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Innovative and Sustainable Single Family House

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Located in San Antonio, this single family residence was built upon the owners’ and the architect’s mutual respect for the environment. The challenge that practice faced here was trying to balance innovative technologies with traditional time-proven techniques. The project starts with the renovation of the existing 1948 ranch style building,and goes far beyond. The existing single storey building was encapsulated in the new design and is dedicated to the bedroom area. The new one and two storey additions create light-filled open spaces dedicated to the social areas of the house, both indoors and outdoors. The sustainable elements that the house proudly incorporates are photovoltaic panels, a green roof system, grey-water harvesting and LED lighting. Moreover, the new construction was built completely on existing foundations and the wood from the demolished part of the existing house was recycled and reused. The design implements passive systems such as arbors and overhangs that have the role of filtering the light and reducing solar gain. The heritage oak trees have been protected during the construction phase and entirely preserved. The relationship between the indoors and outdoors spaces is very interactive.

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There is a lot of dialogue between the indoors and outdoors spaces. Wall-to-wall sliding glazed doors completely open the inside living spaces to the pool and the outdoor decks and terraces. Even when these glazed doors are closed the spaces continue to communicate thanks to the transparency of the glass.

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Inside the rhythm is given by the various floors and half floors, connected by stairs and bridges. The spaces are open and each function is marked by this difference in level, which is a smart way of creating “rooms” without any walls.

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The main materials are glass, metal, wood and exposed concrete, that blend in a harmonious way to create a modern yet cozy atmosphere. The various half-levels also allow for the creation of different distinct spots for sitting or dining.

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The fireplace is big but light, thanks its shape. The chimney goes through the ceiling reappearing on the upper floor terrace were it takes the shape of an open fire.

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The floors are connected on the outside by a spiraling metal stair, allowing access from the top floor directly to the pool and garden.

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The bedrooms are quite small but stylish, with contemporary art work and accent furniture that bring in color and style.

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The upper floor is mainly a social space, created for entertainment and relaxation. The inside is a big “party room”, with its own service kitchen and bathroom.

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The social space continues outdoors, with a big wooden terrace and a lower green roof and its whirlpool.

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