Stunning modern house is made from straw bale

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front of house
credit: Nicolas Koff

Architect Peter Eisenman once said "green’ and sustainability have nothing to do with architecture." Lance Hosey, in his wonderful book The Shape of Green, explains why:

Many believe sustainability deals exclusively with energy efficiency, carbon emissions, and material chemistry—issues that belong in a technical manual, not on a napkin sketch. Nuts and bolts are not exactly the stuff of every designer’s dreams. As a result, many consider great design and green design to be separate pursuits, and in fact much of what is touted as "green" is not easy on the eyes. The ugly truth about sustainable design is that much of it is ugly.

Well, if not ugly, perhaps not really well resolved. That's why I like Nicolas Koff's new house near Hamilton, Ontario. It takes the greenest of building materials, straw bale, and builds a very beautiful contemporary and modern house. Perhaps too modern, but more on that later.

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