Blowhouse: Life Support Unit

Apr 7, 2009
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Architect Paul Morgan Architects

2030. Climate change has affected Australia’s environment so dramatically that the interior desert now meets the south east Australian coastline. Average temperatures have increased, the sea level has risen and rainfall has dropped. Many animal and plant species are now extinct. The island continent is in terminal drought.

In this context the challenge is how to survive in such an environment. Our speculative design for the blowhouse is a ‘life support unit’ (LCI). As with other future dwellings, our approach is one of ‘terraforming’, or the creation of a survivable micro-ecology, an example being the structures built to create a life supporting atmosphere in the 1986 film Aliens.

The site for the blowhouse is adjacent to The Blowhole, a small promontory to the west of Flinders on Australia’s southern coastline. The design principle of the bioengineered blowhouse is to create an energy neutral life support unit that utilises the environment’s kinetic potential, forming a kind of lung – a structure that breathes.

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