Sustainable housing for Haitians

Architect Joseph Bellomo’s egg-shaped house.

Even though the average temperature in Haiti seldom dips below 75 degrees, building permanent shelter for survivors is imperative for obvious reasons. You’ve probably seen pictures of the tent cities that the estimated 1.5 million homeless are currently living in. So did San Francisco-based architect Jospeh Bellomo, who was working on a modular structure for a client in Hawaii when the hurricane hit. Built to withstand tropical storms with a foundation of only a few concrete blocks, Bellomo immediately thought his project could be a perfect solution for displaced Haitians.

While not everyone is a fan of the design, which takes its inspiration from an eggshell (a structure that’s surprisingly strong considering its minimal form), people can at least agree that of all the proposed solutions Bellomo’s makes a lot of sense. Composed of light-weight steel tubes, the design weighs in at a mere 3,000 pounds, substantially less than most cars (a 2010 Prius weighs nearly 4,000 pounds). It provides 150 square-feet of space that can be flat-packed into a 4x10x3 foot box and built much like an IKEA house, only easier. Even better, Bellomo’s design is durable enough to become someone’s permanent home, not just another expensive, temporary solution. Now he just needs to find a sponsor.