We all have a dream home. It’s our ultimate cocoon, our refuge from the world, and our base for adventures and creative endeavors of all sorts. Our dream home may not be number 1 on your bucket list. It may be a casual “oh, I’d like that sorta dwelling someday” or a raging fire in your belly to save up and build the perfect home for yourself and your family. Or anywhere in between. But, now, as we spend all our time at our current home and dream of a fabulous future, let’s look at 5 gorgeous designs that exist in this world that could inspire your future dream eco-friendly home. They are all sustainably built and eco-friendly in their functionality. And stunning to look at! (I’m not one to compromise on style when it comes to my dream home! But style + eco-friendly functionality? Now that’s a dream combo.)
These design examples are architects’ wet dreams – they’re sustainable, alright, but expensive. Which brings down the overall eco-friendliness somewhat, but this is all just for inspiration for our future (small, self-sustaining and adequate) homes. Some of these designs are pre-fab and some are not. My dream is to one day buy about 5 acres of land, build a little sustainable house on it and develop the land according to permaculture principles. I’m nowhere close to even think about affording something like this, but hey, dreams are free;)
#1 THE TATTUPLEX | LOS ANGELES
The Tattuplex is home to Tim Tattu, and his ethos is familiar: a home where sustainability meets style. Designed and built by architecture firm Tom Marble Architecture, Tattu’s two-story home hugs the hillside and showcases stunning views.
The Tattuplex was built using prefab steel (which reduced construction waste), and has sustainable insulation and windows that help reduce heating and therefore reduce energy consumption. My favorite bit is the vegetable garden that’s productive enough to supply ingredients for his meals.
Photos: Taiyo Watanabe
#2 THE DALLES (HOMB) | OREGON
What’s cool about this design is that the HOMB is based on 100 square foot triangular modules that can be infinitely configured and expanded upon. This modular philosophy allows for a variety of different layouts that are both dynamic and efficient while creating a comfortable living environment.
These modules can easily be stacked, stepped and separated, depending on each projects conditions and restraints.
HOMB Dalles is a 2,250 square foot home consisting of 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. In this design, the triangular modules are compiled to create one larger triangle. The house sits on steep slope, which allows for excellent views in multiple directions.
This was designed by Skylab Architecture + Method Homes.
#3 MUJI HUT | JAPAN
Muji doesn’t just make minimalistic stationery and clothing; they also do minimalist pre-fab housing. This tiny “home” is more akin to camping than a full house – the Hut has no toilet or kitchen. The interior is compact, but the porch and the high shed roof create a space large enough for 3–4 people to relax in.
The outer walls are given enhanced antiseptic properties and durability by applying burned hardwood cladding – a concept borrowed from the traditional art of Japanese shipbuilding, where builders burn cedar wood to increase its strength and add an oil stain finish. The inner wall surfaces are left untreated.
#4 MINIMOD RETREAT | BRAZIL
This design is the meeting of landscape and technology. The architects went for contemporary design in a remote landscape, with the focus on spending time in nature. It’s modular, energy-efficient and gorgeous. The units are made of steel frames and sustainable wood.
#5 FALL HOUSE | BIG SUR
Designed and built by Fougeron Architecture, this multi-award winning design is 3,800 sqft, and features a cantilever, sweeping ocean views and a 250-foot drop to the Pacific Ocean along the bluff and toward the west. The views are dramatic.
The house conforms to the natural contours of the land and the geometries of the bluff, deforming its shape and structure in response. The designers were careful to protect the cliff’s delicate ecosystem while ensuring the structure’s integrity and safety.
The house is made of concrete, glass, wood and copper and includes a green roof that overhangs on the east and west, protecting the windows and the front door from the harshness of sun and wind.
It was difficult to limit myself to 5 designs. It’s just a tiny drop in the ocean of sustainable architecture. Perhaps I’ll write another post with 5 more. And then another one…
The elegance of beautiful architecture is unmatched, and if any of us is planning to build our own home, we should try to make it as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. This post is an indulgence. I doubt it is of any practical use to anyone, but it does give tons of inspiration and ideas – and indications of what is possible. And that, I hope, dear reader, is enough for now.
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