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 18 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    this work is a piece of plagiarism a rip-off from the project “turnON” from the austrian office “Alles wird gut” (Link to the project: ) which they already published world wide around the year 2000 even the title “rollit” is a rip-off. The AWG project is much nicer, much better presented and the prototype is much better manufactured. Shame on the students and even more so the professor who endorsed such an intellectual property theft !!!
    very sad

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        i saw the alleswirdgut scheme before and i do agree it is a better translation of the concept. Too bad they did not at least cite the source of their inspiration

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        Well said Herwig! In the meanwhile i called this one ‘the rimming project’….look at the last picture!

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        well said H.S.! in the meanwhile i called this one ‘the rimming poject’…look at the last picture!

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Inspiring. Thats a good exercise for lunar/martian architecture. Good for fitness too. Thanks

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    That piece of art is simply marvelous. many creations tags perfection with square or straight walls, but this one is unique.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

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  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Prada Transformer in a cilinder, makes much more sense to roll the thing than have huge cranes turn it for you. The only problem is with unwanted rolls, a wooden beam to prevent that from happening just doesn’t work.

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    hello there and thanks for your information ? I have certainly picked up anything new from right here. I did however experience a few technical points the use of this website, as I skilled to reload the website a lot of occasions previous to I may just get it to load properly. I had been pondering in case your web hosting is OK? No longer that I’m complaining, however sluggish loading circumstances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and can damage your high quality ranking if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for much more of your respective exciting content. Make sure you replace this once more soon..

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I love it, i had some other idea on similar principle. This would be great garden/guest house. I want to have one like this :-).

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Thomas Walker Luckey did this exact thing 40 years ago. This is a complete copy of his work. there is not one single original element to this work or improvement to the Luckey concept.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Living in a can.. A ‘Minimum Existenz’ after ‘Existenz Minimum’ …

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    very creative..thinking!..big ups to designers, just hope potential owners would have enough land space to accommodate rolling,

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It makes a great travel camper! The wife can stand on top and walk to take it on a trip. With the bearings between inner and outer walls, the inside could stay in place while the whole thing rolls down the road. I could be inside sipping a drink and yelling directions it it came with a garmin!

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Well….toilet and cabinets with their content could go on an inner ring that is held in place by a bearing. That way you can roll the house and those two things stay alway horizontal.
    This also could be build in modules, depending on how space is required and what other functions might be desirable.
    I also would attach some solar cells for electricity, in case the sun goes down one day.
    A basement would be a bit of a challenge though……lol….

  13. Thumb up Thumb down 0

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