Recyclable materials are all the rage in architecture nowadays, but L.A.-based Michael Jantzen’s M-House is recyclable in a wildly different — and infinitely more interesting — way. You can break it down, then put it back together again, anywhere in the world, in virtually any shape, size, or configuration. It’s the ultimate house for the 21st century nomad. Just ask Brad Pitt. He nearly bought it.[You'll definitely want to turn off your speakers for this one]
It looks like a Cubist rendition of a Cape Cod.
The trick: Modular panels that can be arranged, in countless permutations, around an open space frame made of seven interlocking cubes. The panels hinge to the cubes and come in a bunch of varieties: Some have windows, others have doors; some are insulated, others are not; some even unfold to become places to sit, work, eat, and sleep indoors.
The idea’s that by varying the placement and number of panels throughout the space frame, you can create pretty much any building imaginable, whether an intimate vacation home, a self-sufficient resort complex (powered by wind and solar energy) or a mother-in-law suite perched far (very far) from the main house — or all three. The panels pack flat so they’re easy to transport.
Looks-wise, M-House won’t nab any eight-page spreads in Architectural Digest.* But it’s got its charm. We think it looks like a Cubist rendition of a Cape Cod. And apparently, Pitt didn’t think it was too shabby either. "Brad Pitt nearly bought the M-house," Jantzen tells Co.Design. "He backed down when he thought he was going to have problems placing it onto a specific property." (The house was ultimately sold to a Korean art dealer, through the auction house Phillips de Pury.)
Ostensibly, you could snap up your own M-Vironment, as Jantzen calls the larger modular system, though we’ve got no idea how much it’d cost. "At this point they should be thought of and are sold as functional art pieces," he says. Which is code for "verrrrrry expensive." Then again, it's probably still cheaper than buying four, eight, 16, or however many houses you'd get out of just one of these things. Anyone wanna go in on one with us?
* Jantzen tells us that M-House actually WAS featured in Architectural Digest. It was a six-page spread in the German edition. Shows what we know!
[Images courtesy of Michael Jantzen]