Soft House
The SOFT HOUSE by KVA MATx transforms the household curtain into a set of energy harvesting textiles that distribute renewable electrical power, adapt to the changing space needs of living and working in a compact home and generate up to 16,000 watt-hours of electricity—more than half of the daily power needs of an average household in the United States.

KVA MATx was commissioned by the Vitra Design Museum to present designs for the prefabricated SOFT HOUSE and develop full scale energy harvesting textile prototypes. The SOFT HOUSE research group at KVA MATx demonstrated how the existing performance parameters and material possibilities of organic photovoltaic (OPV) nanotechnology could offer a hybrid energy and space making solution by providing renewable DC power for solid state lighting and work tools such as laptops, digital cameras, WiFi and cell phones.

Translucent movable curtains along the SOFT HOUSE perimeter convert sun light into energy throughout the day, shade the house and form an insulating air layer for the building envelope. Integrated into the design of a skylight, a central energy harvesting curtain can be lowered to create an instant habitable room. Folded upward, the central curtain becomes a suspended soft luminous chandelier that defines the open living area with integral solid state lighting.

The principles of the SOFT HOUSE energy network—simplicity, adaptability, and intelligent cooperation among individual contributing elements—are extended into the architectural design and fabrication of the SOFT HOUSE. Parametric design software, developed for the SOFT HOUSE project, allows the homeowner to customize the energy density of the textiles according to need and guides the relationship of building form to site. Multiple flat, prefabricated bamboo plywood beams interlock to form a grid shell structure which can be customized through digital fabrication allowing the SOFT HOUSE to accommodate a range of different site orientations. n the United States.


8 photos and 1 drawing