Friday, July 4, 2008

Just under the wire: Betty visits EcoMOD3 before closing

Ok, so Mayor Dave Norris and Governor Tim Kaine beat me to it, but I had the opportunity to visit EcoMOD3 this week with Roger Voisinet before the new owner takes possession!

EcoMOD3 is a joint project of the City of Charlottesville, the Piedmont Housing Alliance, UVA Architecture School (under Professor John Quale), and UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science (under Paxton Marshall, who is also on Betty's Board).

And it's sustainability at its quaintest.

Students transformed a one-room house built in 1925 into a modern two-bedroom and one loft single family dwelling with an attached studio. Both have green roofs, solar hot water, thermasteel construction and other green features (like the bamboo flooring). (Unfortunately I forgot my camera, but I may add photos soon).

My favorite feature is the way the design beautifully incorporates bits of history as well - artifacts like a shoe horn and old bottles found on the home site are displayed on shelves in the upper loft. The attic has been knocked out allowing more height and support beams are exposed.

I loved the use of rectangular double-paned windows in the studio with views of the surrounding greenery. Who knew it's a block or so away from Main Street? The style is sleek and, to me, Swedish.

The Swedes have a word in their language that we Americans haven't embraced yet (my hope is we will). The word is pronounced "lah-gum" (I'm unsure of the Swedish spelling) and it refers to an amount that is "just enough" - not too much and not too little. It's like passing a cake around the table. Everyone needs to eat, so be sure to only take what you need. Sounds better world to me.

Hats off to everyone involved in this collaborative effort in sustainable design with a historic preservation twist.


1 comment:

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

That project is so great and really offered inspiration for my husband and me when we started designing our eco house this year.