In 1974, architect Bengt Warne designed the prototype for a greenhouse home to deal with the cold winters in Sweden. Rather than converting an existing structure and moving inside it, he built a normal house — and then encasing it in glass — a Nature House (or “Naturhus” ). Inspired by these designs, a family has created a home near Stockholm integrated with the elements of earth, water, air, and fire. The electricity bills have been cut in half, heated by an eco-friendly wood-burning oven and a hot water masonry heater. The greenhouse also shelters Mediterranean-style gardens that couldn’t survive the Swedish seasons — figs, kiwi, peaches, wine grapes, etc.
The creation, imagination, willing of a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system, achievement of a unique expection in architecture, technology, or landscape.
Defensible Space: My Wildfire-Appropriate Retrofit Journey – Part I
As the Western U.S. continues with massive wind-driven, high-intensity wildfires that often turn deadly, Naomi Pitcairn recommends retrofitting homes on the Wildland Urban Interface for fire-resistant resiliency. This is Part I of a three-part series.
A Marked Beast: Trump’s Son-In-Law’s 666 Fifth Avenue
From a failed attempt to peddle influence to save an upside-down real estate venture, to a spectacularly autocratic design, Zaha Hadid’s 666 Fifth Avenue captures the Trumpian moment, in all it’s bejeweled phallic grandeur that the Bible’s Revelations warned us about.
Shipping Containers as Sustainable, Affordable Housing?
Pruitt Igoe Myth: The Death of 20th Century US City
Destroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure among architects, politicians and policy makers. A 2012 documentary unveiled the many witting and unwitting villains, including urban poverty, public policy enforced racial segregation, and urban disinvestment in favor of the White Suburban Dream.
Public Art and the Psyche: Olafur Eliasson on Cities
“City planning has been way too pragmatic for a long time.” So says Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, who creates artistic environments that break down the industrial expanse of cities with faux-natural elements, hot sun, waterfalls, rivers, and take over the senses of their spectators.
German Prefab House Generates Twice its Own Energy
The prefab Active House B10 prototype in Stuttgart can be built in a day, but its implications will be felt for years. Taking the passive house net zero concept one step further, this fully recyclable tiny house actively generates enough power for multiple properties through its rooftop photovoltaics.