The Garden House

Eindhoven / Netherlands / 2016

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124 Love 20,489 Visits Published

Introduction:


This is a dynamic garden house which I built at my
parental house. The idea is that the house can be easily adjusted to
all seasons, any weather type, mood or occasion. Mainly built in
Douglas wood, it contains an inner shell of double glass and an
overarching roof of steel. The outer shell is fully insulated by 50mm
rockwool. The space is heated by a small but efficient Norwegian
wood stove. The whole project gets its stability from a traditional
timber truss structure and is built on 18 pillars of reinforced concrete
(150*20*50cm). Excluding terraces, it measures 6 m long and 4 m
wide when at its smallest. The length can be increased to nearly 12 m
when desired. The majority of the house I prepared as a ‘kit’ in my
mother’s garage in about four months. After finishing the kit, friends
and family helped putting it together on site in two weeks. Afterwards I
worked two more months to finish the project.
Background: My mother was looking for a prefab garden house. When
she told me about this I suggested that I would design and build the
house for her. She was immediately enthusiastic about the idea and
provided me the next day with an endless wish list of what the house
should be like. All within the 20.000 euro budget and the governmental
restriction of a 25m2 footprint.
Just a short version of my mother’s wish list: A place where she can
write her book, a place where she can give a large dinner (25-30
people) in the middle of nature, a place where she can give parties, a
BBQ place for friends and family-days, an extra sleeping place for
guests, place where she can feel away from home in her own garden,
a 'camping' spot, an outdoor/nature experience, a place where she
can sun and chill out next to the pond, a place where her grand
children can play and sleep over, a stage where (grand) children can
perform (music, theatre) for audience (she loves theatre), a special
place, a terrace with windscreen to enjoy early spring sun, a place
where she can sleep under the stars any time, a place where she can
paint and adjust the light the way she wants to, a place where she can
listen to music in nature, bird watching, a place where inside and
outside become one (she usually opens up all doors and windows in
the house even when temperatures are below 10 degrees Celsius),
meditation place, a fun object, a story-telling place, mediation place
(she is a therapist), a philosophizing place, game playing, tea house, a
place where she can work. Well, my mother is a very special kind of
person, believe me. She is also a very pure person. She wants the
pure experience, no fake, no half work. She loves to experiment and is
very much attracted to the unconventional. So I was looking for a
design with a lot of flexibility, if possible; a design that has the
flexibility of clothes. You should be able to get away with and change
layers of the house almost as easily as changing clothes when
desired. The house should allow for the freedom to adjust it to any
wish and weather type at any moment.
Left top: The house is completely closed, providing a warm and cosy
shelter when weather is rainy, windy, cold or stormy. An excellent
place to philosophize at the fire place, play games, write, story telling
etc.
Top right: When the weather is a little warmer and sunnier; the wood
protective shell can be slid open to enjoy maximum light and
experience nature to the fullest - still being protected from rain and
wind. Imagine waking up, sliding the shell away and going back to
bed; enjoying the slowly rising sun. Furthermore, this mode allows for
adjustable natural light for all types of activities. The doors at the left
and right face of the house (East and West) can be opened up for a
cool breeze if necessary.
Bottom left: In case the weather gets real good and sunny, the glass
shell can also slide open which creates an outdoor living space. Bed,
fireplace and furniture are instantly in the middle of nature. Think of
how you can sleep under the stars, go sunbathing (with windscreen),
give a BBQ party, or just relax and enjoy your freedom while being
perfectly comfortable.
Bottom right: This mode is the party dinner mode. By sliding the glass
shells out; a 45m2 indoor space is created. This provides enough
space for a ten meter long table and at least 30 guests.

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    Introduction: This is a dynamic garden house which I built at myparental house. The idea is that the house can be easily adjusted toall seasons, any weather type, mood or occasion. Mainly built inDouglas wood, it contains an inner shell of double glass and anoverarching roof of steel. The outer shell is fully insulated by 50mmrockwool. The space is heated by a small but efficient Norwegianwood stove. The whole project gets its stability from a traditionaltimber truss structure and is built on...

    Project details
    • Year 2016
    • Work finished in 2016
    • Main structure Wood
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Single-family residence
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