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November 13, 2013
From Ontario to El Salvador we take a look at 7 complex and sustainable homes around the world.
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  Decades after they met as teenagers on a Montauk beach, Manhattanites Victoria and Greg Pryor returned to Long Island to build a sustainable second home together. The residents told the architects that they wanted a house that would invoke the idea of camping, by joining indoor and outdoor experiences throughout the site.  Photo by Ty Cole. Courtesy of © TY COLE.

    Decades after they met as teenagers on a Montauk beach, Manhattanites Victoria and Greg Pryor returned to Long Island to build a sustainable second home together. The residents told the architects that they wanted a house that would invoke the idea of camping, by joining indoor and outdoor experiences throughout the site.

    Photo by Ty Cole. Courtesy of © TY COLE.
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  A green house near the coast of El Salvador captures the best of its naturally striking setting—filled with sunlight, invigorating breezes, and sweeping views of lush woodlands. The tent-like form—with an area of 2,150 square feet—extends past the perimeter of the house to shield it from the elements. Photo by Jason Bax.  Photo by Jason Bax.

    A green house near the coast of El Salvador captures the best of its naturally striking setting—filled with sunlight, invigorating breezes, and sweeping views of lush woodlands. The tent-like form—with an area of 2,150 square feet—extends past the perimeter of the house to shield it from the elements. Photo by Jason Bax.

    Photo by Jason Bax.
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  The star of Breaking Bad opens the doors to his family’s recently completed beach house located just outside of Los Angeles. For the facade, exposed to the constant salt air, the team considered everything from copper or zinc to Kynar-coated aluminum. Eventually, a sample of titanium was tacked up for six months and showed no wear. “Part of the green philosophy is not just what is cheaper; it’s what’s sustainable,” Cranston explains. “The titanium cladding was more expensive, but this is a house we plan to be in for the rest of our lives, so we wanted something that needed virtually no maintenance.” Photo by Art Streiber.

    The star of Breaking Bad opens the doors to his family’s recently completed beach house located just outside of Los Angeles. For the facade, exposed to the constant salt air, the team considered everything from copper or zinc to Kynar-coated aluminum. Eventually, a sample of titanium was tacked up for six months and showed no wear. “Part of the green philosophy is not just what is cheaper; it’s what’s sustainable,” Cranston explains. “The titanium cladding was more expensive, but this is a house we plan to be in for the rest of our lives, so we wanted something that needed virtually no maintenance.” Photo by Art Streiber.

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  Studio eM Design’s rammed-earth home in Corrales, New Mexico, updates the regional adobe archetype into a hallmark of sustainable design. In an architectural sleight of hand, the building—despite its massive walls—seems to hover over a hidden foundation. Photo by Kirk Gittings.

    Studio eM Design’s rammed-earth home in Corrales, New Mexico, updates the regional adobe archetype into a hallmark of sustainable design. In an architectural sleight of hand, the building—despite its massive walls—seems to hover over a hidden foundation. Photo by Kirk Gittings.

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  A multi-generational home in San Diego, California, elegantly combines sustainability and luxury. The flat roof of the Nakhshabs’ energy-efficient home is topped with photo-voltaic panels. It is the first single-family LEED Gold–certified residence in San Diego. Photo by Ye Rin Mok.  Photo by Ye Rin Mok.

    A multi-generational home in San Diego, California, elegantly combines sustainability and luxury. The flat roof of the Nakhshabs’ energy-efficient home is topped with photo-voltaic panels. It is the first single-family LEED Gold–certified residence in San Diego. Photo by Ye Rin Mok.

    Photo by Ye Rin Mok.
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  For this rural Ontario home, building sustainably was less about high-tech gizmos than learning to truly love the land. When building such a modest structure in a large landscape, designer and client often had to defend their vision to their collaborators. “We knew this house was going to be for Maggie and she would live there alone,” designer Lauren Moffitt says. “But people are always projecting for future resale. Putting in the smallest size of anything—to any subcontractor, it’s just not reasonable.” Photo by Derek Shapton.  Photo by Derek Shapton. Courtesy of © Derek Shapton.

    For this rural Ontario home, building sustainably was less about high-tech gizmos than learning to truly love the land. When building such a modest structure in a large landscape, designer and client often had to defend their vision to their collaborators. “We knew this house was going to be for Maggie and she would live there alone,” designer Lauren Moffitt says. “But people are always projecting for future resale. Putting in the smallest size of anything—to any subcontractor, it’s just not reasonable.” Photo by Derek Shapton.

    Photo by Derek Shapton. Courtesy of © Derek Shapton.
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  Two linked 1,000-square-foot pavilions are greater than a sum of their parts. The simply detailed, taut, flat-roofed home’s two wings form a T-shape. One wing runs north to south, parallel to a pool, and contains the open-plan living spaces. Photo by Matthew Millman.  Photo by Matthew Millman.

    Two linked 1,000-square-foot pavilions are greater than a sum of their parts. The simply detailed, taut, flat-roofed home’s two wings form a T-shape. One wing runs north to south, parallel to a pool, and contains the open-plan living spaces. Photo by Matthew Millman.

    Photo by Matthew Millman.
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Exterior view of modern prefab beach house retreat

Decades after they met as teenagers on a Montauk beach, Manhattanites Victoria and Greg Pryor returned to Long Island to build a sustainable second home together. The residents told the architects that they wanted a house that would invoke the idea of camping, by joining indoor and outdoor experiences throughout the site.

Photo by Ty Cole. Image courtesy of © TY COLE.

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