31Jan2017 Contextual Study


Nowadays, more and more people choose to buy a small house as their apartment because small house always can let people fell comfortable and safety.

However, some people also love to build a small house by themselves.

In addition, there are many different materials for the house. I am going to talk about the small houses which people can create by themselves.

There are tree house, bamboo house and igloo.


A tree house, tree fort or treeshed is a platform or building constructed around, next to or among the trunk or branches of one or more mature trees while above ground level. Tree houses can be used for recreation, work space, habitation, observation or as temporary retreats.

Building tree platforms or nests as a shelter from dangers on the ground is a habit of all the great apes, and may have been inherited by humans.


The process to product is relatively simple

The required materials always are available and cheap


It only be constructed in where has trees

It’s not safety when there is an earthquake

It can not keep warm in the winter


Hong Kong studio Affect-T has come up with a proposed solution for the city’s housing crisis – a series of bamboo micro homes that could be installed inside abandoned factory buildings. With a population of over 7 million living within a 400-square-mile radius, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world and one of the most expensive place to live. As a result, thousands of residents are left without permanent homes.


The dry bamboo can drive away insects in summer

It can be build in any indoor


The space is not really big

The required materials are limited in someplace


An igloo also known as a snow house or snow hut, is a type of shelter built of snow, typically built when the snow can be easily compacted. Although igloos are stereotypically associated with all Inuit, they were traditionally associated with people of Canada‘s Central Arctic and Greenland’s Thule area. Other Inuit people tended to use snow to insulate their houses, which were constructed from whalebone and hides. Snow is used because the air pockets trapped in it make it an insulator. On the outside, temperatures may be as low as −45 °C (−49 °F), but on the inside the temperature may range from −7 °C (19 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F) when warmed by body heat alone.


The shape can be very beautiful and fancy

It is warmer than stay in a cold winter night


The required materials only can be used in somewhere is very cold

Normally, an igloo can only exist for one season

It is not easy for DIY


Well, it doesn’t everybody have a chance to build a small house by themselves so some designers who came from many different countries have built an igloo named icehotel for people to experience . I am going to introduct the icehotel.

Every winter, 200km north of the Arctic Circle in the heart of Swedish Lapland, something truly magical happens. As the waters of the Torne River freeze over, a glittering, shimmering hotel emerges, sculpted from the ice itself. Set in a pristine wilderness of snowclad pine forests and frozen lakes, the Icehotel is the ultimate winter wonderland – an unforgettable destination for a weekend break, action-packed northern lights adventure or indulgent winter getaway combining extraordinary accommodation and fine dining. With the opening of Icehotel 365 in December 2016, people can now experience this travel icon year round.

From the moment people step inside the door, they will understand why this hotel is famous the world over – from it’s hallways lined with ice art and glittering chandeliers, to the atmospheric ice bar, they won’t be able to stop themselves being swept away by the magic.

The ingenuity of the design and construction has to be seen to be believed and, with an interior temperature kept at a constant -5°C, it really does take them breath away.

Over 1,000 tonnes of ice and 30,000 cubic metres of snice are harvested each winter from the nearby Torne River before being crafted into the original Icehotel. Come late April and this seasonal Icehotel simply melts back into the river.

The ‘sleeping on ice’ experience is certainly not to be forgotten and is far more comfortable than it may at first sound.


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