The Oak Tree Ring House is a new kind of interactive home designed by Michael Jantzen. The space was designed with a temperate climate in mind and the structure consists of a large circular steel support frame in the form of four concentric rings that radiate out around a large oak tree in a central open courtyard. There is an array of solar cells mounted around the perimeter of the courtyard that are used to supply the electrical and hot water needs of the house. The design of the house was developed to create an interactive environment that blurs the lines between the inside and the outside of a living space. The canopy of movable panels can be used to allow the sun to enter the enclosed living space during the winter, and shade it during the summer. In addition, various kinds of microclimates can be created under the canopy by moving the panels to control light, wind, rain, and temperature. The large oak tree planted in the open courtyard at the center of the Oak Tree Ring House symbolically refers to the way in which the house seems to have grown out around it. Aesthetically, the tree functions as a central focal point for the house as well as a place to sit and contemplate the relationship between nature and the built environment.

+ Michael Jantzen

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