Disaster-proof ‘Antillean Gothic’ reinvents the shotgun shack

The shotgun shack, or shotgun house, is a linear dwelling common to the Caribbean and southern United States, which has been reinvented by Amonle Studio Workshop to be more sustainable and disaster-proof, as Duncan Geere writes in wired.co.uk.

The shotgun shack gets its name from its design — a linear series of three to five rooms in a row with no hallways, meaning that you can fire a shotgun from the front door and the pellets would fly cleanly out of the back, as all the doors are on the same side. “Double-barrel” shotgun houses share a central wall.

Amonle’s concept, which is called “Antillean Gothic“, keeps the basic design and arrangement of the structure but lifts it off the ground, adds a second floor for privacy and extra ventilation, and builds the whole thing out of materials readily available in the Caribbean — bamboo, metal mesh, scaffolding poles, corrugated iron sheeting and halved 55-gallon drums.

The design has been created specifically to be easy to build, meaning that communities can construct it themselves. It should be able to stand up to floods, hurricanes and earthquakes, and it maximises natural light, ventilation and clean water, via an oversized gutter that can collect rainwater for washing, cleaning and irrigation.

On top, there’s a vertical-axis wind turbine for generating energy, which can supposedly generate 7,500 kWh per year, though Amonle admits that budgetry constraints might make it tricky to accomodate in the plans.

“Antillean Gothic proposes a tropical way of life rooted in the Caribbean but with an ear and an eye to global themes that influence all of us,” says the agency about the design, which won first prize in the innovation category at the 2011 Caribbean Construction Awards.

For the original report and more (really cool) photos go to http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-09/20/shotgun-shack

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