Design Studio SS 00

Rolling Home


The rolling home: a vision of yesterday or the adequate answer to the urban nomadism of today? To design the dwelling of the individual as part of a changeable large-scale structure has to be presupposed as known since the sixties at the latest. The questionable necessity of such “plug-in” systems is probably the decisive criterion for the vision that has so far only been rudimentarily transported into reality.

Away from urban landmarks and identity-creating megastructures, a “location-independent” – i.e. a more or less mobile – dwelling of reduced dimensions is to be developed. On the one hand, relevant basic parameters of a household are to be covered, on the other hand, the potential of (place) change is to be elevated to a feature. The allotment gardens of the Austrian Federal Railways, for example, are only allocated “on revocation”, which means that they have to be returned to the owner at short notice if necessary. In this case, all construction work carried out to date must be removed at the expense of the constructors. For the builder, this results in an almost total loss of the costs incurred. In the area of these allotment gardens awarded on revocation, such a mobile minimal dwelling could take place in an exemplary manner and reduce the problem of the potential loss of land to a conceivable minimum.

A structural unit is to be designed in the usually grid-like subdivided natural space. This unit is plugged in the sense of a “plug-in” and thus coupled to the infrastructural supply. The potential for separation thus remains guaranteed. What needs to be ascertained is how the transportability will affect the structure of the dwelling. The available building area is 35 m2 and the building height of 5.0 m must not be exceeded. The building structure is required to leave space for further development. In view of the fact that concrete needs are to be covered, functional considerations come increasingly into play. It is also necessary to pursue questions about the layering of individual interior volumes and to make “optimal” use of any remaining space. Even if the cost factor in the specific topic plays a role not to be neglected, nevertheless area for individuality must be created. The dwelling, which is set up in the garden – a piece of “sparing” natural space – is to answer in adequate way to this circumstance. The question of winterizing such a structure must also be considered, and the maintenance costs for such a structure must be included in the design process.


This design program will be supervised on a weekly basis. A guest critique is planned before Christmas. For submission in the month of January is to individually develop a design concept including full representation, construction of a model on a scale of 1:20.