Sustainable living often exudes Tellytubbie-inspired imagery of grass concealed buildings, bunkers, round windows and solar panels. Painting a whole new, prettier, picture of green contemporary living, however, is the ZEB Pilot House from Norwegian architects Snohetta.

A simple single family home as stated in the brief, is rather an underwhelming description as this is more than just a standard two-up-two-down. Alongside its eloquent living quarters, the building is also intended for use as a demonstration platform to facilitate learning on structural methodology for plus houses with sustainable, ethical solutions.

Renewable energy production is achieved through photovoltaic and solar-thermal panels integrated in the building’s unique envelope. The focus on carbon emissions represents a new direction in the drive toward a sustainable construction industry.

It’s aesthetic appearance, though, is where the ZEB Pilot House defies traditional ‘green’ restrictions to expertly blend efficiency with innovative, contemporary design. Showcased by the striking sloping roof, which takes on an hourglass silhouette, as perhaps a nod to the restrictions of time and resources that hamper sustainable living in the 21st century.

Beautifully entwined alongside the towering brick-clad wall that marks the central equilibrium of the house, the sloping roof also lends space to a quaint outdoor atrium with fireplace and furnishings opening up for outdoor dining all year round. Creating a feeling of cabin life amongst the modernist structure, despite being one of the world’s most advanced family homes, the implementation of a room with walls of stacked firewood and bricks creates a traditional, warm interior that lends itself to family interaction.

Internally, despite the strong ethical ethos, the house maintains a strong focus on retaining homely qualities. Emotive comfort and a great sense of wellbeing have governed the design process to the same extent as the energy demands. The structure employs a variety of spaces that can be enjoyed year round, stretching from the interior intricacies, to the inclusion of fruit trees and vegetable gardens externally to accommodate small scale food production.

With proficient sustainability and a simply stunning aesthetic, Why would you ever want to leave?