Sliding House

dRMM, Suffolk, 2009


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in


Alex de Rijke (website)     Download Original

  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • North west elevation (sliding house over annex)    
  • North west elevation (sliding house over courtyard)    
  • North west elevation (sliding house over glass living room)    
  • North west elevation    
  • Long section    
  • Short section    
  • Axonometric    
  • Section detail    
  • Mechanism detail    

Unique twist on a conventional vernacular farm building consisting of three separated forms and one sliding structure enveloping the forms as it traverses the site

A linear building of apparent simplicity is sliced into three programmes; house, garage and annex.

The garage is pulled off axis to create a courtyard between the three forms. The composition is further defined by material and colour; red rubber membrane and glass, red and black stained larch.

The separated forms are transformed by a 20 ton mobile roof/wall enclosure which traverses the site, creating combinations of enclosure, open-air living and framing of views according to position. This is an autonomous structure constructed of steel and timber and clad in unstained larch.

The structure spans recessed railway tracks in the ground with the movement created by hidden electric motors on wheels integrated into the wall thickness. The tracks can be extended in the future should the client wish to build a swimming pool, which may need occasional shelter.


  • Begun: Jan 2006
  • Completed: Jan 2009
  • Floor area: 200m2
  • Sectors: House, Residential
  • Procurement: Self build
  • Address: Suffolk, United Kingdom

Professional Team


AJBL Sponsor

SAS International

SAS International is a British manufacturer of interior products

Find out more