Humble Homes Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:09:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A Sustainable Off-Grid House Set In The Navajo Reservation Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:07:48 +0000 This off-grid house set in the Navajo Reservation in Utah, has been designed by the non-profit organisation DesignBuildBLUFF. Completed in 2009, the house is one of many environmentally friendly homes that the organisation has built.

DesignBuildBLUFF Studio - Navajo Reservation - Suzie Whitehorse - Off-Grid House - Exterior - Humble Homes

Every year DesignBuildBLUFF invites first-year graduates of architecture to design and build a home for a Navajo family. The buildings themselves are constructed with found and salvaged materials, which can be mixed with modern technologies and traditional construction techniques.

DesignBuildBLUFF Studio - Navajo Reservation - Suzie Whitehorse - Off-Grid House - Exterior Deck - Humble Homes

This house was designed for Suzie Whitehorse and her four children. Prior to this Suzie and her children were living in a 15 foot wide dome-shaped hut – a tight and cramped space for five people to live in. The new house provides several, much larger, living spaces, each of which is designed to fit in with both their needs and lifestyle.

DesignBuildBLUFF Studio - Navajo Reservation - Suzie Whitehorse - Off-Grid House - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The kitchen of the house features a rocket stove. The wood-burning stove can be used to heat the 55 gallon barrel that sits on top of it, providing warm water for the home. It also has a 20 foot flue made from cob, which when warmed-up, acts as the house’s primary source of heating. As a backup, there’s also an in-floor radiant heating system that’s powered by solar hot water panels on the south wall.

DesignBuildBLUFF Studio - Navajo Reservation - Suzie Whitehorse - Off-Grid House - Bedrooms & Living Room - Humble Homes

The approach to the design and construction of the building is relatively low-tech, and hence low on maintenance. The architects attempted to make use of passive design, rather than employ active energy systems. As DesignBuildBLUFF put it: “There is no HVAC system — really no mechanical system whatsoever, just the sun and a little bit of wood, and the breeze.”

DesignBuildBLUFF Studio - Navajo Reservation - Suzie Whitehorse - Off-Grid House - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The entire building is raised off the ground by recycled telephone poles, promoting natural ventilation. On the south side, the window area and orientation has been calculated so as to provide optimum passive solar heating. The roof features a rainwater catchment system that leads to a 2,000 gallon cistern that’s buried in the ground.

For more off-grid houses check out The Shack at Hinkle Farm, a cozy retreat featuring a garage door as an operable window. Or this small island home off of Vancouver with a bed that can be pulled out into the openness of the surrounding forest. See all off-grid houses.

Via Inhabitat
Photos: DesignBuildBLUFF

]]> 3
Albang – Egg-Shaped Living Pods in Seoul Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:23:05 +0000 This series of egg-shaped capsules have been designed by the Korean studio Yoon Space + Song Pyoung. The capsules, called “Albang”, can be found on Osan Beach in Seoul and serve as outdoor living spaces.

Outdoor Living Capsules - Yoon Space & Song Pyoung Albang - Korea - Exterior - Humble Homes

The designers have purposely left the interiors bare, avoiding the typical conditions afforded by hotels, tents, and RV’s. The aim was to create a unique experience, unlike that of its contemporaries.

Outdoor Living Capsules - Yoon Space & Song Pyoung Albang - Korea - Capsule Interior - Humble Homes

The size of the pods allows them to be transported to a different site if necessary. They’re constructed of expanded polystyrene due to its ability to be moulded, and also because it’s relatively economic, lightweight, incombustible and insulating.

Outdoor Living Capsules - Yoon Space & Song Pyoung Albang - Korea - Capsule at Night - Humble Homes

The interior finish of the pods matches the exterior; extruded polystyrene. Granted it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing finish, but its properties do make it functional. Each of the pods comes with two small windows that look out over the surroundings (although the views might be a bit distorted due to the curvature).

Outdoor Living Capsules - Yoon Space & Song Pyoung Albang - Korea - Capsules at Night - Humble Homes

While all of the Albang units are exactly the same shape, the color of the doors and the interior surfaces help to make each pod unique. Each unit measures approximately 74-square-feet (6.9-square-meters). From the floor plans, it looks to be enough space to comfortably sleep two people.

