The Equinox House is a passive residence made for the discreet enjoyment of life in balance with nature. It is a modest house that delicately interacts with nature from local views to the night sky. Similar to ancient examples, the building's cross-section proportions are set by the Equinox and Solstice solar angles turning it into a local celestial instrument in order to make the most of natural light and sun position throughout seasons.
The site is steep with panoramic sea views to the south and prevailing northern winds which informed a simple linear solution inserted into, and sheltered by, the coastal cliffs.
A green roof planted with local grasses covers the entire house providing a 95% site recovery. A low profile over the ground makes the house almost unnoticeable from the street. The residential program is over three levels: an entrance on top, day functions in the middle and the ‘night level' below.
Technologically, the house preserves nature by surpassing the passive standards for extra low energy consumption without sacrificing views and openness. Certified triple glass is part of the super-insulated envelope that eliminates thermal loss. Integrated ventilation system with recuperation and solar panels provides passive heating and cooling. A linear swimming pool utilizes the extra heat from the solar collectors in summer.
An arid local climate mandates rainwater collection and wastewater reuse. Small bio-active wastewater treatment unit turns waste into dry bio-compost and irrigation water. Local materials and labour were used in order to avoid cost and pollution from unnecessary transportation.