Self-repairing house has a fungi exterior sealant

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Architect Joris Verhoeven’s family home, Four Seasons House, is the perfect place to fully experience Netherlands’ seasons. It’s also a model of sustainable design. The house features self-healing siding sealant, negative carbon footprint and more.

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A black square building sits in a green field covered by trees

Dutch seasons are known for their variation. On occasion, there are fresh springs, warm summers, rainy fall seasons and even cold winters. Used to be a Tilburg wool industry, Four Seasons House is a modern-style home located in an old sheep grazing heather field. Verhoeven wanted to enjoy the natural environment, so he created a home that is part of nature. This includes windows that look out on changing landscapes like shifting paintings.

Related: This prefab, CLT home nestles into the island dunes

A black rectangle building sits in a grazing pasture filled with sheep

Furthermore, the home has a roughly textured black siding that looks like dark tree trunks surrounding it. Along with a wild garden with natural plants, the home dissolves into its environment.

“This seems very logical,” Verhoeven said, “but it’s a peculiar choice in a country where everyone puts a fence around their garden.”

An interior kitchen that faces a window out that looks out to the open green Netherland fields

The small footprint of the Four Seasons House was created sustainably with wood framing cassettes filled with flax insulation. This means it’s a prefabricated structure designed for this home by the architect. The interior side of the cassettes is made of decorative birch plywood.

“[In] this pure way of building, the structural work is also finishing, also benefited the construction price and the construction period, ”Verhoeven said.

A living room area has a sofa that faces a cupboard and floor-to-ceiling windows cover two of the walls seen

Surprisingly, the house was raised in just three days after the cement foundation was poured. The interior paneled in wood emphasizes the rural feeling of this modern home.

An open staircase was made of birch wood, matching the structure. Other interior details, including the interior doors and kitchen and stair railing, are finished in matte black, which matches the window trimming. All of this ties the indoor and outdoor details together.

A large window with a chair in front of it

What’s special is that fungal coating protects the exterior siding with a self-repairing layer of glaze.

“When the fungus is fading, it means it’s hungry,” Verhoeven said. “Then you’ll have to feed it with linseed oil for new wood protection and to become matte black again.”

Details of the interior of the Four Seasons House has panels of walls

Lastly, the architect intentionally designed his family home to use less building materials, requiring less transport and no water. The Four Seasons House actually has a negative carbon footprint. As a result, it sets an inspiring precedent for other builders. The home also creates its own solar and thermal power on the roof to be self-sufficient.

+ Joris Verhoeven Architecture

Images via William van der Voort and John van Groenedaal



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