tjep. crafts a solar powered self sustaining home
tjep. crafts a solar powered self sustaining home tjep. crafts a solar powered self sustaining home
feb 28, 2013

tjep. crafts a solar powered self sustaining home

tjep. crafts a solar powered self sustaining home


an ecologically friendly getaway – an escape from the reality of our busy days – ‘isolée’ is a small dwelling which combines smart technology with attention to detail, offering one a quaint retreat which has little impact on the environment. conceived by frank tjepkema of tjep., the intelligent house ensures minimal fuel reliance. from its exterior, a solar tree of circular photovoltaic panels extends from the rooftop, each following the movement of the sun throughout the course of the day to maximize absorption. the massive shutters which span the length of the building,  are fastened to the main body of the structure via hinges equipped with electrical motors. the solar energy generated from the cabin  is used to operate this computer controlled network, angling the louvered panels to the inhabitants liking, automatically closing when a storm approaches.

first floor entry where one is immediately invited into the living room


a wood burning stove is built into a cavity in the side of the house, and can be accessed from both the exterior and interior – with wood storage located on the outside, easily reached from the living room. a heating system – also electrically powered  through the collected solar energy – is integrated into the structure, warming the interior using the heat which is emitted  from the stove. all of the LED lighting within runs on rechargeable batteries, with water being the only external supply required by the house, drawn from a well.

the kitchen is built around the stairwell which diagonally intersects the interior


composed of three levels, a stairwell cuts diagonally across the height of the home, connecting each floor. at the first floor entry,  one is welcomed by the living room; the second floor houses the kitchen and dining area; the third and last floor functioning as a bedroom, with a bathroom and walkout terrace. employing a minimal product design ethos, the entire structure is secured to the ground at only four points, much like a piece of furniture. ‘I was curious to see what would happen if you gave a house the same sort of detailed design that’s found in all sorts of products we use every day. the cars we drive, the computers and tablets we use, the smartphones – all sophisticated, aesthetically sound objects. and then we go home, where we’re surrounded by a stack of bricks.’ – frank tjepkema

the third floor bedroom has a hidden bathroom and walkout terrace

large expansive shutters are electrically powered to angle at the inhabitant’s desired position

wood storage is located on the exterior, with direct access to the supply from the first floor living room

worm’s-eye perspective

exploded view of the dwelling

concept sketches

  • realy nice but where is the toilet?? 🙂

    Yf Soreyn says:
  • House as cabinet for living. The idea of thinking about a house as a consumer product is interesting. Elegant execution here, and in the environment it looks no more alien than a navigational structure. (The bathroom is on the bedroom floor.)

    Mort D'Urban says:
  • Why so tiny……..???

    diego says:
  • Cute.
    Little impact on the environment and little impact on reality.

    Ron Smith says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
493,013 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample