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The Rubber House

A prefab home known as the rubber house has been constructed from second-hand materials in The Netherlands. As one of only 12 houses, the innovative dwelling sits within an eco-friendly settlement in Almere known as De Eenvoud. The experimental community enables families on a limited budget to purchase affordable housing.

The community provides modern homes containing everything a resident might need to live comfortably. Designed by CITYFÖRSTER, the rubber house offers a two-bedroom home that has been built with reclaimed materials.

 

Project's inspiration

Coated in durable black rubber for protection against the elements, all of the materials for the project were prefabricated for precise and easy assembly - hence the total construction of the house took just three months!

The community is located near Amsterdam and follows earlier experimental housing developments using eco-friendly products. The complex's predecessors, De Realiteit and De Fantasie, had been developed in the 1980s.

Now, armed with greater knowledge and an abundance of expertise, this latest development is aimed at promoting simplicity, erecting houses on a small budget in a clearing next to a picturesque conservation area. The compact neighbourhood can be accessed via a small residential road and is close to the city centre and the nearby Ijmeer lake.

 

Simple living

Architects at CITYFÖRSTER had a vision for their rubber house, based on the idea of living simply. Aimed at proving that simple living is not limiting, and it doesn't suppress you from having a full and satisfying existence, the focus was placed on using cheap and simple construction materials and methods.

In particular, the development has created new uses for recycled materials, especially the rubber. The architects designed a split-level prefabricated house in the style of a traditional Dutch barn. Built from cross-laminated timber, it is also energy-efficient.

Featuring a gabled roof and a single-storey space with its own shed-style roof, the rubber that covers the house is made from old rubber conveyor belts that have been re-used as cladding and roof material. The floors, walls and ceilings were prefabricated and made from insulated timber frame.

 

Windows and ventilation

Even the windows are second-hand. In order to make this work, when the house was built, the spaces for the windows were designed to be flexible until the appropriate windows were sourced and fitted.

The house's interior is bright and warm - just because it is made from recycled materials does not mean it will be cold! The designers advise not to let the classic dark exterior fool you, as the interior is filled with light.

The double-paned windows enable natural ventilation in warm weather. Concrete floors feature floor heating, while there is also a stove for extra warmth when needed. The interior walls are made of warm wood, giving a rustic feel to the property, which is open-plan and spacious inside.

There's a pivoting fireplace feature that is a focal point for the property. The bedrooms are upstairs and there is also storage or office space and of course the bathroom. An outdoor entertaining area is perfect for summer - the living room moves seamlessly into the garden area via large sliding glass doors, leading on to a spacious terrace.

 

Award-winner

The rubber house won an award in the Eenvoud/Simplicity competition. Thanks to the reclaimed building materials and the shorter time-span for construction, the costs of building the rubber house were lower than traditional building costs.

Could this be the future for homes? Only time will tell, as the rubber house is one of only a small number of experimental housing projects in Holland, so it remains to be seen whether the attitudes of mainstream builders can be changed to incorporate more recycled materials.

Rubber is a versatile and durable material that has many uses. Check out Coruba's quality range of rubber products for various applications. Give us a call on 01702 560194 for further information on our wide selection of products.



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