A Different Kind of California Roll. You Can Live In This One, A Cool Modern Prefab.

California Roll House

A pre-fabricated house designed for the desert by Christopher Daniel of Violent Volumes – The California Roll House, 2011.

California Roll House

The following text was written by the designer of the structure and is reprinted here:
At times, the simplest form with least manipulation from its original form can offer visual amenities and adapted solution to the context. California Roll prefabricated house takes this methodology to create its morphological adaptation to its environment : desert. Homogeneous exterior material which provides high grade of energy efficiency and reflects heat from the sun covers the entire surface except for glass panels which is electronically controlled to change its transparency.

Modularization of every structure members and finish materials are maximized to provide mobility with rapid assembly and disassembly on site.

To sustain its challenging structural stand, carbon fibre truss frame under neath the exterior material holds the entire architecture. Hydraulic powered automatic doors and security system is used for main entrance door which allows less spaces to operate the door mechanism. California Roll house features these latest technologies applied to architecture which breaks the boundary of product or vehicle design and architectural design which brings more mobility to living spaces.

Plain surface on the ground extended from exterior surface provides paved area for out door activities which requires flat and artificial surface different from desert sand surface. As well as surface on the ground, inside of exterior shell is covered with fibre reinforced plastic panels.

Modularized skylights and windows along the exterior surface can be placed at desired location to light its interior space to meet resident’s requirement from his own usage of the space.

Passive and subtle control of privacy of bedroom area is provided by curtain divider and bookshelf with translucent midpart.

These parts allows the residents to have sense of privacy by delicate visual hints over as well as providing lights through.

Overall, the privacy in California Roll is controlled rather passively with resident’s awareness than tight blocking of spaces in-between.

Main Entrance/ Front Door
Since the main entrance is on the sloped wall, the door mechanism should be designed in unconventional way. Adopting ideas from automotive design industry, hydraulic powered automatic door controlled by number lock panel is installed on the sloped wall as main entrance to minimize the space required for operation to avoid contact with user while in operation. When the door is fully open, the clearance height is up to 2 meters.

The door opens into two pieces, the upper piece lifts up over head, and the lower piece unfolds onto the floor for visitors to step on. When the door is completely closed, the material on the outside of door continues with the material of the exterior surface to achieve conformity and hide the entrance.

Automatic main door mechanism diagram:

Architectural plans:

Architect/ Designer Christopher Daniel:

images and info courtesy of Christopher Daniel and Violent Volumes