The winner of the Green Good Design Award in 2011, and also featured on CNN “The greenest Buildings 2011”, the Casa Locarno in Solduno, Switzerland is a house that is entirely powered by solar energy and was designed by the German practice of designyougo.
Standing near Lake Maggiore and also close to the mountains, the house takes its energy from solar panels placed on the roof and also from under floor heating. The remainder energy gets stored in a water tankin the basement. During the warmer periods and when the clouds abound the energy is provided by a heat exchanger linked to the fireplace inside.
The house has five bedrooms and all the rooms were designed with the panoramic view in mind, either toward the lake or the mountains. The walls and the ceilings of the place had to be prefabricated and flown in with a helicopter due to the location of the whole project. The predominant color of the building being that of the larch wood left untreated in the idea that it will keep its natural color and age in a more aesthetical manner. The posterior side of the house is dug right into the mountain thus adding sufficient shading to the exterior.
The house was also insulated to reduce the energy cost of the heating and has become an example for what can be achieved with a mind toward the environment without it meaning also a sacrificingof comfort.