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.
The lighting in the house is somewhat unique. We went with recessed LED can lights throughout most of the house and the cool thing about the lighting is the use of the Verve Living System. I’ve mentioned this system in previous posts but for those of you who aren’t familiar, essentially it is a lighting control system which allows for the introduction of wireless switches throughout the house. All of the fixtures are fed through 10 channel controllers which the wireless switches communicate with. The system gives you the flexibility to reprogram switches as often as you like, and also provides a master switch which allows for creating scene settings and then saving them. Additionally, as a part of the switch design, all of the lights are dimmable down to 5%.
Seeing how I’ve started getting more and more interested in furniture and industrial design lately…I thought I would share a firm out of New York City doing some pretty cool stuff…and it’s pretty simple too.
Their design approach often consists of taking existing elements and re-imagining them in strategic ways, with much of their work centered around lighting.
Here are a few examples for your enjoyment:
Branch Chandelier - Rich Brilliant Willing
Channel Table Lamp - Rich Brilliant Willing
Appalachian Dining Chair - Rich Brilliant Willing
I’m always looking for some great inspiration which can begin to influence my own work. It’s great to see these guys not only designing but also fabricating much of the work they do. Make sure to check out the rest of their work.
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.
The strategy for the lighting system in the house incorporates a relatively simple product which is actually pretty cool. The Verve Living System is a wireless control system for residential lighting.
Basically, the system consists of two components:
The 10-channel controller (allows for controlling up to 10 lighting circuits on 1 controller)
The wireless light switches
The system allows for the elimination of wiring to the switches themselves and also allows for flexibility in the placement of the switches. This has a few benefits. One, we don’t have to worry about placing switches on exterior walls which can act as weak points in the SIP insulation values. Also, because the switches are wireless, they are free to be moved around the house at any point and can be reprogrammed to the controller. So, if you decide to re-arrange a room and need to move the switch, it’s a simple process.
Further, the system contributes to an increase in energy efficiency. The switches take no batteries to power. They are completely powered by the physical motion of pushing the switch on and off. Also, all switches have dimming capability, adding a greater degree of energy efficient possibilities.
The last point to make is cost of the system. In reality, due to the decrease in the cost of labor and material for wiring all the switches, the system really does not come out to be much, if any, more expensive than a traditional system. It is definitely a cool feature to add to the house that serves multiple functions.
And thanks to the folks at the Postgreen and the 100k house for making me aware of this system!