July 21, 2009

Porous, structural, user-adjusted modular wall system

Drapewall is a full-scale wall prototype that explores energy conservation, modular-component assembly, and prefabricated construction for an inexpensive house. Designed by Marc Swackhamer and Blair Satterfield of HouMinn Practice, Drapewall is assembled quickly via the stacking of high-strength, low-weight exterior modules, which are held in place by interlocking interior modules. A pattern of clear openings permits light into the house interior. The modules can be configured to face the sun, reducing electric-lighting requirements. Holes along the entire length of the wall system open to allow for natural ventilation, reducing cooling costs. Portions of the wall can also be used for storage, thus minimizing the floor area.

A quiltlike fabric on the interior surface of the wall creates an interactive weather seal. Through the interplay between the hard outer shell and soft inner fabric, the homeowner can control the interior environment in response to outside conditions, such as temperature, humidity, precipitation, light levels, and desired views. The quilt is comprised of multiple layers of materials. Some layers keep water out, others provide insulation, and others provide a soft, acoustically absorptive surface that homeowners can customize with colors and patterns according to personal taste. The fabric also incorporates waterproof zippers for opening and closing specific pockets of the wall.

Contact: HouMinn Practice, Edina, MN, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial 2: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment

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