07.04.2015 Nina Mueller

Compact and mobile: Portable House ÁPH80

Photograph: Ábaton Arquitectura

Spanish studio Ábaton Arquitectura have combined all the functions of comfortable living over a small space. This is no ordinary house, but rather the prefabricated, mobile Portable House, which can be placed anywhere at any time.

Ábaton Arquitectura, Madrid
Location: variable
With their ÁPH80 project, Ábaton Arquitectura have developed a series that enables flexible housing. This house, which can be transported by truck and positioned on almost any spot, meaning that a predetermined building lot is no longer required. Comprehensive research aided in defining the size of the individual rooms: in the end, an area of 9.0 x 3.0 metres was calculated. These measurements refer to the larger Portable House; smaller houses are planned to complement the series and are currently available only in a few designs.

The portable house, which comes equipped with a living room and integrated kitchen, a bedroom and bathroom, has room for two people.
The simple cubature of the house – a basic rectangle with a gable roof – recalls the well-known shape of a Monopoly house. Any association with shipping containers disappears at second glance. Only the two hooks on the apex of the roof, which serve to load the house onto a truck, preserve this impression.
The exterior walls are clad in rear-ventilated wood-concrete panels. These are completely closed on the back façade, a marked contrast to the front of the house, which opens up. Large expanses of glass which can be opened allow natural lighting into the living space and provide a view of the surrounding landscape. However, hinged elements mean that the outer façade layer can be closed as well.  The spaces to the left and right of the living room, which serve as bed and bathroom, are also lit by means of small windows which can be closed off with integrated shutters.
Inside the house, the visible wood surfaces of the ceiling, floor and walls, done in white-coloured fir, create a pleasant living atmosphere. The gable roof provides a room height measuring up to 3.5 metres. 
Production time for this prefabricated house is 6 to 8 weeks. On-site assembly can be carried out within a day. The prices of the Portable House vary according to the specific design. At 42,800 euros, the ÁPH80 apartment is currently the costliest version, although costs rise as features are added.

The project, developed and manufactured entirely in Spain, fulfills all sustainability criteria set by the studio as a top priority for all its projects. The wood comes from regulated forests; like most of the materials used here, it can be recycled.
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