The modular M_House is a deceptively complex building system based on two simple components. The home boats a rib structure and wall panels that can be connected together to create an ever-changing house profile that is adaptable to many sites with minimal disturbance. Designed by EPIPHYTE Lab, the system is also extremely frugal in terms of materials and can be built largely with standard widths of plywood that minimize waste. Panels inserted between the structural ribs are customized for different window requirements and can hold solar panels or even planters. Inside, the unique space benefits from the double-peaked roof, which allows for daylight throughout, and large rooms that seem both spacious and intimate.
The house’s core feature is its set of structural members that support both the walls and the roof. The M-shaped “ribs” can be configured in a multitude of different angles. 3 strips of 3/4 inch plywood are sandwiched together and cut by a CNC machine based on CAD renderings to create the building’s flowing profile when assembled.
4 foot wide infill panels are inserted between the 16 inch deep ribs at separate depths, allowing the façade to gradually change form while limiting the level of insulation. The panels are made from stock construction materials, and since they are standard factory widths a minimum of materials are wasted. The panels are also easy to customize – windows can be set at various heights for views, daylight up high, or solar heat gain to the south. Built-in garden trellises on the ground floor and ample room for solar panels on top add to the functionality of the unique system.
The design’s splayed footprint is best supported by a pier foundation at each rib footing, which also minimizes the building’s site impact. Horizontal expansion is as simple as adding to either end, and since the house is made from discrete components it can be completely disassembled and reassembled in another location.