AR_EA 2015 Commended
The mission statement of Lofthitech – designer of lightweight, mobile housing units – opens with a series of rather dramatic gambits, among them ‘eradicating world misery’, avoiding the rules of ‘real estate, authorities, lenders and suppliers’ and merging ‘ultra low-cost’ with ‘extreme luxury’. With such a dramatic, world-changing manifesto attached to these housing pods and rather retro digital renders, it is almost as though we have been transported back to the survival technology of the 1960s: the world of Archigram and Reyner Banham’s bubbles.
But in essence, Lofthitech hopes to answer a more immediate question: how can we provide access in the poorest areas of the world to robust, cheap and comfortable living spaces? In this sense Lofthitech attempts to bridge the gap between quick, cheap and light emergency housing and one-off units for those looking for more luxury – no easy feat.
‘All of this can be packed, Russian-doll like, into the hollow blocks for swift transportation’
Lofthitech’s mobile architecture concept can allegedly be installed in record time – under one hour for a 100m2 area – and utilises only a few main elements: two structural blocks, a metal frame, a light roof and a glazed front. All of this can be packed, Russian-doll like, into the hollow blocks for swift transportation.
Lofthitech’s extensive catalogue shows renders of all manner of shapes, sizes and features, all based on the principle of two simple structural walls and an unfolding ‘window bay-roof’.
Lofthitech Guillaume Patrois construction sequence
The ultra-fast assembly can be undertaken with no tools whatsoever. Indeed, even the structural wall blocks can be substituted for anything able to support the central structure and unfolding roof placed between them. The result is a system that can be used in a pop-up, tent-like manner or as an extension of an existing landscape, all brought in via lorry or helicopter.
The concept does not stop at emergency housing, however. The Lofthitech range is extremely extensive, from a small 26m2 space to one of 100m2. With the ease of erection, you could quite possibly have one up and ready to go in your back garden within a few weeks. Into these units ‘Megawalls’ can be inserted: prefabricated units ranging from shelves and television housings to kitchens and toilets that can be connected to existing water and energy supplies.
‘To travel to and from your new home you can purchase a Scooterhitech, an enclosed motorcycle that can connect to these modular structures.’
Delve deeper and it becomes apparent that Guillaume Patrois has developed a whole lifestyle to match these units. To travel to and from your new home you can purchase a Scooterhitech, an enclosed motorcycle that can supposedly be connected to these modular structures.
While all that is needed is a modest patch of land to place it on, despite the claims of the designer, Lofthitech is not above the law: local planning regulations will apply.
Designer: Guilliaume Patrois
Photographs: Courtesy of the designer