Architecture

'Roll it' turns compact housing on its head

'Roll it' turns compact housin...
Roll it is definitely an out-of-the-box flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)
Roll it is definitely an out-of-the-box flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)
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Roll it flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)
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Roll it flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)
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Roll it flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)
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Roll it flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)
Roll it is definitely an out-of-the-box flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)
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Roll it is definitely an out-of-the-box flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)
Roll it is definitely an out-of-the-box flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)
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Roll it is definitely an out-of-the-box flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)
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Roll it flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)
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Roll it flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)
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Roll it flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)
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Students from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany have created a flexible housing solution that makes the most of its minimal interior space in a very unusual way. Dubbed "Roll it", this cylinder-shaped home changes its purpose depending on its orientation - roll the the work space 180 degrees and it becomes a bed, the kitchen becomes a bathroom and you even get some exercise in the mouse wheel-like center section when you decide to "move house".

Student team Christian Zwick and Konstantin Jerabek came up with the "Roll it" idea when working on a project that explored the concept of "mobile and space-efficient construction."

The experimental design consists of an outer shell which comprises four supporting rings and a torsion inner shell membrane. Thin wooden slats are mounted to the external membrane, allowing the running surface to roll and stop.

Roll it flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)
Roll it flexible housing solution (Image: University of Karlsruhe)

The odd-ball interior design features several independent living solutions. The table and work space convert into the sleeping zone with the mattress held in place using velcro while blankets, pillows, linen and clothing can be stored in the space beneath it.

A "wet" zone located in the front section offers access to a toilet, sink and even a stove. The sink is embedded in the paneling, where a water tank is located above it and - thankfully - the hinged toilet design means it can't be turned upside down. Rectangular slits allow for natural light to filter through openings and a large circular opening at the end serves as the entrance.

Whilst it may not be the comfiest of housing solutions, the rolling design sure is novel.

Source: Detail (German).

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19 comments
Joseph Shimandle
Novel, but in the real world it\'s useless.
Slowburn
Some of it might be interesting in a RV, or private airplane. But the toilet in the cooking area? YUCK!!!
Михаил Финогенов
I wonder where do these crazy concepts come from? How much do you need to smoke to come with something like THAT =)
Mike Barnett
In an odd way, this is some tricxkle-down tech from the space race... unfettered by gravity, and using primarily cylindical components, many space vehicle, and compnents of the ISS have similar interiors. It may not be practical for housing (although I could easily see the bed/work area installed in a room), it does show innovative thought and forward thinking. Hmm.... I wonder if the bed/desk concept would fit into junior\'s room?!?
GadgetGeek
Interesting... I wonder how much Grant/Scholarship money was spent to build this useless prototype... in the age of VR Technology, can't we get a feel for interesting, possibly inspiring, and credibly creative, but utterly useless concepts virtually and put the funds to a little more productive use... like giving someone else a chance at an education. I mean no disrespect to the students, this kind of out of the box thinking is where innovation is born - but building a full scale model honestly seems to be such a waste of money and material. Shouldn't our universities be better stewards of their spending? of course the governments of the world have yet to tackle that as well!
donwine
Here are some of the things that cannot be rolled over: the p traps in the drains, the toilet, the refrigerator & AC, pictures on the wall and the payments.
Walt Stawicki
other things best not rolled over...my \"bed\" and my \"desk\" this place reminds me that anoxexia has parallels in other areas of lifestyle...
Sean Lijek
I like it!
Griffin
Once again, what wonderful things do all these critics create that entitle them to be scathing in their comments? I think that it saves space,provides exercise and keeps people organized and alert. You can't be very sloppy in a house like that. I think if it were to form a hostel it would be very popular and the water issues could then become communal. I like it- it sure is a lot more efficient than all the wasted space and materials I see in the big metro areas. What about stadiums? Talk about waste. How can there be homeless when there are stadiums? Call me a dreamer but I say that greed,lies and denial are pushing humanity beyond the point of no return: critical mass. If people like this can literally think "outside the box" at this level, where will they be in a few years? We need to re-think our modern versions of "slash&burn" socio-economic procedures. This exercise does have merit in that AT LEAST it's not some big huge black hole yacht that only exists on some CGI file to soak up millions of dollars from some greedy arrogant individual. Gizmag has shown many of those-are they "practical"? At least this is real and represents an artistic departure from the mundane... for those amongst the masses that are ready for change. It inspires those of us who are pursuing creative alternatives such as homes built from shipping containers.
Jean-Pierre Levac
I reckon those that are disgusted with the toilet being near the kitchen must not go out to restaurants much since most of them also have toilets near the kitchen area to minimize plumbing infrastructure. For my part I predict these modular housing concepts will be common by 2100 due to the necessity to optimize living space with overpopulation.