gulf Coast.
John Picard is a name that you may not be familiar with… yet. This pioneer in sustainability has been quietly revolutionizing homes and businesses across the country. Here’s a brief history of his achievements:
– He started out as a builder and entrepreneur and is now a renowned building efficiency and sustainability expert.
– He was a core member of President Clinton’s “Greening of the White House” team.
– He’s president and founder of E2 Environmental Enterprises, whose clients include Microsoft, BP, eBay, Sony, Ford, The Gap, MGM, CAA and Live Earth, to name a few.
What is Habode? It can be a vacation home. It can be a cluster of homes in a retirement community. It can be office space. It can be a three-bedroom family house.
A better question is, What do you want it to be?
Habode homes are environmentally responsible pre-fab buildings that are tailored to your specifications. All of the houses are the same size (80 square meters), but the floor plan, window placement and doors are all up to you. Rod Gibson, the creator, based Habode on happy childhood memories of clear waters and green grass. He wanted to create re-locatable, recreational homes that can be placed in areas where building by conventional methods is difficult.
I have been following this architecture firm since they designed a house out of containers, something I would like to do. So, I check out their site pretty often, and today they have rewarded me with a new design fit for the Monkies. Yes, a ultra modern floating eco city they are calling Gyre Seascraper. Since I was a kid, I thought it would be ultra cool to be able to live below the surface of the ocean. It would be like living in the International Space Station. A completely foreign world.
Gyre creates a new class of Eco-tourism by bringing scientists and vacationers together to understand what is the least known environment on our planet, the ocean. As much as a skyscraper is an economical method of reducing humankind’s footprint on land, Gyre goes a step further by juxtaposing that footprint to the ocean, and is perhaps its greenest feature. Its unique design permits the simultaneous application of wind, solar, and tidal energy generation technologies thereby making it truly ‘off-grid’. Peaking at a depth of 400m, its ample space provides for a comfortable living and working environment, including space for shops, restaurants, gardens, and recreation.
The center piece of the design features a double-hulled vortex with both hulls being clad in reinforced glass, where each of the floor levels are essentially a layering of concentric rings ranging in size from 30,000 sq.m. down to 600 sq.m. Inclinators riding along the inner structural ribs provide for vertical/diagonal transportation between floors. Total floor area of the entire structure (levels, radial arms, barriers) is approximately 212,000 sq.m. (or roughly 40 football fields). The Gyre’s radial arms feature a pedestrian upper level and a transit system on the lower level to access to the outer protective barriers. The barriers create an inner harbor and port of approximately 1.25 km in diameter, accommodating the needs of even the world’s largest ships.
When we think of modern green architecture, its normal for most of us urban monkies to dream up a very cleanly designed glass box. We think of the glass as a way to connect with the environment around us, while maintaining that safe distance, which city living grinds into us. The Chen House embraces the modern box, but flatly rejected the idea of barriers. The Firm Architects C-Laboratory, designed the Chen House to embrace the country side, building it on an old Japanese cherry-farm in North-Taiwan.
By Catherine Slessor The Architectural Review: Conceived as a meditation on the decline of Finnish rural life, the project – punningly entitled Land(e)scape – involved hoisting a trio of redundant timber barns on to spindly stilts to make them look as though they were walking out of the countryside and migreating to the city. In a final nihilistic flourish, the structures were set on fire and transformed into blazing memorials to the loss of a pastoral idyll.
Casagrande is now in partnership with Taiwanese architect Frank Chen, and together they recently completed a house in the north of Taiwan, near the Datun Mountains. Set on farmland next to a river and surrounded by tree-covered hills, the remote, rural site has echoes of the walking barns project. Yet for all its bucolic charm, the environment can be harsh, with intense heat in summer and frequent typhoon winds, componded by periodic flooding from the river and seismic activity.
A house on the hills of Los Angeles, designed to suck in solar energy. The passive solar Tree House by L.A. based architects, Standard designed this concrete and wood passive solar house. The house responds to its site and the city through its transparent southern exposure. The large ash tree literally envelopes the house, creating a microclimate to which the project responds. The house employs passive solar design and other low tech methods of climate control even as the open south elevation allows panoramic views of the Los Angeles basin. A partially concealed post and beam structure modulates the exterior and allows openings to span from floor to ceiling. The second floor bears on thin stainless steel columns and cantilevers over a concrete deck, which in turn cantilevers over the slope. The horizontal layering of the roof and floors extends the interior and engages the space under the tree. The strong horizontal projections also provide visual balance to the immense trunk and limbs. Redwood siding clads the overhangs and defines the transition between the inside and out.
The horizontal layering of the roof and floors extends the interior and engages the space under the tree. The strong horizontal projections also provide visual balance to the immense trunk and limbs. Redwood siding clads the overhangs and defines the transition between the inside and out.
If your a green hearted Monkie like me, the city of Austin is the only city in Texas to live in. That is if your actually already in Texas. Austin is a very green minded city surrounded a mob of land grabbing oil men. When the Austin community tried to protect their ground water and prevent sprawling developments, the Governor (George Bush) stripped them of their rights and gave a green light for developers. Those developers quickly exploded the population size and yes, ruined Barton Springs.
But things are not all doom and gloom. Austin is also the home of Mega Organic grocier, Whole Foods and the city is inching it’s way back to the green side. Here is a great example. The Annie Residence by the Bercy Chen Studio.
Casa 205 on a hillside in Vacarisses, Spain. designed by H Arquitectes.
The setting of the project is a plot with steep slopes and a great amount of trees and bushes. The aim is building a house without causing any serious impacts on the land. The house will be built on a natural rocky platform. This platform will also be used as either the exit or the garden of the house. The architects and the property developers have agreed on minimizing land movements in order to build the artificial landscaped platforms. The target is to make good use of the existing land shelves. This will allow us to preserve the natural physiognomy of the wood. The only uneven area will be the path ramp, which will cross the piece of land diagonally. This artificial ramp will communicate the street with the different plot levels.
The inner layout of the house is based on a lineal sequence of rooms of different proportions linked to the structure. There are great sliding opened areas, which will provide both harmony and versatility. The house can work as an open-plan space or as individual, closed spaces.