Lavaflow 7 is the seventh house in a series of designs by Craig Steely Architecture on the rocky slopes on the Big Island of Hawaii. This long, low home is built atop an old lava flow and frames stunning views of an Ohia forest and the Pacific Ocean. The home is built from cast-in-place concrete, and its main feature is a huge beam that spans the entire length of the house and allows for an open floor plan and large glass walls. Natural ventilation eliminates the need for mechanical cooling, and the home sources all of its h2o from rainwater and heats some of it using solar thermal panels on the roof.
Lavaflow 7 is sited on 5 acres of dense Ohia forest, which is filled with the type of vegetation that takes over after a lava flow. Built upon the rocky remains of a 1955 lava flow on the slopes of Kilauea crater, the home enjoys views of the forest and of the ocean. Craig Steely designed the home to take part of this landscape and the home opens up to the environment. This is their seventh home in the area that explores “reductive architecture that enhances the experience of living in this compelling environment.” The concrete home was inspired by the surrounding forest of gray barked trees accented by colorful flowers.
The thin home ensures that each room has access to light, views and natural ventilation. In fact the design eliminates the need for any mechanical cooling. To create this openness, the home relies on a concrete beam – 140 feet long, 48 inches tall and 12 inch wide that runs the entire length and is supported by three short concrete walls. Engineered beams and wood planks form the roof below and the result is an expansive openness and a permeable edge between the interior and exterior. A rainwater catchment system collects all the water needed for the home and a solar thermal rooftop system heats water for domestic use.
Images ©Craig Steely Architecture