Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

With my background in architectural design I naturally have a special place in my heart for blueprints.  I remember the ‘good old days’ when I had to stand in a line of students at midterms, waiting my turn to use the blueprint plotter.  The smell of ammonia would overtake the cold, dark room and I was always nervous that I would forget exactly the right order of operations and have a lot of angry kids behind me…

But the outcome was always amazing.  No matter what was plotted it just looked so interesting, so professional.  There is nothing quite like a blueprint, which is why I love these blueprints we found of an old lighthouse, a boat, even a vintage Vegas slot machine!


Read Full Post »

To start, I’d like to thank Linsi and David for the opportunity to contribute to one of my favorite design blogs.  MYD’s monthly series will focus on case studies and analyses of buildings that are not only architecturally significant, but are ‘sustainable by design’, meaning they exemplify the basic principles that are fundamental in establishing a ecologically and socially responsible built environment.

For the first case study in this series, we’d like to present a project that has not only inspired us, but has informed and enhanced our understanding of what makes a project sustainable.

The Stryker Sonoma Winery exemplifies the concept of environmentally-responsive and contextually appropriate architecture that serves the needs of the program, while minimizing development impact on the site.  Designed by a local Sonoma firm, Nielsen:Schuh Architects, this project is a beautiful example of site-sensitive design.

Because minimizing a building’s impact on the environment is a critical preliminary consideration early in the design process, the existing conditions should be carefully evaluated with regard to location, programmatic needs and appropriate design strategies.  Stryker Sonoma Winery is responsive to these issues in a number of carefully planned and executed elements described below…

The existing grade of the site hasn’t been disturbed; walls, roads, and the buildings’ footprints follow the natural contours of the land, while the public and private buildings share the same road access.  This limits paving and allows for the preservation of as much natural landscape as possible, while minimizing stormwater runoff.

The interior layout utilizes the gently sloping topography efficiently, with the wine cellars located to take advantage of below-grade thermal efficiency, as seen in the section drawings below.

The existing vineyards have been maintained and are highlighted as a design.  The main building utilizes low walls, made from local stone, as a natural material to connect the occupied visitor spaces above to the natural setting below.  These walls extend into the vineyard, to further underscore a strong relationship to the site.

The buildings are oriented in order to take advantage of prevailing winds for natural ventilation and light, and the built forms respond to the elements by providing shade at the deep roof overhangs, concrete floor and wall systems where appropriate for thermal mass (where heat is absorbed throughout the day and slowly released at night).

Precast concrete louvers provide an architectural language that serves a number of purposes.  The color is derived from the natural stone terrace walls, while the form mimicks the linear nature of the vineyard.  These elements also provide screening for shade at both exterior and interior spaces and become guardrails at certain locations.

MYD had the opportunity to meet Amy Nielsen and Richard Schuh during a recent trip to Northern California and discovered that these architects not only design with sustainability in mind, but they practice a green lifestyle personally as well as professionally.

Their regard and respect for the environment and contextual issues are exemplified in this beautiful, unique, and inspiring project, making it truly ‘sustainable by design’.

For more information, visit http://nielsenschuh.com.

Read Full Post »

Found a great article today on The Daily Green

6 Awe-Inspiring New Green Homes

Posted using ShareThis

Read Full Post »