Architect Michael Jantzen has come up with a concept for a vacation home, which would allow the residents to change it’s shape according to what is best in any type of weather condition. The so-called Malleable Autonomous Retreat House would also function completely independent of the grid, and it certainly embodies a very novel and futuristic idea when it comes to home design.


The main part of the Malleable Autonomous Retreat House is a glazed box that features a number of sliding doors and a roof. Around this, a large wooden canopy made from 32 hinged slotted panels would be built. According to Jantzen’s design, this canopy would be fitted with electric motors or small geared hand-cranks, which could be used to change its shape. This would allow the occupants to fine-tune the amount of sunlight and wind the house gets subjected to.



If all the panels are in the closed, flat position then the home is rectangular in shape. This way, everything under the canopy is in shade, and most of the wind is blocked. But opening up the panels, which can be done to different degrees, changes the shape of the home in unique ways. More sunlight can be let in in this way, but it can also be done for purely aesthetic purposes.

The interior would feature a lounge, with a sitting area, table, a bed, and space for a kitchen. This part of the home would be glazed. There would also be a bathroom with a composting toilet and a bathtub. For both cooking and heating, Jantzen envisions using propane gas, while the ability to manipulate the canopy would also maximize solar heat gain. The home would also be fitted with a solar panel array powerful enough to take care of all electricity needs.

The home would be 32 ft wide, 80 ft long and 24 ft tall (9.7 x 24 x 7.3 m) when opened completely. Just the glass area would measure roughly 400 sq ft (37 sq m). While this home is currently still in the design phase, Jantzen is planning to build it as a vacation home for him and his wife in the near future.