Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern DwellingMaison conteneur à l'EstaqueCEBRAThe Shipping MuseDowntown Houston, Texas, feels like a ghost town. Buildings with tinted windows loom heavily and cast dark shadows on the abandoned sidewalks. Residents rarely spend time here, and when they do, you would hardly know it: 6.3 miles of tunnels connect more than 80 city buildings, pushing pedestrians underground and away from the heat, the humidity, and the possibility of a dynamic urban lifestyle. Though the city lacks visible signs of human interaction, Houston is industrially and economically one of the busiest places in America. Nichols and Walker met in 2004 at Burning Man, a weeklong art bacchanalia in the Nevada desert, and forged a friendship over like-minded design dreams: “We both wanted to create affordable, design-intensive housing for creative, urban people,”Nichols says. Though containers are part of Houston’s vernacular, Nichols and Walker knew the idea of living in one was not. Nichols and Walker signed the property deed and enlisted Christopher Robertson as the designer.
Cellophane HouseCellophane House is a five-story, off-site fabricated dwelling made of transparent, recyclable materials commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art for the 2008 exhibition Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling. It was on display for three months on a New York City lot adjacent to the Museum, drawing over 500,000 visitors. The house is comprised of integrated component assemblies"or chunks"manufactured off-site over the course of thirteen weeks and assembled on-site in just sixteen days. A parametric model was used to achieve the high precision required for off-site fabrication and to eliminate the need for shop drawings. Fabricated virtually with Building Information Modeling (BIM), the geometric and dimensional certainty of the virtual model allows parts to be machined and assembled to the required tolerances.
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