Large expansive shutters are electrically powered to angle at the inhabitant’s desired position
Frank Tjepkema of Dutch design studio Tjep. has designed an ecologically friendly getaway home to be self-sufficient in remote areas.
Called Isolée, the small house embraces and uses technology to be as energy efficient as possible.
“I was curious to see what would happen if you gave a house the same sort of detailed design that’s found in all sorts of products we use every day,” said Tjepkema. “The cars we drive, the computers and tablets we use, the smartphones – all sophisticated, aesthetically sound objects. And then we go home, where we’re surrounded by a stack of bricks.”
Tjepkema envisioned the dwelling to be a portable, eco-friendly getaway with minimal fuel reliance.
The rooftop tree-like structure of circular photovoltaic panels maximises energy absorption. Each panel follows the daily movement of the sun like a flower.
Using a cabinet as inspiration, large shutter doors span the length of the building, opening and closing by hinges equipped with electrical motors.
“My approach was the same as if I were making a piece of furniture,” Tjepkema says when discussing the design’s portability. “Rather than a solid block of concrete for the foundation for instance, I set the house on an elegant four-legged base, as if it were a cabinet.”
Secured to the ground at only four points, the three-storey structure consists of a living room on the first floor, a kitchen and dining area on the second, and a bedroom on the top floor with a bathroom. A diagonal stairwell spans the height of the home, connecting each level.
The primary source of indoor heating is a wood-burning stove, with a cavity for storing wood in the side of the house that can be accessed from inside or outside. Powered by the stored solar energy from the rooftop panels, a heating system moves heat from the wood stove throughout the house.
Glass walls offer endless landscape views of the natural surroundings wherever the house is placed.
The dwelling’s lighting runs on rechargeable batteries. The only external requirement is the home’s water supply.
Tjep. hopes to develop a prototype of the project and is currently looking for partners.