There is a profound joy in spending summer outdoors, enjoying the warmth of the sun and the gentle breeze, surrounded by the sounds of nature. Could there be anything better? Probably only Shiver House by NEON.
Shiver House is a ground-breaking structure by UK based NEON. The firm specializes in creating innovative and experiential designs, and Shiver House is no different. Shiver House reimagines the mokki huts of Finland to connect better with nature. The mokki huts are part of Finland’s summer culture, providing a respite from daily life, encouraging time spent in nature. Originally designed for the 2015 Barfotastigen exhibition held in Korppoo, Finland, Shiver House is now set to become a permanent part of the annual exhibition. The design is highly relevant for an exhibition that focuses on environmental art and architecture.
The design for the house looks at traditional mokki huts in a new light. The hut is conceived as kinetic structure that interacts with the environment, changing to suit the weather. The house is made alive by using hundreds of plastic shingles on tensioned steel wires. When the lightweight panels lay open, the hut blends into nature, allowing beautiful views of the surroundings. Much like the feathers of a bird, the plastic shingles shiver and move around in the wind, letting the breeze filter through the structure. When rain or snow falls, the shingles rotate into a closed structure, converting into an indoor haven.
The Shiver House concept showcases how architecture and nature can be merged to create a new experience for the user. Blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors, Shiver House offers a new way to experience the natural environment. The initial structure built in 2015 was meant to be a temporary pavilion for the exhibition. However, widespread interest and popularity has led to it becoming a permanent structure at the exhibition. A new permanent pavilion has been constructed to mark this event in 2020, this time using Finnish airplane ply treated with oil instead of plastic for the shingles. Designers at NEON took note of the design’s relevance in changing circumstances, remarking about the structure’s ability to provide stress relief by improving our connection with nature. The meditative nature of the structure promotes a sense of calm in its users, acting as a respite in times of increased stress and anxiety.
Experiential structures like Shiver House act as an inspiration, encouraging designers and users to think out of the box to meet the changing needs of the society. By creating a structure that lives and breathes, NEON has created a road map for the future of architecture - one where buildings do not need to be at odds with nature, and instead, can integrate with their surroundings.