Prefab, Flatpack Or Just Fab?

In this post we are looking at Flat Pak or Prefab Houses. Much like in our containers of hope article we are impressed with this concept as it is a concept that really can make a difference to people from all walks of life. This design idea is not strictly limited to the wealthy or elite but opens to a broad range of people who may not be in a position to buy your standard everyday home.

Take for instance the Soe Ker Tie Hias project listed below. Although this is not strictly a house, it is a sleeping unit that was designed by TYIN Tegnestue. TYIN Tegnestue is a non-profit organization working for humanitarian projects through architecture, its is made up of 6 individuals Pasi Aalto, Andreas Grøntvedt Gjertsen, Yashar Hanstad, Magnus Henriksen, Line Ramstad and Erlend Bauck SoleThey designed these sleeping units so as the children living in the orphanage would have somewhere to sleep and shelter from the harsh elements during the monsoon season as well as protecting them from living on the streets, essentially it was an extension to the overcrowded orphanage.

The eco-friendly and sustainable units were built using materials sourced locally such as Bamboo, Iron and Tropical Timber and were designed in such a way so as it can capture the rain water and serve an even greater purpose to the orphanage. The most astounding fact of this 6 structure project was that the total cost of it was $10,000 US or 36,500 AED. Not a great deal of money compared to some of the projects we work on, but a great deal of difference has been achieved.

Photography for this project is credited to Pasi Aalto who was also one of the Architects.

Here is another example of a prefab / flatpack unit that cost a minimal amount, this concept was designed by Lazor Office and is called the Week’nder. The concept is that this is a weekend home or a holiday home for those looking to have a plush pad in the country for a minimal cost. The idea behind the concept is almost crudely juxtaposed to the Soe Ker Tie Hias project; however the principals remain the same, using sustainable and readily available materials we can help to change people’s lives by providing safe, sturdy and sustainable structures and homes for a fraction of the cost of traditional bricks and mortar.

Images for this project are credited to George Heinrich.

Although these two projects are on complete opposite ends of the scale, it is the concept that we want to investigate more, take these projects from an architectural perspective and start to think what we could really do to help people with this. From schools or classrooms in Haiti, to Clinics for the elderly or infirm in Sierra Leone to offices for projects workers in war torn countries or for Jack and Jill up the Hill who can’t afford their own home, the possibilities are endless and it is something that we at Studio EM will continue to explore.