Prefab House from Down Under Blurs the Lines of Inside and Out

by , 09/28/10

rain catchment, embedded solar, House of the Future, innovarchi, green building concept, Australian green home

The House of the Future is a conceptual project designed by the Australian Architects Innovarchi for an exhibition on the grounds of the Sydney Opera House. The prefab home blends the outdoors with the indoors, concept with practicality, and materials with expression in order to explore what shelter can do. The home’s concept is planted in green materials using wood sourced from a sustainable pine plantation, where the pine is able to provide a shell that can collect both rain and sun to naturally cool and heat the home. The ultimate goal of the design is to blur the lines between the indoors and outdoors, provoking occupants to reassess the idea of a traditional home environment.

rain catchment, embedded solar, House of the Future, innovarchi, green building concept, Australian green home

image by Xenian Lighting

The home’s unique shape turns the outdoors into the core of the program, collecting natural resources and feeding them into the home when needed and available. The rain catchment supplies the central garden, and in return the garden cools and regulates the interior temperature through central natural ventilation system. A strip of semi-translucent solar panels cross the home, simultaneously providing daylight and power, and LED lights and furniture are also embedded in the design. The home’s appeal is its refreshing take on envelope – the walls and roof mingle with less definition through a play of angles and unconventional material finishes.

+ Innovarchi

via Art Design

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1 Comment

  1. Susie Loewenstein November 9, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Mr. Michler:

    Thank you for bringing this interesting project to the attention to the design community. While many cultures may continue to live as they have over the past hundreds of years, the impending energy crisis will push technologically advancing nations to adopt a lifestyle that eliminates the reliance of nonrenewable resources. However, as Roger K. Lewis discusses in his Washington Post article, “How a ‘Green House of the Future’ Can Impede Environmental Progress,” in order to make America greener, we must shift our focus away from futuristic concepts of how to transform the individual house and pay greater attention to the shaping – and reshaping – of communities. Sequentially, to initiate this push our attention should be reallocated to altering the rules and public attitudes that make green design harder to achieve. Developing the future of the single-family home does nothing to progress the movement to densify vast metropolises like Los Angeles. Instead, it promotes an anti-urban way of life, when what the ever-expanding city really needs is a solution to place a tourniquet around suburbia.

    As seen in the post-war housing movements of the 1950s, we live in a state of planned housing communities. Levittown, the first truly mass-produced suburbia, was seen as the future of housing in the early 50s. It became the standard for the ideal American suburb: green lawns and simple homes to accommodate the nuclear family. Not only did Levittown consequently reflect the era’s cultural values, but it also made a statement about the nation’s treatment of space: land is limitless. Innovarchi has developed a “house of the future” that relies on a basic spatial attitude that cannot be sustained – it depends on the continuity of the suburb through the multiplication of a basic module. Albeit sustainable as a unit, to multiply the module into a vast suburb far from the city center (and hence from vital resources) creates an unsustainable system. In comparison to the sanguine outlook of the 50s, we have come to realize that space is commodity that must be used with extreme care. The solution to the future of housing does not lie in the promotion of expansion, but in the densification of the urban center, centralizing resources and eliminating the reliance on nonrenewable resources, and thus, the automobile.

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