22. März 2020
The much-heralded award-winning creation from Architect Beatrice Bonzanigo is now available for pre-order
The 1:10 model for this unique bungalow, whose patented design allows its inhabitant to transform the interior configuration through a manual mechanical system, was presented at the Milan Design Week in April 2019. In an overwhelming response, Casa Ojalá won the A’ Design Gold Award 2019, was published in 33 countries with over 100 dedicated articles, and a waitlist immediately formed of dozens of customers wanting to purchase their own. In the following months, Beatrice Bonzanigo with partner Ryan Nesbitt founded Casa Ojalá srl, based in Milan, to develop the model into full-scale production. The 1:1 prototype is currently under construction and the first deliveries are expected by the end of 2020.
Casa Ojalá is a small, 27 square meter house with more than 1,000 interior configurations working in synchrony without ever changing the original structure and shape. It is designed to give guests a distinct and exclusive experience: control over their environment while deeply immersed in their surroundings.
Casa Ojalá has two bedrooms (one double and one single bed), a bathroom, a rooftop terrace, and a living space, all of which can – in fact – be continuously transformed into one another. A bedroom becomes a living room, the living room becomes an extension of the bathroom, the house becomes an outdoor platform, etc. The flexibility of the space is made possible by a manual mechanical system composed of pulleys and cranks, that controls sliding walls (made in fabric and wood) and movable floor and ceiling panels. Built-in central furniture divided in seven slices provides essential functions (wardrobe, bedside tables, bookshelf, sink) and can be pulled out for use or hidden under the floor for storage.
Once assembled, as the house is controlled through its manual mechanical system, it does not need any external assistance. It includes a rainwater collection system and can be equipped with photovoltaic panels and systems for handling clean, gray and black water for truly “off-grid” locations. It is best suited for mild climates, but includes a bio-ethanol stove to knock off an evening chill.
Beyond the day to day mutations – fully controlled by the guest – nearly all of the surfaces: metal, wood and fabric are customizable for each individual Casa Ojalá to recall local traditions and motifs. These options, combined with a choice in environmentally sensitive and sustainable fixtures and furnihings, allow Casa Ojalá to perfectly assimilate with its intended destination, unique as its owner and location. Italy is renowned worldwide for its design, raw materials and superb craftsmanship and Casa Ojalá raises the bar yet again. The simplicity and elegance of her groundbreaking patented design belie the intricacies of her meticulously laid out mechanical systems and the infinite possibilities encapsulated in its mere 27 square meter footprint. Detailed engineering work to transform the design into executable drawings began in earnest late summer 2019 by a team of structural and mechanical engineers based in Brescia, together with Casa Ojalá team. A complex 3-dimensional model was developed allowing the design to be tested for strength and durability. Each of the mechanical systems was laid out to the millimeter, ensuring smooth functionality and feasibility as they work together in such a confined space. Presently, a general contractor based in Lissone, outside Milan, is transforming the drawings into the finest steel and wood components as Casa Ojalá begins to take shape in their workshop.
In parallel, the Casa Ojalá team has been travelling far and wide across Italy to find the finest suppliers for additional components: bathroom fixtures, woods, mechanical systems, bedding, fabrics, sheets, stove, lighting, depuration systems, photovoltaic systems, furniture and finishings. The team is hand selecting each and every item that composes Casa Ojalá: an unrivaled dedication to quality and design that sets the house apart from all others.
The full-scale prototype will be placed in situ in the Italian countryside and made available to the press and prospective clients to experience in real life this fall. Site selection is in progress and will be announced in the coming months. Casa Ojalá is for the traveler seeking a new experience, one that immerses them in the surrounding nature, free from technology, yet without lacking the luxury of exquisite design and quality craftsmanship and the comforts of home in every thought-out detail. Casa Ojalá adapts to suit the needs of all who seek it out.
In addition to individual clients, Casa Olajá lends itself to the entrepreneur or boutique hotel looking to create a truly novel hospitality experience with either a single unit or several in a “distributed hotel” format. Already, a waiting list of over 30 clients for a total of about 50 houses has formed across a dozen countries.
Wake up to the faintest light in the predawn sky overwhelming the last morning star. Climb out of bed, close the hatch and slide open the walls. Roll out your mat to salute the first rays of morning sun. Brew up a coffee and climb up to the roof. Survey the environment, choose an adventure. Go out, lock up. Return, open, grab a book, doze off in the hammock. Fill the tub, open the dividers, submerge in privacy, refresh. Uncork a bottle, back to the roof. Watch the daylight fade, share thoughts, feelings, aspirations. Crawl down to bed, pull open the hatch, close the walls and dividers. Open the roof panels and count the stars until you lose track.
Images: Courtesy of Casa Ojalá