Competition Details

A Tent Forming a House

by Helene Boyer
Co-authors: Federico Carbajal

The concept is simple: extending the use of the tent from the emergency housing to the reconstruction of permanent housing by rethinking its design.

The proposition has the qualities of a tent for a fast and efficient answer to an emergency status:
- Lightweight,
- compact when stored and transported,
- rapidly pitched up .

It offers basic commodities:
- two rooms covering a 18m2 floor area,
- cross-ventilation & day-lighting,
- climatic protection with a double layer of fabric.

Its small scale and final shape contribute to an easy organization of the units on a based camp. It may also be established next to damaged properties.

As the emergency declines, long term planning becomes important. Once the final location has been chosen and the foundations poured, the initial tent is transported there, used as formwork to cast the first module of the permanent house and re-used to cast additional modules as required. It allows the house to expend and adapt itself to the needs of the different families.

Fabric formwork is an innovative solution for cast in place construction:
- It is 100 to 300 times lighter than conventional wooden forms.
- It is 1/10th the cost of formwork plywood per unit area.
- Fabric membrane naturally deflects into the most efficient restraint shape possible to reduce the amount of material required to support the pressure of the wet concrete.

Different fillings can be used for the final construction of the house depending on regional traditions, resources and knowledge. Green alternative as cast earth would offer good thermal performances, hygroscopicity and resistance to weathering.

The kitchen & sanitary facilities are provided by an independent module connected to the house, its location allowing the integration of compost installation underground while avoiding a plumbing apparatus inside the house.