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Wedge House

The goal was to design a passive solar house for a site where the primary view and orientation of the daytime living space is not to the south. This was achieved in the Wedge House by positioning a prominent rectangle oriented west to east within a large two story space facing south. The rectangle was chosen because it allows for private bedroom space on the inside and open daytime space on top.

The two story glass wall on the south side heats the house and allows the winter sun to wash the whole house from the lower level recreation and work space to the upper level living space.

The overhang of the roof on the south side assures that the house does not overheat in the summer months. This overhang naturally drives the dramatic shape of the house. Inside, the daytime living space, positioned atop the rectangle containing the bedrooms, overlooks the lower level on the south side. To the east, the daytime space flows out to the terrace where the curving edge opens to the primary view of spreading fields and woods.

A narrow band of windows runs the length of the daytime space. This allows a sweeping view of the north while balancing the heat loss that comes with that orientation.

Two suspended offices float in the upper part of the south side. This is a perfect perch for parents: it is near the front door, it affords privacy in the offices while allowing full view of the house.

As with all passive solar houses by ESA, this house uses the mass in concrete floors and masonry walls to absorb heat during the day, in winter, and coolness at night, in summer. This dramatically reduces, year round, the energy used by the house.