Earth house Utopia

“How does a person get to build a” Strobalen House “???

If someone had asked me this question more than seven years ago, I could have laughed at it. Fun for “goat wool sock hippies”, but not for me.

Graduated from TU Delft in the seventies, I had been given the ideas of that time period, but actually did not do much with it. Yes, I tried to spare the environment as much as possible, but that did not really yield much in everyday practice.

With the approaching arrival of the end of an effective period, that “old thought” began to gnaw. Can I actually do something for the environment? A long search for a new destination in my life coupled with a new home provided the breakthrough.

The visit to the construction fair in Utrecht led to an “ideal house”, timber frame construction a prefab package from Germany. Very solidly built with superior insulation and energy values. By chance, but what is coincidence ie a lifetime, I came across the stand of a few young enthusiasts who were working with straw bales. A lot of laughs, they were nice guys and it reminded me very strongly of the seventies. In the same exhibition stand a drawing was hung from a special house, an Earthship I later learned. It was love at first sight ! I also wanted to have this, living in such a dream home.

The young architect, Michel Post, who explained everything patiently, looked at me in disbelief … Is that man serious? Within a few weeks I had again found a suitable piece of land on Marktplaats notabene by chance (?!?) …
The rest is history. The house was actually built fairly quickly and has been published in a lot of newspapers, weeklies and an architects magazine. The KRO-NCRV has made an episode on “Binnenste Buiten”.

It is a dream, a super house and the most characteristic description that almost every visitor makes upon entering is: “it feels good”! That says everything, the house feels very nice, a very healthy indoor climate and the energy costs are virtually “ZERO”!

Project Details

Detached villa
Timber skeleton with straw insulation

2010 – 2013

260 m2 / 980 m3

Cuijk (NL)

For me, Michel Post has been the one who has perfectly translated all our personal living wishes into a “Dream of Straw Bales”. I usually say to journalists and acquaintances: this house was built by “the Johan Cruijf among the architects”, incredibly creative, but taking into account what is possible and feasible.

Ronald Salters