Friday, September 9, 2005

Cradle to Cradle Home Competition Entry

I haven't uploaded a lot of portfolio work here because i have a hard time uploading and formatting portfolio work on blogger when I will need to hire someone to produce an official website/portfolio in a year or so. But in honor of my Biomimicry Certificate Program interview tomorrow, I thought I would post my entry for the cradle to cradle home competition of 2004 because I referenced it in my essays.

Amy's C2C Home Competition Entry.  Click to enlarge.

the contemporary cradle2cradle home is designed for deconstruction and adaptability. it incorporates a central fireplace for cooking and warmth, operable night insulation, external louvers, and passive ventilation. it supplies its own food and energy, treats its own waste, and is composed of materials that maintain their integrity through multiple lifecycles or are returned to the earth for recycling; the c2c home improves the site on which it sits.



deconstructable and adaptable
N-S Section through home on a hill.


components of the home are designed for deconstruction using bolted connections and ties in lieu of welds and adhesives; movable hemp osb and fabric panels serve as interior partitions that are reconfigured to adjust to the changing needs of its inhabitants;

Adjustable and Thermal Exterior Skin
Enlarged wall section.


inhabitants have the ability to adjust the exterior and interior of the building to the changing needs of each season by opening hopper windows to allow warm southern air to flow through the structure; ceiling fans circulate air flow; adjustable & retractable exterior louvers control solar gain; retractable insulation curtain controls heat loss;


First Floor Plan
Second Floor Plan


Central Fireplace
a central hearth provides warmth and cooking space as well as gathering place

On-Site Food Production
Section through guestroom and greenhouse (at left) and living room and roof garden (right).


with several types of gardens on one site, the inhabitants have the ability to produce their own food; the rear yard and green house are partially shaded by a large existing deciduous tree while the front yard and south terrace are in full sun

on site water treatment
toilets, food waste, sinks, and showers drain to blackwater treatment facility within the structure to minimize waste disposal and provide a closed water supply;

on site energy generation
photovoltaic panels line the south facing cornice and roof monitors which feed hydrogen fuel cells stored on site;  water pipes line the back of the solar panels passively heat water and carry away excess heat;

recyclable & non-toxic materials

  • concrete made with magnesium in lieu of Portland Cement is chemically benign;  low temperature kiln produces 90% less CO2 that is then reabsorbed during setting; 
  • corrugated Cor Ten steel fascia with bolted connections through 4" closed cell insulation provide a recyclable & reusable wall system; 
  • weather protected certified wood built-up trusses with  bio-degradable binder promote sustainable forestry; 
  • hemp, extremely low in embodied energy, used liberally in the adjustable interior finishes, such as retractable insulation screens, cloth, and particle board partitions; 
  • wool rugs line exposed stamped concrete to provide movable and deconstructable finishes
inspirationsi owe a debt of gratitude most importantly to william mcdonough, architect and author of cradle to cradle, the inspiration for this project.  secondly and no less importantly, glen murcutt, pritzker prize winning architect from australia whom I have the privilege to hear speak at greenbuild this year.  i drew upon many of his ideas and was inspired by his enthusiasm.  can you tell i was raised in illinois?  the project's form took on a prairie style look, however unintentionally.  i owe a debt to my first architectural hero, frank lloyd wright.  additionally, i referenced the work of rick cook from cook+fox, the firm for which i work.  the architectural vocabulary of the project was no doubt influenced by the project i have worked on for the last six months, the historic front street development at new york’s south street seaport, designed by mr. cook  

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