To keep up with average winter temperatures of 0°C (32°F) or below, Stockholm family employed a unique method of keeping the inside of their home warm, while lowering their heating bills and, at the same time, giving their home more exposure to the nature around it. They built a greenhouse around their house, a design better known as Naturhus, or Nature House.
Inspired by the creative genius of the late architect Bengt Warne, who designed the first Naturhus in the 1970’s, Charles Sacilotto took an old summer cottage in the Stockholm archipelago in Sweden and encased it within four millimeter glass.
“Living in a greenhouse gives architecture a fourth dimension, where time is represented by movements of naturally recycled endless flows of growth, sun, rain, wind and soil in plants, energy, air, water and earth. I call this NATURE-HOUSING.” ~ Bengt Warne
Sacilotto and his wife Marie Granmar now live in a home that they claim has upstairs temperatures of 15 to 20°C (59°F to 68°F), even when outside temperatures reach -2°C (28.4°F). There is plenty of room around the actual house for a wrap around garden since the footprint of the greenhouse is nearly double that of the house. The Mediterranean-like climate that results from the Nature House design allows the couple to grow vegetables not commonly grown in Sweden, including figs and tomatoes.
In addition to plenty of produce-growing space, the family now enjoys a large glass-covered terrace that has replaced the roof. Sacilotto and Granmar removed the roof because it was no longer needed. They now enjoy the space for sunbathing, reading and playing with their son.
Another innovative technique employed at the Stockholm Naturhus is a sewage system that uses a urine-separating toilet, centrifuges, cisterns, grow beds, and garden ponds to filter toilet water and compost the remains.
Although the family must still use indoor heaters to warm the home during the most frigid days of winter, choosing this type of architecture design has given the family an opportunity to enjoy home life while experiencing a closer connection to the natural environment around them.
“It’s not just to use the nature, the sun and the water, but… it’s all a philosophy of life, to live in another world, in fact.” ~ Charles Sacilotto
Greenhouse home design has the potential to reduce home energy bills as much as 50 percent. Below are a few other images of other Nature House builds that may inspire you to change your perception of what a home might look like.
Waking Times originally created and published this article (Ingenious Nature House Redefines the Meaning of Living Connected to Nature). It is re-posted here with permission.