Think of a generic house, and you probably picture something along the lines of a simple children’s drawing: A basic box with a few windows and a door. Even as architectural styles have evolved, the typical form of a home has stayed more or less the same. That’s why, at first glance, it’s hard to tell that this new design from postgraduate architecture student Gonzalo Vaíllo Martínez is a house at all.
The designer wanted to challenge conventional expectations for houses of the near future. “We still have many restrictions imposed by Modernism,” Vaíllo says. “They are embedded in society, even if they are outdated. If you show a picture of the Ville Savoye to somebody who has nothing to do with architecture, he or she will probably still tell you it is an avant-garde house. A house from 1931.”
Vaíllo’s sprawling, fluid home, inspired by microcellular systems and biogenetics, is designed to be made from concrete and 3-D printed panels and frames. The modular system could be adapted for any particular site to match the land’s specific topography; in these renderings, Vaíllo imagined a version sitting between two classic midcentury homes designed by Richard Neutra.
The house is made of three main sections. On the outer walls, panels open and close like gills to let in light and air. The crazy shape of the structure is created using 3-D modeling. As the video below shows, the digital tool animates the frame of the house so it can evolve into new forms.
Though Vaíllo says the house would be possible to build, it wouldn't be easy. "Every single corner would be a challenge," he says. "Although the house takes into account the constructive logics of common building, there isn’t any single piece in the market that can be directly used in the house." The technology needed for this type of construction exists, but tends to be in use by other disciplines, Vaillo explains. "If we use these resources with an architectural purpose, we will be able to uplift the possibilities of what we understand as architecture."