Today I am going to talk about a project by an Italian office called Altro-studio. In general, this office deal with the concept of modular structures and transportable room modules. I thought that the way in which they present this projects was quite interesting as they actually develop prototypes for each of them.
The project is called "The absolute box".
The term box, when applied to residences, expressed a living condition that recalls back substantially to traditional methods. Humans have always lived in more less articulated boxes, which have always been more or less open (or closed), and which when configured as organised living places, represent that refuge in which man gathers and expresses the memories of his private world. This condition tends to accentuate the inversely proportional relationship that exists between in and out: the more comfortable is the inner space the less disposed is to the outer one. In fact, since remote times, man has developed increasingly welcoming and comfortable domestic spaces, but which are at the same time increasingly withdrawn from the outside world and thus create an inevitable distance between the individual and the external world and the social relationships.
To achieve this result it is above all necessary to emphasize the real nature of the box, for example, the most suitable material is plaster cardboard, just like the shoeboxes, matchboxes, or the boxes for packaging etc... Let’s talk about a flexible, resistant, manageable but most of all light and easy to transport material. Our box will therefore be made of plaster cardboard and must be suspended above the ground (over two steel trestles). It must arise to overcome the gravity force that sustains the growth of its roots, It should be moreover completely closed to maintain the radical distinction between inner and outer space.
The box will constitute an empty whole; in fact, it will represent a mobile, flexible and malleable empty space transforming into a body without distinguishing features, which will conform to the needs of the individual who inhabits it. (The utilities will be located in mobile containers made from plastics as well as in the transportable WC employed in the open-air shows, while light and water will be distributed through portable solar panels.)
This prototype makes extensive use of diverse possible PV systems, from standard modules to photovoltaic strips. The last ones can have the dual function of producing electric energy and of acting as solar filters, because they are placed on the south oriented glazed wall, as indicated on the project. The wheel track between the strips depends directly on the maximum height reached by the sun at the Summer Solstice, and therefore on the latitude of the location. Another possible solution is to insert the PV units between the trestles on the façade as well as on the roof, by means of a support structures that will allow different inclination of the panel according to the location and to the hour. The distance between panel and trestles can avoid undesirable shadows that can limit the efficiency of the PV system (photovoltaic system).
You can arrange more than one line of panels which can be set in such a way to avoid cones of shadows. Power-storage units(batteries) can be placed on the same structure, as well as closed solar circuit collectors (air-water) for the heating system.
I recomend you to visit the web page as they have quite interesting examples.