Solar Inspiration

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photos by:
January 19, 2009

A husband-and-wife architect team proves a house can be good for the environment—and look great too.

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  In Scarpa and Brook' own house, they’ve mounted luminous solar panels in a rusted-steel-beam grid to form a modernist canopy that frames the façade. This imaginative “solar umbrella” hides the household power plant in plain sight, part of an artful composition that includes a hanging screen tied with bristles of industrial brooms.  Photo by: Marvin Rand
    In Scarpa and Brook' own house, they’ve mounted luminous solar panels in a rusted-steel-beam grid to form a modernist canopy that frames the façade. This imaginative “solar umbrella” hides the household power plant in plain sight, part of an artful composition that includes a hanging screen tied with bristles of industrial brooms.

    Photo by: Marvin Rand

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  The living room flows effortlessly out to the courtyard. This unity is underscored by the living room’s blue shag rug from the Shag Rug Company.  Photo by: Marvin Rand
    The living room flows effortlessly out to the courtyard. This unity is underscored by the living room’s blue shag rug from the Shag Rug Company.

    Photo by: Marvin Rand

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  Angela Brooks and son Calder revel in the benefits of free solar energy, cheerfully opening the living room’s big glass doors when it’s time to play.  Photo by: Marvin Rand
    Angela Brooks and son Calder revel in the benefits of free solar energy, cheerfully opening the living room’s big glass doors when it’s time to play.

    Photo by: Marvin Rand

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  A built-in sofa with Design Tex upholstery marks the boundary between the two-level addition and the bungalow. Leading up to the master bedroom, a perforated metal staircase, lit from above, casts a Sigmar Polke–like shadow grid on the concrete floor.  Photo by: Marvin RandCourtesy of: Darcy Hemley
    A built-in sofa with Design Tex upholstery marks the boundary between the two-level addition and the bungalow. Leading up to the master bedroom, a perforated metal staircase, lit from above, casts a Sigmar Polke–like shadow grid on the concrete floor.

    Photo by: Marvin Rand

    Courtesy of: Darcy Hemley

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  The fluted cherry front door, designed by Scarpa, launches a rippling motif that reappears in furniture and on walls. The Harry Bertoia Bird chair is from Knoll.  Photo by: Marvin Rand
    The fluted cherry front door, designed by Scarpa, launches a rippling motif that reappears in furniture and on walls. The Harry Bertoia Bird chair is from Knoll.

    Photo by: Marvin Rand

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  In the dining/kitchen area there are cabinets and floors made of oriented strand board (OSB) and a cherry dining table fabricated by Joe Cooper to the architects’ design.  Photo by: Marvin Rand
    In the dining/kitchen area there are cabinets and floors made of oriented strand board (OSB) and a cherry dining table fabricated by Joe Cooper to the architects’ design.

    Photo by: Marvin Rand

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  A steel-beam canopy with solar panels shades the house and provides electricity.  Photo by: Marvin Rand
    A steel-beam canopy with solar panels shades the house and provides electricity.

    Photo by: Marvin Rand

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  Brooks and Scarpa took an unlovable old bungalow that occupied a deep through lot, with streets front and rear, and transformed it into their dream home. The ingenious new solar-framed façade is seen here.  Photo by: Marvin Rand
    Brooks and Scarpa took an unlovable old bungalow that occupied a deep through lot, with streets front and rear, and transformed it into their dream home. The ingenious new solar-framed façade is seen here.

    Photo by: Marvin Rand

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