Moveable Homes and Communities: Nomadic Architecture Rediscovered

Architecture that floats, walks, runs on wheels or even rolls – it’s a nomad’s dream. And it’s here now for those that are interested, and have the money to pay for it.

Why this new found-fascination with moveable buildings? Well, thanks to the rapid way coronavirus has spread through cities in recent months, it’s certainly put urban living on the back foot for many. But what if it’s possible to ‘pop in and out’ of urban living by means of your moveable home/office?

The romantic notion of travelling freely and being able to adapt to any environment we find ourselves in is an age-old one. And it’s one that’s never really gone away for many – despite the comfortable, stable, fully-functioning structures we live in today. Could the following architecture be the type of temporary communities many of us could find ourselves adapting to in the future? A way of living where we regularly swap neighbours along with landscapes? This nomadic architecture is definitely worth a ponder or two over if you’re that way inclined:

Floating House

The Floating House

London-based architect Carl Turner’s floating house is also part boat. He sees it as an intelligent response to both “the underuse of urban waterways and…. problems of flooding in the UK and globally.”

The house – an insulated rubber coated timber box sitting on a floating tray – measures 20 by seven metres. Two side panels are the outer skin and contain photovoltaic panels to generate both electricity and hot water.

The Walking House

The walking house

It may look like a carnival-style big black spider with yellow pads, but this serious structure is a fine nomadic home for eco-lovers everywhere. Housing four people (or a family) it uses rainwater and solar energy while there’s a composting toilet and wood-burner for heating. The houses can be joined together to create what architects at Danish design studio N55 call a “walking village.” It moves at 60 metres an hour – which may be kind of freaky to see!

The Rolling House

The rolling house

They may look as if they have been inspired by hamster wheels, but these three-level structures are fully-functioning nomadic family homes in Lithuania. The floor to ceiling and wall-to-wall plate glass windows at either side provide a view and plenty of solar light, while each house is fitted with all the modern conveniences we’ve come to expect these days. The work of designers at DO Architects, they have arranged for them to be currently sited at the country’s Curonian Lagoon.

Pop up Pods

Pop up pods

Well, we’ve had pop-up restaurants and shops for ages now. It was only a matter of time really, before we had the pop-up house. And here it is. The Looper pod consists of tensile fabric stretched over a wooden frame. Inspired by caterpillars the segments can be pulled out to form a lounge, office, sleeping area and bathroom. Designers Nomadic Resorts’ made sure the roof could open too – via a switch no less! LED lighting and air conditioning is via solar power. It’s best on sand, so book yourself an exotic uninhabited island somewhere if you can.