Steel buildings are ubiquitous in rural landscapes and often come across as harsh, ugly and uninhabitable – fit only for the most bare-minimum of functional farming and light industrial needs. Green architect Michael Jantzen takes this neglected building form, however, and transforms it into a prototype for a modern minimalist living space.
“Homestead House is a conceptual design for alternative housing that explores the potential use of a commercially available steel, prefabricated, modular, high strength, low cost, arch building system normally used for agricultural purposes.” The building envelope us thus easily resolved and interior partitions can be added as needed.
The house is also envisioned as energy-independent, an off-the-grid green residence suited to the same remote rural environments as its agricultural cousins, complete with solar power and rainwater reuse systems made easy with the already-curved metal roofs.
Configurable in all kinds of unique ways, each module can slot together to serve whatever set of individual or community living layouts are desired. Vaulted interior ceilings and semi-enclosed porches follow naturally from the curved metal forms.
The use of standardized and recycled commercial steel and well-used cheap construction techniques make this not only a sustainable option but also an affordable one.
“Inspired by my experimental design work in the late 1960s as an undergraduate at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, I decided to re-examine the potential use of certain readily available agricultural building components in the creation of alternative housing systems. The Homestead House is a conceptual design for alternative housing that explores the potential use of a commercially available steel, prefabricated, modular, high strength, low cost, arch building system normally used for agricultural purposes.”
“It has always been important to me as a designer of alternative, eco-friendly building systems, to first look at what is already being manufactured, even for a different end use. In this way, one can often find unexpected ways in which to provide solutions to the growing world need for sustainable, low cost housing. In addition, if alternative construction components already exist, there is no need to consume even more resources in order to establish a manufacturing facility.”