The Kosmer Solar House
Totally Integrated Solar & Architectural Design
Simple architectural forms provide maxium southern exposure for the sun to heat the Kosmer passive solar house.
The open floor plan on the first floor and the unique “U” shaped bedroom surrounding a glass enclosed atrium on the second floor, that is open from the ceiling of the1st floor to the attic floor dormer ceiling, create a dramatic 32 ft. high design statement apart from the solar aspects of the home even though that atrium is integral to the home’s solar efficiency. The soaring atrium (fig 7 & 8) provides an elegant focal point and rich southern exposure lighting to the open plan kitchen/dining/living area. The atrium also serves as an integral part of the passive solar system as an airshaft to the attic level air return to help circulate air easily.
Figure 7 & 8 - Atrium looking up from 1st fl. to attic level (with open internal windows) and looking down from attic level to 1st fl. (with Vermont Castings red enamel woodstove). Internal windows on 2nd fl. & attic provide air and sound control as well as viewing locations.
The white interior and natural blonde bamboo floors throughout the home maximize the flood of light from the two 12 ft. wide banks and one 6 ft. wide bank of 6 ft. high windows on the 9.5 ft. high south wall of the 1st floor (fig 9).
Figure 9 - Light floods in the three banks of 6 ft. high windows in the open floor plan 1st fl. seen from the kitchen area.
The 2nd floor has a similar configuration with 8.5 ft high walls and 5 ft. high banks of windows (fig 10).
Figure 10 - The master bedroom is bathed in natural light from a 12 ft. wide bank of 5 ft. high windows.
The 1st floor interior and atrium create a dynamic setting for the focal point red enamel Vermont Castings woodstove with red enamel stovepipe that rises in the white atrium through the attic dormer ceiling (fig 11). The tall 8” wide stovepipe stack enables more of its heat to disperse in the house, allowing the house to capture that heat instead of sending it out the chimney.
Figure 11 White walls & natural bamboo floors provide maximum natural light and create a visual backdrop for the focal point Vermont Castings red enamel wood stove on a bluestone base.
On the kitchen side, hickory cabinets with GE Profile stainless steel appliances create a marked contrast to the walls and flooring with a stainless steel island range hood over a hickory island cook top to provide a focal point for the kitchen (fig 12).