10 Environmentally Friendly Architectural Styles


Hybrid, Custom, Evolving

The Keetwonen student dorm complex in Amsterdam is a veritable village of shipping containers.
The Keetwonen student dorm complex in Amsterdam is a veritable village of shipping containers.

If you've read articles on people who live in $200, 24-square-foot (2.23-square-meter) shacks made from junk or who sleep in capsule hotel rooms the size of old phone booths, you might have wondered if these are the wave of the future [source: Wadler]. People in London, Mexico City and the United States are using old shipping containers as homes, and the Keetwonen student dorm complex in Amsterdam is a veritable village of containers used to house more than 1,000 university students [source: Open Architecture Network].

Just as mid-century modern designs by Joseph Eichler in the 1960s didn't take off wildly during their time, but have since become models for reproducing and gleaning the best of their kind, some of what we see today as wacky may lead to practical innovations in mainstream green, environmentally friendly housing. Architects and designers coming into their own today have grown up with the greening of architecture, so it's likely to be less of an afterthought and more a part of good, holistic housing of the near future, with or without the miniature size, high cost and funky functionalism.

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More Great Links


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  • Black Mountain College, Museum + Arts Center. "IDEAS + INVENTIONS: Buckminster Fuller and Black Mountain College." 2011. (Mar. 4, 2011)http://www.blackmountaincollege.org/index.php/past-bmcm-ac-events/94-ideas-inventions-buckminster-fuller-and-black-mountain-college
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