ARC house17. Jul2011
Meet the Arc house, built half into the ground not to avoid the restrictive building codes of the California Napa Valley but because the owners didn't want to overwhelm the neighbors.
"The Arc House is a private residence designed for a couple and their two big dogs. The arc contains the living, dining and kitchen areas in an open plan. The entry canopy to the arch and a few other components within it are at a height of 7’, creating a touchable lower plane within the larger structure.
"To allow the client flexibility to add future bedrooms, we decided to house them in a flat - roofed section, in the rear, that is made of structural insulated panels (SIPS). The lower level houses an office, a sitting room, a garage and work out areas; part of the lower level opens to a courtyard that allows cool air circulation and a distinctly private outdoor space. By splicing the house into the landscape, we were able to transform the flat site into one with multiple horizons and take advantage of natural cooling and passive design.
The energy usage of the house is 1/5 of conventional houses; due to both the arc shape and materials used. Conventional lumber was only used in interior partition wall studs and the exterior cedar siding around the bedroom section." - Maziar Behrooz
Photo: Matthew Carbone
Read more about the Arc house in this article: The Half-There House written by Ellen Gamerman from WSJ.com