Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture will be showing off their set of passive solar houses at the Hem & Villa housing fair in Malmö, Sweden this summer. The passive solar concept is simple (and ancient): massive walls store the heat of the sun which keeps the house warm, as well as using smartly placed windows to directly warm the house during the day. These strategies tend to work well in dry climates with large day/night temperature swings (like the American southwest, where thermal wall technology was used by Native Americans long ago).
The architects call their designs Passive Houses. Pictured is Villa Atrium, a donut-shaped building with a tree growing in the central courtyard. The ideal climates for these designs are not specified. What is remarkable about these is that not only do they use an ancient concept to create energy efficiency, they do it while creating modern, playful houses.
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