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Solar Inspiration

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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 Rand.
    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.
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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.
  • 
  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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