Author(s): Marco Moro
When people say "ecological house," they can be referring to any one of an infinite number of project plans destined to produce the least predictable outcomes you could possibly imagine. The simple definition of an ecological house, in fact, does not correspond to a universally applicable style, nor to a technology or means of construction capable, per se, of representing it exhaustively. Ecological architecture measures itself with and adapts, above all, to the place - whether the context is urban, suburban, rural, or natural - with its environmental features, landscape, available resources, culture, and characteristic social and economic dynamics. If one were simply to call it "conscious architecture," one could not go wrong. How does one achieve the aim of realizing an "ecological" dwelling? With technological exaggeration, or with a nostalgic return to the vernacular? By means of a reaction to the modern, or with the intention of giving new meanings to this term? In the majority of instances, adopting this innovative project approach has led to the recovery of materials, constructional traditions, and forms of wisdom that had been ignored and forgotten, to revitalize and give them a new chance. But at the same time, the desire to soften the impact of construction upon the environment has become the driving principle of technological innovation in materials, in constructional systems, in systems layout. This volume's objective is to illustrate some of the most prominent tendencies and lines of research that have emerged, and to introduce some of their advocates - pioneers, masters, or budding youth - through a broad review of projects dedicated to the most widespread way of living in the world: the individual or single-family home. But sustainability in architecture does not refer only to individual homes that are immersed, ideally, in verdure. Accordingly, one section of the book is dedicated to illustrating the best realizations of ecological buildings for a wide variety of uses. Ecological architecture has a new, polycentric geography, where ideas diffuse and develop in a multidirectional manner. Planners from every part of the world, of every age and background, have succeeded in distilling the poetics of living in harmony with the environment. Together they present a fascinating panorama of "architectural biodiversity."
MARCO MORO was born in Padua in 1961 and lives and works in Milan. He studied architecture at the IUAV in Venice and at the Polytechnic University of Milan. After collaborating with a number of different professional studios, including Angelo Mangiarotti's studio in Milan, he became involved in communications and publishing. Since 1997 he has been editor-in-chief of L'architettura naturale, Europe's first magazine dedicated exclusively to sustainable architectural projects. During the past 13 years he has also been a member of the directive committee of ANAB (Associazione Nazionale Architettura Bioecologica (national association for bioecological architecture) as well as its communications manager. He heads the editorial section for Edizioni Ambiente, a Milanese publishing house specializing in environmental themes and sustainable development. BEATRICE SPIRANDELLI was born in Badia Polesine, and she now lives and works in Milan as a freelance architect. She deals primarily with planning and consultation in sectors relating to sustainable architecture. She is an expert in landscape-environmental conservation and collaborates actively with the ANAB in training activities, particularly in organizing study travel. She freelances for numerous enterprises in the sector.
Introduction; At kilometer zero; The relationship between landscape and location; (local materials, low tech, revitalization and reinterpretation of local traditions of construction); Austria, Haus A, Dornbirn, Dietrich/Untertrifaller; Spain, steel and wood house in Asturias, Ecosistema Urbano; Greece, stone house at Tinos, mX Architecture; Finland, Villa Lena, Olavi Koponen; Brazil, Casa Rihet, Andrade e Morettin Arquitetos; Brazil, Casa Folha, Mareines+Catalano; Australia, Marika Alderton House, Glenn Murcutt (or other houses by Murcutt); Australia, White Perrin House, Dock4 Architecture; India, Palmyra house, Mumbai Studio (and others); At zero energy, or nearly so; The myth of self-sufficiency; (passive houses, zero-energy or plus-energy houses, hi-tech); Austria, passive house at Feldkirch, Walter Unterrainer; Germany, Haus R 128, zero energy house at Stuttgart, Werner Sobek; Malaysia, Zero Energy Home at Bird Island, Graft Lab Architects (still in project stage); Living ecologically in the city; Strategies for rethinking the urban fabric; UK, Stock Orchard, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects; UK, Camarthan Place, London, Emma Doherty + Amanda Menage; AUS, North Carlton Green House, Zen Architects; AUS, Brunswick Lane Solar House, Zen Architects; AUS, Kensington Lighthouse, Melbourne, Tandem Studio; The poetics of natural materials; Wood; Japan, Next Generation house, Sou Fujimoto; Finland, Villa Kotilo, Olavi Koponen; China, bamboo house, Kengo Kuma Associates; Chile, Casa Raul, Mathias Klotz (and other houses); Brazil, Casa na Barra do Sahy, Pedro e Lua Nitsche; Earth; Ecuador, Casa Entre Muros, Alborde Arquitectos; Austria, house at Schlins, Martin Rauch; Straw; Italy, Esserhof vacation apartments at Lana, Bolzano, Margareta Schwarz; Stone; Italy, house on Lake Maggiore, Pietro Carmine (material already assembled); Italy, house in Liguria, Herzog & De Meuron; The poetics of recycling; Between superfluous and necessary; (architecture of recycling); Italy, recovery of a granary in Cadore, Exit Architect; China, five scattered houses, Amateur Studio-Wang Shu; Australia, Bells Beach House, Zen Architects; USA, houses made of discarded material (e. g., carpet house or Papercrete house), Rural Studio-Andrew Freear; USA, dwellings in containers, Studio 320, Seattle; USA, ecological recycling of a mobile home, Michael Hughes; Green lifestyles; Japan: living in the greenhouse/camouflage house, Hiroshi Iguchi; Green existenz minimum; Against wasting space: small is beautiful and ecological; Japan, Watanabe residence by Tadashi Murai; The Netherlands, Parasite Las Palmas, Rotterdam, Korteknie Stuhlmacher; The Netherlands, House 19 Nomads in Residence, Korteknie Stuhlmacher; Norway, box home, Oslo, Sami Rintala; UK, G-Box, Sara Wigglesworth; Austria, Dachausbau Wollzeile in Vienna, by G. W. Reinberg; Living ecologically is also...; Review of ecological architecture: museums, schools; Japan, Prostho Museum, Kengo Kuma; Italy, Vigilius mountain resort, Matteo Thun.