THE PHANTOM ECO-HOUSE by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

by , 05/23/07
filed under: Architecture, New York City

Diller Scofidio + Renfro: Eco-House, house, eco, sustainable

Amongst the articles featured yesterday on the New York Times Magazine was a proposal for an Eco-house, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (previously seen here at Inhabitat) in conjunction with Atelier Ten, which looked at what a possible house from the future would look like.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro: Eco-House, house, eco, sustainable

More of a thought process, than an actual proposal, the brief provided to them asked the following: What would you do to create a house that let you live as guilt-free as possible, in a luxury house that is sustainable. A brief which sounds like an oxymoron, after all, could you be sustainable and continue living like you do right now? Well, they came up with some really cool ideas as too how we may see ourselves living in the future.

The article describes an imaginary couple and their lifestyle through any particular day. They wake up, eat breakfast, turn on the lights, take long showers, charge up all their gadgets (it’s the future after all), exercise, use their pool, work in their home office, etc. It takes their supposed power consumption and compares it to the proposed power production that the house would be providing. It makes some assumptions as to what future technologies would provide and creates some of their own (I want a roto-fridge), as well as proposing some new uses for existing ones, such as the conjunction of a GPS system and a home-automated system to shutdown the house when empty and turn it on when occupied.

It isn’t just a simple thought process though. The ideas were brought to concept stage, looking at how everything would fit together to work in conjunction with each other. A rain collector takes the water and filters it, using it for the house, which then takes the effluent for the garden, toilets, washing and the pool. It is a very intriguing article which provides plenty to think about. Could a house like this be possible soon?

+ New York Times Magazine Article

+ Diller Scofidio + Renfro

+Atelier Ten

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  1. JER0EN R0LAND May 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    How to build a ecohouse to improve the Living Conditions, give poor people a better home!

  2. El Mojon March 30, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    We live in a house very similar to this. It is 400 M2 plus swimming pool. It’s super modern design, very cool. We have one well that supplies the whole house, 5 showers, pool, washing machine. Recycled water feeds the garden. We have an organic septic tank. The house in completely solar powered. We have all the usual equipment, fridge freezer, microwave, toaster, iron,washing machine, home office, fans , air conditioning lights etc etc…We are not built on rock but on sand. The temperature goes up to 104 soon so we are built for airflow & shade. We are now building apartments with all the same equipment & again only using natural power selling for $150,000.00 USD. So who says it’s luxury….the saving in monthly bills pays the mortgage. It’s time to change.

  3. Sam Garrison February 29, 2008 at 11:29 am

    murmur mur mur
    mur mur

  4. Dominique February 20, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    a sustainable and selfsufficient habitat without giving up the luxury and comfort seems to be a paradox. I guess it will be one of the biggest challenges to make people aware of it.

  5. Zeke May 31, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    How is that much glass green friendly? It seems even with advances it would be waste of energy to use so much of it.

  6. Richie May 24, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    I don’t know folks. I’ve posted some critical posts on occasion… BUT… this house is supposed to be a Green Luxury residence ! So it has some cool Green features… but since it’s a luxury dwelling it has a pool, wine cellar, lots of space, etc. I think the point is that when compared to many other Luxury Housing designs, that this one distinguishes itself by having some cool green features. Is it totally Green ? No… and it appears that that wasn’t what the designers set out to accomplish.

    If Green Luxury Housing is the goal here… then I believe that these designers/architects have met the criteria very nicely.

  7. royalestel May 24, 2007 at 11:34 am

    Some ideas look nice, but I’m waiting for an architect that likes slanted roofs. Can’t have this flat roof in the South.

  8. Dave May 23, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    Future green building must take account of the “green washing” that seems to be accelerating throughout the real estate market place. I’ve seen repeated use of words like “green” and “stewardship” across the board. I’ve seen some Realtors using the word “green” in their ads, knowing that awareness is elevating by the media and they use that hype to drive more traffic to their listings. I’ve ran across great sites such as ( Listed Green ) that screen developers and realtors so as to minimize the “green washing” effect. Some blogs have been overused in this regard as well. Hopefully, the general public can sift through this green hype and really see the changes that builders and developers have to do to reduce our carbon footprint.

  9. P~ May 23, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    You all make great points that I concur with completely. We need to reduce our footprint rather than just finding bigger shoes so to speak. The first thing that jumps out at me with these images is the beautiful desert Environment that was torn up to build this environmentally “friendly” home. (key word there, “Envoronment”). Overall I’m just not as impressed as I would have been oh 20yrs ago when I used to love the cartoons about the “World of Tomarrow.” I can certainly appreciate the type of posibilities that this brings up, but overall I keep coming back to the need to reduce before just finding a new fix.

  10. treekiller May 23, 2007 at 10:00 am

    sustainability should not require energy to save energy – most of the features they profile are the least effective way to get the same performance… ds+r seems to thrown every hightech bell and whistle into this ‘project’ without first simplifying and optimizing the envelope and loads…. so instead of the electronic dimming glazing, just get some shutters or shades. rotofridge? when can I get one? oh, where is all that concrete coming from?

    then there is the entire one house/2 acres sprawl in a fragile desert ecosystem. because the house can capture rainwater, there is less available to the local flora/fauna. plus the extra roads and distance from everything else- it’s not like they can grow their own food- they still need connections to the typical suburban megafood mart for their dinner parties…

  11. EC May 23, 2007 at 9:53 am

    This isn’t presenting a sustainable way of living. It’s exploring whether the often excessive way of living now, with all the luxury that has become norm, can be made sustainable (or at least more sustainable), The extreme opposite to this is to say the solution to today’s environmental problems is to abandon technology and put up with a ‘lower’ standard of living.
    ie building a big complex house with all the features that’ll help it sustain itself vs living in a simple house and putting up with the inconveniences.
    using a heater powered by renewable energy vs wearing more clothes and standing in the sun.

    at the end of the day, it’ll probably be a balance / combination between the two extremes.

  12. IPMan May 23, 2007 at 8:26 am

    This is laughable indeed. If this is a sustainable way of living then I am D. Duck.

  13. Ant Gray May 23, 2007 at 6:03 am

    The concept underneath the building looks very similar and is probably based on the Roman type villas and baths.

  14. brul May 23, 2007 at 3:42 am

    Don’t be fooled by the nice drawings, digging in a giant pool like that in solid rock would require an enormous amount of effort. Also in the future one of the main problems will be how to get fresh water, leaving it to vaporise in the baking sun isn’t what i call durable . I would think a house of future could maybe learn from the past, to get trough a hot day you need a house with mass to accumulate the heat and then cool it at night. Water can be present in a roman patio type of way, to cool the rest of the house and make lush garden with seclusion from the overcrowed world of the future/present.

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