lara calder architects: 'parasite prefab'
lara calder architects: 'parasite prefab'
sep 21, 2009

lara calder architects: 'parasite prefab'

the parasite prefab by lara calder architects image courtesy lara calder architects

australian firm lara calder architects have sent us in images of their latest project ‘the prefab parasite’.

the prefab parasite is to populate the unused space found in urban landscapes.  to achieve sustainable densification the dwelling attaches itself to a blank building fabric found in the city.  it grows on empty facades, rock faces and bridges. it finds value by turning dead public space into lively private space.

lara calder architects: 'parasite prefab'image courtesy lara calder architects

the prefab parasite was completely designed using a parametric 3d modelling system. all the components including the structural system, facade, cladding, floor levels and stairs are integrated into the one parametric model. this provides flexibility for the parasite to adjust to the different sites it occupies.

lara calder architects: 'parasite prefab' image courtesy lara calder architects

lara calder architects: 'parasite prefab' image courtesy lara calder architects

the fabrication and construction rely heavily on digital methods. the facade paneling system is designed and sent to a fabrication to be machine cut out of a sustainable solid surface material. the structural facade members are all controlled parametrically, as are the main structural ribs. the integration of the structure with the design system increases efficiency and accuracy of the construction process.

the mounting plate which is the back wall of the dwelling is the first component to be installed. the floors and inernal fitout attach to the mounting plate.  the structural facade installed last provides lateral bracing and ties the building together.

the building is raised 3 to 4 meters above the ground level and is accessed via a retractable stair so that the street activity will not be affected.  the actual footprint of the building technically only consists of the stair landing and the services duct.

lara calder architects: 'parasite prefab' image courtesy lara calder architects

lara calder architects: 'parasite prefab' image courtesy lara calder architects

lara calder architects: 'parasite prefab' image courtesy lara calder architects

the first level of the building contains the entrance and the study.  this level is elevated above the ground to allow either pedestrian traffic or light vehicular traffic underneath according to the site.  the study can be closed to the rest of the house allowing for the space to be used as a home office. on the second level is the bedroom and bathroom.   the bedroom has access to a balcony which is protected by a privacy screen. the living spaces are located on the upper floors with the living room on the third and kitchen and dining on the fourth.  the small balcony off the kitchen provides a space for a potted garden and the roof terrace opposite allows the occupants to enjoy private outdoor space. sliding doors to protected balconies and roof terrace provide opportunity for natural cross ventilation across each level which is necessary for cooling.

lara calder architects: 'parasite prefab' image courtesy lara calder architects

lara calder architects: 'parasite prefab' image courtesy lara calder architects

  • and how exactly would the plumbing work? where would the house get its water? and sewage?

    (i.e. electricity is easy to get, plumbing not so much…)

  • i also found it unusual that the bedroom was the next space, felt although it should have been the dining room to allow a continuation of the office into hosting facilities, were one might have the oportunity to invite a client to stay for dinner and go on to personalise ‘the deal’. works well as either relief housing or public space. the retractable steps excite me, the paracite can almost set sail…

    James Rust
  • thats wonderful idea! but sructure should be different

  • it strange that the first space you see after the office is a bedroom.. i would personally prefer to put the bedroom on the highest floor, next to the roof terrace.

    but then again, i agree with mora.. it would have been better if it were a public space. in fact, one of my classmates had a similar scheme for his final year project, where the parastatical space holds an exhibitional space.

  • the projects sounds and looks very nice, i really like the idea of parasite buildings, but i think it will be better used if used as public space, not as a home on the feet of a bridge

  • this is a handsome plug-on concept Lara, especially the lift up stair hatch. no doubt the host building (or in this beautifully sepia case the harbour bridge pylon) would need to be up to the lateral structure demands. nice work!


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