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House built from 100 different plant-based materials unveiled at Dutch Design Week

Eco-design studio Biobased Creations has built a showhome almost entirely from biomaterials including wood, mycelium, seaweed, straw and vegetable fibres as well as earth and sewage.

Unveiled at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven this week, the house showcases 100 different plant-based or natural materials that are either commercially available already or coming to market soon.

The Exploded View Beyond Building, a biomaterials house by Biobased Creations
The house is built from 100 different natural materials

The only non-bio materials in the timber-framed house are metal screw fixings and glass windows.

"We used 100 bio-based materials because we wanted to show what is possible," explained Biobased Creations CEO and co-founder Lucas De Man. "It's an exhibition in the shape of a house."

Earth wall
It showcases 100 different biomaterials, including earth, plants and fungi

The project is called The Exploded View Beyond Building, although Dutch Design Week calls it The Embassy of Circular and Biobased Building.

The designers' aim is to show how eco-materials can be used in the construction of ordinary homes. All the materials used are listed on the projects' website.

Algae and seaweed in biomaterials house by Biobased Creations
Materials include lime plaster coloured with algae and an algae textile screen

The house, which features a modular design, was mostly built in a factory. It has a layout based on a standard grid so it could become a template for a variety of different house designs.

"If we want to build a million houses here in Holland in the next 10 years, then the design has to be scalable," said De Man. "So it has to come from the factory and it has to be sustainable."

Bathroom wall tiles made from waste in biomaterials house by Biobased Creations
The bathroom exterior tiles are 3D printed from sewage sludge and algae

"Some people think it's too expensive to be modular and sustainable, but it's actually cheaper," he told Dezeen. "Non-sustainable modular is way more expensive."

The building, which has been erected at Eindhoven's Strijp-S district for the duration of Dutch Design Week, is also designed to be circular.

The structural timber frame is demountable so the house could be relocated or recycled in the future.

Toilet in biomaterials house by Biobased Creations
The toilet is framed by a 3D printed wall of filtered sewage residue

Biomaterials provide surfaces both inside and outside the house.

They cover walls, floors and ceilings, and are also used for furnishings including tableware and bedding.

These materials are presented in different categories relating to their material properties.

The bathroom features materials made from waste, with examples including blue wall tiles made from sewage and algae, and a compost toilet framed by a wall of 3D-printed sewage sludge.

Dining table in biomaterials house by Biobased Creations
Tableware is made from food products including eggs and oyster shells

The kitchen showcases materials made from food and plants and includes tableware made from plants and food waste including plates made from eggshells and beakers from 3D-printed seaweed.

The ceiling is a material made from flowers, the walls are lined with grass and the door is clad in Totomoxtle, a wood veneer that promotes biodiversity because it is made from heirloom corn species.

Kitchen in biomaterials house by Biobased Creations
Linen coloured with waste from the metal industry is hung on the wall in the kitchen

Upstairs, elements on display include insulation made from reeds, seaweed wall tiles, acoustic wall panelling made from bioplastic and a bed made from natural rubber and linen.

There's also a whole room dedicated to products derived from bacteria and fungus. Mycelium is used to create wall tiles, insulation and a composite flooring.

Mycelium wall in biomaterials house by Biobased Creations
A wall of mycelium tiles is fire-retardant and water-resistant

This material is one that both De Man and Pascal Leboucq, lead designer for Biobased Creations, were already familiar with. The pair previously worked on The Growing Pavilion, a mycelium structure presented at Dutch Design Week in 2019.

"We're going to solve a lot of problems by reinventing bacteria," said De Man. "In Holland, they are now making bacteria that can eat plastic and give back oxygen."

Bedroom in biomaterials house by Biobased Creations
The bed combines a natural rubber mattress with linen fabric

An air filtration system integrates plants and nutshells while rainwater is harvested and reused. The house also features six different roof types, including two types of green roof and paving that absorbs rainwater.

De Man hopes the project will show that biomaterials are a viable option for new housing developments.

"When we built The Growing Pavilion two years ago, a lot of people said it was too futuristic. This time we've created a house that is realistic and scaleable."

Grass wall in biomaterials house by Biobased Creations
Straw cladding is used on the outside of the house

The house is on show for the duration of Dutch Design Week. After that it will be demounted and reassembled at the Floriade Expo, a horticultural exhibition taking place in 2022.

Dutch Design Week runs from 16 to 24 October 2021 at venues across Eindhoven. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

Photography is by Oscar Vinck and Jeroenvander Wielen.