Although a ‘glass-home’ doesn’t sound very eco-friendly the Dutch architect Paul de Ruiter has made it just that! In the form of a glazed-box, one half of this home sits above the landscape and the other half remains buried underground.
The architect was asked to consider several elements when designing the home. Firstly, it should achieve an ‘all-year-round comfortable environment’. Secondly, any unnecessary wastage of energy should be avoided. Finally, negative impact to the site must be kept to an absolute minimum (as the home rests in an ecologically protected area).
His solution is simple, abstract and spectacular as it hovers above the landscape. The house’s volume is supported by a v-shaped steel frame at one end and a staircase (linking its two floors) at the other. Underneath the floating volume sits another rectangular volume (perpendicular to the upper one). It holds a garage, storage, bathroom and office.
To be allowed to build on the site, energy regulations stipulated that any owner is required to return the farmland to its original pre-agricultural state. In order to meet this request, the owners planted 71,000 saplings that in time will come to block the view of the house on the landscape.
The most prominent energy-saving techniques involve moveable fabric screens (embedded into the building’s facade) that can be used to block solar gain. In addition, photovoltaic roof panels and windmills further supply electricity for consumption. It’s all good and the design seriously slick!