Compiled by Anuradha K R
Photography: Interior©Inga Powilleit; Exterior©Fedde de Weert; courtesy UNStudio
The W.I.N.D House, designed by UNStudio transcends the boundaries of science fiction, to create in ‘flesh and blood’, a home that takes automation and connectivity to a new high, in Noord-Holland.
“The contemporary smart home not only enables the control of appliances from afar and incorporates the necessary installations and materials to aim for a zero net-energy building, it also responds to changes in today’s lifestyles”, says Ben Van Berkel, designer, UNStudio. The W.I.N.D House incorporates integrated sustainable solutions and home automation, whilst flexibility of spaces, comprehensive assimilation of the surrounding landscape and a centrifugal circulation form the basis of the design.
Suggesting the shape of a simple flower, each of the four facades curve towards the inside, creating four distinct petal-like wings, drawing the landscape into the interior. These curving recesses are visually connected to each other through their view lines, which cross at the heart of the building to provide varied diagonal vistas throughout the building and cross-views between the wings at the front and back. Exterior canopies and side-walls strengthen the interior-exterior connection by framing these views.
The organisation of the house is defined by its external conditions. The more intimate areas are located towards the back, where the nearby woods provide a private setting, while the living areas enjoy panoramic views of the polder landscape to the front. The vertical organisation of the building follows a centrifugal split-level principle with an open staircase at the centre, forming the circulation core between the wings.
A centralized control panel in the living area enables comprehensive control of the automated electrical and mechanical installations, including solar panels, while decentralized devices provide dedicated controls in each room. Remote-control is achieved by independent devices via LAN-connection.
The sustainability concept involves a central air/water heat pump for heating and cooling, mechanical ventilation with waste-heat recovery, and reduction in heat gain by means of fully-glazed front and back of the house, clay-stucco-clad ceiling and tinted glass.
‘Homes of the future’, no longer; W.I.N.D House proves that the ‘future’ has arrived. A prelude to sci-fi homes becoming commonplace!