Gimme Shelter – Shelter House by Azzi Architecture

This small, eco-friendly house can be found on a mountainside in Yport, Normandy. Called the Shelter House, the building was restored from its state of disrepair in 2008 with the help of Azzi Archiecture. Azzi were responsible for the overall direction of the project, from design to project management.


Shelter House - A small eco-home by Azzi Architecture

Two additions, “wings”, were added to the gable ends of the existing structure. These wings create exterior living spaces – a sheltered patio on the ground level and a rooftop terrace above. They extend the overall footprint of the home with minimal impact on the surrounding landscape.


Shelter House - A small eco-home by Azzi Architecture

They were able to repair the existing masonry brickwork, which contrasts sharply with the clean timber-clad additions. As for the eco-features, well there’s a host of them. They installed solar panels that provide for all of the occupants electrical needs (the house is off-grid). There’s an onsite rainwater catchment and recycling system that stores 2000 litres of water(!) for the toilet. And, the home is partly heated by a geothermal energy system (the main heat source is a wood burning stove).


Shelter House - A small eco-home by Azzi Architecture

But the eco-features of this home go beyond your typical green-home credentials:

  • All building materials are locally sourced
  • Vegetable fibres are used for the construction of the walls and insulation
  • Effective cooling and ventilation is achieved using passive design techniques
  • The house is structurally efficient with no metal inserts used for openings.

Shelter House - A small eco-home by Azzi Architecture

It’s got quite the resume. The best part of this project? That they managed to combine all this efficiency and technical detail with a home that is beautifully finished, inside and out.

Shelter House - A small eco-home by Azzi Architecture

If you liked this house you might like the Mott-Cott Guest House by Mell Lawrence Architects. Like the Shelter House it features some cool environmentally-friendly energy systems.

What eco-features would you incorporate into your own home?

Via Trendir

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. Hi Nail

    Love the revamped little house with the two flanks featured. Love to get hold of THIS plan. Thinking of building this one in the bush.
    Would It be out of the question ???

    1. Hi Hannes – You’d have to try and contact the architects who designed it. I don’t have access to the plans and it seems that the architects website is no longer active.