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Charles Weinberg

Shai Ben Ami

© Charles Weinberg & Shai Ben Ami, 2019

House P

Protoype house featuring an exterior polymer skin

Detail course

Mar — Jul 2017

With the guidance of Arch. Saar Gharan Levy & Arch. Eyal Ivri

Located in the Northern region of Israel in kibbutz 'Kfar Masaryk', House P is designed as a prototype for new families who wish to settle in the kibbutz. The house is designed in a way, which allows repetitive duplication and even further expansion. The 5 m by 15,5 m house has a light structured polymer exterior skin as its main feature providing the house with a roof as well as a front and back exterior wall.

   Connecting the two concrete sidewalls, the air structure exists out of 84 ETFE (copolymer of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) pneumatically prestressed cushions that are easy to maintain. The cushions are prefabricated in factories protected from the weather and then installed as complete units on the building site.

   The air-inflated structure is constantly stabilised by an overpressure and by a return air system, which enables the system to respond to the changing weather conditions. The clamping details along the edges of the cushions are particularly important and are designed with care since they must satisfy structural requirements as well as to various constructional and building physics conditions. The seams of the cushions are welded resulting in homogenous joints and have as aim to minimalize unavoidable air leaks.

   The choice to opt for a soft air-inflated shell suitable for growing children at home is made for several reasons. Firstly, the polymer skin provides House P with an excellent insulation system by using pressured air and repels water, as the air cushions are waterproof. The repelled water is collected through a water duct and recycled. Secondly, the various foil plies of each cushion are printed depending on their orientation to the sun, allowing optimal protection of UV sun rays. Thirdly, the overall transparency allows a maximum of daylight inside, constantly blending the surrounding of the kibbutz with the interior of the house.