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Home Technology Timber structure defines compact bio-based home in the Netherlands

Timber structure defines compact bio-based home in the Netherlands

by moneylab

Amsterdam studio Woonpioniers has used natural materials and prefabricated elements throughout the Sprout Ruben & Marjolein house, which includes an open, greenhouse-like volume.

Built as a prototype for the studio’s Sprout concept, the Netherlands home was designed to feature as many bio-based materials as possible, including a wooden frame structure and hemp insulation.

Exterior view of Sprout Ruben & Marjolein by Woonpioniers
Woonpioniers has created the Sprout Ruben & Marjolein house

Designed by Woonpioniers, the home is based around a modular form which is intended to be transportable and adaptable, comprising partially prefabricated units that can be lengthened or shortened as well as linked and stacked.

For this prototype, which is located in Olst, Woonpioniers created a small house comprising a two-storey volume topped with a mono-pitched roof.

Wooden house with greehouse-like volume
It is made of natural materials and prefabricated elements

Delivered as a design and build project, the home was designed in collaboration with its residents and features a minimal arrangement of spaces and a pared back, natural material palette.

“It was interesting to go deep about what we thought was truly important to us and therefore how we wanted to live,” Ruben Stellingwerf, who was one of the clients, told Dezeen.

“We live a lot smaller, but it doesn’t feel cramped or confined at all.”

Side elevation of Sprout Ruben & Marjolein by Woonpioniers
The home incorporates a greenhouse-like volume

Most of the home was clad in silver-toned timber battens, excluding a semi-outdoors living area and terrace at one end of the house. Glass infills the timber structure around the top edges of the space to create a clerestory window, while glass sliding doors set in wooden frames sit underneath.

Inside the greenhouse-like volume, the studio added a dining area designed to be open to the outdoor space, as well as a more private office, which is separated from the dining room by wooden panel-lined walls.

Wood-lined dining room
The dining area is designed to be open to the outdoor space

“In winter you ‘harvest’ a lot of heat, which reduces your heating costs,” studio architect Leen Bogerd told Dezeen. “When it gets warmer, you open all the doors and you actually have a fantastic veranda.”

On the other wall, an additional sliding glass door in a timber frame leads to a kitchen decorated with wooden and yellow-painted joinery and a honeycomb-patterned backsplash.

Wooden interior of Sprout Ruben & Marjolein by Woonpioniers
On the upper level is a terrace area

Beyond the kitchen, a timber staircase was located across the corridor from a downstairs bathroom with wooden cupboards.

On the upper level a terrace area was topped with a low, sloping ceiling. Acting as a mezzanine level in the greenhouse-like portion of the home, the terrace offers views into the dining area below, as well as framing views of the sky through a glass roof.

A skylight can be opened up as part of the roof to provide unrestricted views out from the upper floor.

“In addition to the greenhouse, the terrace is our favourite place in the house,” the other client Marjolein Bartels told Dezeen. “With a little sunshine you can already bathe in the sun there very cosily, and you can also go stargazing there in the evening”.

Wood-lined bedroom
The terrace is connected to a bedroom

The terrace is connected to a bedroom, where the ceiling slopes up to create the feeling of a more spacious room.

“We built the house as a prototype, but for actual clients,” the studio explained. “Therefore it also has highly personalised interiors and a personalised main configuration that puts a twist on our flexible concept.”

Kitchen of Sprout Ruben & Marjolein by Woonpioniers
The kitchen decorated has wooden and yellow-painted joinery

“After this and one other ‘prototype’, we’ve developed the detailing of Sprout in such a way that we’re able to build more custom projects,” it continued. “We believe Sprout could be the next step towards tiny housing in Europe.”


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