Portuguese architect Samuel Gonçalves of SUMMARY studio recently designed a new modular housing system inspired by an unlikely source: concrete drainage pipes. With an installation at Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, the architect promotes the Gomos System, which he designed with his team at Science and Technology Park of University of Porto. Each home is created within the walls (and ceiling and floor) of segments of concrete created almost identically to huge drain pipes. The result is a housing solution that is not only economical, but resilient and sustainable as well.
SUMMARY installed three concrete modules on the waterfront at the Arsenale, one of the Venice Biennale’s two main venues, to illustrate the simplicity of his inspiration. Stripped down interpretations of the Gomos System are on display with the barest of furnishings, just to illustrate the concept and help visitors imagine the possibilities. Gonçalves’ design team already built prototypes of the Gomos System, which we covered a few months ago, and the installation at the Italian architecture showcase is meant to drum up attention for this approach to resilient modular homes.
“It’s not about inventing, but about reinterpreting,” Gonçalves told Dezeen. “We take a preexistent constructive system often used in water drainage infrastructures and we make it a livable constructive system. In structural matters as well as constructive ones, Gomos System is identical to reinforced concrete water pipes.”
The Gomos System homes start in a factory, where the concrete structures are made and outfitted with all interior fixtures over the course of three months. Then, the modules are joined on site in the span of a long weekend, resulting in a fully functional move-in ready home. A tiny home could be created within the confines of just one concrete segment, or several can be fitted together for more square footage. By taking the variables of the structure’s bones out of the equation, Gonçalves’ design opens up endless possibilities for modular homes of the future.
Images via Tiago Casanova