Gallery: Exploded House Keeps Interior Cool With Rooftop Rainwater Pool...

A lap pool is built off the atrium on a slightly lower grade.

The Exploded House is a concrete home composed of three volumes connected by a glass atrium, designed to meet the building codes of the area. Joined together as a single home, each volume serves a different purpose and is less than 75 sq meters. One volume serves as the master bedroom and a bathroom, another a kitchen and dining room, and then the third serves a guesthouse with an adjacent study. The large center atrium is not only the entrance to the home, but provides 180 degree views of the landscape and bay below. A fourth volume is located down below the main pool and serves as a self-contained apartment building.

To stay cool the home relies on two passive cooling systems – rainwater collection and natural ventilation. First the home’s concrete roof has been outfitted with depressions that collect rainwater. The rainwater cascades from the roof of one of the buildings to the other and is then circulated back around, providing cooling through evapotranspiration. The windows of the main atrium are operated electronically and can be slid open to be flush with the ground, opening the space to the exterior and encouraging natural ventilation with sea breezes.

+ Global Architectural Development

Images ©GAD


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  1. Brian Wilmer March 9, 2015 at 4:20 am

    It\\\’s always unnerving to have water collecting on a roof as a home owner, but I like the design. It will work if the collecting pools are made deep enough to allow evaporation during the dry season, then they can be refilled during the wet season. Water can also act as insulation in the cold.

  2. Practical October 18, 2010 at 4:40 am

    Nice concept, but the architects have not considered water evaporation rates in the area.

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