Goethe once wrote: “architecture is frozen music”. But for Julius Taminiau this didn’t feel right. “Architecture is not frozen or static, it’s dynamic, you enter a building, move through a building, the sun(light) and shadows change constantly, sometimes you see rain falling, the people (and vegetation) “using” the building are all moving and even the building could be moved by simply opening a window or a door.”
“What then is the relation between music and architecture? Music in its broadest definition is organised sound. Architecture is in that same broad sense organised light. Music has – like architecture – proportion, composition, and structure. Architecture needs – like music – rhythm, melody, and soul. Architecture is music experienced through another sense.” This was the starting point for Rhythm House, to approach architecture like music, but instead of using sound, using light; Rhythm House as an instrument played by the sun.
During the rhythm of the day and the 4 seasons the views, weather, light, and shadows change constantly. It makes you more aware of, appreciative, and in line with the rhythms of nature. The (rhythmic) open timber cladding, the careful (melodic) placement of large and small windows – sometimes (partially) concealed behind the open cladding -, the double-height spaces, the rhythmic staircase, the open rhythmic mezzanine floors, and balustrades provide the “musical scores” for the house.
The house is designed to deal with summers that are getting warmer every year. To prevent the need for air conditioning multiple windows could be opened. Some doors and windows are concealed behind the cladding. These doors and windows can be opened and used for (cross) ventilation in summer (also in the evenings) whilst providing shading and preventing people and animals from freely getting inside.
The idea behind the floorplan is to make it super flexible in order to adapt to changing (family) needs. In some sort of sense, it’s inspired by a warehouse, divided by a central staircase. On the ground floor are 2 double-height spaces next to both sides of the central staircase/circulation area. The ceiling height is 5 meters. For the sake of flexibility steel angle beams (including fixing points at every 10 cm) have been placed at a height of 2.5 meters, on which a (mezzanine) floor can easily and quickly be made, extended, or removed. In this way, it is possible to adapt to the family needs over many years (possibly generations) and the rhythm of the family. On the second floor 3 bedrooms are situated, all having double-height spaces and (mezzanine) floors are placed on steel angle beams as well. There is a small roof terrace which connects the mezzanine floors of the bedrooms.
The house is built entirely of wood, except for the concrete foundation. The heat pump, together with the 30 carefully integrated solar panels, ventilation with heat recovery, shower drains with heat recovery, airtightness, and extra-thick insulation ensure very low energy consumption. The house is fully electric.