POV

Ecocapsule: From the Beach to the Moon

It was designed as a self-contained system that is able to sustain long periods of time without external resources.

Photos provided by Ecocapsule Interview by Celia Isadora
Photo © Ecocapsule

Photo © Ecocapsule

We’ve all dreamt of leaving behind our material dominated lives for the open road, paved with adventure… The Ecocapsule makes those dreams a reality, not to mention a possible solution for low-income housing in NYC. Brooklyn artist pad, anyone?

Citizen Brooklyn: What is the inspiration behind the Ecocapsule?
The story of the Ecocapsule began in 2008 when our architectural studio Nice Architects participated in Andes Sprout Society Idea competition to design small housing unit for artists. The first version of the Ecocapsule bore three pivotal design features: round shape to minimize energy losses, water collection capability and mobility. The design was not successful in the competition, but led to a breaking point for the project when inhabitat.com chose it for their selection of the most interesting ideas from competition. A massive amount of inquiries persuaded us to develop this project further. Unfortunately, the technology of 2008 was not ready for a truly independent home.

Photo © Ecocapsule

Photo © Ecocapsule

Only in 2014 did developments allow us to finish designing the second version of the Ecocapsule prototype equipped with necessary systems for long time independence. It was designed as a self-contained system that is able to sustain long periods of time without external resources. Something along the lines of a Swiss-army knife—It packs everything you need.

Photo © Ecocapsule

Photo © Ecocapsule

CBK: When you were creating the Ecocapsule, what kind of clientele did you expect to attract?
We expected to attract small entrepreneurs in hospitality. Features of the capsule made with small, off-grid hotels in mind. However, we were not prepared for magnitude of public interest. Based on this, we can say there is no typical client.

Photo © Ecocapsule

Photo © Ecocapsule

CBK: Why doesn’t the Ecocapsule have wheels?
We designed capsule as a house. The logic of the project was much closer to our architectural profession. However, I have to say that the capsule does have a small set of wheels able to maneuver around a site. Adding real wheels and turning it into caravan is completely new set of challenges/construction and legal concerns. Currently we are working on adding an undercarriage to the actual unit to turn it into a fully functional caravan.

Photo © Ecocapsule

Photo © Ecocapsule

CBK: Name a few situations where an Ecocapsule would be ideal?
Remote locations without infrastructure. For example, a hotel on a remote beach or in an area where is not economically viable to build traditional structures… Or during a collapse of infrastructure: an Ecocapsule can serve as the habitat of rescue teams and provide energy and clean water to disaster victims.

Photo © Ecocapsule

Photo © Ecocapsule

CBK: In the future, do you envision the Ecocapsule larger with more functions?
Actually the Ecocapsule is a test-bed for whole set of new technologies that will allow us to scale the concept of the capsule indefinitely. Only small steps are needed to apply the technology to shopping centers and make it more energy efficient… Or adding air recycling, yielding a moon habitat.

Photo © Ecocapsule

Photo © Ecocapsule

CBK: Do you think that living in the Ecocapsule full time is ideal for most?
The Ecocapsule is fulfills the needs of a relatively small population. Individuals and pairs without kids or people with a bit adventurous nature.

Photo © Ecocapsule

Photo © Ecocapsule

CBK: Do you foresee refugee camps adopting the Ecocapsule?
Not as a housing for victims or for very small number. However, it can be used as infrastructure. It can provide electricity and water.

Photo © Ecocapsule

Photo © Ecocapsule

For more information visit:
Website: www.ecocapsule.sk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Ecocapsule.sk

One Response to “Ecocapsule: From the Beach to the Moon”

  1. gaya says:

    Somethin’ very fascinating about these cacoons. A womb like quality that makes you want to sleep inside them. Well done. Make bigger, make many. Keep us posted.