PREFAB FRIDAY: Parasitic Homes Take Root On Empty Walls

by , 09/25/09

urban design, prefab friday, prefab house, prefab housing, prefabricated panels, parasite, parasite prefab, lara calder architects, futuristic architecture, dense living, urban housing, city living

As more people filter into the city, open land to build on will become more and more scarce, and we may have to use every available bit of space we can, including empty bare walls, bridge pylons, and retaining walls. The Prefab Parasite, designed by Australia-based Lara Calder Architects, is such a structure — aiming to turn previously empty vertical surfaces into livable and attractive private space. Mimicking parasitic qualities, the home is designed for durability and adaptability, evident in its construction out of prefabricated panels so that the home can be affixed onto any wall or pylon large and strong enough to hold it.

urban design, prefab friday, prefab house, prefab housing, prefabricated panels, parasite, parasite prefab, lara calder architects, futuristic architecture, dense living, urban housing, city living

Each dwelling would be specifically designed for each site. Its basic construction begins as the prefabricated panels are secured onto the wall with a mounting plate. Afterward, the floors and the internal ribs are installed, and finally the paneling is laid on top to provide lateral bracing and tie the building together. The paneling is an eco-solid surface material made of compressed bamboo and recycled paper.

Accessed via a retractable staircase, the dwelling is placed about 3 or 4 meters above the street level. Depending on the needs of the residents, the width could be wide or narrow, but would maintain a cross sectional area of 36 square meters (387 sq ft). Residents walk up to their one-bedroom home, and are first greeted by a home office located on the first landing. Next comes the bedroom, then the living area, the kitchen and dining, and finally on the top terrace is an open air balcony.

Since none of the structure really touches the ground, the footprint of the house consists of the service shaft that connects it to power, sewer and water. Don’t think too hard about the details yet or how it would all work, but do think about the potential of such a concept — especially how it might play into the movie version of your favorite graphic novel. The Parasite Prefab is a fascinating concept for hyper-dense and prefabricated housing, and could be the future of urban living.

+ Lara Calder Architects

Via designboom

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  3. bicycle.ring.ring November 27, 2009 at 12:28 am

    it looks so wonderful a great scenery glittering in the dim of the night.well done! i like it 😀

  4. juanjo October 15, 2009 at 4:41 am

    Solving spatial city problems with such projects stimulates the overall creativity of designers but, beeing realistic, this over-designed spaces for living are becoming a trend which do not seem to corroborate the real necessities of a family dwelling.
    Like you “dogdiggs”, I think these kind of projects are for eshibiting ideas on a wall and not for building them.
    Besides, should them fructify in the future, the cities urban layouts would crash the balance and loose their stability as living places.

    Let’s not forget we all like to live in a balanced reality!


  5. dogdiggs October 8, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    I’m guessing that noise and ventilation issues might be a problem in the locations depicted. Toxic fumes, vibration, humidity issues, and microclimates that create aberrations to weather phenomena are also on my list. But, like you say, don’t get caught up in the details at this point…the potential is astounding!

  6. mattress October 7, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Are there really that many existing buildings that are structurally capable of supporting this much additional weight? Especially on the exterior of buildings. While this is an interesting idea, I have a feeling you’ll not find very many places where this is feasable from a structural engineering standpoint.

  7. janjamm September 25, 2009 at 11:13 am

    This is such a superb solution. I want to move in, now. It is so wonderful to see the breadth of creativity in resolving massive problems with simple solutions lie this. Thanks.

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