Within the exhibition ‘Casa per Tutti,’ held at the Triennale of Milan, five prominent architects – Kengo Kuma, Massimiliano Fuksas, MVRDV, Cino Zucchi and Alejandro Aravena – designed five temporary housing prototypes to be displayed at the Triennale gardens next to the competition winners. The projects were set forth as proposals to address the problem of housing. In Kuma’s case, the premise was the decision to use materials easily found at supermarkets. The next step was to find an industrial product fulfilling three conditions: it had to be lightweight, easy to carry, and waterproof. The element chosen was an umbrella, but developing a lighter, foldable version with an innovative, porous and waterproof plastic fabric called Tyvek produced by DuPont.
Over a base of transportation pallets, the Umbrella house is an icosahedron where each triangular face is replaced by an umbrella and attached to the adjacent one by means of zippers, and the steel ribs generate the structure of the face. To achieve this, three triangles made of the same material are added to each hexagonal umbrella until the triangle required is achieved. In this way, with only fifteen umbrellas it is possible to build a covered space in the most extreme conditions.
La Triennale di Milano
Kengo Kuma & Associates
Iida Kasaten (consultor de paraguas umbrella consultant); DuPont Building Innovation & DuPont Technical Center (consultor de tejido fabric consultant); Ejiri Structural Engineers (estructura structural engineering); ismi design office (iluminación lighting design)