Naturally exceptional TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON | PHOTOS: NATURHOME
In 1972, Naturhome’s founder decided the most ancient of construction materials, wood, was the future for healthy buildings. Now, with more than 40 years’ experience, the company is a leading brand in its field. Since Naturhome’s first wooden house was completed in 1973, the company has built 800 more, mostly in their heartland of Luxembourg, Belgium and Northern France, with others in Spain (the first certified ‘passive house’ there), Germany, Britain and Italy. The team just finished a magnificent building in Switzerland for a celebrated architect, and have many exciting projects in the pipeline. How have they achieved this pre-eminence? “We see a close parallel with haute couture,” says co-director Olivier Louis. “We seek perfection in every detail, even unseen ones; it’s about mastery of the artisan skills beneath the beautiful; obsession with line, look, fit, materials...” The analogy also suits the company’s approach to projects, handling the ground60 | Issue 27 | March 2016
work through to the fine finish. In their workshops, Naturhome’s specialists, working with computer-controlled equipment, prepare all the elements their dedicated fitting team will assemble with infinite care on site. “Our managing director Pierre Solheid insists that what we create should always be, in his words, naturally exceptional,” says Louis. Images of the end product show that buildings are things of beauty, a result facilitated by the client or architect being able to discuss every aspect of their project with a single point of contact, Naturhome. “We handle everything from A to Z,” says Louis. “Which makes achieving a great aesthetic simpler – and less stressful!” The materials are natural, while the approach is highly technical. Louis offers, as illustration, one vital part of their method: “Our design team will produce a study focussed on ensuring the highest thermal and acoustic insulation performance, and detailing the heating and ventilation options suited to the design and materials. We bring more than 40 years of experience to that work.”
Louis feels the technical, artistic and natural combine to produce homes, something beyond architecture alone: “In the end our buildings become like downy nests for the families who live in them.” www.naturhome.net
ENVIRONMENTALLY HEALTHY CONSTRUCTION: - Avoidance of volatile organic compounds - Excellent sound insulation for peace and quiet - Carbon neutral or energy positive construction - Renewable resources - Sheathed cabling to minimise electro-magnetic fields
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.