Student housing in most parts of the world is a necessary (but usually unpleasant) situation. Twenty-five students from Sweden’s Chalmers University designed and built HALO, a sustainable shared home that is meant to emphasize shared space while providing private spaces for the residents as well.
At only 60 square meters, you might not expect this small home to hold four residents comfortably. The secret to making this home work is to have the shared spaces do double duty. Built-in furniture in the middle of the home actually supports the private sleeping lofts above. The downstairs public spaces are spacious and the upstairs sleeping chambers are cozy and secluded.
Shared spaces in the home are large enough to keep the residents from feeling too cramped. Built-in furniture and movable furniture can be combined in different ways to change the look, feel, and flow of the home’s interior.
When the residents do begin to feel a bit cooped up, they can step outside under the arch that swoops over the entire house. It provides shelter from the elements while serving to power the home itself. The exterior is all solar panels which supply enough power to keep the home running.
The home’s name and shape come from the sun itself; in particular, from the shining halo shape around it. The name is particularly fitting because the home is powered by the sun. The HALO house is a shining example of how eco-friendly homes can be just as beautiful as they are beneficial to the environment.
“The roof is constructed of monocrystalline silicone photovoltaics laminated in thin acrylic plastic and coated with a high strength polymer. The cells were then applied to 10 mm thick double wall polycarbonate sheets which act as the waterproofing membrane for the roof. The solar panels are not just attached to the roof, they are the roof. Solar cells are often perceived as a limitation, due to strict module measures. HALO shows a potential for solar technologies to be truly integrated into the architectural design of a house.”