Roll it Experimental Housing / University of Karlsruhe

, a cool experimental house, resulted from the collaboration among different institutes within the .  This cyclindrical design is a modular protype that provides flexible space within a minimum housing unit.  Three different sections are dedicated to different functional needs: there’s a bed and table in section, an exercise cylinder, and a kitchen with a sink.

More images and more about the prototype after the break.

Structurally, the prototype includes 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.

The inner cover is a series of laminated OSB panels, each 15 mm thick, that cover the support rings. Circular openings in the side walls allow light into the structure, and a large opening serves as the entrance.

As seen on Detail.

Further information:

University of Karlsruhe

Participating institutes:

Institute of supporting structure (ift)
Prof. Matthias Pfeifer

Camille Hoffmann
Matthias Michel

Institute of supporting structure (ift)
Institute of Industrial Design and construction output (ifib)
Prof. Petra von Both

Institute of Industrial Design and construction output (ifib)

Roll it

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Roll it Experimental Housing / University of Karlsruhe" 26 Jul 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Aug 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +5

    In a climate of wankitecture this is most inspiring. elegant. Congratulations.

    Every family should exile their teenager into their yard with one!

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Dear Arch Daily,

    you translate the surname of Mr. Andreas Kindsvater into “child father”?

    I think thats funny.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      it actually means “child’s father”, still kind of funny. My daughter had a teacher named Frau Sonnenschein. What do you think of Liebeskind, as in Daniel Liebeskind?

  3. Thumb up Thumb down -4

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +12

      You already live like a Hamster!

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Brilliant idea.
    But I think the achievement is not that satisfactory.
    A great deal of effort (both while designing and maneuvering) just to turn a sleeping platform into a sitting one and a table.
    Dont showing whats happening at the other parts after rotation.
    I can call it “a good starting”.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    there is clearly no practical use for it, but it is definitely a creative idea.

      • Thumb up Thumb down +3

        Haha. But does it use space in a practical way? I don’t think it does…

        I like how there is a board to stop it from rolling. Sort of defeats the purpose… Although the first thing I would think if I came upon it was to start rolling it away with its occupant inside…

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        Agreed. The space possibilities alone are great.

        @Nic: this initial application may not be practical, but a simple track system could allow for the stability to avoid roll-aways and allow pre-set sticking points for certain room configurations.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      what is the practical use? i can’t think of any problem that this design solves. (unless the ability to have a bed and a table at the same time is considered a “problem”).

      i’m not saying it shouldn’t have been done. it is very creative and it helps the designers and those who experience it think of new ideas. it just doesn’t seem to have any practical application, imo.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    It’s simply unlocking the creative thought process. Learning good, bad, useless, valuable.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    we all designed projects like this in first year architecture. it’s a nice idea, encouraging to see one finally built, but the idea’s a very old one.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    hahahahahahahahahahaha….. I love it…. hahahahahahaha…..

    But it is very very silly. hehehehe

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Great Idea. It looks really large on the inside. But how tall is the woman in the picture? I am 6’5″ and I don’t think I would fit! I would of liked to see how it works to. Wonder if it is easily maneuverable? Would a section swing down if there was to much weight on one side? Does the whole structure roll? If not, why not play with the outer shell? So, It IS a good start; Needs more development. All the variables need to be addressed.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This is one genius piece. But most people will not understand what this kind of design is about and the possibilities it brings.

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