This $1 million ‘sliding home’ seems like the ideal fix for unpredictable weather—it adjusts to the seasons by opening up its glass structure in the summer and sealing tight for a warm winter. Situated in the English countryside of Suffolk, this special three-bedroom place is wrapped up in a ‘wooden casing’ that moves around. Impressing house hunters since it hit the market on April 5.
Videos show a glass-fronted conservatory tucked away behind this cool shell until the walls and roof slide back to completely show it to the sun. In just six minutes, the house changes. Unveiling an open-air bathroom on the first floor and a courtyard that was hidden before. It finishes its solar-powered withdrawal over a separate annex with a third bedroom and another living area.
The designer of the sliding home, Alex de Rijke, likens the moving shell to ‘wearing a puffer jacket.’
It can be pulled back to let warmth into the home and closed again to keep it in. This unique home snagged the Grand Designs’ ‘Home of the Year’ award in 2009 and was recently listed for sale at £1 million on Rightmove. According to Alex, it gives you the best of both worlds—shelter or openness. “It differs from most designs that are fixed where you have to assume that the climate is the same all year round. This structure is like wearing a puffer jacket.” He said.
The design’s essence lies in its flexibility. You can adjust things like insulation where and when you need it. Setting it apart from fixed designs that assume the climate is the same all year. It’s like wearing a puffer jacket for your house. “The perfect person for this house would be someone who not only understands it but looks after it and isn’t afraid to contact me in order to make changes if they want to.” He said.
There were many roadblocks along the way
The client’s goal was to build a glass house to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. However, an all-glass house could get too hot or too cold. This design tackles that issue. It’s not just about controlling the temperature. It’s also about the joy of transformation. The sliding home is not a static thing; everything changes because the roof serves to connect or disconnect the buildings.
Alex suggests the perfect match for this house would be someone who not only gets it but takes care of it and is willing to reach out for modifications. He emphasizes that the solar and wind-powered home doesn’t need power from the national grid. On top of that, the innovative shell can even be removed to create a ‘free-standing barn.’
The 60-year-old architect mentions that the original owner, who built the home to his design, wants to retire to a smaller place in a nearby town with less land to manage than his current three-and-a-half-acre plot. Alex, a director at dRMM Architects, also served as a judge on Channel 4’s Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker in 2021, where carpenters competed in various challenges.