Rafflesia House, Kuala Lumpur win the Bird Island Zero-Energy Home Competition

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Zoka Zola Architecture was selected to participare in an international competition for Zero Energy Housing, on six sites in the middle of Sentul Park in Kuala Lumpur.

The competition brief is to built houses that work in harmony with the environment, made by renewable materials, able to generate its own energy and recycle water.

Why it is named as Rafflesia House?
The design unintentionally looks like the Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world and which is a national symbol for Malaysia. Rafflesia use 9 months to develop from bud into a flower and the flower only lasted for a few days. Rafflesia is a known as a parasite, because it is unable to produce its own chlorophyll and not capable of photosynthesis. It did not begin its life as a parasite, but evolved this lifestyle. Biologists do not know what the Rafflesia’s function is in its ecosystem.
One question evolved from the above : What is the function of the humans in the world's ecosystem?
The winning design is a study of the balance of human habitat with the surroundings. The intentions of the designer is to integrate the habitat with the climate, urban, site specific ecosystem with the human needs. The house sits on 12 columns to allow other species to develop around it.

The patterns of wind flow is well studied and implemented into the design. Concave and convex wall work together to direct the winds into the house through open windows and doors. The whole building is raised up, therefore a good ventilation is mantained in and out of the house. One half of the house is also higher than the other half. Ceiling fans are used to encourage more air movement and certain zones are air conditioning as the desires of the users.

All info and images from Zoka Zola Architecture and view another entry for the competition by the ZOKA ZOLA.