ÁGUAS DE MARÇO
Águas de Março is a residential project that combines the transparency of the case study houses with a second layer of adjustable exterior shading devices and cantilevered balconies that control the interior climate and serve as circulation measure. The design of the exterior façade system is inspired by the waves of the Pacific Ocean in Venice California and the song Águas de Março by Antonio Jobim.
The adjustable second skin is the primary design feature which negotiates the climate between the inside and the outside. This is a passive green design measure that doesn’t use any additional energy as many active design measures do. During the summer months the shades block the sun while in winter the shallower angled sun rays are welcomed through the blinds. The shades are painted orange on the one side and are laminated with a reflective finish on the opposite side.
Natural air circulation is supported through the adjustable blinds. In addition to the shading device the project features sustainable design measures like adjustable natural ventilation, alternative energy generation, solar collectors for hot water generation and water preserving measures like reclaimed irrigation, native planting and pervious pavement.
Circulation is organized similar to traditional Japanese houses but in this case combined with a central staircase. As a result there are always two different circulation measures - exterior and interior - and every room is connected to the outside. Exterior circulation is infiltrated with double height spaces to enhance the spatial experience on an otherwise very compact floor plan layout. The project offers a lot of square footage on a small footprint compared to the density of the urban sprawl on the outskirts of Los Angeles. The project has a usable area of 3000 sqft on a 2000 sqft lot and three stories plus one shaded roof terrace.
On the first floor you’ll find the garage and a loft space that could be used as a home office or an additional bedroom. The master bedroom is located on the second floor as well as two additional bedrooms and two bathrooms. The third floor is designed as an open loft with a kitchen and living area.
The building is a steel construction while the shades are conventional American wood construction.
The exterior shading structure of Águas de Março generates energy savings of approximately 30% compared to a modern glass box in the Southern California climate. Many of its design features can be applied to commercial and residential buildings in Southern California.
The project is 100% achievable. All construction materials and methods are conventional American construction. Additional sustainable measures, for example Solar collectors, are available everywhere now.
The energy savings though out the year can be measured. Approximately the owner will be saving more than 30% compared to a conventional residence in Southern California.
The project is a creation of XP& architects and emerged through the research efforts we have done in the office. I did not come across a residential design like this.
The project provides primarily passive sustainable design measures, where additional energy for an add- on product can be saved . The design itself regulates the climate.