What does a library, a pizzeria, a town square, a holiday house and a vacuum cleaner have in common? You see where I’m going with this? No? Allow me to elaborate.
It’s certainly no news the (Western) world has been moving towards a more mobile existence for quite some time. Advancement of technology in combination with our continued pursuit of alternative lifestyle has brought about many developments towards innovative, or should I say – less conventional ways of working, living and holidaying. One such example is the move towards mobile buildings. Whilst this is far from being a new trend, it’s definitely interesting to see how varied these buildings are in their usage and the way in which they are configured. From true mobile homes such as the repurposed vehicles and shipping containers, to more conventional shelters designed to fit on the back of a bicycle or a truck, these interesting examples of mobile buildings from around the globe are a real-life comment about the mobile-nature of the world we live in.
A47 Mobile Library is designed by Mexican architecture studio PRODUCTORA. It is operated by Fundación Alumnos47, an organisation dedicated to encouraging learning cantered on the arts and contemporary visual culture in Mexico City. The Mobile Library carries over 1,200 books and other printed material on contemporary art housed in a specially designed truck.
Del Popolo is a mobile pizzeria in San Francisco housed in a twenty-foot transatlantic shipping container that’s been re-purposed and modified into a kitchen. A wall of glass doors exposes the interior, including the traditional Italian-made wood-fired oven. The owner, Jon Darsky, worked with four designers and spent $180K to fit the container on to a heavy-duty delivery truck.
Bao House mobile home by dot Architects is a 2 x 2m cube fixed to a tricycle so it can be moved around while functioning as shelter. It was exhibited in Sanlitun Village, Beijing as part of the “Get It Louder” 2012 exhibition. The exterior of the house is made of SPF (Spray Polyurethane Foam). Fabric was deployed as exterior mould, and SPF was injected creating a bubble-like surface. The interior is designed to accommodate three people.
Portable Home ÁPH80 by ÁBATON. ÁBATON has developed the ÁPH80 series as a dwelling ideal for 2 people, easily transported by road and ready to be placed almost anywhere. The team chose dimensions of 9 x 3m to provide just enough space for two people while allowing the house to be hoisted onto the back of a truck for transport. The proportions are the result of a thorough study by the architects so the different spaces are recognizable and “the feeling indoors is one of fullness”. It is a simple yet sturdy construction made of materials chosen to provide both comfort and balance. ÁPH80 embodies the principles and objectives of ÁBATON: wellbeing, environmental balance, and simplicity.
Meet Hank Bought a Bus. For his final project at architecture school, Hank Butitta remodeled an old school bus he bought on Craigslist. Now he and his friend, Justin Evidon, are on a 5,000 mile journey across the American Northwest.
Whangapoua Sled House by Crosson Clarke Carnachan.
New Zealand represent. This elegant holiday hut lies within the coastal erosion zone on Coromandel Peninsula, where all building must be removable. This is taken literally and the hut is designed to fit on two thick wooden sleds for movement up the site or across the beach and onto a barge. The holiday retreat is designed to close up against the elements when not in use, and measures a mere 40 square meters. It accommodates a family of five in a kitchen/dining/living area, a bathroom and two sleeping zones. The clients sought to explore the real essence of holiday living; small, simple, functional.The interior is the epitome of efficiency, every available space is utilised from cabinetry toe spaces to secret cubby holes within the children’s bunks. The hut is totally sustainable from its modest size to the use of timber in its cladding, structure, lining and joinery and from its worm tank waste system to the separate potable grey water tanks.
Cricklewood Town Square by Spacemakers. Cricklewood, in North West London, is a community with no public space: no town hall, no library, no square, not even a single bench. In response, Spacemakers have created a mobile public space that roamed across the area for a month, reclaiming forgotten patches of land, and transforming them into civic spaces for everyone to use. The square, designed and built by Studio Kieren Jones, moved across Cricklewood on the back of a bicycle, establishing tiny, temporary pieces at various underused sites: from the grass space next to B&Q, to an empty pavement outside a bingo hall, and even on a rooftop car park.
‘Almost’, 2012 by Hans Kotter. ‘Almost’ was part of an exhibition titled ‘Home Sweet Home’ at Gallery Klaus Benden in Köln, Germany, presented by renowned German artist Hans Kotter. The artwork focuses on the them of a house and a home – defined by a fragile glass structure perched on a trailer, with an interior manipulated with mirror reflections, glass and translucency.