So you've found a nice piece of land and are ready to embark upon the dream of building your own home. Instead of spending the next few years dealing with the stress of managing a horde of builders, imagine if a truck could just roll up, and with the press of a button unfold your dream house in less than ten minutes. UK-based company Ten Fold Engineering has developed a series of modular, self-deploying structures that can be instantly unfolded without the need for builders, cranes or foundations.

The core structure underlying all Ten Fold systems is a unit that can be easily delivered to any location on a truck. Upon delivery the unit unfolds to three times its transport size, after which the unit is immediately ready to live in, with all internal fittings and fixtures already pre-installed. The system is also reversible, meaning it can be just as quickly refolded and moved to a new location.

The internal layout of an individual unit is completely interchangeable via a series of folding partitions, letting the homeowner design a floor plan and room combination to meet their needs. The units can also be pre-fitted with an assortment of modular pods allowing for off-grid power systems, batteries or water-treatment systems.

Perhaps most interesting is the scalability of the system, with units able to be interlinked or stacked in a variety of combinations to make larger houses or even a hotel-style building.

As well as the standard rectangular pod-based unit, Ten Fold has designed a series of customized fold-out accommodations to suit those with more idiosyncratic architectural inclinations. A unit dubbed the "Tree House" expands from a cube to reveal a winged floating tree house, while "Moot Hall" looks like a giant A-frame tent.

Most of the current Ten Fold designs are still conceptual, with the company looking primarily to commodify the unfolding technology it has developed. It is currently calling out to all architects, engineers and manufacturer interested in deploying the technology, offering the intellectual property for a license fee.

The core unfolding unit has been prototyped though, and the company demonstrates it unfolding in the video below. This core unit looks to be moving towards production, and the website estimates a single unit to have a starting price of £100,000 (US$130,000), that's before the cost of extra components such as those that would assist off-grid living.

The company hopes that the cost of producing components will fall so that in the future the system could make for affordable housing, or cheap rapid response structures in times of crisis.

Take a look at the unfolding prototype in the video below.

Source: Ten Fold Engineering

View gallery - 34 images