Great Plains outside of Denver, Colorado
Competition – AIA National Committee on Design – Honorable Mention
E-Teepee merges ancient forms of vernacular, ecological habitation with contemporary culture and technology. Although sprawl proliferated by suburban housing is not sustainable in itself, the entry attempts a balance within the given context.
Flexible spaces encourage mixed uses and a combination of work/live arrangements. Zoning of public and private areas, linked with intermediate transitional spaces, urbanizes and densifies street facades while providing park-like recreational space between lots. Private areas within the house are supplemented by semi-private spaces, encouraging interaction and community.
Flexible-use lofts replace garages, potentially housing a wide variety of uses. Space for cars is possible, but not mandated, thus encouraging public transportation.
A modular, flexible construction approach allows adaptations over time and accommodates multi-generational and non-traditional family models. Introverted spaces are located near the ground, more public spaces above.
Shaped earth berms anchor lightweight, floating structures. Cut and fill is locally balanced. Occupied land is reclaimed with grass roofs and pilotis-structures. Indoor/outdoor relationships are emphasized throughout.
Fly-ash-concrete forms the earthscape, structuring the urban fabric and benefiting privacy and energy efficiency. A concrete spine is a passive solar energy battery, contains services and forms the center of the house. Standard infrastructure includes management, resulting in s ‘smart’, interactive environment.
Highly sustainable and intelligently controllable cellular foil-membrane skin, available today, offers changeable translucency/transparency and strong energy performance. Photovoltaic elements shade while generating power, complementing the passive energy concept. Gray-water recycling and rainwater collection preserve natural resources.
Pre-fabrication of modular parts and standardized elements improve economic feasibility. Non-toxic, sustainable and recycled/recyclable/reusable materials are chosen throughout.