Sail House by David Hertz Architects – Environmental Architecture Studio


David Hertz Architects, also known as the Studio of Environmental Architecture, built a luxury home in the Caribbean nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with a strong emphasis on limiting its ecological footprint, thus making the self-sufficient house.
Sail House is the name of this large building inspired by the local sailing tradition. The Sail House roof is made of a technical fabric normally used to make sails, which not only limits the cost and weight of the roof, but optimizes and extends its shading area while effectively collecting rainwater and by improving passive ventilation thanks to the thermal chimney technique.

David Hertz Architects – Studio of Environmental Architecture in Los Angeles, Calif., Built Sail House for a couple who wanted not only a central main house, but a number of smaller units, separated from the central volume, in which to accommodate guests. , as well as a space for a spa and a swimming pool.
Sail House looks like a sailboat on the outside, and not just because of its nautical-style roof: the way the three levels of the house intersect to create piers, walkways and railings adds another nautical touch. According to studio founder David Hertz: “The main inspiration for the Sail House was a wooden boat with its cast masts and sails, rigging and hardware, which are referenced throughout the house.”

As construction on the Caribbean Islands can be difficult due to limited resources and inhospitable geography, Sail House was prefabricated in the United States with the help of the TomaHouse company and then shipped to the island in about fifteen years. containers. David Hertz has optimized the loading density to avoid waste in organizing the shipment.
The prefabricated structure was then installed on top of a small volume of concrete which serves as the foundation for anchoring the house to the ground and as a cistern for collecting rainwater. A number of steel beams extend from this small parallelepiped, like the masts of a ship, adding stability to the roof and frame while minimizing the impact on the ground and the surrounding jungle.

David Hertz recalls in a note to the press that Sustainability was one of the main goals of the Sail House project. The non-corrosive, termite-resistant aluminum structural system is wrapped in reclaimed ironwood planks recycled from an abandoned pier in Borneo, as are the plank floors, decks and vertical louvers that control the low sun and prevailing breezes. “

The majority of the finishes, both inside and out, are interwoven palm leaves and locally sourced coconut fragments, while other surfaces have been decorated by artists from Java. and Bali using traditional techniques. The interiors of Sail House guarantee luxury and comfort even though they are furnished in a minimal style, using only a few high quality items, in light colors contrasting with the finishing materials.

David Hertz has incorporated a number of important sustainable components into the Sail House project. The house is self-sufficient in energy and water, collecting rainwater and generating photovoltaic energy; it uses reclaimed wood and takes advantage of the local climate to eliminate the need for heating or cooling. Demonstrating the truth of this, David Hertz, founder of the Studio of Environmental Architecture, states: “Resilience can be both beautiful and tactical”.

Francesco cibati

Project: David Hertz Architects, Environmental Architecture Studio www.studioea.com
Year: 2020
Location: Bequia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Manufacture of the house: TomaHouse
Principal Design Advisor: David Hertz FAIA
Project architect: Eric Lindeman
Project designers: Stephan Schilli
Awards: Architizer A + Awards, jury winner on the private residential house (XL> 6,000 square feet)

Images courtesy of the architect


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