Outdoor Living Capsules - Yoon Space & Song Pyoung Albang - Korea - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

For more spaces check out the Hedonist Hotel that was built on a budget of $250. Or, these modern Teepee-style cabins by Antony Gibbon. See all spaces.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: Gimyoun Song, Indiphos

]]> 0
Jellyfish Barge – A Modular Greenhouse that Tackles Food Scarcity Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:19:20 +0000 This floating greenhouse, known as the Jellyfish Barge, has been designed by a team of architects and botanists in response to the feared future global food shortage. Studiomobile were primarily responsible for the design of the structure, which aims to produce food hydroponically, with a minimal carbon footprint.

Jellyfish Barge - Studiomobile - Floating Greenhouse - Exterior - Humble Homes

The greenhouse is constructed mostly from wood and makes use of recycled materials. The wooden base is set atop of 96 recycled plastic drums that allow it to float. All told, the octagonal structure contains 750-square-foot (70-square-meters) of space for gardening.

Jellyfish Barge - Studiomobile - Floating Greenhouse - Interior Plants - Humble Homes

The design is intended to be simple and affordable to construct. Adaptability was also a concern for the architects, so they incorporated a means of extending the greenhouse into several connected units. It’s estimated that a single Jellyfish Barge will be capable of supporting two families.

Jellyfish Barge - Studiomobile - Floating Greenhouse - Planters - Humble Homes

The crops are feed fresh water by seven solar stills that have been designed by the environmental scientist Paolo Franceschetti. Powered by solar energy, the stills use fans and pumps to draw in and purify water. They’re capable of producing 150 liters of clean water a day, included salt and polluted waters.

Jellyfish Barge - Studiomobile - Floating Greenhouse - At Night - Humble Homes

The Jellyfish Barge uses a mix of clean water with 15% seawater for its crops. It also has the ability to be remotely controlled, and automated. The designers are hoping that it will open up a number of opportunities, not just for people to produce their own food, but also to create jobs, or a source of income.

Jellyfish Barge - Studiomobile - Floating Greenhouse - Graphic - Humble Homes

While this may not be the solution to the global food crisis, it is good to see that people from a range of backgrounds are thinking about it, and attempting to address the issue.

For more green architecture and natural building, check out this vegetable nursery that’s made from bamboo and plastic bottles. Or the Vietnamese S House that costs just $4,000. See all natural building.

Via Inhabitat
Photos: Matteo de Mayda

]]> 1
Contemporary Japanese House is Designed for Two Generations Tue, 16 Dec 2014 18:34:49 +0000 This modern family house in the city of Takasaki, Japan, has been designed in a collaborative effort by studios SNARK and OUVI. The house is set on a narrow lot, sandwiched between two adjacent buildings, and looks out over a cemetery.

Multi-Generational House - SNARK - OUVI - Tourimachi - Exterior and Kitchen - Humble Homes

The three-storey building has a footprint of 20-by-42 feet (6-by-13 meters), and has been designed to cater for two generations of one family. The confines of the site prompted the architects to introduce internal features that would help take advantage of natural light, and create a sense of spaciousness.

Multi-Generational House - SNARK - OUVI - Tourimachi - Kitchen & Dining - Humble Homes

The interior features setbacks, floor openings, balconies/walkways and, of course, lots of windows and skylights. By comparison, the exterior is rather quiet, and fits snugly into the site in terms of overall size, proportions and form.

Multi-Generational House - SNARK - OUVI - Tourimachi - Living Space - Humble Homes

The clients had a relatively simple brief for the architects, to create a “well-lit and ventilated double house duplex to share with their parents.” To address the needs of the building’s oldest occupants, the entire ground floor has been dedicated to them, with its own separate bathrooms, kitchen, dining and living areas.

Multi-Generational House - SNARK - OUVI - Tourimachi - Loft & Bathroom - Humble Homes

The two upper floors of the house belong to the clients. A modern steel staircase provides access between the different levels while also dividing up the space. The second floor is an open plan living space containing the kitchen, dining room, and living room. A small bathroom and bedroom can also be accessed from the main living space.

