Casa Pulpa

Papier-mâché Building Material

Casa Pulpa was designed as a part of the US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2010. Casa Pulpa is  proposed as a hybrid solution to the endemic issues of waste disposal and housing production to be found in many poor countries.
The system was inspired by the Papier-mâché packaging often used as a sustainable substitute for common Styrofoam, which has benefited from considerable technical research to the point at which large-scale applications seem not only plausible but eminently practical.
Casa Pulpa utilizes the principles of double-skinned thin shell components which gain structural rigidity by the strategic connections between inner and outer faces.  The shell is formed of two molded paper skins: an outer, structural and waterproofing face, and an inner, utility face which gains strength from the ergonomic forms of shelving, compartments and chases formed directly into the molded surfaces. The resulting assembly, comprising a three-dimensional wall-roof element, is then clipped to a supporting frame of steel, bamboo, or timber to form a compact dwelling unit.
The sheer speed of the process, combined with the frugality of the production equipment holds out great promise as an approach to the problem of subsistence housing.  Considerable flexibility is built into this system, which by combining specialized components can accommodate families, home workshops, cooking, etc., within the same footprint. Molded ribs define areas in which the occupant can cut apertures for doors or windows, while various paints or even dung can provide waterproofing.
For third-world communities, we conceived of a unique molded paper-like production technique, which might combine a mobile pulping truck with a large-scale also mobile evacuating mold so that they could work in tandem to scavenge and process waste materials on site.
It is expected that traditional surfacing materials, such as cow dung or mud may be applied to the completed building structures, as well as white-wash or colored clay compounds. Secondary molded elements on the interior will not only help to create a rigid, long-lasting shell, but can be designed to provide shelving, cabinets, and other useful features.
Project:Casa Pulpa
Project Type: Cultural - Exhibition, Residential - PrivateHome, Visionary
Location: Venice, Italy
Schedule: Start: 2010
Completion: 2010

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