Many fans of RR know that we’re involved in a lot of “unusual designs” where alternative housing is concerned.
Here’s one that we were NOT involved with, but we readily admit that we’ve had similar thoughts about a structure like this – using 20′ High Cube ISBUs;
This unusual design-build structure consists of a basement structure, with a manually-operated tilting metal box placed on top of it like a wedding cake topper.
Note that with little to no natural light available when the “lid” is secured, this dwelling is probably not going to work for those with a fear of being trapped in a small enclosed space…
The 1 bedroom, 1 bath – with a basement – home (I’d call it a cabin) measures approximately 914 sq ft and contains a kitchen and living area located in the metal box above. A staircase gets you up and back into all the designated spaces.
But here’s the fun part;
The entire upper area of the home is transformed into a semi-outdoor space once raised with a steampunkish hand-crank, and the metal box itself is constructed from iron tubes, with a galvanized corrugated metal exterior and MDF interior.
(If it was me, I’d resolve that “open air” issue with retractable skirts made of mosquito netting or something to keep insects out. Can you imagine the reverberation of a thousand flying insects trapped in there, swarming around your head?)
When the “lid” is closed, the structure is transformed into a sealed vault, private, secure and defensible against “any miscreants that might wander into your yard”… you know, like those “undead stumbling around looking for brains…”
The article about the home (featured in Arch Daily) says;
“The actual impetus behind THIS home’s unique design, and whether or not such mundane practicalities as adequate ventilation and fire safety issues have been fully handled, isn’t altogether clear.
“The project of Caja Oscura is a project of material and immaterial technology at the same time,” explains Javier Corvalán (the architect).
“In some way it is an antithesis of many known definitions of architecture, as the idea is made by absence of light.”
I can see how this could be done. And, it could be quite affordable. I’d still use a 20′ ISBU or two to pull it off as the increased strength that they would provide would be an asset in the face of heavy weather, zombies… or worse, visiting relatives.
Built with a budget of $30,000 US, the home was completed in 2012 with a few grand left over for “stuff”…
Consider this also;
When “open”, that raised lid “face” could be used as a splendid “photovoltaic farm”.
Cut in a few skylights or sola tubes to bring light into the cavity and it’d be a lot more comfortable.
Add a padlock hasp to the box so that you can sneak up and lower the box when it’s inhabited by your idiot brother in law and break out that bullet-resistant Master Padlock and you have the perfect place to teach that bozo a lesson for drinking all your frosty cold beverages…
I’m just saying…
- Caja Oscura by Javier Corvalán (dezeen.com)
- Caja Obscura / Javier Corvalán + Laboratorio de Arquitectura (archdaily.com)
- Caja Oscura: The perfect post-apocalyptic bolt-hole? (gizmag.com)
- Caja Oscura House in Paraguay by Javier Corvalán [TV]. (yellowtrace.com.au)
- A House With a Roof That Retracts, Thanks to a Hand Operated Winch (gizmodo.co.uk)