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Barcelona's Fab Lab House

Solar Decathlon 2010 has awarded this prototype dwelling its Public Choice Award

Exhibited at the Solar Decathlon Europe Contest held in Madrid last month, the Fab Lab House has won the event’s public choice award. Developed by the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), the dwelling is a self-sufficient building that produces twice as much energy as it consumes. It incorporates state-of-the-art machinery which can build tools and everyday objects by using the very same parametrical designs used in the general design of the space. The house has been designed by architects from over twenty different countries and developed by the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), The Center for Bits and Atoms of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the world network of Fab Labs, along with an important group of private firms.

‘The form of the house responds to its energy production potential,’ says Vicente Guallart, director of the IAAC. ‘While in the 20th century form followed function, in the 21st century, form will follow energy. Buildings must be like trees, which are self sufficient, and must follow natural principles.’

‘Rather than built, the project was manufactured, as digital manufacturing machine tools (known as 3D printers) were used in the construction process,’ Guallart continues. ‘This process partakes on the humanistic idea that things must be again produced in cities. We produced our solar house with researchers, in accordance with medieval principles: the designer and the builder are the same person.’


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