Composed of repurposed shipping containers, the 3-story Nimbus Arts Center in St. Helena California houses community-owned non-profit organization dedicated to fostering creative expression, and building a sense of community through collaborative art projects in Napa County. The design features classrooms for sculpture, drawing, painting, mixed media, ceramics, design and fabrication as well as a sculpture garden to display students’ work.
For the design of a new high school campus in Costa Rica, MH Architects was honored to collaborate with Surf for Life, an Ocean Beach-based grassroots organization which pairs surf travelers with badly needed infrastructure projects in Central America. The coastal site was an ideal location for seven wood-framed classrooms elevated to promote ventilation and configured around outdoor recreational facilities.
The new barn envisioned for the elementary school campus houses a multipurpose space for a thriving Montessori learning community on a working farm – one where students are connected with the agricultural roots of our Napa Valley community and the Montessori tradition of environmental awareness. Students are engaged in ceramics, metal, woodworking, and produce-processing facilities and workshops
826 Valencia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Prompted by the need to address structural upgrades, MH Architects oversaw the renovation of the single story retail storefront in San Francisco’s Mission District. In addition, Writing Center and retail store benefitted from a new roof with several skylights, accessibility upgrades, custom shelving, and cabinetry.
Architecture at Zero 2016 is a zero net energy design competition open to students and professionals worldwide, engaging architecture, engineering, planning students and professionals in the pursuit of energy efficient design.
This year's competition is a student housing project on the San Francisco State University campus.
Channels: A Repository of Sun, Wind, and Water
The building form of Channels residential complex is derived from systems dedicated to harvesting renewable energy from wind, sun, and water in order to approach the Net-Zero-Energy goal. The program – devoid of parking – is also intended to encourage the residents to pursue a sustainable lifestyle relying heavily on public transportation, bicycling, and the amenities of the surrounding neighborhood. With 767 units, the project is comprised of a series of stepped eight- to five-story bands that frame channels of park-like landscaping.
Energy Harvesting Systems
Passive Energy Harvesting Systems wrap virtually every surface of the structures and the grounds framed by their footprints. The facade of the banded structures is characterized by the alternating rhythm of vertical garden boxes and 70° angled solar water heating panels, contributing heat to a closed loop system organized like a large thermosiphon. The roof is dominated by a point-grid of spiral wind turbines. Specifically conceived for urban environments, the helical design allows the individual units to collect wind energy from any direction. The horizontal plane of the roof also includes an array of solar-heated water panels to augment the solar gain strategy.
Channels apartments promote the conveniences of high-density living within a sustainable, humane environment. Outdoor play structures for children, exercise courses, and interactive art pieces all reinforce the active role that residents play in minimizing their daily energy consumption.