Robert L. Peters

23 August 2016

Solace House

In December of 1973, at the age of 19, I stepped off a plane into the bitterly cold darkness in Winnipeg, Canada — the temperature was below -30 degrees, cold enough to freeze your breath. While driving across the flat, frozen prairie the next day I experienced the incredible power of the sun beating down from an impossibly clear blue sky — this seeming contradiction between hot and cold made an unforgettable impression on me.

In the following months, I was amazed to discover that almost no-one was building solar-heated structures in this part of the world, seemingly missing the obvious connection between predictable need (for warmth every winter) and ongoing opportunity (a sustainable, clean, endless source of free energy). An AOPEC oil embargo and “energy crisis” was in full swing, the price of fossil fuels was soaring, and futurists were predicting dire consequences for our planet if wasteful consumer attitudes and habits were not curbed. Having been exposed to recent eco-activism in Germany by the precursor to today’s Greens (their efforts to mitigate acid rain and pollution in particular) and seeing how environmental consciousness was gathering momentum in North America as well, it was clear to me that new solutions were called for…

Read the full story here. View or download three related illustrations here (2.8 MB PDF).

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A place of comfort under the sun, naturally…

Solace House, the low-energy passive-solar house I designed and built in 1980, was meticulously refurbished in 2015/16 before being put on offer for sale. On the cutting edge of energy-saving housing design when it was built (well before the term passive house came into being), the home has literally proven itself as a state-of-the-art prototype for sustainable living over the past 35 years. View the detail-rich website here.



TEDx Manitoba presentation by Robert L. Peters — Solace House

View the talk on YouTube here or click on the image below…



Solace House featured in book ‘Design by Nature’

Guest Designer Study of Robert L. Peters and Solace House is featured in Chapter 3 “Nature’s Ethics: Everyone’s Business” of Section One “Memory: Remembering What We Know” of Maggie McNabb’s award-winning book DESIGN BY NATURE : Using Universal Forms and Principles in Design.


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