Il nuovo e il vecchio

“E nessuno mette del vino nuovo in otri vecchi, altrimenti il vino li fa scoppiare: così il vino esce fuori e gli otri vanno perduti. Invece, per vino nuovo ci vogliono otri nuovi.
Chi beve vino vecchio non vuole vino nuovo perché dice: quello vecchio è migliore.
Lc 5, 37-39

Future Shack
1985 – 2001
No fixed address


A mass produced relocatable house for emergency and relief housing. Recycled shipping containers are used to form the main volume of the building. A parasol roof packs inside the container. When erected, the roof shades the container and reduces heat load on the building. Legs telescope from the container enabling it to sited without excavation on uneven terrain.

This house has applications for a variety of needs – post flood, fire, earthquake or similar natural disasters, temporary housing, third world housing, remote housing and so on. The universal nature of the container means that the houses can be stockpiled and easily transported throughout the world. The Future Shack can be fully erected in 24 hours.
As architects in stable democracies our responsibilities are reasonably clear cut. Our role in those societies where freedom has been ripped away by force, or where nature has devastated whole cities, or when generations of minority groups have been forced into a life of poverty because of a political philosophy, is hazy by comparison. The need ‘to house’, born out of the adversity of war offers for architects the opportunity to provide shelter for fellow human beings in need. To that end our building provides:

1. Mass Production
Steel shipping containers are robust and durable. They are a mass produced and inexpensive universal module which forms the basis of this design.

2. Flexibility
As a base module the containers can be stockpiled for use on an ‘as required’ basis. They are designed to be transported by trucks and ships and trains- all infrastructure for the handling of the module is available world wide.

3. Ease of siting
Packed inside the container is a pair of steel brackets which are fixed to the outside of the container. Inside the brackets are four legs which telescope out and which can therefore enable the module to be sited without the need for extensive site preparation.

4. Self Contained
Also packed within the container are water tanks, solar power cell, satellite receiver, roof access ladder, container access ramp and parasol roof. The basic container is also modified to provide thermal insulation to R4.0 and to allow through a series of openable vents the free flow of fresh air.










5. Ablution
Each module has the capacity to be fitted with bathroom /kitchen depending upon local requirements.

6. Parasol Roof
The parasol roof provides a universal symbol of home. It also shelters the roof of the module, providing a thermal cushion between the module and direct solar radiation as well as a contained and protected outdoor space. The roof panels provide a shading co-efficient of 0.49 and can be interchanged with indigenous materials such as thatch, mud and stick, palm leaves and so on.

7. Mobile + Reusable
Future Shack can be packed back into itself and relocated or stockpiled for future use.
It is therefore legitimately described as fully recyclable fully self sustainable architecture.
Time required for assembly on site – 24 hours.