Architecture Inspiration: Impressive Ecomo Pod off-grid living

Situated in the Moose Valley Nature Reserve in the Klein Karoo, lies a solar powered, off-grid home that not only celebrates the outstanding beauty of the surrounding area but is also an ode to innovative green design.

(All images via Inhabitat)

The home of architect Pietro Russo is located in one of the most delicate ecosystems in South Africa, which meant that the architect and his wife had to ensure that they minimized their environmental footprint with their prefabricated Ecomo pods. The result is a design that boasts two large glazed openings and several smaller perforations that soak up the semi-desert landscape, taking full advantage of the incredible vistas surrounding their plot.

The home has only two bedrooms and a large open-plan living and kitchen area, whilst the fireplace keeps the family warm during the freezing desert nights. Outside entertaining is a something of a sight-to-behold - imagine all that open sky untouched by light pollution!

Not only is this home solar powered, but it also gets its water from a nearby spring, they also harvest rainwater and recycle greywater to irrigate a small vegetable garden. The exterior of the home - including terraces - was built with materials found on-site.

Russo has told Inhabitat that living off the grid has been a transformative experience for his family.

“What was initially attractive to us has become so much more than not just being dependent or addicted to so much of what ‘the grid’ offered or trapped us into,” he said. “It has become about realizing what it also denied us, like the time to eat every meal together, to grow our own vegetables, to a whole weekend with visiting friends, to cook and to watch how miraculous and absolutely abundant nature really is.”

The interior design, according to Russo, represents a marriage between his wife’s bohemian style and his own clean minimalism. It was also important for them to create a warm environment that harmonizes with the hues of the surrounding fynbos. Pulsing with light, colorful in all the right places, and modestly sized, this spectacular home provides a quality of living that is hard to match.

What are Ecomo homes?

Ecomo homes are modular and customizable, affording clients a great deal of flexibility. They are also prefabricated, which helps to reduce construction and shipping costs and material waste. 

+ Ecomo Homes

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