NH House

OCDI Press
Publication Type:
Creative Work (exhibition)
Experimenta Urbana at Documenta 14 - Ways of Life, 2017
Issue Date:
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NH House.pdfPublished version1.56 MB
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MH House is a 34.5 sq.m (L:5.68m, W:6.64m, H:2.83m) prefabricated shelter with a 17.5 sq.m terrace and a total cost of €5.000. Its lightweight structure is made of galvanized steel. The frame is modular and parts are interchangeable. Its walls and roof feature polyolefin foam panels, which protect residents from sun, wind, rain and snow. Its final coating, a metallized polyethylene terephthalate (MPET) is tough and durable and provides the house unified image. Its short sides are covered with door-integrated-panels and a solar panel and a rain-water collector in the roof ensures its energetic autonomy. Inside, the MH house contains a thermal curtain that surrounds four objects: a stove, a kitchen, a bath top, a bed and a masonry heater. An adjacent pavilion includes a chemical toilet and the water tank. During the cold seasons, the thermal curtain reduces the house floor area and takes advantage of the thermal mass of the masonry eater. During the warm seasons the doors in both sides of the house ensure cross ventilation and a direct relation with nature. Its terrace, enclosed by a bare structure soon to be covered by vines, provides a second chamber to enjoy the site’s domesticated nature. Assembling the MH House requires a team of four people and takes four days. It uses only off-the-shelf technology and mainly appropriates components of the Better Shelter modular emergency shelter. The set of pieces to build the MH House fits in 8 flat pack boxes. Once built, MH House weighs 507 kilograms. MH House is a fragile double pitch-roof box that attempts to contain everyday life. It combines features of the existentialist hut in the black forest, a positivist mass-produced housing unit, and the case study houses pragmatic hedonism. To escape all three models MH House collages all their technologies together in a temporary magic box. Awaking curiosity, occultation, contrasting inner and outer, offering mystery, the house imagines the domestic as a game.
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