If your future is as bleak as the planet’s, you will have had visions of a cardboard box existence. Lighten up, cardboard boxes can be fun! If they come blessed with a designer’s touch, that is.
Australian architects Stutchbury and Pape designed a cardboard box that takes no more skill to put together than an average Ikea wardrobe. The house is extremely low cost in terms of daily living. For energy usage, it relies only on 12-volt batteries or photovoltaic cells. And there’s a composting system which ingeniously produces nutrient-rich water for gardening.
What’s more, the box house is fully transportable! It’s made of 85% recycled materials and the entire thing when put together, itself will be 100% recycleable. By using paper as the main resource, people that opt to live in this prefab save 12 cubic metres of landfill, 39 trees and 30 000 litres of water.
Stutchbury and Pape have built various similar houses in Australia and abroad, ranging from residential to institutional and public buildings. The elimination of waste in all its forms is a primary design guide for Stutchbury and Pape. The architects approach materials from the inside out and model them to suit their use. They focus particularly on ease, cost and duration of replacement materials. They assemble buildings for flexibility, disassembly, reuse and predetermined lifecycles, so that a building is always seen as a resource.
The price of the box house? $35,000. Sold internationally.