House with lifting roof Caja Obscura odd

When opened, this weird windowless house looks a lot like an animal box trap – the top appears propped up and the resulting opening lets in both light and air. When closed, also like a box trap, it lacks windows entirely.

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House with lifting roof Caja Obscura closed
House with lifting roof Caja Obscura

Set in a remote area within Paraguay, this small residence is made to be shut when its owners are away, its windowless steel top makes it more secure from vandals or opportunistic thieves.

House with lifting roof Caja Obscura living room
House with lifting roof Caja Obscura interior

Designed by Laboratoriode Arquitectura, the home is less than 100 square meters in size. Its residents enter on the main floor then make their way up to the cantilevered loft section, which in turn opens back out with views on three sides when the box is lifted (from the inside, of course).

House with lifting roof Caja Obscura edge

Of course, this kind of transforming house design will only fly in places with the right combination of climate and building code – the direct open-air ventilation is great for moderate temperatures, and it is nice to dangle your feet off the edge, but in many places neither would work. Still, imagine how nice it is to get all that fresh air. Who wouldn’t want a way to open an entire wall of your home?

House with lifting roof Caja Obscura secret

“The project of Casa Obscura is a project of material and immaterial technology at the same time, in some way it is an antithesis of many known definitions of architecture, as the idea is made by absence of light. The house is made in two parts, on one side there is an habitable basement made in stone and earth, and on the other side there is a metallic box which is leaning above the basement.

House with lifting roof Caja Obscura no windows

“The basement is made by rough stone walls which is coming from a quarry 10 km far away from the site, this system builds also the stairs and it is the base of a big lightweight slab made by concrete beams and ceramic. The box is a cage made by iron tubes of 80 mm structured in cross modules, this cage has an external coating and another internal, the external one is made by galvanised corrugated sheet and the internal one is composed by pressed veneers in MDF.”