Architecture

Off-grid vacation home would change shape to suit the weather

Off-grid vacation home would c...
The Malleable Autonomous Retreat House is a concept at present, but Jantzen tells us that he hopes to eventually build it 
The Malleable Autonomous Retreat House is a concept at present, but Jantzen tells us that he hopes to eventually build it 
View 8 Images
The Malleable Autonomous Retreat House is a concept at present, but Jantzen tells us that he hopes to eventually build it 
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The Malleable Autonomous Retreat House is a concept at present, but Jantzen tells us that he hopes to eventually build it 
Michael Jantzen has spent decades designing interesting concepts and sculptures you can sit inside which reflect his interest in interactive architecture
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Michael Jantzen has spent decades designing interesting concepts and sculptures you can sit inside which reflect his interest in interactive architecture
The Malleable Autonomous Retreat House, is envisioned as a vacation home and would allow occupants to fine-tune their interaction with the elements
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The Malleable Autonomous Retreat House, is envisioned as a vacation home and would allow occupants to fine-tune their interaction with the elements
The idea is that the Malleable Autonomous Retreat House's wooden canopy structure can be manipulated automatically with electric motors powered by a roof-based solar array, or by hand with small geared hand-cranks
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The idea is that the Malleable Autonomous Retreat House's wooden canopy structure can be manipulated automatically with electric motors powered by a roof-based solar array, or by hand with small geared hand-cranks
The Malleable Autonomous Retreat House's transforming canopy would allow the residents control over the amount of sunlight, wind, and the view
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The Malleable Autonomous Retreat House's transforming canopy would allow the residents control over the amount of sunlight, wind, and the view
The Malleable Autonomous Retreat House consists of a fairly small glazed box (with sliding doors for ventilation) that serves as the home proper
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The Malleable Autonomous Retreat House consists of a fairly small glazed box (with sliding doors for ventilation) that serves as the home proper
The enclosed portion (i.e. the actual "house" part of the Malleable Autonomous Retreat House) would feature a bed, seating, tables, an area for food preparation, a composting toilet, and a bath
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The enclosed portion (i.e. the actual "house" part of the Malleable Autonomous Retreat House) would feature a bed, seating, tables, an area for food preparation, a composting toilet, and a bath
The dimensions of the wooden canopy structure would measure about 32 ft wide, 80 ft long, and 24 ft tall (9.7 x 24 x 7.3 m) when fully open
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The dimensions of the wooden canopy structure would measure about 32 ft wide, 80 ft long, and 24 ft tall (9.7 x 24 x 7.3 m) when fully open
View gallery - 8 images

Michael Jantzen has spent years designing architectural concepts and sculptures you can sit inside that reflect his interest in interactive architecture. His latest creation, the Malleable Autonomous Retreat House, is envisioned as a novel off-grid vacation home that would allow occupants to fine-tune their interaction with the elements.

The Malleable Autonomous Retreat House consists of a glazed box, with sliding doors and roof, that serves as the home proper. This is enveloped by a large wooden canopy that features 32 hinged slotted panels.

The idea is that the wooden canopy would be manipulated with electric motors, or with small geared hand-cranks, to offer fine-control over the amount of sunlight, wind, and the view enjoyed by the residents.

"Whenever all of the panels are closed (or in the flat position) the house retains a simple rectangular form," explains Jantzen. "In this position, the space under the canopy is entirely shaded, and blocks most of the wind. As the hinged panels are opened to any degree, the shape of the house begins to change into a totally unpredictable form, which can be based on the desired climatic conditions under the canopy, and/or just aesthetic preferences."

The enclosed portion (i.e. the actual "house" part of the Malleable Autonomous Retreat House) would feature a bed, seating, tables, an area for food preparation, a composting toilet, and a bath
The enclosed portion (i.e. the actual "house" part of the Malleable Autonomous Retreat House) would feature a bed, seating, tables, an area for food preparation, a composting toilet, and a bath

The glazed living area would feature a bed, seating, tables, an area for food preparation, a composting toilet, and a bath. Propane gas would be used for both cooking and heating, but when the sun's out, the canopy panels could be opened to promote solar heat gain. The home would get all its electricity from solar panels.

The Malleable Autonomous Retreat House is a concept at present, but Jantzen tells us that he hopes to eventually build it in New Mexico. You might assume that it would serve as an art installation like the rotating house on a pole, but Jantzen tells us he would like to use it as a weekend retreat for himself and his wife.

If this does indeed come about (a similar design was previously built and sold to a customer in Korea), the dimensions of the wooden canopy structure would measure approximately 32 ft wide, 80 ft long, and 24 ft tall (9.7 x 24 x 7.3 m) when fully open. The enclosed glass area of the home would comprise around 400 sq ft (37 sq m) of floorspace.

Source: Michael Jantzen

View gallery - 8 images
3 comments
ei3io
VERY interesting forms come from its functional mutations. Once the cost of transformability is reduced and the spaces dont suffer from being too drafty and dusty by adding roll, flex, stretch or folding clear skins in the voids created ,, it will work nice for less warm climates and then it will be a real solution.
ljaques
Swiss Army tools don't really work in a tool, let alone a house. Those oh-so attractive gray slats lift to provide her uncomfy backrest and his tripping hazard. Nice try, but no sell. Most people want something nicer, more luxurious, and more protective in a vacation home. Maybe his market will be in Korea. Cultural differences abound worldwide.
sk8dad
Would it be critter and insect proof? Seems like there are a lot of places where nesting can occur. Wouldn't that gum up the moving parts?