House of Sustainability – Off-grid retreat made from recycled materials
This sustainability home is located in a remote area of Tehachapi. It is a city in the mountains north of Los Angeles. The house is named “Sawmill” – an industrial name that refers to the valley’s historic mining, ranch and wood-based panel industries. The homeowners knew they had used the property earlier and wanted their home returned to the land instead of taking it away.
Innovative design – the house of sustainability
The house of sustainability is located in the rough, high desert of California. Olson Kundig, led by chief design consultant Tom Kundig, carefully prepared the design so as not to impair the fragile landscape. The client’s assignment required a self-sufficient apartment with its own power supply that maximized the relationships between architecture and nature as well as between family members. The result is a net zero home that uses sustainable strategies and reclaimed materials while being completely off-grid.
The so-called sawmill comprises three wings, with the centrally arranged living area being arranged around a central hearth. Here a 3.7 × 7.9 meter glass wall retracts with the rotation of a wheel and surrounds the outside terrace as the fourth wing of the house. The design approach was carried by a minimalist mentality that should always achieve more with few resources, including using salvaged and recycled materials whenever possible, explains Oson Kundig.
Salvaged and recycled materials were used whenever possible for the house of sustainability. Accordingly, the architects used sustainable strategies for the design in order to be able to successfully implement the entire concept.
The building consists of three interconnected wings. The residence contains durable materials that can withstand the harsh climate of the region. The living room extends around the centrally positioned fireplace, which the architect has practically arranged. The glass walls of the fireplace can also be retracted.
The expanding wall of windows retreats with the turn of a wheel. When open, the House of Sustainability includes the outside terrace as a fourth wing. The shared living space is intended to bring the family together, with the holiday home located far from the city.