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High-Tech House Looks Like it Was Designed by Dr. Suess

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Dutch design studio Tjep has unveiled Isolée, an "ecologically-friendly retreat from the modern world," per the project description, with shuttered and foldable facades and a solar-power complex sprouting from the top. Though the renderings depict the building in a remote locale, the three-story structure has not quite the sanctuary qualities of other, more fairytale-like solitary escapes. "Most retreat concepts are about 'back to basic,'" designer Frank Tjepkema told Dezeen, "but this concept really tries to embrace technology and integrated design to take full advantage of self-sufficiency in a remote area." The tennis-ball/truffula tree-like structure emerging from the roof twists according to where the sun is, providing the house with electricity, while a wood-burning stove heats the structure through a radiator-like system embedded in the walls. The entire house can shutter open on ginormous computer-controlled hinges. "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," Tjepkema says. For now it's only a concept, but the firm is looking for partners to develop a prototype. More below.

The project also brags some primo architecture babble: "The Isolée creates permanence, but with an engineered beauty that is aesthetically inspired by nature and harmonizes mankind's relationship with the world."

· Isolée by Tjep [Dezeen]