Subversive, ethical, ecological, political, fun: this is how I see my duty as a creator. ~ Philippe Starck
Designers Philippe Starck + Riko realize first prototype of their custom eco-prefab house, that in Starck’s mind, represents the modern living ideal. The house fits the philosophy and the ethic of the designer,”But it is not an architectural work. It’s completely understated from my side. It’s very humble and just made with the best engineering and the best technology ”says Starck -the French designer who has become widely known since the start of his career in the 1980’s for his interior, product, industrial and architectural design work.
Starck + Riko prototype for PATH (Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes) which sits on the outskirts of Paris, doubles as the designer’s own home. With its façade of glass and aluminium, the 350 sq m two-storey home reveals no sacrifice of form to function, with fluted cornice that conceals the ‘green factory’ rooftop. Designed to integrate seamlessly high eco-technology systems -solar, thermal, solar photovoltaic & wind turbines.
First launched in 2013 after years of technological development and collaboration, French designer Philippe Starck and Slovenian wooden prefab building company Riko released their customizable Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes (PATH) to the global market just this month. Combining Starck’s signature timeless design and Riko’s high expertise with state-of-the-art insulation and energy production technology, PATH houses usher in a new area of positive energy housing. The first PATH prototype (above) was recently realized in Montfort, France, and features rooftop energy-producing technologies, co-developed by French companies DualSun and IRFTS, consisting of 58 photovoltaic thermal hybrid solar panels, wind turbines, rainwater recovery and heating pumps. As France works towards its 2020 thermal regulation goal to have all new buildings possess positive energy status, Starck + Riko’s prefab homes are packed with theses high eco-technological systems to allow the homes to produce more energy than they consume.
Starck + Riko prototype for PATH (Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes) Interior, Monfort, France. The all-over spruce interior panelling, which Riko claims produces 40 percent less waste during manufacturing, has the appeal of a Starck-style lodge.
Perhaps the most interesting, if not highly marketable, feature of these prefab homes is the variety of mix-and-match design options that cater to homeowners’ individual needs and aesthetic preferences. For starters, PATH includes 4 models: two single-story residential homes, one double-story house, and a family of supplementary units intended as a garage or garden studio. While this is the deluxe option, each PATH energy system will be determined by need; the entire concept, in fact, is highly adaptable with myriad customisable features such as combinations of glass and/or wooden structures along with several styles of roofs, 34 different floor plans with 1 to 8 bedrooms, and interior finishes and fixtures can also be customized. Another point that Starck + Riko highlight with PATH is the accessibility and affordability of their homes. Prices range from €2,500 to €4,500 per square meter depending on the client’s choices. Once a house is ordered, the designers state it will take less than 6 months to deliver the turnkey house to the owners.
Philippe Starck has a mission and a vision: creation, whatever shape it takes, must make life better for the largest number of people possible. His anticipatory concern for environmental implications, his profound comprehension of contemporary mutations, his enthusiasm for imagining new lifestyles, his determination to change the world, his devotion to a positive reduction, his love of ideas, and his desire to defend the intelligence of usefulness, have accompanied one iconic creation after the other. From everyday products such as furniture and lemon squeezers, to revolutionary mega-yachts, micro wind turbines, electric cars, and hotels that aspire to be vibrant places, Starck never ceases to push the boundaries and criteria of contemporary design.