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The Rock: A Nomadic Play House

In collaboration with Studio-FV


"The Rock" is a nomadic and deployable structure designed as a play house for kids. The design of “The Rock” is a new take on a familiar object. It has the symbolic shape of a house, as children love to draw, but "animated" and playful to inspire imagination and creativity. The house has a dynamic form, created by twisting the base geometry in computer.

The volume has the illusion of classic assemblies of architectural elements such as walls and roof, however it really is a field of triangles with no hierarchical order in relation to the whole. "As opposed to the “modernist models of construction” or stud wall framing systems where structure and skin are separate," * the structure and the enclosure are integrated into one system. 


A Grasshopper definition is used to assign holes at once to all the corresponding locations on the brackets and triangles. They are points of reference across the complex geometry for accurate assembly and organization.

The fabrication of the plywood brackets and the triangles are a type of “mass customization.” All custom plywood parts are unique and numbered. The numbers are marked by the CNC milling machine for their position. The assembly requires a simple map of the components as opposed to traditional 2D drawings such as plans and elevations. These drawings are still helpful to inform the buyers of the dimensions but has nothing to do with the actual construction.

* Reference: Atlas of novel tectonics

Author:Jesse ReiserNanako Umemoto

Publisher:New York : Princeton Architectural Press, 2006.

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