The Sliding House, by dRMM Architecture, may look like a simple timber barn or shed, and you may not be impressed by it — until you discover that it contains a surprise within it. The design of this home is so unique that, well, there is no real actual architectural term to describe it. In fact, the best way to describe it is to say that the house slides!
You see, what appears to be house’s exterior walls and roof are actually a second skin that slides across a longitudinal axis to reveal a second facade. Sliding back and forth, the mobile exterior offers the house’s residents incredible flexibility with the look and behavior of the building. The lighting and mood of the interior spaces can be altered with the simple movement of the exterior. The building’s architectural trick also mean the heating and cooling loads of the house can be manipulated throughout the year.
The house was designed by London-based practice de Rijke Marsh Morgan for a client who desired a retirement home. The house is made up of three buildings arranged along a longitudinal axis, with a garage set perpendicularly, off to the side. A small patio was located in front.
Glass and red rubber work in unison with the timber of the roof/wall enclosure to create a pleasing and unassuming shape that resembles the barns and sheds of the rural countryside. The entire house sits on a concrete bed, which partially hides the surprising mechanism that allows the home to reveal a second facade.
If achieving a flexible outcome within tight planning constraints is truly the hallmark of a great architect, then dRMM architects can clearly take a bow. We absolutely loved this one.