the Wizard of Oz a clear example of the awesome forcethat a tornado can
muster? How can Jaws drive people out of the ocean screamingwhen a
house blown through the sky brings back nostalgic memories? Please
stayout of the water… but feel free to build your home below flood level
and out ofcards in the wind. There is an urgent need to shift from an
outmoded logic,ignorant of the forces of nature, to a point where the
unabashed rush forprofit and development can be balanced against the
basic goal of providingshelter. Humanity is inexplicably driven to build
in places where it shouldnot-accepting the unavoidability of this folly
is the first step to breathingin a new vision. We sought a way of
turning the seemingly destructive acts ofnature into creative blooms.
architecture is the innovation which we believe willform the foundation
for the habitation of the future. This type of architecturelearns from
technological innovation and amps up its incorporation into thehome,
custom tailoring existing mechanisms in new ways. The revised
conceptionof the home finds itself somewhere between garage doors,
flowers, and thesurvival mentality of a turtle. A series of simple
hydraulic levers are used topush the home in and out of the ground and
deflect and warp the outer skin inresponse to external stimulation. The
key activators of this motion being thehigh velocity winds associated
with thunderstorms and tornadoes. A series ofsolar cells on the outer
skin rotate and flex to attain maximum solar intensity.A translucent
outer skin consisting of clear insulation sandwiched between twolayers
of Kevlar provides the weather barrier and lets diffuse light into
thestructure. We are also exploring the application of photocatalytic
coatings andcarbon nanotubes on the skin to absorb and clean pollution
turning it directlyinto fuel for the home to power the hydraulics.
water tight seal locks the roof of the collapsed homemaking the
structure water and wind proof. There have been a series of studiessince
the mid 90’s showing homes that float up and out of harm’s way.
Thissolution does not anticipate the velocity of the water, and more
importantly thegrinding power of the debris contained in the water. The
safest place is down.
Neighborhoods will become interwoven and
connected togetherthrough sensor networks that interpret weather data.
After warning sirensentire suburbs can be collapsed in seconds. The
whole neighborhood will behaveas an organism fit for a collective
response to the challenges brought by thenatural environment. The image
of technology as a fire breathing train slicinga trail of black smoke
through the innocent forest painted by Hawthorne isslowly replaced by a
desire to respond to nature and not seek to dominate it.The tornadoes
and storms can burn and blow with all their fury while the suburbsafely
Can we spin this violent ever present soup into astabilizing
direction? We seek a new mobility for the home that is controllednot
left to "chance” (there is nothing accidental about 100 year old
weatherpatterns). We are currently working on the development of a
prototype with agroup of ship builders in the US and Africa.
Design Team: Ted Givens, Trey Tyler, Mohamad Ghamlouch,Shane Dale, Dougald Fountain