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Sliding House, Suffolk, United Kingdom

Friday 20 Mar 2009

Shedding the mundane

Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 4

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15/07/09 Maysoun, Jordan
I am quite surprised by the comments posted about this project, in my personal opinion I think this project is so simple but yet very unique with the choice of materials and dimensions, yes architects do go crazy with their designs but that's only a sign of their creativity....
25/03/09 der flaneur, hell
I think all you architects that player hate are stupid. All you do is whine and whine. Makes the rest of us look pompous. None of you are as smart as you think you are, despite how hard you try.
24/03/09 Alex Njoo, St.Kilda,Melbourne,Australia 3182.
The question I'd like to pose is this: how much associated energy is required to manufacture, maintain and operate the sophisticated mechanics of this so-called environmentally sustainable building? Surely this is not low-energy, despite the installation of solar devices. Is this another attempt by our well-meaning professionals to resort to interesting, albeit superfluous, gimmickry?

Alex Njoo
St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia.
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24/03/09 El, Omaha
Looks like a gimmick to me, and just more things to go wrong.
You could sell tickets as a park ride I suppose.


Extraordinary design concept veiled within a seemingly ordinary exterior 

The form itself is reminiscent of an augmented shed, albeit an attractive shed, but a shed nonetheless. Clad in timber, the undoubtedly Scandinavian-influenced structure seems to dominate harmlessly in its green landscape, but within this wooden skin lies an altogether more dramatic flesh, and the secret to revealing this lies in the push of a button.

Upon engaging this button, four motors generate the energy to peel back the timber sleeve revealing at first the living atrium, followed by a series of closed and open air zones depending on how far you dare to push. Essentially the building represents a small holding with the main abode, a guest house, and a garage. But the composition is adventurous, and the sleeve concept ingenious.

The 20 ton mobile roof and wall enclosure, composed of steel, timber, insulation and unstained larch runs on a hidden ‘railway’ guttering along the side of the dwelling, recessed into a concrete raft on piles. Far from being a gimmicky power-drain, the sleeve not only functions as a transitional masterpiece but is also powered by nature - the four DC battery-powered motors claiming their energy from PV solar panels, or, if it’s necessary to find fault, from mains power when the UK climate doesn’t allow for eco-paraphernalia to function.

The sleeve’s benefits are three-fold: insulation, composition and dramaturgy. In the colder months, exposed elements within the structure would benefit from the shelter provided by the sleeve – common sense relays that the more of the building shrouded, the warmer it will be. But come the warmer months, the unveiling of the interior structure provides framing from both an external and internal perspective, revealing new compositions in relation to the building’s surroundings. The process of the unveiling is an awe-inducing spectacle, turning a relatively basic structure into an entirely different being.

Niki May Young
News Editor

Key Facts

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Sliding House


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