A pair of health-conscious doctors enlisted the help of architect Nicolas Koff and Evolve Builders to create their dream home in Ontario. The K-House blends modern aesthetics with prefabricated straw bale wales. The home is so tightly insulated that it can be warmed with the heat from a few fireplaces.
If your first thought is about the risk of combining fire and straw in a home, have no fear: the material is said to be just as safe and sturdy as other insulating materials and has been used in several recent constructions. In the warmer months, windows positioned to maximize cross ventilation keep the space cool. The design of the two adjoining structure is also intended to save on energy consumption; one is two stories and contains most of the living space and the other, smaller space includes the laundry room, garage, and an extra bedroom – none of which require round-the-clock heating and cooling.
Proving the point that energy efficient homes can still be sleek and attractive, the pitched roof with skylights is also affixed with solar panels. A staircase with a white metal mesh railing gives a modern charm, leading up to a landing where telescope skygazing is prime. Outdoors, the homeowners can enjoy a wildflower garden on the roof of the lower volume, which provides a panoramic view of their conservation area, rife with native plants. Koff says, “The placement of the house helps frame views of the conservation area, making seasonal changes integral to the experience of the place.”
Images via Nicolas Koff