Although the so-called
Dutch Mountain is this architect firm's first project, it is anything but elementary! This award-winning and widely published home was born from the unusual idea of attempting to dig a hole and bury a house structure in an artificial mountain in the midst of a forest clearing. The architects also focused heavily on incorporating eco-friendly and sustainable practices wherever possible – in the landscape, the building structure, the home's energy use, it's materials, and the overall user experience. The result is an innovative, one-of-a-kind home offering a sensory and visual experience unlike any other!
Dug into the forest floor and built to resemble a small mountain, this forest home immediately commands attention with it's unique shape. Long, sloping lines run parallel to the slope of the Earth, allowing the structure to rest harmoniously among the shape of its natural surroundings. The home also embraces nature with it's large array of glazed windows that comprise the Southern-most walls of the home – the architects have designed the structure to use a passive heating system, and this Southern facade receives plenty of energy in the form of sunlight through these impressive transparent walls.
Likewise, in an effort to maximize the passive heat flow in the house, the North side has been closed off – in fact, from this angle it's difficult to tell that a large modern structure lurks beneath the tree-covered mound.
A view of the front of the home offers a slightly more traditional style, with a sloping roof and centrally located front door. A friendly patio greets visitors, and even in the winter this exterior takes on an upbeat, friendly appearance due to the warm orange colours of the materials used in the home's construction.
One notable aspect of this home's front porch is the way it has been carefully designed to conform to all of the angles and levels offered by the hilly ground – notice how the deck extending in front of the home appears to lie on the ground like a heavy blanket.
In keeping with the home's sloping dome-shaped design, the architects have included this playful feature: a bulging fish-eye window that turns a simple glance outdoors into a bit of an adventure as the viewer is encouraged to attain a rare 180-degree view of their woodland surroundings.
You have to get close to appreciate the size of the fish-eye window – pictured here, it's easy to see how this unique feature encourages a sense of adventure for these playful kids!
The white, wintery feel of the outdoors has been artfully instilled in the interior atmosphere of this home, with the majority of the surfaces taking on bluish-grey and white tones. Large windows cast a bright light into the room, creating an environment that's somewhere between crystalline and cozy. All around, the decor of this spacious dining room and living room commands attention with high-contrast chocolate hues, raw textures, and unexpected shapes, making for an artistic space full of visual intrigue.
Who could ascend these stairs without a smile crossing their lips? These unique steps are constructed out of skateboards, painted white and re-purposed into the one-of-a-kind staircase that you see leading to the split-level kitchen above.
As if the design of this home weren't surprising enough, the bedroom of this home includes this highly unusual shelf, constructed from an old car frame. True to their vision, these architects have found ways to incorporate resource-friendly materials (such as this car and the skateboard stairs) into every room. This shelf offers so much more than convenient storage – it offers an escape from convention, providing a fresh sense of perspective.
Inspired by the fresh perspective in this home? Have a look at this home/art studio that's designed to spark creativity!
Perhaps one of the most subdued spaces of the home, this simple bedroom has been clad in a soft grey, with a backlit headboard bringing a quiet burst of light to the central space above the sleeping area. Gone are the familiar nightstands, patchwork quilts, padded headboards, and paintings – in this bedroom, a single coat of armor stands guard in the corner of the room, while the bedside tables appear to have taken on their own bannisters. Not a space for someone who prefers a good old-fashioned lampshade, this unique bedroom offers an artistic hint of the surreal.