A statement in sustainable living, the modular and moveable timber home known as the prefab Proto-Habitat is the sublime creation of French design studio Wald.City. The prototype project of a one-year research program staged at the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici, one intended to explore new forms of housing, the 60-square-meter (about 645 square feet) domicile is scalable and adaptable to many settings and can serve for the purposes of individual housing and collective buildings.
As a component of its focus on sustainable design, the Proto-Habitat was built with 100% timber building materials sourced close to Bordeaux in southwestern France. Products were selected from regional industries that adhere to ethical waste management and sustainable forestry practices. The usage of wood is the theme of the structure, and is heavily embodied in its minimalist and ultra-modern design.
Also built to emphasise mobility, the base unit of the modular Proto-Habitat can be built in five days by three workers and a truck crane—with no foundation needed. The base module features an open-plan ground floor of 30 square meters, a mezzanine of 15 square meters and a 30-square-meter elevated sunroom positioned under the curved roof. The versatile layout permits the building to be adapted and expanded to adhere to a myriad of applications and settings.
Changing the role of the architect to ‘facilitator,’ the prototype and research intend to cultivate new forms and spaces to live side by side, and alternate financing methods, the architects stated in a project statement. This inaugural project addresses the modern requirements of flexibility, interrelationships between home and work, and people, common spaces, comfort, minimalism, and appropriation.