Ever since the first Lord of the Rings movie came out, people have been fascinated with the concept of having their own "hobbit home" – a quaint, vaulted house that sits beneath a covering of soil and vegetation. Building your own from scratch, however, could be rather challenging. That's why Green Magic Homes is now offering prefabricated hobbit-like modular structures, that can be joined up to match buyers' specifications. After that, you just add dirt and plants.
Ecuadorian architects Luis Velasco Roldan and Ángel Hevia Antuña have joined forces to develop a 50 sq m (538 sq ft) green-roofed home called the Nelson Homero ESPE Prototype II. The aim was to create an energy-efficient housing prototype that combines natural materials with traditional building methods, which could be dismantled and moved to different locations for energy efficiency testing in different climates.
During time spent working alongside a naval architect, Magnus Ström is said to have wondered why superyachts existed, but not superhouses. Well now, courtesy of Ström, Superhouses could become a reality. They are aimed at being "the most beautiful, unique and design-led houses possible."
Slowly but surely, devices like Philips Hue bulbs and the Nest thermostat are making our homes smarter. But just how smart can they get? To find out, Intel has created the Smart Tiny House, which explores the future of the connected home by packing a host of smart tech into a 210 sq ft (20 sq m) "living lab."
Vietnam's Vo Trong Nghia Architects recently displayed its latest S House prototype at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Designed for low-income families, the simple home is nearing the mass production stage and is expected to cost less than US$1,000 to construct.
Energy efficiency, prefabricated construction, sustainable architecture and passive design are all trends that we touch on regularly at Gizmag. Rarely, though, have we seen them squeezed together with such high concentration as in Dom Arquitectura's Wood Studio House.
For those who live in a small house or apartment, a dedicated guest room can take up far too much space to be practical. That said, putting guests on the couch isn't ideal either. PKMN Architectures gave its clients the best of both worlds with the recently-completed Casa Stella project, which boasts a moveable wall that creates a guest room at the push of a button.
Readers may recall South Korean-based Moon Hoon's wacky Star Wars-inspired home, and the firm's latest build is similarly off-the-wall. The Wind House project comprises three vacation homes dominated by a large golden structure that looks, well, rather like a duck's head.
A research team from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ONRL) has created a new model for how we can connect the way we power our homes and vehicles. Dubbed AMIE (Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy), the platform features special technology that allows a bi-directional flow of energy between a dwelling and a vehicle. In other words, the house can fuel the car and the car can fuel the house. What's more, ORNL used 3D printing technology to build the dwelling and the vehicle, before successfully trialing the new energy system.
London's Bert and May Group recently launched a series of clever prefabricated box homes that take as little as one day to set up. The design firm has created four different versions of its prefabricated Big Box home, ranging from a 46-sq m (495-sq ft), two-bedroom family home, down to a 7.7-sq m (82-sq ft) tiny home. Created in collaboration with local architectural studio Box 9 Design and taking 14 weeks to manufacture, the fully-functional tiny dwellings boast a rustic appeal, eco-friendly materials, structural insulation and a green roof.