In 1947, American architect Carl Koch designed a folding house for Acorn Homes. He wrote about it, asking:
This mix of 2D panels and 3D core is an idea that makes sense. It made sense to me in architecture school almost 50 years ago when I designed a summer camp that was folded out of a shipping container; the kitchen and bathrooms were in the box, and everything else folded out and was covered with a tent.
And it's a pretty good description of Boxabl, as described in the patent application made by Paolo Tiramani, Galiano Tiramani, and Kyle Denman:
Koch could never get his folding house into production. He had thousands of letters from interested buyers, offers of land, requests for "four thousand units in the next three months." But he could never pull it together.
Boxabl has not suffered this fate and has built a large factory in Nevada. It is getting ready to deliver its houses by the thousands.
The 375-square foot-Boxabl Casita, its first product offered to the public, is a clever design that folds up to the footprint of a 20-foot shipping container so it can travel anywhere on a standard lowboy trailer economically.
The half of it with the kitchen and bathroom ships in 3D form, while the wall and floor panels fold out to enclose the open space.
Just like in the 1947 Acorn, you then move out the closet as a room divider between the sleeping and living area.
I will do my usual complaint that a 375-square-foot unit doesn't need a 36-inch wide fridge. Had the company used Euro-sized appliances it might not have had to throw the washing machine in the middle of the room.
The permanent dining room table that is an extension of the kitchen counter makes no sense, with those uncomfortable stools. But those are minor interior design quibbles.
You get a lot for $50,000.
We have always disliked gypsum board or sheetrock because it melts at the sight of water, but it's cheap. However, Boxabl doesn't go cheap here:
It also apparently don't skimp on the insulation.
However, the market for Boxabl is a lot bigger. Here is a house as a product that can be delivered quickly and go anywhere, and could be deployed for instant hospitals or emergency housing in a hurry, and we are likely going to be having those more often.
Boxabl appears to be only available as a single box now, but it has big plans for the future, including bigger units.
It also has plans for multifamily designs.
And even a McMansion with dramatic Corinthian columns, dentils, and cornices.
Critic Kate Wagner will love this.
Boxable has built the Goldilocks of housing. For many years, we have complained about shipping container housing because the spaces inside were too small. We complained about modular construction because when it came to transportation, the boxes were too big. By mixing the best attributes of modular and panelized housing in a transportable footprint, it may well be that Boxable gets it just right.
Carl Koch would be impressed; I am.
There was an error. Please try again.
Thank you for signing up.