CollaboratorRICARD PAU


PhotographJOSÉ HEVIA

Homeful System

Domestic modular components that allow for fast and cheap refurbishing of long-time abandoned buildings, allowing multiple configurations that each inhabitant can easily put together according to daily, weekly, seasonal or lifetime changing needs. Its materials and processes are harmless to the environment, and they can be fabricated using low tech tools.


In order to allow present and future generations a chance, we need to build less and build better. Making the most of what we already got is key. The number of abandoned old built habitat is increasing exponentially. It is often too costly and wasteful to engage in a refurbishment, with high levels of uncertainty in time, costs and outcome. These leads to extremely low quality renovations to match the low rental prices or to maximise sale benefits on one end, or to expensive rehabilitation for the few privileged, often leading to gentrification.

How can we upcycle these places in the cheapest, fastest, predictable way so that they become not only inhabitable but fulfilling human’s arkane and contemporary needs?


By concentrating the transformation efforts in a high-dense disposition, services and material costs will be minimised, and the space available for the inhabitants to enjoy as they see fit is maximised. This amalgamation of activities is also a chance to explore unexpected relations between the traditional separation of domestic spaces that still today carry a heavy patriarchal load, by erasing its borders and merging them closer together into more free ways of living.

By applying DfMAD principles, the on-site construction process will be made easier, allowing for short and long term modifications overtime, including total disassembly and easy removal in rental conditions.


Plywood is chosen as the main material for its resistance, and for the first prototypes poplar is the most local one available. Each component is designed to minimise waste in each panel. Three sub-families are developed: enclosures (walls, floors, ceilings, windows and doors), cabinets (cooking, bathing, storing) and a tiniest house (for sleeping, resting and having sex). Each of them, specially enclosures, are totally adaptable to each particular circumstance, thanks to their open design implemented through custom-made BIM families. Each set of sub-components is light and small enough to be easily transported, and the worst case scenario of a narrow street and staircase without any lift has been the starting point.

In order to gather meaningful feedback, we open the first iteration of the system, built in Raval Santa Anna 1 in Reus, to guests who are interested in implementing this system in their own place. By staying there a few days or weeks, they provide informal insights through conversations, as well as fill a brief but thorough questionnaire where they can argument their answers.


José Hevia. July 2019.


RESEARCH, Case Study

Alfondac is a guest house, a prototype and a Living Lab, where we invite you to experience some of the products and systems we design and make.

RESEARCH, Case Study

The first inhabitable prototype of our Homeful system. A workplace, apartment, guest house and showroom at once.

Search questions

As a consequence of our search as architects, we also produce understanding and knowledge made of words -written and spoken. This search revolves around twelve constant themes, questions we don’t have a definitive answer to yet. This knowledge is not just a by-product of our activity, but rather an instrumental part that develops simultaneously and is imbricated in building. Search Questions is our sisyphean effort to organize and share this knowledge while it's blossoming, fragile and unstable. By doing so, a more specific understanding, and more refined questions emerge.

1. Pequeñas Cabañas BIY

An exploration on children's innate drive and ability to build, and some huts that they can build together with grown-ups. Published by Editorial Gustavo Gili.

2. Endless beginnings

Graduation Ceremony. AAA. Aarhus, Denmark. September 2020.

Journal paper
3. OE House

ARQ 94. Universidad Católica de Chile. With Cristina Goberna and Urtzi Grau.

4. Open Process Ecosystems

Beyond Product Platforms for multi-storey habitats design and manufacturing. With Duncan Maxwell.

5. Subrural

An incipient theory of the subrural, first published in Catalan in AT magazine, edited by Nuria Casais and Ferran Grau.