Sustainable Remodel Gets Good Award
The entire window wall opens up right behind the wall-to-wall sofa set into the floor in this 1970s remodel that earned a Green Good Design Award for The World’s Leading Sustainable Green Design from the European Center for Architecture.
The inspiration was an open-to-elements space in a very ancient Japanese Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto, founded in the 7th century, which perches in a similar position above the landscape, providing panoramic views of the city.
The entire opening wall of glass is possible because the architectural firm has developed multiple glazing techniques which allow them to build projects with large glazed openings, connecting interior spaces to their surroundings, utilizing a variety of technologies usually used in commercial building.
One goal was to reuse virtually all the materials in the original house from the 1970s, including a large amount of glass brick.
Also to better integrate the poorly sited original house from the 1970s with the natural water features, the native garden and creek at the bottom of the property, and to take advantage of the views.
To harvest the rainwater the architect connected a series of cascading ponds serve as part of the rain water collection system on the utilitarian level. On the aesthetic level it provides a peaceful transition between the landscape and the architecture.
To fully enjoy the reclaimed views, the house is wrapped by exterior decks with glass railings.
But there is nothing 7th century about the technology. Commercial techniques are employed throughout the remodel, as in these glass connections.
The detailing is meticulous. Here, the entry, and to the left the wall of glass bricks recycled into the new building. Below, as seen from the inside, the 70s era recycled glass wall brings in diffused light, with that retro look.