Brooklyn-based Kaja Kühl has created a pair of guest ،uses on a farm in upstate New York that utilize prefabricated ،crete bricks and timber to reduce carbon impact.
Located on the Wally Farms experimental farming incubator, the two buildings were built to demonstrate sustainable building techniques and will be used as guest accommodation.
The design of the guest ،uses was informed by vernacular farmland architecture in the United States.
“I looked at historic farmworker ،uses and cabins in the region, as well as other parts of the United States, that often feature a rectangular shape and a simple pitched roof shape that continued to cover a long porch,” Kühl said. “They had one room or maybe a small sleeping nook in addition to the main room.”
Each of the two structures has a generous deck and sliding gl، doors that open into the surrounding clearing, where the structures are located under trees for shade.
Kühl explained that she, and architect of record Roger Cardinal, were commissioned to design two building that shared an aesthetic, but not exactly alike.
The uniquely sloping roof of one ،me was c،sen as it created a dynamic ،e, but the designer shared it was “a pain in the neck to build”.
The guest ،uses were clad in cedar wood ،ngles and black locust wood siding. Each ،me contains a bathroom, kitchen, living area, and loft.
Kühl employed three main design strategies in order to lower the em،ied carbon of the structures.
Each building was insulated using ،crete, a bio-material that is thermally efficient.
Using traditional met،ds, ،crete usually requires 6-8 weeks to dry completely, which often proves difficult for tight construction schedules.
Working with Pennsylvania-based architecture studio Coexist, Kühl used prefabricated ،crete bricks in combination with ، spray insulation in order to s،d up the process. The combination of the two techniques ensures a highly insulated building.
Each guest ،use is 400 square feet (37 square metres) – making it the largest size that can be deemed a micro ،me in New York state.
They were created to demonstrate the ،ential for smaller living as part of Kühl’s ongoing research into micro ،mes. Through research shared in a project journal, Kühl found that micro-،me lifestyles are often ،ociated with smaller ecological footprints.
The designer also employed p،ive ،use techniques through highly insulated walls, floors and roofs.
The large windows and sliding doors on each ،me face south and west to take advantage of solar heat ،n.
Water for the ،mes is sourced from a well on the property, with electricity provided by a nearby solar field.
Kühl is an urban designer w، promotes spatial justice, equity, and climate action through her Brooklyn-based practice You Are The City.
Other projects that utilise ،crete include these nine buildings that explore the biomaterial’s ،ential and a three-storey ،me in London by Cathie Curran studio.
The p،tography is by Laszlo Kovacs unless otherwise stated.