Keeping a Stockholm residence balmy enough for lush greenery and outdoor lounging year-round is generally impossible – unless you sheath the entire house and a slice of the yard in a gigantic greenhouse. That’s exactly what homeowners Charles Sacilotto and Marie Grammar did with their timber-clad home, creating a natural warming effect powerful enough to get the interior to reach 68 degrees Fahrenheit when it’s less than 29 degrees outside.
The couple purchased the home as-is and built the glass envelope around it. Made of 4-millimeter security glass, it’s strong enough to stand up to the elements, and won’t become dangerous if it shatters. This outer layer also enables the family to hang out on their rooftop terrace in any weather, even when it’s raining, while gazing up at the sky. That’s something that most of us in even the most temperate climates can’t do.
The greenhouse produces a Mediterranean-like climate within its walls and reduces energy bills by as much as 50 percent. Of course, anyone living in an area that gets warm summer temperatures is going to immediately imagine this thing turning into a solar cooker for many months each year, and to counteract that, you’d ideally add a complex system of automatic ventilation and solar shades. But once you’re doing all that, it kind of defeats the purpose, so let’s just say this idea is really only for unusually cold climates.
This extra-large, home-enclosing greenhouse is not completely self-sufficient, requiring a little bit of heater supplementation during the most frigid months of the year. But it’s an interesting (and pretty cool-looking) way to live a nature-connected indoor-outdoor life, even when you live close to the Arctic Circle. And it’s not hard to imagine ideas like this becoming necessary if climate change makes much of the warmest parts of the earth completely uninhabitable in the not-so-distant future.