The cutting edge
of wooden architecture
SpaceShip is a new experimental wooden house by Rubner Haus, launched by Architects Cesare Griffa and Paolo Scoglio, both professors at Politecnico di Torino and the European Design Institute of Turin (IED). In a nutshell, this is what Rubner Haus can offer designers to meet any request from their clients, going beyond technological and functional boundaries: a tangible invitation to architects to explore the countless possibilities stemming from their synergy with Rubner Haus. SpaceShip landed in Milan to meet humans at Fuorisalone 2018. It will soon take off heading to Centro Rubner Haus in Chienes (South Tyrol), where everyone can visit it, until it leaves for its next mission.

For more information please contact:
Stefano Lampone
M: +39 347 53 33 815

How the project was launched.

It is the result of a collaboration between Rubner Haus and IED Turin, involving the students attending the Master's course in Smart Buildings and Sustainable Design.

Purpose of the project.

Reinterpreting the Blockhaus construction system, one of the most ancient in the world, by developing new application solutions and showing how this technology perfectly meets the stylistic and structural requirements of contemporary architecture, in particular for energy-saving houses.

The Book of Possibilities.

The features and possibilities offered by the Blockhaus technology have been codified by IED students and architects in the Book of Possibilities. The projects have been developed during the Master's course complying with its codes, showing the great untapped potential of the Blockhaus system, and highlighting its particular features:
  • 2- and 3-interlock free corner connection 
  • flat or tilted wall-roof connection 
  • buffer zone 
  • treatment of internal and external surfaces of horizontal wooden elements 
  • integration with wooden furniture.

The result.

The realization of Rubner Haus's vision of future architecture, using an age-old material, wood, following the codes of generative parametric design and combining them with the most innovative strategies and technologies of bio-construction: a module that has a pure wooden frame, designed as a self-sufficient organism capable of harnessing the sun and photosynthesis to produce the energy, the food, the oxygen and the water necessary to support life. SpaceShip is the tangible proof that a traditional construction system can be reinterpreted by more advanced project design and manufacturing techniques, and it can develop wooden architectures with unlimited potential.

The vital system.

SpaceShip is equipped with systems which harness solar power through a photosynthetic process to produce food and oxygen and fix carbon dioxide.

Internal side walls:
Vertical garden with beans, pumpkins, soybeans (plant proteins enjoying high nutritional value) and carrots, zucchini, spinach (rich in amino acids, vitamins and antioxidant pigments). Spirulina and Chlorella, edible micro-algae (rich in plant proteins and polyunsaturated fat, such as Omega-3). The food produced is recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization) as the basis of a balanced diet, essential for health, and it is the same used for the sustenance of astronauts. Plants and algae regenerate air by absorbing the carbon dioxide produced by respiration and breathing.

Solar greenhouse:
Being installed on the SpaceShip tail, it completes the natural purification system: plants with a strong ability to neutralize the volatile organic compounds (formaldehyde, benzene, trichlorethylene and other elements found on your clothes, paper, detergents and in other household products of daily use): Mother-Tongue, Ficus Benjamina, Aloe, Dracena.

Rain water, stocked in a tank under the SpaceShip, is channeled in an automated irrigation system by small energy-saving pumps.

Another component fundamental for the photosynthetic process is solar light, being integrated with the LED systems installed in areas which do not appear to be illuminated properly and at night.

The power system.

Each element that makes up Rubner Haus SpaceShip
is designed to reduce and rationalize the use of energy.
  • The solar greenhouse is a source of heat used to adjust temperature inside the house with a natural ventilation system.  
  • A couple of air exhausts, inspired by the Muscle car turbo-charged engine vents, removes hot air in case of over-heating, through ventilation openings on the upper part of the extractors, with a "chimney effect", with minimal energy consumption.
  • Power equipment: low-consumption LED lighting systems, aerators for the algae, irrigation pumps and service outlets lower than 1 kW.
The SpaceShip only uses the power energy generated by the sun thanks to a roof-embedded high-yield PV panels, connected to a Powerwall home battery.

To reach 100% of self-powering secured by renewable solar energy only. 
Rubner Haus
Cesare Griffa e Paolo Scoglio
Davide Iannici, Gaetano Fede, Andrea Vissio
IED Turin, Students:
Shadi Abou Samra, Gaetano Di Fede, Beatrice Feneri, Davide Iannici, Filippo La Placa, Maria Lucia Raiola, Giulia Roccasalva, Daria Taeb, Yury Gabriela Espinoza Lopez
IED Turin, Faculty:
Cesare Griffa, Paolo Scoglio, Andrea Graziano, Marco Palma, Carlo Micono, Guido Zanzottera