Leaving the bustle of Washington, D.C., architect Joe Day and his wife return to California and discover that life in a single-family dwelling isn't as isolated as they had feared. Joe and his spouse Nina Hachigian relax on their terrace overlooking the hills in Silver Lake area of Los Angeles.
When it comes to material originality, this former tavern in Chicago’s trendy Bucktown neighborhood pulls out all the stops. A rainwater catching system irrigates the rooftop garden, which also has a dining area and grill.
New York’s first certified Passive House features this small, bluestone roof deck that's hidden from the street. The building's overall roofline was reoriented due south and covered in a combination of solar thermal panels by Stielbel Eltron (to heat the domestic hot water) and Unirac SolarMount SunFrame with 190w photovoltaic panels (for electricity).
The Imai House by Katsutoshi Sasaki + Associates incorporates outdoor areas, such as the ground floor terrace, and plays with alternating room heights (the living room is nearly three times higher than the bedrooms) to provide character and definition in what otherwise could have been a series of boxy spaces resembling Tetris pieces.
Melding corrugated metal with Douglas Fir wood, this sustainable home in Seattle brings nature inside while preserving a couple’s privacy. The top floor holds two offices—one for the husband, the other for the wife. Hers opens out onto a small private deck furnished with wire Eames chairs.
"The house is where we experiment," architect Andrew Dunbar says. "We weren't so much trying to do 'green' as just wanting to be able to live in a better way." But Dunbar and his wife, landscape architect Zoee Astrakhan, weren't simply experimenting for the sake of experimentation. The ideas the resourceful couple incorporated into their 1908 Edwardian in San Francisco's Mission District made the most of what they could afford, providing elegant finished solutions that belie the design's humble origins. Also housing an art gallery and the couple's office, Interstice Architects, the renovated building acts as a powerful showpiece for the designers' capabilities.
The roof became the perfect location for their vegetable garden, as well as benches and a recreation space crowned by a hot tub powered by a four-kilowatt solar array.
This bright white Japanese home facilitates outdoor living within its walls. Its living room also opens onto a private terrace, concealed within the entrance’s cantilevered form. It serves as a secluded space to take in the sun. Thanks to the sizeable opening between the living room and terrace, it brings yet more light into the home. The terrace’s table and chairs are from Ikea.