I Want a Sliding House, Too!

Jay Johnson -- I love our home in the country. We live in a renovated 1900s farmhouse that faithfully follows the rural Pennsylvania vernacular, all squared off with a wide-open front porch. It was once built for two or three families who worked on the nearby Delaware Canal and probably had a lean-to attached kitchen area shared by the families. The house was made from boards salvaged from decomissioned canal barges (hence its being called a "barge house").

I love our house, and most people would love to live here, but when I saw the following video from the folks at Wallpaper*, the stylish all-things-design magazine, I developed a serious case of house envy. It's amazing that modern architecture can take a homeowner's request to "be radical" and turn the concept of a house upside down. In this case, this modern house follows the vernacular for their rural region, much like ours, but with a twist -- the roof slides silently on motorized runners so that the house can either reveal its inner glass shell (almost like living in a greenhouse) or hunker down under its protective roof-and-wall casing during colder and darker weather. Totally cool.

It's good to see the envelope being pushed on what a home is, how it functions, and what technology can bring to the design party. Let's hope that architects, interior designers, and homeowners can continue innovating the concepts behind what we call "home." And in the meantime, I kinda, sorta wanna sliding house, too . . . .


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