Trolling through the library of Planet Green's World's Greenest Homes is turning up some interesting finds.
Kraus Schönberg Architects of Germany and London won the German Timber Award for their Haus W, which bends the local zoning regulation limiting its height to one storey by going half underground. It makes for some wonderful spaces.
The architects call it an "affordable prefabricated low-energy house." The wall and floors of the upper rooms are built of sustainably harvested CNC cut tmber panels, which they say "help insulate the building, are recyclable, create a comfortable internal division and offer a cost-effective building solution."
Besides not counting as a floor of building height, dropping the living area like this creates some interesting conditions. Since foundations are often insulated on the exterior, you can expose the board-formed concrete on the interior. The view across the grass is...different. The architects say that it "creates direct views into the garden while standing up, or offering a feeling of security while sitting down."
More at World's Greenest Homes and Kraus Schönberg Architects
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