Habitat For the 21st Century
The designer of the 480 domes at Aso Farm Land resort village in Kyushu was certainly thinking outside the “box”.
These igloo-shaped structures built from snap-together wall sections (175 lbs each) are made of 100% expanded polystyrene foam (styrofoam). Now this may seem unconventional, but the company lists a number of advantages that styrofoam has over traditional materials.
Unlike traditional wood and metal structures, styrofoam dome homes won’t rust, rot or attract wood-gnawing termites. They’re also highly resistant to earthquakes and typhoons given the aerodynamic shape. And surprisngly, the walls, which are treated with a flame retardant, emit no toxic fumes in a fire.
Japan’s history would dictate a low occurrence of floods, but one can’t help but imagine the bubble bath of homes that a valley of water would create (see image above) should a massive flood rear its ugly head. And If the floor is hermetically sealed to the surrounding structure, would a Japanese styrofoam home float?
See the video on how they are put together:
Prices start at the 3 million yen ($30k) mark, and these styrofoam homes are being used for a variety of purposes, such as: a bar, karaoke room, steam room, and more. The structures have been approved by Japan’s Land and Transport Ministry, and can be set up anywhere in Japan with the proper permit.
Personally, I wouldn’t be against living in one of these, or perhaps 2-3 units joined together, but I’d have to have some guarantee that a bottle of acetone thrown at my outer wall wouldn’t create an entrance for that would-be thief.
Gotta love it.