Vinyl Key to New Home Design at New York Show

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Architect finds vinyl “perfect choice” for innovative, energy-saving homes.

The overall feel of the home is very clean and calm

Creative new uses of vinyl in the design of innovative, energy-saving homes of the future will be on display this week through July 29, 2007, at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York.

Columbia University architectural professor Craig Konyk, who specializes in the use of new materials to create unique designs, said his use of translucent vinyl panels in the design of a small, futuristic type of vacation home called the “UP!house” ( had proven more successful than he anticipated and could open up a whole new market for clear vinyl building materials.

“It has been very exciting,” he said. “Vinyl proved to be the perfect choice – durable, easy to maintain, energy-efficient, and the light diffusion it provides is soft and elegant.”

The museum’s National Design Triennial is set to open on Friday. The UP!house exhibit is a cutaway section of the easy-to-erect prefabricated structure designed by Konyk, with insulated fiberglass wall panels, a luminous, seamless vinyl interior shell and a fiber-optic interior lighting system.

“The overall feel of the home is very clean and calm,” said Konyk. “It is like being inside a cloud.” It can be designed in 2 or 3 bedroom versions, suitable for first homes, vacation homes, or for empty-nesters, and can be accessorized for different lifestyles. Some people in Colorado are interested in using them as ski chalets, equipped with ski racks and fireplaces, he said.

Support for construction of the exhibit was provided in part by the Vinyl Institute in Arlington, VA. (

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