FutureHAUS in Times Square

John Hill
10. May 2019
All photographs by John Hill/World-Architects

FutureHAUS — the modular house designed, engineered, and built by faculty and students from Virginia and winner of the 2018 Solar Decathlon Middle East in Dubai — has been erected in Times Square as part of NYCxDESIGN and Design Pavilion.

The solar-powered FutureHAUS was created with the goal "to design and build modular structures that integrate smart technologies, energy efficient systems, and new materials," per the project's website

Designed for the context of Dubai, the 900-sf house is wrapped in a metal screen (with echoes of VT's earlier Lumenhaus) that filters sunlight — or LED billboards in Times Square. Behind the screen is a hi-tech house made up of five modules: entry, living, kitchen, bed, bath. Touchscreens throughout control doors, lights, fixtures — nearly 70 devices in all.

Below is a quick tour of FutureHAUS in Times Square from a visit for its unveiling this afternoon. Following its two-week installation in Times Square (May 10-22), FutureHAUS will be disassembled and shipped to Virginia Tech’s newly established Innovation Campus in Alexandria and then to Blacksburg for updates before it returns to Dubai for the Expo 2020.

The living room module opens to a deck and small yard that are partially concealed by patterned metal screens.
The deck, seen from under the overhanging roof.
A detail of one of the metal screens
A narrow walkway sheltered by the generous roof allows access to the building's services and other parts of FutureHAUS.
The entry module features a seating area with a window looking out to the enclosed yard.
The heart of FutureHAUS is the kitchen, whose large touchscreen island makes it the nerve center for the building's many smart technologies.
The ceiling in the kitchen and living room reiterates the pattern of the metal screen outside and hints at the presence of solar panels on the roof.

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