Home is where the heart is, but you have the wanderlust, you may want to take a look at dot Architects' Bao House. The lightweight mobile home is a giant quilted cube that is mounted on the back of a tricycle. At two meters wide, the body is made from spray polyurethane foam (SPF). Normally a material found on the inside of buildings, the Bao is not only an experiment in mobile living, but the transformation of a commonly used material.
Able to float through the streets like a cloud, the Bao House was created for the Get it Louder 2012 exhibition of art in Beijing. Prompted to design a human powered mobile living space, dot Architects rose to the challenge to create their snow-white wandering home. The word “bao” in Chinese means “bubble,” and the exterior of the Bao House certainly appears as though it has been covered with a healthy heap of suds.
The puffy surface is the result of the curing spray polyurethane foam expanding outward from its mold. Once the wood, pin and string framework was removed, the SPF was revealed in all of its bulbous glory. Both water resistant and thermally insulated, the SPF makes the Bao House cozy and weather-proof.
“SPF is normally concealed behind the finishing surface and functions only as supplementary material,” says head designer Ning Duo. “Bao House tries to explore this common material and reinterpret it in a new fabrication system.”
The roof is made from a transparent polycarbonate to allow light to filter through and the walls slide open to gain entrance in lieu of a door. Able to sleep up to three people, the Bao House is levels above a conventional tent for easy, on-the-go shelter. Now, if only you could find some street parking in Beijing.
Images by Yuming Baia and Vanessa Chen