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Bloom House

Roanoke, Virginia

Cradle to Cradle Competition Entry

What if this housing was flexible enough to change as the needs of the owner’s changed? What if this housing encouraged ownership in a rent dominated neighborhood by providing not only a way to save money, but to make money as well? And what if this housing treated the environment as a source of health and nutrition, as opposed to merely a source of resources to be used? How can we continue to build housing that our environment and our society can not afford?

This 1700 sf three bedroom house with 750 sf garage apartment for rental income was designed for the Cradle to Cradle competition in Roanoke, Virginia is intended to be a solution that is inclusive to its origin, its place, and its future. Every decision has been made in an effort to harness local resource and energy. The design was initially inspired by the natural qualities seen in a merrygold bloom found on site. We were inspired by its inherent behavior of opening up and following the path of the sun, and then transferring that energy back to the plant in a continuous nutrient cycle.

The house is designed with the intention to spur refurbishment within a neighborhood that is on the verge of turning from rent dominant to a neighborhood of ownership. It is designed to be site adaptable. It is also designed to encourage communal use of the area for garden and neighborhood activities.

All major components of the Bloom House are designed for adaptability and deconstruction. The exterior skin can be any number of sustainable wood or plank products that is attached using a clip system for easy care and removal/replacement. The stair is designed to breathe and to act as a generator for heating and cooling. The house is designed to be entirely reliant on the available annual rainfall for water.

Competition: 2005
Design team: Scott Kyle, Scott Wheeler of BCWH Architects / Karl Bren of Green Visions Consulting / Galen Staengl of Staengl Engineering