Multi-Generational House - SNARK - OUVI - Tourimachi - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

The final level of the home provides access to a sheltered balcony. The finish throughout is clean and contemporary, with a white and grey palette that’s warmed by wood. Overall, it’s a well thought-out and designed home that meets the needs of both generations, by creating overlapping spaces that don’t intrude on one another.

For more Japanese houses check out this functional family home from Niigata called OH! House. Or, the Bud House which features a split floor level design that helps to maximise on space. See all Japanese houses.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Shinzawa Ippei

]]> 0
Guest House Combines a Chicken Coop, Tool Shed, and a Music Room Mon, 15 Dec 2014 18:14:29 +0000 Architecture firm De Smet Vermeulen Architecten were recently contacted by a previous client to design this modern guest house. The client, who had the architects design their main home ten years ago, needed an additional space that would serve as a chicken coop, tool shed and a music room.

Guest House - Music Studio - De Smet Vermeulen Architecten - Exterior - Humble Homes

The new addition to the property is in the same style as the main house, featuring the same selection of materials, and the same angular form. The exterior of the guest house is clad with sustainably sourced timber, and sports a trussed roof finished with a corrugated metal.

Woning Braeckman De Smet Vermeulen architecten

The roof contains a generous overhang on the front face of the building, providing a degree of protection from the sun and rain. There’s also an exterior concrete deck that looks to have the same footprint as the house. The splashes of red on the front wall are an attempt to connect the new guest house to the main house, which is also painted red.

Woning Braeckman De Smet Vermeulen architecten

De Smet Vermeulen decided to keep each of the spaces completely separate from one another, without any overlap or interconnecting rooms. The music room features concrete walls to help sound proof the interior. It also helps to insulate, and regulate the interior temperature due to its thermal mass.

Woning Braeckman De Smet Vermeulen architecten

The hobby room is more open than the music room; it contains larger windows that provide lots of natural light and views of the apple orchard to the rear of the property. Unlike the music room, the hobby room contains a softer, white wall finish.

Woning Braeckman De Smet Vermeulen architecten

The entire building is heated by a wood-burning stove in the living/music room. A small sleeping nook can be found off of the hobby room. It’s accessed by a small set of ladders and is to be used for overnight guests and family.

For more studio’s check out this minimalist building, Camera Lucida, by Christian Tonko. Or, this series of studio’s which are designed for writers. See all studios.

Via Inhabitat
Photos: Dennis De Smet

]]> 0
A Small Apartment Renovation in Barcelona by Adrián Elizalde Thu, 11 Dec 2014 19:45:46 +0000 This apartment in Barcelona was originally constructed in 1930. More recently it underwent renovation work with the aid of architect, Adrián Elizalde. The project was carried out with a limited budget, which saw them keeping some of the original features, and rooms as they were (like the location of the kitchen and bathroom).

Eixample Apartment Renovation - Barcelona - Entry - Humble Homes

The original apartment was divided up into a number of smaller rooms, resulting in a dark interior. Adrián selectively removed different partition walls to open up the living spaces, and help light pass from one area to another.

Eixample Apartment Renovation - Barcelona - Bedroom Nook - Humble Homes

The apartment has a total area of 70 square meters (XXX square feet). Much of the floor tiles, vaulted ceilings, and original joinery was saved during the restoration, helping to maintain its character. To brighten the space and create a sense of “homogeneity” between the different spaces, the interior walls and ceilings were painted white.

Eixample Apartment Renovation - Barcelona - Bedroom - Humble Homes

The apartment is now split up into a series of open, but definitive living spaces. Going from left to right you have the first section being occupied by a living room, bedroom and a study area with a seating, shelving and storage. The next section contains the kitchen and bathroom, which are considerably smaller than the first block.

Eixample Apartment Renovation - Barcelona - Study - Humble Homes

The final living areas on the right hand side of the apartment are taken up by a second bedroom and entry hall. According to the architect the table in the study area forms a focal point in the home: “This unique table… gathers all the activities of the apartment, acting as a study table, dining table, [or a] place connected with certain tasks in the kitchen.”

Eixample Apartment Renovation - Barcelona - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

Areas like the living room and bedroom can be either opened up, or closed off for privacy: “we can transform the space to provide the necessary privacy, greater intimacy or, expand the space.” The top of the partitions feature windows that help to draw in light when the doors are either closed or open. It also helps to maintain the sense of spaciousness throughout the apartment.

