A sustainable solution

Nick Myall
Tuesday 11 Aug 2015

A Boston-based Architectural Designer has created a house that adapts to climatic conditions

Todd Theodore Fix is a Boston, Massachusetts based Architectural Designer who has created The Writing House, an 8,000 sq ft residential compound with corresponding atelier/office. The plan is organised so as to experience the features of a dramatic sloping landscape which can be sited at the water's edge or conversely in another slightly modified configuration, carved into a mountain landscape. Linear expansion of the site is possible with multiple bedroom additions and the excavated soil can be re-purposed as an earthwork that envelops the building to create thermal mass for efficient heating and cooling. The heavy, solid, grounded front is in sharp contrast to the sweeping, gravity defying features of it's backside. The down slope side of the house scoops wind for stored energy in the upper half and opens at the bottom to an amphitheatre and deck - a spa outlook poking through at the centre of the arc, and the roof top deck provides panoramic views. 

A linear solar canopy, vegetative rooftop garden and other sustainable building systems and materials are integral to the design. A 218 foot long lap pool is rendered along the slope side ridge and another pool below frames the living room geometry above. A screened indoor/outdoor room serves as a climatic and social transition between the lower pool and upper living areas. Micro-climate cooling is enhanced by the pools proximity to the structures. Heating, cooling and day lighting of fully glazed office and living areas are augmented with large fully retractable singular shells and screens. The project is completely off the grid for all services. A photovoltaic array, dual bi-directional wind turbines and fuel cells generate all electricity.  

With an estimated construction cost of up to $5m, however, it’s more likely that the project will be used to inform other envelope designs than come to fruition itself.

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Nick Myall

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