Best Green Houses – the Roman Villa Cut-Out Condo Roof
This unique house is half above – half below – ground level. Several years ago, architect Baird Sampson Neuert, a proponent of dense urban living, created the 550-square-foot LightSpace. The client, who owns the top floor of a condo building saw the prototype, and commissioned this much larger space from the architect.
Samson’s novel solution brings in daylight and safe playing areas for children, by making a big cut in the roof to make an enclosed courtyard. “Basically the planning principles are taken from a Roman villa—a walled house with living spaces organized around a central courtyard,” Sampson notes.
“On the north side of the new internal courtyard, the design team created a double-height “pop-up” with a guest loft by building a volume atop existing columns” says Green Source. “A butterfly roof is finished in cedar planks on its underside. The pop-up’s south-facing wall (as well as the entire perimeter of the courtyard) is glazed in low-e-coated, argon-filled IGUs. In addition to increasing interior daylight, the mini-tower’s manual and motorized vents enhance stack effect and natural ventilation.”
“Developers can’t really find a way to build larger units in tall buildings, yet these warehouses’ large plans are not necessarily sympathetic to residential living,” says the architect.
While only condos on the top floor of a building can pop out of the middle of the roof like this, it is a readily adaptable idea, and one that can create communal green space between condos on the roof.