Jodlowa House - Sustainable Architecture

UK-based architects PCKO co-operated with Poland-based MOFO Architects , to design an exquisite, eco-friendly, luxury residence, located on a picturesque plot in the outskirts of Krakow, Poland. Jodlowa House’s, fully glazed facade sits in a contemporary steel frame, which floats above the ground, in a way that it does not only showcase nature, but also minimizes its environmental footprint and preserves the existing natural environment - a large, mature tree that was incorporated as part of the exterior terrace instead of being cut down-. Apart for minimum footprint and maximum enjoyment of nature, Jodlowa House is a fully functional residence with a design that incorporates a covered swimming pool, two main bedrooms, 140sqm of living area and a 5 storey viewing tower. The lower floors of the viewing tower provide additional guest accommodation with a study at the top of the tower which, being fully glazed, offers beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding nature and the Tatra Mountains on the distant horizon.
The windows too help to bring the outdoors in, flooding interiors with natural light and provide unobstructed views of the landscape, while the rustic, textured stone, covered in ivy, used on the tower adds a dramatic contrast to the transparent nature of the rest of the house.


Sustainable Architecture in Underdeveloped Countries

S-Archetype is a true believer of sustainable building practices and green architecture, when it comes to our future we see no other way, so it was a pleasure reading this short article on the IMX Green blog, on how under development countries can actually be the ones to make a huge difference on this planet.There are great news in the horizon, we all know we can weatherize our homes and make them more energy efficient. But what is built in outdated CBS blocks is already built, what matters most is the “Shift” from the Middle Ages to the buildings technologies we know and which are already being widely used today.Sustainable architecture is definitely the present and the only future for most Governments of Underdeveloped Countries in Africa and elsewhere. They are in desperate need of low income housing for the poorest people, and have a giant opportunity to build all their new green houses from here on! That is a huge opportunity to make sustainable architecture and green homes a standard.
It is also a great opportunity for them to reduce their energy consumption right off the bat and save 50% to 100% in those green homes energy consumption. Lets hope many other Countries and Continents will follow that lead for a greener future, building net zero houses and homes worldwide.


Chamfer Home - A Compact Prefab House

For s-archetype, encouraging ecologically sustainable design and experimenting with alternative formations that provoke the imagination, is of outmost importance.

This is how the idea of the Chamfer Home was born. We wanted to take the challenge of designing a stylish, sustainable and affordable compact home to match different contemporary lifestyles and needs. A bold design statement, an eco friendly structure that could be set up easily anywhere and a completely autonomous prefab, serving as the perfect vacation home.

Stylish and sustainable materials, efficient heating & cooling, daylight exploitation, solar collectors, passive ventilation and sustainable building practices to ensure energy independence were used throughout the design process of the Chamfer Home, resulting in a multifunctional, portable architectural structure both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.
Introducing a new alternative way of inhabiting, Chamfer Home, optimizes all usable spaces offering most of the amenities of a larger home, including a fully functional kitchen and a bathroom. When the house is occupied it can be extended to reach 27 square meters of carefully planned interior space.

The glass wall floods the interior, of this compact home, with light, making the most of the daylight hours while the special double glaze window manipulates solar energy differently throughout the year to heat up or effectively ventilate the interior.

From a stylish beach house, to an innovative urban micro home, Chamfer Home, is an original, eco friendly, modern home that people can actually afford.

Architectural 3d's are compliments of co.creations
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Eco Business Park, Tianjin China

Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Investment and Development Co., Ltd (SSTEC) will be developing the first eco-business park of its kind in China, in Tianjin Eco-City’s Start-Up Area.

The Tianjin Eco-City is a landmark bilateral project between China and Singapore, located in the Binhai New Area, the focal point for the acceleration of growth in the Bohai Rim, China’s powerhouse for business, science, technology and culture in the 21st century.With its strategic location, the Tianjin Eco-City is poised to realize its vision to be a centre of excellence for eco-activities and businesses that will involve companies that provide services in green financing, energy efficiency consultancy and eco-solutions.
Tianjin Eco-City, will also be an oasis of quality eco-homes and a prestigious address for high-value added services such as education, healthcare and urban solutions.

