Soft Haus proposes emergency socially-distanced public housing in above-grade parking facilities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of existing models of housing, collective life, and infrastructure. The majority—made precarious by these systems—have been disproportionately marginalized by shelter-in-place orders and quarantines that assume they have the means to weather this moment of extreme instability. This surplus infrastructure of carbon-based urbanity—seen for its absurdity, obsolescence, and excess—is appropriated by governments as convenient super-structures for distanced-domestic space. With minimal modifications, the robust structural frame and excess space of parking is co-opted into a generous and flexible ground for Soft Haus—a model for autonomous communal living with many configurations sponsored by the use of inflatable enclosures and porto-pods. These inflatables provide a multitude of spaces (domicile units, shared kitchens, food storage, and greenhouses) and the porto-pods contain the new necessities of post-pandemic housing (airlocks, sterilized bathrooms, and advanced HVAC maintaining positive pressure and medical HEPA filtration). Soft Haus gives the marginalized the affordance to live with social-distance and imagines a new paradigm of dwelling better suited to meet the challenges of contemporary society.

Center for Civilization
Center for Civilization
Location of project
CA, Calgary
Month/Year of project
04 / 2021
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