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Pallet Homes

Magadi, Kenya

Co-lead Architect (+ Katharina Manecke)

Residential

Memusi Foundation

Prototype

02.2017 - 04.2019

21m2

The Magadi region of Kenya, where the Memusi Foundation run their schools, is challenging to access therefore getting materials to build houses for teachers is both time consuming and expensive. We were therefore tasked with designing an innovative prototype home to overcome these key challenges.

 

We proposed to upcycle EUR 2 type shipping pallets from passing transport to build the frame of the house. At any one time there are around 4 billion shipping pallets in global circulation and due to insurance reasons, many can only be used once despite having no defects. We designed a bespoke joining technique which enabled ‘pallet loops’ to be fixed together to form the structure of the house. This enabled a participatory construction process which did not require power tools.

 

Taking inspiration from rural houses in the local area, the pallet home has two multifunctional internal rooms, a sheltered sitting area and an outdoor cooking zone. It is designed for passive cooling including a large roof overhang for shading and partially enclosed spaces for cross ventilation.

 

To test the pallet home details, we held a hands-on construction workshop with first year architecture students at the University of Huddersfield in 2017. Over a period of the three days, we taught the pallet joining technique so that the students had the knowledge to construct a section of the building by themselves. We then collaborated with UK-based engineers Buro Happold to present the project at Ecobuild 2017 and 2018 (in 2018 we developed a VR exhibition where attendees could explore the pallet home in 3D using Google Glass).

What are Pallet Homes.jpg
PalletLab_04.jpg
PalletHome_April2017_Image.jpg
Credit image Frieruam Kollektive - photo

PALLET LAB

Construction workshop at Huddersfield University

PALLET HOMES IN VR

A collaboration with Buro Happold Engineering