A Dream House Enclosed in Glasses
Ever imagined living in a house enclosed in glasses? Well, it might actually be nicer than you might have expected - especially if you live in a cold country. Instead of a house that's built in glass, a couple in Sweden built a glass dome over their house - and let's take a look at it.
Life in Sweden
Well, the story takes place in Scandinavia - and you probably heard about stories of how cold it can get there in winter. While it isn't necessarily Alaska, it can be pretty cold there in the winter still - it averages between minus one to minus two degrees Celsius. While it isn't a lot, it does feel especially chilly with the humidity.
The proud owner of the house is Marie Granmar and Charles Sacilotto, while the house itself looks rather... peculiar, it's actually pretty comfortable inside, according to the owners. Though it does look rather outlandish, the idea itself actually came from the last century...
Such houses are called naturhus, or "Nature House," and the idea was invented by architect Bengt Warne (1929-2006) - the idea came from greenhouses, where heat is to be trapped through the use of glasses - and instead of plants, people are to live inside it. Now let's take a look at how Marie and Charles turned this idea into reality.
Instead of building an entirely new house, Marie and Charles decided to opt for the option where the glasses are to enclose the entire house. He settled on an old summer house on the Stockholm archipelago, and using Warne's design; he enclosed the house with four-millimeter-thick glass.
The Footprint of the Greenhouse
However, the glasses didn't really come into contact with the house itself, leaving some distance between the glass and the house - this allows for plenty of room for a wrap-around garden, thus allowing the couple to grow plants and vegetables inside the glass structure. However, the things they can grow aren't limited to the ones native to Sweden, though...
Due to the greenhouse effect that the glass structure created, the temperature inside it can be compared to a typical Mediterranean climate, thus allowing the couple to grow plants and vegetables they can't be found in Sweden normally, including figs, tomatoes, and cucumbers. But that's not the only benefit of such design.
Protection from Elements
Rain, snow... for a lot of house owners, these can be a bit of a nuisance due to the maintenance cost that adds up over the years, especially for wooden houses like the one here. However, with the glass structure in place, the house is also isolated from the elements, saving cost on wood treatments to protect them from humidity and other things.
Removing the Roof
Removing the roof from the house? Well, normally that's a bad idea - but with the glass structure in place, it doubles as a roof already, thus allowing the couple to remove the actual roof from the house, and turning it into a sunbathing, reading, or playing area, with sufficient light all day. How is it to live there?
And guess what? The glass structure also allowed them to save some money on heating - while it is roughly minus two degrees celsius outside on average during winter, due to the greenhouse effect, they manage to maintain a higher average temperature in the house. “For example, at the end of January, it can be -2°C outside, and it can be 15 to 20°C upstairs,” Sacilotto said. Are they trapped?
Easy Access to Nature
At first sight, it might be pretty difficult for Marie and Charles to go out - after all, the entire place was enclosed by glass panels... how do they get out? Well, to counter this, they installed slide panels everywhere - so that whenever they want to get out, they can simply slide open one of the glass panels... pretty neat, eh?
A Step Beyond
We talked a lot about the benefits of building a glass structure over the house and enclose it like a greenhouse... but Marie and Charles went one step beyond with their house - they try to be as self-sufficient as possible. Therefore, their sewage is completely independent from the city sewage.
An Engineer's Mind
Sacilotto, an engineer by training, undertook the task of building an entirely off-the-grid, independent sewage system. It begins with a urine-separating toilet, and it utilizes centrifuges, cisterns, grow beds, and garden ponds to filter the water and use it to compost the remains.
When asked about his idea behind the house and said designs, Sacilotto said of the following: “It’s not just to use the nature, the sun and the water, but…it’s all a philosophy of life, to live in another world, in fact." It's not just living in the house it seems, but also being able to connect with nature, connect with the things around us.
Despite Bengt's passing in 2006, his legacy lives on. Talking about the ideas and philosophies behind his houses and designs, Bengt said of the following “Living in a greenhouse gives architecture a fourth dimension, where time is represented by movements of naturally recycled endless flows of growth, sun, rain, wind, and soil in plants, energy, air, water, and earth. I call this NATUREHOUSING.”
What do you think of this house? Would you like to live in a house like this? Or have you seen any other things like this before? If you think this is a great idea, why not share it with your friends and family? Who knows, maybe one day you can build something like this as well!