Gray Organschi, a young architecture firm, was recently presented with an unusual problem: Their client had land situated within a water conservancy area, and that mandated that all buildings fall within tight constraints on their footprints. But the client was also a builder who had to find somewhere to store piles of building materials--raw stones, bricks, and wood, all of which, if piled on the ground, would have counted against his footprint alottment. Gray Organschi came back with an ingenious idea: A workshop whose walls double as a massive shelving unit, onto which all those building materials can be stacked.
As a result, the building actually makes a virtue out of the look of giant palettes stacked with odds and ends. And the building itself is admirably green: It's heated and cooled geothermally, while the heat pumps and electricity are provided by translucent PV panels, which double as skylights. A canopy allows the PV array to be even bigger. In fact it produces more electricity than the occupant consumes, and the owner sells the excess back to the local utility.
[Via Archinect, which has more pictures]