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Architecture: Stilt houses


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Architecture: Stilt houses

Many people can still imagine a house without a basement. But a house without a ground floor? It happens that the site does not allow using the usual solution with a solid foundation, then the architects develop houses with almost no first floor. And there are good reasons for this, as our examples show. Not all of them can be implemented in exactly the same way in our conditions, but they can serve as a source of inspiration.


When there is a steep slope on the site

Anyone who plans to build a house on a slope usually sees two alternatives: dig into the ground or snuggle up to the terrain. But there is another way - console. In this case, the pile solution compensates for the slope.


The entrance to this home in Uruguay is on the ground floor, which is then quickly lifted off the ground. Most of the building is on stilts. This allows the house to rise above the slope as if it were floating towards the sea. Thus, architect Martin Gomes demonstrates one of the advantages of stilt houses: they can climb steep slopes without the need to change the existing relief.

Architecture: Stilt houses

The basement of this house by Foster Lomas on the UK's south coast is not nearly as strong. However, at the front, the supports solve the slope problem, the building touches the ground minimally.

Architecture: Stilt houses


Compensating for unfavorable soil conditions

As well as the slope of the site, the condition of the soil also plays an important role in the construction of a house. If the site is hard rock, sand or even water, it is often easier to build on piles than on a regular concrete foundation.


When building the house in Vermdø, Sweden, Trigueiros Architecture tried to interfere with the landscape as little as possible. So they dug steel pillars into the rocky ground that carry the house and allow it to literally float above the rocky landscape.


Habitat Post & Beam has built a Florida home on the sand. Water during high tide or storm can come very close and turn a house into an island. The high piles keep the building dry.


Architect Erik Reinholdt built the building right in the water. A house on the coast of New England (USA) is supported by steel columns anchored underwater in a granite rock. It's almost like living on a boat.


Less occupied area

The house on stilts barely touches the ground. Structures should only be anchored in the ground at specific points. Essentially, the space under the house is left for the plants. In addition, a large area of ​​the earth's surface is preserved, onto which rain or melt water can seep.


Baumraum has completely ditched the concrete foundations for the house in the photo. The supports are anchored in the ground with screw piles.


In the southwest of Australia, in the middle of a forest, there is a house built by Brolga Developments. The zigzag building stands on dozens of steel supports and therefore only slightly touches the ground.


Weather Protection

Creating an open space that is sheltered from the elements can also be a reason to build a shelter. Part of the house, supported by piles, shades the space below, protecting it from sun and rain.


Shaded areas are in demand in hot areas such as Austin, USA (house pictured). Taking up little space, the piles were the ideal structure to support the upper floor and create a shady deck below it.


Querkopf Architekten has placed the top floor of this house in Hamburg on stilts. In fact, the first floor is not missing here, but thanks to the glazing, it seems transparent and non-existent.


ReadChalet-style living room


Living on a tree

Stilt houses are taller than usual. Thus, one can live almost like in a tree house.


The tree house complex in southern Scotland fits perfectly into a remote woodland area. Those who spend the night here should be able to get away from the world, disconnect, be alone.


In the woods near Hanover, you can watch animals or spend cozy evenings playing games. The tree house, designed by Baumleben, contains a bedroom. This secluded place provides peace and quiet for both family and nature; animals and people here almost do not interfere with each other.


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