more top stories »


— Science

Prefab houses could soon be taped together

Prefabricated houses are made up of separate pre-assembled modules that are joined to one another on-site – those modules, in turn, are made up of various wooden components that are typically nailed (or sometimes stapled) together in a factory. The wood used in the frames of the modules must be reasonably thick, in order not to split when the nails are driven in. This places some limitations on design possibilities. Now, however, German scientists have developed an alternative to those nails: electrically-activated adhesive tape. Read More
— Architecture

NRJA reveals plans for an off-the-grid foldable geodesic dome house

Latvian architectural firm NRJA has revealed its plans to produce an off-the-grid geodesic dome with an interior that looks like it should be inside a luxury two-story home. The team of young architects, with an average age of 25, has come up with a compelling design which is set to hit production in the coming months. Dubbed DOM(E), the prefabricated structure can endure the coldest or warmest of climates and due to its circular shape, it features a clever use of a relatively small space (120 sq m / 1,291 sq ft). Read More

Prefabricated LM Guest House facade built in two days

Located in Dutchess County, NY, the LM Guest House is a 2,000 sq ft country retreat that boast a continuous glass facade that was prefabricated off-site and erected in just two days. The compact home also features a series of sustainable measures, including the use of geothermal and solar power, solar shades and recycled rainwater for irrigation. In an email interview, Gizmag spoke to senior architect Katherine Chia from the New York based firm, Desai Chia Architecture, to find out more about the design. Read More
— Architecture

From prefab skyscrapers to prefab houses, Klik claims to fit the bill

With Klik, Australian companies Elenberg Fraser and Unitised Building have come up with a prefabricated modular building system they claim is equally suited to knocking up a quick skyscraper as it is a modern, designer house. It makes sense, then, that the product is pitched at developers, architects and would-be homeowners, and that the multiple choice procurement procedure is identical for each. If you can tick a box, you can design a Klik building, more or less. Read More
— Architecture

Spherical "Ekinoids" to house future generations in off-grid towns

A self-assembled spherical house may sound like a simple idea, but the founders of the Ekinoid Project are extraordinarily ambitious. It's thought that the global population could reach 9 billion by 2050, and to house some of those 2 billion extra people, the Ekinoid Project would see pop-up off-grid towns comprised entirely of spheroid pods accommodate 10,000 people at a time in some of Earth's least hospitable places. Read More
— Architecture

Japanese design team cooks up aluminum-framed drop-in cafeteria

Architects, it seems, are increasingly interested in transforming a building's use without making permanent changes to the fabric itself. If the BEEBOX we covered in January (a sort of drop-in, self-contained office desk) is exhibit A, then B is an altogether grander intervention. A design team led by Tokyo's Masatomo Kojima has cooked up ROKU Edogawa, a flexible aluminum structure designed to transform any interior space into a cafeteria. Read More
— Good Thinking

Portability of Modularflex emergency shelter hinges upon hinges

Argentinian designers Matías Alter and Matías Carrizo have developed the Modularflex emergency response shelter in response to what they see as shortcomings with other designs. Generally, alternatives either require on-site assembly, which may require skilled hands; or they come pre-built, making transportation difficult and inefficient. The simple folding design of Modularflex sidesteps both problems. Read More
— Architecture

WFH House incorporates shipping containers into a modular building system

It’s no surprise to see the popularity of shipping container homes increase in recent times, especially when architects just keep getting more and more creative with what they can do with them. Adding to the list of innovative shipping container homes is the prefabricated WFH House, which incorporates the use of recycled shipping containers into a modular building system. Designed by Danish architectural studio Arcgency, the home is also coupled with a online personalization system that allows clients to customize their own home, including its layout, size, facade and interior. Read More
— Architecture

Renzo Piano's Flat-Pack Auditorium aids disaster recovery in Aquila

In April 2009, the historic Italian city of Aquila was affected by a devastating earthquake and has since been struggling to recover from the estimated 10 billion euros in damage. In an effort to raise community spirit and further aid the disaster recovery, late last year the Northern Italian city of Trento donated this colorful auditorium designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. Read More
— 3D Printing

Softkill's intricate 3D printed ProtoHouse is all about the plastic

London-based architecture team Softkill Design has entered the race to create the first 3D printed house. Unlike the first plans for 3D-printed houses that emerged at about this time last year, Softkill thinks that the future of 3D printed housing lies in prefabricated components rather than printing houses whole using vast uber-printers on site. By using plastics rather than sand or concrete, Softkill may just have hit upon a concept that actually feels... 3D printery. Read More