The W.I.N.D of change

Kerry Boettcher
Thursday 19 Feb 2015

The W.I.N.D House in North-Holland is the smart home of the future according to designers the UNStudio

Set in the beautiful countryside of North Holland, the W.I.N.D house is an example of ‘super living’. The ‘smart home’ uses automation and connectivity to integrate systems and appliances in the home, resulting in increased convenience, energy efficiency, safety and security. It also allows for flexible floor plans in order to adapt to the family’s changing needs. 

The interior layout of the house works together with its external surroundings. The quieter working and sleeping areas are located towards the back, where the house borders on a sheltered wooded area, and the living areas at the front enjoy expansive views of the wide open landscape beyond. 

Both the front and rear of the house are fully glazed, acting as a visual portal between outside and inside. Exterior canopies and a side wall also frame the view of the landscape and provide sheltered outdoor terraces. 

Suggesting the simple shape of a flower, each of the four facades of the house curve towards the inside to create four distinct petal-like wings and draw the landscape further into the interior. 

The vertical organisation of the building follows a centrifugal split-level principle. An open staircase at the centre of the house – which forms the circulation core between the four recesses – connects the front and back wings.

But what really makes the W.I.N.D. House the home of the future is the comprehensive home automation system which integrates the electrical systems, including solar panels. The ‘smart home’ is controlled by a central touch-screen in the living area, and each room also has its own individual control screen. Remote connectivity is even possible through a LAN-connection.

Sustainable features include solar panels on the roof and a central air/water heat pump for heating and cooling, and mechanical ventilation with waste heat recovery. The heat pump provides warmth in the winter and cooling in the summer. 

Heat gain is reduced through the use if tinted glass on the fully glazed front and back facades, which enables natural light to fill the interior spaces, whilst providing privacy. The walls and ceilings are clad with natural clay stucco and the main walls consist of clay bricks which aid in providing a healthy indoor climate.

The façade and roof are clad in wooden slats that taper in and out, providing a play on light and shadow, depending on the viewing position. 

UNStudios have created a real masterpiece which combines beauty, practicality and technology as the leading example of the forward thinking smart home of the future. 

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