Design devotee blogs about cities, innovation, architecture and green building.
A feat of green arkitecture
Although not the most cozy looking place, Ark House brings dramatic, high-concept eco-living to the vast, rugged Montana landscape.
Tue, May 25, 2010 at 08:04 AM
A majority of the green homes that I blog about, no matter how unconventional, are ones that I can imagine myself settling down in (or at least spending a night or two in). No disrespect to the architects and the client, but this isn’t quite the case with Ark House
, an uber-dramatic eco-home that’s sort of sci-fi, a touch Viking, a little bit country, and plenty biblical. Designed to be built on a remote, 100-acre parcel of land atop a windswept bluff overlooking western Montana’s Beaverhead National Forest
, Ark House is also pretty much in the middle of nowhere. So even though I wouldn’t personally want to call this desolate, Noah-approved green spaceship/barn with seafaring Scandinavian overtones my own
home, its audaciousness is still worth admiring.
The 10,200-square foot — this includes a 4,800-square foot observation deck for optimum cow-spotting — Ark House was designed by high-profile interdisciplinary design studio Axis Mundi
for a client who wanted a sustainable home that was “of its time, yet be part of the place they love — the vast ancient landscape of Montana.”
The design for this residence can been likened to the discovery of an archaic sailing vessel, beached on a mountainside, as if a great ocean receded in the ancient past.
Mmmkay. The sail-esque, steeply pitched twin roof structures define Ark House — as well as a 60-foot-long, steel and glass internal bridge — but it’s worth pointing out that the structure is also defined by several eco-features, too: it boasts near net-zero energy use due in part to a high performance building envelope; geothermal heating and cooling systems; reclaimed oak siding and beams; a three-story atrium (Noah's Ark had three decks) with a pond at the bottom; and solar panels incorporated into the roof.
I'm guessing that Ark House is animal-friendly although there's no word on exactly how many critters the structure can accommodate in the event of a global deluge. It looks like a few head of cattle could certainly fit into that atrium. What do you think of the Ark House design? Too weird or a perfect fit for Montana's "ancient" landscape?
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