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Tiny Houses tiny home and parasite structure  contrasting their hosts | Upload Tinyhouses

Tiny Home And Parasite Structure: Contrasting Their Hosts

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by: Marike Boonstra
tiny home and parasite structure  contrasting their hosts | Upload

As the world population grows and grows, urban centres are facing more housing shortages. Skyrocketing rent prices, diminishing real estate inventory, and other conditions make it harder to live in cities. 68% of the world population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050, says UN. Perhaps, we have to re-think what city centres should look like. How can architects work with the space they have? Some already did re-think – and thought out of the box. 'Parasitic structures could open the door to a whole new way of living in cities'.

Green Parasatic house

An example of this parasitic architecture is The Shed Project by the British firm Studio Bark. In the project, abandoned or disused places (like convention halls or factories) are giving a second chance by adding new structures between, inside, or even on top of pre-existing ones. This way, the layout of a building can easily be altered so it can be used in different ways. For living, for example.

Recommended: Tiny House As Egg-Shaped Wooden Pod: The Loire France

Building Novel Yet Affordable Homes

Graphic designer Marc Richard, who – as a freelancer – was not particularly tied to one area or another for work moved inside a disused factory in London’s Battersea district. His new home: a small (11.15 square metre) prefabricated SHED Project box. He was 'craving something different'. This way, he could still afford to live in the urban centre of London, without the costs of living in the city being too much for him to handle - as for most young creatives in London.

A house within a house

While (affordable) housing is a problem nowadays, this parasitic architecture can be an excellent solution for building novel yet affordable homes. In the above case, Richard would pay 373 dollars monthly to live in his SHED. Compared to the average rent prices in London, this almost seems too good to be true. Living in a parasitic house could be the solution for low-income populations. Also, in this SHED Project, the architects and inhabitants can play with their idea of home.

Recommended: Tiny Houses Tips And Tricks: Minimalistic Living Experience

Parasitic Architecture: Beyond Traditional Brick-And-Mortar Buildings

So, there is another advantage to living in parasitic homes like Richard’s SHED. Richard says; "living in such an unconventional space has made him radically re-think what cities could look like, especially beyond traditional brick-and-mortar buildings." 

This way of living is not for everyone. Although you can alter your own space and be creative, Richard told that some of his friends 'often seem weirded out by the eerie openness of the massive factory space'. "When people aren’t used to unconventional living spaces, they find navigating them unnatural," he said.

Self-Expression Through Housing

The Arcin paris with pods

Teresa Bardzińska-Bonenberg studied parasites architecture. According to her, because of conditions (like the growing number of heritage-listing building and expanding rent prices), architects are forced to create new projects in city centres.

Parasatic rooftop appartment

Also, there is an increasing request for homes that residents can quickly and cheaply alter to their personal wishes. The architectural historian at Poland’s University of Arts said: "This is what the idea of 'parasiting' the city is about. People have now much more inspiration, materials, tools and courage to express themselves."



                              Parasitic extensions to Paris apartment building could reduce energy consumption
                                                Tiny Home And Parasite Structure: Contrasting Their Hosts

Parasitic Structures Used To Address Social Issues

Artist Michael Rakowitz thought of a way to use parasitic architecture as a tool to create awareness for socials issues. With his socially conscious parasitic housing program paraSITE, he wants to draw attention to homelessness in cities. By designing these custom-made double-membrane plastic shelters, he makes his parasite structure highly visible. They are contrasting their hosts – deliberately. His goal: making the crisis of homelessness in urban areas visible instead of masking the problem.

Parasite shelter Michael Rakowitz
Artist Michael Rakowitz has created a series of inflatable temporary plastic shelters for the homeless he calls 'paraSITE'

The paraSITE shelters are designed to be attached to heat vents of buildings. By inflating through the warmth, the plastic housings offer their owners a dry place to sleep, as to protect them from the polluted city air. Rakowitz describes his project as: 'You have one building breathing life into the lungs of another one'.

Rakowitz was inspired by a homeless person he saw sleeping on a heat grate outside a building in Cambridge. He reminded him of the wind-blown tents of nomads in Jordan. “Here was this other instance of wind, only it wasn’t the wind that was moving through the desert – it was the wind that was a by-product of a building’s service system,” he says. "And it was another form of nomadism… urban nomads who are nomads by consequence and are economic and social refugees."

Parasitic architecture can be a great solution for affordable living in urban areas, as well to make social problems as homelessness visible, like the artist Rakowitz does in his project paraSITE. Would you want to live in a parasitic home?

