While cardboard boxes as homes are synonymous with homelessness in America, a Dutch design studio in Amsterdam is currently developing a cardboard-based home it plans on selling for upwards of $80,000. You read that correctly, eighty-thousand dollars. Before you scoff at the presumed ridiculousness of such a premise, the home in question — dubbed Wikkelhouse — is actually a marvel of modern engineering. Comprised of 24 layers of high-strength cardboard wrapped around a house-shaped mold, Wikkelhouse is part cozy cabin, part beautiful architecture. In other words, it’s worth every penny of that $80,000 price tag.
Aside from its innovative cardboard-based construction, Pritzker-winning architect Shigeru Ban coated the exterior in a waterproof coating — it is cardboard, after all — and designed the interior to utilize plywood. Adding to the home’s cabin-esque feel is a small bathroom, prefabricated kitchen, and (in one of the shots, at least) a wood-burning stove. Though the design screams minimalist living at its finest, Wikkelhouse does boast an element of expansion, allowing owners to feasibly add as many other modular units on the end of the house as they see fit.
“Wikkelhouse is what you get when an everyday material finds a groundbreaking purpose,” according to the Wikkelhouse website. “Using cardboard as its main building material, Wikkelhouse is a cutting-edge sustainable house with a beautiful design and exceptional constructive strength.”
For the project four years in the making, Ban designed the home specifically with customization and sustainability in mind. Built to last roughly 100 years, the design also called for eco-friendly superglue to bond the different layers of cardboard. Despite its rather unorthodox building material, Wikkelhouse boasts an incredibly high level of insulation. Moreover, it’s 100 percent recyclable and only features materials that have a minimal impact on the environment.
Interested in the cardboard living of a Wikkelhouse ? The company currently takes orders from all interested parties, though it’s likely you’d have to live in or around Amsterdam to be able to call one of these innovative cardboard boxes your own.
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