AIA Housing Awards 2010
The heat-pump HVAC system and central boiler hot-water system at Safari Drive are more efficient than typical distributed systems, and the project also includes native, drought-tolerant landscaping to conserve water. Safari Drive's first phase has been certified by Scottsdale's Green Building Program for Multifamily Dwellings.
The AIA Housing Awards jury called the project "a beacon of hope for a sustainable future amid suburban sprawl. It is admirable to make one of the first attempts at a beautiful, livable, multipurpose community within a suburban context."
The award is dash of positive news for developer Vanguard City Homes, since Safari Drive has been "mired in foreclosure proceedings" amid the collapse of the housing market, as reported in the Phoenix Business Journal.
In expanding a 1939 Cape Cod-style home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, VJAA was challenged to deliver a highly energy-efficient structure that also improved the house's connections to its site on the Mississippi River.
The resulting T42 House addition helps reorient the house to the south for winter daylighting and passive solar heating, and to capture summer breezes while blocking winter winds. The project created a new master bedroom, multipurpose dining area and library, two bathrooms, and a new patio, and also included remodeling the existing 1,170-square-foot (109-square-meter) house.
The design for the 980-square-foot (91-square-meter) addition was based on Passive House criteria for passive solar design of the envelope, glazing specifications, and criteria for thermal mass and insulation requirements.
Its building envelope includes structural insulated panels (SIPs), high-transmission south glazing, and triple-glazed north and west windows. The envelope of the existing house was also improved by resealing windows and ducts, adding new storm windows, and reinsulating existing roof and soffit pockets to an R value of 50.
The addition features a masonry heater and a wood stove insert — high-efficiency European devices designed to produce no more carbon dioxide emissions than if the fuel wood had decayed naturally. The heater also provides 6.5 tons (5.9 metric tons) of thermal mass. A whole-house fan facilitates efficient airflow, along with a new back stair.
Even the house's new black exterior color was chosen to increase solar gain in winter. "No stone was left unturned and no strategy unexplored," remarked the jury. "It is difficult to comprehend how many layers of thought went into this project.
House on the Strait
Located in rural Washington, the Port Townsend Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is a refined interplay of a few simple materials. It recalls classic Northwest midcentury modernism, with some contemporary twists.
The home stands on a meadow surrounded by forest, high over the Strait of Juan de Fuca, at the northeastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula. The house is oriented to take advantage of the expansive view, with canted window bays in the bedrooms to optimize views of the Olympic Mountains.
The spine of the home consists of an exposed steel structure and a series of wood columns, supporting an exposed ceiling of wood beams and rafters. Durability, future recyclability, and reclamation informed the material selection. Reclaimed barnwood planks were used extensively, along with some FSC-certified woods.
Exterior louvers and large overhangs provide shade, and the high butterfly roof directs rainwater to a large metal cistern. The home also features high-efficiency mechanical systems with zoned controls.
In stewardship of the site, the landscape design added native trees, woodland understory plants, and grasses, and initiated a chemical-free management plan for controlling nonnative invasive species.
In the picturesque Berkshires of western Massachusetts, at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, stands the new Housing Tower by The Rose + Guggenheimer Studio. The compact new 80-room dormitory connects to an existing retreat building as the first phase of an extensive master plan, also designed by the firm.
The building's distinctive, accordion-like form derives its compelling look from the understated composition of wood, glass, and concrete. A series of sliding, hand-operated cypress sunscreens shade the windows, and a pressure-equalized rain screen construction comprises cypress slats over a water membrane.
Concrete floors minimize temperature fluctuations, and heating and cooling are provided by a radiant floor system. All told, the building uses about 40 percent less energy than a structure built to code specifications with a forced-air system.
"An architecturally strong and succinct solution!" praised the jury, commending the project for its respect of context and "innovative air movement strategies."
Dorms at Swarthmore
The Alice Paul and David Kemp Residences Halls complement the existing architecture at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
On a campus of stone buildings amidst an arboretum, William Rawn Associates creatively reinterpreted traditional collegiate architecture with an elegant, contemporary use of stone. "There is a wonderful contrast of scale between the communal elements and the fabric of the residential areas," the jury commented. "Both the scale and patterning have been thoroughly studied and are exquisite."
The buildings anchor the southern edge of the campus and border downtown Swarthmore. Organized around a courtyard, each structure was designed to be LEED-certified, with energy-saving strategies such as daylighting and a roof planted with native species as an extension of the surrounding arboretum.
Onsite construction of the Cellophane House took just 16 days, thanks to its prefabricated components. Erected in New York City, the five-story dwelling was designed by KieranTimberlake for the Museum of Modern Art's 2008 exhibition Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling.
Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...