House on the Move

For over a 100 years, designers and architects have praised the dogma saying ‘form follows function’. For the 21st century, we might just have to rethink that line of wisdom. According to Spanish architect Rodrigo Rubio we will all have to face facts that ‘form follows energy’. What that means for modern architecture? That our houses will indeed move along with climatological changes in order to grasp as much energy as possible. Rubio demonstrated how solar panels can move in his Barcelona based Endesa Pavillion built in 2012, but his British colleague David Ben Grünberg takes modular architecture even one step further. He designed the D*Haus concept, a house that can shape into 8 different forms, according to weather conditions. An open house in summer, a closed one in winter. An idea that was also the starting point for architectural office Next Office in Iran to build the Sharifi-Ha house. In that house, an ingenious rotating system can open and close the three floors of the home depending on solar input. It’s alive!

Text: Charlene Preston



Architect David Ben-Grünberg originally designed the D*Haus concept as his graduation project.


A model of the D*Haus, that opens up when sun is shining, and closes in winter time. You can watch a video of the D*Haus at


The Endesa Pavillion in Barcelona was designed by Spanish architect Rodrigo Rubio, who created solar cells that are positioned specifically for catching as much sunlight as possible.


The closed ‘winter’ version of the Sharifi-Ha House in Teheran designed by Next Office. A façade with no windows. ©Parham Taghioff


The same house in summer. Façades of the three floors open up to welcome the sun. ©Parham Taghioff