Study Tour Fellow Reports

Home Delivery Part V: Burst*008 and a Concluding Note

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| Jan 22, 2009
by: Mrinalini Rajagopalan 


{Looking from the interior of the Burst*008 house towards the porch}
{From top to bottom: The Burst*008 house, System 3 and the Micro-Compact House as seen from the third floor of the Cellophane House}
For the last stop on the tour we were again fortunate to have the architects explaining the design process to us. Burst*008 (designed by Douglas Gauthier and Jeremy Edmiston) is another triumph of the possibilities of computer-aided design and building. The house structure is comprised of multiple interlocking plywood ribs that could be compared to a kite or accordion. This structure can be shipped flat to the site and then expanded easily, and become stable once the “skin”–i.e. the external surfaces of the house are stretched over it. The interior layout of the house is conceptualized along three living zones: an outdoor deck; living/ dining/ and kitchen zone; and smaller spaces including the bath and storage areas. These zones also have different requirements in terms of ventilation and light which are accounted for in novel ways by the design of the structure. The first prototype of this house, Burst*003 was built as a summerhouse for a family in Australia and from the walk-through it was apparent that the house was an elegant solution that combined the ethos of prefabrication with pragmatic needs for a modern lifestyle.
In conclusion, it must be said that Home Delivery was a remarkable exhibition which took the viewer through a truly inspiring history of the modern pre-fabricated home. It is not enough to say that the exhibition delivered on account of the historical as well as geographical range of its examples, but also that it did so with an elegance that allowed the visitor to relate to this rich history with an immediacy. Indeed, so many of the examples shown at the exhibition brought into sharp focus various contemporary concerns regarding rapid urbanization, over-population, environmental degradation and sustainability. It would not be too presumptuous to say that Home Delivery impressed upon each of its visitors the solid notion that the question of mass-produced housing has been a key note in the imaginary of modern, post-modern and contemporary architecture, and that it will continue to pre-occupy the minds and talents of architects for many generations to come. 

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