Thinking Tech

House changes shape depending on the weather [video]

Posting in Architecture

The D*Haus, has the ability to adjust to changing temperatures by transforming into various shapes.

D*Haus Dynamic from The D*Haus Company Ltd on Vimeo.

While houses are designed to protect us from the elements, they don't do much to ensure the climate inside is comfortable. I guess you can say that's what air conditioning and central heating is for.

But a group of architects in London wanted a less energy intensive way of adapting to the weather. Their concept home, the D*Haus, has the ability to adjust to changing temperatures by transforming into various shapes. The idea is to divide the building into sections and connecting them using strategically placed hinges. Situated on rails, the parts can be moved around and set up in various positions.

The prefab D*Haus home was originally conceived as a solution for the harsh conditions experienced by those residing in Sweden and Lapland, where there are days the sun doesn't even rise over the horizon. Leaving it as a square-shaped building is ideal for trapping heat during the winter while letting the outer sections slide open in parallel is more optimal arrangement for catching the sun's rays. It can also transform into a triangular-shaped structure.

“The dissection of the square into four distinct shapes allows it to be rearranged to form the triangle," Daniel Woolfson of the D*Haus Company told Fast Company. "This concept alone is fascinating, but the possibilities are endless when applying this formula to the world of architecture and design.”

The company uses similar mathematical formulas to design innovative shapeshifting products like lamps and tables. Implementing mechanical moving parts into an actual building, however, is a different kind of challenge entirely. But as this more modest shapeshifting house in Suffolk, England demonstrates, you're only limited by your imagination.

(via Fast Company, D*Haus)

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Tuan Nguyen

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Tuan C. Nguyen is a freelance science journalist based in New York City. He has written for the U.S. News and World Report, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, AOL, Yahoo! News and LiveScience. Formerly, he was reporter and producer for the technology section of ABCNews.com. He holds degrees from the University of California Los Angeles and the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure