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Architecture
TOMORROW’S HOME: Comfort in Cubes (Aug, 1960)

TOMORROW’S HOME: Comfort in Cubes

In a few years, do-it-yourselfers may be playing a gigantic game of dominoes—using aluminum cubes to build an efficient, mobile and low-cost home

By MERLE E. DOWD

HOLLOW aluminum cubes —12 ft. square with translucent plastic tops and variable wall panels—might be the building blocks for tomorrow’s do-it-yourself homebuilder.

The cubes, which could be put together domino-like to form any floor plan you want, are the basic unit for a startling experimental “Industrialized House” which was brain-stormed by famed designers George Nelson and Co., Inc., of New York.

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Depthscrapers Defy Earthquakes (Nov, 1931)

Depthscrapers Defy Earthquakes

THE “Land of the Rising Sun” (Japan) is subject to earthquakes of distressing violence at times; and the concentration into small areas of increasing city populations invites great destruction, such as that of the Tokio earthquake of 1923, unprecedented in magnitude of property loss, as well as life.

It was natural, then, that the best engineering brains of Japan should be devoted to the solution of the problem of building earthquake-proof structures; and a clue was given them by the interesting fact that tunnels and subterranean structures suffer less in seismic tremors than edifices on the surface of the ground, where the vibration is unchecked.

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Houses that Hang from Poles (Sep, 1932)

Houses that Hang from Poles

A house which hangs suspended from a central mast, in whose bath room you bathe in a pint of water, where clothes are laundered in fog and where power is supplied
from garbage —this is the revolutionary type of home science okays for the future.

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Portable Globe House for Well-Rounded Living (Jan, 1961)

Portable Globe House for Well-Rounded Living

Only 15 feet in diameter, low-cost home offers all the conveniences of a larger one. And, it can be delivered by boat, truck or even helicopter.

IT looks like a satellite that just fell out of orbit. But actually it is a down-to-Earth, low-cost portable home—with all the modern conveniences you would expect to find only in a more usual-looking (and usual-priced) house. Called the Kugelhaus (Kugel is German for “ball,” and haus means just what it sounds like), it is nothing more than a 15-ft.-diameter hollow ball. Its eggshell-like construction is of either lightweight reinforced concrete, metal or plastic. Just one inch of concrete gives good results, says the inventor, Dr. Johann Ludowici. The house can be completely assembled in the factory—with whatever furniture or other equipment is wanted—before delivery. As portable as a house could be, it can be flown to wherever you want it by helicopter, towed in by boat (it floats), or, more conventionally, carried on a truck.

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Paris Balloon-Homes Are Gas-Proof (Aug, 1935)

Paris Balloon-Homes Are Gas-Proof
REASONING that if balloon silk can hold gases, it can likewise keep gases out, Parisians are building balloon houses—-grim shoe-like affairs which provide safety from much-feared gas attacks.
Entire families will find refuge in each of the inflated structures. Fresh air would be pumped in through a filter which neutralizes poisonous gases, just as do filters on gas masks. Frames of wire hold the balloon silk in position when the air pump is not operating.

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“Orange-Peel House” for Campers Fits on Small Trailer (Jul, 1955)

“Orange-Peel House” for Campers Fits on Small Trailer
Developed in Germany, a portable shelter for camping or trailer travel looks like a gigantic orange —and peels apart almost like one. The parts of the shelter are shaped much like the segments of an orange peel. One person can fasten the segments together to complete the shelter in 15 minutes. The parts of the shelter including the floor are made of plywood. When the shelter is disassembled, the parts can be stacked on a small trailer for the trip to the next camping site. The collapsible house has two windows and a door. In Germany the “orange house” sells for about $150.

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Transients Build Skyscraper Wigwams (Oct, 1934)

Transients Build Skyscraper Wigwams
ALONG the shore of Medicine Lake, near Minneapolis, Minn., homeless, unemployed men have built one of the strangest communities in America—a white man’s village of tepees and skyscraper wigwams.

Originally started as a minor relief project, the camp now covers 93 acres and is one of Minnesota’s largest relief depots.

Local building and wrecking companies. donate material for the structures which range from a two-person hut to a three-story community dwelling. These buildings have the customary Indian ridge poles, but the sides are covered with shingles instead of skin. The interiors are attractively equipped with rustic furniture.

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HOUSE FOR THE ATOMIC AGE (Aug, 1953)

This is a pretty cool house, if you go for the woodland-critter, industrial-flintstones look. As far as I can tell the only real feature it has that is in any way associated with “atomic protection” is the bomb shelter. However, the fact that the bomb shelter must be entered by swimming through a tunnel in the pool gets them major James Bond points.
Oh, and am I the only one who would be terrified to try parking on that crazy cantilevered track thing?

HOUSE FOR THE ATOMIC AGE

A swimming pool that becomes an automatic decontamination bath during an A-bomb attack is one of the features of a home that Hal B. Hayes, Hollywood contractor, is completing for himself. In the hillside next to the swimming pool he’s building an underground sanctuary that you reach by diving into the pool. His house is designed to “bring the outdoors indoors” for ordinary peaceful living, yet has a structure built to resist great destructive forces. Several of the walls are completely of glass that would be swept away by a powerful shock wave, but could later be replaced. A continuation of his living-room rug is pulled up to shroud the glass wall in that room when a button is pressed.

Other walls of the house have a fluted design to resist shock wave and a fireproof exterior surface of Gunite.

A garden growing in half a foot of soil on the flat roof provides insulation against extreme heat or shock. All exposed wood, inside and outside of the house, is fire-resistant redwood coated with fire-retarding paint. In addition to the underground sanctuary, equipped with bottled oxygen, there is a bombproof shelter in the house itself, consisting of a large steel-and-con-crete vault containing a sitting room and bathroom. Other features of the home include a three-story indoor tree. * * *

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