Mobile Architecture - Construction and Design Manual
By Kim Seonwook & Pyo Miyoung

April 18, 2012 /
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Mobility is a challenge that architecture always had to confront; Aristotle was merely the first to philosophize about it.

In the last decade our access to information and communication has become completely mobile. We don't have to go to a physical desk anymore to make a phone call or to work on a computer; we don't need to go to a library to do research, we don't need to go to a ticket office to buy tickets, sometimes we don't even need to go to specific places to meet people. We do it all from our smart phones, wherever we are. Communication and access to knowledge are not bound to space and buildings anymore. Thus, the meaning of space in the digital age is changing.

There never was a time when there was not motion, and never will be a time when there will no be motion./Aristotle

mobile_architecture_2.jpgImage courtesy Book PR

A return to the turtle principle seems imminent. Buckminster Fuller was neither the first nor the last avant-garde architect to describe how he would dissolve buildings and indeed whole cities, experiment with new technologies, and inject architecture with a new and quite literal dynamism. The results are often both practical and innovative, as is demonstrated on the more than eight hundred pages of Mobile Architecture.

Arch Group
Alexei Garyainov & Michael Krymov

mobile_architecture_3.jpgImage © Alexei Garyainov & Michael Krymov

mobile_architecture_4.jpgImage © Alexei Garyainov & Michael Krymov

Sleepbox provides moments of quiet sleep and rest from the city without wasting time searching for a hotel. Sleepbox is a small mobile space 2m x 1.4m x 2.3m. The main functional element in it is a bed 2m x 0.6m, which is equipped with automatic system of change of bed linen. Sleepbox is equipped with a ventilation system, sound alerts, built-in LCD TV, WiFi, sockets for a laptop, charging phones.It is possible to buy 15 minutes to several hours.

Encore Heureux
Julien Choppin & Nicola Delon

mobile_architecture_5.jpgImage © Julien Choppin & Nicola Delon

mobile_architecture_6.jpgImage © Julien Choppin & Nicola Delon

The increase of natural and climatic disasters create social disasters with more homeless and migrants. Room-Room is a project with two purposes; to live and to move. Our aim is to produce the largest of the smallest berth as well as the first room of the future dwelling. Room-Room is light to carry, strong and safe, affordable, mobile, ergonomic, thermatically efficient, easily transportable. Room-Room wants to make people move and people think.

Vallo & Sadovsky Architects

mobile_architecture_7.jpgImage © Vallo & Sadovsky Architects

mobile_architecture_8.jpgImage © Vallo & Sadovsky Architects

BA-LIK Pavilion is set in one of Bratislava's historical squares. Flexibility and mobility are main characteristics of the pavilion. The object itself is composed of five elements mounted on wheels that can be moved and connected so it becomes closed and compact or loosely open. During the summer month it can be used for various cultural activities: a theater performance, a concert, or an exhibition. Similar to how a concert differs from a theater performance the structure can adapt and change. In times when there is no particular event taking place the pavilion becomes a piece of modern city furniture, giving young contemporary identity to the square.

Desert Seal
Arturo Vittori & Andreas Vogler

mobile_architecture_9.jpgImage © Arturo Vittori & Andreas Vogler

Desert Seal is a tent designed for the extreme environment of the desert. By taking advantage of the daytime heat gradient of arid regions, fresh air is drawn inside by an electrical fan placed at the top of the tent which is powered by a flexible solar panel installed across its exterior face. The overall shape is informed by aerodynamic considerations and allows users to enter in a standing position. Air-filled columns ensure stability in the event of wind and the special silver fabric protects the interior space from the sun.

Temporary Bar
Diago Aguiar & Teresa Otto

mobile_architecture_10.jpgImage © Diago Aguiar & Teresa Otto

mobile_architecture_11.jpgImage © Diago Aguiar & Teresa Otto

Departing from IKEA's concept "build-your-own," the project is a parallelepiped made out of different depth storage boxes, resulting in a modular building with a textured skin standing as a visual reference. It is a project that departs from assembling units in order to reach the whole. The project is divided in four types of modules, groups of boxes fixed to wooden structural frames, applied in workshops and then transported to the implantation site.

Eric Höweler & Jeannie Meejin Yoon

mobile_architecture_12.jpgImage © Eric Höweler & Jeannie Meejin Yoon

mobile_architecture_13.jpgImage © Eric Höweler & Jeannie Meejin Yoon

Hover is a temporary outdoor environment installed for the Des Cours outdoor art festival in New Orleans. The project harvests energy by day and creates an illuminated light canopy at night. Fabric cells incorporate flexible photovoltaics and LED's, creating an off-grid lighting system that acts as a shelter, shade, and luminous outdoor environment. The geometry for the canopy is derived from a pentagonal tiling system that allows the same unit to tile with itself, producing variation without difference. The conical shaping of the fabric is designed to allow the photovoltaic panels to face the sun at their optimal inclination.

Authors Kim Seonwook and Pyo Miyoung have assembled a rich array of extraordinary experiments and practical solutions. Sorted by design firm, their collection includes a wide variety of types, functions, and materials, from the fairly simple, to the elaborately sophisticated.

If architects sometimes play with utopian fantasies and follies, their approach to portable buildings is often quite pragmatic, too. That many utopian scenarios have long become a reality is documented in the detailed plans, sketches, and photographs assembled in this book.

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Publisher: DOM

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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