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Rolf Dische ‘The Heliotrope’

One Television show that has really caught my interest recently is called Extreme Homes on the HGTV network. The title is pretty self explanatory and features a broad range of unusual architecture. What makes this program so captivating to watch is the diversity both in design and geographic locations. It also doesn’t necessarily feature the most expensive homes and focuses more on the creative element. However, it is pertinent to mention that most of these dwellings probably would fall into the luxury category.


On a recent episode the show travelled to the Black Forest in Germany to feature an unusual residential home called ‘The Heliotrope’. The design was conceived by architect Rolf Dische to use as his own private dwelling. His primary objective was to create the world’s first building that would generate more energy than it actually uses. Fortunately, he achieved his goal and has set a template for future houses.


Normally Rolf Dische works on social projects for refugees and is not really associated with the design of luxurious properties. However, ‘The Heliotrope’ does fit into the latter category and is a formidable piece of architecture that is highly exclusive. The imposing cylindrical silhouette creates the illusion of a rocket about to launch into space. I love its futuristic appearance and the abundance of reflective materials used in construction. The interior is also presented to a high specification and is certainly in keeping with the overall quality of this building. However, the really cool thing about this amazing building is that it revolves to capture the energy from the sun.


Since Rolf Dische built his own home in 1994 he has been commissioned to design two more Heliotrope buildings. The first is for high end German sanitary ware manufacturer Hansgrohe SE and the second to be utilized as a technical dental laboratory.


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