The Rubber House is one of 12 houses in the simple and modern experimental settlement ‘De Eenvoud’ in Almere. The community aimed to design and build single family homes on a limited budget that still provide everything a resident would need to live comfortably. Designed by CITYFÖRSTER, the Rubber House is a two bedroom home built with reclaimed, secondhand materials covered in a coating of black rubber. All of the elements were prefabricated for precise assembly, and construction only took three months.
Located just outside of Amsterdam, De Eenvoud is a follow-up settlement to the experimental housing settlements “De Fantasie” and “De Realiteit” developed in the 1980s. This time around though, “simplicity” was the theme and all of the houses built here were erected on a budget. Built in a small clearing next to a natural conservation area, the little neighborhood is accessible by a small residential road, but is still close to the city centre and the nearby Ijmeer. CITYFÖRSTER’s vision for their house was based on the idea of simple living – not so much out of the idea of suppressing or limiting, but about performing a voluntary act to experience life outside of status. The focus was then placed on the use of cheap and simple construction, as well as creating new uses for recycled materials.
To that end, the architects came up with a split level house, prefabricated to create a tight and energy efficient home derived from the archetypical form of dutch barns. Built from cross laminated timber, the two bedroom home features a double height space covered by an asymmetrical gabled roof and a single story space covered by a shed roof. Called the Rubber House, the structure was named for its use of recycled rubber conveyor belts screwed onto its exterior to serve as roof and cladding material.
The walls, floors and ceilings were erected as prefabricated, insulated timber frame construction elements. In order to make use of the secondhand windows, the wall cavities were design to remain flexible until windows could be found and fitted in. The interior is warm and bright – a stark contrast to the treated wood and rubber exterior. Operable double paned windows allow for natural ventilation during warmer months. Simple concrete floors are outfitted with radiant floor heating and a stove provides additional heating when necessary. Overall the home took 3 months to build and was completed in 2011.
Images ©Arne Hansen and Nils Nolting