OFIS Architects from Slovenia recently completed a prototype micro-house that operates off-grid in Granada, Spain, and serves as a retreat for one or two people for up to a week at a time. The home, aptly nicknamed Glass House, features an energy-efficient triple-glazed glass facade.
The Glass House, aka Casa del Desierto / Desert House, was designed by glassmaker Guardian Glass (who also supplied glazing for La Seine Musicale), to show off his expertise in producing glass suitable for all weather conditions. The project also involved structural engineers AKT II and the climate engineering company Transsolar.
The house measures 20 m² (215 square feet), divided into three areas: a bedroom, a bathroom with a sunken tub, and a living room. In an otherwise open design, a major concession to privacy is the toilet, which is placed in an opaque glass cubicle. A mirrored porch with large curtains also adds shade and privacy.
Rooftop photovoltaic panels and an array of batteries provide all the electricity, while a solar collector produces hot water. A water tank is installed and a filtration system recycles gray water for consumption. The toilet is a standard flush unit connected to a septic tank.
It can be very hot in Granada, Spain, and we wondered how the interior would stay at a comfortable temperature – a concern shared by locals.
“The first time I heard about this project, I was taken aback,” said Miguel Pérez Navarro, mayor of Gorafe, Granada. “It might sound crazy at first, because it’s about building something like a greenhouse in a desert, where on top of all this, the traditional houses are cave houses, which were originally excavated by the locals. to adapt to this extreme climate. “
We asked OFIS this question and were told that the overall design of the house and the use of efficient triple glazed glass will ensure a comfortable temperature. The company has also installed insulation in the roof and floor, and a small air conditioning unit can operate using energy supplied by solar panels.
Sources: Guardian Glass, OFIS Architects