Earlier today I blogged about Ark House, a net-zero energy home reminiscent of an “archaic sailing vessel, beached on a mountainside, as if a great ocean receded in the ancient past.” Now, here’s a look at Roll-it, a sustainable, modular structure that elicits a much less poetic description: it’s reminiscent of a hamster wheel. 

The cylindrical Roll-it prototype was conceived by students at Germany’s University of Karlsruhe and features three separate living "zones" complete with bed, lounge chair, table, built-in storage, kitchen sink, shower, and um, toilet. Need to access the bed? You’ll need to walk in the center of the unit, much like a hamster wheel, to rotate the structure and voila … you’re in the bedroom. Need something in the kitchen? Just keep on walking/spinning. Apparently, Velcro keeps the mattress/cushions in place but it’s unclear how everything else, particularly fixtures like the toilet, is secured.

According to ArchDaily, the structure itself consists of “an outer shell with the four support rings over a rigid inner shell. A translucent membrane envelops the entire form and serves as advertising space for sponsors. Thin wooden slats are attached to the membrane to form the running surface of the roll.” And, yes, there are windows in the mid-section of the unit as well as openings on each end.

Roll-it is a clever/impractical way to cram a whole lot of living into a minimal amount of space and is obviously meant to be used on flat terrain. I wonder if the prototype has a built-in emergency brake, just in case… 

Sprechen Sie deutsch? Roll on over to the Roll-it website to learn more about this unique experimental eco-living concept. 

Via [Re-Nest] Via [Arch Daily]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

A modular hamster wheel for humans
German design students think outside of the box -- and inside the tube -- with Roll-it, a modular eco-living experiment.