The trunk of a large lime tree, the top of a yew and a few other coniferous trees appear in the early morning to form the soft forest silhouette of the inhabited landscape. We see the birds beginning their work of recovering branches to make their nests, while squirrels are jumping between trees. A few bees swirl over flowers that are beginning to bloom on the tallest flowering subjects. The hedgehog is still hidden in its shelter for the winter. Biodiversity is important. We are at the dawn of spring, at the beginning of March.
As nights turn to mornings, the changes of this natural event show themselves through the windows, a display seen from bed. The framing is total, the horizon appearing in the distance, the landscape enters the room. Both landscape and interiors communicate, using the existing natural environment as a part of the architectural project. Building without destroying, designing using the existing nature, ensuring cohabitation of the living.
The very large bay windows built from floor to ceiling, wall to wall, allow for unlimited uses of the room. The living room communicates with the garden through a wooden terrace which underlines the landscaped horizon.
As the sun sneaks through the bare branches of the deciduous trees at the end of the winter season, it deeply illuminates the living room and naturally warms the space without the use any heating source.
Only a wood stove has been installed in case of very low temperature over long periods, for energy self-sufficiency.
In summer, the leaves of the trees passively protect the bay windows from the sun’s rays.
Organized through a plan that does not cause any corners or wasted space, the compact house uses bio-sourced materials.
The wooden frame floors and walls are infused with cellulose wadding with additional wood wool. Entirely made of wood for its ecological properties and quick installation for a site without noise, the house’s construction principle was also unanimous in relation to its location. Due to its lightness, the structural wooden frame was placed on steel piles into the natural ground. And by only using dry construction techniques, all the trees and their roots have been preserved without any earthwork excavation needed.
A sunken rainwater recovery tank has been placed to collect water for the washing machine, toilets and ensures the watering of the garden. Built on a low-tech and environmentally friendly design, the house consumes only the bare essentials of drinking water and electricity.
A simple staircase of a few steps ensures the transition between the raised level built and the natural ground. The gravelled exterior path leads to the gate of the wooden fence, itself overlooking the street. It is here that the dense urban context begins to take shape, with major roads leading to the center of Strasbourg, just a 10 minute bike ride away.
The house is located on a land that was a wooden and planted area like many are in peri-urban areas, close to the centers of our cities. Taking into account what was already there, the project was designed to inhabit the pleasant landscape qualities of an existing place, without distorting this «green lung». A walking path borders the site, benefiting people walking across the area.