Los Angeles-based architect Michael Jantzen
was dedicated to studying and creating sustainable architecture, prefabricated housing and CO2-neutral living situations long before the terms became hot-words of a newly incentivized crew of contemporary eco-friendly contractors. Jantzen, who studied under Richard Buckminster Fuller
(a guru of ecological design-thinking) in the 1970s, has finally established himself as one of the greats through his “M-House.”
Built from the M-vironment system – a wide variety of manipulatable components that can be connected in many different ways to a matrix of modular support frames – the M-House consists of a series of rectangular panels that are attached with hinges to an open space frame grid of seven interlocking cubes. Designed to function either as a single private vacation retreat or as a high-tech resort complex, the structure is entirely self sufficient, powered by alternative and sustainable energy sources such as the sun and the wind. Although it may look like something a Bond villain would dwell in, the M-House is a great example of architecture that’s “doing good.”
Some of the panels are insulated and contain windows and doors. These panels can completely enclose spaces that are heated and cooled. Other uninsulated panels fold in or out, over and around, open platforms to shade the sun, deflect the rain, or block the wind. Some of the panels unfold from the face of the cubes to become places to sit, places to sleep, places to work, or places to eat. Most of the slotted panels are oriented over and around these open platforms.
The platforms and the cube frames, are supported by adjustable legs which are attached to load bearing foot pads. In many cases the support frames do not require a foundation, and they can be adjusted to accommodate terrain variations.
All of the M-house components are interchangeable and can be increased or decreased in numbers and size. The panels can be made in a curved configuration and from many different types of materials.
The existing M-house panels are assembled with a steel structural frame which supports thin sheets of a concrete composite. All of the exposed surfaces of the structure are painted.
The M-house was designed to function as a single private vacation retreat, or in multiple numbers and configurations, as a complete stand-alone, high-tech resort complex. The house can be designed to be self sufficient, powered by alternative energy sources such as the sun and the wind.
The M-vironments were developed to accommodate a wide range of markets. With different sizes, shapes, materials, and panel types, the system can be used for exhibit structures, pavilions, play environments for kids, retail spaces, office modules, and many other commercial applications.
See more on: www.michaeljantzen.com