Solar-Powered Self-Sustaining Home is Stylish, Too

Modeled after a cabinet, this small self-sustaining house features a rooftop solar panel tree that rotates to follow the movement of the sun, and massive shutter doors that open and close with electrical motors. Designer Frank Tjepkema envisions ‘Isolee‘ as a portable, eco-friendly getaway with minimal fuel reliance.

The shutters span the length of the entire building on two sides, opening to allow natural daylight to flood the inside and closing at night for privacy or when a storm approaches. The glass walls offer virtually uninterrupted views of the scenery wherever the home is placed. The entire home is secured to the ground on its four ‘legs.’

A wood-burning stove is the primary source of heat, while a heating system powered through the collected solar energy moves that heat throughout the house. All of the LED lighting in the home runs on rechargeable batteries. The only external utility required is water.

“I was curious to see what would happen if you gave a house the same sort of detailed design that’s found in all sorts of products we use every day,” says Tjepkema. “The cars we drive, the computers and tablets we use, the smartphones – all sophisticated, aesthetically sound objects. And then we go home, where we’re surrounded by a stack of bricks.”