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Green House

Jadric Architektur

Green House
By Alessandra Orlandoni -

I think it’s important to describe the context, because a project is always inspired by the atmosphere of the place. Austin is a very interesting city. I knew nothing about it and was expecting something completely different - more like the Texas you see in movies with cowboys and Indians and Mexican immigrants. In short, southern, conservative and a little retro.

I was surprised because it’s quite the opposite: very lively and contemporary, with a Democratic mayor; and 50% of the population between 25 and 65 have a college degree. It’s home to the 5th largest university in the United States! Many people from New York and Boston have moved to Austin for work or study. It’s also a city that cares about sustainability, with lots of greenery and where both the quality of food and musical culture is very high. It’s the home of Austin City Limits, the largest outdoor music festival. Austin is one of America’s four “smart cities” together with San Francisco, New York and Boston. My brother, whose house I designed, is an IT architect. He even wanted an iPad inserted into a glazed wall so he could compare the digital view with the real one! The house was built in a peripheral area - very quiet, lots of greenery and near a river - on a small plot created when a large property was broken up. Building permission wasn’t easy for such a small plot since regulations in Austin’s urban perimeter are different from those in force for more outlying areas where plots must be very large to be able to absorb and drain the heavy rains. The budget too was limited, and so I had to simplify the first project, which the builder thought too expensive. At the start, I was worried the result would end up being trivial as I had to deal essentially with only two situations: internal and external. So - inspired also by the work of Rudolf Schindler in Los Angeles - I tried to differentiate the external situations:...

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