During time spent working alongside a naval architect, Magnus Ström is said to have wondered why superyachts existed, but not superhouses. Well now, courtesy of Ström, Superhouses could become a reality. They are aimed at being "the most beautiful, unique and design-led houses possible."
Whether for financial or ethical reasons, or in pursuit of a better way of life, increasing numbers of people are joining the burgeoning small living movement. Join Gizmag as we give a big thumbs up to ten of the most attractive, innovative, and downright interesting tiny houses we've come across in the past 12 months.
A building in Kaufbeuren, Germany, is the first to receive Passive House Premium certification. The House of Energy is one of the world’s most sustainable buildings. It has an annual heating demand of only 8 kWh / sq m (0.7 kWh / sq ft) and a 250 sq m (2,691 sq ft) photovoltaic system on the roof.
Energy efficiency, prefabricated construction, sustainable architecture and passive design are all trends that we touch on regularly at Gizmag. Rarely, though, have we seen them squeezed together with such high concentration as in Dom Arquitectura's Wood Studio House.
Lots of people have a home office, but few homes are designed to be literally part office. Dwell Developments' new Live/Work homes in Seattle, however, are exactly that home-office hybrid. They're aimed at improving the lifestyles and environmental footprints of their residents.
Vertical gardens may look great, but they typically require constant maintenance, automated or otherwise. Urban greening firm Treebox, however, has unveiled a new vertical garden than looks after itself. The Rain Garden uses no power and is sustained solely by rainwater.
Slovenian architectural firm OFIS recently teamed up with AKT II engineers and design students from Harvard Graduate School of Design to create an innovative alpine shelter. Located amid the harsh mountaintops of Mount Skuta in Slovenia, the new shelter replaces a rusty 50 year old bivouac (storm refuge) and provides humble accommodation for up to eight hikers. Perched amid an extreme alpine environment, the modular shelter was broken down into three sections and flown into its new home by helicopter.
Inspired by the New England barn and the New York loft, Architect Paul Lukez has penned a cleverly compact home design that uses natural ventilation, "super insulation" and passive and active solar systems to minimize energy use.
After toiling away on gravel roads for about four hours we pulled over to ask an elderly Mapuche man for directions. We were undertaking a bumpy off-road adventure through Chile's southern Andes in search of one of the country's more remarkable eco-destinations – the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve. Home to bizarrely-shaped hotels crafted from local timber and surrounded by dense Patagonian rainforest and crashing waterways, this magical getaway stands tall as a beacon of sustainable architecture in one of the world's most pristine environments.
Lots of houses nowadays are designed to minimize the amount of energy they use and to generate their own electricity. Fewer, though, are designed to withstand extreme coastal weather conditions as well. The high-tech and feature-loaded Sure House has been developed to do all of this.