Clarkitecture Part 3 – Being Sustainable

……… Renovation ………

The thought of existing architecture made modernized with new fashion and theories is a mixing of two worlds, an old generation meeting a new baby to foster. The old farm-house kitchen, the simplistic shaker style is a nostalgic modernism, an architecture that was built in need to host the basic function of preparing food.

A sustainable house is one that already exists.  Can architects make good impact making existing things work better? At the Dairy House in Somerset England, architect Skene Catling de la Peña as described in Architectural Record’s Record Houses, does, by bringing a 1902 Hadspen Estate building back to life.

 

The slits of old wooden boards are held apart with glass, allowing daylight in, and acting as a night-light to the landscape by dusk.

Christopher Hawthorne describes it as Skene Catling de la Peña’s Dairy House, in England, meanwhile, not only brought a 1902 structure back to life but did so using local materials, craftsmen, and know-how, expanding the notion of green design to include what the client calls “social sustainability.”By defining sustainability in such a broad and thoughtful way, the Dairy House also offers a way to summarize the attitude of this year’s Record Houses as a whole. As Diana Lind writes in her description of the project, “When you get down to it, whether a work of architecture is green is usually a shade of gray.”


One more thing… this is a funky Architecture website I found myself at recently:

http://www.tropolism.com/

Clarkitecture Part 2 – Being Sustainable

Small Houses

Houses where every structural slant doubles as a ramp, steps are sliding drawers and book shelves become ladders.

Nora House by Atelier Bow-Wow       &      VH R-10 gHouse by Darren Petrucci, AIA

Small Houses remind me of building small retreats in corners of my back yard, escaping into the nearby creek while visiting my grandparents in Ohio and playing house around concrete basin that had fallen into the earth.  A house is about owning shelter for yourself, acting in self-reliance toward the way you care for your life. You may bake, or garden, or sew by the window, but a house is  for bathing, eating, and sleeping.

Jane F. Kolleeny, writing for Architectural Record’s Record Houses in 2008, acknowledges Thoreau’s philosophy of self-reliance and simplicity, which lead me to search for his thoughts, a few of which are below:

Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts, of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.
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A man is rich in proportion to the things he can afford to let alone.
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Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. So aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.
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I think that we may safely trust a good deal more than we do.
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All by Henry David Thoreau
Walden, published in 1854 is Thoreau’s thoughts and experiences in his exploration of living and adventure, I think I will go to the library for lunch tomorrow.