The Eco-Business Park, will occupy approximately 30 hectares of land and is expected to be the base for global eco-businesses in Tianjin and serve Northern China’s growing need for clean technologies and sustainable urban solutions.

SSTEC expects the business park to create over 15,000 white collar jobs which will attracts new residents and generate more economic spin-offs.


Unique All Steel Prefab

Innovative architectural design and sustainable architecture can have a powerful impact in the world regardless of size and all initiatives that embrace energy efficient practices needs to be at least be acknowledged, that is why I was pleasantly surprised to read an article by Susan Kraemer, on www.greenbuildingelements.com regarding a unique Steel Prefab Residence, in the middle of the Desert.

Steel is just about the most recyclable building material on earth. You could be well reading this in an office building built with steel originally smelted from iron in Julius Caesars day.

So it makes good green sense to build eco prefab houses with steel…

Steel does not spread fire. Building with steel allows for a lighter load, so it does not require a huge concrete foundation. Making concrete is one of the most carbon intensive building industries there are, producing the heaviest carbon footprint.

And steel framing makes for construction simplicity: these homes are able to be erected by hand and do not require welding, special torque tools or specialized inspections. This allows an entire house to be framed and enclosed in less than five days.

To grade a traditional home pad would have irreparably damaged this beautiful site, instead the house stands above the terrain on legs, which is becoming an increasingly common new eco building vernacular because this allows local wildlife to continue to move freely underneath the house without disturbing the human interlopers in their land. And vice versa.

This part prefab system offers 500 square foot modules that can be combined in any combination to create houses of any horizontal configuration and up to three stories tall. At the center is a factory built “core,” where the bathroom, hot water tank, air handler, washer/dryer and electrical subpanel are all located.

This Blue Sky House is sited 4,000 feet above sea level amid massive weathered boulders and ancient piñon and juniper trees.


AGO + Gehry = Stimulating Experience

It wasn’t long ago, when a very good friend of mine told me, that visiting the redesigned Ontario Art Gallery was one of the most rewarding experiences he had in the last years, in both art and architecture. He was fascinated with Gehry’s work and after taking some time navigating the net and looking for info on the new AGO, I was too. And if I know you well enough, you will be too.

After two long years of renovation, the Art Gallery of Ontario reopened last November and it was a triumph of redesign, inside and out and as stated in AGO’s website “When art meets architecture, powerful experiences take shape.”

Lets take a look at some of Gallery’s design highlights:

  • A new entrance aligned with Walker Court, the historic heart of the AGO, and The Grange, the Gallery’s first home
  • A glass and wood façade that spans 600 feet along Dundas Street and rises 70 feet above street level
  • A sculpture gallery that extends 450 feet, enabling visitors to see out onto Dundas Street, and passersby to see into the Gallery
  • A new, tinted titanium-and-glass four-storey south wing overlooking Grange Park that will house a centre for contemporary art and offer one of the most beautiful event spaces in the city
  • A south façade that complements the new Ontario College of Art and Design building to the southeast, with both buildings framing Grange Park
  • Extensive glazing on both the north and south façades to allow visitors to experience the surrounding cityscape from the Gallery interior
  • A sculptural staircase that soars from the second floor, linking Walker Court to the new centre for contemporary art and new event space
  • The integration of natural light throughout the building, including a new glass roof over Walker Court and a light-filled walkway around its upper perimeter, bringing light into the core of the building

The sculptural staircase rises from the second floor of Walker Court, through the glass ceiling and extends to the fifth floor. In designing the signature staircase, Gehry remarked that he hoped its warmth and intimacy would beckon visitors and become a place where people fall in love.