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Light housing

Light housing

Auroville, 2013

Light housing is a prototype for building with a lighter environmental impact in the context of growing concerns about the affordability of housing, and not only in money terms. ‘Light’ also symbolizes knowledge; and the theme focuses on minimising the ‘material’ required by using appropriate geometry, form and efficient structural design together with hybrid construction technologies that balance between low-tech and hi-tech.

The key strategy for reducing cost, time consumption and material use in the production of houses is to reduce

the chief housing component to a lightweight roofing element that minimises the need for columns, beams and walls. The chicken-wire mesh within the ferrocement structure also makes the unit resistant to seismic loads. The roof form is derived from research on origami creasing patterns that give thin paper strength and rigidity. A suitable form is developed according to the proportions suitable for modest human habitation. The module is designed for versatility through combination and repetition in order to arrive at a range of applications for various occupations suitable to members of the household. The module is applicable to a range of contexts such as disaster relief, slum upgrading, temporary housing in sensitive landscapes and youth hostels.