Bao House is a mobile house exhibited in Sanlitun village, Beijing as part of the “Get It Louder” 2012 Exhibition. The brief is to design a mobile house which can be driven by human power. The structure was designed and fabricated by dot Architects. Bao House is designed to be a house detached from land. Built with SPF (Spray polyurethane foam), a 2X2 metre cube is fixed on a tricycle, thus the vehicle could move around in the city streets while functioning as a shelter.
The exterior of the house is made of SPF. Fabric was deployed as exterior mold, and spray Polyurethane foam was injected. As the foam dried it expanded and produced great pressure on the fabric which was fixed to the inner wooden mold at anchor points. Each anchor point was connected by strings in order to create a secondary texture. Finally a multiple bulge outward was achieved. Bao House gets its name from this bubble-like surface, since “bao” in Chinese means bulge.
The exterior and interior molds were tear down after the SPF dried and got its shape. The structure is light in weight and bold in appearance, water-resistant and thermal-insulated. The interior is designed to accommodate three people, with a mattress on the floor and a trans- parent Polycarbonated panel on the roof. The simple layout provides peace and tranquility, as the skylight pours into the pure white solitary space. The front side of the Bao House is a 2mX2m sliding door. When the door closes the house has a monolithic looking. When the door opens the house gets a maximum access to the surrounding environment. The light-weight structure guarantees the mobility of the Bao House. The tricycle is driven by manpower, and could be easily transformed into other clean energy driven vehicle.
SPF is a spray-applied insulating foam plastic that is installed as a liquid and expands many times its original size when exposed to air. Spray polyurethane foam is the king of building materials for multitasking: insulation, air barriers, roofing, etc. Having so many characteristics, SPF always conceals behind the finishing surface and functions only as supplementary material though. Bao House tries to explore this common material and re-interpret it in a new fabrication system.
images © Vanessa Chen - Yuming Bai