The work of Michael Jantzen has been on the go-to list for architectural inspiration for quite a while, and many have been talking about his remarkable projects and concept designs over the years. He has been impressing and innovating for several decades, and looking back at some of his earlier projects gives an interesting story into how some of his more current works were developed.
In the 1970’s he made a solar vacation house built mostly using unconventional materials like agricultural based parts, reused metals and other salvaged items.
The home is made from corrugated metal and features a grain silo as the roof. It was designed to provide passive solar heat as the slanted roof, bubbled windows and large glass door were all positioned to absorb the sunlight and help heat the inside.
His interiors seem to include contemporary touches for the time, and even factored in functional aspects as seen in the table below that has a foldable surface which can be put out of the way, perfect for a summer house.
His exteriors are made to last. The way that his structures are built also provides an energy efficient design since they are meant to stand the weather, and the structural details adds to the insulated properties. This steel dome house design is from the 1980’s, but decades later it can still provide lessons in resourceful construction.
In an interview he spoke of the need to break out of the conventional mold of housing design:
Conventional aesthetics often get in the way of true innovation. We’re taught to think a house should look a certain way. We get these little boxes and try to make them as efficient as possible. It’s often driven by that conventional aesthetic. In my mind, that impairs the potential of making something truly energy efficient and sustainable.
He also discussed how his parents lived in a silo home for over 3 decades, and how efficient and comfortable the house was for the Southern Illinois climate where he grew up at, where the winters can be cold and summers are typically hot and humid.
From his early work to present day designs, Jantzen is still showcasing sustainable solutions and futuristic ideas.
All images are via Michael Jantzen.
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