The Institute for Advanced Architecture, Catalonia
With a leaning towards ecological unity between buildings and their environment the people at Institute for Advanced Architecture Catalonia and Fab Labs have created the rather impressive Fab Labs House. Taking nature as their point of departure, Fab Labs House emulates natural structures such as trees by embedding the elements of sunlight, shade and rainwater into the structure as opposed to attempting to add eco elements such as solar panels to more conservative structures.
Indeed, as the architect director of Institute for Advanced Architecture Vinente Guallart explains “Rather than making solar houses, we can create self-sufficient habitats that are able to produce energy, food and other goods.” By which the structure works with wind, water and sunlight to grow crops, reduce wear of the structure, as well as store and distribute energy generated producing 3x more energy than it consumes. Essentially working with nature so that ones habitat becomes none to dissimilar to living in unison with an organism: taking their mantra of ‘form follows energy’ to result in a house that is no longer a ‘machine’ but an organism to be inhabited.
The project has been such a success that it recently won People’s Choice Awards during the Solar Decathlon Europe in Madrid this June and is now available, providing one has a plot of land, to buy your own Fab Lab House starting at €45,000 + VAT. You need only register at their site for details.