For more apartments check out this small Japanese apartment that splits up space with partitions. Or this apartment that doubles up on space with its movable walls. See all apartments.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Adrià Goula

]]> 0
OH! House – A Functional Family Home in Niigata Wed, 10 Dec 2014 18:21:39 +0000 This modern Japanese house, dubbed OH! House by the architects, is located on a small site in Niigata. The house was designed by Takeru Shoji Architects on the behalf of a family, who had three simple requirements: a garden space, plenty of bookshelves, and a closed-off kitchen.

OH! House - Takeru Shoji Architects - Niigata - Exterior - Humble Homes

OH! House contains approximately 1,152 square feet (107 square meters) of living space spread over two floors. It’s set in a subdivision of Niigata that was given the green light for high-density housing development, and so the designers had to balance the constraints of the plot with aspects like privacy, and natural daylighting.

OH! House - Takeru Shoji Architects - Niigata - Corridor - Humble Homes

Completed in 2013, the façade is a deliberate attempt by the architects to separate the house from the surrounding buildings, which are “identically blurred”. The front end of the building features a small garden space between the outer and inner walls of the building; in some places the trees even extend up to the second storey.

OH! House - Takeru Shoji Architects - Niigata - Living Room - Humble Homes

The ground floor is used to house the more private spaces, like the bedrooms, a bathroom/washoom, and a walk-in closet off of the master bedroom. The second floor contains the living room, kitchen and dining room, each in a separate room. The right wall is also lined with a 39 foot (12 meter) long bookshelf.

OH! House - Takeru Shoji Architects - Niigata - Study - Humble Homes

An upstairs toilet can be found next to the kitchen. The kitchen also contains a small terrace that overlooks the garden space below. At various points throughout the home, windows and openings are positioned so as to take advantage of the sheltered garden, like in the living room, which features a corner window that can be fully retracted.

OH! House - Takeru Shoji Architects - Niigata - Kitchen - Humble Homes

Windows on three of the buildings sides help to make the interior a bright and airy home. The finish is a mix of white, and complimentary woods. In OH! House, Takeru Shoji Architects have managed to create a fun, functional, family home.

OH! House - Takeru Shoji Architects - Niigata - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

For more Japanese houses check out the polygonal Bud House with split levels that help to maximise floor area. Or, the Montblanc House which features a large sheltered roof terrace. See all Japanese houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Koichi Satake

]]> 0
Woody15 – A Tiny Cross-Laminated Timber Cabin Tue, 09 Dec 2014 18:36:37 +0000 Called Woody15, this tiny cabin has been designed by Norwegian architect Marianne Borge. The cabin is set in Isdammen, Norway, and features picturesque views of a small lake and surrounding forest.

Woody15 / Marianne Borge

Woody15 is a 17.5 square meter structure (188 square feet). It contains a single room with some lofted storage space. If you’re looking for luxury, you’ll not find it here; the cabin has a very basic set up, and has no bathroom, or kitchen, or electricity.

Woody15 - Marianne Borge - Norway - Exterior 2 - Humble Homes

It does, however, have a small wood-burning stove that keeps the place warm throughout the harsh Norwegian winter. Wood15 is designed to be used as a stand-alone structure, or as part of a larger dwelling, where it could act as an annexe to the main living spaces.

Woody15 - Marianne Borge - Norway - Exterior 4 - Humble Homes

The cabin is composed of 29 cross-laminated timber (CLT) elements, which allow for easy construction and dismantling. The cross-laminated elements were produced by the company Massiv Lust, and have a maximum width of 1.2 meters (3.9 feet), allowing for ease of transportation.

Woody15 - Marianne Borge - Norway - Exterior 3 - Humble Homes

The building itself sits rather quietly in its surroundings. Its size helps to prevent its modern form from overshadowing the landscape, and the large glass windows help to soak up natural daylight, while also providing amazing views.

For more cabins check out the F House from Normandie by Lode Architecture. Or, the beautifully finished Little Lost Cabin by Clark Stevens. See all cabins.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Jonas Adolfsen

]]> 1