defrancesco+silva's 'breathing house' features a dynamic glass façade of sliding terraces

defrancesco+silva's 'breathing house' features a dynamic glass façade of sliding terraces


imagined by italian architecture lab defrancesco+silva as a dynamic living system, ‘the breathing house’ is a three storey family home whose glass façade is segmented into a series of sliding square terraces. the concept is described by the studio as being similar to a ‘treasure flower’, a south african plant that blooms in the morning and closes its petals at night.

at night, the façade slides like a shield into place



the system works by means of a large metal grid that serves as an external skeleton for the structure. when closed, the residence resembles a typical ‘house’ shape. sliding out a terrace, however, extends the internal room into a dynamic balcony area. the façade is slowly broken apart into a pixellated arrangement of moving terraces that provide stunning 360 degree views of the surrounding landscape. the project was recently awarded the director’s choice award in the ‘last house on mulholand’ competition, which asks entrants to imagine the innovative use of technology and environmental strategies on properties located beneath the iconic hollywood sign in LA.

when all the terraces are closed, the dwelling takes on a typical house-shape form



defranceso+silva has designed the home to float inside its reticular earthquake resistant structure, a feature which allows the frame to conduct cabling and collect rainwater. this water is then guided to a tank at the bottom of the house and filtered to a pure, drinkable standard. intended as an eco sustainable residence, the windows are made of solar glass cells and provide all the energy needs of the house. the ‘breathing house’ is composed of three main floor areas: the studio/working area is located on the ground floor, the living, dining and cinema area on the first floor and the bedrooms and bathrooms are located on the third floor.

sliding terraces structure

rainwater purification and filtration

floor layout




structural concept

‘treasure flower’ point of reference



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: peter corboy | designboom

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