The Rebel House

Almere, Netherlands
Cas van der Zanden
Special production


Dwelling house on four legs with animalistic outer shell


The Tiny House at the Floriade in Almere immediately catches the eye of visitors: from afar, it looks like an Imperial runner from the Starwars saga. Directly in front of it, it looks like an animal evolution from Jurassic Park. This is mainly due to the striking facade in shimmering brown and copper tones. It is reminiscent of the scale skin of a giant fossil and consists of triangular ceramic tiles from AGROB BUCHTAL. The artist Christine Jetten has refined them with a special glaze.

The Rebel House by architect Cas van der Zanden is a residential house that breaks conventions: sustainable in material and special in format. Cas usually works with prefabricated CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) panels for facades. But this time it didn't work out with cross laminated timber. Fortunately, he met Christine Jetten. The ceramic artist and the architect have fond memories of their collaboration.

Custom-made ceramicswith a special glaze
It was agreed that ceramics with a fine dust glaze would be a perfect match for the sustainable concept as well as the look of The Rebel House. For this, the fine dust is captured from the city air and recycled. At first, they wanted to make the prototypes themselves and then look for a producer. No time. Fortunately, Christine remembered projects she had done with architectural ceramics from AGROB BUCHTAL.

"I design customized ceramic glazes for building facades and interiors that are not commercially available. Therefore, I know about the material quality and was immediately enthusiastic about the idea of using unglazed tiles from AGROB BUCHTAL for the design. The team made it possible within a very short time, it worked out great."

House and facade breathe
Cross-glued pine wood is the basis for the facade, floors, and roof. Additional wood fiber boards with 8 mm joints serve as insulation. A 4 mm thick plaster layer of hydraulic lime is applied to the boards. This allows the house and facade to breathe. The applied ceramics are also breathable and provide additional protection against heat loss. The choice fell on the 30 x 30 cm and 8 mm thick unglazed extruded stone tiles from AGROB BUCHTAL. On top of this, the glaze developed by Christine Jetten was applied by a special company.

Tile cut with water jet
One sticking point was the asymmetrical, acute-angled shape of the ceramic triangles or "animal scales". For the trim, a special company used water jet technology with high pressure. Usual methods would have created too much tension, causing the long, pointed triangles to break. About 60 m2 of tiles were laid for the outer skin of the rebellious living animal. The pattern was complex and challenging for the tiler. Therefore, the architect projected the façade pattern onto the cottage. This allowed The Rebel House to be transported to Almere in time for the opening of the Floriade.

A soft spot for ceramics
Christine Jetten has made an international name for herself with her special glazes. She prefers to work closely with architects and the ceramics industry. She wants to help ensure that more and more architects and students use the durable and robust building material and incorporate it into their designs from the outset.

The Rebel House Floriade 101
The Rebel House Floriade 08
Photographer: EuroParcs

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