Canteen Farm House
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The Canteen Farm House maintains that small, incremental insertions into existing irrigation infrastructures can assist in regional processes of food production, yet also reconsiders the iconography of the farm house itself, which then suggests new models of agrarian living. Designed to collect, store, and distribute storm water in an elastic, expandable exterior skin for agrarian irrigation, the capacity of the house to perform like a cactus or a canteen integrates the farm house with the operations of the farm through bloated, temporal forms. The chronicling of the environment through the building’s formal bloating with regard to water availability fosters a farm creature indexing hydrological conditions in localized agrarian farm lands. The Canteen Farm House is characterized by mutability and transformation, processes inherent in landscape and engages notions of duration, ecology, and performance through its skin. Increasingly, aquifers and reservoirs are being depleted in the agrarian farm lands. As a result of poor or uncertain water availability our foods are being increasingly treated with chemicals as water wars are being waged. Simultaneously, the labor pool of farm hands, despite mechanization, remains a critical component of the food industry. Agrarian housing is a concern, both socially as well as in terms of food security. This compact 800 square foot home addresses these two critical and contemporary concerns. The exterior skin is made with rubber ‘canteens’ that fill with water which can be used in times of lower water supply. At full capacity, the house can hold 50,000 gallons of water Using an annual average of rain fall in the mid-western United States the canteens of 1 house could fill up to 20 times per year to full capacity. The swelling and shrinking of the home throughout the seasons indexes the environment, tracking the environment through the dynamism of the building form. As the canteens fill, the skin stretches, revealing an underlying patterning of the exterior rubber skin.

The Canteen Farm House was a first place winning entry in the Single Family Category of the 2011 D3 Housing of Tomorrow Competition.