An Unconventional House with a Sliding Roof

Living in a glass house might sound tempting, but let’s be honest – it’s not that practical. Whether it’s too hot or too cold, there’s little to no privacy, and who is going to clean all of the fingerprints off the glass?! dRMM found a solution with the Sliding House. Located in Suffolk, UK, the house sits on rural land and is composed of a main house, guest annex, and garage – but that’s not all. The fourth and largest element of the design is a 20-ton mobile roof and wall enclosure that slides across the site.


Situated on hidden tracks, the structure, made up of steel, timber, insulation, and unstained larch, moves over the annex, house, and glass house creating various combinations of insulated enclosures and open-air living. At first glance, and depending on where the structure is, you might not realize there’s a glass house underneath there which begins with the large side of windows.


The exterior structure is powered by four hidden electric motors that are on “bogeys” which are integrated into the walls. The batteries that power the motors are charged by PV solar panels.


The structure continues to move back to reveal a glass paneled house. When the weather is bad or the homeowner wants a little more privacy, they can close it back up.

Photo © Ross Russell

Photo © Ross Russell


When it’s open, you can bathe under the sun or stairs!

Photo © Ross Russell

Photo © Ross Russell

When the roof is positioned forward, it creates a covered patio space to protect you from the elements.






Photos © Alex de Rijke, except where otherwise noted.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.