I don’t know why they call it the Green lantern House because I don’t think a superhero — from a film that bombed — has ever lived in it. I’d have called it the Earth, Wind and Fire plus Steel, Wood, Glass and Water House because that’s what it looks like to me.
Located in San Antonio, the house sits on a large corner lot of the Alamo Heights neighborhood overlooking the downtown area. The house was conceived, designed and built based upon both the architect and the client’s respect for the environment with an eye toward sustainability.
A single-story ranch house once sat on this lot until the new client came along and one goal was to reuse the original foundation of the old home — and some of the original wood — upon which to build the new house with single- and two-story public spaces.
In addition, the house incorporates systems such as photovoltaic panels, a green roof system, grey-water harvesting, and LED lighting. Passive systems such as arbors and overhangs were used to produce shading and reduce solar gain, while the entire project was sited to protect the number of existing heritage oak trees on the site.
At the entry, you step up and over the pool along the main entry bridge and then step back down again from the kitchen to the living area, though both spaces, and both floors, are open to one another. Additionally, wall-to-wall glass sliding doors open up to expand the room out into the pool and yard.
This rhythm is mirrored at the second floor as a series of folding doors in the ‘party room’ open to a large out-door terrace in the tree canopies, which again steps down to its own ‘landscape’ green roof garden with hot tub that takes in distance vistas of downtown San Antonio.
These ideas and designs not only provide elegant spaces for entertaining, but also provide a stage for discussion and promotion of the core principle of sustainability that produced it. The Green lantern House meets and exceeds local standards for green certifications; such as Energy Star – Gold, NAHB Green Building – Emerald, Build SA Green – Level 3, and LEED – Platinum.
It’s green and Earth-friendly, with wind and fire and water and glass and steel.