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  4. Happy Haus / Donovan Hill

Happy Haus / Donovan Hill

  • 01:00 - 29 June, 2010
Happy Haus / Donovan Hill
Happy Haus / Donovan Hill, © Jon Linkins
© Jon Linkins

© Jon Linkins © Jon Linkins © Jon Linkins © Jon Linkins +15

  • Architects

  • Location

    Not available (images are from Australia, but house is prefab, it can be anywhere!)
  • Architects

    Donovan Hill
  • Project Team

    Brian Donovan, Timothy Hill, Michael Hogg, Kim Baber, Chris Hing Fay, Greg Lamb, Phil Hindmarsh, Christina Cho, Jon Shankey, Dana Hutchinson
  • Builders

    Hutchinson Builders
  • Design Period

    1 year
  • Construction Period

    8 weeks plus site works
  • Area

    0.0 sqm
  • Photographs

From the architect. Interest in prefabricated housing surfaces regularly. The local ‘Queenslander’ established a now much loved precedent although it might be forgotten how so many of them came into being; they were bought in kit form from catalogues and installed on stumps that coped with site conditions.

Since that time various forms of kit home have appeared, usually relying on innovations in couplings, materials, fixings, spanning systems etc. The Happy Haus concept has its own form of benign innovation. It has no nifty gadgets, it does not even fit into a kit. It is entirely reconstructed using systems ideally suited to easy installation and maintenance ie; the same systems any ordinary house is built from. This reliance on completely transportable ordinariness, (the taps, the cupboards, the switches are all built in prior to transport) enables more people to quickly install or easily maintain a Happy Haus. The emphasis on maintenance particularly applies to remote area use.

The DHAN series offers life enchancing charms to this dry concept; timber sashes, shaped volume, a pelmetted interior. The plan encourages multiple arrays, groups or clusters that can be particularised to sites, territories or prospects.

© Donovan Hill
© Donovan Hill

Conceptual Framework

Interest in prefabricated housing has cycled in and out of fashion. Vernacular systems like ‘barnstorming’ or the much romanticised ‘Queenslander’ have often proved the most successful. Grimly industrial urban ‘stacking’ of modules are perhaps the least successful. It is useful to reflect on the role of technology and the type of housing demand, to be conclusive. Vernacular methods seem to combine well in making individual houses, while technological niftiness seems not to contribute positively when making urban blocks.

There is a current demand for housing which is acknowledged by attempts made in another hybrid situation – very remote housing in areas of limited skill and resources. Mining operations, indigenous housing and exotic holidaying share these curious conditions.

An existing alliance with a building contractor enabling collaborative design and production of a prototype has refined our thinking to date. As much of the house as possible is factory built and trucked to a site, where as little as possible is done to establish the dwelling. Very ordinary building systems are be used to pursue the practice’s usual interests in establishing a ‘territory’ for occupation i.e. ways that differing, transportable items can be arrayed as a site and not just an object.

© Jon Linkins
© Jon Linkins

Public and Cultural Benefits

It has been difficult to communicate or exemplify, but the emphasis ideally is on using the DHAN Series to array sites (domains) rather than render them just as housey objects.

© Jon Linkins
© Jon Linkins

Relationship of built form to context

There is a non-visual context; a context where housing fails because the services and systems fail. This is because of poor installation (there is less skill in remote areas) and poor maintenance, in the same skill short environment. Multiple orientation potential and the tailorisation of opening protection will formally differentiate the DHAN from setting to setting (even the varying colour palette plays its small part).

© Jon Linkins
© Jon Linkins

Integration of allied disciplines

The project is very jointly orchestrated as a team of financier, builder, architect and now operational/marketing manager.

Cost/Value outcome

Having the varying trades perform their work in controlled conditions on wages, rather than operating as subcontractors on sites, has produced real value.

© Jon Linkins
© Jon Linkins

Even the transport is relatively cheap compared to compliance, authority and establishment costs, which have proved to be a very expensive, value attacking aspect of Australian housing.

© Jon Linkins
© Jon Linkins

Sustainability

Aside from using reasonably ‘eco’ materials, the consolidation of transport energy into a singular significant event compares favourably with tens of dozens of subcontractor trips to sites. (Transport being more carbon offensive than building use.)

Response to client and user needs

Market responses indicate an almost reassuring reality....people want to touch and feel before they buy, (no amount of internet hype overcomes this delightfully human trait).

Many corporate /industrial purchasers who consider the ‘product’ are keen to buy a more total package that includes servicing, cleaning, rental management etc.

plan
plan
Cite: "Happy Haus / Donovan Hill" 29 Jun 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/66345/happy-haus-donovan-hill/>
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10 Comments

whitespace · March 12, 2012
yuji haniyuda · May 01, 2011

Happy Haus / Donovan Hill | ArchDaily http://t.co/mXgnYgm via @archdaily

Centor4 · April 14, 2011

Happy Haus / Donovan Hill | ArchDaily http://t.co/Ysoz6R7 via @archdaily

KOMIYAMA Lab. A.P.U. · October 22, 2010

RT @Architektourist: So können Fertighäuser auch aussehen. via @archdaily http://ow.ly/2XDZd

KOMIYAMA Lab. A.P.U. · October 22, 2010

RT @Architektourist: So können Fertighäuser auch aussehen. via @archdaily http://ow.ly/2XDZd

Architektourist · October 22, 2010

So können Fertighäuser auch aussehen. via @archdaily http://ow.ly/2XDZd

Architektourist · October 22, 2010

So können Fertighäuser auch aussehen. via @archdaily http://ow.ly/2XDZd

TangWu · June 30, 2010

Nice pre-fab. Would be nice to have a bathroom that's closer to the bedroom. I would hate to have to navigate all those stairs in the middle of night.

Rory · July 01, 2010 02:28 AM

I agree on the bathroom comment. If you visit their website there are a good variety of layouts available for these with bathrooms and bedrooms combined. I guess it comes back to client needs and budget.

Jakov · June 30, 2010

what material are the eaves? Does anyone know?

Rory · July 01, 2010 02:27 AM

I'd say it's Fibre Cement sheets that have been sprayed with paint. Not 100% sure but have seen it done by a few architects in the same area as these guys.

Rory · June 30, 2010

I love these pre-fabs but if you are going to start flooding the site with Donovan-Hill works at least put their best ones up!

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