Wouldn’t it be great to be able change the shape and position of the walls of your house to go along with your mood, or more practically, the weather? Michael Jantzen’s transformable M-Velope® is just such a structure, offering an inspired approach to designing smaller and more usable spaces. The 230 sq foot flexible space can be rearranged into various positions by moving the slated wood panels on its steel frame. All homes really should have this capacity – to move, change and morph depending on our needs.
The M-Velope is yet another of Michael Jantzen’s works that explores how we live. Many of the artist and designer’s projects also incorporate sustainable elements like renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable materials. The M-Velope is made from Accoya, a new non-toxic treated wood, that is said to be stronger and more durable than regular lumber. Accoya is FSC-certified wood that is pressure treated with a solution called acetic anahydride, which comes from acetic acid (basically concentrated vinegar).
The structure can be transformed easily, changing its available light and space. Interior benches provide workspace as well as sleeping platforms, and they can be folded away to open up the whole structure for more room. Ideally, transformable structures such as this would allow us to build smaller homes, thus reducing our environmental footprint. It’s an interesting concept, and naturally we like the innovation, but $100,000 does seem a bit excessive. Neiman Marcus has included this extravagant little structure in their 2008 Christmas Book, and there are only 10 of these hand-built M-Velopes in existence, so get yours fast and in time for the holidays!
+ Michael Jantzen
+ Nieman Marcus
i do agree with most of the posts here, but i have to say that the concept is worthy of experimentation. even if it's not outfitted like traditional homes, it is an interesting study and perhaps a building block for something more inhabitant friendly. i feel that this should be marketed along the lines of artwork instead of a housing alternative. it does make you think about the static nature of our current housing, though.
This barely qualifies as a shelter let alone a house... geeze. But what I really really would love to know is how is this worth 100,000 dollars?
WOW!! This seems like the biggest waste of $100,000... even if it is made of non-toxic treated wood, it's still useless. Buy and umbrella!
I have to agree with Kenneth: this design is a loser. It's not a house: a house is meant to shelter its inhabitants from the weather and insects and this one won't. Just because something is made from sustainable materials does not mean that it is actually sustainable in practice. This one is destined to rot away in someone's back yard or be disassembled for other projects...not an efficient use of materials or labor. Make something that will last 300+ years with little maintenance like my concrete "parking garage" house and then you might impress me.
I reckon you could make this for a few hundred quid. Get about 30 pallets, a bag of nails, a bit of imagination and some hard graft, i think you could pull it off. Sustainable and recyclable too.
[...] The concept of this M-Velope Transformer House is a very good one but priced at $100,000 I hardly think that it’s worth that much. But on the brighter side of things house is made from Accoya which is a new non toxic treated wood that is said to be stronger and more durable then lumber. Also this would make for a really nice sort of camping home on a beach or wherever your getaway may be located but the price is still way to steep. If you have an extra $100,000 that your looking to spend on something you can go to Neimanmarcus now and order one. I personally would say invest that 100,000 on solar energy but that’s just me. via IH [...]
$100,000 slat-roofed shed? Sorry, but the gimmickery of this design does not outweigh the fact that this is pretty much useless for anything other than a little shade. It would not even be good as a storage shed because it would be useless in the rain. On top of that, it's pretty ugly. I'm sorry to hear that Neiman's are not smart enough to offer a few of the many practical and beautiful small prefab buildings available out there--and for much less money!