Gallery: Solaleya’s Shell-Shaped Solar “Pearl” House is a Breezy Green ...


Over the past few years we’ve seen many architects move away from traditional architecture in an attempt to make their designs more sustainable. One of the great things about this trend is that it gives us the opportunity to continually innovate and create as we incorporate sustainable energy solutions with beautiful design. The Pearl is an amazing residence even if you don’t consider the high-tech sustainable energy solutions that exist throughout.

The Pearl incorporates an array of “passive solar” principles that harness the sun for heating and take advantage of air movement for natural ventilation. The bay windows are fitted with an automated venting system – during the winter they soak up the weaker sun, whilst in the summer these huge windows allow every room to be bathed in sunlight. The white steel roof also reflects sunlight, helping to keep the house cool in the height of summer.

And it doesn’t stop there. The roof can be insulated with a layer of air and cork beads, external walls are made of 12 inch-thick compressed straw, and the design can incorporate geothermal and wood pellet-fed heating systems. There’s also a rainwater storage tank located at the base of the northern pedestal.

The design of the building itself allows for it to be placed in all sorts of climates and geographies. For example, the aerodynamic shell design helps protect against strong winds, and the arch shape (made from FSC certified timber) provides resistance to earthquakes.

Check out the gallery to see Fanchon’s amazing eco-friendly, inhabitable shell in all its glory!


Via Gizmag


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  1. jo veno April 12, 2011 at 5:14 am

    this is a big fail. it’s half a dome which makes it a flying wing during a hurricane and when the tsunami hits the square walls inside will be smashed to smithereens.

    either build a whole dome or a tight square walled home that can handle the wind. not half of each.

  2. Dave Delaney April 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Amazing how much do these houses cost

  3. jboehner April 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    this doesn’t have to bee soley sited on a beachfront. correct orientation of the glazed elevation would allow this to be put pretty much anywhere.

  4. lazyreader April 11, 2011 at 8:12 am

    That’s nice, I’m not not sure what beach front real estate goes for now a days but those few that can afford it will have energy efficient houses.

  5. John Parker April 10, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Yeah, wonderful place, but how much?

  6. kenemaka April 10, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    How much would it cost to build the “Pearl” house?

  7. Ruthy April 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm


  8. george cox April 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    In the writers defense she states ” bathed in natural light.”” Which is much different than your phrase ‘ why would you want every room bathed in sunlight.” Natural light of course is not limited to DIRECT SUN.

  9. reaper-24 April 5, 2011 at 7:20 am

    you really need to differentiate between daylight and sunlight. this:
    “whilst in the summer these huge windows allow every room to be bathed in sunlight. The white steel roof also reflects sunlight, helping to keep the house cool in the height of summer.”
    is completely contradictory, why would you want every room bathed in sunlight but want the roof to reflect sunlight? you want diffuse daylight in the rooms and you want to block direct sunlight during hot summer days, in winter you want to allow both types of radiation into the space.
    i really like the content you upload on this site but your authors need to get better grasp of fundamentals of environmental design

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