This modern house located in the foothills above Snoqualmie, Washington is a two-building complex with energy efficient home design by Johnston Architects. Using blow-down trees from storms to provide logs for siding and ground source heat pump supplemented by solar energy, the house is very livable within its environment.
Budenberg Haus Projekte in Altrincham near Manchester, England is an unique apartment building shaped like a boat. Located next to a canal, this development designed by famed architectural firm Foster and Partners used pre-fabricated materials and pre-cast curved concrete slabs to achieve high building quality. The units range from one to three bedrooms with single-level or one-and-a-half storey height flats.
Watershed House is a 100-square-foot writer’s retreat located in Wren, Oregon. Architect Erin Moore of FLOAT Architectural Research and Design built this small studio for her mother who is a noted nature writer. The intention of this retreat is to have a place to observe the surrounding ecology without disturbing it. The sustainable retreat is off the grid with no direct road access. It is constructed from prefabricated recyclable materials that can be easily assembled and disassembled. A chute from the roof is designed to let rainwater trickle down a water trough just outside, creating another element of nature with the sounds of rain.
Nestled in the hills of Mill Valley, California, the Hillside House is a LEED Plantinum certified home with high sustainability designed by SB Architects. Built on a steep hillside site, the modern red cedar house has a vertical design with multi-level living spaces that reduces its footprint. Views of the bay and the San Francisco skyline can be enjoyed from the numerous balconies and outdoor terraces.
At 12,000 feet above sea level, the St. Regis Lhasa Resort in Lhasa, Tibet is one of the highest luxury hotels in the world. Inspired by the nearby Sera Monastery, the eight-acre resort hotel designed by Denniston International Architects combines the traditional Tibetan architectural elements with modern luxury. The hotel faces the stunning Potala Palace with views of the Himalayas and Lhasa Valley. The exterior of the buildings with stone walls and dark shale pagoda-style roofs pay homage to the ancient Buddhist culture. The interiors showcase works of art from local and international artists such as the six-panel painting in the lobby by Christian de Laubadère. The Iridium Spa has an ornate gold-tiled pool with artwork of a black and white Sea Serpent. Sustainable features such as solar panels and an underground water recycling system were also incorporated into the hotel design.
Built on a man-made island on the edge of Doha harbour just off the corniche, the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar houses one of the world’s most complete collections of Islamic artifacts. Designed by Pritzker Prize laureate I. M. Pei, who embarked on a journey across the Muslim world to grasp the essence of Islamic architecture which he borrowed for the design of the museum. The result is an architectural icon composed of a five-storey minimalist building and a two-storey education wing with the geometric patterns and aesthetic details of the art and architecture of the Muslim world. Inside the building, a soaring atrium with a stainless steel domed ceiling above the grand staircase is a stunning centrepiece of the interiors.
Loblolly House on Taylors Island, Maryland is a 2,200-square-foot prefab house composed entirely of fabricated components made off-site. Designed by Kieran Timberlake Associates, this contemporary home named for the tall loblolly pines that characterize its site on the Chesapeake Bay was built in environmentally ethical ways. There is minimal disruption to the ground with the house resting lightly on the site using timber piles as foundations. Architects Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake believe that the construction process today should be streamlined, so they boldly took on the project which has become a model for componentized prefab houses.
This modern home located in Sausalito, California in the San Francisco Bay Area is situated on a steep slope with panoramic views of Richardson Bay. The house has a simple and unassuming front façade, but once inside the house, light and expansive windows open the interior to the grand environment outside. The home also features a rainwater harvesting system, and along with its use of a combination of light and dark woods, the zen-like simplicity makes for responsible living in a neighbourhood with history and sensitivity to its environment.