Monday, October 27, 2008

Walking House

What if the next time you needed to move, you simply picked up your house and took it with you? Unlike a traditional mobile home, however, the Copenhagen-based collective N55's Walking House (built in conjunction with MIT) doesn't need a road. This "modular dwelling system," commissioned by the Wysing Arts Centre, is said to be a re-design -- and unique interpretation -- of an 18th century horse-drawn carriage.

To me, Walking House resembles a giant ant, with its six autonomous legs and hexagonal, tubular body. The unit is equipped with a "composting toilet system", solar cells, and small windmills. Its inventors say that this design "enables persons to live a peaceful nomadic life, moving slowly through the landscape or cityscape with minimal impact on the environment."

You can watch the YouTube video (below) of Walking House, but the speed is so slow that the clip is almost unwatchable. The house moves at a snail's pace of 60 meters per hour (0.037 miles per hour or about 4/100 of a mile per hour), which seems to fall short of the designer's intent to have the house "move at a slow pace similar to the walking speed of the human body."

Nonetheless, there's a lot to love about this little ant-like house. treehugger has been following this project from its inception, and it's fun to see how the project has evolved from prototype until now.

As a temporary dwelling, Walking House truly takes the fun of a treehouse to another level. But I can't imagine living full-time in such a structure. What do you think? Could you live in Walking House? If you were going to design a walking house, what would it look like?

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