House Arc, by Bellomo Architects, is a prefabricated off-the-grid housing solution that facilitates compact living. The project was originally designed as an environmentally sensitive and affordable method of housing that is not only functional but also attractive to the eye. Furthermore, it is designed to be easily packed and shipped to any location, where it can then be erected by the user or community. “We designed it to be a kit of parts that can be assembled quickly-like an IKEA house,” says House Arc architect Joseph Bellomo.
The House Arc is designed to be flat-packed and shipped in a remarkably small box that measures 4 x 10 x 3 feet (1.2 x 3 x .95 meters). The lightweight base structure consists of a modular system of bent steel tubes that can easily be assembled on site. Constructing the low-impact home requires no special training and is similar to building modular furniture, with a kit of parts and an easy-to-follow, graphic installation manual. Upon assembly, the House Arc becomes a curvaceous 150 square-foot (14 square meter) home that weighs 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg). The house features large windows that allow natural light to filter through the dwelling. A shading trellis limits the amount of heat that can infiltrate inside the building and the raised structure allows air to flow underneath for cooling, whilst also maintaining the permeability of the site. The House Arc can withstand the elements, including tropical winds, and also features a roof designed to support solar energy-generation.
Optional additions to further enhance the sustainability of House Arc include the installation of solar photovoltaic panels and insulation that can be added between panels.
Whilst the House Arc would make an attractive backyard retreat, the lightweight and easy-to-construct house could also function as an emergency shelter. It is a primary focus of Bellomo Architects to develop the House Arc concept so it can be used to house people in devastated areas after a catastrophic event or to replace housing that was not built to withstand such forces. “We foresee the House Arc in locations such as Haiti and New Orleans” says Bellomo Architects.
We just hope that they will drop the US$65,000 price tag for such a noble cause!
The House Arc will be a featured prefab house at this year’s Sunset Celebration Weekend in Menlo Park, California from June 2-3.
floating containers 2000/year get lost overboard. they may not sink? where do they go?
Studio H:T’s Shipping Container House is, unsurprisingly, a house made from shipping containers – at least partially. But perhaps most impressive about the design is that it operates entirely off-grid.
First, let’s clear up where the shipping containers fit in. The taller central section (which is clearly wedge-shaped in plan view) is not a container. Nor is it fashioned from parts of containers. No, this specially-constructed space houses the living and dining areas, with some storage space above.
But two containers flank this central living space on either side, and these make up the Shipping Container House’s bedrooms and home office spaces – as well as the kitchen judging by the interior photography.
If the Shipping Container House does indeed constitute an entirely off-grid abode then this is the design’s main achievement – incorporating passive (i.e. non-mechanized) design approaches such as passive cooling and green roofs, while the building’s orientation and window design has attempted to minimize solar heat gain (the house is located in Colorado USA). It also appears some form of exterior cladding has been applied to the containers themselves in an additional effort to mitigate solar heating.
Power is provided by a pellet stove (so though the house may be off-grid, it isn’t entirely self-sufficient) and on-site photovoltaic solar power.
Previously on Gizmag, and potentially of interest to the container-inclined, the Port-a-bach shipping container mobile home, APHIDoIDEA’s 65-container education center plan, and Tsai Design’s shipping container classroom.