French architects present a rather surprising innovation: the “proto-habitat”. It is a housing combining various qualities such as flexibility, modularity and extensibility. Ecological and sustainable, this nomadic habitat concept can also be adapted to both rural and urban environments.
Flavien Menu and Frédérique Barchelard are two French architects whose project could appeal to many people. They indeed offer a type of accommodation infinitely expandable, to which it is possible to add one or more rooms. Thanks to this, people would avoid a stressful and costly move, for example when a new member arrives in the family. Indeed, the housing is easily removable and movable, while incorporating ecological construction materials. It was during the first confinement in France that these architects unveiled this concept of “proto-habitat” flexible, ecological and fully removable in less than a week.
Since October 2020, a 1/1 scale prototype (full size) is exhibited in Bordeaux and will remain so until February 14, 2021. In fact, this prototype has a surface area of 30m² and includes a mezzanine of 15m². We should also mention the presence of a winter garden of 30 m². If necessary, it is possible to add mountable and removable modules to enlarge the living space.
Question our current lifestyles
The imagined modules can quite fit together to build an individual or collective habitat. It is indeed not excluded that one day, a promoter decides to order dozens of proto-habitats in order to create a housing estate. At the same time, the duo favors the following aspects: ecology, sustainability and accessibility in terms of budget. The ecological aspect is reflected in the integration of sustainable materials and manufactured within 500 km the location of the accommodation. With their concept of nomadic habitat, Flavien Menu and Frédérique Barchelard also question our current lifestyles. They have also thought of a whole range of easily foldable and transportable furniture. According to them, this type of habitat is intended for people moving about every three years.
“The social, environmental and economic changes that we are currently experiencing force us to change ways of thinking and ways of living“, Say the architects.
Modular and / or nomadic housing concepts have flourished here and there for several years. Let us quote for example the Casa Ojalá, a tiny house of 27m² in the shape of a yurt which allows twenty different configurations thanks to an ingenious system of ropes and pulleys to move the walls and other partitions.
Here is a short report on the subject, published in November 2020 by France Culture: