Gallery: GRID HOUSE: Maximizing Green Space in Urban Infill

Grid House by Moto Designshop

Moto Designshop recently finished schematics for this beautiful modern residence situated on Pine street in Philadelphia. The Grid House packs a highly efficient floorplan into tight quarters, maximizing daylighting and ventilation via an abundance of open green spaces. The entire front and back façades open to infuse interior spaces with fresh air while the home’s flowing floor plan ensures a seamless transition between rooms. An elevated front garden preserves the residence’s interaction with the street while concealing an underground garage.

Moto Designshop employed a variety of techniques to ensure that the Grid House was as efficient as possible in terms of lighting and ventilation. A long three story skylight suffuses the interior spaces with light, while the home’s open-ended construction allows for excellent cross-ventilation. The front façade features two stories of wooden solar shades which are deployable in a variety of configurations to allow for variable degrees of privacy.

In order to maximize the residence’s available space, Moto Designshop chose to situate the home’s garage below ground floor: “Within the property line, is a 2-tier car/garden lift which lowers the car to the basement level, hiding it from view while creating a private garden space at street level.”

We love how the re-envisioned row home integrates a variety of green spaces and a rooftop garden into an elegant example of efficient modern design.

+ Moto Designshop Inc.

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  1. kyle March 27, 2009 at 11:47 am

    with a double height space in front, the garden is either on the second floor or the ground floor depending on the location of the garage/auto. You can obviously chose to drop and hide your auto when not needed as your own lifestyle suggests. The cool thing about this concept is that if you can wedge these homes into urban cores, then in theory you would not need your car much to start with…so store it away and bring up as needed. That to me is the “green” feature this aside from daylight and a garden here and there. With a hydro lift you can use vegetable oil as the medium. Still it consumes electrictiry. as a cavilier option, maybe you could replace the hydro/electric lift with something mechanically driven using a series of gears and your own cranking power to lift and drop.. That could be pretty cool element to show off inside the home.

  2. MattPGH July 3, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    The designers website does a slightly better job of explaining the concept.

    I dont think that you would have to use the elevator everyday, check out slide 12 of the project on Moto Designshops page, it shows an option for secure parking without using the elevator. As for a lawn on top of a mechanical element I dont think that is very difficult. Think of it as a green roof that simply moves up and down. Grass may not be the best option for such an application, but it might work depending on the depth / weight that the lift could accommodate.

    Interesting idea, certainly looks extraordinarily expensive!

  3. samNYC July 1, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    so guys, i really think in this project the word \”green\” is not the word we are all programmed to think as in \”sustainable.\” They are trying to give urban dwellers (hence the name \”green space in urban infill\”) more garden (green) space … ie more out door landscaped space. Given the content of this project, i think it will be a winner with whoever actually ends up living there.. as long as the garden/carlift works properly and can function on a daily basis. Also, i myself am wondering about the how the lawn will be maintained and cultivated as a living organism on top of a mechanical element. everything is possible these days .. so i am looking forward to seeing this get built.

    Good job!

  4. Sean July 1, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    A curb cut and a garage is urban sustainable?


  5. frances June 30, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    “open green spaces”? enough already! The elevator ain’t green, how do you maintain a lawn atop an elevator, and what is new about using windows to let in light?

  6. Jac June 29, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    in Singapore, there ‘s a row of houses where there is a steep slope into the basement garage. So the ground floor is slightly elevated, you have to climb half a flight of steps to get to the front door. I still think this idea is neat though.

  7. walbergr June 28, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    I like this idea, but if you use your car a lot, is it energy efficient to use an elevator to get it every time you want it?

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