Friday, October 31, 2008

Spooky Eco House

This eco-friendly, off-grid house, in the woods of Sweden is enough to give anyone the creeps. This house gives the human imagination cart blanch! It's structure takes on the shape of a lizard, dragon, even a dinosaur! It was built in compliance with environmental building code. Because of it's location, so close to the water, the owners were limited. Inspired by Frank Loyd Wright's "Fallingwater," they got around the regulations by building an accordion room that is capable of extending outward over the nearby stream along two steal rails with a series of ropes and pulleys. The extension has not foundation and is technically part of the main footprint - thus avoiding the strict regulations. The organic cabin has a frame constructed of pine, with western red cedar shakes, which will eventually turn gray, blending in with its surroundings. The interior is naturally bright and lined with silver birth laths. Reindeer hides were nailed to the walls and ceiling to provide extra insulation, which was inspired by the Sami culture in Northern Scandanavia. Additionally, the cabin has no running water or phone lines and is not tied to the electric grid. The off-grid cabin is powered by solar panels on the roof.
When fully extended, the cabin is 775 sq ft, with a kitchen, living room, dining room, bedroom and a sleeping loft. As the architects describe Dragspelhuset, they see it as a tightly sealed cacoon in the winter when the movable extension is stored inside the body. When they return in the summer and extend the living room, they liken it to a butterfly expanding its wings to provide shelter on rainy days. Either way, it is an ingenious use of a small space, totally off-gird and in harmony with its surroundings.

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