Sustainable Design: 4 Beautiful Eco-Friendly Homes

Originally posted by Luxury Defined - Christie's International Real Estate

Sustainable architecture, aka “green architecture,” is a design choice both timely and timeless. Timely, for addressing our growing concerns about the environment; and timeless in its reimagining of traditional forms and structures. 

For the architect, “sustainable” is liberating, a chance to recycle and reuse brick, board, and stone in new and exciting ways with respect even for their textures and colors. Locally sourced materials in minimally intrusive and “eco-friendly” construction techniques combine with ultramodern systems for heating, cooling, water, energy, and information management.  

The architect’s concerns include how all these elements will work efficiently together over the life of the house, and even how they will be disposed of—recycled, perhaps?—when it’s time to tear it all down and build something new. 

David Chipperfield, the 2023 laureate of the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honor, put it this way: “Architectural achievement independent of these concerns will have less meaning, which I believe will affect our very sense of what we will judge to be beautiful.” 

1. Oceanfront House in Howth, Dublin, Irela

There is a timeless quality about Oceanfront House, a striking contemporary home on Dublin’s windswept Howth Peninsula, one of the most coveted coastal locations on the Emerald Isle. 

Reminiscent of a traditional ringfort, a circular fortified settlement from the early Bronze Age, the structure itself pays homage to its surroundings through the use of local materials. The result is a split-level, single-story living and entertaining wing and a two-story bedroom wing, offering a total 3,390 square feet of airy, light-filled interior space. 

The façade of Howth Stone, an indigenous yellow ochre sandstone, blends seamlessly into the rocky landscape. The roof is covered in sustainable, corrosion-resistant zinc, and offers two roof terraces from which to take in a breathtaking coastal panorama of Ireland’s Eye, Lambay Island, Howth Harbour, and the Irish Sea beyond. 

The property was imbued with a sense of place by its creator, Polish-born architect Andrzej Wejchert. Situated on the Hill of Howth, just outside Howth village, the supremely private 7.2-acre grounds are surrounded by 300 acres of conservation land, designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. 

2. Villa De Zandhoeve in Zandvoort, Netherlands 

Villa De Zandhoeve has a scenic location bordering Kostverlorenpark national park and the Golden Bend, a beautiful stretch of North Sea coastline in Zandvoort, North Holland. 

Architect Bert Verwey designed the home with sustainability in mind. The exterior, built of natural stone, sits under a hip-and-gamble roof, clad in Norwegian slate. Adding to the mix are cedar windows and mineral scratch plaster walls. 

Inside are bright and airy reception spaces with marble floors and natural stone fireplaces. The living room has a magnificent limestone hearth. The music room, study, and chef’s kitchen look out across the gardens and the woodland preserve at the rear. Sliding glass doors open to bluestone terraces and a pool deck finished in Indonesian Bankirai wood. 

A sculptural staircase rises to the upper-floor bedrooms and a wraparound balcony above the pool and a charming pavilion. The primary suite has a south-facing balcony. 

The lower level is designed for R&R, with a bar and lounge, a gym, a hammam and sauna. Also on this level is a four-car garage. 

3. Modernist Mansion in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois 

ustainability meets the spectacular in this graceful contemporary manor, an oasis of art and urban privacy in Chicago’s picturesque Lincoln Park neighborhood.  

Conceived as a showcase for the owner’s collection of large contemporary artworks, the home’s architects Liederbach & Graham used recycled, exposed brick, reclaimed barn wood, white oak wall paneling and steel accents of window and door frames. Bespoke furnishings by interior designer Bruce Fox add texture, color, and a touch of whimsy. 

The 45-foot-wide brick structure sits in a walled “secret” garden with a vine-covered pergola. The entire ground level opens to the outdoors. Vaulted ceiling heights feel limitless, and light from all sides illuminates the open-plan living, dining, kitchen, and great room. 

An attached coach house apartment above the three-car garage provides a guest suite with a full kitchen and a living room. 

There is even a loft bedroom accessed by an industrial steel ladder, perfect for a play space or “treehouse.” A 900-bottle wine cellar/tasting room and an exercise/gym space with a sauna and bathroom complete the home’s amenities.  

4. 20 Estia in Ibiza, Spain

This alluring, sustainably designed home is built into the tree line above the fairways of Roca Llisa golf course, one of just two golf courses on the Balearic island of Ibiza. 

The five-bedroom, five-bathroom residence is one of the exclusive private villas at 20 Estia, an ultra-private eco-friendly community close to the island’s beaches, marinas, and the glamour of Ibiza Town.  

The development received a LEED Silver certification for its eco-friendly design. Building density has been kept minimal to protect the woodland setting. Rainwater collection systems and the use of local materials also minimize the environmental impact. 

Rustic stone façades and zero-scaped gardens with tree-lined infinity pools mimic the textures and forms of the island’s rugged topography.  

Privacy is paramount, too. Each home is shielded from view and entered via private road with a personalized security system. 

Searching for a sustainably designed property farther afield? Explore our international portfolio of green and grand homes

Sustainable architecture, aka “green architecture,” is a design choice both timely and timeless. Timely, for addressing our growing concerns about the environment; and timeless in its reimagining of traditional forms and structures. 

