Neutra's Kaufmann House, On the Auction Block

Kaufmann House

Do you live in a house that has so much embedded history and character that it would be a major disaster if something ever happened to it?  There are homes like that.  A long time ago, a Pittsburgh department store businessman named Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr., retained Frank Lloyd Wright to design a weekend home.  That home is the famous Fallingwater.  Kaufmann also commissioned Richard Neutra for home in Palm Springs.  That home is the 1946 Kaufmann House, a masterpiece of glass, steel, and stone.  But, as the story goes, it hasn’t always received masterpiece treatment. 

If the house could speak, I think, it would have an interesting story to tell.  Barry Manilow lived in The Kaufmann House for a bit.  It was neglected and abandoned for some duration of time, when Brent and Beth Harris stumbled upon it.  They bought it for a paltry $1.5 million and hired Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner to restore it.  I heard Marmol talk about its restoration about a year ago — they proceeded cautiously and deliberately to bring all the subtle details back.  The Harris couple acquired some surrounding plots of land and brought the glory of the original back to life. 

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ZeroHouse, an Off-Grid Modern Dream

zeroHouse

ZeroHouse generates its own electrical power, collects its own water, processes its own waste products, and is completely automatic.  Conceived by architect Scott Specht, AIA, zeroHouse has everything you could ever ask for in a modern, green home. 

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Squak Mountain Stone, A Natural Beauty

Squak Mountain Stone

Squak Mountain Stone is an environmentally friendly slab and tile product company based in Washington State.  Their slabs are a unique offering on the green market because of their natural appearance, somewhat similar to limestone or soapstone.  Squak is being used in a wide variety of applications including countertops, tabletops, tiling, hearths, signs, and stairways.  It is made of 49% post-industrial materials, which include crushed glass, type f coal-fly ash, and 2.5 % post-consumer mixed waste paper, in addition to low carbon cement and iron oxide pigments, making it a great option for LEED credits.

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San Francisco's Glassy Green 555 Mission Street (S2)

Night Rendering Rendering

Floor-to-ceiling glass panels, accented with glass and metal fins … this is 555 Mission Street.  The base of the building will have a public plaza with a so called "garden of light"– an organic, living space with fiber-optic light wands.  The 33-floor building is will be state-of-the-art and with all those windows, it’ll need to filter the natural light without burning up the interior in the summer.  Slated for completion in the third quarter of 2008, the building will have dual-panel, insulated glazing windows with low-e coating.  In total, 555 Mission Street will have approximately 550,000 rentable square feet and what seems to be incredible views of the city and the bay — I really like this first image below.  Word is, the building will be LEED certified, although I haven’t been able to verify that or the level of planned certification.  See updates below. 

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Green Your Business, Lifecycle of a Green Product, Energy-Efficient Dwellings, + James Lovelock (WIR)

Week in Review

Instant Housing + Designing for Disaster [Wired]

Clean Hub

WIRED has an excellent multimedia presentation on instant, transient, or disaster shelters.  Many of them are made of common or easily movable transportable objects: flat packs, containers, pallets, etc.  Above: Clean Hub by Shelter Architecture; Middle below: DH1 by Gregg Fleishman; Bottom: Pallet House by I-Beam Design.  Enjoy!

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