by Karrah Beck

One major challenge humans face today is embracing sustainable living that is realistic to their modern expectations. For the most part, people have proven hesitant to give up contemporary luxuries in the pursuit of helping the environment. But the innovative examples below demonstrate how modern sustainable architecture can accommodate human need while respecting the surrounding nature around, and shows that seemingly Utopian human cooperation with nature may very well be possible in the future.

These two pieces by Hiroshi Iguchi—an artist of the Fifth World Company—display this idea very well. The first piece called “The Camouflage House” (pictured below) truly displays how modern technology can be a part of its surrounding environment and nature. “The Camouflage House” is designed to be a livable greenhouse for human residents, and a real dialogue emerges between human life and the natural world, which is a challenging topic in today’s society that is accommodated beautifully here.

The house is designed to include nature within it; its glass walls make most of the house transparent and provide ample natural light, reducing electricity use. In addition, white canvas is used in the interior to prevent excessive heat buildup, and trees from the original area, instead of being cut down, are incorporated into the house in between the walls.

Photo courtesy of: Alessio Guarino

Iguchi also designed the “Kurimoto Millennium City,” a minimal technology oasis that includes four homes that are not only beautiful, but also environmentally friendly. Similar to “The Camouflage House,” the houses in this project are open to the elements with insulated glass, and deciduous trees surround the buildings in order to ensure coolness in summer and passive heat in winter. Built in the middle of farmland, citizens love to frolic to this area in order to escape the bustling busyness of urban Japan.

Photo courtesy of: Alessio Guarino

Both of Iguchi’s projects demonstrate something very important: that it is possible for humans to have modern comfort while still respecting and cooperating with their surrounding nature. These projects really set a wonderful precedence for the rest of the planet, and we should really pay attention as renewable energy becomes not only an idea, but also a necessity.