Dwell Home II: This Time She's Green

The first prefab Dwell Home competition excited our aesthetic senses, but the second invitational added sustainability to the focus. We'd be giddy to live in any of the entries, especially the prize-winner by Escher GuneWardena Architecture. It isn't the only entry topped by a green roof, but it's different from others we've seen because it uses native plants rather than sedum. These plants don't need a lot of water, which keeps the green roof from becoming a brown roof in the dry Topanga Canyon. Many architects say their houses blend into the natural surroundings, but this one actually makes good......on the promise: the plant trellises and the roof make architectural use of natural elements without hiding the beauty of the structure. Inside, the house operates with all the goodies of sustainable building: grey flushing, passive solar gain, solar-heated water, the list goes on.

We're fans of the simple glass box, but it's also good to see some more sculptural shapes in the competition. Pugh + Scarpa's design has two storys wrapping around each other and Lorcan O'Herlihy's flexes around the topography to minimize the impact that digging out the hillside would have had.


The Barbara Bestor entry (above) nods to the Eames House and takes a modular approach to both indoor and outdoor "rooms." Deegan Day is the architect of choice if your green pad needs a helipad. And whose doesn't, really? ::Dwell [by KK]