In this Los Angeles home, on-demand hot water prevents running the tap and wasting water to achieve a desired temperature. The system readies the water to flow out of the faucets at the ideal temperature four to five times more quickly that usual.
The dramatic staircase in architect Dom Dimster’s Southern California home figures prominently in the facade, but Dimster designed it to ensure privacy. Using computer models, he conducted visual studies to suss out sight lines from the street. “People can’t see in, but we still get light.”
The Strohhaus in Sweden is made entirely from lightweight panels of prefabricated, formaldehyde-free compressed straw, a prototype designed by architect Felix Jerusalem. The dense outer layers form the threshold, while the in-between layers provide thermal insulation.
Looking to design a truly modern home, architect Enric Ruiz-Geli integrated elements like a hydroponic roof; on the living room ceiling a Sivra fixture by iGuzzini modulates its output based on the amount of available daylight.
This cedar-clad home in New Zealand has no access to a water supply, but the roof was designed to collect the island’s rainfall and store it in an underground tank for drinking and washing. Another tank stores treated wastewater for site irrigation.
In Vincent Kartheiser’s home, the bed is able to descend from the ceiling via a pulley system that controls the hanging bed with a 300-pound counterweight that’s hidden in a corner of the closet. For the headboard, architect Funn Roberts fastened a huge slab of redwood to the wall but put it on hinges so that, when the bed is raised, the piece of wood can flip down to double as a desk.
Unlike the rest of New Zealand, which is temperate, Queenstown has some of the country’s greatest temperature extremes. To accommodate, the architect for this home relied on a combination of concrete floors, recycled wool batting, double-glazed windows, solar panels, and a boiler fueld by wood pellets that pump hot water to warm the floors as needed.