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Indulgence and a Hut: by Linedota Architects.

A typical hut with a painted front. Images: Linedota Architects.

Self indulgence, like a sweet desert, is best enjoyed rarely, and to mark a special event. Today is such an occasion.

My indulgence is to introduce a project from my own practice, Linedota Architects. The Flat Pack Hut was designed after a trip to Uganda on a charity mission to design a new school for a rural community.

Shocked by the lack of even basic facilities, it occurred to me that a single well designed school house might benefit a small community, but what about the neighbouring village? Without thinking about the bigger picture, the mission risked being no more than a manifestation of the architect’s ego. That would never do!

Thus was born the idea to design a wonderful school house that was inexpensive, earthquake safe, high wind safe, and could be built anywhere in the tropics.

The building is far lighter than an aircraft fuselage of similar size. It uses the structural capacity of a double skin of profiled metal sheet, a material found throughout the world. The double skin is an important feature for other reasons. It provides the key component of the environmental control. By having a shaded inner skin, air currents are set up in the structural void due to the temperature differential of the skins, keeping the building remarkably cool in any exposure or orientation to the sun.

The design life of the building is around 60 years. Each Hut would be built in a local or regional factory and delivered to site on a small truck. A single building would take unskilled workers a couple of days to assemble. The buildings are demountable, recyclable and can be used for schools, clinics, offices and housing.

One day we hope they will be serving rural communities across the world.

You can download my lecture about this building given at Bond University in Australia from iTunes U, Architecture Lecture Series 2013: Linedota Architects.

And the special event? This will be my last of 833 posts for Detail Daily.


Christopher C. Hill.

Interior view with flatpack school furniture. Linedota Architects.

The building would be used for evening adult education and community facilities. Linedota Architects.

Analysis of the building's daylight performance.

Analysis of the building's acoustic performance.

Analysing the effects of solar orientation.

A model village using Huts for school houses, a clinic and kitchens.

An early structural prototype made at the University of Nottingham, UK. Linedota Architects.


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