Airlift Architecture: Fly-In Prefab for Extreme Environments

A nearly-magical shelter from the sky could seem like a godsend to those lost in the wilderness … or a welcome relief for other wanderers, simply looking for somewhere to lie low on a mountaintop until a storm blows over. This seasonal, solar-powered prefab is intended to solve the difficult design challenge of locating rural and emergency shelters when and where they are needed most.

Architettura started with a?straightforward and efficient central volume contains six bunked beds, a living room, entryway and bath zone. A single floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall window offers views out over the landscape, while letting in natural light.

Meanwhile, the fundamental necessities for survival are built in as well – solar-collecting panels feed an emergency battery, helping melt ice for drinking water and fueling the under-floor heating system. Depending on the season, it is made to be moved up to twice annually.

Fragile ecosystems tend not to fare well with permanent structures, making this light-footprint alternative the perfect temporary structure for remote and sensitive sites. Steel stilts sunk into the ground remain behind when the buildings are moved throughout the year, making for easy re-installation.

Wait a moment, though, this all sounds great in theory but … since when is flying a whole habitat via helicopter a green way to go about building housing? As it turns out, less fuel is used in a few flights per year than would be by other means.

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