Watch: A fast-mo video of a flat-pack house that can be unfolded and assembled in 6 hours


Originally published at:


Love these A-Frame houses. I went to a very good Halloween party at one once, seemed super cozy. (Alas was in rural, central IL)


Running the water, electric and sewer to the house site not so quickly.


Man, am I the only one who thinks this thing might be a bit wonky in high winds, such as on the prairie? IIRC, traditionally A-Frames don’t have a fold in the middle of the roof like that…


I’ll bet with a crane and a team of six I could assemble a piece of Ikea furniture in under five hours.


Huh. Pretty cool. I generally don’t care for A-frames, but still, pretty cool.


Maybe if you didn’t install the walls and second floor that brace the roof open. If you assemble the whole things, and are in a wind storm with winds high enough to knock this over, you are pretty much fucked no matter what, unless you’re in an underground bunker.


Yeah, I feel like the actual building of a structure isn’t the hard part of housing shortages, so much as having a place to put it and the necessary infrastructure for people to live and work in the area.

I guess this would be useful if you want to have a house in a place where you don’t actually want to live.


This is the case for most cities who have a “housing shortage”. Especially those who won’t allow one to build “up”.


You just know that there will be missing screws and one too many teeny tiny allen wrenches!


Cranes and origami structures can be a general manufacturing platform; houses, bridges, elevated rails. Perhaps even megastructures, such as Buckminster Fuller’s mile diameter aerostats.

Cranes can make skyhooks.


There were more than six people in that video.

Also it looks to me like it took them two days.


This only seems remarkable to us in the US because our construction industry is so behind most of the rest of the world.


I could never relax in a house like this. Any odd noise would make me afraid that the whole thing was coming down. If it were truly origami (made of paper), at least an accident wouldn’t lead to someone being crushed.

This reminds me of a trip years ago, when I talked a friend out of riding the roller coaster at a traveling carnival. Neither of us had seen a ride like that outside of a permanent amusement park before. She was ready to give it a try until I pointed out that the ride was taken apart, folded up, and moved just like the rest of the equipment at least once a week.


32k$ is too much for a prefab home. That must include finishing and infrastructure…and even then.


It looks cozy, but I’m with you. Sustained 30mph winds with 70mph gusts are common here even when we aren’t having a storm. Seems like it might work pretty well in the mountains.

(edited to reflect some quick googling instead of my guestimates)


Did they check the road’s right-of-way easement before dropping that house? That corner protruding into road would make me nervous, to say nothing of the occasional car or truck that clips the corner.


You want to be very, very careful about that.
Unless you see this more like a tent on a camping site that’ll be pitched for a couple of weeks.

From the M.A.DI. website:
M.A.DI. buildings do not consume soil, as they do not need any foundations when temporarily placed on a level ground. If necessary, the anchoring is ensured by a new innovative system with a screw pile foundations.
(My emphasis.)
From the “details” PDF on the M.A.DI. website:
FOUNDATIONS:According to the morphology and the stratigraphy of the ground the foundations are built with reinforced concrete or screws pile foundation. (This system is not included)


Fitting it out is the real hard part. Services can be brought in within a few days as long as the distance isn’t too great, but painting it and installing fittings will take a while.


If those walls are as thin as they looked to me, I wouldn’t want to live there. Electric bill would be through the roof (literally) year round, either with heating or cooling. Great for a holiday home or camp sites in need to huts though.