Before you go!

Recommended: Tiny House Becomes Solar Water Collecting Off-grid Egg

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Tiny Home And Parasite Structure: Contrasting Their Hosts

As the world population grows and grows, urban centres are facing more housing shortages. Skyrocketing rent prices, diminishing real estate inventory, and other conditions make it harder to live in cities. 68% of the world population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050, says UN. Perhaps, we have to re-think what city centres should look like. How can architects work with the space they have? Some already did re-think – and thought out of the box. 'Parasitic structures could open the door to a whole new way of living in cities'. An example of this parasitic architecture is The Shed Project by the British firm Studio Bark. In the project, abandoned or disused places (like convention halls or factories) are giving a second chance by adding new structures between, inside, or even on top of pre-existing ones. This way, the layout of a building can easily be altered so it can be used in different ways. For living, for example. Recommended:  Tiny House As Egg-Shaped Wooden Pod: The Loire France Building Novel Yet Affordable Homes Graphic designer Marc Richard, who – as a freelancer – was not particularly tied to one area or another for work moved inside a disused factory in London’s Battersea district. His new home: a small (11.15 square metre) prefabricated SHED Project box. He was 'craving something different'. This way, he could still afford to live in the urban centre of London, without the costs of living in the city being too much for him to handle - as for most young creatives in London. While (affordable) housing is a problem nowadays, this parasitic architecture can be an excellent solution for building novel yet affordable homes. In the above case, Richard would pay 373 dollars monthly to live in his SHED. Compared to the average rent prices in London, this almost seems too good to be true. Living in a parasitic house could be the solution for low-income populations. Also, in this SHED Project, the architects and inhabitants can play with their idea of home. Recommended:  Tiny Houses Tips And Tricks: Minimalistic Living Experience Parasitic Architecture: Beyond Traditional Brick-And-Mortar Buildings So, there is another advantage to living in parasitic homes like Richard’s SHED. Richard says; "living in such an unconventional space has made him radically re-think what cities could look like, especially beyond traditional brick-and-mortar buildings."  This way of living is not for everyone. Although you can alter your own space and be creative, Richard told that some of his friends 'often seem weirded out by the eerie openness of the massive factory space'. "When people aren’t used to unconventional living spaces, they find navigating them unnatural," he said. Self-Expression Through Housing Teresa Bardzińska-Bonenberg studied parasites architecture. According to her, because of conditions (like the growing number of heritage-listing building and expanding rent prices), architects are forced to create new projects in city centres. Also, there is an increasing request for homes that residents can quickly and cheaply alter to their personal wishes. The architectural historian at Poland’s University of Arts said: "This is what the idea of 'parasiting' the city is about. People have now much more inspiration, materials, tools and courage to express themselves." {youtube}                               Parasitic extensions to Paris apartment building could reduce energy consumption                                                 Tiny Home And Parasite Structure: Contrasting Their Hosts Parasitic Structures Used To Address Social Issues Artist Michael Rakowitz thought of a way to use parasitic architecture as a tool to create awareness for socials issues. With his socially conscious parasitic housing program paraSITE, he wants to draw attention to homelessness in cities. By designing these custom-made double-membrane plastic shelters, he makes his parasite structure highly visible. They are contrasting their hosts – deliberately. His goal: making the crisis of homelessness in urban areas visible instead of masking the problem. Artist Michael Rakowitz has created a series of inflatable temporary plastic shelters for the homeless he calls 'paraSITE' The paraSITE shelters are designed to be attached to heat vents of buildings. By inflating through the warmth, the plastic housings offer their owners a dry place to sleep, as to protect them from the polluted city air. Rakowitz describes his project as: 'You have one building breathing life into the lungs of another one'. Rakowitz was inspired by a homeless person he saw sleeping on a heat grate outside a building in Cambridge. He reminded him of the wind-blown tents of nomads in Jordan. “Here was this other instance of wind, only it wasn’t the wind that was moving through the desert – it was the wind that was a by-product of a building’s service system,” he says. "And it was another form of nomadism… urban nomads who are nomads by consequence and are economic and social refugees." Parasitic architecture can be a great solution for affordable living in urban areas, as well to make social problems as homelessness visible, like the artist Rakowitz does in his project paraSITE. Would you want to live in a parasitic home? Before you go! Recommended:   Tiny House Becomes Solar Water Collecting Off-grid Egg Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about sustainability? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
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