I thought I would share a few interior photos of how the space is shaping up. While it’s still not quite 100% yet, you can really get a good sense for the quality of the spaces.
As you can tell in the photos, one of the biggest drivers for the the space was access to natural light. While we couldn’t break the budget on windows and daylighting, we understand the role daylight plays in creating inviting interior environments.
We will share more interior photos after the finishing touches are put on and also will share exterior as landscaping begins to happen in the spring.
After installation of the plywood second floor, we were left with a number of extra pre-cut 1′x4′ boards. As a result, I came up with the idea to produce a simple television console table. The table’s design is intended to be simple in nature, with the introduction of only two additional materials, scrap 2x4s for the legs and a sheet of pegboard for the sliding door panels.
The design speaks to simplicity in form, materiality, and finish (left unfinished), utilizing off-the-shelf products to produce a piece that complements the design of the home.
Check it out:
The piece was fabricated with the help of my friend and industrial designer Chris Stuart. Chris runs Luur, a design-build operation in town. He is a fantastic designer and we are lucky to have such a talent. Definitely check out his work.
This past weekend we started to paint the interior of the house. We have opted to go with a warm white for the house, minus the master bedroom where a light green will be used. The white serves as a nice complement to the warm wood pallet ceiling and the concrete floor.
Additionally, as we have often mentioned, environmental responsibility is important to us and to the design. We chose a paint that met this desire, DuraSoy. DuraSoy is a bio-based paint paint that goes beyond just using low-voc or no-voc paint. It contains a rewewable resource material, recycled content, contains no V.O.C. and is low odor but still is a high performing paint. The most interesting thing to note is that because it contains very little water, it is extremely thick…the thickest paint I have worked with. However, it goes on smooth and we have been very happy with it so far.
Check it out.
Drywall went up last week. As has been mentioned on this blog often, we are constantly trying to balance “green” products and budget and trying to find the best products for a sustainable house, not only with regards to its environmental impact but also in regard to personal health. For the drywall, we ended up using AirRenew Gypsum Board manufactured by CertainTeed. Not only is it manufactured with a large percentage of recycled content and is recyclable, but it is designed to absorb VOCs in the air and convert them to inert compounds and resist mold and moisture, ensuring a cleaner and healthier indoor environment.
Last week we had a meeting for the metal railing system in the house with Centerline Studio based out of Indianapolis. They are an awesome metal fabrication studio in town who do a broad range of work, with a lot of experience doing metal railings for architectural projects.
We are going for somewhat of an industrial vibe in the house and want to keep the railings relatively simple but still look contemporary. We have a few different instances of railings in the design, both on the interior and on the exterior. We have railings on both the bridge and as a barrier between the loft and the open 2-story section over the kitchen. We are also hoping to continue the railing down the staircase. Further, we plan on having a railing system in conjunction with a partial parapet wall on the roof garden directly off the loft on the second floor. It is our goal to continue the same railing look from the interior out onto the exterior of the house, to maintain continuity.
We have opted, at this point, at going with a cable railing system with mild steel square tube posts and rails. It will give us that slightly industrial look but will still maintain a contemporary appearance and allow us to keep costs down by minimizing the number of posts needed. Here are a few examples of Centerline’s work that are along the lines of what we are looking to implement:
Another favorite home from 2011 Solar Decathlon:
2. Empowerhouse: Parsons NS Stevens’ Entry
The Empowerhouse design was a collaboration between Parsons The New School for Design, Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School and Stevens Institute of Technology. The project took on a slightly different mission than that of New Zealand’s first light house.
The house, much like the New Zealand home, was kept fairly simple, with a straightforward profile and a clean and simple floor plan. This house, however, is set to become a Habitat for Humanity home and will be sited in a neighborhood in Washington D.C. Not only is it to be sited in D.C. but the home will actually add a second story and a second home will be constructed which mirrors the first and will create a duplex on it’s final site.
The team’s mission of becoming a Habitat for Humanity home was reflected in winning the Affordability Contest.
The design is comprised of a couple of key features:
Living ‘Dry’ Module
The living module occupies the west side of the home and is comprised of the bedroom, the living loft (which will eventually become the stairway to the upstairs bedrooms), and the primary living space in the home.
Service ‘Wet’ Module
The wet module occupies the east side of the home and is comprised of the mechanical room, the bathroom, and the kitchen. This condensing of systems is a strategy many of the homes in the competition implemented, including the Ohio State entry. Further, it’s something we also pushed for in the design for 701 Shelby.
For me, however, the keys features of the home that really stood out were the details on the interior. There were some really great, beautiful details that took the home from being good to being more than just good.
The first is the way the windows were trimmed out on the interior. Instead of simply framing out the window, the team took a leap and created more of a faceted, asymmetrical design for the window framing. The window itself begins to become more than just a window, almost a piece of art in the home.
The other feature of the home that made it stand out from the others was the furniture in the living space. The furniture wraps the stairway which will lead the eventual second floor bedrooms. It becomes the focal point for the living space, and serves a variety of functions from shelving, storage, a workspace, to a spare fold-out murphy bed.
Check out the Empowerhouse website for more information on the house, from passive house strategies to systems design and tons of photos:
I thought I would feature a few of my favorite moments from the 2011 Solar Decathlon:
1. First Light: New Zealand’s House
New Zealand finished the competition in 3rd place, and for good reason. They finished 1st in engineering, 2nd in architecture, and 3rd in market appeal. Their house was beautifully crafted, consisted of a simple, yet multi-functional floor plan, and a strong connection and flow between interior and exterior spaces.
The design for their home was centered around the concept of the Kiwi bach (for us non Kiwis…it’s pronounced batch). The bach is a vacation home in New Zealand. The design features three primary zones in the house which include the living zone, the bedroom zone, and the central kitchen/dining zone with an awesome concrete countertop as the centerpoint of the home. This zone serves a variety of functions and feeds into the Kiwi bach notion of social space. The counter becomes the gathering place in the home, from which both the living space and the bedroom space feed into. It can function as an extension of the kitchen, a dining space, a work space, or simply a space for gathering. Further, this space is flanked on both the north and the south by bi-folding doors and a skylight above to maximize the connection to the outdoors. Finally, the table is further defined by a custom pendant light fixture above, reminiscent of a boat-like form.
In the end, it’s a fairly simple plan but just done really well. The spaces flow nicely from one to the other and the home definitely boasted the best craft in the competition. The natural wood tones throughout the house create a warm, welcoming environment and work really well with the contrasting concrete surfaces. Oh…and it didn’t hurt that the Kiwi’s were a great group of teammates and appeared extremely humble throughout the competition.