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.
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.