Architecture, Space

Hemp House

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Bliznak, Serbia




Marko Milovanovic

A sustainably designed and built holiday home that hovers over a hill.

Located in a pristine area of Bliznak, in the Homolje Mountains, Serbia, Hemp House minimizes its impact on the site with a sustainable, eco-conscious design. The client tasked architecture team Bach Mühle Fuchs and Ljubica Arsić with the design of a holiday retreat made with renewable materials. From the beginning, the architects took inspiration from the natural features of the landscape and from the idea of flexibility to create a man-made artifact that establishes a dialogue with nature. They also referenced the work of modernist Yugoslavian architects from the 1960s in the unusual design. Hovering above a hill, the house stands on a rectangular base and thus cantilevers over the sloping terrain. To maximize access to views, the team designed the dwelling with an elongated form that opens to the verdant surroundings.

A modular house that combines hempcrete and wood.

The structure features a load-bearing structure made of solid wood and walls of industrial hemp (hempcrete). A modular design allowed the architects to both minimize construction times and to optimize the flexibility of the living spaces. A series of octagonal modules organizes the programs while a continuous terrace links the retreat’s different areas. Hemp House has two levels, with the main areas located on the upper floor. The partly buried lower level offers access to the interiors. This floor also contains a sauna and a winter garden. All of the rooms follow a rhythmic layout that allows a seamless flow of movement throughout the house. Floor-to-ceiling windows open to views of the meadow and the mountain range in the distance.

The architects focused on making the building as environmentally friendly as possible. The hempcrete walls are not only fully recyclable and non-toxic, but they are also fireproof, insulating, water-resistant, yet moisture absorbent to regulate the interior humidity. Completed with an unfinished surface, the walls will age beautifully with the house. Furthermore, the building’s orientation and openings optimize solar gain. The house also has rainwater, wastewater, and organic waste collection systems. In the basement, there’s a greenhouse where the owner can grow vegetables and herbs. Photographs © Marko Milovanovic, Ljubica Arsić, Daniel Fuchs.

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