October 10, 2006 As technology evolves, our ability to create remarkable temporary living and working environments has grown considerably, as can be evidenced by our recent stories on relocatable structures such as the off-the-grid home, the Sphere House, the Nackros Villa, the Free Spirit Sphere, the LoftCube and the first mobile hotel room. Now we can add to that the KitaHaus Pod which is designed as a stand-alone accommodation or temporary office and can also be interlink to create unique temporary or permanent living and working environments. The KitaHaus legs are adjustable so it can be situated in almost any site including normally unusable sloped and wooded areas. The construction is of sustainable materials using glulam frame, over boarded in 12mm ply and insulated using Actis super 9 fabric. The entire surface is then tiled using larch timber shingles which will eventually turn a silver grey colour. The pod’s main usage is envisaged as a holiday retreat but clearly it has many possibilities with an anticipated cost of GBP 50,000 to GBP 75,000 depending on volumes.
The elliptical frame is made from skeletal Glulam sections which are then constructed to form the basic pod shape. This is then triple overlap boarded using 12mm marine ply. This is insulated on the internal face using Actis Super 9 fabric, which offers the thermal quality of 300mm of traditional insulation. The internal face is then over boarded with high quality ply with an air space, which creates a highly-efficient, low-energy building. The external face is to be waterproofed, battened and tiled in larch timber shingles. These are a very rusty red colour to begin with, but turn silver grey in time which will blend naturally with woodland. The tripod-style leg construction is made from timbers with a metal pad foot which is bolted to the pre-prepared foundation pads on the site - the only site work required. The legs are made for site conditions, although adjustable metal legs are available. The link bridge is on a pivot so depending on site conditions, you can enter from various levels.
The layout for KitaHaus is a walk-in lounge from the entrance, a galley kitchen and central bathroom. There is a double bedroom at the other end of the pod, giving both the lounge and bedroom the benefit of the full height end windows. The pod comes with main power access to the pre wired interior and batteries which will be charged from an optional solar panel. A mains water connection is available with a built-in under-floor water tank which services the shower, sinks and toilet. The toilet waste can be handled either via a cassette or main waste connection to a mains sewer or septic tank. Heating is also available with options of a wood burning stove or a hot air heating system. The company plans to build a limited number of KitaHaus in the first year and a permament factory will be developed in the second year of production when a production of 100 units are planned.
Designer Robert Gaukroger moved from architecture and Industrial Design to property development before conceiving the KitaHaus. “After a few years I decided to design the pod as a way to bring together design and development,” said Robert, “and to make portable, sustainable architecture a reality.”
The KitaHaus will be manufactured and marketed under the name of KITA Design and the first KitaHaus will begin construction in December and will be on site in February, 2007. “It seems my son's school will use the first one as a temporary classroom due to a demand for more space," says Robert. "The pod will be manufactured and taken to the site with little on site work required - indeed, the pod is to be erected over a weekend."
For those with more temporary housing tastes, might we suggest the following more mobile homes we have recently written about such as the this converted London double decker bus, the Wothahellizat, the Airstream Skydeck, the General Motors mobile home, the OSHKOSH Draco, the Innovan and the Quickup.
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