Is That Your House Expanding or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

As if architecture students needed another reason to desperately send their resumes and cv’s to The Netherlands. The Guardian features this cottage by architects Maartje Lammers and Boris Zeisser, principals of the Rotterdam-based 24H Architecture. The couple bought a small fisherman’s cottage with hopes of renovating and expanding it, but were faced with a problem: Local bylaws prevented them from extending the house by more than 30 square meters. Their solution? A retractable steel frame mounted on roller-bearings, allowing a larger living space to be projected over a nearby stream. No laws are broken because the addition has no foundation.

Very Eric Mendlesohn-meets Bruce Goff – meets Franks Lloyd Wright. A not unpleasant combination. I’m also reminded of the slighly more elegant, but perhaps less useful “Gluckhupf,” by Austrian architect Hans Peter Worndl, whom I was lucky enough to study with for a semester.

The Guardian waxes poetic:

“It almost seems to be alive: if you stop and listen hard, you can almost hear it breathing. But, no, it’s only the winter wind whispering through the silver birches.”


The architects call their new cottage Dragspelhuset, or “accordion house,” and hope to someday use similar techniques for commercial buildings or housing developments.

And as an aside, I really think Americans need to start naming more of their projects.