Earth House Estate Lättenstrasse in Dietikon, Switzerland by Vetsch Architektur
Cozy, comfortable, intimate and unique. These are the keywords for this amazing project which presents a very different and unique type of architecture.
There are nine separate residences that are gathered around an artificial lake. This amazing idea helps create a little community that enjoys the same waterfront. Although it looks very intriguing, I would like to hear what the owners have to say because even though they are somehow isolated from the noise of the city and benefit from very intimate residences, the distance between each other is rather small and problems or privacy issues may appear among each other. There are however some plants and trees that help limit view and make the scenery look more natural. But, apart from this small drawback, this project is brilliant. At first glance it reminds us of Frodo’s house in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Who knows how many people saw the movie and desired such a home; well, they can have it now.
The concept, apart from its wonderful appearance and appeal has a strong philosophy behind. Building under the ground means more than just looks. The architects chose to use the ground as an insulating blanket that efficiently protects it from rain, low temperatures, wind and natural abrasion; however, this doesn’t mean that a building has to be placed under it from the beginning; it can be placed onto naturally grown terrain and be covered in soil afterwards. Our society seeks Eco-friendly and sustainable solutions and tries to develop them to accommodate more and more types of structures and architectural programs. For a residence, this idea is more than appropriate because it accomplishes the things you want most from your house: low-cost, good looks, Eco-friendliness and that sense that of intimacy, comfort and reliability, security.
Here are some more details from the architects:
“This settlement finds itself in contrast to the surrounding of traditional single houses. To the south of the lot, there is free agricultural land. The earth- covered houses are grouped centered around a small artificial lake with the entrance well hidden and integrated at the side of the settlement. That not just serves the completion of the form, but also guarantees the secondary access of the particular houses through the subterranean parking lot. The residential settlement consists of nine houses, three 3 bedroom, a 4 bedroom, a 5 bedroom, three 6 bedroom and a 7 bedroom house. The daytime areas are situated towards the south, the nighttime area towards the north.
In the middle, you find the bathrooms and the connecting stairs to the basement. All the bathrooms get natural light through rooftop windows. Situated on both lateral sides of the houses are outdoor living spaces divided through the remainings of the rising of the building. The basement, as well as the parking lot is built with conventional techniques, not so the ground floor, which is constructed with the typical earthhome construction principle of sprayed concrete. The isolation consists of recycled glass, an absolute environment friendly product. The water protection is added directly on the sprayed concrete. On top of the isolation is a protective layer with natural earth, which can be used to grow grass or plants on the rooftop.”
I love it. This project I believe would smash any modern styled, luxurious, shiny house because it is something beyond normal, sometimes boring architecture and defines not a new but a renewed style, converted to accommodate a modern family but offering them a fairytale place with peace and silence where kids can grow and enjoy nature, not being suffocated by concrete, glass and steel. Surely it is everyone’s choice how to spend their free time but living in this house I believe would bring anyone closer to nature and away from all the technology and mass media that frankly, most of the times does not enhance our living quality. This project is then a materialized life philosophy and a truly viable solution to the problem of economy and sustainability and the most appealing residential project I’ve ever seen. This is where I’d live.
Photo courtesy to VΕΤSCΗ ΑRCΗΙΤΕΚΤUR
Architects: Peter Vetsch
Location: Dietikon, Switzerland
Size of lot : 4000 m2 total
Living space : 60 m2 bis 200 m2 per house
Cubature: 1500 m3 bis 2200 m3 per house