For the architect, “sustainable” is liberating, a chance to recycle and reuse brick, board, and stone in new and exciting ways with respect even for their textures and colors. Locally sourced materials in minimally intrusive and “eco-friendly” construction techniques combine with ultramodern systems for heating, cooling, water, energy, and information management.  

The architect’s concerns include how all these elements will work efficiently together over the life of the house, and even how they will be disposed of—recycled, perhaps?—when it’s time to tear it all down and build something new. 

David Chipperfield, the 2023 laureate of the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honor, put it this way: “Architectural achievement independent of these concerns will have less meaning, which I believe will affect our very sense of what we will judge to be beautiful.” 

1. Oceanfront House in Howth, Dublin, Ireland 

Eco-friendly home
Built of local stone, Oceanfront House merges with the rugged beauty of the Irish coastline in a striking sustainable design.

There is a timeless quality about Oceanfront House, a striking contemporary home on Dublin’s windswept Howth Peninsula, one of the most coveted coastal locations on the Emerald Isle. 

Reminiscent of a traditional ringfort, a circular fortified settlement from the early Bronze Age, the structure itself pays homage to its surroundings through the use of local materials. The result is a split-level, single-story living and entertaining wing and a two-story bedroom wing, offering a total 3,390 square feet of airy, light-filled interior space. 

The façade of Howth Stone, an indigenous yellow ochre sandstone, blends seamlessly into the rocky landscape. The roof is covered in sustainable, corrosion-resistant zinc, and offers two roof terraces from which to take in a breathtaking coastal panorama of Ireland’s Eye, Lambay Island, Howth Harbour, and the Irish Sea beyond. 

The property was imbued with a sense of place by its creator, Polish-born architect Andrzej Wejchert. Situated on the Hill of Howth, just outside Howth village, the supremely private 7.2-acre grounds are surrounded by 300 acres of conservation land, designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. 

2. Villa De Zandhoeve in Zandvoort, Netherlands 

Eco-friendly home
This unique residence in the Dutch coastal town of Zandvoort incorporates sustainable elements inside and out.

Villa De Zandhoeve has a scenic location bordering Kostverlorenpark national park and the Golden Bend, a beautiful stretch of North Sea coastline in Zandvoort, North Holland. 

Architect Bert Verwey designed the home with sustainability in mind. The exterior, built of natural stone, sits under a hip-and-gamble roof, clad in Norwegian slate. Adding to the mix are cedar windows and mineral scratch plaster walls. 

Inside are bright and airy reception spaces with marble floors and natural stone fireplaces. The living room has a magnificent limestone hearth. The music room, study, and chef’s kitchen look out across the gardens and the woodland preserve at the rear. Sliding glass doors open to bluestone terraces and a pool deck finished in Indonesian Bankirai wood. 

A sculptural staircase rises to the upper-floor bedrooms and a wraparound balcony above the pool and a charming pavilion. The primary suite has a south-facing balcony. 

The lower level is designed for R&R, with a bar and lounge, a gym, a hammam and sauna. Also on this level is a four-car garage. 

3. Modernist Mansion in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois 

Eco-friendly home
A serene urban enclave contains great rooms and great spaces for art in the lively Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.

Sustainability meets the spectacular in this graceful contemporary manor, an oasis of art and urban privacy in Chicago’s picturesque Lincoln Park neighborhood.  

Conceived as a showcase for the owner’s collection of large contemporary artworks, the home’s architects Liederbach & Graham used recycled, exposed brick, reclaimed barn wood, white oak wall paneling and steel accents of window and door frames. Bespoke furnishings by interior designer Bruce Fox add texture, color, and a touch of whimsy. 

The 45-foot-wide brick structure sits in a walled “secret” garden with a vine-covered pergola. The entire ground level opens to the outdoors. Vaulted ceiling heights feel limitless, and light from all sides illuminates the open-plan living, dining, kitchen, and great room. 

An attached coach house apartment above the three-car garage provides a guest suite with a full kitchen and a living room. 

There is even a loft bedroom accessed by an industrial steel ladder, perfect for a play space or “treehouse.” A 900-bottle wine cellar/tasting room and an exercise/gym space with a sauna and bathroom complete the home’s amenities.  

4. 20 Estia in Ibiza, Spain 

Eco-friendly-home
One of the exclusive villas at 20 Estia, this effortlessly chic home in Ibiza proves that luxury and environmental design can coexist. Image credit: Estela Exclusive Homes.

This alluring, sustainably designed home is built into the tree line above the fairways of Roca Llisa golf course, one of just two golf courses on the Balearic island of Ibiza. 

The five-bedroom, five-bathroom residence is one of the exclusive private villas at 20 Estia, an ultra-private eco-friendly community close to the island’s beaches, marinas, and the glamour of Ibiza Town.  

The development received a LEED Silver certification for its eco-friendly design. Building density has been kept minimal to protect the woodland setting. Rainwater collection systems and the use of local materials also minimize the environmental impact. 

Rustic stone façades and zero-scaped gardens with tree-lined infinity pools mimic the textures and forms of the island’s rugged topography.  

Privacy is paramount, too. Each home is shielded from view and entered via private road with a personalized security system. 

Searching for a sustainably designed property farther afield? Explore our international portfolio of green and grand homes

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