IBA Soft House

Structural design of the building and moveable facade
Patrizia, Projekt 450 GmbH, Augsburg - D
Kennedy & Violich Architecture / 360 Grad+
Kennedy & Violich Architecture / Julian Lienhardt

The Soft House combines a simple solid wood construction made of indigenous wood with an innovative and intelligent concept for solar energy generation. Knippers Helbig has developed the versatile, moveable photovoltaic system and designed the solid-wood, load-bearing construction. It is a terraced house with four units built to passive house standard. The load-bearing construction consists of standard boards made of indigenous wood which are connected using wooden dowels to board stack elements. The solid wood construction represents a CO2 efficient alternative to the masonry traditionally used in house building. On the outside, the Soft house is clad with an adaptable structure which is covered with flexible photovoltaic cells. The ‘Twister‘, the textile strips in front of the facade, follow the course of the sun by rotating around their own axes. In addition the light and shade can be individually controlled by the occupants. On the roof there are deformable boards made of glass-fibre reinforced plastic which adapt by elastic bending to the annual cycle of the sun. Inside moveable, translucent curtains covered in LEDs are provided, making it possible to individually control the temperature and light. They are supplied via the membrane facade with low voltage power.