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When Tim Tattu, a Zen Buddhist monk and hospice nurse, approached me to design a house for him, he had two very specific needs: the first was for the house to be as sustainable as possible; the second was for it to be sexy – because even a monk/male nurse wants to have fun from time to time.

Bored with a design for a generic box of a house that came with the purchase of the lot, Tim gave me a simple yet evocative sketch depicting his intent, which began an ongoing interaction that shaped his home.

The end result combines exactly what Tim was hoping for the project – for sustainability, the use of steel cut directly from Revit files reduced construction waste; the insulated panels, deep overhangs, and operable windows reduced energy consumption; and the herb and vegetable garden provides Tim with home-grown meals.

As for sexy, Tim has listed both units on AirBnB; he lives in whichever one is not rented, giving him not only the lack of attachment his Zen practice demands, but also exactly the social life he was seeking.

Contractor: Ken Stack
Photographer: Taiyo Watanabe
Renderings: Elaine Kwong

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