The moving part of this remarkable sliding building by DRMM is a whopping 50 tons and nearly 100 feet long. Gliding on rails, this enclosing exterior element with its own walls, roof and opening can be adjusted to selectively reveal and conceal spaces within the home. The changes also bring natural lighting shifts, view opportunities and alters the feel of each interior space – a static structure but at the same time a semi-portable home experience.
While this may look and seem modern up close, it reflects the vernacular timber architecture of the region and is relatively simple in form when seen from a distance – until the extra element slides back to reveal a sparkling greenhouse of light at night. The result: something that fits its context but also pushes the envelope on architectural design and technology.
“The site offered a combination of rolling England and agricultural Holland, but it was restrained by stringent local planning parameters for rural development. A genuine appreciation of vernacular farm buildings shared by us and the client (an enterprising actuary and motorcyclist) led to a unique take on the local timber framed and clad ‘shed’ idiom
“The separate parts are transformed by a 20-tonne mobile roof/wall enclosure which traverses the site on railway tracks. Depending on its position, it gives opportunities for enclosure, open-air living and framed views. Movement is powered by hidden electric motors on wheels integrated into the wall thickness. The composition is further defined by material and color: glass, red rubber membrane, and red and black stained larch.”
“The sliding roof structure is a steel frame with timber infill. It is also clad in natural larch on the outside with the same red weatherproof membrane underneath. As well as providing shade in the summer, the roof acts as an insulating layer in winter, giving the possibility of solar gain during the day but heat retention at night.”