De Hobbitstee was founded in 1969 as a hippie commune and has gone through many changes over the years. Although life here is very different than it was more than 50 years ago, the collective still has ideals and dreams. A recent addition to the commune has attempted to maintain their sustainable and self sufficient lifestyle.
In the planning and implementation of the project, the communards were supported by the design studio “Superuse on Site”, which is known for its radical, sustainable architectural concepts. The task was to design a flexible house for two families that could be converted to accommodate more families if necessary. The house whould use as little energy as possible for heating and ventilation. During construction and after use, the environment should be affected as little as possible. With a budget of (euros) 250,000, the building was to be constructed preferably from bio-based and reused components.
On the basis of an initial design sketch, a search was made for used building materials that would be suitable for reuse. These included, for example, beams that were used for the timber skeleton, clay as thermal storage mass for the floor and walls, windows from a row of terraced houses and an old hot dip galvanized greenhouse that came from a nursery in Venlo. The hot dip galvanized steel elements were in good condition. Even the glass used on the south side the greenhouse was fitted with reused glass from a local shopping centre.
The house was built with the help of friends and volunteers. The result is a building with a low ecological footprint. The reused, hot dip galvanized greenhouse has contributed to this.
Photo © Denis Guzzo