1953 saw the premier of the Umbrella House.
Designed by Paul Rudolph, the mid-century style home was made to utilize the shade and winds by using a trellis construction, creating a thermal shield from intense climates.
A modern update that pays homage to this significant architectural project is called the Solar Umbrella home.
Located in Venice, California, the space was designed by Lawrence Scarpa and Angela Brooks of Brooks + Scarpa Architects.
Applying the knowledge from their shared field, the architects were able to create a super-efficient, intelligently designed home with a sunny side.
Both passive and active solar designs are fully implemented, making the home completely energy neutral. Photovoltaic panels generate all of the energy required to power up the house and all of its amenities.
Other sustainable features include solar hydronic heating panels and there is also a rainwater retention system on one side of the house.
In addition to the green elements that help provide energy, the interior also contains many ecologically minded and recycled materials throughout.
Cost efficient construction supplies and environmentally friendly features aren’t hidden, but showcased and given attention. For instance, instead of cleverly concealing or placing out of sight, the solar panels of this home are exhibited as part of the structural detail.
This aesthetically shows off the home’s green proclamation but also provides a direct source to reliably capture the sun’s energy. In combination with the positioning of the rooms, natural ventilation and openness, the design layout makes the most of its location.
The landscaping and outdoor considerations were also measured in relation to their impact on the site’s surroundings.
The lot is reportedly somewhat unconventionally sized, so to match this the home was given a different orientation. The open entryways create instant welcoming curb appeal but also make use of the shading opportunities and sunlight.
The smart and sundrenched home is an environmentally responsible and fun family design.
For more on the Solar Umbrella construction check out an interview with one of the homeowners and architects:
Images of the Solar Umbrella home are via Brooks + Scarpa Architects. Photography by Marvin Rand.
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