Stair House / Onix

  • 01 Jul 2014
  • Featured Houses Selected Works
© Peter van der Knoop

Architects: Onix
Location: Eschauzierlaan, Almelo, The
Architect In Charge: Haiko Meijer
Area: 150 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Peter van der Knoop, Werry Crone

Contributor: Peter van der Knoop
Contractor: Bouwbedrijf G. Hulshof bv, Tubbergen
Structural Engineer: Brons Constructeurs & Ingenieurs, Oldenzaal
Interior Designer: , Groningen
Landscape Architect: Onix, Groningen en/and Tjeerd Willem Droogers
Client: Tjeerd Willem Droogers, Erna Springer, Almelo

© Peter van der Knoop

From the architect. In 2013 the first Onix climbing house was created in the small town of Almelo (the Netherlands). A house, situated at the edge of a new development area in a town like Almelo and designwise unbothered by any municipal inspectorate interference, not only presents the opportunity to live directly adjacent to its garden: it also makes the idea of literally living at a ‘higher’ level seem quite appealing, which indeed was the case for its future owners Tjeerd Willem and Erna.


Following this concept, Onix has managed to develop a dwelling for them, which indeed offers multi-level living possibilities as the house keeps on spiralling upward through a large number of different floor levels, till it finally ends in a roof terrace.

© Peter van der Knoop

Each floor level differs a mere 75 cm from the previous one, giving the building an atmosphere of continuous space. In addition, as these differences in height are quite minor, the use of balustrades for safety could luckily be avoided. For now the house incorporates 10 floor levels, allowing the possibility to build even higher in the future though.

© Peter van der Knoop

The house is completely made of wood. The exterior consists of vertical planks, the interior and walls of multiplex. Tjeerd Willem has chosen to finish the interior walls himself, as well as build a concrete countertop for the kitchen. The interior is actually furnished in one piece: a continuous and complex totality of connected stairs, floors, walls, ceilings and wardrobes.

Floor Plan

The design is reminiscent of Adolf Loos’ ‘Raumplan’. The climbing house with its surface area of 7 x 9m is extended to a gross floor area of 10 x 10m, thus integrating the structure in the space and allowing it to become ornament, structure, furniture as well as stairs, all at the same time.

Cite: "Stair House / Onix" 01 Jul 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 01 Apr 2015. <>