30 July 2004
30 July 2004
A young architect from Harrow has designed a novel way of beating overcrowding in London by building a composite home that floats on water.
”Sphere” is a self-contained carbon-fibre bubble, with a kitchen, bathroom and living facilities powered by solar panels. It is the brainchild of Marcin Panpuch, 29, who has earned a commendation for the project from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
His three-floor design, which is about 12 metres in diameter, is transparent with a central core containing a spiral staircase, kitchen and toilet. Waste products are stored on board while the house is afloat and can be released when it is docked.
The spherical shape means that the house would have 25 per cent less surface area than a cube of comparable size, and would therefore reduce heat loss. As Marcin explained, the sphere is powered by renewable energy: ""The sphere has retractable solar panels that can cover the windows, giving you privacy inside and providing energy for the house,"" he said.
The houses are designed so that they can be stacked together in a tower based around a crane, and detached when the owners wish. Another exciting prospect is that the unit is mobile, which might make the daily commute a more interesting affair.
His sphere was highly commended in the ""unbuilt"" category of RIBA's recent awards, and the designs are on display at the institute's exhibition in Portland Place, London.
Marcin hopes to market the design and is looking for potential investors. He expects the futuristic homes to sell for between £30,000 and 50,000 GBP, a very competitive price tag in the current housing market.
TRB Lightweight Structures has recently gained the highest DIN 6701 (Parts 1-4) A1 type certification.
Composite products, based on polyurethane technologies from global chemical company Huntsman, are taking centre stage at a design exhibition at the Design Museum Gent, Belgium.
In late November, the 14 project partners in the MoPaHyb consortium developing a modular production plant for hybrid high-performance components wrapped up their successful efforts with a two-day symposium in Pfinztal, Germany.