It is a simple enough idea, but the underlying intention of The Pallet House goes much deeper than that, so deep in fact as to underpin the very foundations of temporary housing ideology, perhaps gradually promoting it to the big-league of permanent housing solutions - and affordable at that. To start with palettes are cheap, at around $5 a throw - a hundred bucks should keep you in relative and sturdy comfort. Secondly and most impressive of all, pallets are used to transport emergency medical supplies, food and clothing so there are already stacks of them congregating at any emergency location. The scheme allows these otherwise wasted pallets to embark on a second valuable life cycle, and we love that kind of sustainability.
The notion of Pallet House design is also revolutionary in the field; many other refugee accommodation solutions have fallen by the wayside due to man's natural resistance to homogenised housing schemes, but with its modular nature, Pallet House can be changed, enhanced, extended and improved. By evolving in this way, coupled with the obvious low cost of spares, the shelter can slowly become a home - designed and extended over time to the exacting personal tastes of the occupant container house
. The straightforward application of more permanent indigenous materials such as stone, earth, plaster and concrete underlines the unique malleability of the concept and allows the homes to be moulded to local cultural context, the resulting stability easily hurdling seasonal climate variations. Both of these factors forge the idea of permanence and ownership promoting local communities to flourish once again.
It does seem as though the proverb runs true; the most simple ideas are the best, and there is no taking that accolade away from The Pallet House and its designers. However, an idea it remains,prefab house
and though a number of constructions do exist, the concept has yet to launch on any large scale. However, if we at Modern Design were of a gambling ilk we'd be tipping Pallet House to go forth and multiply - in a big way - and just to prove the point, we'd probably lay a fair wager ourselves. The design is simply a must for the worryingly increasing modern human displacement population, and in addition, it would seem to cost the planet very little indeed.