The Compact, Solar-Powered Ex of In House Sits Lightly Upon the Land
Whereas many suburban homes tend to sprawl over the landscape, Steven Holl's Ex of In House sits lightly upon its site. Set on a rock outcropping surrounded by 28 acres of forest in rural Rhinebeck, New York, the 918-square-foot building uses compression and inner voids to fit voluminous spaces within a small footprint.
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"The shift in section of the house alters internal space with vertical dynamic spatial overlap. Situated around one main volume, open to the second level, with the kitchen placed in the center, alternative use patterns are created. There are zero bedrooms, yet the house can sleep five," says Steven Holl. The architect has been researching and developing this project since 2014.
The self-sustaining, eco-friendly home is heated geothermally, eliminating the need to use fossil fuel for heating. Thin-film SoloPower photovoltaic cells are connected to a Sonnen energy storage system, so the house can generate its own energy instead of relying on grid power.
All lighting fixtures in the house are 3D-printed in PLA cornstarch-based bioplastic, and all the glass and wood furniture and finishings were locally sourced.
The home is made almost entirely from raw materials without the use of any sheetrock. Builders handcrafted the solid mahogany window and door frames, mahogany staircase, and birch plywood walls.
The interiors are finished with natural natural oiled wood and plywood to give the living spaces an arte povera materiality, and a wabi-sabi economy.
"The Ex of In House explores a language of space, aimed at inner spatial energy strongly bound to the ecology of the place—questioning current clichés of architectural language and commercial practice," says Holl.