House in the hill: Belgium’s House Pibo is a minimalist’s dream home

If you happen to find yourself walking through the Maldegem municipality in Belgium anytime soon, you may entirely miss one of the district’s most unique architectural accomplishments. Known simply as House Pibo, this discreet and private residential home is the definition of minimalistic, which is exactly what the builders were hoping to accomplish. Everything down to the exact positioning of each bedroom was done with a clear desire in mind and after perusing the available photos, we wouldn’t blame you one bit for boning up on your Dutch.

Designed by the Belgium-based architectural firm Oyo, House Pibo succeeds at doing a lot with very little. First, much of the home’s actual roof was designed to act as an extension of its front lawn. Because of this, the house almost appears as though it’s built into the side of a grassy knoll as opposed to being wholly man-made. To give the grass roof an especially festive annual appearance, the home’s landscapers even planted a variety of different flower species which change color depending on the time of year. The only two areas built into this roof is a narrow entrance and a large window peeking into the home’s dining room.

House Pibo's fireplace doubles as an outdoor barbecue
House Pibo’s fireplace doubles as an outdoor barbecue

“Two popping volumes create an exception on the green surface,” says Oyo architect Eddy Soete. “One defines the entrance, the other brings light into the dining room.”

Though this means the front of the home boasts just one window, the architects skillfully plotted out the home’s interior to maximize light and to foster a sense of spaciousness. To do this, Oyo decided to go with a split-level design for its upstairs quarters. So instead of having one open room, the dining room is sectioned off and slightly higher than an area one might use as a den. Additionally, both bedrooms are placed downstairs to assist in keeping them colder during warmer months. If you’d believe it, the soil used on the roof also helps the bedrooms keep cool during the summer.

“Unlike most single family houses in Belgium, [we] started with the idea of positioning the living rooms on top of bedrooms,” reads the architect’s description of the home. “In a house composed of split-levels, it was important to establish cross relations between the spaces and natural lighting conditions throughout.”

House Pibo's split level room design
House Pibo’s split level room design

Perhaps the home’s most impressive feature is its homey stone fireplace that not only keeps the interior warm but functions as a working barbecue that’s accessible via a backyard patio that connects to the kitchen. Furthermore, Oyo decked out the interior with gorgeous wood flooring and cabinetry that are accented by clean, white appliances throughout. Not only does this give off a fresh appearance but it fits perfectly into the architect’s desired minimalistic vision.

Computing

It took Dell years to fix 1 problem on its best laptop. Here’s how it did it

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in February 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. February 2019 brings Deadpool 2 and season 6 of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on Hulu and what’s leaving in February 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for February 2019, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer -- and ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming…
Home Theater

Ikea’s Symfonisk Sonos speaker coming in August, priced to “reach many people”

If details in a newly released video are true, we could be looking at Ikea's new Symfonisk speaker collaboration with Sonos to be in stores as soon as August. And the price? Within reach of "many people."
Smart Home

Abode Systems upgrades its smart home gateway with new chip and Z-Wave Plus

Palo Alto-based Abode Systems is adding an upgrade to its popular smart home starter kit by replacing its central gateway with a second-generation version that supports cellular backup and enhanced Z-Wave support.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Product Review

Making a smart home can be a DIY job, but security should be left to the pros

Sure, you can DIY a smart home system, but when it comes to security, you should seriously consider professional monitoring and service. That’s where Vivint comes in. Is it worth the lofty price?
Smart Home

You can play NPR’s ‘Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me’ on your smart speaker

You can play "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" on Amazon Echo speakers or Google Home devices with the new Wait Wait Quiz. It's hosted by Peter Sagal and Bill Kurtis and will be updated every week with new questions.
Smart Home

Walabot Home, a device aimed at keeping seniors safe, expands its capabilities

When you have to be away from your elderly family members, Walabot Home can serve as your surrogate. This device can detect when your loved one falls and will call for help — no wearables or user input required.
Smart Home

Allergies acting up? Thes best air purifiers on the market can offer relief

Indoor air is often more contaminated than the air outside, which can cause an array of health issues over time. Luckily, these air purifiers can easily rid your home or office of unwanted allergens and contaminants.
Smart Home

Hackers hijack Nest camera, issue fake warning of North Korea missile attack

A Nest security camera hijacked by hackers who used the device to issue a fake warning about an incoming North Korean nuclear missile attack heading toward Los Angeles, Chicago, and Ohio.
Smart Home

Starbucks coffee delivery lands in 6 more cities via Uber Eats

Starbucks is in the process of expanding its coffee delivery service far beyond Miami. Available via the Uber Eats app, the service has just launched in San Francisco, with five additional cities joining in the coming weeks.
Computing

Think someone's leeching off your Wi-Fi connection? Here's how to find out

It's important to find out immediately if anyone is stealing your bandwidth. Here's how to tell if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi using a few simple tools, along with some suggestions on improving security.
Smart Home

Sing with Freddie Mercury with the ‘Ay-Oh with Bohemian Rhapsody’ Alexa skill

20th Century Fox announced a new Alexa Skill for Freddie Mercury fans. To celebrate the digital release of Bohemian Rhapsody and a National Day of "Ay-Oh," fans can download the Ay-Oh with Bohemian Rhapsody Skill.